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Sig Sauer’s P250 For Both Duty & Off Duty

The Sig Sauer line of duty pistols has grown steadily over the years. The company’s first aluminum alloy frame models such as the P220, P225, P226 and others have always been very popular police duty sidearms. The guns earned Sig their “to hell and back reliability” catch phrase. The polymer framed SigPro line was the gun manufacturer’s answer to the flood of polymer frame pistols that stormed the police market. Today, Sig’s extensive lineup offers competition ready pistols like the X5 and P220 Match, heavy stainless steel frames with Picatinny rails, and compact versions for concealed carry.

In 2007, Sig introduced its newest duty pistol, the modular P250. Although it appears upon first inspection to be an evolution of the standard Sig pistol configuration, the P250 reveals itself upon closer investigation to be truly revolutionary. There is no other firearm available like this impressive new Sig Sauer police pistol.

The P250 is a one-of-a-kind firearm due to its innovative modular design. Modularity offers simplicity, economy and flexibility. Modular furniture, modular homes and modular vehicle engines all allow quick updates, interchangeability and simple reconfiguration.

Sig Sauer is the first to apply this concept extensively to firearms. Others have offered interchangeable backstraps, but the P250 offers various frame sizes, slide/barrel lengths and even calibers. The modular design means individual officers can configure the weapon to fit their hands and their needs. A single pistol can transform from a full-size duty sidearm into a concealable off-duty carry piece.

While a single pistol can also be purchased, Sig Sauer sells the 2Sum as a complete package, including a duty pistol and a subcompact conversion. The blue plastic hard case is lined with sturdy foam that is emblazoned on the inside with the designation of “P250 2Sum.” The P250 is available in 9mm, 40 S&W, 357 Sig and 45 ACP.

The corrosion-resistant black Nitron finished stainless slide has dovetailed and snag-free Siglite night sights. The standard rifled barrel is 4.7 inches long and the sight radius is 6.6 inches. Both of these numbers translate into an inherently more accurate handgun. The longer the distance between the front and rear sights, the easier it is to aim accurately with the human eye. For comparison, my vintage P220 has a 4.4-inch barrel and a 6.3-inch sight radius.

The slide contains a firing pin safety to prevent accidental discharge upon impact if the pistol is dropped. The double-wound recoil spring is painted green on one end so you know which way it fits over the full-length steel guide rod.

Slide release levers are on both sides to accommodate left handed shooters and the triangular magazine release can be easily swapped from side to side with the use of a bent paperclip. The Picatinny rail has five slots for installation and adjustment of tactical lights and lasers. The 14 round magazine ejects freely and the gun will fire with its magazine removed.

The double action only (DAO) trigger measured a light 7 pounds, 2 ounces on my Lyman digital trigger gauge. This is much lighter than my old P220’s standard double action trigger weight of around 12 pounds. Sig also offers a short trigger as an accessory for officers who wish to have an even shorter trigger reach. The P250’s hammer is bobbed because it cannot be cocked manually anyway. There is no need for a decocking lever on a DAO pistol and this contributes to the P250’s sleek appearance.

The polymer grip frame has ambidextrous thumb rest contours and an excellent texture for non-slip handling regardless of rain, mud, sweat or other slimy goop. The full size P250 weighs 29.4 ounces (the subcompact weighs 24.9 ounces) unloaded and its balance feels ergonomically proper in my hands.

The P250 field strips like other Sig Sauer pistols, but once taken down, its standout modular attribute becomes apparent. To begin, lock the slide to the rear, remove the magazine, and make sure the gun is unloaded. Then rotate the takedown lever on the left side of the frame in a downward manner. Release the slide and it will move forward off the frame. The recoil spring/guide and barrel lift out of the slide. This is where disassembly of previous models came to a halt.

The P250’s modular design comes into play when you pull the takedown lever out to the left. The takedown lever retains the functional mechanism of the pistol inside the frame. With the takedown lever removed, the stainless-steel forward slide rail insert can now be grasped and lifted upward. A bit of thumb pressure rearward on the hammer interacts with the trigger and pulls the trigger to the rear so it can clear the trigger guard housing. Then the entire fire control assembly lifts up and out of the grip frame.

The rugged stainless steel assembly contains the trigger and hammer and has the pistol’s serial number stamped on its side. Sig terms the polymer frame a “gripshell” because it’s actually not a true “frame” and is not a firearm as classified by The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The removable fire control assembly is, in and of itself, the actual firearm. When holding the mechanism in your hand, it certainly looks like no other firearm ever produced. This ability to remove the internal guts of the gun in a single piece made the P250 the most effortless gun I have ever cleaned.

This revolutionary design is what allows the Sig P250 to offer totally modular and interchangeable gripshells. The test gun’s particular gripshell is marked “F-M” (Full-Medium) on its backstrap. Full-sized gripshells are available in three different circumferences. Small (5.4-inch F-S), medium (5.7-inch F-M) and large (6.2-inch F-L) circumferences are offered that should accommodate any officer’s hand size.

Compact gripshells (sort of a medium sized frame with a Picatinny rail) are offered in three sizes and subcompact gripshells (the smallest frame, which does not have a rail) are in two different sizes. That’s a total of eight various gripshells to choose from.

The 2Sum test pistol came with a subcompact gripshell marked with “S-S” (Subcompact-Small) circumference. The subcompact’s magazine holds 10 rounds of .40 S&W ammunition. Also snuggled in the protective foam lining was a second Nitron finished slide with glowing Siglite sights and a 3.6-inch barrel secured by a full-length guide rod and spring. These parts swap with the duty gun to transform into a subcompact off-duty carry pistol. The mid-sized Compact version, which is not included in the 2Sum package but available like all the other options, features a 3.9-inch barrel.

Carrying an off-duty gun that operates in a similar fashion as your duty sidearm is a great idea. The subcompact P250 isn’t just similar to a full size P250—it is the same actual firearm. Or at least it is the same fire control assembly, to use Sig’s terminology. The trigger pull is the same and the gun operates exactly the same, regardless of which gripshell and barrel length it’s contained within.

A further option available with the P250 is that an officer could purchase a .357 Sig barrel, in either full size or subcompact length, and drop it right in this 2Sum test pistol. The weapon could then fire .357 Sig cartridges. The same recoil spring and even the same 40 S&W caliber magazine can be retained.

Conversion units with another slide/barrel/magazine combination are also available to swap to the 9mm round while still utilizing the same serial numbered fire control unit. Due to the size of its cartridge, the 45 ACP pistol requires a different size gripshell in addition to a slide/barrel/magazine to change calibers like the 9mm, 357 Sig and 40 S&W. Stainless-steel slide versions without the Nitron coating can provide a two tone finish if desired.

At the range, I fired the full size version of the P250 first. It took some time for me to warm up to the DAO trigger because I’m so used to standard DA triggers. The DAO is very smooth, without clicks, clunks, grittiness or stacking. The trigger feels much like that of a very fine double action revolver. The trigger’s action is much lighter than the first shot double action pull on my P220 and is therefore much easier to shoot more accurately.

Some police departments require their duty guns to have a double action-only trigger. I am certain the longer DAO can be mastered with practice and experience. As proof, a fellow member with my local police competition league, Carlton Harms, happened to be at the range when I was test firing the P250. Harms took home most of the first place trophies at last season’s awards banquet. He is a fine shot, no matter what weapon or category he competes in. Harms is also a master of the double action revolver. I asked him if he would mind giving the Sig P250 a try. He gladly obliged my request to fire some ammo downrange.

Harms was immediately able to get much tighter groups than I was. He complimented the smooth trigger action and said the Sig felt more like a custom revolver to his trigger finger. During a second range session and after more practice, I was able to shoot the P250 as well as my old P220. There is some credence to the idea that the longer trigger pull forces the shooter to concentrate on the sights to keep the weapon steady. I concluded that the P250’s DAO trigger works just fine for police combat shooting.

The P250 also held to Sig’s long standing reputation for reliability. I fired several different brands of full metal jacket and hollow point ammunition through both the full size and subcompact versions of the .40 caliber handgun without any jams. The weapon suffered no failures of any kind during 450 plus rounds of testing.

The recoil of hot 40 S&W loads is typical of lightweight handguns. You know you are shooting a powerful handgun with serious stopping power, but muzzle flip is readily controllable for follow-up shots in the full-size duty pistol. There is no overcoming basic physics and the subcompact’s combination of light weight and short length require a solid grip. The 40 S&W has some fierce muzzle flip in the subcompact gripshell, but it’s not overpowering.

The modular capability of the Sig P250 permits an officer to tailor the weapon to his own specific desires and ergonomics. The 2Sum concept also shines at the checkout counter when price is a consideration. With the P250 2Sum, you get two guns for the price of one and a half. The MSRP is $945. Both duty and concealed carry holsters are available from several manufacturers for the P250 in all levels of snatch resistant security.

The Sig Sauer P250 is an amazingly versatile handgun for both duty and off-duty concealed carry. The P250’s revolutionary modular design provides law enforcement officers with an outstanding value that doesn’t require working too much overtime to afford.

Steve Tracy is a 22-year police veteran with 20 years of experience as a firearms instructor. He is also an instructor for tactical rifles, use of force, less-than-lethal force and scenario-based training. He can be reached at

Published in Tactical Response, Jan/Feb 2011

Rating : 10.0

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