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Air Marshals Pick SIG SAUER

In December 2009, SIG SAUER Inc. announced that the U.S. Federal Air Marshal Service selected the P250 Compact pistol in the 357 SIG caliber as the new duty gun for its agents. President and CEO Ron Cohen said the company is proud to have secured this multi-million dollar contract from such a respected and distinguished agency. SIG SAUER is a leading manufacturer of high-quality firearms used by elite military and government agencies, including the U.S. Navy SEALs, the Federal Air Marshal Service, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard.


SIG SAUER’s origins date back to the mid-1800s when three Swiss wagon factory owners won a contract to produce 30,000 muzzle loading rifles. Subsequently, they changed the company’s name to the Swiss Industrial Company (Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft), known as SIG. By the 1970s, the small arms division was expanded to include several other leading firearms manufacturers, J.P. Sauer and Sohn among them.

In 1985, SIGARMS Inc. was established to import and distribute SIG products to the American market, and it continued to expand its role as a leading firearms provider with new contracts in both the public and private sectors. In the U.S., the SIG success story began that year when the newly formed SIG SAUER (in 2007 the company changed its name) began to distribute the P220 semi-automatic.

SIG currently makes more than 15 kinds of handguns, from the subcompact 380 ACP caliber Model P238 to the full-size 45 ACP caliber Model 1911. The company also makes a wide variety of rifles, from the SIG556 patrol rifle to the Blaser Tactical 2 and SSG3000 counter-sniper rifles.

Features of SIG SAUER’s P250

The SIG SAUER P250 is offered as a compact, subcompact or full-size polymer grip module in four different calibers: 9mm, 357 SIG, 40 S&W and 45 ACP. Officers are also given the choice of several grip sizes and trigger lengths, resulting in a fully customized, ergonomically designed pistol that allows the shooter to change caliber and size as needed. Built around a single, serial-numbered metal frame and fire control assembly, the P250 offers performance, accuracy and reliability.

The excellence of the P250 was recently recognized by the National Rifle Association when it named SIG SAUER the recipient of both the Golden Bullseye Award and the American Rifleman Tactical Handgun of the Year award. Both distinctions honor innovation and excellence in the development and introduction of shooting equipment.

About FAMS

In 1961, the U.S. Sky Marshal Service was created in response to an increased number of hijackings, and it was the precursor to the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS). The initial result was a marked decrease in hijackings for the remainder of the decade. However, the trend reversed in the 1970s, resulting in the formation of the Task Force on the Deterrence of Air Piracy by the Federal Aviation Administration. After Sept. 11, FAMS underwent a rapid build-up and deployment of air marshals.

The Federal Air Marshal Service previously used another SIG SAUER product, the P229, before upgrading to the P250. While the P229 is the company’s most widely-used pistol by law enforcement professionals nationwide, it is only available in three calibers and does not offer the customization of the P250.

The mission of today’s federal air marshals is to detect, deter and defeat hostile acts targeting U.S. air carriers, airports, passengers and crews. Trained in investigative techniques, criminal terrorist behavior recognition and firearms proficiency, they are skilled at blending in with passengers. During times of heightened alert, they are called upon to serve in other law enforcement agencies and homeland security liaison assignments.

Susan Geoghegan is a freelance writer living in Naples, FL. She can be reached at

Published in Law and Order, Feb 2010

Rating : 7.0

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cool gun but not for me

Posted on : Dec 13 at 11:53 PM By Tim

The interchangeable design is a really cool concept, however, I don't see my self ever wanting to swap out the firearm on a regular bases and I don't see why the Air Marshal's would want to, or need to either. If the frame is damaged or warn out and and a 50 dollar fix is needed that's not a bad deal.

P250 Fails

Posted on : Sep 21 at 2:21 AM By Dee

The ATF currently has a request for proposal RFP to switch to a new handgun for all of its agents. Sig Sauer submitted their new P250 pistol for this competition, but it was eliminated by the ATF from the competition after completion of the the first two stages of testing. Of the guns tested, only pistols from Glock and Smith and Wesson went forward to the stage 3 tests. Sig Sauer filed an appeal with the ATF about the Sig P250 being eliminated early from the testing. However, the ATF has now rejected their appeal, and only SandW and Glock are going to the final evaluation stage. In rejecting the Sig Sauer appeal, the ATF noted the following from their agent test results: “11 of the 20 test shooters experienced stoppages with Sig Sauer’s handguns–in some cases, as many as 10 stoppages.” The ATF simply found the Sig P250 to be too unreliable for the needs of their agency. If you want to read the full report denying Sig Sauer’s appeal, you can do so here: @ Tim the 229 was/is a fine system this p250 is a gov bailout program and its FAMS and maybe civil that will pay for it with there lives!


Posted on : May 8 at 5:16 PM By Tim

I really think they should of stuck with the 229. I think they downgraded there weapon. I have shot both and the trigger was much more accurate with the 229 than the 250. It will take alot more practice to get that good with the 250 and the fact that they use 357 sig rounds, the metal gun will help that caliber shoot much better and control recoil. I take nothing away from the 250,but in a hostage situation I would want the better of the 2 and that would be the 229. I wonder who made that decision? let me guess, some office pencil pusher.

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