Not long after the introduction of the SIG Sauer P220 9mm handgun, SIG began modifying the handgun for other duties. The pistol was chambered in .38 ACP Super and .45 ACP for the American market. It was also re-designed into the compact P225 for German police use. After years of carrying the ineffectual Walther PPK in .32 or .380 ACP, the German police were none too keen on packing the full-size SIG P220 pistol. The compact P225, somewhat different from the SIG Sauer P225A, was a happy mix of excellent features that included a smooth double-action first-shot trigger, good sights, excellent accuracy, and soon-to-be legendary reliability.
This slim pistol was carried by plainclothes officers and a few uniformed officers in the United States. While its niche was taken to an extent by the P239 pistol, the P225 enjoyed a loyal following. The SIG P228, a high-capacity version of the P225, was very popular and adopted by the military as the M11.
The popularity of these handguns and the availability of West German police surplus P225 pistols (at a very fair price) led SIG to eventually phase out the P225. However, a couple of years ago, SIG re-introduced the P225 as the P225A. It is a very different handgun, perhaps a better handgun, and while not immensely popular, it is a sweet shooting and handling handgun.
SIG watches trends and saw the popularity of the 9mm and the vast market for concealed carry handguns. SIG felt that a revised P225 would be a good addition to the line. The new P225 is based upon the P229 and is arguably a single-column magazine P229. Since the P229 is among the best balanced and handling SIG pistols, that is a good place to begin.
The slide is machined stainless steel versus the stamped slide of the original P225. This slide was originally designed to handle the .357 SIG cartridge. Later, P229 handguns were available in 9mm and .40 caliber. The new pistol is thicker in the slide than the original P225 but remains a compact handgun. This slide makes for what may be one of the strongest 9mm handguns on the planet.
I feel that a steady diet of +P or +P+ loads would not be daunting to this handgun. The old hooked trigger guard of the P225 is gone. The new trigger guard looks nice and is designed to allow the pistol to set lower in the hand, combating the typical double-action pistol’s high bore axis.
The pistol features G10 grip panels similar to the Legend series. The P225A features SIG’s Short Reset Trigger. This is a shorter, double-action press, and a faster reset. This trigger makes the pistol a much better shooter than the original. The grip is among the most ergonomic that I have handled. This is a well designed and well thought out handgun.
The P225A maintains the original frame-mounted decocker, take down lever, and slide lock. The test pistol’s DA pull breaks at a smooth 12 pounds. The single-action trigger is a crisp 4.25 pounds. This is an excellent combination for all-around personal defense use.
The double-action and single-action trigger system is a compromise that stresses simple readiness. Draw, press the trigger, and fire. The slide cocks the hammer and subsequent shots are fired single action. The hammer is lowered by activating the frame-mounted decock lever. While a striker-fired handgun, such as the Glock, has only one trigger action to learn, the SIG demands time and effort — as well as ammunition — to master. Once understood, the SIG DA/SA guns respond well to those who practice.
The long suit of the SIG is reliability. Government testing and extreme test programs worldwide have earned the SIG series the title of the world’s most reliable handgun. SIG’s accuracy is also worth the effort to understand, as the pistol will respond well to a trained shooter.
The P225A is also simple to field strip and maintain. The pistol is unloaded, the magazine is removed, and a takedown lever is rotated. The slide is removed forward off the frame and the barrel and recoil spring are pulled from the slide. My personal P225 A features self luminous iron sights. The tritium inserts have remained bright and useful for several years and provide an excellent sight picture.
The advantage of the P225A — over other SIG handguns or any high-capacity handgun — is in hand fit and speed. This handgun feels right in the hand. The size is right; you can close your hand on the grip and be in control. Drawing from the Galco Stow and Go inside the waistband holster, the P225A is brilliantly fast on the draw and to a first shot hit. Those who practice will find a capable handgun.
As for accuracy, I have enjoyed working up handloads with this pistol, focusing primarily on the Hornady 124-grain XTP and Titegroup powder. At 1,050 fps, I have achieved accuracy on the order of a five-shot group at 1.4 inches at 25 yards from the Bullshooters target rest. That is match grade in my opinion.
I have achieved similar result with the Gorilla Ammunition 135-grain JHP and a 2.0-inch 25-yard group with the fast stepping Gorilla Ammunition 115-grain +P. Moving to +P+ rated loads, the Double Tap 115-grain bonded core loading has given good results and remains controllable in this handgun.
The P225A is among the finest handguns I have had the pleasure to use and fire. I own a good number of SIG pistols, each with a well defined mission. The P225A is easily my favorite to fire. It is a great handgun well worth its price.
Do you have a SIG Sauer P225 or SIG Sauer P225A?
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