Shooting Sports USA | Range Evaluation: SIG P226 Legion
What is the recipe for a good carrying weapon? Sights that you can see and a trigger that is easy to reach and use are essential. The SIG Sauer P226 Legion 9 mm (RRP: USD 1,413, sigsauer.com) delivers in spades. It fits surprisingly well in my hand and is very comfortable to shoot.
For starters, the front and rear visors are fixed, and the front visor is clearly visible with a light green inner circle. The top of the visor protrudes above the green circle and is easy to find at high speed. The visor is black with two very small white dots that do not rob the shooter of the misguided attention to the visor, but allow a quick alignment of the visor and the visor. This combination of the front and rear visors made aligning the visor natural and quick. The visor is also square on the front so the sled can be attached to a belt or holster.
The P226 Legion has sturdy visors that are easy to see. And a lot of textured area for a nice grip.
Accurate first shots can be taken with the trigger in double-action mode, and follow-up shots are easy to take in single-action mode. The trigger is smooth and breaks crisp; The reset is sharp, clear and very tactile. There is no guesswork about where the trigger will reset. It is as good as any trigger on a carrying weapon anywhere. No work has to be done on the trigger for daily transport. The trigger is made of metal and doesn’t feel cheap like many EDC triggers do. The trigger is heavy enough to prevent accidental discharges in tight environments, but smooth and crisp enough for great shots.
The carriage has front and rear splines. A metal frame gives the weapon robust strength and a recoil-absorbing weight. It also includes a rail for mounting accessories. The trigger guard has a texture at the bottom and front and is slightly undercut for a good grip. The magazine release is oval, structured and lies close to the handle. This feature is well designed and constructed. There was no problem hitting the magazine’s release on live fire and no problem hitting it at the wrong time. This little feature makes a big difference on the line in competition or in the real world.
The slide release is small and fits exactly into the top of the handle shell. It’s easy to push in a hurry if this is your preferred method of dropping the slide. The fit makes it impossible to accidentally open the slide while the gun is being fired, another sign of a well-designed gun. The P226 Legion has the signature SIG relaxation lever, which allows the hammer to be safely put down in a live round without the relaxation exercises of some weapons. The handle scales are textured on the rear and front straps of the handle. This weapon didn’t slide or slide around on the track at all. The handle structure is more than adequate without being overly aggressive. Additionally, there is a small textured square on the left side of the pistol above the top handle screw and a much larger textured area above the top handle screw on the right side of the weapon. Both of these areas were smooth on the older P226; Now they feel like very fine-grain sandpaper, but are part of the handle – nice additions to a carrying weapon.
Looking at the handle, it looks like it’s pretty smooth. However, the grip structure seems to hold almost as much on your hand as the shooter holds on to the gun.
While checking out the SIG website for this pistol, I came across the following statement: “This masterful pistol has received a number of enhancements based on the needs and desires of professionals.” Disregard sales of pistols, but after a close inspection of the pistol and a good range time, I found this to be an honest assessment.
Live fire testing of this pistol was conducted in two separate sessions. With a simple OWB holster for the pistol, I held a little carry gun match in the Parabellum range last September. This match tests the shooter on a range of skills similar to challenges often encountered in EDC situations. The SHO and WHO shooting, the use of cover / concealment, moving targets, and small and partial targets are key components of this game. Typically the stages are only a set number of shots to reduce accuracy by volume, and all ratings are low regardless of caliber to emphasize accuracy. Tiers usually require a mandatory reload after six rounds of firing. At the beginning of the day, I shot through the stages with my rifle to score points. After doing the rest of the shooters, I switched to the SIG P226 Legion and shot the match again, the very first shooting I did with the Legion aside from a few dry practice drawings in the basement. When I looked at the overall results, I was stunned to see that my runs with the Legion outperformed my runs with my own weapon. Throughout the 11-step game, my time with the Legion was 4.5 seconds slower, but the accuracy was better than eight more Alpha, three less Charlie, and five less Delta. That added up to a 1.8 percent match win with a gun I never fired.
Later, Jake Martens and I took the P226 Legion out on the track and shot. I don’t usually get the best of Jake, so this session went better for me than most of the others. We shot at various steel plates and snaps to warm up and get a feel for the gun and the trigger. We also took 25 yard group photographs on paper. The information given on the range does not include the number of cartridges fired, but there was not a single malfunction after using several different types of ammunition.
The P226 Legion was absolutely reliable during live fire drills.
Our first drill bit was the standard El Prez. Jake drove runs of 7.36 seconds and 6.69 seconds with 56 points on the first and 34 points on the second. My runs both scored 54 points on the finish line and had times of 9.06 seconds and 8.66 seconds. My hit factors were 5.9602 and 6.2355, which was between Jake’s best of 7.6086 and his worst score of 5.0822, which wasn’t too impressive or surprising for this exercise. With the first double-acting trigger, we were both more cautious than normal with the first shot.
The second drill was a front sight forward drill. The targets were at El Prez distance and spreading, but faced them at the toss. Jake’s first run was 4.10 seconds with 27 points for a hit factor of 6.5853; His second attempt was 3.35 seconds with 24 points on the target for a hit factor of 7.1641. My first run was 3.87 seconds with 27 points on target for a hit factor of 6.9767, and the second run was 4.12 seconds but with all 30 points available for a hit factor of 7.2815 for the best on the Stage. I like this weapon more and more.
The third arrangement was close to far in nature, with targets at 10, 15 and 25 meters. Jake stepped forward and grabbed and yanked it. The first run lasted 4.49 seconds, but with only 3 points on the target, the hit factor was low at 0.6681. The second attempt lasted 4.37 seconds with 22 points on target for a hit factor of 5.0880 – not exactly something to write home about, but much better than the first run. My first run was pretty bad, but at least in the lead lap I was on target with 13 points at 4.52 seconds for a hit factor of 2.8761. The second run lasted 4.99 seconds with 27 points on the target for a hit factor of 5.4108 and victory on the exercise.
The last exercise recorded was an unloaded take-off on a table and a three-target arrangement spread across the width of a larger firing range. The targets were located eight, 15, and 10 meters from the table from left to right, with 15 meters between the targets. Jake’s first attempt was 4.95 seconds with 22 aim points for a hit factor of 4.4444; The second run lasted 5.11 seconds with 26 points and a hit factor of 5.08880. My runs started with 5.46 seconds and 26 points on the target for a hit factor of 4.6099; The second was similar, with 28 points in 6.07 seconds for a hit factor of 4.6128.
Looking for a serious weapon to carry? Give the P226 Legion a tough look.
The final part of the live fire test was an indoor club game last December. As before, the P226 Legion ran flawlessly for both Jake and me. I have no hesitation in recommending it for a carrying weapon. And I think the gun could do well in the hands of a good marksman for competition in the USPSA manufacturing department. If you want to carry the same gun you fired in competition, the SIG P226 Legion may be the answer.
More SIG pistol reviews from across the NRA Publications network:
Article from the March / April 2020 issue of USPSA’s FrontSight magazine.
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