I was perusing the interwebs this morning when I saw a friend’s status calling the new Deadpool movie both “sexy” and “flawless.” Besides reminding me that I really do need to pay the money to see that movie in the theater, it made me realize that both words are appropriate descriptions of Sig’s new Legion Series P226 SAO (Single Action Only). Deadpool needs to upgrade his Deagles to Legions.
I know a lot of people initially thought that the MSRP seemed a bit high and the differences might not be all that serious, but after spending a little time with it in Vegas and a little more on the range today I have to tell you that in my opinion (and in the opinion of some awesome shooters whose input I respect a great deal) this is the best handgun on the market with a street price of slightly more than $1,000. That statement does not need a frame of reference to be correct. It isn’t just “my opinion” for “a certain class” of “pistol” (sorry, got a little excited with the airquotes). It doesn’t really depend on your intended use (unless you plan on carrying IWB) or your hand size. It is that good. It would be equally in its element in the nightstand or at your next competitive shooting event. Best of all, you don’t need to do ANYTHING to it in order to feel confident in it for whatever purpose you choose. It is ready to go out of the box.
First off, the gray PVD finish is 1000% sexy. It just is. The color is perfect and it’s just different enough from the standard black Nitron finish to be a real eye catcher at the range. Yes, I am partial to gray finishes. Yes, my favorite guns are already gray. Yes, I am adding this particular gray gun to my short list. The high cut frame and checkered front strap get you solid purchase under recoil and the grips seemed thinner than some P226 grips I’ve played with in the past. The sights are well thought out. The thumb safety is well-executed (crisp and positive). The trigger—the one that was supposed to be 5 pounds—measures in at a crisp 2 lbs 15 ounces on average. Even assuming that’s out of the ordinary, the Legion SAO is still a fantastic gun. But to assume that something Bruce Gray had a hand in designing wouldn’t be better than advertised may not be the correct assumption.
Accuracy and lockup were exactly as I would expect from a high end Sig. I already group my old P239 compact as well as most full sized pistols, so it didn’t shock me that the P226 Legion blew the middle out of dots on the range. The machining in the slide was immaculate as always, the disconnector rail was polished up, and the gun fed both ball and match JHP rounds like a dream (which is the norm with most new designs these days, but it has to be said). Despite having a bore axis that is slightly higher than some other common designs, the combination of the SAO’s weight and the high cut frontstrap made it possible to get a high grip on the P226 at the range, and quick follow up shots were a given. The checkering is also well-executed for a production gun, which was a nice touch on Sig’s part.
Even as a guy who loves shooting 1911s in most competitions, the thumb safety is surprisingly good. I have been less than pleased with some mushier safeties on SAO’s in the past, but every Legion sample I have played around with has had a safety with crisp, positive engagement and a nice overall feel. Ergonomics-wise, I like the grips on this gun a lot and I have to say that it feels less bulky in the hand than some older P226s I’ve played with in the past. The ONLY thing I wish was slightly different from an ergonomics perspective is the slide release, which (again, as a 1911 shooter) is just a little far back for my taste in conjunction with the thumb safety. Thankfully, my thumbs are pretty long so I can reach around the safety on magazine changes. That minor suggestion is far from a deal breaker.
The “X-RAY” sights, featuring a well-thought out bright green/tritium front in conjunction with a blacked-out tritium rear, work well in the daylight, and even though I couldn’t get the camera to focus on the front sight, the photo (at left) should give some idea of exactly how well the front sight “pops.” Acquiring it in daylight felt about like finding a fiber optic front sight. And my first time shooting this gun I was nearly as fast with it as I was/am with my favorite 9mm 1911. Needless to say, for what this gun costs, that makes it an even bigger value. Or, since we’re in the middle of primary season, “YUUUUUGE.” Based on the fact that my 6-year-old P239 still has the brightest night sights of anything I own, I’m sure these would work as advertised in low-light environments too.
Barrel Length: 4.4”
Weight: 34.4 oz. (unloaded w/ mag)
Trigger pull: 5 lb spec / 3 lb actual
Capacity: 15+1 (aftermarket mags that hold 20 are easy to find)
There’s a simple reason why this review sounds like a fanboy wrote it: because I’ve become a fanboy of the Legion SAO. It is accurate, well thought-out, ergonomic, and everything you can expect from a pistol in the $1000-$1500 range. As a guy who likes his single action triggers, shooting the Legion SAO certainly brought a smile to my face. That’s the best endorsement I can give anything. This one is a “buy.” HP
-Colt Driver; Photos by author.
For more information, check out Sig’s Legion Series online here.