SIG Sauer flew out a representative to oversee the replacement of 300 San Joaquin Sheriff’s Department service pistols after the agency ran into two problem pistols in two weeks.
The guns are relatively new, SIG P226 pistols chambered for .40 S&W, but to be safe the department is swapping them all out for new replacements.
Local news station KCRA reports that the San Joaquin officer’s pistols appear to have faulty extractor pins. If the extractor fails to clear the chamber of a spent cartridge, the gun will fail to feed and jam. This particular problem is one of the more problematic types of stoppages, as it’s difficult to clear and sometimes requires tools to fix.
From a law enforcement perspective, this could realistically put lives at risk.
“We wanted to get those guns off the street as soon as possible,” said Les Garcia, a sheriff’s department spokesman.
SIG was quick to identify and address the problem. “What we have been told by SIG Sauer today is that [the pins] may have been replaced with the wrong pin or part,” Garcia said.
Whether this is an issue at the factory end or with the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Department’s armory is unknown. Neither SIG nor the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Department replied with comment.
The replacement process took three hours, and other departments covered for the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Department for the duration.
This sort of simple mistake can afflict any guns, new or old, and stands as a reminder that guns need to be taken to the range and practiced with not just to keep the shooter’s skills intact, but also to stay in tune with a gun that is realistically intended to protect lives. A six-dollar part can literally save a person’s life.
It’s also a perfect example of the rule, “two is one, and one is none.”
Take this as an excuse to go to the range and spend time with your gun, and remember, if you don’t have backup in the form of a neighboring sheriff’s department, you should probably own more than one firearm for self-defense and concealed-carry.
And keep an eye out for some inexpensive factory reconditioned SIG P226s. We heard a rumor that some police surplus pistols are just around the corner.