An evolution over 80 years in the making, Sig Sauer's new P210 Carry 9mm blends a classic lineage and modern features to live up to its name.
What's the Big Deal With the P210?
Swiss firearms designer Charles Gabriel Petter, who learned the up-close and personal side of weapons in action while an officer in the French Foreign Legion during the Great War, was a cultivated polyglot who moved freely across Western Europe in the 1920s and 30s. After a decade with the Lewis Arms Company, he perfected a series of modifications and improvements to single-action self-loading pistols, taking cues from the even-then famous Browning locked-breech system.
A series of his patents led to the French Model 1935A pistol, and by 1938 SIG in Switzerland had licensed them for use in a pistol that the company intended to submit to replace the dated Luger in Swiss military service. Working with Petter for a further decade, the Swiss Ordnance SP47/8 was adopted in 1948 as the P49 by the Swiss Army and others, including the Danish military and West German border guards.
By 1957, the P49 designation was renamed the P210, remaining in production in Switzerland until 2006 by virtue of its reputation for accuracy, reliability, and simple elegance. They were so iconic they were even immortalized in art.
Coming to America
With the beloved P210 discontinued in European production, Sig Sauer in New Hampshire switched into gear to make the gun here in America. This led to the P210A in Standard and Target variants that showed up in 2017.
However, despite what M1911 fans will say, a fine target-grade single-action pistol with a full-length 5-inch barrel doesn't lend well to today's carry practices. For those who wanted a more compact and modernized P210, Sig teased the P210 Carry a couple of years ago at SHOT Show in Las Vegas and met with an instant demand for the gun.
In the nature of "good things come to those who wait," Sig now has the P210 Carry in regular production, and it is a fairly unique branch on the Petter family tree.
So How Does It Compare Size-Wise?
Going past the specs, which really just give you a chance for your eyes to glaze over, the P210 Carry stacks up well to a few guns you may find familiar.
Sure, the P210 is still nowhere near what, say, a P365 series brings to the party in terms of capacity, expense, and size. But the P365 is no P210. Cue the "we are not the same" memes here.
A Closer Look
Gone are the adjustable target sights and oversized wood grips that are familiar on other P210 models, replaced with Siglite night sights and slim G10 grips with lots of texture. Also gone, to cut weight, is the steel frame, replaced with a somewhat lighter alloy frame. Keep in mind there is more than a half-pound difference between a more standard P210 and the P210 Carry.
How Does It Shoot?
The P210 has always been hailed as one of the most accurate production pistols in the world, something that has spawned dedicated fans of the platform, generation over generation. The P210 Carry has nearly the same performance envelope due to its low bore axis, full-length slide rails in the frame, top-notch trigger, and decent sights.
When it comes to the single-action trigger, we found it right out of the box to break smoothly at between 3.5 and 4 pounds, living up to the P210 legacy.
So far, we have run about 500 rounds through the P210 Carry, all domestic factory 9mm loads. All 500 have cycled fine with zero issues encountered. The P210 was shot right out of the box after disassembly for inspection and function check.
In practical off-hand shooting from the 15-yard mark at a good cadence, the P210 was so predictable to be almost boring to shoot. While the P210 Carry isn't quite the same target gun that its older brothers are, there is no world in which you could say that it was not accurate.
Pushing back to the 25-yard mark we had no problem keeping groups small and were able to hit torso plates, with a little concentration, out to 50. If the pistol range would have had a 100-yard plate, confidence is high that it would have needed repainting.
Where Does It Fit In?
While Sig's new P210 Carry isn't for everyone – odds are if you want an EDC piece without the history that has a higher capacity, smaller size, and lower cost, the P365 may be a better fit – if you want a great-shooting and beautiful single-stack 9mm that can still effectively clock in as a carry piece, this could be your unicorn. An "elegant weapon for a more civilized age," and all that, akin to an HK P7M8 or a high-end chopped M1911 like a Wilson Combat ULC Commander Compact. No, it's not optic-ready. No, it doesn't have an accessory rail. That's not what the P210 is about. Again, see the P365 or P320 if that is what you are looking for. The P210 performs without any of that and looks good while doing it.
Stay tuned while we stretch it past the 1,000-round mark and weigh back in with a report from that.