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.
 

Sig Sauer P210 Carry in 9mm
Today's P210 Carry owes its lineage to Swiss firearms designer Charles Petter's circa 1938 patents, and decades of military, police, and sports use by the P210 series since then. (All photos: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

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. 
 

Sig Sauer P210 models
A New Hampshire-made Sig Sauer P210 Target and Standard, compared. The Target features a 5-inch stainless-steel barrel, a target-grade adjustable trigger, and oversized walnut grips while the Standard model was, well, more standard. Both featured upgraded, more ergonomic controls, including a relocated manual thumb safety and push-button magazine release (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)


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. 
 

Sig Sauer P210 Carry in 9mm
The new Sig Sauer P210 Carry uses a shorter 4.1-inch barrel to produce a pistol that is some 7.75 inches in overall length. 
Sig Sauer P210 Carry in 9mm
Height is 5.63 inches while the width of the single-stack pistol, at its thickest part, is 1.44 inches due to having streamlined surface controls on one side of the gun and thin, specially made, G10 grips.

 

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. 
 

Sig Sauer P210 Carry compared to P229
When it comes to length and slide width, the Sig Sauer P229 is a close match, though when the grips are compared, the single-stack single-action P210 is downright svelte against the double-stack double-action pistol. An endurance racer compared to a wrestler. 
Sig P210 Carry compared to Glock 19
The same can be said about the Glock 19. 
P210 Carry compared to 1911 Commander
The P210 Carry is more akin in concept to an M1911 Commander-sized pistol. However, when it comes to weight, the Sig, with its alloy frame, typically comes in a little leaner on the scales. We found our model to weigh in at 33.1 ounces while carrying 8+1 rounds of 130-grain Federal Hydra-Shok Deep. 
Sig Sauer P210 Carry
Of interest, we found the P210 Carry fit most of the M1911 Commander-sized holsters we had on hand like a glove. With that, Mitch Rosen is making a very gentlemanly leather holster made specifically for the new Sig. 


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. 
 

Sig Sauer P210 Carry
Disassembly is easy. Just safely unload the pistol and with an empty mag well and chamber, retract the slide about a quarter-inch to the rear until you feel the tension on the slide catch lever lighten up... 
Sig Sauer P210 Carry takedown
...Then push that lever out from the right-hand side. Once you've done this, the slide pushes forward off the frame with ease. You can get a feeling for how finely machined the P210 is during this process as nothing must be forced, wiggled, or prayed over. No tools are required for disassembly. 
Sig Sauer P210 Carry stripped
On the inside, you see the simplicity of the design, a textbook example of a mechanically locked, short-recoil-operated pistol. Note the full-length slide rails, a factor that helps enhance accuracy. 
Sig Sauer P210 Carry barrel
Also, for P210 purists, you will note the modern Americanized variants use a slightly different barrel lug design over the venerable Euro guns.
Sig Sauer P210 Carry
When talking about controls, the frame-mounted safety lever, American-style magazine release, and slide catch are oriented on the left side of the gun. 
Sig Sauer P210 Carry
On the slide, note the wide cut on the ejection port and external extractor that doubles as a loaded chamber indicator. 
Sig Sauer P210 Carry
The sights are more practical than P210 purists may be used to, but the No.8 Siglite night sights can always be swapped out. 
Sig Sauer P210 Carry
The rear of the grip has a sweeping beavertail that eliminates hammer bite and allows a nice, high grip on the pistol. 
Sig Sauer P210 Carry
The front of the grip is very finely checkered. 
Sig Sauer P210 Carry
The P210 Carry runs front slide serrations that are still cosmetically pleasing. Note how low the slide rides in the frame, very much like a CZ 75. 
Sig Sauer P210 Carry
The P210 Carry ships with a pair of eight-shot 9mm magazines. They are steel single stacks marked "Made in Italy" and have seven witness holes. 

 

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.

Thus: 
 

 

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. 
 

The Sig Sauer P210 Carry ammo
We found the P210 to run through the first 500 rounds without issue including Blazer Brass and Federal American Eagle 115-grain target loads, Speer Gold Dot 124-grain GDHPs, and Federal Hydra Shok Deep 135-grain JHPs.


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. 
 

The Sig Sauer P210 Carry accuracy
First mag from the 15.
The Sig Sauer P210 Carry target
25th mag from the 15 on the same target. The left wobble is more user-generated than the gun and came after a bit of fatigue from loading and reloading mags. 


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.
 

The Sig Sauer P210 Carry
The P210 Carry, with its slim grip, also works well for those with smaller hands. My wife, who is 5' 3", was able to get it done without issue. 

 

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. 
 

The Sig Sauer P210 Carry
The Sig Sauer P210 Carry has a minimum advertised price just north of $1,500 and is currently shipping.
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