Classic Sig Sauer Pistols: Why the P220, P239, and Mosquito Still Rock
Sig Sauer may well lead the market with its plethora of firearm products every year. Of course, among those many guns, there are newer popular pistols like the Legion series and the countless models of the P320.
With all these hot releases and choices, it can be easy to forget some of the old standby pistols that Sig has made in the past. At the risk of sounding like the old guy trying to convince you to trade your Glock for a 1911, today I’m here to tell you about a few classic Sig pistols and why they deserve your time.
The P220 is an aluminum-framed single-stack pistol. It uses a double-action trigger and a magazine with room for eight rounds. As with many of the older Sig pistols, this P220 has no traditional safety. The controls are extremely simple and offer only a trigger, slide lock, and a de-cocking lever for safely lowering the hammer. The mag release is in the traditional spot, and all these controls are easily manipulated. It also has a low-slung accessory rail up front for installing a light or laser.
This P220 happens to be one of the fancy German-made ones, and it also features a threaded barrel for installing a suppressor. I intended to run my SilencerCo Octane 45 to see how they played together. With a few boxes of 230-grain ball ammo, I hit one of my shooting spots.
I don’t shoot much .45 ACP, but it sure felt powerful coming out of this Sig. The full-size pistol felt perfect in my hands. Its grip and angle matched my natural point of aim. Hitting targets with the heavy and slow bullets was very enjoyable, even more so once I installed the suppressor. The naturally subsonic bullets of the .45 made shooting the suppressed P220 pure joy. I could have perhaps benefited from taller sights but had no problem hitting what I aimed at.
The P220 has everything from classic firepower to the iconic looks of a service pistol. The trigger still feels fantastic all these years later, and the pistol’s function was flawless. The gun is obviously a little heavier than more modern pistols, and everyone but the old 1911 guys would probably like more magazine capacity. But despite those few things, I absolutely love this pistol. The heavyweight tames the movement of the gun significantly, making it smooth and deliberate in every motion.
One of the reasons that the P220 was so easy and familiar to me was that it has the same controls and design features as my P239. I bought this pistol shortly after Y2K for those old people out there who remember phones with cords, though none of that had anything to do with my purchase. I bought the P239 because I was a freshly minted CCW carrier, and my taste then was just as good as it is now. Years later, I found out that the P239 was frequently used as a concealable or backup pistol by agents and SEALs.
Much like the P220, the P239 is a single-stack aluminum-framed DA pistol. The identical controls are easily manipulated, and the only changes made over the last two decades have been Hogue grips. The soft edges of the pistol and its low-profile sights make it an easy option to conceal and draw.
I’ve carried the P239 for nearly half of my life, so nothing could feel more comfortable to me when shooting. And like it always does, the P239 functioned flawlessly during my latest range trip. Shooting both 115 and 124-grain ammo, the P239 was right at home hammering targets. The eight-round magazines are solid and easily changed. My wife, who is significantly more petite, also found the P239 to be easy to handle and fun to shoot.
Before the P322, there was the Mosquito. The Mosquito is a .22 LR pistol that basically mimics the P-series of pistols. It has a polymer frame with an alloy slide and a safety. Other than the safety, the Mosquito is almost identical in its controls and function to the other two pistols mentioned here. It does feature a Picatinny rail for adding your favorite accessories under the front. The single-stack 10-round magazine is familiar and simple.
Shooting the Mosquito was just as fun as it sounds. The Mosquito isn’t what I would call light, but the pistol is almost motionless as far as recoil. The trigger feels similar to the other two pistols, though the spring pressure is much lighter. It also shared the double-action function and the handsome and classic looks. The only thing this one is missing is a threaded barrel.
The Mosquito has been known for being finicky about ammo. I have found this to be true as well. In order to keep the little pistol popping, I always run high-velocity ammo through it. Ammo like Velocitors or other rounds that run at 1200+ fps offer reliable loading. Other than that, and the limited 10-round magazine capacity, the Mosquito is a great little pistol.
Classics Stick Around
These are just three of the older Sig pistols that can be found all over the world. So, while you may be fawning over the latest Spectre Comp or P320X, keep in mind that there are some truly classic pistols out there that can really make you appreciate what a pistol can be.
It’s true that they sure don’t make them like they used to, so it may not be a bad idea to grab one of these older pistols while they are still relatively easy to find. Regardless, I can guarantee you that these three aren’t going anywhere soon.