Even a quick look at the new SIG Sauer Legion pistol reveals this is not a standard P229.
In September 2015, a few other writers in the firearms industry and I participated in an online conference with SIG Sauer to introduce their new Legion line of firearms and gear. Before the conference, SIG sent the writers Legion products, chief among them a SIG P229 Legion.
According to a SIG Sauer press release, “The Legion is a community, a brotherhood of like-minded individuals who push themselves and their gear to the limits. Legion members will receive exclusive product offerings and information from SIG, gain access to premium accessories built specially for the Legion, and find lifestyle items representing their membership in the Legion.”
The Legion name has roots reaching back to the Roman armies and elite organizations among the world’s military and professional communities. Also appropriate is the logo of the SIG Legion series, which is based on the Lambda that adorned Spartan soldiers’ shields to denote the region of Greece they came from: Lakedaemon.
Tritium on rear sight is not as bright as on front sight, so front sight will stand out in darkness. Step on front of sight allows it to be used for one-handed manipulation.
To become a member of the Legion, after customers purchase a Legion product, they simply call SIG Sauer with their serial number to register the product. SIG will then send a complimentary custom Thermo-Mold case cut for their specific firearm, with slots for magazines and a slot for a challenge coin matched to that firearm (included). A precut slot without the foam is still in place and fits a knife or flashlight.
At the same time, the new member will receive a web account login, which unlocks the Legion portion of the SIG website. Here Legion members can learn more about the privileges of being a member of the Legion, and be among the first to see new Legion products as they become available.
SIG Sauer launched the Legion line with the two most prevalent SIG handguns in the professional community, the P226 and P229. As mentioned, I received the P229.
Front of frame behind trigger guard has SIG’s X-Five undercut, which allows a higher grip on the pistol.
As part of the pre-launch package, in addition to the pistol, I received 100 rounds of SIG 9mm V-Crown 115-grain JHP ammo, custom Thermo-Mold case with P229 Legion challenge coin, and Kydex® holster and mag pouch from BlackPoint Tactical, also bearing the Legion logo.
The first thing that jumped out at me about the pistol was the proprietary Legion gray PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coating set off by the black stocks, controls, sights, and hammer. Visually stunning may be a bit dramatic, but the pistol is somewhat striking in appearance. Custom G-10 grips are inset with the Legion medallion. All Legion pistols ship with three magazines instead of the standard two mags.
Pistol uses solid guide rod.
It might be possible to have the extra features of the Legion pistol added to a standard P229 for not much more—or even less—than the dent a Legion will make in your wallet. But it would probably be a fairly long wait, as the pistol would have to be sent to more than one shop to accomplish everything. Not having to wait and having everything ready to go from the factory are big pluses to many consumers.
The special features include:
- SIG’s new Electro-Optics X-RAY™ high visibility day/night sights. The Legion logo is on the top of the slide in front of the rear sight.
- A reduced and contoured Elite beavertail that allows for a higher grip but a reduced profile, to eliminate printing while carrying concealed.
- An X-Five undercut has been applied to the trigger guard, allowing for a higher grip and greater control.
- More aggressive front strap checkering.
- Additional checkering under the trigger guard to enhance the grip.
- Extra serrations on the front of the slide to provide greater purchase for cycling the action, clearing the firearm, or press checks.
- Enhanced polished action with the SRT™ (Short-Reset Trigger) that is augmented with a Grayguns, Inc, Intermediate Adjustable Trigger.
- Low-profile decocking and slide catch levers to reduce the risk of snagging.
- Solid steel guide rod to add weight at the muzzle for reduced muzzle flip.
The P229 Legion will also be available in .40 S&W and .357 SIG.
Legion logo is on top of slide in front of rear sight.
In the spirit of full disclosure, until now I have had little actual experience with SIG products, with the exception of their 1911 line and 516 and 716 patrol rifles.
In initially handling the pistol, I was impressed by how exceptionally smooth the action was. The factory polish, full-length rails, and PVD coating combined to make the action feel like melted butter on glass.
Although I prefer the slimmer grip and angle on my 1911s to most pistols, the P229 Legion felt remarkably good in the hand due to the high grip I could obtain thanks to the reduced beavertail and X-Five undercut under the trigger guard.
I was also surprised that it pointed so naturally, with the sights coming right up on target.
It came as no surprise that it took some time getting used to the double-action (DA) first shot, followed by subsequent single-action (SA) shots.
Beavertail on Legion allows a higher grip.
According to the SIG specs, the DA pull should be ten pounds and the SA pull 4.4 pounds. My trigger pull gauge does not go to ten pounds, but the DA pull seemed lighter than that, probably due to the Grayguns, Inc trigger.
I was able to measure the SA trigger pull and, in that mode, after a short amount of take-up, it broke consistently and crisply at 3.75 pounds with no noticeable overtravel.
I fired the pistol in full sunlight and in low light. The Electro-Optics X-RAY™ sights were easy to acquire under all conditions. The rear sight has a step on it that can be used to manipulate the slide with one hand off the belt, holster, boot heel, etc.
SIG claims the enhancements on the Legion pistols will maximize the user’s accuracy potential and decrease split times between shots.
Using a PACT Club Timer 3, I pitted the P229 Legion against two other 9mm pistols I had in-house—a Smith & Wesson M&P and a Glock 19.
Using the El Presidente drill as a standard to compare the three pistols, average split times with the two polymer pistols hovered right at .5 second for the entire drill, with the P229 coming in slightly faster at .4 second. This is likely due to the fact that perceived recoil is less with the slightly heavier P229 (roughly eight ounces), as well as the checkering on the stocks and front strap. The difference will probably be greater as I become more accustomed to the SIG.
Trigger guard is checkered on bottom and front.
The biggest difference among the three pistols was accuracy.
For some reason that I have not been able to explain, many pistols seem to shoot a bit low for me. Not so with the P229, as it put every shot exactly where I wanted.
Although the decocking and slide catch levers are low profile, I had no problem manipulating them even when wearing gloves.
During the evaluation, I fired the 100 rounds of SIG 9mm V-Crown ammo that SIG provided. I also put downrange another 300 rounds of assorted 9mm fodder I had on hand. I had zero malfunctions of any type with the P229 Legion.
The Legion gray PVD finish proved extremely durable. Kydex offers many advantages, but being kind to a handgun’s finish is not one of them. After numerous drawstrokes from the BlackPoint Tactical holster, no wear was detected on the P229’s finish.
Checkering on front strap increases control.
After almost four decades of carrying the 1911, I have recently been looking to possibly replace it with a 9mm, not because I fully buy into the hype that the 9mm has improved so much in the last few years, but for magazine capacity. We live in dangerous times, and two-legged predators are running in packs larger than we have seen in the past.
Multiple assailants and the very real possibility of missing under stress are very good reasons to have more rounds on tap in the pistol.
I have tried out quite a few 9mms but have generally been underwhelmed with them for a variety of reasons. The SIG P229 Legion is different. It feels great in my hand and is more accurate—for me at least—than most pistols of its type.
Pistol features proprietary Legion gray PVD finish.
There is a misconception that “gun writers” get to keep the firearms they test. I can’t speak for all publications, but at S.W.A.T. we have a strict policy that we either buy the product we test or send it back to the manufacturer. Personally, I return almost all the firearms I evaluate.
As this is written, I have carried the P229 every day for almost two months. My quest is over—I’m keeping this one.
Available only at SIG Sauer dealers, the Legion series of products will grow to include offerings from all of SIG Sauer, including rifles, optics, silencers, and more. Other companies carefully chosen by SIG will carry Legion products, including flashlights and knives.
More information on how you can join the Legion can be found at www.legionseries.com.
SIG SAUER, INC.