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Review: SIG P229 RX 9mm

The SIG P229 is a proven handgun—among the most reliable handguns in the world—and among the most accurate. A new version of the SIG P229 is an optic equipped pistol with much to recommend. This isn’t a competition handgun but a pistol designed for duty, personal defense, and tactical use.

SIG Sauer P229 RX pistol with Romeo 1 sight left profile

This is one impressive combination—well worth the price!

The SIG P229 pistol may be the most suitable for service use of any presently available optics ready handgun. Unlike many popular handguns, the SIG isn’t optics ready but optics equipped from the factory. This is an important distinction. The price point isn’t cheap at $1,300 MSRP, but considering the combination of a first class handgun and optic, the price is fair. (At CTD the price is $1,099-considerably less than MSRP.)

The pistol is supplied with a Romeo 1 reflex sight fitted to the slide. As an example, handguns offered with various plates for mounting a red dot accept some, but not all, of the popular red dots. The factory SIG combination is good to go as issued.

For all-around utility, the pistol is also fitted with suppressor-ready SIGLite tritium night sights. They co-witness with the red dot sight and offer true 24-hour capability. One sight or the other is always ready for instant use.

I am familiar with the capabilities of the SIG P229 pistol and have considerable experience with the type. The double-action, first-shot trigger is smooth—perhaps the smoothest in the industry. The single action trigger offers excellent accuracy potential. After just over 1,000 rounds, I am only beginning to understand the capability of the red dot equipped P229.

Co-witness, fixed tritium sights on a SIG Sauer P229 RX pistol

Co-witness, fixed tritium sights are part of the package.

Part of the advantage of the RX combination is that the Romeo 1 was designed for handgun use from the beginning. It has proven capable of taking the pounding of a powerful cartridge and reciprocating slide. Interestingly, the internal parts are seated in a modern epoxy to keep them in place. The Romeo 1 weighs less than an ounce, incredibly light considering its performance. The Romeo 1 enjoys a high water-resistance rating as well.

Two buttons control the Romeo 1’s features. The sight uses a modern feature called Motion Activated Illumination. The red dot is turned off after three minutes without use. The sight comes on automatically when the pistol is deployed.

While you may adjust the sight windage and elevation, the Romeo 1 came properly sighted from the factory for 124-grain loads at 15 yards—ideal for most situations. The standard SIG P229 is among the most accurate service pistols—well balanced, fast handling, and accurate. SIG pistols have been proven in institutional testing the world over, and the new P229 RX is no exception to this rule.

I have fired the pistol with a good mix of ammunition including standard pressure, +P, and +P+ loads with excellent results. For this evaluation I broke out the SIG and a good supply of Federal Syntech 124-grain 9mm loading. It wasn’t difficult to light up the steel plates on demand at 15 yards. The smooth, double action trigger makes for excellent hit potential at closer range.

Bob Campbell shooting the SIG Sauer P229 RX pistol from behind a barricade

Firing from a standing barricade and firing from behind cover, the SIG P229 excelled in all drills.

Once the first shot is fired and the slide cocks the hammer for subsequent single action fire, the SIG offers good hit probability well past 25 yards. I connected on steel plates at the 50-yard line on demand. Put the red dot on the plate, press the trigger properly, and you have a hit. Moving to likely service load, I fired the Speer 115-grain Gold Dot. This is the first loading to meet FBI standards for penetration in this bullet weight—equaling many 147-grain loads.

I also fired the newest generation of the 147-grain Gold Dot as well. Results were good to excellent from the bench rest, with five-shot groups at 20 yards as small as 1.5 inch. The SIG P229 is comfortable to fire and fast into action. The back-up sights never confused the sight picture and offer a good backup for night use or cases when the red dot’s battery has died. This is an uncommonly effective handgun well worth its price.

As for carrying the piece concealed, I used a Blackhawk! belt slide that worked well under a covering garment. The combination is almost startling in its innovation and one well worth your time and effort to investigate.

Do you run an optic on your defensive handgun? What do you feel are the advantages or disadvantages? Share your answers in the comment section.

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The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!’s blog, “The Shooter’s Log,” is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Source: Cheaper Than Dirt

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