T&E: Sig Sauer P250 Compact – TacPac

The P250 Tac Pac as it appears in the box at purchase. (minus the extra magazine which was purchased separately.)

The P250 Tac Pac as it appears in the box at purchase. (minus the extra magazine which was purchased separately.)

 The P250 is not the first pistol most think of when the name Sig Sauer is mentioned.  The venerable P226, carried by many law enforcement agencies and military forces, is typically the first to come to mind.  During my tour in Afghanistan, I made note of what weapons were carried by the various forces I encountered.  Although the Glock 17 or 19 were certainly the most commonly carried pistol by NATO and allied forces, those who were not carrying the Glock, were carrying the Sig P226.  Well, except us, of course.  Even the Italian forces I encountered didn’t carry the Beretta.  They carried Glocks.

Like many people, but not enough really, who work for a living and are mindful of their budget, cost is always a consideration when I go shopping for new tools, or toys.  With most Sigs running between $1,000 and $1,300, buying one is a serious consideration.  It seems the “boat anchor”, as it is sometimes known because of its heavy, steel construction, is more of an investment than a hobby gun.  So, I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that Sig now has 3 models that have price points comparable to many of today’s most popular pistols.  The P2022 is fairly popular, and the new P320 looks to be a great option for striker fired, polymer framed pistol lovers.  When I came across the P250 TacPac, I had to take a look.  That look eventually turned into a purchase and I returned home finally a member of the Sig owner family.

The TacPac is so named because of its inclusion of a tactical light/laser combo (SigTac STL900) and a “tactical” holster that allows for carry of the pistol with the light/laser combo still attached.  The P250 version I selected was the compact model.  It is available in full size, compact, and subcompact, with each available in the TacPac offering.  To say that the 250 is a polymer framed pistol is misleading.  In fact, it would be untrue.  The 250 pistols are modular in design.  The polymer lower portion of the pistol is just a grip that is replaceable and interchangeable.  The fire control mechanism of the pistol, the legitimate “frame” that is serial numbered and registered, is removable from the polymer grip module and can be inserted into a new grip.  So, the grip is just that:   A grip.  With three different barrel lengths, three different grip modules, and two different triggers available, the P250 is a very versatile and customizable design that many will be able to enjoy.

The P250 is a traditional, hammer/firing pin style pistol with a flat hammer that recesses into the slide.  The trigger is double action only (DAO) and touts the well known, long trigger pull that seems to be a Sig trademark.  But, due to the design of the pistol, Sig was able to use a much lighter trigger pull than is typical of their pistols.  The trigger pull is very smooth and rivals the best double action trigger pull of any revolver I have fired.  In fact, it surpasses them.  If you have become accustomed to a 1911, or short reset striker fired trigger, it will take some getting used to but, after a couple of boxes of ammunition, I found myself very comfortable with the Sig DAO trigger.

Another view of the 250.

Another view of the 250.

 

 The P250 is an attractive pistol that feels good in the hand.  The grip is slightly narrow for my taste, but is comfortable and affords a good solid purchase.  My only real complaint about the grip is that it is not textured nearly enough.  The indoor range was pretty warm when I took the Sig for its first real test run and it wasn’t long before my hand was a bit slippery from the heat.  The grip has some mild texturing in panels on all four sides of the grip, but I would prefer something much more aggressive.  I stippled the grip of my Glock 19 and have been very pleased with the increased stability it provided.  In the long run, I will have to stipple the P250 grip as well.  It’s a shame though.  The 250 is a pretty gun.  But, for optimum grip and reliability in the hand, I will have to ugly it up.  The kicker on that is that a new grip for the P250 runs $46 when ordered directly from Sig’s website.  So, with the removable firing mechanism, you can easily have one good looking grip to show off, and one stippled, ugly grip for actual use.  Everyone being different, you may never have an issue with the grip and can opt to leave it pretty.

One of the targets used by the author during accuracy testing.  Most groupings were under 1.5" at 25 feet firing offhand.

One of the targets used by the author during accuracy testing. Most groupings were under 1.5″ at 25 feet firing offhand.

 The accuracy of this pistol is exactly what you would expect from a world-class firearms manufacturer.  Firing offhand at 25 feet, my typical shotgroup was under one and a half inches with this pistol, even with the long, double action trigger pull.  As I become more accustomed to this trigger, I expect those shotgroups to tighten even further.  The pistol is as accurate as any I have fired.  Mine seemed to produce tighter groups with heavier bullets.  During testing, I used standard 115gr FMJ, 124gr Gold Dot hollow points, and 147gr flat nose FMJ.  The 147gr bullet gave me the best groupings but all were well within expectations of a compact pistol.  The polymer lower half doesn’t provide as much stability and recoil mitigation as its steel framed brothers would, but it was still negligible and easily managed in this 9mm.  Double taps required me to slow down from my normal pattern with the 1911 or Glock because of the longer trigger pull, but rapid hits to vital areas were still easy firing two shots in one second.  The spread was approximately 6 inches.  Slowing double taps down a tad more will produce much better results.

 Although I didn’t rely on the included laser, the STL900 is a solid piece of equipment.  I zeroed it prior to testing and rechecked the zero throughout.  After well over 300 rounds, the laser was still exactly where it had been adjusted.  I even took it off and put it back on a few times after zeroing it and it remained where it should be.  The one complaint I have about the STL900 is that the laser is located just shy of 2 inches below the bore of the pistol and just shy of 1/4 inch to the left.  For the average shooter, having the laser closer to the bore would provide better results.  I zero my laser in the same fashion as a PEQ2 or PEQ15 on a military rifle, meaning that I measured the distances from center bore and placed a small box on the target representing those measurements in relation to the point of aim.  This way the laser’s travel is consistent at various ranges.  The laser was very adjustable so that if you are shooting at a specific range at all times, like a competition shoot, it can be adjusted to sit atop your front sight.  But, since I don’t shoot competition and all of my firearms area designed for use in a combat situation, I need the laser/bore offset to be consistent and predictable.  At the end of the shooting day, the laser was still hitting where I put it in the first place.  The laser is very bright and easily seen even at long distances.

The tactical light is a 130 lumen LED that includes a strobe feature.  Because the front of the STL900 protrudes past the bore of the compact pistol, the lens became slightly cloudy during shooting.  But, it still provided adequate light even when dirty.  This cleaned up easily with a cotton cloth.  The P250 comes complete with SigLite Night Sights that are easily visible even in complete darkness, or a close to complete darkness as I was able to reproduce at night in a small room.  Between the night sights, LED light, and bright laser, there aren’t too many ways you can go wrong in low light conditions with this pistol.  I have never seen much use for lasers on close range weapons but, after experimenting with the STL900, I think I may have changed my mind.  The STL900 is now, and will remain, attached to this pistol when it sits on my nightstand.

My overall thoughts on this model Sig is that I love it.  It is hard to find something worth complaining about.  It is designed well, it fed and fired every type of ammunition I ran through it, it is accurate, and comfortable to shoot.  It is also a fine looking pistol.  But, since no unsolicited review should be without negative points, here are two of them.

Sigs only come with one magazine.  ONE.  This, to me, is ridiculous.  Replacement magazines for the P250 ran me $55 for Sig factory mags.  Since I require at least 3 magazines for any pistol I intend to carry, I was forced to shell out an additional $110 for magazines at the time I purchased the pistol.  I don’t believe any pistol should be sold with fewer than two magazines.  It is a sales tactic that ensures follow up sales for Sig, but it just serves to piss me off.  Stop it.

And, finally, that so-called Tactical Holster included in the TacPac.  To be blunt, it is about $3 worth of useless plastic.  It is so cheap that I feared I would break it while trying to make the pistol fit into it.  Just for giggles, I wore the holster today during some errands.  It is incredibly uncomfortable.  Aside from that, the pistol doesn’t rest in the same position every time you insert it.  It can go deeper, or more shallow, depending on how hard you shove it down.  It also tends to be able to go into the holster at odd angles that get the pistol caught within the oddly shaped channels.  Finding a tactical holster to accommodate lights and lasers isn’t easy in the first place and I should be commending Sig for providing one in the TacPac.  But, I just can’t.  It is such a useless piece of crap that you should consider just throwing it away once you open the box.  Use that extra space for something useful.  Like extra magazines.  Which you will have to buy.  For $55 each.

Ross Elder

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “T&E: Sig Sauer P250 Compact – TacPac

  1. What holsters would you use in place of the tac pak holster? Like you said,it’s hard to find a light/laser holster.

    • I am currently looking at a couple of options for holsters. I will post something when I pick one. They arent cheap either. Looks like it will be between $90-$110. Kydex type.

  2. Thanks for the review. I really like the P250. The DAO trigger is my preference for a carry/home defense firearm. One thing I did after getting my sub-compact, comes with small frame, is bought the medium/rail frame. The medium fits my hands, and my families hands, much better. Also bought extra magazines. I took advantage of Sig special offers and paid $36 for mags (still expensive) and <$40 for the rail frame.

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