When I was 17 in 2007, I was that kid buying gun magazines every chance I got. I read Soldier of Fortune, Guns & Ammo, all the quarterlies, and more.
I distinctly remembered seeing one pistol in particular grace the covers that year…the Sig Sauer P250.
The Sig P250 promised to be the new wonder gun. Much was said about the polymer frame.
Although Sig had made polymer guns before, the industry kind of forgot, I guess. Everyone mentioned how Sig was the famed metal gun company, and they were breaking from tradition with the P250…
Inside the Sig Sauer P250
The P250 featured a polymer frame and a price tag substantially lower than the Sig P226 and similar metal-framed pistols.
This weapon used a proprietary magazine and came in all the popular calibers like 9mm, .45 ACP, .40 S&W, and even the not-so-popular calibers like .357 Sig.
Sig later released a .22 LR version and a .380 ACP option. The .380 ACP, oddly enough, came in compact and subcompact variants that offered you a full 12 or 15 rounds of .380 ACP.
The company made its name with the DA/SA trigger design, but the P250 strayed from the typical. This would be a hammer-fired DAO pistol. DAO typically means a long and heavy trigger pull, but you’d only be half right with the P250.
Its trigger pull was fairly long but light, roughly 5.5 pounds. You could stack the trigger easily, and it was one of the best DAO triggers to shoot. Shooters could be plenty accurate and fast with enough practice.
Finally, the P250 featured an incredibly innovative system. The serialized portion, considered the legal firearm, is a removable chassis known as the FCU.
These have become quite common these days, but this was super new at the time. The idea was that shooters could swap grip modules, slides, and even calibers without needing to buy a separate firearm or use an FFL.
Sig even released packages, one known as the 2SUM, which combined a single FCU with full-sized and subcompact frames and slides.
What Happened to the Sig P250?
Well, it turns out that the P250 and its DAO trigger weren’t a popular option for most shooters.
By 2007 the market was fully in the realm of Glock and the light, striker-fired trigger. The DAO was a turn-off.
The modular system was really cool, but exchange kits were expensive. You might as well just buy another P250. Plus, there wasn’t an aftermarket for grip modules like there is now.
Sig also changed the grip modules, which, in turn, changed the magazine. Suddenly, buyers had to ensure they had the right magazine design for their specific model.
Oh, and then it began to fail…
The first and only police agency to use the gun was the Federal Air Marshals, who adopted it in .357 Sig to replace the P229.
There seems to be some scandal with an Air Marshal buying P250s at a discounted price and reselling them to other Air Marshals. However, the investigation and its results have never been made public.
The real issues came when the Dutch Police looked to adopt the weapon.
Ultimately, the Dutch police were unsatisfied with the pistol and its performance, stating, “On the basis of the results of these tests, I no longer find it responsible to continue with this pistol. There is no longer enough confidence in the quality of the pistol, nor in the capacity of the manufacturer to improve the quality or safeguard it. All this brings a risk to the safety of police officers on the street.”
The P250 slowly faded and was discontinued piece by piece, with the .22 LR version being the final link to fall in 2017.
Revival of the P250
The P250 died, but the concept did not.
Sig evolved and, dare I say, perfected the modular handgun idea with the P320. The P320 can trace its roots right back to the P250, and as we know, the P320 has been quite successful.
I owned but later sold a P250 and went for a more traditional DA/SA gun. These days, I own a P320 and really enjoy the modular features of the gun…it’s what the P250 always wanted to be.
Do any of you have experience with the P250? Let us know in the comments below! Interested in more What Happened pieces? Check out the previous week’s article on the SW99!