One of the great things about the world we live in is the fact that everyone has a platform. But it can also be one of the worst things. Because of this, there’s never any shortage of extreme division about any subject that arises — least of all firearms manufacturers.
Sig Sauer isn’t immune from this. Some people are Sig haters. Some people are Sig fanboys, and many people fall in between these extremes. Everyone will have their own opinion on the worthiness of Sig Sauer handguns.
So, the real question is: Are Sig Sauer handguns worth the money to you?
A Brief History of Sig Sauer
The history of Sig Sauer is long, and any discussion of the overall worth of its guns would be incomplete without addressing that. A company with a long history like Sig Sauer brings a lot to the table, so it’s up to you to decide whether what they’re bringing is what you’re wanting. But you can’t know that without seeing what’s on the table.
The company known as Sig Sauer was actually founded in the 1970s, but the origins go back as far as 1853. It was in that year that Schweizerische Waggonfabrik, which translates to the Swiss Wagon Factory, was created.
A few years later, the factory made some improvements to the Prélaz-Burnand rifle, which landed it a pretty sweet deal with the Swiss government to produce those rifles in bulk for the military.
At that point, the company was renamed to Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft, German for “Swiss Industrial Company,” or SIG for short.
Over time, the SIG company produced more firearms, including the venerated P210 handgun, which was adopted for use by the Swiss military. This growth came with a drawback, though: the company was stuck and unable to grow outside its Swiss base. This was due to a quirk in Swiss law that prevents Swiss firearms manufacturers from exporting arms unless they partner with someone outside the country. So SIG found a partner: the German firm J.P. Sauer & Sohn.
The two companies merged in 1976, and Sig Sauer was born.
The first gun produced by the company was the P220 pistol. The P220 is a single- stack magazine-fed semiautomatic handgun offered in calibers from .22 to .45 ACP. The 9mm model is the most popular, and it was this model that was subsequently picked up for use by the Swiss military. The P220 in various forms was adopted as the main handgun for military and police units in places such as Japan, France, the United States and even Vatican City. It’s quite literally been used worldwide and, in fact, is still sold today.
From those humble beginnings, Sig Sauer has gone on to produce multiple firearms that have been used by numerous militaries and police forces throughout the world. In the U.S. alone, its firearms have been used by the U.S. Coast Guard, by the U.S. Navy SEALs and, more recently, as the official sidearm of both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps. It isn’t just the military either: multiple state and federal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. use some kind of Sig Sauer firearm.
Why the Success for Sig Sauer?
You can’t build a long history of success like Sig Sauer has without offering quality products. The reason it’s so successful is because its products are quality-made, reliable and accurate, and have proven themselves in all conditions on multiple continents. From civilian defensive uses to the battlefields of the 21st century, Sig Sauer has performed.
As soon as you pick up a Sig Sauer firearm, you know you’re holding a high-quality product. That’s not fanboying; it’s a statement of fact. Starting off as an industrial shop manufacturing wagons and other items allowed Sig to bring a level of craftsmanship to its firearms that some other manufacturers just can’t replicate.
That quality craftsmanship ensures functionality as well as beauty. Reliability comes from having parts that work, and you can’t have parts that work if they aren’t well made. The fact that Sig Sauer’s guns have worked in everything from maritime conditions for Navy SEALs doing hostage rescues to the deserts of Iraq for counterinsurgency missions shows that their firearms can be counted on to perform.
You can have a beautiful gun that always fires, but it’s totally pointless if you can’t hit the ocean standing on a beach. Sig Sauer firearms don’t have that problem.
Starting with its first handgun offering, the P210, it’s built a reputation on crafting accurate firearms. The P210 has been called “the most accurate handgun of all time,” and all of its subsequent variants, up to and including the modern P320 now carried by the U.S. military, have maintained this level of accuracy. In fact, people are often shocked at how accurate the P320 is, saying that it’s probably more accurate than they are capable of being as a shooter.
Modern gun owners are spoiled. The markets allow us to customize our guns in various ways with factory and aftermarket options that weren’t available years ago, and Sig Sauer is no different in this regard. There are tons of things available for almost every Sig model that allow you to make it more yours.
Numerous factory variants from Sig Sauer change everything from appearance to even the most basic functions. There are options for changes in the magwell for easier loading, sights, grips, safeties and even optics. Plus, for models such as the P320, Sig has partnered with aftermarket customizers like Wilson Combat to offer a completely customized model with all the bells and whistles.
It’s extremely easy to find accessories for your Sig should you buy one. Numerous options for holsters, magazines and anything else you can think to add to your firearm are available for these guns. This is actually something not every manufacturer can boast — sure, companies like Smith & Wesson have this selling point too, but it’s actually getting to the point where Sig might be taking over the market. While Glock is still the king in this regard, you can find more things like custom holsters for Sig Sauer guns than for Smith & Wesson options. This will only increase as time goes on.
But Are They Worth the Money?
That is a question only you can answer. Only you know whether the guns manufactured by Sig are worth the expenditure in your situation. There are plenty of other firearm manufacturers with guns that perform admirably but don’t cost what a Sig Sauer gun will cost.
However, there’s often a perception that a Sig gun is vastly more expensive than competitor guns, which is not always accurate. A standard entry-level Glock 17, for example, usually costs between $550-$700 depending on which generation you buy and the current demand. Meanwhile, a base model Sig P320 is in exactly the same price range. Even at the upper end, a super-tricked-out Wilson Combat version of the P320 carries an MSRP value of $1,195. A similarly customized Glock can easily be $500-$700 more than that.
Admittedly, there are some offerings from Sig Sauer (such as the MK25 variant of the P225, the M17/18 version of the P320 and the Legion series for virtually all models) which are more expensive than other comparable guns. But those are upgrades and not standard firearms.
Sig Sauer handguns have genuine quality that you can feel, perform reliably and can be easily customizable to your needs. Are they as cheap as something like a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield? Certainly not — but then again, neither is a Glock. Sig guns might have a reputation for being pricey, but the price is comparable to other high-end guns. And, as the old saying goes: you get what you pay for.