In my view, the SIG P22(x) series of pistols are about the best built handguns currently on the market at their price point. You’ve seen me review some of these pistols before (see: SIG P220 Equinox — Beauty is More than Skin Deep and SIG P229 Enhanced Elite — An Exercise in Indulgence). Sure, I’ve heard the griping about a supposed reduction in quality control since most production was moved from Germany to the U.S., but I’ve yet to see that in any SIGs I’ve fired. They’ve all been rock solid. At the apex of the SIG P22(x) line is their Legion series. Today I present a first look at the SIG P226 Legion, this particular one in my preferred double-action/single-action trigger configuration as opposed to single-action only.
The Legion and three magazines come enclosed in SIG’s standard hard shell plastic case. When the gun is registered with SIG, you will receive in the mail an upgraded “thermal” case with a “challenge” coin that is matched to the pistol variant you purchased. For instance, the coin below is stamped “P226” and displays an image of the double-action/single-action variant. The reverse side of the coin replicates the Legion medallion on the grips and on the thermal case. The thermal case even includes a removable cutout for the optional, additional charge (at a hefty $499.95) SIG XM-18 Rick Hinderer knife.
As previously mentioned, the SIG Legion comes with three magazines. That’s something I wish all gun manufacturers included, but which I’ve only seen with regularity coming out of SIG and FNH.
The pistol itself is finished in a dark grey PVD (Physical Vapor Depositon) finish that, unfortunately, developed a reputation for flaking off in early examples released to the public. Later production examples appear to be more resilient, according to online comments.
The controls on the double-action/single-action are classic SIG. The slide stop, decocker, take-down lever (above the trigger guard), and magazine release button are pictured below. On the single-action only variant, the decock lever is missing, and a 1911-style thumb safety is placed directly behind the slide stop.
The Legion comes with black G10 grips upon which is embedded the Legion medallion.
SIG installs on the Legion some very good sights. These are the SIG X-RAY3 sights that were engineered by SIG’s Elector-Optical division. This resulted in the sights initially receiving a rather confusing and misleading designation of “Electro-Optical X-RAY3 sights”, as there is nothing either “electro” or “optical” about them. They are, however, excellent day/night tritium-filled rear sights with a tritium-filled fiber optic front sight. Visibility is reportedly exceptional in all lighting conditions, and from my perspective I have to agree. They’re simply great in both dark and bright light situations, although the photo below does a poor job reflecting that on the rear sight.
Disassembly is SIG simple. Lock back the slide, rotate the take-down lever 90° clockwise, disengage the slide stop, and pull the slide forward off the frame rails.
The trigger is exceptional, as is pretty much the case with any SIG P22(x) series double-action/single-action or single-action only pistol. But in the case of the Legion series, SIG have gone a step beyond. They’ve incorporated into the Legion an enhanced, polished, P-SAIT (P-Series Precision Adjustable Intermediate Trigger) short-reset trigger designed by Grayguns. As the name implies, the P-SAIT has an adjustment for over-travel.
SIG have also installed into the Legion series a solid-steel guide rod, which increases mass in an effort to reduce felt recoil and muzzle-flip. These are, after all, target-grade competition pistols.
The price for entering the Legion club may seem exorbitant at first, but that’s only until you start adding up the cost of all the included extras. A stock P226 with nitron finish and SIGLIGHT tritium sights has an MSRP of $1,087. The P226 Legion is listed at $1,413. X-RAY3 sights for the standard P226 would be a $159.99 upgrade, then throw in the G10 grips at $109.95, the solid steel guide rod in black at $30, the short reset P-SAIT trigger at $39. Add all that up and your stock P226 is up to $1,425.94, and you still don’t have the PVD finish, the special Legion case and coin, or the Legion medallion embedded into your G10 grips.
Put all that together and that additional $326 over the initial price of a stock P226 begins to look like a real bargain.