Well with the slide material comes a couple other things. The P228 folded carbon slide has a breach block pinned in and an internal extractor. The P229 milled stainless slide has the breach block as an integrated part of the slide, and an external extractor. The P229 is probably a touch heavier, which should mean less felt recoil, but I'd expect the difference to be negligible. And the weight different will change balance slightly, but again I'd call it negligible, not to mention subjective. I also believe all current production P229s, except the M11-A1, are railed. Does any of it make one "better" than the other? That's a matter of opinion.
My preference is for the P229, but that's probably because I've owned one a decade longer than the P228.
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P228 is a very good pistol no doubt but I've always preferred the changes and additional weight that came with the P229 and the improvements in my split times between the two. I've long since sold off my P228's & embraced the P229.
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Posts: 9978 | Location: Carolina but Texas in my heart | Registered: November 13, 2009
I carry my 228 on long time in the car days in a horizontal galco rig. It's considerably lighter, to me, than my 229. Of course, my 229 is in .357 sig, so the weight helps. I also carry the 228 a lot whe I am (pretty) sure nobody is gonna shoot at me.
Some people notice the differences, esp weight, between the two platforms, some do not.
I am one of the ones who does, but don't consider either one superior, just different. For my take, I think the 228 is better balanced (i.e. perfect), but the 229 recoils slightly less, due to the extra ounce being in front, lending better control for rapid-fire drills.
So bottom line for me, if I was going to shoot someone just once, I'd choose the 228. If I were anticipating multiple follow-up shots, I'd then lean toward the 229.
I have a P229R and I had aP228 manufactured in 1994. I ended up trading in the P228 for an M11-A1 because of the slide construction. I wasn't sure if firing my preferred range ammo (124 grain 9mm NATO) would damage the P228 but given that +P self defense ammo could damage the slide I wasn't willing to risk it.
Like others have said; the P228 seems to balance better but the P229's stainless steel slide is more resilient.
Posts: 44 | Location: Oklahoma | Registered: July 08, 2017
My observations through ownership of two P229s and one WG P228:
The build tolerances of my KE P228 is significantly tighter than either of my P229s, one built in 1994, the other 13 yrs later. I've not handled a large number of P228s so I couldn't tell you if that's an anomaly or typical, but the few later post West German-marked P228s I've looked at have been looser in their build quality...much more like my later P229R. As others have already cited the primary physical differences are centered around the slides.
All of my three are built on German frames, which I prefer due to the aesthetics of their anodizing. My P229s have the older short slide serrations, which function fine but I do prefer the full height serrations that the P228 has and current production P229s mimic. The rail on my P229R doesn't bug me nearly as much as it does the typical purist, though if one is going to do a rail I'd rather it be a true M1913-spec Picatinny like that of my Mk25 rather than the offshoot SIG hybrid that it is. The lines of a P229 are already blockish as-is so to my eye a rail fits in just fine. And honestly I like the flexibility of being able to add devices or weight when needed. YMMV.
The Legion PVD is the first U.S. SIG frame finish that I actually kind of like...at least when it's done right. The current P229/M11-A1 uses the elongated extractor; that too I aesthetically detest compared to the early short external extractors that SIG regularly used (and still use on certain models, like the P220 and in concept the 320). Purportedly changed for a number of reasons including improved reliability, and yet I'm still waiting for any of the short extractors on any of my different SIGs to have its first functional/extraction problem. Oh well.
As to how they compare when shooting, I tend to like my P228 slightly better. I still find myself to be more consistent with it and regularly shoot more satisfying groups with the KE, but not always. I rarely take both out for shooting at the same session these days; though I believe I'm a bit better with the P228 they shoot so much alike they're near twins in terms of feel and performance. Frankly I still don't understand the level of ravenous fervor regarding the P228 that spiked prices up; the P229 itself is a damn fine gun that to me isn't particularly overshadowed by the predecessor P228.
The P229R is 9mm, my '94 is a 40S&W; I shoot them equally well. Since buying this one five yrs back, I've not thought that the 40S&W P229 is particularly harsh on recoil. More stout than 9mm, but not hard at all for me to shoot well with. Of the three, I tend to shoot the 40S&W the most these days, just 'cause it's a fo-tay, and more "in common" with my EDC G23. It's also the gun that still has me perpetually looking for a German frame, short extractor P226 stainless. Just 'cause it's been that good for me.
Over the years I have had both but also preferred the 229. While the 228 is a classic firearm,finding parts in the future maybe difficult. My 229 was very accurate and a bit easier to clean as the slide was one solid piece. The 229 or newer 228 design will be around for a long time.
Originally posted by akaSigFreak: The finish on the folded-carbon steel slide might not be as durable as the new Nitron P229, but the balance and feel of the P228 are superior.
I have both and have no idea how one comes to that conclusion. I feel that my 229's are no better or worse quality than my German made 228 but my 228 is a later model 228, made towards the end of its production. But between the two, I would I take the 229, brand new with a warranty...in case the 228 has issues.
Sig P220 Elite Dark/226 Navy/226 Tac Ops/228/229C SAS/229 Legion/229R/M11-A1D/MCX/MPX 9mm
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Posts: 859 | Location: Texas | Registered: April 23, 2013
Had a nice German 228, wanted the extra +2 rounds, bought a 229. It shot as well or better, so I sold the 228. Aesthetically, slight preference for the 228, but also appreciate the enhancements of the 229, so it's a wash. Some regrets, but just cause I gave my buddy a good price, and I won't be able to replace it for anywhere near what I sold it for. Now I've bought more 229's & 226's so I prolly won't be looking for a replacement 228. Funny how these things happen in bunches.