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P220 first round question with 45 Critical Duty ammo. Login/Join 
Member
Picture of Minnow
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I picked up a used P220R from a local shop recently. It appears to have been shot only a few times. At the range, it had a tendency to fail to feed the first round with Hornady Critical Duty. It looks to be nose diving on the feed ramp. This happened if I slingshot the slide or drop the slide lock. The gun did not have any issues feeding various brands of 230gn FMJ, only the Critical Duty. I did not have any other hollow point ammo to try with on that trip.

This is my first P220, whats your favorite self defense ammo for this gun?
Does a P220 typically need a "break in" period to get past this?

I love the way this gun shoots, I want to get comfortable with the right ammo selection for it.




"Animis Opibusque Parati"
 
Posts: 1131 | Location: SC | Registered: October 28, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
7.62mm Crusader
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I would disassemble the magazines and check that the springs are installed correctly. That poly tip ammo should feed fine in the P220. Make sure the magazine tubes are clean inside also.
 
Posts: 15239 | Registered: December 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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Critical Duty ammunition is fairly common, so it’s unlikely there is some basic incompatibility between the P220 and that load. As suggested, check the magazines. Also check to ensure that the recoil spring is installed on the guide rod correctly. The rod should be inserted into the tighter end of the spring. While you’re doing that, make sure it’s a factory multistrand recoil spring marked with green paint.

Added: Another thing is that the top round of a fully-loaded P220 magazine can sometimes sit at a different angle than the others. I always make sure to push the cartridge back and down at the rear to ensure the round lies parallel and in full contact with the next one down.

And one more thing: What brand magazines are they?

If the problem continues, the obvious answer is to switch to different hollow point ammunition. The sharply tapered Critical Duty bullet looks like it should chamber with no problem in any gun, but that may not be true. The gun may require more conventionally-shaped bullets that contact the feed ramp at a different angle to be reliable.

I recall reading years ago about how someone decided that 1911 pistols should be “tuned” to feed and chamber empty cartridge cases; the idea was that if an empty case would chamber, then obviously any loaded round would chamber. Turned out, however, that although such highly modified pistols would chamber empty cases okay, some were not reliable with loaded ammunition. Oops!




“I can’t give you brains, but I can give you a diploma.”
— The Wizard of Oz
 
Posts: 39942 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
What brand magazines are they?


Yup, I was going to ask as well. I had a near identical issue with a 10 round Pro-mag that came with my (new to me) P220. Literally tossed it in the trash and it has never had a failure with Mec-Gar mags.
 
Posts: 1427 | Registered: August 01, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
7.62mm Crusader
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I have seen used pistols either sold or traded in and the previous owner let it go with cheap magazines.
 
Posts: 15239 | Registered: December 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Minnow
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Thanks for the responses. I am using 2 factory SIG mags. I will disassemble and check the springs and the recoil spring. The tip about the top round in the mag not being in there straight is another thing I will watch out for. I was honestly surprised to have this issue since I have read so many articles about how reliable the P220 can be. It may be as simple as finding a different defensive round it likes.




"Animis Opibusque Parati"
 
Posts: 1131 | Location: SC | Registered: October 28, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Minnow:
Thanks for the responses. I am using 2 factory SIG mags. I will disassemble and check the springs and the recoil spring. The tip about the top round in the mag not being in there straight is another thing I will watch out for. I was honestly surprised to have this issue since I have read so many articles about how reliable the P220 can be. It may be as simple as finding a different defensive round it likes.


The P220 "can" be relatively reliable if you keep it maintained, and replace springs and service it every 3,000 rounds(that includes magazine springs). I've had a lot of experience with the P220 over the years, in addition to all the other classic Sig models as an agency armorer. Compared to the 9mm or .40S&W Sigs, the P220 is "not" that reliable, and it breaks parts much more often. It has been rejected by many savvy LE agencies over the decades as its weaknesses become apparent once you get into some hard use testing.

That being said, with all the P220's quirks it is still one of my favorite Sigs. For me it fits my hand like a glove, is incredibly accurate, and has a very natural point of aim(easy point shooting). With my regimen of maintenance and running only standard pressure ammo I have never had any problem with the ones that I have run. However, I would not use it as a duty pistol given is magazine capacity and higher risk of parts breakage in a gun fight than other Sig models. It makes for a nice woods gun, or concealed carry gun though. For a duty gun, I prefer not to use anything that holds less than 12rds in the mag.

If your P220 has been shot quite a bit, then it might need a service with spring replacements. I've never run polymer tipped ammo in a P220, but that could certainly be causing malfunctions as the nose gets caught on the feed ramp.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Fuego220,
 
Posts: 539 | Registered: June 13, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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