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Who's your daddy? Comparing the P320 to it's ancestor, the P250. Login/Join 
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
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posted
The wife and kids are out of town for a couple of weeks and I’ve been batching it (read: unsupervised Big Grin). I hit up the LGS the other day with a little cash in my pocket and ended up walking out a P250 Compact…the unloved ancestor of the P320.

I’ve shot one before years ago, and remember it having a decent trigger, but apart from that I have no real experience with the gun. I am issued a couple of P320s through work, and own a couple of my own as well. Over the years I’ve accumulated a number of holsters, grip modules, and other accessories for them, so I thought it made sense to try out a hammer-fired variant that could make use of all of that same stuff.

Part of the appeal for me with a DA trigger system is safety. The P320’s pre-tensioned striker means that by design all of the necessary energy to discharge the chambered round just sitting there behind the primer, and the firing system operates by preventing the gun from discharging until the trigger is pulled, rather than making the user create that energy by pulling the trigger. The short and light trigger doesn’t leave a lot of room for human error, either. With the DAO P250, there is a LOOOOONG trigger pull required to make the gun go bang, there’s a hammer that you can physically block with your thumb when re-holstering, and the operating system requires that you apply load to the hammer spring in order to provide the necessary force to discharge the gun…it doesn’t have that energy in its resting state.

I’m not saying that I think the P320 is unsafe. IMO the lawsuits since the upgrade are more about ambulance chasing than the design of the weapon, and the injuries are the result of negligence rather than the design of the weapon itself. I’m perfectly comfortable carrying it as a duty weapon in a hard-sided retention holster…but I also realize that I am not a perfect person and screwing up, even just a little bit, when handling this gun can have very rapid and significant consequences. There are carry techniques that I’m just not comfortable with a trigger pull that short and light…AIWB, vest, or chest carry being some specific examples.




Initial Impressions:

Overall, it feels like a P320. This is my first “compact” variant of this weapon family. I have Full-Size, Carry, and Sub-Compact variants of the P320, but no compacts. I like the size, it fills the hand without the added length of the “Carry” grip which makes the “Carry” hard to conceal. The old-school grip module actually has really nice serrations front and back. In some ways I prefer them to the sand-paper-like grip of the newer modules, as they seem to work better with sweaty hands (more on that in a bit) without producing any abrasion or discomfort while carrying the gun. The action is smooth and confidence-inspiring, and I think it returns to battery more positively than the striker-fired P320s and P365s (I’ve had both of those platforms fail to return to battery in the past, which is one of very few issues I’ve ever experienced when shooting those guns).




Modularity and Compatibility:

It’s not as simple as I thought. The slide profile is a bit thicker at the front, so while it’s pretty close to a P320, it doesn’t fit perfectly into a molded kydex P320 holster. I can probably correct this somewhat with a heat gun, but I haven’t tried yet. I also need to order a new style P320 slide catch lever, as the P250 lever interferes with the fence on the newer P320 grip modules and prevents it from seating properly. It does accept the 17 round mags from my “Carry” models just fine, although they stick out the bottom a bit. I think there might be some issues with baseplates on the newer 15 round mags in the old-style grip module, too. It’s going to be necessary to mod a few things to achieve what I want, but none of it is outside the scope of my capabilities.




Sights:

The rear sight on this thing is goofy. It’s got a post under it that extends down into the slide around the firing pin. My gun has white dot sights, and I’d really like night sights…I figured that would be a pain since it’s definitely proprietary, but found them in stock at CDNN for $3 (no joke!) so one is inbound. Hopefully it’s not old and dead. I’m still trying to figure out what I want for the front, but that one looks like a standard P320 front sight, so there should be plenty of options (unfortunately, probably gonna cost more than $3!).

Trigger:

As expected with a DAO, the trigger pull is long, but light (avg 6.5lbs on my Lyman gauge, which is only 1lb more than my P320) and it’s absolutely buttery smooth and easy to “pull through” in one smooth motion. There is quite a bit of sloppy take-up which I don’t love, but more significantly the reset is insanely long. I’ve heard this gun described as being like shooting a revolver, but I don’t think I own any revolvers with a reset that long…or maybe it’s that the return springs on revolvers tend to be stiffer, and they don’t have the P250’s takeup creep, either. Whatever the cause, I short stroked it a few times while shooting it. Even when I don’t short-stroke it, it definitely makes this slow shooter even slower, and it’s going to take some practice to master it. I’ve been working on resetting under recoil lately, though, so this gun is going to be the perfect training tool for that….it’ll definitely let you know if you’re cheating it!

Weight:
Unloaded, the gun weighs in at 22.3oz, which is almost 2oz less than my P320 Carry, and I don’t think all that weight comes from the slightly larger grip module. The FCU on the P250 is simpler and has fewer parts, and due to a significant lightening cut in the slide the P250 upper is a full ounce lighter than the P320 upper (15.07 vs 16.09oz). Although not a huge difference, less reciprocating mass is a good thing, as is less weight up top.

Value:
I paid $400, which is a bit more than I’ve seen them go for online, but I didn’t have to pay shipping or transfer (or stupid gunbroker fees), it supports my local shop, and I think it’s still a tremendous value for a reliable defensive pistol from a first-tier manufacturer. IMO, these are under-appreciated and can be a really good buy if you shop around.

Shooting Test:

I took both of these guns to the range today, and it was HOT. Heat index of 109, and it’s Indiana heat so it ain’t dry! I was out there for about 2 hours and did some work with my Beretta 92X Compact before getting these two out, and by the time I was done I was completely drenched with sweat…it looked like I fell in a lake. There was sweat running down my glasses and I had run out of dry spots on my shirt to wipe them, it was that bad. I took a picture but decided not to share…nobody wants to see that. I ran out of water before I was done, and was feeling it by the time I finished up with the P320, which probably had some impact on my performance (everybody needs a good excuse, but I feel like today this was actually legit! Big Grin). I shot the 5x5 drill with each gun, and our state academy qualifier, which is 50 rounds at various stages from the 3yd line back to the 25.




The P250 was rough on the 5x5. The long reset on the trigger made it really hard to make time, and I was pushing myself pretty hard which hurt accuracy too. I had 4 over time (5 point penalty each) and was 7 points down for accuracy, for a total of 73 (ignore the 75 on the target photo, that’s wrong).




On the silhouette, it wasn’t bad. As with most police qualification courses, times and accuracy standards are generous. This is a 50 round course of fire, with full points being awarded for anything inside the large trapezoid shape. I’m personally unhappy if I throw anything outside of the rectangle, and I dumped 2 today (one of those was kneeling at the 15 when I momentarily lost my balance. I felt that one go bad the second I pulled the trigger. The other was at the 25), so it’s not my best work, but not too bad for my second range trip with the gun…and the academy would have scored it as a 100. No complaints about the gun, and it shoots to point of aim.




I shot the P320 last, and I was hurting at this point. It is way easier to make time with this gun. I threw one outside on the 5x5 shooting left-hand-only, which cost me 10 points and kinda killed my score, but all the rest were decent just one in the 9 ring ring and I can’t blame the gun for either of those. Final score of 89.




On the qual course, the P320 scored another 100, but I dumped 2 outside my rectangle again, both at the 25. Overall the group was pretty comparable to the P250. I was easily able to keep both guns under time for the entire course, but then again the time standards are pretty generous. Reloads and manual of arms were identical, so that was nice.


Overall, I’m impressed with the P250. I like having a hammer-fired option as an alternative to the P320 that I’ll still be carrying most days. Modular compatibility, while not entirely seamless, is a nice feature, and reliability was perfect, just like my 320. I did have to sacrifice some speed with the DAO trigger, especially on followup shots as that reset is just enormous, but accuracy-wise the guns are comparable. As a limited-use gun to be carried in specific situations where I want the added safety margin of a longer double-action trigger, I think this thing will fill the role nicely.
 
Posts: 5896 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I love my P250 .45 Compact. I got my night sights for it from Numerich for a song. Trigger is excellent, as is accuracy. I often recommend the 250 to newbies who are determined that their first gun be an auto. Wilson Combat grip frames swap right over to the 250, too. I am old school revolver, so the trigger was no problem for me.


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 13662 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by YooperSigs:
I love my P250 .45 Compact. I got my night sights for it from Numerich for a song. Trigger is excellent, as is accuracy. I often recommend the 250 to newbies who are determined that their first gun be an auto. Wilson Combat grip frames swap right over to the 250, too. I am old school revolver, so the trigger was no problem for me.


Actually, your positive feedback on the 250 here in the past is part of what factored into my decision to scoop it up when I saw it. Having worked with it some now, I can definitely understand why you like it!
 
Posts: 5896 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Very underrated pistol. I am hoping to run across a 250F 9mm when I am flush with cash.


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Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 13662 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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After getting the WC grip module for my P320 FS, I'm breathing new life into my subcompact and full size P250's by getting some Wilson Compact Grip Modules for those as well.

I really have a hard time not going low & left with the subcompact. That short barrel is very unforgiving.

The full size I'm a lot more accurate.
 
Posts: 213 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: December 09, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Per my handle, I joined here looking for info on the P250.
Broke college student, ended up with a KT P11 instead, then the P320 later.

Still wouldn't mind finding a P250 for a decent price.

Nice writeup & comparison.




The Enemy's gate is down.
 
Posts: 11005 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Web Clavin Extraordinaire
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The P250 is a sleeper, just like the P2022/SIGPro.

I found it to be an excellent DAO trigger. Like right up there with the P2022 and my late 90s P229.

Never found better DA triggers on any factory gun (even a Performance Center 627).

I certainly don't need one, but if I ran across one, I'd probably buy it.


----------------------------

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Educating the youth of America, one declension at a time.
 
Posts: 19641 | Location: SE PA | Registered: January 12, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A P250 & a 2022/2340 would be nice additions
Don't think I've ever heard a negative comment on the SigPro on here.




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Posts: 11005 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
The P250 is a sleeper, just like the P2022/SIGPro.


Funny you should mention those...the same shop had a 2340 and Beretta PX4 (another one I've been curious about) priced just a little higher than the P250. I might well have come away with one of those, except they were both in .40 and while I have a P229 chambered in that and do load for it, logistically 9mm is just easier. I'm still intrigued by both of those platforms, though, and may well pick one of each up if I come across 9mm variants for the right price.

quote:
I really have a hard time not going low & left with the subcompact. That short barrel is very unforgiving.


I concurr...my performance with my P320 SC is always just a hair behind my "carry" size guns, even with the pinkie extension on the mag. I think the shorter sight radius is a factor.
 
Posts: 5896 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I was going to say that the F might be easier to shoot than the C, but it looks like that idea might have already suggested itself. FWIW, the Fs I've got in 357 and .40 both actually seem pretty forgiving except, of course, for the long reset.

The one thing about keeping an eye on the online auction sites is that 9mm Fs do pop up pretty cheap every now and again.
 
Posts: 26570 | Location: Deep in the heart of the brush country, and closing on that #&*%!?! roadrunner. Really. | Registered: February 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Raptorman
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I found the 250C one of Sig's best products and they go and discontinue it.

I actually trusted carrying with a round in the chamber on it. It took a positive full trigger pull to ensure you were going to set it off.


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Posts: 32989 | Location: North, GA | Registered: October 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Thank you
Very little
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First Sig I bought was a P250 compact in 40 liked shooting it but over time it developed issues, wouldn't load or eject rounds, maybe get one shot.

Put it in the back of the safe, then a year later found it, sent it to Sig who did some things to fix it and it ran fine. Traded it off though, still didn't trust it, even though it worked.

Few years later found a used P250 in 380 sub compact in the used case, $199 out the door with a couple of mags in the box.

Don't shoot it much but couldn't pass it up.



 
Posts: 19228 | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
I found the 250C one of Sig's best products and they go and discontinue it.



I can't disagree about Sig chopping product lines....they do that far too often. I'm this case, though, the unpopularity of the P250 can actually be a good thing for consumers. They're cheap and readily available, and many of the parts interchange with the P320, guaranteeing a supply for a long time to come. If the 250 works for you, it's a really good buy right now.

My rear sight came from CDNN today. They still glow! Got that installed and gave everything a good cleaning while I was in there. I also ordered a P320 slide catch lever and some springs from MGW, but they were out of stock on the X-ray front sight that I wanted. I painted the front sight dot orange with some nail polish for the time being, which provides some nice contrast.

I was looking at the trigger system and it appears that the cause of the take-up slop could be resolved with tighter tolerance in the firing pin safety lever notch where it interfaces with the trigger bar. Does anybody know if anybody ever worked on these or offered improved parts that could be fitted to the trigger, kind of along the lines of an LTT trigger bar for the Beretta 92, or SRT kit for the P-Series Sigs? The FCU on this gun is pretty simple and it seems like it would be pretty easy for somebody with the right equipment to make some custom parts that would tune it up very nicely.
 
Posts: 5896 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
My other Sig
is a Steyr.
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Had a P250 a while ago. Wasn't bad, but it got traded for a Glock 22.

Recently bought a German P250 (P320's grand daddy?) and am happy with it.

Yours should serve you well for many years.



 
Posts: 7842 | Location: Somewhere looking for ammo that nobody has at a place I haven't been to for a pistol I couldn't live without... | Registered: December 02, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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First Sig I ever owned was a 250 and I loved it. Little chunky to carry and that's why I eventually sold it.
Never a problem with it and I grew up shooting my Dad's revolvers when he taught me to shoot so the trigger was familiar.
I'd probably buy one if I saw one.


I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I'm not.
 
Posts: 3198 | Location: The armpit of Ohio | Registered: August 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Raptorman
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If I could find another 250C 9mm I'd get it without hesitation.


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Posts: 32989 | Location: North, GA | Registered: October 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by 92fstech:

I was looking at the trigger system and it appears that the cause of the take-up slop could be resolved with tighter tolerance in the firing pin safety lever notch where it interfaces with the trigger bar. Does anybody know if anybody ever worked on these or offered improved parts that could be fitted to the trigger, kind of along the lines of an LTT trigger bar for the Beretta 92, or SRT kit for the P-Series Sigs? The FCU on this gun is pretty simple and it seems like it would be pretty easy for somebody with the right equipment to make some custom parts that would tune it up very nicely.


I think someone on this forum did some parts modification over ten years ago to reduce takeup and travel.

There WAS a smith who tried a few mods to do the same thing, but he told me it was too complex a job so he stopped doing them.

I have always felt that the trigger of the 250 was the best out of box trigger, but SIG stopped at that point instead of dealing with the takeup, travel, and overtravel issues.

I've dealt with overtravel by crazy gluing a small spacer of JB Weld on the grip just were the little crosspiece on the trigger would contact the grip.


---------------The Answer Is There Is No Answer---------------
 
Posts: 150 | Registered: January 19, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In researching this, I found out that Armorycraft makes an adjustable flat trigger for the P250. Unfortunately, it's expensive, and I don't like flat triggers. It does seem like it would be a pretty simple thing to replicate on a curved trigger, though...it's just a set screw that bottoms out against the frame of the FCU.

I just got a drill press and have been itching to use it...I need to take a close look at it, but if there's enough material there I may source a spare trigger and undertake a little project.

ETA: I guess the next thing to figure out is if a P320 trigger shoe is compatible...if so that would greatly increase the available options, both for a mod and aftermarket.

ETA Again: I took them apart and checked. They are not compatible. The trigger itself would fit, but the angles of the arms that connect to the trigger bars are different and won't allow for the trigger from the other gun to properly interface with the trigger bar without interfering with the frame.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: 92fstech,
 
Posts: 5896 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In 2011 Cabela’s ran a sale on the P250SC. I think they were around $350.00. I bought one just because of the price. I ended up actually liking it, and have never considered selling it.
It’s just so damn simple, and reliable. Ryan Grizzle still makes holsters for them, and I have been thinking about getting one just so I can carry it if I want.
 
Posts: 3026 | Location: NE Kansas | Registered: February 24, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I wish the update them, maybe thin it out a bit, real dovetail sights for flexibility. Market is lacking a thin 1.5 stack DA gun. Update grips, sizes including a true SUB compact not “X-compact”
 
Posts: 1143 | Location: Decatur, GA | Registered: November 14, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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