For as successful as Sig Sauer has been in the pistol market over the years there is one model which hasn’t had much recognition here in the American market, being largely forgotten or unknown. This single stack nine millimeter, having been used by the Swiss army and police as far back as the 50’s, had created quite the reputation among target shooters. While I’ve read that these pistols had been imported since 2005, to this day I have never seen one either in the wild or at any gun shows.
Imagine my surprise when Sig announced that the P210 would be returning to the market. Today I had the opportunity to spend some time with this classic eight shot pistol. I was not disappointed.
The modern 210’s have a slightly different design compared to the original models, including a reshaped trigger guard, beavertail grip, and a redone manual safety. The target model also features a fiber optic front sight, adjustable rear sight, extended Walnut target grips, and a five inch barrel. These are single action only pistols, though it really is a remarkable trigger. Right ‘out of the box’ this is the smoothest and lightest pull I can remember experiencing with a 9mm pistol, though it bears some further explanation.
For many shooters the bar for excellent trigger comes from the 1911 style, whereas there is virtually no take-up and no over-travel with a crisp clean break riding dead center between the two. The 210 does have some take-up and return (though not very much,) however this short take-up is very smooth and light before leading to a remarkably light, almost ‘gentle’ break. Every time I drop the hammer I’m surprised by this setup. For my first time shooting this pistol I put all eight rounds into one ragged 1.5″ hole at 15 feet, a 2 3/8″ string at 45 feet, and a 3″ group at 75 feet, all without the benefit of a bullseye target.
It is a VERY nice trigger.
The 210 has more going for it than the go-switch, too. I was surprised at just how small this gun is! The slide rails are inside of the frame like a CZ-75, the barrel perfectly mates into the slide, and the recoil guide rod fits into a slot within the bottom of the barrel lug. The slide is serrated at the front and back. Admittedly there isn’t much to grab onto up front, but from the back it’s a smooth and light draw. Everything is kept compact, precisely fit, and simplistic. Just looking at the frame by itself I couldn’t see a whole lot going on. Compared to the complex nature of today’s striker-fired pistols, the 210’s insides looked almost vacant. I haven’t seen another design quite like this before.
With the wooden target grips installed the only real downside I could find is that the safety isn’t the easiest to engage. Fortunately, disengaging it is incredibly easy due to the long length of the control, the comfortable shelf milled into it, and the natural placement of the safety in relation to the thumb. Making the pistol ready is a very comfortable and instinctive motion.
The 210 Target is listed as being nearly 37 ounces, though I can’t say that it felt so hefty in my hands. Between its weight and a very low bore axis, the recoil is incredibly easy to manage. It shouldn’t have surprised me (but it did) that they are going to be coming out with a carry version of this pistol with a shorter slide and more traditional panel grips. To me, this sounds like it could be a great carry option.
As a general firearms enthusiast I was incredibly pleased to hear that they would be bringing this classic back to market. With the reputation that the originals have carried to this day it was a thrill to be able to experience it for myself.