The P220 is a late Cold War era pistol of Swiss origin. It was designed by SIG in the early 1970's for the Swiss military as a less expensive, yet very high quality alternative to their earlier P210 pistol. The design proved to be a success and over time new models were added to the lineup and older models have been steadily improved. Despite being over 30 years old the P220 series remains among the top of the line pistols.
The P220 is a short recoil operated, locked breech pistol. It features a full metal frame, slide and barrel. This makes the P220 rather heavy, but also very rugged. The P220 models are available with a variety of trigger setups, ranging from single action to double action only. From the P220 model a wide variety of models were derived. These models mainly differ in size, caliber and magazine capacity. Due to the all metal design and high quality production the P220 series is known as a high quality pistol. Despite being cheaper than the P210, the P220 is still more expensive than the average pistol. For civilian and sporting use a wide variety of P220 variants is available and may include features such as longer barrels, other calibers, compensators, adjustable sights and different finishes.
Depending on model the P220 series is available in several calibers and varying magazine size. All SIG pistols are semi-automatic and known for their good accuracy. For military and law enforcement use 9x19mm NATO, .357 SIG, .40 S&W and .45 Auto are available.
The P227 is a high capacity model of the P220 that was developed for the US trails that ended up in the selection of the Beretta 92F as the new service pistol. Besides being a high capacity model it is completely similar to the P220-1. At first it was only available in 9x19mm, but over time .45 ACP SIG version was added.