Back in the 80s, the SIG Sauer P210 target pistol was the stuff of legend — the Lamborghini of handguns. Guys like me don’t drive Lamborghinis. They’re like supermodels or caviar, which are simply out of our league.
However, this is America. We have, at last count, 6,800 operational nuclear warheads. We also brought the world John Wayne, the telephone, the airplane and much more. There’s nothing we can’t do well. Seems to me we could also build ourselves a fine SIG P210 pistol. It turns out I wasn’t the only guy to think that.
Originally built in Switzerland, SIG Sauer now crafts the P210 in Exeter, N.H. The company retained the incredible tolerances, superlative workmanship, exquisite design and impeccable performance of the Swiss-made originals. However, SIG now produces a version priced within reach of the common man: the SIG P210 Standard.
SIG P210 Standard Details
The P210 Standard is first and foremost an unnaturally accurate handgun; that’s the reason they cost so much in the past. Grouping inside a teacup at 15 meters is bread and butter for your typical Glock. The P210 is rightfully expected to shoot a mere fraction of that.
The single-action trigger breaks easily and the grip drops into the hand. The grip-to-frame angle approximates that of the inimitable 1911. The entrails of the gun are legitimately unique. Specifically, SIG designed the recoil and firing mechanisms as modular systems.
The frame wraps around the slide in the manner of the CZ 75, while the beautifully contoured and oversized safety and slide release levers ride comfortably underneath the right thumb. The single-action trigger drops an exposed hammer that runs like favorite 1911 only nicer. Meanwhile, the single-stack magazine holds eight rounds. The magazine release rides on the left-side, as it should be.
There is an aesthetic to the design of the P210 not found in lesser pistols. The rounded contours flow around the piece like water over a rock, and the gun feels as good as it looks. The result is a handgun that is beautiful as it is functional.
Taking Her Out for a Spin
The P210 really is different. Recoil is positively recreational, and the controls fit like a faded pair of jeans. Even given my tired old eyes I ran this gun like I was Robocop.
The mechanicals include a full-length guide rod and bushing-less interface between the slide and barrel for superlative precision. Magazines drop out of the well once the catch is pressed like liberals fleeing responsibility. The holy melding of exquisite design and this righteous single-action trigger combine to offer accuracy on a whole new scale compared to plastic guns.
Take your time and you really can print stupid tight groups. However, what is really cool about the SIG P210 Standard is that you get Olympics-grade performance in a handgun you can actually carry and use. The P210 Standard is cut from Nitron-treated stainless steel and comes in 2 ounces lighter than a comparable steel-framed 1911. Our forebears humped those pistols across Europe and the Pacific to kick the living crap out of the forces of villainy and oppression. Surely, we can yet still manage to pack a manly gun ourselves.
Recoil is so mild and running the gun so positively recreational that you’ll want a few extra magazines. The gun comes with two, but it is fun to run one dry, drop it on the ground and have another going without missing a beat. SIG crafted the seasoned walnut grips to facilitate running the pistol with either one hand or both.
It comes with indestructible three-dot fixed steel sights, and the gun points better than I can shoot. The gun shot to point of aim at 15 meters out of the box. The sights are also nicely contoured to minimize snagging. There are dedicated carry solutions available, but the P210 will ride just fine in anything designed to accept a 1911.
The single-stack magazine only carries eight rounds. However, the argument could be made that if you cannot solve your problems with 8+1 laser-accurate 9mm jacketed hollowpoints, you should consider getting some new problems. The skinny magazines equate out to a comfortable ergonomic grip and fast handy reloads.
Denouement of the SIG P210 Standard
Half-a-grand will land you a reliable plastic pistol that will shoot fairly straight and keep on running until Bernie Sanders embraces reality or the sun burns out. Modern polymer handguns are like Fords — they’re reliable, effective and ubiquitous. However, a bit more will now get you something truly special. MSRP on the P210 Standard is $1,319, but it can be found on the Internet for closer to a grand.
Modern production techniques conspire with SIG’s legendary quality control to produce a superlative target pistol that will also ride comfortably on your belt. The stainless-steel construction means it’s a bit heavier than your favorite plastic pistol, but it is also practically indestructible. If you were called upon to use this thing for real you likely would not need to punch the buttons out of the bad guy’s shirt. However, it is nice to have the capability on tap just in case.
The SIG Sauer P210 is the supercar of handguns. It is sleek, rarefied and previously all but unobtainable. Now SIG Sauer is making them on this side of the pond for folks like us. I needed a new handgun like I needed an IRS audit. However, I had to make this one mine. I’ve squeezed triggers for fun and money for more than a quarter century and have never really run a gun quite like this before. The P210 Standard is the world-class target pistol tough enough for combat. For more, please visit SigSauer.com.
SIG P210 Standard Specs
- Caliber: 9mm
- Barrel Length: 5 inches
- Overall Length: 8.4 inches
- Width: 1.6 inches
- Weight: 36.9 ounces
- Trigger: Single Action Only
- Magazine: 8-round steel box
- Grips: Walnut
- MSRP: $1,319
|Load||Group in Inches||Velocity|
|Winchester Forged 115gr FMJ||0.75||1218|
|SIG V-Crown 147gr JHP||1.3||1037|
|SIG V-Crown 115gr JHP||1.1||1207|
|NovX 65gr ARX||.5||1808|
Group size is best four of five rounds fired from a simple rest at 15 meters measured center to center. Velocity is the average of three shots across a Caldwell Ballistic Chronograph oriented 10 feet from the muzzle.