There’s no getting around the law of cause and effect in the handgun world: A tiny compact handgun is great for carrying, but shooting one well is like trying to throw a perfect spiral with a peewee football. Large handguns shoot like a dream, but aren’t exactly easy to tote around all day.
A small and light ultra-compact handgun not only generates more felt recoil when you shoot it, but the small size also makes it hard to control. The short distance between the front and rear sights also makes it challenging to aim well—the smallest sighting error on the shooter’s part results in big misses down range.
A large pistol not only has more weight to help mitigate the recoil you feel in your hand, but the larger surface-area contact with your hand also makes it easy to control. The longer sight radius makes a large pistol much easier to shoot quickly and accurately. But again, a big handgun isn’t easy to carry.
Meeting in the Middle
Enter the Sig Sauer P225 A1, which I would classify as a mid-size handgun. Made of aluminum alloy with a steel slide, it’s got just enough heft so that it shoots 9mm ammo gently. The 2-pound fully loaded weight completely dampens recoil, making it exceptionally pleasurable to shoot.
To put that weight in perspective, my Beretta 92FS 9mm full-size pistol weighs 2 pounds, 9.5 ounces fully loaded. My Springfield Armory 1911 TRP .45 weighs in at 2 pounds, 15.4 ounces loaded, and that’s with only eight rounds of ammo. On the smaller and lighter side, the Springfield Armory XD-S 9mm weighs 1 pound, 10 ounces loaded. The comparably sized Glock 19 weighs in at 1 pound, 15 ounces fully loaded, but it’s polymer construction.
The A1 is a new offering from Sig Sauer – sort of. The original P225 was introduced about half way through the 1970s decade of hot pants and polyester shirts. That pistol was intended to meet the demand from Sig users who wanted a smaller version of the famous, and full size, Sig P220. Also chambered in 9mm, the original P225 gained notoriety when it was selected as the official sidearm by the West German police and designated the P6.