Picture two equally rough cowboys, facing off from either side of a dusty street in a western gold rush town. Which one is tougher or faster on the draw? That’s what it’s like trying to compare these two veteran combat handguns. Just the Specs, Ma’am…
In the U.S., many civilian law enforcement officers carry a Glock of one model or another, while plenty of people in military special operations carry a Sig Sauer model. Across the pond, you’ll find plenty of Glocks and Sigs in both military and law enforcement use. Many of them, and many other people who give serious consideration to what they shoot, use either a Glock 19 or a Sig Sauer P229, because they will always go bang when needed. Both of these pistols have earned a reputation for extreme reliability in tough conditions.
The Glock 19 is a medium-sized, 9mm handgun built for discreet carry. The striker-fired design makes it easy to shoot as every trigger press feels exactly the same. The Sig P229 is also a more compact 9mm, although later we’ll discuss variations in other calibers. It also packs 15 rounds of 9mm but operates as a double-action / single-action—we’ll get into those details in a minute.
In a showdown like this particular matchup, the end result is not so much a winner and runner-up scenario as it is a personal preference. Both of these handguns are proven fighting pistols that have performed with stellar reliability in the very worst of environments. To help you decide which might be best for you, we’ll get into the differences in detail.
What’s Your Action?
The right model for you depends on your action preference. I’m not talking about how you spend your weekends; I’m referring to the different operational approaches of these two pistols.
The Sig Sauer P229 is a double-action/single-action, hammer-fired pistol. For the Sig to fire, the hammer must be cocked first so it can fall and strike the firing pin, thereby igniting the cartridge. This doesn’t mean you have to cock the hammer manually. The “double-action” operation means that the trigger on the Sig performs two functions. Pressing it can cock the hammer and release it to strike the firing pin, hence the “double” part of double-action. Once the first shot is fired by this double-action sequence, the movement of the slide cocks the hammer for the next shot, so the subsequent trigger press requires far less pressure.