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What Happened to the Sig Sauer P250?

We take a look into the Sig Sauer P250 -- the predecessor to the P320 -- to see what this gun had going for it and why it eventually faded away...

When I was 17 in 2007, I was that kid buying gun magazines every chance I got. I read Soldier of Fortune, Guns & Ammo, all the quarterlies, and more.

I distinctly remembered seeing one pistol in particular grace the covers that year…the Sig Sauer P250.

Sig P250. (Photo: Omaha Outdoors)

The Sig P250 promised to be the new wonder gun. Much was said about the polymer frame.

Although Sig had made polymer guns before, the industry kind of forgot, I guess. Everyone mentioned how Sig was the famed metal gun company, and they were breaking from tradition with the P250…

Inside the Sig Sauer P250

The P250 featured a polymer frame and a price tag substantially lower than the Sig P226 and similar metal-framed pistols.

sig p250 custom holster
(Photo: Detroit Kydex)

This weapon used a proprietary magazine and came in all the popular calibers like 9mm, .45 ACP, .40 S&W, and even the not-so-popular calibers like .357 Sig.

Sig later released a .22 LR version and a .380 ACP option. The .380 ACP, oddly enough, came in compact and subcompact variants that offered you a full 12 or 15 rounds of .380 ACP.

Popular Pistol Calibers
Popular Pistol Calibers

The company made its name with the DA/SA trigger design, but the P250 strayed from the typical. This would be a hammer-fired DAO pistol. DAO typically means a long and heavy trigger pull, but you’d only be half right with the P250.

Its trigger pull was fairly long but light, roughly 5.5 pounds. You could stack the trigger easily, and it was one of the best DAO triggers to shoot. Shooters could be plenty accurate and fast with enough practice.

Finally, the P250 featured an incredibly innovative system. The serialized portion, considered the legal firearm, is a removable chassis known as the FCU.

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Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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These have become quite common these days, but this was super new at the time. The idea was that shooters could swap grip modules, slides, and even calibers without needing to buy a separate firearm or use an FFL.

Sig even released packages, one known as the 2SUM, which combined a single FCU with full-sized and subcompact frames and slides.

What Happened to the Sig P250?

Well, it turns out that the P250 and its DAO trigger weren’t a popular option for most shooters.

By 2007 the market was fully in the realm of Glock and the light, striker-fired trigger. The DAO was a turn-off.

Glock 17

The modular system was really cool, but exchange kits were expensive. You might as well just buy another P250. Plus, there wasn’t an aftermarket for grip modules like there is now.

Sig also changed the grip modules, which, in turn, changed the magazine. Suddenly, buyers had to ensure they had the right magazine design for their specific model.

Sig p250 grips
Sig P250 grip sizes

Oh, and then it began to fail…

The first and only police agency to use the gun was the Federal Air Marshals, who adopted it in .357 Sig to replace the P229.

There seems to be some scandal with an Air Marshal buying P250s at a discounted price and reselling them to other Air Marshals. However, the investigation and its results have never been made public.

The real issues came when the Dutch Police looked to adopt the weapon.

Ultimately, the Dutch police were unsatisfied with the pistol and its performance, stating, “On the basis of the results of these tests, I no longer find it responsible to continue with this pistol. There is no longer enough confidence in the quality of the pistol, nor in the capacity of the manufacturer to improve the quality or safeguard it. All this brings a risk to the safety of police officers on the street.”

The P250 slowly faded and was discontinued piece by piece, with the .22 LR version being the final link to fall in 2017.

Revival of the P250

The P250 died, but the concept did not.

Sig evolved and, dare I say, perfected the modular handgun idea with the P320. The P320 can trace its roots right back to the P250, and as we know, the P320 has been quite successful.

sig p250 vs sig p320
Sig P250 vs Sig P320

I owned but later sold a P250 and went for a more traditional DA/SA gun. These days, I own a P320 and really enjoy the modular features of the gun…it’s what the P250 always wanted to be.

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Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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Do any of you have experience with the P250? Let us know in the comments below! Interested in more What Happened pieces? Check out the previous week’s article on the SW99!

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8 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Ed McRight

    Well, I was already out of the Air Marshals before they tried the P250. Talking with my co-workers, stacking multiple rounds into targets as we did (short split times) with the P229 just didn't add up with the long DAO trigger pull of the 250.

    I'd gone back to teach at the Border Patrol Academy after my time with FAMS when I purchased a P250. Got one of the cool fancy stainless swirled slides for my wife. She is a 6' girl from Norwegian stock with full size hands and really liked the original compact grip modules. I ended up purchasing several more and the caliber swap kits. It was cool to have such a exchangeable firearm. All before the 320 was born. We stayed with the 9, 357, &40. Getting separate FCU's back in the day to go with your exchange kits was quite a feat. But eventually pretty much filled the group out so I had one for every slide combo Sub, Compact, and Full. Loved when the x-series grips came out for the P320 and swapped them out. I never really liked the standard grip modules as my hands were smaller than my wife's. P229 was just the right size. And yes I love the AXG grip. Wife got one of the AXG Scorpion custom works ordered the month they came out with a local top tier dealer. They sold it to her for MSRP. Boy was I glad about that. I have not tried to put one on a P250 yet. I waited for the P320 to get fully out before purchasing one but still bought one that had to go thru the upgrade process. It was one of the last months of manufacture before the change. Now of course have as many 320's as I did 250's.

    So a real positive for the p250, if your teaching someone with it as their first gun, is the double action trigger smoothness. And the same trigger press every time, works great for a one gun owner who doesn't have a lot of time to train after becoming proficient. I've been an instructor since 1998, this was an easy gun to teach. I stole my P250 - 357 & 40 barrels from the sub and compact models to go with "on sale new P320-357/40" slides from sig a couple years ago. Had optic cuts put in them this year. Still have to get a couple more barrels to back fill my 250's. Unfortunately I waited to late to get a 40cal to get a threaded barrel as they are now out of style. Due to the rear sights on the P250's, I don't know how you could add red dots. But I still love the guns and they are 'bullet proof' and have them set up for bug out bags. With the way the world is going I hope they don't get pressed into service anytime soon.

    October 26, 2022 10:05 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    John

    I purchased my P250 compact back in 2011. It is a gen 2 .40 S&W, and also has the .357 sig barrel. I would say 2000+ rounds maybe over the last ten years, and never an issue.
    I absolutely love to fire this gun, and it is the primary home defense weapon in my home.
    It did take a little time to get used to the trigger. Couple hundred rounds or so, with no formal instruction. But once I did get used to it. I must say it is one of the most accurate and easy to use pistols I have ever fired. Even my wife, who actually hates guns, handles the pistol with spot on accuracy. While I enjoy the sport, she only goes to the range to stay sharp for defense purposes. Just this morning was her first trip to the range in over two years. Covid shutdowns and all. About 30 rounds in, she was as accurate as always with it.
    Funny, I remember back when I bought it. Seems everyone was all about the Glock. So It does not surprise me that it won. I have known for some time that the P250 was no longer being made. and today I got to thinking that maybe I should put mine away. Long term collection piece, don't wear it out and all. That is how I found my way to this article. But the reality is for me that it is too much of a pleasure to shoot to lock it away and forget about it. I'm old enough, I'll let the next generation worry about that.

    October 23, 2022 2:57 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    John

    "The first and only police agency to use the gun was the Federal Air Marshals..."

    There were non-federal civilian police departments using it.

    Maybe you meant ... "The first and only federal police agency to use the gun was the Federal Air Marshals..." and that would be true.

    August 21, 2022 3:47 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Collecting History

    "The first and only police agency to use the gun was the Federal Air Marshals..."
    I own an Ohio State Highway Patrol marked P250 featuring their winged wheel logo on the slide.

    August 15, 2022 6:42 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    David Simmons

    I have a Gen 1 compact nickel slide version in 9mm. Changed the magazine floor plates and slide stop to accommodate Gen 2 magazines.
    Never an issue.
    Would carry it for work if allowed by policy if SIG would continue to support it.

    August 14, 2022 4:12 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Fred

    Carried my P250 (45 ACP) for years as a deputy sheriff; thousands of rounds never once had a problem. I liked the long smooth trigger pull for LE work.

    August 14, 2022 3:56 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    AQM

    Own two P250 compact 45acp (9 rounds), is my everyday CCW, never had any problems.

    August 14, 2022 2:50 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Sua Sponte

    I've had my P250SC for years as an EDC and have really like it, hundreds of rounds on the range, never an issue. Maybe I'm just not as refined as some.

    August 13, 2022 6:54 pm
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