Every gun company has its unique approach to making guns, and a way of fulfilling a new demand in the marketplace. Pocket micro 9mms have become the hot topic in guns because concealed carry has exploded as the next big thing in America, and Sig Sauer has its own take on the micro 9mm, and as usual, it is pure Sig.
The P290 is a hammer fired, double action only, polymer framed pocket sized pistol in the line of famous P226. It is a respectable 20oz. empty, 5 ½” long and 4” wide, and an inch thick. For size, it is in line with the rest of the field. There is an optional mini laser for the front. It looks like an Insight (another New Hampshire company) though the website doesn’t specify.
What makes Sig unique is somewhat esoteric. It is preference, pure and simple. People just like the way Sigs feel, and their reliability has always been without question. Other companies may get more press. They may have bigger and better law enforcement contracts, and they may have a great PR campaign that makes everyone think they are the greatest gun in the world. But when you ask a Sig owner if he’ll trade his Sig for the competition, he (or she) will generally say heck no.
So when it came to making a micro 9mm, Sig just kept doing what they have been doing well for so many years. They just made it smaller. Some of the thinking that went into the P250 modular system were carried into this gun. The grips are replaceable and you can get them in a number of materials and finishes. The polymer frame is a departure from the next smallest Sig, the P239, and this was clearly a next generation choice they made for this pistol.
“To Hell and Back Reliability” is my favorite marketing saying in the whole gun industry and Sig has used it now for several years. I feel that for these micro 9mm guns, reliability is going to be an issue as we go down the road. Most of what we are seeing are new designs, and very few of us writing out here have even gotten a test gun, let alone been able to run 500 rounds through one in an afternoon to see if it breaks. Making a gun smaller means making the internal parts smaller, and in a small light gun, a +P 9mm rocks your world, and the gun’s world. A tried and true Sig hammer fired design should be of some comfort if you are wondering which one of the field to buy. By this time next year all this will shake out as to which ones were the good ones and which ones were the not as good ones, and my money is on Sig to be in the first group.