Sig Makes the P220 Into a Longslide Magnum? Full Hands-On Review.

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“Elite” has become a popular buzzword these days. Everyone either wants to be elite or hate anyone or anything that is elite. But to abide by the dictionary, one of the principle meanings of the word is simply, “the best of a class”. I can’t think of a better description for the SIG Sauer P220 Match Elite in 10mm.

SIG Sauer knows how to build a handsome handgun. The reverse two-tone of the P220 Elite 10mm is very striking.

To say that the SIG Sauer P220 is a classic is an understatement. The P220 line is generally considered solely responsible for the success of, and very likely the very existence of today’s SIG Sauer. Though often eclipsed by its sibling P226 series, there is still a place for the single-stack workhorse among the larger capacity rivals from within and without SIG. One such example, for this author – is with the chambering in 10mm. Although the decimal caliber is enjoying a bit of resurgence of late, it is still a fairly exotic chambering, as witnessed by the slight number of firearms offered in it. Initially selected by the FBI for its agents’ duty guns, it was deemed “too hot to handle”, and when the feds swore off of it, it faded into obscurity. Of course, obscurity is not oblivion – and the ten millimeter cartridge has always had a dedicated congregation, particularly amongst handgun hunters. SIG Sauer offers the P220 in 10mm two different ways: The P220 Hunter, which is an SAO pistol clad in Kryptec camo finish and designed with hunters in mind; and the P220 Match Elite which is a reversed two-tone of stainless and Nitron finish. The latter of these was supplied to GunsAmerica – and I’ve been quite eager to test it.

Fit and finish is superb, and the SIGnature controls functioned perfectly. Magazine catch is large and easy, and drops ‘em free every time.

The Match Elite is a very traditional SIG Sauer pistol, in DA/SA with the familiar hammer decocker. Its profile is pure SIG, except that the accustomed eye will immediately notice the additional length of the gun. The 10mm pistol is about 5/8” longer than the normal ‘full size’ model, due to the 5” barrel (versus the 4.4” standard). The frame size remains the same, which gives the P220 10mm a bit of a long-slide appearance. Combined with the signature extended beavertail of the Elite models, it is a distinctly long handgun.

The reverse two-tone styling is quite fetching to this writer’s eye, well complemented by the G10 grips that add not just looks but very practical control to the pistol. The gun is topped off with SIG’s SIGLITE night sights, consisting of a three-dot combat setup with Tritium for self-powered illumination. The sights are steel and in traditional SIG design, the rear sight can be used to run the slide against a belt or boot.  Because this is an Elite model, it also includes the SIG Short Reset Trigger (SRT), which makes the forward stroke required to reset the trigger a mere twitch.


If you have never fired the 10mm round, you may not understand the significant difference in recoil it bears from that of calibers like .40 and .45. The pressures are considerably higher, and with the “hot rounds” from makers like Buffalo Bore and Underwood, it can be a handful. SIG’s own V-Crown load in 10mm is a rather potent one. This is where you begin to appreciate the nearly 3 lbs. of substance that this handgun has. That heft soaks up a good bit of the energy, and combined with the tough recoil spring it keeps the experience rather pleasant. Because a large amount of the pistol’s weight is the stainless steel frame, the muzzle lift is surprisingly controlled and the recoil impulse is a smoother rolling action than the whipsaw you can get when all the energy is focused in the slide.

There is an undeniable elegance to this reverse two-tone pistol. But don’t let its refinement fool you. It packs a punch!

The ergonomics of the P220 Match Elite is also another reason the gun is so much fun to shoot, no matter how snappy the ammo. The extended upward-sweeping beavertail encourages the shooter to take a high hold on the pistol, and the well undercut trigger guard makes it feel natural. The checkering on the front strap and the aggressive G10 grips keep your hold in place even as you watch the front sight rise out of view and fall back again. This makes your follow-up shots stay on target, even in rapid succession. I even forget what a powerhouse round I’m shooting, until I have to walk 15 yards to pick up my spent brass!

In my personal collection, I have several SIG Sauer products – some with the SRT and some without. I prefer those that have this fantastic trigger system. In traditional DA/SA mode the first shot is a heavier pull that cocks the hammer prior to dropping it onto the firing pin, and each subsequent shot is pre-cocked by the reciprocation of the slide – making them single action. SIGs double-action trigger is lighter than many and very smooth and consistent through the full range of motion. The SRT provides a reset that is between 1/16 – 1/8” and from that reset point there is no creep or take-up. This trigger system gives maximum advantage whether you are taking slow carefully aimed shots, or putting triple-taps downrange during drills. I measured the double-action pull at 10 lbs., 6 oz. and the single action pull at a crisp 5 lbs., 3 oz. A good trigger isn’t just about having fun with rapid shots, it allows you to be a better shooter by removing unnecessary jerking, pushing, or pulling that are as annoying as a golfer’s slice and can be just as hard to correct.

The receptacle for the single-stack 8 round magazine is slightly beveled. The G10 grip adds a little extra funnel.

But when it comes to a handgun like this P220 Elite, it is all about accuracy. I find the SIG P Series pistols easy to shoot accurately in general, and this 5-incher is a dream. It has good balance, especially considering the weight. The sights are easy to pick up and align, and also very easy to keep on target. The “fit” of the front blade into the rear notch leaves little air space, which I like for relaxed target shooting. A tight six o’clock hold at around 10 yards does the trick, and the inherently accurate 10mm rounds just start eating a hole in the target.


To test the accuracy of any handgun, I am constantly looking for ways to take myself out of the equation as much as possible. One such element is trying to hold a precise and consistent aim point for each shot. That’s harder than is seems – and if you’ve taken slow shots at a 25 yard target you know what I mean. I stop short of investing in a Ransom Rest or similar machine because I think a degree of the human element is still important. So, my newest compromise was to use a scope – a 4x scope, at that. This allowed me to use my standard rest but hold a pinpoint aim that was very consistent for every shot. I think the results show the capabilities of this handgun. 10mm is a preferred hunting handgun round not just for its power, but also for its accuracy.

Even off-hand at 10 yards with just the iron sights, I was able to make “almost all holes touching” groups with even the hottest loads, like Underwood and Hornady. Bulk buy ammo that I obtained from LAX and use for “range practice” also performed excellently.

The Sig shot well with the Sig FMJ ammo, shooting a five-shot group of 1.898 inches.

The CorBon ammo shot a five-shot group of 1.816 inches.

The Sig V-Crown ammo shot the best, with a tightest five-shot group of 1.18 inches.

The Buffalo Bore ammo came in at 2.741 inches.

There is no doubt that if you take the time to match the optimal ammunition to the Match Elite for the distance you intend to shoot, say 100 yards, it would be a reliable hunting weapon. As with most guns I shoot – it is capable of far better accuracy that I can produce with it. But something about the P220 Match Elite helps me to shoot my best.


Almost every time I pick up a handgun my mind instantly puts it into a bucket. Carry gun… competition gun… duty gun… etc. However, this P220 Match Elite 10mm is one of those odd birds that doesn’t just drop neatly into a bucket. But you certainly don’t want to use a phrase that rhymes with “bucket”, because for this writer it is a gun that is worth having simply for its own sake. Perhaps, if there is such a term – “practical collector” would be the target market. And if that wasn’t a term, I just coined it and will wait for the royalties to roll in – cue the Daffy Duck clip. But seriously, this is one that does honor to a collection of fine handguns just as well as it sits proudly alongside the ones that keep your family safe or put venison on the table. It’s a handsome pistol, but no safe queen. SIG built this gun to be shot. And a shooter it is! The finish might be a bit flashy for some hunters, but certainly the guy who carries the nickel plated .44 Magnum won’t mind it. Using a universal mount as I did for the accuracy testing, one can easily mount a quality scope or electronic optic on the gun.

The quality of the materials and workmanship are pure Sig Sauer.

10mm power is certainly adequate for even larger game. So it can easily be a hunter’s pistol. But of course, SIG equipped it with their SIGLITE night sights – and some V-Crown 10mm would make a damned fine self-defense load. So, keeping this beauty in the nightstand or on the hip would make fine sense. Downside for that application is capacity. The P220 is after all, a single-stack handgun. The magazines hold only eight rounds. Just like another very popular 5” all steel handgun – and folks have been “making do” with that one for over a century now. So I don’t rule it out over capacity complaints. And the P220 adds the benefit of the DA/SA trigger design that requires no external manual safety. As far as wearing it on the hip, don’t expect to be concealing it under light clothing, unless you were the biggest kid on your football team.

Fieldstrip for the P220 Match Elite is standard procedure. The full-length rails offer a very stable platform.

I put a few hundred rounds through this pistol over multiple range trips and never experienced a hint of a problem. Fed, fired, and ejected everything like a precision machine. There are plenty of good reasons to own the P220 Match Elite in 10mm, and a few reasons not to. But in the end, for me at least, it comes down to this: This is the gun you treat yourself to. Justify that however you must, but owning this firearm would simply scream, “serious gun guy here!”.

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{ 30 comments… add one }
  • Thunderbird45 February 14, 2017, 3:40 pm

    I got at great deal on one of these last year and it has been a dream to shoot. Getting a proper fitting holster was more difficult but found one at simply rugged holsters. I have shot Underwoods, Buffalo Bore, and Sig, FMJ and HP in all brands too with no issues. Hot rounds have been just fine and can sure blow up a jug of water in spectacular fashion. I thought about cerakoting it but have decided to hold off. The color scheme is just “meh”. Mine has trouble loading magazines if you don’t use a lot of force. I need to send it in. I am hoping this makes a decent camping gun. I enjoy shooting this so much more than the Glock 20, even if the Glock has double the capacity.

  • christian focht February 14, 2017, 3:10 am

    Longslide my ASS; no use on being a dope if you can’t show it!

  • jedagi February 13, 2017, 8:55 pm

    I’ve had my hands on one of these. It was on display in the glass case at a local gun store for 2 years. It was $1200 +-. Then one day, it was gone. It was a nice feeling pistol. Light on round capacity. I’ve shot many a round of 10mm and never thought of it as heavy recoiling. 10mm is my favorite semi auto cartridge. Perfect for hunting, target practice and self defense.

  • Merlin February 13, 2017, 7:13 pm

    Sig has marketed a 5″ 10mm P220 for several years. This is new to you?

  • Tommy Barrios February 13, 2017, 2:06 pm

    10+ lb Double Action
    5+ lb Single Action

    • Tommy Barrios February 13, 2017, 2:09 pm

      You gotta be kidding me!
      Like pulling a dump truck compared to my S&W Model 15 @ 1 lb Single Action and 2 lb Double Action!

  • Dave Brown February 13, 2017, 1:47 pm

    I have been shooting for over 50 years now, great fun, and just about any gun will do. The hardest hitting handgun I own is a little 45acp double tap. It truly hurts, but great fun and I bought it cheap. Yes I added a little inner-tube rubber, and it is the only handgun I wear a glove to shoot. My daily is a Kahr PM40, but I have a few small .380 for those days, and I have shot the heck out of a little NAA 32acp. The NAA is super small, but my Micro Eagle 380 is almost as small. 9mm came around my place about 5 years back, like it, own a bunch from super small or super big, and I mainly like it in Carbine form, but there is also 40 and 45 Carbines, and I truly miss my 357 Lever gun. Now a 357mag always brings a smile to my face, and has for over 40 years, 2″ or 6″ is just a blast to shoot, and I often shoot it just before calling it a day. JOY! Now the Desert Eagle 357 has removed all of the JOY, and left behind a very easy fast shooting pistol, but no true JOY. Course if I wanted JOY in a semi auto give me my 38Super, but load up Wins 9X28Win ammo in an AMT Backup or even a Commander size 1911, and you got JOY! These 38Super’s make me forget about the 357 Conan, sorry but I don’t need one of them. I have no idea way the FBI decided to drop the 10 and now the 40, but I like a 9 with some Corbon 135g hotter then hot ammo. I have been thinking about a 10 just because, but then again I figure I should add a 44mag 4″ revolver to the mix also. I figure I got about 20 years to do so, and it will get done. I am hoping my Grand Buddies, both Granddaughters to date will start small and I have them covered. Then they can step up the steps and I am thinking they will find JOY all along the way. I have already picked up a couple of Wilkinson Sherri’s (super small 22lr), and a couple of Wilkinson Linda’s (think 9mm Uzi) for the turning the age of Majority.

    I know I should have used some of the paragraphs things in the about. Guns are kind of like Harley’s, me I have owned all kinds of guns and motorbikes, and yes I like Harley’s, but I enjoy not riding one as it makes the Me Toooo crowd ask dumb questions like, but it ain’t a Harley, I Know Ain’t It Great. Key point in this email is to spread a little Joy, and Enjoy what you got, and always try anything a fellow shooter offers you a run with. I know I hate shooting someones elss’s firearms as it might break, (and yes I own a few Glocks, but mine don’t have cracked slides), yet I like to let others shoot my stuff. Shoot what you got, Ride what you got, Enjoy The JOY!. Thanks for a good review. Dave

  • Tommy Teas February 13, 2017, 1:19 pm

    Why do you call the finish “reverse 2-tone”? Having been a USPSA shooter since the early 80’s, the way I remember it is that frames started to get the electro-less nickel treatment because blue finishes were not standing up to the constant use and sweat of firing thousands of rounds in competition. The slides were left blue because that effect did not occur to them, and so that they would not cause glare and interfere with the sight picture (like a silver slide can do). So, if my memory is correct, a silver frame and a blue slide is the “original” 2-tone, not a “reverse” 2-tone… 🙂

  • christian focht February 13, 2017, 12:54 pm

    a LONGSLIDE HAS A 6″ BARREL……….DAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH; and there are MANY MANY of them out there boys

  • cisco kid February 13, 2017, 12:37 pm

    The 10mm has been much of a failure since its inception. The first pistol to be chambered for it if I remember correctly was the ill fated Bren Ten, brainchild of Jeff Cooper, who had a propensity to invent and/or promote things no one wanted, like his ridiculous Scout Rifle. Of course Cooper was wrong about a lot of things including his consistent bad mouthing of the 9×19 but that’s another hilarious story.

    The 10mm has been traditionally hard on guns and hard on shooters. Its been a failure as a self defense cartridge and the FBI after adopting it then dropped it like a hot potato. Its excess recoil in light self defense pistols as opposed to be heavy frame revolvers preordained it would cause auto pistols to self destruct in short order and cause slow recovery time for repeat shots not to mention poor shooting due to loud muzzle blast and excess recoil and muzzle flash. Even its anemic little brother the 40 S&W has also been one of the biggest failures in police cartridges since the 41 magnum revolver. It seems as though even back in the 1800’s the 40 caliber revolvers were never liked much either as people back then, like today, either went for the bigger .45’s or the smaller .38’s. Perhaps the gun industry should have studied History before they went to all the trouble to push 40 caliber cartridges on the general gun buying public that never liked or wanted them from day 1 of their inception.

    Hunters usually prefer larger weight and more powerful revolver calibers and self defense people want a pistol that they can use with fast follow up shots, not some auto cartridge that knocks the fillings out of their teeth and pops their ear drums even with 27 decibel ear muffs on. And people do not enjoy spending a lot of money on a auto pistol and then watch it disintegrate before their very eyes due to a cartridge that lets face it, just generates too much recoil for the average auto frame and slide to stand up to for very long.

    If I was a hunter, like most people, I would go for a big bore revolver and if I needed a self defense gun I would go for a small concealable 9×19 which in modern times can be had in one of the smallest packages ever invented in the history of self defense pistols and in a major caliber like the 9×19. The 9×19 works, take it from me, as I have shot deer with it and it is everything Jeff Cooper said it was not. Which shows you that old Jeff never shot off anything with it in his life except his big mouth.

    • christian focht February 14, 2017, 3:14 am

      If you had your head cut off in a guillotine; when they pulled it out of the basket it would still be talking. Educate yourself and look what real and bonafide gun folks think about the ten fool.

    • Jay January 3, 2018, 10:16 am

      It’s too much recoil is a problem then snipers should be using 22 long rifle instead of 338 Lapua Magnum. Just saying.

  • Sick to mystomach February 13, 2017, 12:22 pm

    Another pistol with a rail, ugly as hell and worthless in my book! I for one dont want anything hanging of the front of my pistol.
    Where is thw the 10mm 220 without a rail??

  • Rich February 13, 2017, 12:14 pm

    Misleading title. Since when is 5″ a longslide?

    • christian focht February 13, 2017, 12:52 pm


  • David February 13, 2017, 11:41 am

    Do they even still make this??? Can’t find it anywhere and one site i went to said discontinued. Thanks.

  • Aquaman February 13, 2017, 11:22 am

    You’ll notice less recoil with proper grip
    Learn how to shoot a pistol

  • Willy February 13, 2017, 10:38 am

    The only P220 in 10mm I can find is that silly “Kryptec camo” Hunter version…. Even the Sig website only shows that one model. Am I missing something ?

  • ClubberL February 13, 2017, 9:49 am

    I’m going hog hunting in Texas at the end of March this year and I wanted something with a little bit more power than what I already have so I just bought this gun this last weekend, in hunter kryptec camo, if your a 1911 fan like me this gun is easy to transition to and it’s now the most accurate pistol I have. I let my friends and relatives shoot it at is debut and everyone now wants one! I really didn’t notice a big difference in recoil, I thought it felt the same as my 1911. My local dealer sold it to me for 1175.00

    • Russ February 13, 2017, 11:44 am

      The Ultimate Hog Destroyer in Underwood 200 or 220 grain. Best I have ever chronoed. Much better than BB or DT, and even better than Parabellum Research V-Supreme. Here is a list of all the top performers in 10mm from dozens of manufacturers.
      10mm 220 gr HC Underwood. KE- 750 ft-lbs, PF- 273, KOV- 15.6
      10mm 200 gr HC Underwood. KE- 753 ft-lbs, PF- 264, KOV- 14.9
      10mm 180 gr Underwood. KE- 688 ft-lbs, PF- 236, KOV- 13.5
      10mm 165 gr (#237) Underwood. KE- 810 ft-lbs, PF- 245, KOV- 14.0
      10mm 155 gr Underwood. KE- 803 ft-lbs, PF- 237, KOV- 13.5
      10mm 140 gr Underwood. KE- 744 ft-lbs, PF- 217, KOV- 12.4
      10mm 135 gr Underwood. KE- 794 ft-lbs, PF- 220, KOV- 12.6

      • ClubberL February 15, 2017, 2:26 pm

        Awesome!! Thanks for the info!!

      • Jay January 3, 2018, 12:19 pm

        I know ke is kinetic energy. What is P F & K o v?

  • Awesome Bill from Dawsonville February 13, 2017, 9:37 am

    Love the gun, but would love it more if they mated it to the 227 frame to give it a higher capacity.

  • Richard Welper February 13, 2017, 8:57 am

    Good call on owning one of these on a “just because” basis. Having four 10mm’s in the personal inventory and having learned how to manage this incredible round, has placed this new Sig on the list for certain! Nice write up!

  • JDog February 13, 2017, 8:26 am
  • Rick February 13, 2017, 7:22 am

    Now, if SIG would simply lengthen the barrel to 6 inches and try the 10mm Magnum case, which is even longer. No, I do not have a P220 in 10mm to see if the 10mm Magnum would fit. Would be nice if it did.

  • DC February 13, 2017, 4:58 am

    Where is the ATF changes coarse article. Another botched email like all the articles u click on that send u to a different one not the one your wanting to read lol come on G.A. slow down and check them b4 u send them out plz lol great articles I thoroughly enjoy reading every week just dont care for your Quality Control.

    • craig ramsey February 13, 2017, 10:44 am

      the link is the 2nd line of the email… after “Hi Everyone”.

  • Billy February 11, 2017, 6:52 pm

    One day I will own one

  • R ferddy February 9, 2017, 10:24 pm

    It is so long ago, that I can not recall when I shot my first Sig Sauer pistol, and if I’m right, that gun wasn’t called Sig Sauer, it had Browning stamped on the receiver. I now own three Sig Sauer pistols: the P-220 45 ACP, the P-229 .40 S/W, and the new kid on the block, the Sig Sauer P-250 in 9mm and in .40 S/W (it came with an extra slide in .40 caliber). All great guns but I love the P-220 and the P-250 the most of the three.

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