The SIG Sauer P210 9mm Target Pistol - Precision Defined

The SIG Sauer P210 Target is an absolutely superb handgun and intrinsically accurate-living up to its legend.

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The SIG P210 (Pistole 49 as designated by the Swiss Army) has been around since 1949, when it became the Swiss Army issue pistol-and its hallmark since its introduction has been accuracy. It makes sense that the Swiss would choose the precision P210 as its military pistol, considering they are (or maybe more correctly once were) a citizen-soldier nation of precision riflemen.

Recently, SIG Sauer decided to perform some 21st Century upgrading on the legendary P210 that enhances its effectiveness as a precision target pistol, or in the case of the Standard Model, as a defensive handgun. The result of these upgrades is a superbly accurate, reliable, and is priced well below most custom handguns. The P210's pricing has improved because the P210 is now American made!


The SIG P210 Target is a solid, all stainless-steel single-action pistol with a black Nitron finish (instead of the original blued carbon steel). The P210 weighs in at 36.9 ounces, similar to the weight of a full sized all steel 1911. Its slide is precision engineered for a perfect fit and features a reverse rail system, where the rails are part of the slide and not the frame. According to SIG, reverse rails help give the P210 pistols their remarkable smoothness of operation.

The operating system of the new P210's has been updated with 1911 style controls, including a prominent, extended thumb safety on the left side on the frame. Cocked and locked carry is perfectly safe for the P210's. While slide lock/release appears to be extended, I found that I had problems reaching it without twisting the P210 in my shooting hand. The magazine release button is easily reached, and releases the magazines smartly. The blued steel single stack magazines hold eight rounds and are easily loaded. Two are included.

The Target Grade trigger is (for lack of a better term) SUPERB. It breaks like a glass rod at 3.5 pounds according to SIG's specifications. Talk about a "surprise break"! I definitely surprised myself when I touched off the very first round. I had to settle down and concentrate to gain full control of the trigger for subsequent shots.

The target stocks are custom contoured walnut. They flare out and surround the frame and magazine well, and mate up naturally with the hand. The grips for the Standard Model are walnut service style.

The P210 Target model sights are fully adjustable. The front-sight features a small green fiber optic insert. I'd prefer a brass bead front sight on a precision target pistol such as this.

The new P210's holds true to the original service model. This is evidenced by the graceful frame that lacks an accessory rail. Also missing is an optics mounting plate. Both of those modern features would detract from the elegance of the P210. Accordingly, the barrel is unthreaded.

Sig Sauer P210 9mm Target Pistol Specifications

Caliber 9mm Luger
Magazine Capacity 8 Rounds - Comes with 2 Steel Magazines
Barrel Length 5 inches
Overall Length 8.4 inches
Weight 36.9 oz
Sights Adjustable Sights
Action SAO
Barrel Material Carbon Steel
Slide Material Stainless Steel
Frame Nitron Coated Stainless Steel
Grips Target Walnut

Range Time

I tested the SIG P210 at the Vance Outdoors indoor range at Alum Creek using Sellior and Bellot 115 grain FMJ practice ammunition. I loaded up my first 8 rounds with a full eight rounds and moved the target to 21 feet.

As I mentioned, the first round surprised me when it went off(particularly because I didn't spend any dry fire time with it first). Even though the recoil of the 9mm, when fired, from the P210's 5-inch barrel was negligible. This resulted in a flyer that produced a three-inch, 8 shot group. With the flyer discounted, the remaining 7 rounds landed in a 1 1/2 inch group, which was more in keeping with the P210's capabilities.

After having gotten the feel for P210, I decided to it at 21 feet using a one hand "bullseye" type target stance. I decided from this point out to use six round magazines. I managed a 2-inch group, and was ready to increase the distance.

Switching back to a two-hand stance, I achieved the following results:

  • 30 feet: 2-inch group, with 5 shots in 1.5 inches
  • 40 feet: 3-inch group, with 4 shots in 1.5 inches
  • 50 feet: 2.5 inch group, with 3 shots in 1.5 inches

Wrap Up

The SIG Sauer P210 Target is an absolutely superb handgun and intrinsically accurate-living up to its legend. It would make an excellent choice for competitive Bullseye shooting, or any competitive shooting event where the 9mm is permitted. The P210 Standard pistol would serve better for self-defense purposes.