One of the weapons in the Navy SEAL arsenal is the 9mm SIG Sauer P226, a very reliable handgun from the Swiss firm Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft (SIG), in collaboration with the German company J.P. Sauer and Son (not difficult to see where the series name came from, is it?). Going through its various features and specifications, it is not hard to see why an elite team such as the Navy SEALs would choose to include this in their artillery.
To the ordinary gun buyer, the P226 may not seem attractive at the outset. The handgun is probably the most common weapon that can and will be purchased by the ordinary citizen, and one of the things someone who is not a raving gun enthusiast will look at will be the gun’s physical appearance. The P226 is not the most attractive gun in the world, but then again, it is not a collector’s gun that aims to be admired for its aesthetic appeal. It is, to quote Guns and Ammo, “built strictly for business”; which is probably why it is perfect for the Navy SEAL, who always means business.
The SIG-Sauer line can trace its beginnings to the 1960s, to a time when SIG manufactured what may be termed as a high-end line of pistols – the SIG 210 series. Unfortunately, manufacturing these high-end pistols became too expensive that the firm started looking into the development of a pistol that can easily and cheaply be mass-produced, without, of course, sacrificing the accuracy and reliability that their existing SIG 210 series have been known for.
The partnership with J.P. Sauer was actually a result of this development of a new line, as it was apparent that the objective of lower production costs is more feasible if the German company would perform the manufacturing. In recent years, SIG has officially acquired J.P. Sauer and Son, and they are now operating as a single entity. The first SIG Sauers were introduced in the mid-1970s, the first model being the P220. From there, the pistol has evolved into several others, including the P226.