Now I’m starting to wonder…

Why did I keep the one I did when it’s not much smaller than the new one I got – but is slightly fatter and holds one less round? The easy take-down? The de-cocker?

Update: There’s a gun under there but you almost wouldn’t notice.

Here you can see the contrast in size of the Sig P245 trigger guard.
UPDATE: Mo’Pics!

Sig P2220 Mainspring Struts 1989 vs. 2004

At the time I announced an #InstallationFAIL upon the Sig Slim-Grips I had purchased I received some feed-flack from a know-nothing fanboy who derided my choice of purchase venue: eBay.
But they were the Full-Factory Original Thangs – just not at factory price$ that I can’t afford.
The mounting problem stemmed from an unannounced (to me anyhow) Sig modernization and manufacturing change, from the old steel mainspring-strut to something rather different.
Anyhow the old grips fit but new ones didn’t and here’s a closer examination and visual explanation of how and why it worked (or didn’t). 
The rear profile of the old grip is noticeably fuller to accommodate the old-style strut, and the new “Slim” grip is unable to maintain that voluptuous contour.

Floppy Holsters?

Given the recent caution about floppy holsters, perhaps more specifically slide-holsters, these two thumb-strap models are still that which I have most recently acquired for carrying-around the house: one Galco “Fletch” for the 1911A1 – a similar holster is coming for the 4-inch S&W K-frame. It’s basic, retention-strap stuff…:

With the thumb-strap in place the 1911A1 can be carried in either Condition 1, 2, or in Condition 3.
And I picked-up a Gould & Goodrich three-slot for the P220.

The P220 in the G&G doesn’t seem like much of a concealment gun or holster at this point, but that really may just be an issue/evidence of how marvelously thin by comparison the 1911A1 really is. 
The P220 with a rail is still seeking a holster – the railed forward serrations hang-up on the G&G and resist drawing. Also it has a rail and therefore needs a light. Supposedly.
Several bloggers have recommended Comp-Tac and pdb posted about one that allowed him to tuck-in his Glock with a light. Talk about filling your pants!
I have pretty much abandoned the dual-purpose Galco Pancake holster I used at GBR-IV, it’s just not as secure as the belt-held ones.:

Maybe I’ll find a way to convert it to use as a hard-mount on my roost-protector. There are screw-type things on the back that allow the paddle to be removed and re-screwed in a fixed location.

Around the house I notice how cold the guns are, and how much I am not used to them. I have been “practicing” with a godawful cold Leatherman tool. I don’t usually wear much body-stuff, I quit wearing a wrist-watch several years ago and don’t adorn my belt with cellphone and keys and that kinda crap – hell I don’t even usually wear a belt if I can help it. I’m not as enamored with the whole Batman Utility belt thing as I once was, but I better get used-to it…

Sig Slim-Grips Win! Nitron-ST

I removed the rubber Hogue grips and installed the Sig slim-grips that didn’t fit on my other Sig, the 1989-year P220.  They fit perfectly on this model.

The previous owner had a cat. I brushed out the spring and crevices.
This one has the “Nitron” finish on a stainless steel frame, so it’s also noticeably heavier than the other, aluminum-framed P220.  Recoil shouldn’t be much of a problem as long as I grow Popeye arms.

The rail is a point where more weight can be added. Pretty soon it will be so covered in pistol-bling you won’t be able to pick it up.  I’m thinking a light would be cool, I can’t afford a light/laser combo.

Sig Slim Grips Fail #2 Fix

It would be nice to get this information from the manufacturer’s own product description instead of another site, but I guess that’s why we have the Internet. I don’t know if these guys have filled out the requisite forms to be classified as an “Authorized Sig Dealer” since they’re just some Interwebz site selling “factory replacement grip panels.”
At less than half the price from Sig and the same cost with shipping as the ones on eBay, I should be suspicious and require hand-holding by an Authorized Sig Dealer since my own experience is deemed inadequate to determine the optimal requirements of a Porsche oil-change – in any language.
But this is the second data-point I’ve gotten for the following information as opposed to one single experience, weighted by opinion:

These grips will not fit properly if you have the old style metal mainspring seat. Will fit P220’s with the new style black plastic mainspring seat.

And I’ve got a 20-year old Sig/Porsche – time wounds endlessly, and so too the viper tongue of youth – and it inflicts engineering changes besides. However since I’m a highly skkilleted professional despite having not even Uno job, let alone Zwei, I believe there is a way to deal with the too-long screws and the 0.055″ offset.

In the first case the thickness can be reduced by half – that’s your 0.055″ there.

In the second you can see in my old grips what appears to be a toothed or serrated lock-washer (epoxy actually, nonm-removable). They/it occupies a portion of the depth-cut for the screw-heads, since you don’t want the heads seated below flush anyhow because then they become crud-collectors, and prevents the screws from seating too deeply, as in the deep-cut holes of the “slim grips.” (bottom pic)
I believe this would allow the backside of the grips to form together in a seamless joint. It’s the mainspring seat at the bottom that pushes the panels apart. Forcing them together only produces the wedgie-joint.

The problem remains that the grip is the primary and first interface with the gun, and its integrity should not be compromised – which might happen here, but since I have already begun to saw away at the tensile fabric of the grip and cannot return them, I might as well carry on…

Sig Slim-Grips – Fail

I had an issue with my grip on the Sig as far as how desperately I could put a clench on it. The gun felt just a bit full and rolly-poly to me compared to my 1911A1 (and I always figured I had big hands) so I looked around for solutions.

Sig Slim Grips! They arrived in a standard blister type hang-packaged enclosure with logo, lettering and cardboard that appears genuine. Since I bought them on eBay they may be clever fakes made in China by slave-labor.

But I don’t think that’s the case, the seller has a good reputation and a large inventory.  I believe they are factory replacement, and as the legal caveat on the back says, “A qualified gunsmith may need to install this (sic) part.”

First up select the screw-driver bit that fits perfectly, then un-do the grip panels.  Part NEXT: Replace the old ones…Uh waitaminute, the grip screw penetrates through the frame now.

Since the thicker panels aren’t holding it back it extends into the magazine well. Obviously the screws are now too long – the magazine doesn’t like it and won’t go in or out.
Meanwhile the left side grip isn’t quite lining up. The top screw hole places the magazine release cut-out in a tight fit, and cants the bottom screw off to the right. We can fix that.  Grease pencil and Xacto knife to the rescue! Still the results are not real promising even with the screws tightened-down well into the mag-well.

The inner edges pin against each other and flare outward in a v-shaped gap. The inner edge where the grip panels meet impedes on each and needs to be shaved back so they don’t present such a wedgie – and the grip screws need to be relieved of about two full threads so they don’t penetrate into the mag-well.

As it stands in the picture (left) the magazine cannot be employed at all.  If the grips screws are not fully turned-in they leave a gap that displays the hammer spring and strut – and would allow debris to accumulate and tie-up the gun – not an option.

So what now?? I dunno. The gun feels more grippable with the slim grips, but I need to do a bunch more work if I want to get them to fit. And the grip screws need to be shortened by at least two threads.
In stock configuration with the grip-screws cranked down tight they still don’t penetrate into the mag well at all. The slim grips at Sig are not advertised or described as requiring shorter grip-screws and the package does not list them as included either, but they seem very necessary.

Regular grips with stock-length screws that don’t impede into the mag well fit nicely together with no gaps, wedgies, or misalignment.

What seems clear to me now is why modern polymer-frame gun manufacturers are emerging with grip-frames that are designed with removable back-straps and other bits and pieces to suite various sized hands.

It’s easier than re-fitting grips that are a bit wobbly or incompatible without further modifications, sanding and filing and all that old-style craftsmanship.

As always clickez to make the pics mo’bigga.

Stripping the P220

UPDATE: Additional commentary added. All piks Clickenz to verBiggen!
lockback.jpgRotate Takedown.jpgSlideoff.jpgUpper and Lower.jpg
Spring removal.jpgBarrel removal.jpgBarrel Inspection.jpgLever.jpg

I like the automatic slide-stop catch, just pull it back and it locks open

Rotate lever down to disengage the “tumbler” inside…

Release the stop and let the whole top-end run off the rails.

Lift out the spring and plunger…

The spring fits in the detent/notch on the barrel.


Re-assemble in reverse order, and DO REMEMBER to engage the takedown lever!

Sig Dating Codes

If you’re gonna date a Sig you have to know where to look, it’s not under the dressy dustcover or a hidden acrostic in the Serial Number – but you do have to look up underneath.
So mine’s from 1989, the first Presidential Year of Bush ’41 – the youngest pilot then in the Navy when he received his commission in 1943 – and who flew a TBM Avenger off the carrier deck of USS San Jacinto during WWII, flew 58 combat missions, received the Distinguished Flying Cross, and got three Air Medals for his efforts.
And later he didn’t totally suck as a President nor was he in the Johnson Administration. But he’s almost my dad’s age.
Hell, he could have owned one of these. Grip&LightSpace.jpg
The year is 2009 now, so it’s an old gun – there are kids who were born and damn near finished College already – and girls-gone-wild who got pregnant and had kids since this was made.
Damn I’m startin’ to feel all creeky-old.

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