by David Tong
David says the SIG Sauer P226 Pistol is a great shooting self defense gun but what is up with the MK25 Designation?
U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- The large frame SIG-Sauer handgun debuted as the P220 in 1982, chambered in .45ACP. A double-column magazine version in 9X19 emerged in 1984 as the P-226.
Original P226 pistols have the folded and welded sheet carbon steel slides with cross-pinned breechblocks. These pistols were replaced with ones with slides machined from billets of steel, with nosecaps and breechblocks integrally machined
SIG Sauer P226 Pistol
The pistol caught the attention of the US Army who was seeking to replace the WWI and WWII vintage 1911 pistols still serving. The resulting military trials of 1985 had two main competitors, the SIG Sauer P226 and the Beretta M92.
The Beretta won the competition. Both were considered equally reliable under the most exhaustive testing regimen held up that time including dust, ice, mud, rust, sand, snow, and seawater immersion. Cost per pistol unit was less for the SIG, but the Beretta won out because they already had a manufacturing facility here in the U.S., and they offered lower prices for parts replacement so the overall cost was lower. Currently SIG P226 pistols are made in the USA at the SIG Sauer facility (formerly SIGARMS, Incorporated) in Exeter, New Hampshire, USA.
The standard SIG Sauer P224 hand gun holds 10 rounds in .357 SIG or.40 S&W and 12 rounds in 9mm. The P226 will also accept aftermarket magazines with higher capacity.
Navy SEAL’s SIG Sauer P226 MK25
However, in the world of Special Operations, personnel in the Navy were looking for a pistol with greater durability and better foreign debris sealing than the Beretta offered, so they tested the SIG P226 Pistol extensively. This led to the change to the milled from stock stainless slides, and the pistol became the official issue of the SEAL teams.
Other things desired after deployment were better rustproofing of minor components such as trigger group internals, exterior levers, and magazines, as well as an M1913 Picatinny rail for the fitment of flashlights and lasers. The use of “phosphated” components and the RFID tag on the left side of the frame, plus an “anchor” symbol and engraved designation of “MK25” is found on the Navy SEAL SIG Sauer P226 version, on the slide’s left, and represented the ultimate version of the SEAL’s choice in handguns.
The SIG Sauer P226 handgun has served with distinction for about 15 years, but has been recently (2016) replaced with the smaller, lighter, and much less expensive Glock 19, also in 9X19 NATO caliber as official issue. Of course, Special Ops have the capability to deploy any system they wish, though such recognition of the G19 means that the MK25s days are probably numbered.
Such are the tenets of the military acquisition process. Cheaper, durable, lighter, and simpler wins nearly every time. For the rest of us, the SIG Sauer P226 is a large, soft-shooting 9mm that is accurate and is reliable beyond question.