1. Raise pistol and fire six rounds on target. "Head" shots only.
2. Raise pistol and double-tap target. Perform a combat reload and repeat. This drill was performed three more times and on the last run the pistol was fired with an unsupported grip.
3. Raise pistol and fire six aimed shots on target. Perform a combat reload and then repeat.
By the end of the day, Vince and I had run about 300 rounds through the P290, which allowed us to make the following observations:
The P290 pointed naturally, the sights were excellent and, once we had the measure of the trigger, we were able to put rounds where we wanted them. And while the trigger pull smoothed out somewhat by the end of our shooting session, the staging was still present.
Because of its short grip, frame recoil control was not what one would have hoped for and I actually found the pistol more comfortable to fire with an unsupported grip. While the front and rear straps and grip panels are aggressively textured, we both felt something else was needed.
When I expressed this concern to a SIG representative I was informed that future plans call for the P290 to come with a spare eight-round magazine with a sleeve that approximates the external contour of the grip. Such magazines will provide a full, three-finger grip without compromising concealability to any degree and significantly improve recoil control in the bargain.
The magazine release projects out rather far from the frame and unless you consciously hold the thumbs of your shooting and support hands away from it, it can be activated accidentally, dropping the magazine down far enough to where the slide cannot pick up the next round. Shortening or rounding off the button would cure this problem without adversely affecting reloading speed. Lastly, the magazines proved difficult to load to capacity and by the end of the day Vince and I had pretty sore thumbs.
I found the P290 to be a well-made, simple-to-operate, and concealable pistol but, as with most new designs, there remain a few bugs to be worked out of it. Knowing SIG as I do, I'm sure we will see this happen in short order.
Paul Scarlata has served as an auxiliary police officer and is a frequent contributor to POLICE.
SIG Sauer P290 Subcompact Pistol
Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
Action: Double action only
Overall Length: 5.5 inches
Barrel Length: 2.9 inches
Height: 3.9 inches
Width: 1.1 inches
Weight: 20.5 ounces
Construction: Slide: Nitron finished or stainless steel Frame: Polymer
Magazine: 6 rounds, single-column box
Sights: Front: Blade with white dot
Rear: Dual white dots
Features: Optional integral laser sight, optional night sights, carrying case, spare magazine, removable aluminum and wood grip panels, lock, owner's manual
Price: $758 ($828 with laser)