Sig Sauer and Glock: A Novice’s Journey

When I entered the world of firearms and started shooting handguns, a Sig Sauer P226 was all I knew. Before I bought that Sig, I had never fired a handgun. Of course, I knew there were other makes and models out there, but I kind of felt like all handguns were pretty much the same. However, that all started to change when I began my career as a police officer nearly two decades ago. When I started with the agency, I was “saddled” with a Glock 22, which was rather foreign to me and very different from my beloved P226. It was a big switch for me, and I think a lot of “noobs” out there can relate. Right?

To be completely transparent, I am not a firearms expert. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t even consider myself an enthusiast. I am just a guy who likes to shoot, has spent a lot of years carrying guns, and has an ever-growing interest in them. Here, we will look at my journey from learning to drive in a Ferrari to getting used to the idea of spending my professional life driving a Honda. Is that a fair way to compare Sig Sauer and Glock? I like to think so. Anyway, let’s dive in.

The Beginning

I didn’t grow up around guns. My dad wasn’t a hunter or recreational shooter. He loved to fish and camp, but the guns were just never a part of it. It wasn’t until I was in college and joined a criminal justice organization that competed regionally and nationally that I had my first taste of shooting. I joined the competitive shooting team, and sort of learned on the go. One of my friends shot a Sig Sauer P226 and could not say enough about its greatness.

At this point, I knew I was headed toward a career in law enforcement and figured a Glock was likely my future, so I asked about the differences. I was immediately turned off because “Glocks are made of plastic.”  As a complete gun noob, I thought, “Hell, I don’t want a plastic gun. That sounds… dangerous.”  To be honest, with the very limited knowledge I have today, I would have thought they were talking about a Hi-Point, but that is a conversation for another day.

Before I ever fired a round, my decision was made. I did put a couple hundred rounds through my friend’s gun before heading to the gun shop and buying my own. With that purchase, I began my love affair with the Sig Sauer P226.

sig p226
The P226 is just beautiful. (Photo: Kat Stevens)

Sig P226

Other than the .22LR handgun I fired in a safety course, that P226 was the only gun I had ever fired. But let me tell you, it was love at first bang. The stainless slide, the external hammer, the oh-so-comfortable ergonomics; I could not imagine anything better. I’ll admit, its double-action trigger pull was really heavy when compared to the single, but I didn’t know any better. I should mention that the shooting team I joined was a multiple-time national champion, and as a brand new shooter, I was not exactly winning any top shot trophies, but I sure had a good time. Our course of fire did not include any moving or tactical mag exchanges, but after a while, I started to feel like a real shooter.

When I began the police academy, I was able to bring my P226 with me and use it throughout all our training and qualifications. I still had not been hired by a department and wasn’t sure what I would be required to carry, so I just held out hope that my Sig and I would remain partners.

The ‘Tragedy’

I graduated from the academy and got hired by a department. Immediately, I was issued my duty firearm: a Glock 22. To say I was disappointed would have been an understatement. I won’t say I begged to carry my personal Sig, but I did ask like a perfectly mature adult and was told emphatically, “No.”

At first, I was confused. I had never held a Glock before and was surprised that it felt like a gun. All that time I was told they were made out of plastic, I wondered if I had been lied to. I mean, I didn’t know the difference between steel and polymer frames.

It didn’t feel “cheap” or substandard, it was just a different gun. Once I started firing it, I missed the recoil control provided by the heavier metal-framed Sig, but that was about it.

My prejudice continued despite the reality of my experience, and I tried to push the idea of the department switching to Sig. It was then that my real education in Glock began.

Glock 22 with 16 rounds
The Glock 22 is the most popular police-issue duty pistol of its time. (Photo: GunMag Warehouse)

Glock 22

Every time I would drop a round or have a grouping in a place other than where I intended, it was because of this “stupid” Glock. And what was with that weird trigger safety thing? “That wouldn’t have happened with my Sig,” I would think to myself. The more I trained, the more comfortable I got, and the less that nonsense would creep into my mind. It was then that I could see and hear what my firearms instructors, supervisors, and fellow officers had been saying all along.

Is Sig a superior gun? Perhaps in some ways, but what did we need? We (police) needed versatility, reliability, and simplicity. Is there a handgun manufacturer out there that can compete with Glock in those areas? I’d certainly argue that there is none.

Speaking of versatility, during my career, I became a detective and was forced to switch from the Glock 22 to a Glock 23. Perhaps it has more to do with my aversion to change than a real gun issue, but again, I was not a happy camper.

Glock 23

Again, I became a little baby and just wanted to keep what I knew. This Glock 23 was smaller. So what if my new position required better concealability at times? So what if everyone in the division carried them? I didn’t want to! …Until I did. I went to the range to qualify with the 23. Other than slightly adjusting my grip (stupid smaller gun), it felt and fired the same. Sure, the felt recoil was a little more, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t adjust to. And I did get a minor victory. Because of the versatility of Glock, I was able to keep my 22 mags, which meant more rounds! Now, that did cause four years of people walking up behind me telling me my mags were “falling out.” But hey, I had more bullets.

Before my career came to an end (by choice), another change happened when we switched from .40 to 9mm. By that time, I was all ‘growed’ up. They were basically the same gun and had less recoil. Sure, arguments can be made about stopping power, but I was past my need to complain about and fight every change that came along.

Sig's P226 design is large. This Tacops version came stock with some of the improvements I would have wanted, like the flared mag-well grips.
I miss that old P226. Oh, the memories.

In the End

As it turned out, I was just a kid, being swayed by the brand prejudice of others. I did sell that Sig about 15 years ago, and I wish every day I hadn’t. Not because I need it to save me from my torturous career with a Glock, but just the nostalgia, really. I spent too long carrying those Glocks not to have a great deal of love and respect for the manufacturer. Many opinions exist out there, and I am sure folks could argue for days about which is better. Hey, that’s what comment sections are for! I’m a fan of both and would take either into any situation with complete trust that neither would let me down.

So, from a firearm fan to all you experts out there, tell us what you think. Is Sig really better than Glock?

Carl Staas is a former Police Sergeant from West Central Missouri. He spent 17 years in law enforcement, performing routine patrol, investigations, evidence management, and finished his career as a patrol Sergeant and field training officer.

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