jh = 87
Note: I (i) is not used.
They will only show on those that were proofed in Germany
The SIG Sauer P220 was started in the early 1970's. Due to Switzerland's neutrality laws that require a high export tariff on the export of arms, SIG partnered up with J.P. Sauer and Son in Germany to produce and export these new pistols. It was to be a lower cost alternative to the P210. Early prototypes more closely followed the P210's design, but as the concept evolved it took on a whole new design. This design became the basis for all of the other SIG Sauer "Classic" pistols. The inside the frame riding slide was replaced with a more conventional design of a folded sheet steel slide with a separate pinned in breech block. The rails ride on the outside of an alloy frame. This served to keep the P220 very light weight for a full size auto pistol. The folded sheet steel slides are available in blued, K-kote or nickel plated finishes. The frames were usually black anodized with K-kote or nickel plating as options. They were first imported into the US by Browning as the Browning BDA. Later they were imported by Hawes and Interarms as the P220 until SIGARMS based at Tyson's Corners, Virginia began importing their own guns. SIGARMS later moved their operations to Exeter, New Hampshire where they remain today. Many of the SIG "classic" pistols sold in the US are now assembled at the Exeter, New Hampshire site.
The first P220's were chambered for .45, 7.65 and 9mm para. These had a European style magazine catch. Later the P220-1 intended for the US market was made. The P220-1 was chambered for the .45 ACP and .38 super cartridge and sported an American style magazine catch. Early models sported checkered plastic grip plates and a sharply spurred hammer. The newer models have stippled plastic grip plates, a more rounded hammer, heavier recoil spring, and reinforced frame to better handle +P ammo. In the late 1990's SIG imported a Sport version of the P220 into America. The American P220 Sport has a solid stainless steel slide with adjustable sights, a stainless steel frame with a compensator mounted to attachment rail on the underside of the dust cover. The P220 sports are all hand tuned at the SIG factory in Germany. This model comes from the factory with Hogue rubber grips and base pads on the magazines. In Europe the P220 sport is availably in 2 styles. The P220 Sport SL which is pretty much the same as the American version but with wood grip panels made be Nill Grips. The other German P220 Sport has a blued steel slide with the stainless steel frame. It has an extended barrel and instead of a compensator mounted to the front of the frame there is a barrel weight with the front sight mounted on top of it rather than on the slide. This one also sports the beautiful wood grips from Karl Nill. SIGARMS now has a P220 Sport set sold in Europe that comes with a .45 caliber all stainless P220 sport, and a stainless steel 9 mm conversion kit. This conversion kit includes the slide, barrel, recoil spring, and guide rod. The set also comes with a range bag, hat, T-shirt, and cleaning kits.
In 2001 the SIGARMS introduced the P220 ST. This is an all stainless steel version of the P220. The P220 ST has the same frame as the sport model and retains the accessory rail on the under side of the forward portion of the frame. It came about as a way to use up surplus sport frames for the P220. The P220ST is heavier than a typical P220, and has met with wide acceptance in the US. Expect to see versions of the P220ST in the future without the P220 Sport's accessory rail once the surplus frames are used up. These future versions are expected to have either no rail or a standardized rail attaching for lights or laser sights.
The magazine normally has a 7 round capacity, but when The Texas Department of Public Safety adopted it, their specs called for an 8 shot magazine. SIGARMS designed a new magazine follower to accommodate the extra round. The magazines are identical except for the follower, and an 8 shot replacement follower can be purchased from SIGARMS. Newer models now come with a stainless steel magazine with a black base plate and plastic follower. These newer mags can also be had in 7 or 8 round versions, but are not compatible with the older metal 8 round followers. Most magazines found on SIG's sold in the US are made for SIG by Mec-Gar. The Mec-Gar magazines are stamped "Made in Italy". The German made magazines have a dovetail seam down the backside and the J.P. Sauer and Son logo stamped on the rear.
The early P220's had a fixed front sight and a dovetailed in rear sight. The newer P220's have dovetailed in front and rear sights. They are drift adjustable for windage and can be replaced with different height sights to adjust for elevation. The sights are available in Von Stavenhagen (standard Bar dot), Three dot, and SIG light Tritium night sights. Different heights are available from SIG and are numbered. The ones that come standard are number 8.