After 74 years of proven performance, the U. S. Military—undoubtedly yielding to pressure from its NATO allies—dumped the .45 ACP cartridge and the M1911A1 pistol as general issue and adopted in their place the Beretta M9 pistol chambered in the comparatively anemic 9mm parabellum. Granted, in recent years ammunition manufacturers have dialed up the potency of 9mm ammunition substantially. For example, Buffalo Bore’s 115-gr. +P+ 9mm puts out over 500 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy from the muzzle of a Browning Hi Power MkIII. But it’s like that the old Texas Ranger said when asked why he carried a .45—“Cuz they don’t make a .46”. No matter how you cut it, a .35 caliber hole is simply never going to beat a .45 caliber hole.
The new P227 Tactical is a P227 Nitron with a number of enhancements. Purpose-built to wear a suppressor, it’s 5.1-inch barrel is threaded .578×28 to accept Sig Sauer’s outstanding, 1.38” diameter SRD45 suppressor ($695). The barrel comes with a thread protector for use when a suppressor is not installed. The slide is fitted with fixed, raised SIGLITE night sights designed to provide a full 3-dot sight picture above the top surface of the suppressor. It also gets the company’s excellent short-reset trigger. The Sig Sauer website says that the P227 Tactical comes with front slide serrations, but they were lacking on our evaluation pistol.
The P227 Tactical comes with two magazines: one flush-fit 10-rounder, and an extended 14-rounder, giving it a maximum capacity of 15 rounds. The 14-round magazine comes with a 1.5-inch long polymer extension that, to our eyes, is rather ungainly looking and detracts from the otherwise pleasing lines of the pistol. Even so, it’s a small price to pay for an extra founds on line.
Like all standard Classic Series Sig Sauers, the P227 Tactical is built on a aluminum alloy frame with black hard coat anodizing, and wears a black Nitron finished stainless steel slide. A 3-slot equipment rail is machined into the dust cover, and the controls are standard fare—slide release, decocker, take-down lever and magazine release button all located on the left-hand side of the pistol. Other standard features include rear slide serrations, front strap checkering and nicely textured, hand-filling enhanced polymer grips.
Empty weight with the 10-round magazine and thread protector installed was 32.5 oz. Installing the 14-round magazine would add an additional 1.7 oz. Overall length is 8.75” with the thread protector in place, width at its widest point is 1.5”, overall height is 5.7” with the flush-fit magazine and 7 inches even with the 14 rounder in the mag well.