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The SIG P226 is a full-sized, service-type pistol made by SIG Sauer. It is chambered for the 9x19mm Parabellum, .40 SW, .357 SIG, and .22LR. It is essentially the same basic design of the SIG P220, but developed to use higher capacity, staggered-column magazines in place of the single-column magazines of the P220. The P226 itself has spawned further sub-variants; the P228 and P229 are both compact versions of the staggered-column P226 design. The SIG Sauer P226 and its variants are in service with numerous law enforcement and military organizations worldwide. The P226 was designed for entry into the XM9 Service Pistol Trials (see also Joint Service Small Arms Program), which were held by the US Army in 1984 on behalf of the US armed forces to find a replacement for the M1911A1. Only the Beretta 92F and the SIG P226 satisfactorily completed the trials. According to a GAO report, Beretta was awarded the M9 contract for the 92F due to better durability during endurance testing and a lower total package price. The P226 cost less per pistol than the 92F, but SIG's package price with magazines and spare parts was higher than Beretta's. The Navy SEALs, however, chose to adopt the P226 later. The P226, like the other members of the SIG Classic family, operates by the locked breech short-recoil method pioneered by John Browning. On firing, the slide and barrel are locked together for a few millimeters of rearward movement, after which the barrel is cammed down at the rear. By this time the bullet has left the barrel and the pressure has dropped to safe levels, whereupon the slide completes the rearward stroke, ejecting the spent cartridge. The recoil spring then propels the slide forward, stripping a round from the magazine and in the last few millimeters of forward movement the barrel is cammed upwards, locking the slide and barrel together again. Instead of the locking lugs and recesses milled into the barrel and slide of other Browning-type weapons(such as the Colt M1911A1, Browning Hi-Power and CZ 75), the P226 locks the barrel and slide together using an enlarged breech section of the barrel locking into the ejection port. This modified system, which was devised by SIG, has no functional disadvantages compared to the original system, and has since been copied by numerous firearm manufacturers. The first Naval Special Warfare mil-spec P226 pistols to be offered to the public were the NSW Commemoratives, issued in early 2004. The SIG P226-9-NAVY is a version of the SIG P226 that is produced to the exact specifications of the pistols supplied to Navy SEALs, including special phosphate corrosion-resistant finish on internal parts, contrast sights, and a stainless steel slide engraved with an anchor to designate them as Naval Special Warfare pistols. SIGARMS raised $100,000 for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation through the sale of these NSW serialized pistols. The pistol bearing serial number NSW0001 was sold during a live auction on the nationally syndicated Laura Ingraham radio show for an additional $25,000. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]
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