By Sammy Reese, GUNS Magazine
The Best Of It’s Kind.
During the hiring process with my former Police Department, I was told of all the great gear I would be issued. A take-home car was at the top of the list, along with the best gear money could buy — to include a SIG SAUER P226. When I received the call from my background investigator telling me I was hired, I can’t describe the feeling. I was, as my kids say, “super stoked.”
Prior to starting the Police Academy, I was fitted for my bulletproof vest and issued all my leather gear — most was new, and some was a little bit worn. (Okay, it was beat-up crap that I had to polish and fix, so as to not get dinged on inspections at the academy.) When the lady in the Property room slid my new/old P226 across the counter, my mouth dropped. Coming from the Marine Corps, I was used to drawing weapons from the armory in a different manner, and I was used to the guns not looking like they had been dragged behind a 5-ton truck for 200 miles. The look on my face caused the lady to ask if something was wrong. I asked her if this was some kind of rookie prank — the gun looked like it’d been a play toy for the gorillas at the zoo. She smiled and said, “These SIGs are the best guns money can buy…” Seems like I had heard that tag line before.
The old pistol had a really worn finish, the night sights were close to dead and if you shook the pistol it sounded like a metal maraca, but it functioned perfectly through the entire academy — using some really bad reloads. I used the same pistol for two more years on patrol and for use in LE shooting matches, before I was issued a brand-new P226 when I joined the Firearms Training Unit. I don’t know how many thousands of rounds went though both of the P226 pistols during their service lives, but I can’t recall a single malfunction during the years I had either. I bought the second one when the department switched from 9mm to .40, and it still shoots great.
When I opened the box containing the brand-new P226 MK25 and picked it up, it felt like I was shaking hands with an old friend. However, it looked like an old friend who not only hadn’t aged, but had maybe had an enhancement or two. The biggest difference was the addition of the Mil Spec 1913 rail. Weapon light technology has come a long way, and for a duty/fighting gun, that’s a must-have piece of kit.
The MK25 pistol is issued to the guys at the pointy end of the spear — US Navy SEALs. I know there are always some inter-service rivalries, and I participate in the trash talk with my friends who are SEALs, but I have the utmost respect and admiration for them and what they do to keep America free. This pistol is identical in every way to the one they are issued and carry into harm’s way. The very small anchor engraved on the left side of the frame is the only visual clue this isn’t a “standard P226.” Each MK25 comes with a letter of authenticity stating it is the same gun used by the Naval Special Warfare community.
During my law enforcement career, my P226 was subjected to the weather, which included a few rainstorms. What the SEALs put their gear through destroys sub-par equipment, and in their line of work, equipment failure isn’t an option. To keep the MK25 protected in some of the worst operational environments on earth, the MK25’s stainless steel slide is Nitron-coated, the aluminum frame is black hard-coat anodized and all the internal parts are treated with anticorrosion coating. Combine the protective coatings with the battle-tank tough P226 and you have the MK25.
At The Range
Shooting the MK25 was almost boring; in that it ate up everything I loaded the magazines with. I shot the pistol with and without a SureFire X300 — it didn’t make a difference in function or reliability. I even loaded several different brands and types of 9mm in the same magazine, and I couldn’t make the pistol malfunction.
The MK25 digested over 300 rounds of the following ammo: Federal American Eagle 115-grain FMJ, Winchester 147-grain JHP Personal Protection, Winchester 127-grain +P SXT, Hornady 115-grain FTX Critical Defense and Black Hills remanufactured 115-grain FMJ. Then I had to stop shooting because I ran out of ammo. I thought I had brought more 9mm ammo to the range, but found the last 500 rounds in my ammo box were actually all .45 ACP ammo — I hate it when that happens.
I didn’t bench the MK25 — I usually don’t bench shoot pistols unless they are for hunting. In the right hands (not mine) this pistol is capable of really great accuracy. I was able to put 30 rounds in the head of a silhouette from the 25-yard line. If you are looking for a pistol that won’t let you down in the toughest of environments, look no further than the MK25. I have to say it felt good to spend some time on the range with a SIG SAUER pistol in my hand again. I’ll have to do it more often.
Photos By Joseph Novelozo
To get a free digital version of GUNS Magazine click here.