New SIG P6/225: Restoration and Improvements

I ordered a new (to me) SIG P6 from J&G Sales out of Arizona.  For $320 I received the P6 with a single magazine and the Akah leather holster known to come with these pistols.  If you don't know about the holster or the history behind the P6 I'll discuss it briefly.

The SIG P6 is a variation of the SIG P225 that was available in the U.S.  These handguns were made specifically for the German police in the 60's.  Various German eagle and other markings make these guns very unique.  When they were retired from service a few years ago, a lot of these were imported to the U.S. for resale.  They were sold for ~$250, an amazing bargain for a SIG.  They came in the old style SIG Sauer blue lunchbox with two magazines, but the condition of the handgun could be a gamble.

I gambled and I was very lucky.  My P6 was clearly babied.  It shows only slight holster wear along the slide and some wear on the barrel from shooting.  The magazine is a bit beat up, but that's not a big deal.  In fact, cosmetic details aren't very important - function is.  But we'll get to that soon.  I was a bit disappointed that I received only one magazine.  I admit I am a bit suspicious about this since J&G also offers used P6 magazines for $42, which indicates to me that they swiped one from each gun for a little extra money.  I can forgive that, though.  I purchased it for $320 and seem to have snagged their very last one.  I was lucky just to get one, period.

The slide is stamped with an import mark from C.A.I. Georgia, VT.  On the opposite side, there are some interesting markings.  You can see "P6", "NW", and "9/80".  That all means this handgun is a P6 (of course) manufactured in September 1980 (9/80) and then issued to the North Rhine-Westphalia police (NW).  Below the barrel and on the right side of the grip behind the trigger are three German eagles.  The hammer is also notched at the bottom, which is the last unique feature of these handguns.

As soon as I got it I had to spend some time cleaning and greasing it because it was absolutely dripping with preservative oil.  The first day I tried it at the range I experienced a few issues.  The first issue was loading a magazine with 8 rounds.  I had to slam the magazine in if I wanted it to click into place.  I suspected this was a bad magazine spring.  The spring wouldn't give way without a good push.  The next problem was the recoil spring.  During cleaning, maybe 1 in 5 times the slide would fail to return to battery without a little push.  After greasing the slide a bit more the issue was resolved, but I didn't consider it fixed.

I took it to the range and fired two boxes of Remington UMC.  The P6 did not disappoint me.  However, I found out I had some adjustments to make with the slimmer grip.  I usually shoot a P226 and found I was a little sloppy with the slimmer P6.  But there were no problems, though.  Feeding was reliable and everything worked as expected.

When I got home I ordered a new recoil spring, magazine spring, spare magazine, and Hogue Handall rubber slide-on grip from Top Gun Supply.  The magazine was $42 for a brand new P225 magazine (pictured left), the grip was $8, and the springs were $5 and $3.

I swapped out the magazine spring and resolved the issue with the magazine instantly.  I can now easily insert a magazine with 8 rounds.  The Hogue grip fit perfectly and made the grip a bit fatter and easier to hold in my hands.  It could be a problem for carrying, though.  However, it should be better for the range.  Finally, the recoil spring was installed.  When I compared the new spring and the old spring I noticed the new spring was 1/2" longer!  The old spring had become noticeably compressed over time.  Once installed the change in the feel of the slide and the vibration from releasing the slide lock was noticeable.  I ordered SIG springs after reading about Wolf springs and how they might be inadequate.

This is a fine handgun.  It has easily surpassed all of my expectations both cosmetically and functionally.  For a little more than $400 I have a fantastic SIG Sauer 9mm and you can't beat that.

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Curioblogman said...

You've written such a helpful, detailed article, and included prices! These are such a nice find/buy for those that give them a chance. And, for these prices, why not? From what you've indicated, I may be closer to a spring or two than I realized. Thanks. John

Christopher Maddalena said...

Glad to hear the article was helpful! I also found out my SIG came with #7/8 sights, which helped explain why my point of impact was lower than my point of aim. It's my understanding that SIG sights their 9mm pistols for 8/8 and .40/.45 for 6/8, so the 7/8 combination seemed strange. I swapped out the sights for 8/8 night sights. I'll see if there's a difference on Monday when I visit the range.