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Sig P290RS range report, thoughts and observations.

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by hariph creek, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. hariph creek

    hariph creek vancouver, wa. Active Member

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    Well I've done it, I've converted to the metric system!
    I run a 10mm Kimber as my "big boy gun." It's my woods/trail, home and when ever I can carry it gun. Now I've added a 9mm as my ALWAYS gun.
    I've long been a fan of snub .38/.357's. Generally all steel and for some time now a Colt Detective Special. Before that, for a long time a S&W 640. I won't knock snubs, they're great, they work. Until recently they were the smallest platform for, what I consider to be my minimum SD calibers (.38/9mm). Small though snubs may be, the 9mm has finally started to become widely available in very attractive sizes. (Yes the Kahr had been about for some time, I'll get to that.) Not just small but, reliable, shootable and in a variety of operating systems to meet individual preferences.
    So, back to snubs. Some times the snub is too big, very rare but, it happens. Enter the Seecamp. It's a dandy little pistol. The pinnacle of pocket guns. The mouse that roars? Well maybe barks? A great BUG and gun for when you can't carry a gun. Still, in the case of mine, only a .32acp. Could work but, doesn't inspire allot of confidence.

    Now the Sig P290RS. I've found a piece that can be carried all the time. In a substantial caliber.
    I had a Kahr K40 back before they made polymer. Good gun, kinda heavy. Never could warm up to their polymer guns. Flimsy is to harsh, how about not stout? They just don't feel "right" in my hand. The CM series seems like a good buy. I do think that the Kahr CM/PM series is the "yardstick" for comparing itty-bitty nines.
    I had been looking at the Kimber Solo or Sig P938. When I first stumbled upon a Sig P290. My initial impression was not good. Terrible trigger, long rough. Why have an external double action hammer, with no reset, only to get a poor feeling action? Might as well go striker fired, like say a Kahr. Also the whole gun "looked" big and blocky. Last and not least, only half my ring finger would fit on the grip.
    I continued looking around, reading, etc...
    The Nano? Meh, poor reviews, silly mag base plate, terrible trigger.
    The Kimber Solo? Pretty, great trigger, tears itself apart.
    The Sig P938? Still my favorite of the sub-mini-micro-compact nines. Don't like the trigger, though. I like cocked and locked, because it facilitates a splendid trigger. I feel safe with it, provided a good holster. However my time with a hammered snub in my pocket made me miss my 640 with it's internal hammer. So I decided on either striker or bobbed for my next "deep cover" gun.
    Had a KelTec once, never again.
    The Ruger LC9 is little better than the PF9. Except that it actually works.
    S&W Shield is pretty nice. Just a tad bigger than I want. Became runner up, none the less.
    Eventually the Sig P290RS started to grow on me. The improvements on the RS variant give a better trigger (and restrike), the finger extension on the 6 round mag supports that third finger. If you look at the actual dimensions it's not as big as it looks. Quite comparable to the Kahr PM/CM series. Right between the Kahr and Shield in width.
    (*note* these are only my opinions. If any of these guns make you happy and are working for you? That's fantastic! This isn't a A vs B thread. I'm just trying to share the rational behind my choice.)

    Via FIREARMSFORYOU.COM(sp?) and Brightwater Ventures, I got a two-tone Sig P290RS. Included a laser (sold it), crappy holster, 6&8 round mags, night sights and free shipping for $493.


    -Build/fit/finish= excellent. No tooling marks, everything is tight, polymer feels substantial. I always clean a new gun, to get out any left over manufacturing detritus. This was spotless inside.
    Overall it looks bigger than it is. It also feels very robust.

    -ergonomics =for me, great. The grip is fairly deep (front to back) I feel this makes such a narrow grip feel more "hand filling." I think that is what makes the Kahr feel awkward, for me. My wife, 5' tall, thinks it's a bit too much.

    -accuracy= just fine, shoots where you aim it.
    As a side note. I wish XS Sights would figure out which height to use for this. Since it uses standard Sig Sauer sights, they already make them.

    -reliability = so far so good. I put 280 rounds through it, in it's first outing. No problems what so ever.
    50ea 115 grain FMJ Federal Champion and Winchester White Box.
    100 124 grain FMJ Blaser Brass.
    80 Speer Gold Dot 124 grain +P Short Barrel.

    -"shootability" = very good. It's kind of at the heavy side for this class of gun. I think between that and good overall ergonomics it shoots like a much bigger gun than it is. I found recoil to be just fine. My wife complained about the web of her hand after about 4 mags. My 11 year old son liked it. Of course he has bigger hands than my wife and loves touching off my 10mm with full house loads.

    -trigger/action = I like it. It started out ok but, after allot of dry fire and some live fire. It's become pretty good. As a fan of double action snub revolvers, I find it quite similar. Very consistent with a revolver like reset. With some practice I've even found it "stages" quite well. However, if your not a fan of or very experienced with revolvers? You may not like this?

    I guess that's about it? Thanks for slogging through this. I made it long, so you could feel like your getting your money's worth.

    Now I'm just waiting for Steve at RKBA to finish up my holsters.
    I figure if it carries so well with cheap stop gap gear? Once I get it in good leather? It'll really shine!
  2. ricsha

    ricsha Oregon Coast - Lincoln City Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Thanks for the review. It's almost always hard to get a critical review from the various gun magazines; too much advertising money involved I suppose. You found yours for a fantastic price.

    Picked up my all-black Sig P290RS (no laser) this evening from my local FFL dealer. May or may not put the laser I got from you on it, time will tell. I had a quote from Buds Gun Shop online for $503 shipped, but would have had to add transfer fee etc. I do a fair amount of business with my local FFL and asked him for his best price, and showed him the price from Bud's. He called the distributor, and the cost to him was $535 + shipping. He will usually do his cost plus 10%, in this case he did 5% so I got it for about $565. I like keeping the local FFL in business so he will be there when I need him. Seeing them online for $699, so I'm happy, but you got a steal!

    I have a Sig P938 to compare it to, along with a Kahr PM-9 and a Kimber Solo so should be a fun day at the range. Will try to get there this weekend. I'm liking the feel with the extended magazine, although it won't conceal quite so well. I'd like to see pictures of your choice in holsters when they arrive.
  3. hariph creek

    hariph creek vancouver, wa. Active Member

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    We both did about the same on price. By the time I add Transfer fee and tax. I think I was at $571? However you having purchased my laser, offset the cost.
    I would have preferred to have gotten this through my, favored, local FFL (Brightwater Ventures). However, finding a two-tone from them or anybody else, wasn't working out. Even ordering seemed to be impossible. This was my first online purchase, I prefer to buy local and "not big box." I'd rather pay a possible fractional increase to invest in somebody that takes care of me. But, this is THE gun I wanted.

    You have a very nice selection of nines. To my mind you have the four best of the pocket nines. You should have a pretty comprehensive perspective, by the time your done. The P938 is my favorite of any of these. It feels Soooo good in the hand, I'd need to lose the ambi-safety though, the right side rides under my trigger finger knuckle.
    I really wanted a smooth non-snagging profile for this application. Hence the P290RS.

    I found no noticeable difference in recoil, accuracy or overall shootability between the 6 & 8 round mags. The only reason I even kept the 8 round one, is so I could send it to Steve at RKBA, to use for making a mag pouch.
    I found I needed the finger extension on the six round mag. Without it, I kept having to reacquire a solid grip, between shots.
    I'll only be using the 6 round ones. I need more and they aren't cheap. The best price I can find in through Top Gun Supply, $33.95 (this is for the 6 round finger extension version, I found the flush fit for $29.99, somewhere). I'm trying to hold out for a free shipping special.
  4. ricsha

    ricsha Oregon Coast - Lincoln City Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Interesting comment about the ambi-safety on the Sig P938. First thing I did with mine, even before shooting it for the first time was to acquire a strong-side safety from Sig (the one from the P238 is identical and interchangeable) along with a P238 hammer pivot pin because the ambi-safety on the P938 uses an extended hammer pivot pin to retain the right side safety --and swap it out. Not being a lefty I found the right safety to be in the way, too; along with being a potential hazard to locked and loaded carry.

    I'm looking forward to shooting all of these. Let me know if you decide to sell the extended mag -- I ordered a couple thru my FFL but could use one more. I like to go to the range with a bunch of loaded magazines. I must have at least 40 1911 mags; takes a while to load them up, but no need to load at the range. At least Sig provides 2 magazines with each gun; too many manufacturers are cheap-ing out and only including one. First thing I get for any pistol is a few extras.
  5. stmcelroy

    stmcelroy Madras, OR Well-Known Member

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    Great review, but you forgot the pictures.:thumbup: