By Kirby Yau
I’ve had a love affair with Sig Sauer P228 since I first saw it in the Clint Eastwood Secret Service action thriller In the Line of Fire. The compact P226 has been used in Hollywood hits like, the X-Files, The Sentinel, NCIS, and NCIS – LA. It’s mostly portrayed as the quintessential good guy Fed gun that only fed my desire.
When Sig Sauer announced in 2012 it was producing a new set of P228s, naming it the M11 A-1 and intentionally hyping it’s military pedigree; it garnered interest from me and other Sig admirers old and new. When technical specifications of the M11 A-1 were made public, the numbers indicated that the 2012 reissue of the M11-A-1 were merely P229s with P228 pressed into the handgrips.
Despite sharing the M11, military designation, the M11 A-1 shares more with the P229 than the Military/LEO issued M11/P228. Instead of a stamped steel slide, the M11 A-1 shares the milled stainless steel slide of the P229. The M11A-1/P229 weighs in at 32 oz., a whole ounce more than the P228.
Both weapons are the same height but the M11 A-1 is slightly thicker being built off of the P229 frame. P228 magazines are interchangeable with M11-A1 despite the M11-A1 shipping with P229-1 Magazines. P229-1 magazines will not work in the P228.
All the Sig controls are where you expect them to be. The M11-A1 has a UID sticker which is more of a marketing gimmick than utilitarian.
The Key difference on the right side of the firearm includes the long extractor on the M11 A-1. Although the long extractor garners lots of bad Internet press, I experienced zero issues after putting 300 rounds through the barrel with all rounds feeding and extract properly.
The short reach trigger/thin trigger is a deviation from the P228’s standard trigger, which is a welcome addition to my Medium-large hands. It felt very comfortable with every trigger pull, but I do miss the trigger ridges from the P228.
SIGLITE® Night Sights are standard on the M11 A-1 (left) and a bright and sharp compared to the same SIGLITE® Night Sights on the older P228. Understandable since the tritium inserts which dim after time.
A unique feature of the M11-A1 is the laser etched SIG insignia on the top of the slide. Personally I don’t think it adds or detracts to the design.
I really wanted to dislike the M11-A1 and treat it like the bastard child of the much beloved P228, but I really LOVE it. I hate to say it but I feel it balances better than the P228 in my hand. I shoot it more accurately than the P228. I’m afraid to say it, but the M11-A1 is better than my P228.
The M11-A1 is a great value that includes features such as a Short Reset Trigger, night sights, chrome lined barrel, phosphate coated internals, and three magazines for a price similar to others in the P229.
Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points
Claim to Fame: It’s a solid platform for a “compact” pistol.
Target Market: People who want a Sig with a military pedigree.
FNB's (Features and Benefits of this product)
- Phosphate coated internals
- Chrome lined barrel
- Nitron finish
- Three magazines
- Short Reach Trigger
- Short Reset Trigger
- SIGLITE® Night Sights
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available? (Sig Nitron, Sig FDE M11- A1 D )
- MSRP = $1,125
- Retail = $959.99
I need it now! Availability: Impact Guns
+ 3 magazines + Phosphate internals + Short Reach Trigger + Short Reset Trigger + Bright Side Night sights
- Magazine voucher for third magazine - Have not received magazine for three months - The MIL-STD UID Label wears easily and quickly - Serves no purpose other than being a marketing tool