Sig P226 vs P229 – Which Is A Better Choice?

Sig P226 vs P229
Alfred Mendoza

When it comes to 9mm Sigs, there are two leading contenders, in our opinion. It’s a battle between sibling guns Sig P226 and P229. Both modular pistols are popular among civilians and law enforcement officers due to their reliability and accuracy. 

While both are solidly built, there’s something that makes people prefer one handgun over the other. My team and I conducted a series of testing, and we’ll tell you what that is in this Sig Sauer comparison.

Despite their functional similarities, the Sig P226 and the Sig P229 have notable differences when it comes to sight radius length, barrel, and slide. The P226 is a full-sized pistol, while the Sig P229 is a compact, mid-sized pistol. 

Since the P229 has a smaller grip area, it is quite easier to conceal. However, if you have bigger hands and would rather get your hands on something with a larger grip, then the full-sized P226 may be a better option.

Comparison Table

Sig P226

  • Brand: Sig Sauer
  • Model: P226 Full Size
  • Weight: 34 oz
  • Length: 7.7 in
  • Height: 5.5 in
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger / 357 Sig / 40 S&W
  • Barrel: 4.4 in
  • Capacities: 10 +1 (9mm Luger) / 15 +1 (9mm Luger) / 10 +1 (40 S&W) / 12 +1 (40 S&W)

Sig P229

  • Brand: Sig Sauer
  • Model: P229 Compact
  • Weight: 34.4 oz
  • Length: 7.1 in
  • Height: 5.4 in
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger / 357 Sig / 40 S&W
  • Barrel: 4.4 in
  • Capacities: 10 +1 (9mm Luger) / 15 +1 (9mm Luger) / 10 +1 (357 Sig) / 10 +1 (40 S&W) / 12 +1 (40 S&W)

Do They Have Similarities?

Between P226 vs P229, both handguns have similar frame dimensions, the same magazine capacities, the same calibers, and the same frame and slide material. Both also have identical trigger pull weight and rifling twist length. When it comes to accessories, both Sig pistols also have flashlight attachments and laser rail. 

  • Almost the same frame size
  • Same caliber and gun capacities
  • Same pistol accessories
  • Similar slide and frame finish
  • Similar barrel rifling grooves

Detailed Comparison

P226 vs P229 Pricing

When it comes to pricing, both the Sig Sauer P229 and P226 are within the same price range. This may be attributed to several similarities in the Sig models’ build, frame size, frame finish, trigger pull, capacities, and accessories.

These handguns certainly do not come cheap, but it’s Sig Sauer we’re talking about so it’s to be expected. 

Winner: Tie

Length & Weight

Both 226 and 226 have almost the same weight of around 34 oz. There is a difference in the length of about .6 inches, and although this may appear rather small, it actually makes a big difference when we talk about easy concealment.

With its shorter grip that makes it easy to conceal carry, the Sig Sauer P229 wins this category. 

Winner: Sig P229

weighing scale

Sig Sauer P226 & 229 Barrel

Most shooters and gun enthusiasts know that a pistol with longer slide and barrel will most likely have better recoil control and probably softer recoil, too. We proved that during our testing of the two Sig brothers.

With this feature, you’ll have faster follow-up shots and sight re-acquisition. A longer sight radius may also result in better shots. With its longer barrel and slide, the Sig P226 is our choice in this aspect. 

Winner: Sig P226

For another in-depth comparison, we recommend the 6.5 Creedmoor vs 7mm-08 Remington.


Since both pistols come from the same manufacturer, the accessories that you can get for either handgun are primarily the same. For easy target acquisition, especially when you’re in an awkward shooting position, you can mount a laser on the rails of both the Sig P229 and Sig P226. [1]

For self-defense and possible unexpected night threats, you’ll need a readily available flashlight attachment for your pistol. The flashlight attachments for both 226 and 229 are extremely helpful when you’re placed in low-light situations or when surprised with common street crimes at night. 

In the accessories category, it’s a tie between the two Sig models. 

Winner: Tie

Sig P226 with ammo

Sig P229 or Sig P226 Recoil

Based on our testing, both the Sig P229 and P226 can handle recoil well. The difference in their recoil energies and velocities are minimal and negligible if we assume that they are both chambered in the same handgun caliber. 

Winner: Tie

Self-defense Capability

Since the recoil differences between both Sig P229 and P229 are hardly noticed or felt, chances are the Sig P229 is a better option if you’re looking for a handgun you can use for self-defense.

The longer barrel and slide of the P226 makes it slightly more accurate, but it won’t really matter, considering that the calibers these pistols can chamber are mainly used in self-defense settings. 

In these situations, most people would point and shoot by instinct. In this case, the extra length will only make the P226 harder to conceal than Sig Sauer P229. 

Winner: Sig Sauer P229

Recommended article: Sig P938 vs P365: Which Sig Sauer Pistol is better for you?

sig p229

Sig Sauer P226 Pros & Cons



Sig Sauer P229 Pros & Cons



Sig P226 or Sig P229? We Choose…

Based on the tests we’ve conducted on both pistols, we find the Sig Sauer P229 to have an edge over its brother, the Sig P226. Between Sig P226 vs P229, we don’t see the point why we need to get a full-sized handgun like 226 when the 229 can be just as accurate insofar as self-defense is concerned.

We are impressed with how the Sig P229 is easy to conceal due to its compact and mid-sized range. It also has a smaller grip area, which is suitable for handling and shooting. It has the same magazine capacity and is within the same price range as the 226 and other handguns of the same caliber.

Feeling trigger happy? If you want check out some more pistol comparisons then we recommend Sig p365 vs Glock 26.

Our #1 Recommendation

Sig Sauer P229

4 thoughts on “Sig P226 vs P229 – Which Is A Better Choice?”

  1. Thank you for the nice review. A friend of mine let me get familiar with the P229 Enhanced Elite and we love it. He recommended that since we are newbies we should go with the P226 as it is better recoil control. We got 1 of each. They are great guns, made well, and feel solid in your hands.
    You may need to make a correction in the comparison table. The barrel length of the P229 is 3.9 inches. The barrel length of the P226 is 4.4 inches.
    We are Sig enthusiasts and love taking them to the range!

  2. Although a 226 magazine will work in a 229, a 229 mag will not work in a 226 . They in fact have different capacities. Just thought you should know, not trying to be jerk.

  3. I have owned both guns and love both, they are close in alot of ways and the 229 is a tad easier to conceil.but if i was in a combat situation i would choose the 226 there is a reason its the chosen sidearm of Navy Seals. i carry the 226 in the winter and the 229 inthe summer both are teir one sidearms.

    1. I agree Robert. I have used both firearms in my law enforcement experiences and find that the 226 works better than the 229 for me in tactical shooting situations. Not because of anything that has to do with the Navy Seals but because I find the recoil easier to control in high speed/high round shooting situations as well as my accuracy is better with the 226 which is probably due to the higher sight radius and longer barrel. And with the slighter larger handle, I have more to hang on to when firing rapid rounds. It is interesting because I carried the 226 as an open carry duty weapon whereas I carried the 229 as a concealed weapon only as a federal special agent. But personally I found it no harder to conceal the 226 (when I did decide to carry it off duty) than I did the 229. And I am not that big of a guy. But, as you said, both weapons are top-of-the-line firearms, and I would prefer to carry nothing other than Sig sidearms.

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