My Name Is Legion.

Interesting new stuff from SIG

Painstakingly engineered and enhanced for the discerning few with the same warrior spirit that inspired it. We have always given professionals what they need. Now, we are giving them what they want.

Essentially, this a new series of guns from SIG, starting with the P226, P229 and P226 Single Action Only (SAO). The guns were designed based off feedback from people in the field who used the darn things day in, day out and include a wide range of accessories available only to people who “join the legion”.*

A few first impressions:

  • The guns look nice, with a lot of useful improvements like smoothed contours, undercut trigger guards, rails and powder-coated finishes.
  • Not only do they look nice, but the triggers on them should be some of the best that SIG’s ever made, with Short Reset Triggers that have been worked over by the indubitable Bruce Gray.
  • Value on them looks pretty good, with a lot of the upgrades from the Elite series and other custom work at a decent price.
  • While it’s starting out with three pistols in common use with police and military units around the world, the Firearm Blog is reporting that the Legion brand will extend to rifles and other SIG products as well. I’m just guessing here, but I fully expect to see a P226 Legend model with a fully integrated SIG Romeo 1 sight on it at SHOT next year, along with Legend-branded P320 pistols and MCX/MPX rifles.
  • The accessories are a step (or five!) above the usual re-branded ITAR stuff that SIG sells, with top rank manufacturers like Surefire, Peltor and some very nice knife makers getting on-board the Legion bandwagon.

Speaking of which, the “Join The Legion” bit is very interesting, as it’s the first time someone has tried to launch a premium lifestyle brand based around tactical firearms. Glock could have done something similar ten years ago or so, but they were too busy hauling money to the bank to come up with new ideas. Browning has had TREMENDOUS success with moving their brand into non-gun areas (so much so they are now probably more about camping gear than they are bang-bang) and now SIG is trying something similar. It’s a sign of a maturing market in the tactical firearms industry that we can think about adding other things into our lifestyle based solely on a tactical firearms brand. It’s also interesting that it’s a premium, “members only” brand designed to play up exclusivity and the quality of gear. SIG’s got enough irons in the fire that I can easily see them adding in Legion-only training videos and live events into the mix for added value. This one will be interesting to watch and see if it turns into a movement within the larger firearms industry.

* Does that mean if they turn into a fanboy, they get legionnaire’s disease? I kid, I jest.

So just what is a “training scar”?

Judging by this conversation, a training scar is best defined as “a process or style that a student has which a firearms teacher cannot integrate into his teaching”.

Look, I know I have a tendency not to look around after a course of fire is over. Despite that, every time I’ve ran through a “blind” shoot house, where I didn’t know where the targets were or how many targets there were, I stopped only when the instructor told me the exercise was over.

Yep, despite not doing a “scan and assess” after shooting a stage, when it came time to replicate things in as real of environment as possible, I kept my guard up and kept treating it as “real”, even though it wasn’t.

It’s almost as if my mind and body know when I’m gaming, and when I’m not.

For me, the benefits of regular competition, namely, being able to deliver the shot quickly and accurately under stressful conditions, outweigh having to deal with integrating that into a “tactical” environment like a training class. Let’s stop worrying about “training scars” and start worrying about making the shot, no matter what happens before during or after the trigger press.

Optimism means evangelism

I wrote a piece on gun ownership targeted for the non-gun-owning crowd of, and it generated a lot of good comments and a lot of… not-so-good comments. I was expecting a lot of stupid questions, and that’s ok because stupid questions help avoid stupid mistakes.

Another example.

A few months back, there was an excellent two-hour talk on Florida self-defense law here in Naples. The attorney who gave it was affiliated with the Armed Citizen’s Legal Defense Network and knew his stuff. The people in the audience DIDN’T know their stuff, and their questions revealed that fact to everyone present.

That’s ok, because if they knew everything, they’d be teaching the class, not giving it. The problem is, of course, when those who DON’T know everything think they can teach the class, and that’s when the fun begins.

If we want the pool of gun owners to expand, we need to put up with such stupidity and guide the people towards a safer, more educated lifestyle. It’s not fun, and it means putting up with some really bad ideas and even worse choices, but that’s what happens when you win: People want to be on your side.

Let’s make them at home, not uneasy.

Not enough gun for the round

One of the trends I saw while working behind the counter at the range was the tendency of people who are new to concealed carry to chose a gun with too much power and too little size to make it controllable. They’d come in, and even though they’d never shot a gun before, they’d immediately gravitate to pocket 9mm’s like the Glock 43 or a Shield. Now, I own a Shield, and I absolutely adore it, but it’s not a gun I’d recommend for first-timers because it has a steeper learning curve than, say, a Glock 19.

The smallest, most powerful hand-cannon in the world does you SQUAT if you can’t hit the target with it, and people tend to over-estimate just how good of a shot they are, especially if they’ve never shot under stressful conditions. This is why I steered people towards the more-controllable LC-380, Glock 42 and Sig P238 in .380 ACP instead of a 9mm (or even .40) pocket rocket. The smaller cartridge and extra mass of those guns make them eminently shootable, and with the right cartridge, (I prefer Hornady XTP’s), .380 will deliver enough oomph to get the job done.

And now there’s a new .380 pocket gun out from Rock Island that seems to tick all the right boxes, especially if you’re into the 1911 platform. I’ll admit, I’m not a fan of safeties on a carry gun, but they make a whole lot of sense if you appendix-carry or carry off-body, and this new gun looks like a great combination of power, concealability and accuracy.

Memo to Martin Tuscon Tuason: Thanks for this gun. Now, can you PLEASE make the .22 TCM AR-15 upper I’ve been wanting from you for over a year now?

Unorthodox church

Thinking about a couple of sacred cows within the firearms training industry…

  1. “Don’t reduce the trigger pull on your carry gun: Prosecutors will call it a ‘hair trigger’ and use it against you.”
    Maybe. Of course, night sights could also prove that you wanted to shoot somebody from surprise at night, and hollow-point ammo is proof you wanted to kill someone dead right there and then.
    Or maybe all three are evidence you wanted to stop a threat to your life as quickly and as accurately as possible.
    A gun with a good trigger is more accurate and produces fewer unintended hits on innocent bystanders, night sights allow you to hit a threat in less-than-ideal conditions, and hollow points are better at stopping a threat than anything else. Those last two are not an uphill legal battle, and let’s face it; accurate guns are better for everyone involved in a shootout.
    Except the shootee.
  2. “Shooting practical pistol gets you accustomed to just getting two hits on a target and moving on.”
    Ever shot steel? Ever missed a pepper popper at 20 yards? Every match I’ve shot has had at least one steel target somewheres on it, and nothing teaches you to evaluate the effects of your rounds on a target like having the “ping” of a hit a splat of lead on your target confirming you did the job right. Is competitive shooting a game? Yes. So is Call of Duty. which also features all kinds of fun guns like AR’s and modern service pistols. Despite that, I don’t try and and press Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A and go around searching for health packs and power ups when I have my AR in my hands because I’m smart enough to realize when I’m gaming and when I’m not.
    Maybe, then, I’m smart enough to figure out when I’m on a stage at a match, and when I’m not.

A game-changer for practical shooting?

How much fun would it be to watch a match using these interactive electronic targets instead of paper targets?

If hunting is a day’s walk followed by an autopsy, practical shooting is 30 seconds of sheer terror followed by three minutes of bookkeeping.


Think about how this changes things:

  • If you’re a spectator, you can watch hits in real-time. Rather than wait for someone to call out “Two Alpha!” (or in my case, “Charlie Mike!”), you can see the match play itself in real-time right before your eyes.
  • If you’re a competitor, you can see the target go down and if the app is hooked up to a decent set of speakers, hear the clang of the hit. All the benefits of steel, with all the benefits of paper. Cool.
  • If you’re a trainer, you can set up a course of fire that works with random amounts of hits on a target. “Shoot ’em until they’re no longer a threat” finally becomes a reality with these targets.
  • If you run a match, you can instantly reset a stage, making for faster matches and more options than steel alone.

It’s going to be really interested in seeing how big this product might become.