Subcompacts and minis are all the rage right now in the concealed carry community and rightly so. The guns generally cover the basic elements needed for an efficient carry weapon – they’re lightweight, accurate, reliable, can take a punishment, and have enough stopping power to get the job done.
Sig Sauer’s entry into the micro market emphasizes the final requirement on the list with its powerful P290 9mm pistol; a step up in firepower from the traditional .380 ACP micro loads.
The P290 measures about six inches long and four inches high and Sig Sauer puts the larger dimensions to good use.
The magazine is a 6+1 and the chamber can handle +P ammunition.
The P290 weighs 20 ounces unloaded, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as author Duane Daiker explains in his article “Sig Sauer P290: A Small Gun That Delivers Big” at USConcealedCarry.com:
“Consider that one of the traditional concealed carry favorites, a 5-shot stainless steel snubnose revolver, weighs several ounces more and packs less firepower. In a strange way, the relative bulk of the P290 actually inspires some confidence in the gun and makes for a very comfortable feel in the hand.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
The slightly heavier weight of the Sig Sauer P290 is the result of a durable polymer frame construction combined with a stainless steel slide. The Sig Sauer signature tritium SIGLITE full-sized night sights are also standard issue, which is a nice feature on a smaller gun. Sig also offers interchangeable side plates for the P290 grips. If you don’t like the textured black grips that come with the gun, Sig offers alternatives in aluminum, wood, or colored polymers.
9mm rounds can produce quite a kick on a pocket gun, but the extra ounces on the P290 do a good job of mitigating the recoil and muzzle blast, especially when using +P ammo. And although the gun is small, it has oversized sights and controls as well as a larger slide for ease of operation.
During range testing, the Sig P290 proved its mettle. At standard self-defense distances of about 15-20 feet, the pistol easily produced one-inch groups time after time. At thirty feet, the groupings were about 3 inches, which is still highly effective in a gunfight. At longer distances, the P290 continued to put all rounds into the torso area of a silhouette target.
The trigger pull on this double-action-only firearm is somewhat heavy at 10 pounds and takes some getting used to, but as a concealed carry weapon, the heavier trigger provides an added measure of safety.
Another accessory that Sig Sauer offers for the P290 is a laser sight, which slides into a slot on the bottom of the dust cover and cannot be distinguished from the rest of the gun when attached. It has activation buttons on either side and emits the familiar red dot.
The Sig Sauer P290 is a little larger than most micros, but gives an extra sense of security with the 9mm boost in firepower. The gun easily fits into a pocket or can be carried in most holstered positions. If you want to kick your personal defense arsenal up a notch, the P290 may be what you are looking for.