Over the past five years, we have seen an explosion of Americans who are interested in personal protection and concealed carry. A popular choice for concealed carry has been the single stack, subcompact 9mm handgun that is easy to conceal yet effective when needed for personal defense.
Sig Sauer entered this arena by offering the P290RS. The Sig P290RS is a small but stout polymer framed single stack 9mm handgun with (RS) restrike capabilities. It is their response to the high demand for subcompact lightweight handguns.
Action Type: DAO
Trigger Pull DAO: 9.0 lb Average
Overall Length: 5.5 in
Overall Height: 3.9 in
Overall Width: 0.9 (1.1 in with slide catch lever)
Barrel Length: 2.9 in
Sight Radius: 4.3 in
Weight w/Mag: 20.5 oz
Mag Capacity: 6 Rounds
Sights: SIGLITE® Night Sights
Frame Finish: Black polymer
The grip on the P290RS is a little thicker than many others in the single stack 9mm class. For such a small gun, it has a sizable feel to it. The grip is rather short making it nice for concealment but only allows for two fingers to grip the gun. The grip plates offer interchangeable options which is surely a nice touch however additional plates need to be purchased separately. The grips that are featured in this review have very aggressive texturing which I prefer over the standard lesser textured grips that is shown on the Sig website.
The magazine holds six rounds and is built using all metal including the follower. The magazine base plate has a little extension but is hardly noticeable due to the two finger grip on the gun. Only one magazine is included in the value package which is shipped in a cardboard box however Sig offers a larger and more expensive package which includes a heavier molded case, two magazines and a holster. I opted for the value package which only cost a little over $300.
The barrel on the P290RS is very different. The muzzle flares out in a conelike fashion. Albeit different, I have no reason to not like it. I don’t find any disadvantage to it as it locks the 2.9” barrel nice and tight with the slide. I have to admit the look is unique but for this little gun, it works fine.
Below the forend of the frame is a cutout where a rubber piece is installed. This rubber piece can be removed which allows for an easy install of an integrated laser. Using a laser for a carry gun is not my thing but I appreciate the way Sig added this option for people who prefer lasers.
The three dot sights are large is great for easy target acquisition. The SIGLITE® night sights are available for the P290RS which I feel are some of the brightest night sights in the market. The sight radius is 4.3 inches which makes this one of the shortest slides I’ve experienced in the subcompact market. It is great for CCW but as for further shooting accuracy, it is a little too short for my liking.
The trigger action is a long double action only pull that Sig measures at 9 lbs. I find a heavier trigger pull to be fine for the range, self defense and even a safety measure for those who pocket carry. The issue I had was the long and full position reset. It gave me a double action revolver type of feel as the follow up shots were not as quick as I would prefer. There were times when I pulled the trigger before it fully reset. It is important to practice and have an understanding how the hammer fired trigger functions prior to carrying this gun.
Field stripping the P290RS can be a bit difficult but surely achievable. Once assuring the gun is unloaded with the magazine removed, the slide must be pulled back further than the locked position. While forcibly pulling the slide back, the slide stop pin needs to be pushed out from the opposite (right) side to remove the pin which will allow the slide to be removed without pulling the trigger. I have never experienced a handgun that requires this method for disassembly but with practice it can be done quickly.
Overall, my impressions of the Sig P290RS are positive as the features offered are nice and the reliability measures as well as Sig Sauers fine reputation. It was fairly accurate for my average shooting ability and it’s size is definitely an advantage for concealed carry. With a fully loaded magazine and an empty chamber, the P290RS weighed in at 23.5 ozs. In the range video, I mentioned, “I like the gun but don’t love it.” The long double action trigger pull and full reset may suit others fine but for me, I would like the reset to be a little shorter for quick follow up shots. I would however be confident in carrying this gun due to the fact it fed varying types of ammo without issue which, in my opinion, makes the P290RS a reliable handgun for self defense.