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-   -   P220 Hammer Modification (http://pistolsmith.com/showthread.php?t=7275)

BigJon 06-21-2002 12:30 PM

P220 Hammer Modification
I have a 1987 American Sig P220 with the old-style flat hammer. I would like to have the hammer spur completely removed, if that's possible; I do not want to make the pistol full-time DA, just remove the spur.

I spoke with Sig yesterday, and they said that they do not offer a spurless hammer for sale. Also, it has been suggested to me that simply grinding off the spur of the OE hammer might lighten it to the point that primer ignition would be unreliable.

I am not a gunsmith, but it seemed logical to me that the hammer could be effectively modified by weighing the hammer as is, removing the spur, and then building up the back of the hammer, for instance by welding, until it weighs the same as it did before the spur was removed, and that this would eliminate any ignition worries. However, I have also been advised that this is not possible because the hammer is cast, and therefore any such build up won't hold permanently.

My questions are:

1. Is there any way, whether by swapping hammers, or building up the OE hammer, or any other way that I can end up with a fully reliable P220 with no hammer spur?

If so,

2. How would it be accomplished?

3. If this can be done by building up the hammer as mentioned, who can do it for me, what would be the approximate cost, and would that smith guarantee that the build-up would stick permanently?

4. or, is my only real option to compromise and have the old, flat hammer system replaced with the newer, rounded hammer system?


Stephen A. Camp 06-21-2002 10:03 PM

Hello, sir.

First, I don't know much about SIG-Sauer pistols other than there are some that I like and trust, the P220 being one of them.

Mine is the older version with the sharper spur hammer and the guts such that when the decocker's used, the hammer drops to something akin to "half-cock." It has the green-painted spring which I'm told indicates that warmer loads can be used every now and again.

I don't know if the newer hammer will work with the older internals or not.

Perhaps this would be worth a try:

Contact SIG-Sauer and see if you can get an older hammer of the same type you have. If so and you get it, do the modification and put it in the pistol. If it works AND the trigger pull's good in SA/DA, you there after a bit of testing to be sure it really does work and that it doesn't have any surprises waiting. If it works, but the pull's no good, you've seen that it works with the same type hammer you have. Remove that hammer and remove the spur and then replace it.

While it would likely increase the trigger pull, particularly in DA, you might wind up having to get a heavier mainspring. I THINK that Wolff sells them.

Wish I knew more about SIG-Sauer pistols.


Robert inOregon 06-21-2002 10:20 PM

Don't see a problem with bobbing the hammer spur. I've had far more aggressive treatment done to my P220 hammer and the gun has remained 100 percent reliable. Even when using a 19 pound Wolff spring. With that said, good luck finding someone to do the job. Most gunsmiths I've talk to feel as though the Sig mechanism is the Holy Grail of the pistol world and shouldn't be tampered with. Unless you find a smith that is avant-gaurd, sorry to say that the answer you are going to get is pretty much what you heard from Sig. And I don't know if I can blame them either. There have been gunsmiths who have taken action jobs on these guns way too far and have produced guns with questionable reliability. That cloud seems to linger every time people speak of modifying Sig pistols.

Albert Shear 06-22-2002 04:07 AM

Bigjon- Sig redesigned the P220 several years ago. The internals were changed as well as the hammer. Older 220's could not be converted to DOA, newer ones can. The old and new hammers cannot be interchanged. I too have an older version and just removed about 30% of the spur,rounding it off. I have not had any ignition problems to date.

BigJon 06-22-2002 10:01 AM

Thanks for your well-informed replies. My current plan is to go ahead and whack off the spur and see what happens. If ignition is unreliable (meaning anything short of 100%), I will try a heavier spring. If that fails, or if the resulting DA pull is too heavy, I'll install a replacement OE hammer.

Thanks again, folks.


BigJon 06-24-2002 07:46 AM

Removed the rear 1/2 of the hammer, and rounded remainder with a Mototool. 100 rounds fired since, and no failures to fire so far, even with ammo used being of rather broad variety (ProLoad Tactical, Blazer ball, Federal Hydra, American Eagle ball). Will keep going and report if anything changes.


Dave Berryhill 06-24-2002 08:20 AM

Before you whack the entire hammer spur off, you might check your holster. If it has a retention strap that goes over the rear of the hammer, it may not retain the pistol with a bobbed hammer.

Just a thought, YMMV.

BigJon 06-25-2002 10:15 AM

Good advice, Dave. I carry mine IWB with no thumb break.


Stephen A. Camp 06-25-2002 08:59 PM

Hello. Sounds like it's worked out very well for you. Glad to hear it.


BigJon 06-26-2002 08:22 AM

Hi, Stephen. Thanks again for your emailed thoughts. Yep, things seem fine so far, but I only have 100 rounds through it after the modification; I have a few hundred more to go through without an ignition failure before I'll feel comfortable carrying it again.

Here's more info than you probably wanted, but heck, we all love readin' about this stuff, right? I also just installed a Harrt recoil reducer, but I haven't had a chance to try the pistol out since. Also, I have a short trigger and a heavier slide spring on the way from Sig; I was starting to experience a few failures to go into battery. Look forward to tryin' the pistol out with these additional upgrades; ought to be ergonomically, for me, and mechanically perfect since Teddy Jacobson also did a jobby on it several years ago. We'll see how things tune up, and if everything keeps rockin', new sites will be next.

I'd probably be smarter just to get a new P245 rather than do all this, but ...


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