Sig Sauer Is Under Fire By New Jersey For Defective Trooper Pistols

The state claims the gun maker sold defective guns.

Sig Sauer P229 Legion Compact Handgun

Sig Sauer is under fire by the state of New Jersey, which claims it sold its state troopers 3,000 defective P229s. In 2014, gun maker Sig Sauer, which has headquarters in nearby New Hampshire, sold New Jersey 3,000 handguns. The state returned the handguns in 2016, claiming that they didn’t work and that their efforts to get Sig Sauer to fix things didn’t work either.

New Jersey lawyers filed a $2.5 million dollar lawsuit against Sig Sauer. Their suit claims that the pistols were tested before delivery and worked fine, but after delivery they experienced an FTE malfunction. This is failure to extract, meaning that the spent shell casing did not exit from the barrel upon firing, causing the handgun to jam.

The suit charges Sig Sauer with breach of contract, breach of warranty, and breach of good faith. Even after Sig Sauer was informed of the defective pistols, the company failed to come up with a plan to fix the defects over a 16-month period. The suit says that Sig officials said they made “numerous” attempts to fix the problem and placed blame on the FTE defect first on an extractor pin and then on a factory mold defect and then on an improper coating of the barrel.

After these explanations, the New Jersey police stopped communicating with Sig Sauer about the defects. They then returned all of the guns in February 2016. They rebid the contract and awarded it to Glock at that time.

New Jersey determined that the pistols were a liability. If there’s a FTE defect and the gun jams because the casing doesn’t exit the barrel, that means the gun can only be fired once in those situations. The suit says an FTE renders the gun unfit for police use, because the trooper can’t fire more than one round due. If they’re pursuing a perpetrator or are in a shoot-out, that’s is definitely putting that office in a potentially life-threatening situation (in my not-so-humble opinion). So far, Sig Sauer officials have not responded to the suit, which was lodged in mid-May by N.J. Attorney General Christopher Porrino’s office.

The suit is seeking to have Sig Sauer repay the state of New Jersey the $1.7 million dollar cost of the contract, including $857,000 that the state spent on custom holsters plus all ammunition used in testing and the taxpayer time spent dealing with the defect issue.

Last January, Sig Sauer was chosen by the U.S. Army in a 10-year, $580 million contract to supply the Army with handguns to replace an M9 service pistol made by Beretta USA. The gun the Army’s selected is the P320 handgun. Let’s hope the Army doesn’t have these same problems.

Image of the Sig Sauer P229 Legion Compact handgun from