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Designed for the U.S. Army and carried by U.S. Navy SEALs, Texas Rangers and many other elite military and law enforcement professionals, the SIG Sauer P226 is a full-sized service-type pistol chambered for the 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, and .357 SIG. Its design is based on the P220. Originally, the P226 slide was comprised of three different pieces of steel that were bent into shape using a mandrel. Beginning in 1996, production was shifted to CNC machining, and the slide was made from a single piece of stainless steel. This resulted in a stronger slide, which was necessary to chamber the more powerful .40 S&W and .357 SIG cartridges.
This cartridge was introduced along with the Luger semi-automatic pistol. The pistol and cartridge was first adopted by the German Navy in 1904 and then by the German Army in 1908. This cartridge has since been adopted by the military of practically every non-Communist power. It has become the most popular and widely-used handgun cartridge in the world. Performance wise, the 9mm cartridge has somewhat more power than the .38 Special but falls well short of the .357 Magnum.
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