Although Sig Sauer did enter a pistol in the U.S. military pistol trials in 1984, Beretta was selected as the winner. Sig continued developing pistols, and in 1988, introduced the Sig P228, which was a more compact 9mm version of the Sig P226. The 228 had all the features and operational functionality of the P220, but offered a shorter barrel along with a slightly smaller magazine capacity. The 228 was originally only available to law enforcement, and then later offered to the civilian market.
While the Beretta 92 met with great success in the military, there were situations where a more compact, yet high capacity pistol was required. Certain, specialized military groups started looking at the P228 as a possible option. However, since Sig was already offering the P228 to the civilian market, they wanted to introduce a different model to the military so they introduced the Sig M11. The M11 is just a Sig P228 by a different name. Various branches of the military bought the M11 for a number of years until Sig discovered that the production process on the P228 wouldn’t support the chamber pressure of the more powerful .40 S&W and the newly introduced .357 Sig cartridge. As such, Sig changed the production process and introduced the Sig P229 which was produced using a different process and materials resulting in a stronger slide and frame. These changes didn’t carry over to the M11, which Sig continued to offer for the military.
In 2011, Sig discontinued production of the civilian P228 model. At that same time, Sig also decided that it no longer made sense to continue to utilize 2 different production processes (one for the newer P229 and one for the older M11 series, so they decided to make a change. They adopted the beefier Sig P229 frame and slide, along with a few upgrades and introduced the Sig M11-A1 in 2012. Not only was the production material and processes on par with the P229, but Sig also introduced the following changes:
In order to ensure that the existing holsters that the military had for the original M11 would still fit and to address the growing interest in reverting back to a non-railed model, Sig did not integrate a picatinny rail into the frame on the new M11-A1. In terms of the civilian market, the lack of a rail has been met with various levels of interest since a user is unable to attach a light or laser in a traditional manner via a picatinny rail.
Here are some of the more common questions that we see regarding holsters for the Sig M11-A1:
#1 - Will the new M11-A1 fit a holster made for the M11?
Yes, the dimensions are the same so the new A1 models will fit a holster made for an M11 or a non-railed Sig P228.
#2 - I have a weird M11 model marked as a Sig M11B? Do you have a holster for it?
The M11-B is a part of a surplus amount of original M11 models that Beretta had and couldn’t sell to the public as part of the military contract. So, Sig restamped each slide with a special “M11-B” designation and sold those publicly. They are a standard M11 and fit a M11/P228 holster.
#3 - What about a holster for the Sig P228?
We carry a full line of holsters for the Sig P228 and they can be seen here.
Any of the holsters listed below are available in a version to fit the Sig M11-A1.
All prices are in USD.