What Handgun Do Navy SEALs Use?

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Like any other professionals on the field, United States Navy SEALs can’t properly do their jobs if they don’t have the right tools. In their case, it’s all about weapons and military equipment. Having the best weapon available increases the chances of a successful mission and also coming out of the mission alive and well.

For SEALs, they use only the best handguns. However, that might be a little subjective, depending on the soldier. In this article, I’ll try to answer one simple question: what handgun do the Navy SEALs use in their team?

What Handgun Do Navy SEALs Use?

The Navi SEALs use two handguns models: the Glock 19 and the Sig Sauer P226. The Naval Special Warfare Command added the Glock 19 to their inventory for SEAL teams recently. They’re slowly phasing out the former issue for the SEAL team.

There’s nothing wrong with the Sig P226. It’s just that firearms are evolving in technology and the military has to keep up with it. That’s why they’ve made the decision to add the Glock 19.

Glock handgun and magazine on wooden surface

The transition from Glock 19 isn’t as difficult for the Navy SEALs. Glocks are reliable, modernistic, accurate handguns. It’s simple and reliable for over 30 years widely used by many militaries all over the world. 

Glock 19

The Glock 19 has a lot going with it despite having a compact package. It’s the most popular Glock model. The Glock 19 is almost the same as the Glock 17 but with a smaller size. The Glock 19 is famous for its compact size but reliable.

This gun will work whenever you want it to:

The stock sights of the Glock 19 aren’t suitable for beginners. You’ll be better of replacing them with stock sights that work for you. The Glock 19 is friendly when it comes to customization. Because of its small size, it’s also great for a concealed carry gun that can fit in your choice of range backpack.

Glock 19 in Other Militaries

Glock has earned the reputation for being a quality firearm that is both simplistic and accurate. Some countries, law enforcement, agencies, and private firearm owners have preferred using Glock as their standard-issue pistol carried. Some organizations, however, have moved away from the Glock.

In the United States, several major and minor agencies have moved away from the Glock. The F.B.I. is working on changing their Glock sidearm for their 10,000 special agents. The F.B.I. has used Glock 22 and Glock 23 for over 10 years.

This doesn’t affect much of Glock’s dominance over the United States market. Glock owns a dominant 65% of market share within the American law enforcement. More and more organizations and agencies are moving towards Glock. It’s predictable since the Glock is a handgun that’s simple to teach, use, and maintain.

Side view of handgun

Sig Sauer P226

The former standard handgun for the SEALs is the Sig Sauer P226. There are 3 practical generations of P226 that have been used by the Navy SEALs.

The P226 was only adopted by the SEALs because of embarrassing issues with the XM9 pistol during a test trial. Now, the Navy SEALs carry the P226 as their standard handgun and official sidearm.

The P226 remained as the standard-issue sidearm for SEALs until the 2000s when some problems came up. The P226 didn’t work well with accessories and it didn’t have any night sights. Aside from those, the P226 worked really well.

The Navy SEALs would later on changed to the Glock 19 as it was the more practical and affordable option for them. Glocks are far cheaper because of their plastic frame and optimized manufacturing process.  

Glock 19 vs Sig P226

The Glock 19 is mid-size compared to all other Glock models with an overall length of 7.28 inches. They’re among the most popular handguns with over 5 million units sold. The Sig P226, on the other hand, is a full-size model with almost the same popularity as the Glock series. Each of them has almost the same features with some distinct differences.

Specifications Glock 19 Sig P226
Slide Material Steel Steel
Slide Finish Tenifer-Like Treatment Nitron Treatment
Frame Material Nylon-Based Polymer Aluminum Alloy
Frame Finish N/A Hard-Anodized
Action Safe Action Striker Fired DA/SA
Caliber 9mm 9mm
Overall Length 7.28 inches 7.7 inches
Barrel Length 4.01 inches 4.4 inches
Height 4.99 inches 5.5 inches
Width 1.18 inches 1.5 inches
Weight 1.48 pounds (unloaded) 2.15 pounds (unloaded)
Capacity 15+1 15+1
Sights Tritium Night Sights SIGLITE Night Sights
Sight Radius 6.02 inches 6.3 inches
Safeties Trigger, (2) internal Decocker, (1) Internal
Trigger Pull 5.5 pounds 10.0 pounds (DA); 4.4 pounds (SA)
Accessory Rail Yes Yes

The Sig Sauer P226 is a lot more expensive compared to the Glock 19. This is mainly because the Glock has parts made of plastic and nylon while the Sig Sauer P226 has a steel and aluminum finish.

Both handguns are excellent choices for firearms with almost exact features and performance. It’s also understandable why the Navy SEALs switched to the Glock 19 since it costs half as much as the Sig Sauer P226.

Related Questions

Why Did SEALs Choose the Glock 19?

The Glock 19 was preferred over the Sig because of its consistent trigger pull which translates to better accuracy. Much of it is because of the polymer design. The Sig uses all-metallic.

Polymer is also a lighter sidearm option compared to the all-metal construction of the P226. Polymer also has better corrosion resistance. Given that Navy SEALs usually do aquatic operations resistance to corrosion especially in saltwater is important.

Hence, the Glock 19 was preferred over the P226 mainly because of its polymer construction design. There was never a problem with the P226. It’s still a great handgun. However, the Glock 19 is better suited for what the SEALs need.

Do Navy SEALs Have Waterproof Guns?

Navy SEALs, the fleet’s special warfare operators, used the Mk.1 Underwater Defense Gun in the early 1970s to help combat swimmers defend themselves underwater. The gun can hold 6 rounds inside a large cylindrical magazine.

Each of the projectiles is inside a self-contained, watertight tube that also functions as a barrel. This makes the pistol silent even underwater or on the land.

The Navy would replace these with a similar German weapon manufactured by Heckler and Koch.

Do Navy SEALs Use Revolvers?

The Navy SEALs still use the S&W Model. SEALs have used almost every revolver from Colt Detective Special and Cobra to the S&W Model 66 and 686.

They are even considering changing to a new revolver sometime soon. Gun manufacturers such as Glock and Freedom Group both aren’t in contention as they didn’t pass the Navy SEALs testing.


Though the Sig Sauer P226 is one of the best handguns you can find on the market with top-notch quality and accuracy. However, the Glock 19 is just a more cost-effective alternative and has a simple design and easy to maintain. It’s also lighter and only has the trigger bar for external safety making this a great handgun for the Navy SEALs.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created KeepGunsSafe.com with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.