At first glance, the P227 is deceptive. The size, shape, proportions and even the grip contours are so much like the P226 that unless you picked them up one right after the other, you’d be hard-pressed to tell which was which. If you had a P227 on the counter and let someone pick it up without a companion P226, it might be quite some time before they noticed the caliber designation on the barrel.
Of course, the P227 is a traditional double-action/single-action, semi-automatic pistol with a decocking lever. The decocking lever safely lowers the hammer to return the pistol to double-action mode after loading, or any time after firing the pistol. The long and heavy initial double-action trigger pull negates the need for a manual safety lever, while still providing a high level of safety against an unintended discharge. Once in single-action mode, however, the trigger has a very manageable 4-pound pull weight.
Interestingly, the P227 came with the same basic lockwork and operating system as the guns of the 1970s. It’s a recoil-operated locking system with a tilting barrel. Sound and solid, this system has been copied endlessly. The lockwork is not one of the currently popular double-action-only types, but rather a double-action/single-action with decocker and no manual safety. That means a loaded P227 with chambered round and hammer down responds to a long arc, double-action trigger pull of about 11 pounds. That raises and then releases the external spurred hammer to fire the first shot.