The SIG made PE90P is a SIG550 series pistol that has been imported from Switzerland. The PE90P is the private model make of the 550 series. These PE models are made for civilian use and oftentimes came first before the military production batches. PE stands for “privaten” which means private (personal) use. The Swiss needed a successor to the STG-57/PE57 rifle which utilized the Schmidt Rubin 7.55x55mm Swiss (GP11) cartridge. This rifle was great but large and heavy compared to many of the newer service rifles around the world. The Swiss began to look at manufacturing a much lighter and modular carbine to fill this role. Waffenfabrik Bern utilized models in both 6.45x48mm and 5.56x45mm (NATO) when testing this new carbine system in the SG541. 5.56 was a clear winner and in 1986 the Swiss began production of the SIG550.
In 1990 it was adopted by the Swiss military and later named STG90 or PE90 for citizen use. The rifle is very modular even 30 years later it utilizes ambidextrous safety-fire selectors. The 550 uses the famously reliable long-stroke gas piston operating system. The trigger guard can rotate outward for use with large winter gloves. It accepts 30, 20, 10, and 5 round polymer magazines that use a rock and lock system and features a last-round bolt hold open. The SG550/PE90 utilizes polymer furniture that is sleek and lightweight. The pistol grip has a compartment for magazine speed loaders or cleaning kits.
The PE90 is desired by many shooting enthusiast because of its accuracy and tradition is Swiss contemporary history. It is known in Switzerland that shooters will train with the rifle using open sights at 100 and 300 meters. The SIG PE90 has a European style iron sight system utilizing a hooded front sight and a rotating drum sight. The PE90 accepts diopter sights which are typically utilized at the 300-meter range. This is quite amazing for simply using iron sights. The PE90 does have modern optics mounting options and some new models even feature full length 1913 picatinny rails for this.