The SIG Sauer P230 pistol was designed as a joint venture between J.P.Sauer of Germany and SIG Arms of Switzerland. Developed during the late 1970s as a compact law enforcement or self-defense pistol, the P230 has been a rival to the Walther PPK. It is a simple blowback-operated, hammer fired pistol with a double action trigger and a manual decocker lever. The P230 was manufactured up until 1996 when it was replaced by the P232, which is essentially an improved P230. Rather than utilizing the typical magazine-release button, the P230 utilizes a European-style magazine catch, which requires the user to push the magazine towards the rear of the grip until it releases. This is seen as a drawback since the shooter is required to use both hands to release a magazine from the weapon. Regardless of this issue, the pistol has been widely used as a personal defense weapon by civilians or a reliable back-up weapon by law enforcement agents.