SIG Sauer P320

The SIG Sauer P320 is a modular semi-automatic pistol made by SIG Sauer, Inc. of Exeter, New Hampshire, and SIG Sauer GmbH of Eckernförde, Germany. It is a further development of the SIG Sauer P250, utilizing a striker-fired mechanism in lieu of a double action only hammer system. The P320 can be chambered in 9×19mm Parabellum, .357 SIG, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP, and can be easily converted from one caliber to another—a change from .357 SIG to .40 S&W requires only a barrel change; a change between 9mm to .357 SIG or .40 S&W and vice versa are accomplished using a caliber exchange kit.

SIG Sauer P320
Sig Sauer P320 Modular Handgun System.jpg
SIG Sauer P320
TypeSemi-automatic pistol
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service2014–present
Production history
DesignerAdrian Thomele, Thomas Metzger, Michael Mayerl, Ethan Lessard
Designed2014
ManufacturerSIG Sauer Inc., Exeter, New Hampshire, U.S.; SIG Sauer GmbH, Eckernförde, Germany
Produced2014–present
VariantsFull-size, Carry, Compact, and Subcompact, four calibers, three grip sizes for each, Tacops, RX and X-Five models, Custom Shop Limited Editions
Specifications
Mass833 g (29.4 oz) P320 Full Size (incl. magazine)
737 g (26.0 oz) P320 Carry (incl. magazine)
737 g (26.0 oz) P320 Compact (incl. magazine)
708 g (25.0 oz) P320 Subcompact (incl. magazine)
Length203 mm (8.0 in) P320 Full Size
183 mm (7.2 in) P320 Carry
183 mm (7.2 in) P320 Compact
170 mm (6.7 in) P320 Subcompact
Barrel length120 mm (4.7 in) P320 Full Size
98 mm (3.9 in) P320 Carry
98 mm (3.9 in) P320 Compact
91 mm (3.6 in) P320 Subcompact
Width35.5 mm (1.4 in) P320 Full Size
35.5 mm (1.4 in) P320 Carry
35.5 mm (1.4 in) P320 Compact
33 mm (1.3 in) P320 Subcompact
Height140 mm (5.5 in) P320 Full Size
140 mm (5.5 in) P320 Carry
131 mm (5.2 in) P320 Compact
119 mm (4.7 in) P320 Subcompact

Caliber9×19mm Parabellum
.357 SIG
.40 S&W
.45 ACP
ActionShort recoil operated, locked breech SIG Sauer System
Rate of fireSemi-automatic
Muzzle velocity1198 ft/s (365 m/s)[1]
Feed systemP320 Full Size and P320 Full Size RX models:

Tacops Full: Range: 250 meters

Carry:

Tacops Carry:

Compact:

RX Compact:

Subcompact:

SightsFixed iron sights, front—blade, rear—notch, with optional tritium night inserts, Optical Reflex sight on RX models, high sights on RX and Tacops models

The P320 chambered in 9×19mm Parabellum was introduced in the North American market on 15 January 2014, followed by the .45 ACP compact model at the SHOT Show in January 2015.[2] On 19 January 2017, it was announced that a customized version of the SIG Sauer P320 had won the United States Army's XM17 Modular Handgun System competition. The full-sized model will be known as the M17 and the carry-sized model will be known as the M18.[3]

Design detailsEdit

FeaturesEdit

The P320 was designed to be ambidextrous in handling, sporting a catch lever on both sides of the slide and user-reversible magazine release, and all other operating controls are designed so they can be operated from either side. The firearm can be field stripped with no tools. Additionally, the firearm can also be field stripped without depressing the trigger, an additional safety feature to prevent negligent discharge of the weapon.[4] The fire control unit is removable, allowing to switch to a different frame size.[5]

 
SIG Sauer P320 fire control unit

Trigger systemEdit

The P320 trigger is available in standard (solid) and tabbed (with trigger safety).[6]

M17 and M18Edit

The requirements the new US Army handgun included the idea that an existing handgun model would be preferred for the Modular Handgun System Request for Proposal, known as the XM17 Procurement. SIG Sauer submitted a P320 with a number of modifications and submitted them for the XM17 Modular Handgun System competition.

Modifications include:

  • 3.9-inch (99 mm) barrel length in carry size pistol
  • 4.7-inch (120 mm) barrel length in full size pistol
  • Ambidextrous thumb safety
  • chambered in 9×19mm Parabellum (can be adapted to fire larger calibers like .357 SIG and .40 S&W)
  • Improved slide sub-assembly to capture small components when disassembled
  • Improved trigger "mud flap" to prevent foreign debris from entering the pistol action
  • Loaded chamber indicator
  • Pistols chambered in 9mm can feature a 17-round magazine as standard with optional 21-round extended magazines available.[7]
  • Slide cut-out to facilitate the addition of a reflex sight. (This is the slide from the RX Series)[8]

On 19 January 2017, it was announced that the SIG Sauer P320 MHS variant had won the United States Military's Modular Handgun System trials. The P320 will be known as the M17 (full size) and M18 (compact) in U.S. Military service. Though the pistol will remain chambered in 9 x 19mm Parabellum rather than a larger caliber, the contract allows the services to procure SIG Sauer's proposed XM1152 Full Metal Jacket and XM1153 Special Purpose ammunition.[9][10] The ammunition chosen to go with the pistol is a "Winchester jacketed hollow point" round.

In May 2017, the Army announced that the first unit that will receive the M17 would be the 101st Airborne Division by the end of the year. At the same time, the rest of the U.S. Armed Forces revealed they also intend to acquire the handgun, making it the standard sidearm for the entire U.S. military. The services plan to procure up to 421,000 weapons in total; 195,000 for the Army, 130,000 for the Air Force, 61,000 for the Navy (XM18 compact version only), and 35,000 for the Marines.[11][12]

On 17 November 2017, soldiers of the 101st Airborne received the first XM17 and XM18 pistols, with over 2,000 handguns delivered. The XM17 has better accuracy and ergonomics and tighter dispersion than the M9. It will also be fielded more widely, being issued down to squad and fireteam leaders; while special forces would dual-arm all of its members with a pistol and rifle, previously junior leaders in regular infantry units were excluded from carrying sidearms but policy was changed to give them more choices and options in close quarters battle situations. All Army units are planned to have the M9 replaced with the M17 within a decade.[13][14]

ReliabilityEdit

Initial production models of the P320 were found to have a "drop safety" issue if the firearm was dropped at a specific angle, potentially causing it to discharge. SIG Sauer has since refitted the P320 to make it drop safe and offers a voluntary upgrade program for early P320s.

Apart from its initial issues, the P320 has proven itself to be an extremely reliable pistol for civilian, law enforcement and military use. Many police departments in the US and around the world have started issuing their officers P320s.[15][16][17][18]

A Canadian special forces counterterrorism unit, Joint Task Force 2 (JTF-2), withdrew the P320 following a misfire that injured a soldier during a training exercise in November 2020; JTF-2 was the only Canadian military unit using the P320.[19] A full enquiry exonerated the pistol and in June 2021 found that the weapon was not responsible for the accidental discharge.[20]

VariantsEdit

X Series ModelsEdit

 
SIG Sauer P320 Full Size
 
SIG Sauer P320 Compact
 
SIG Sauer P320 RX (with Romeo 1 optical reflex sight)

The X Series lineup includes the following grip module sizes:

  • Carry size – Fits any SIG P320 compact-size slide in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .357 SIG. The full-size slide also fits the carry-size grip module without any part of the recoil spring showing.
  • Full size – Fits any SIG P320 full-size slide in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .357 SIG

In January 2019, SIG Sauer announced the XCompact handgun as the newest entry in their X Series lineup.[21]

  • Compact size – As of March 2020, the P320 XCompact is available in 9mm only.[22]

The XCompact size grip module is the smallest grip module SIG currently carries, as they have not come out with a subcompact X Series grip module to date.

XFive LegionEdit

Released in late July/early August 2019 the XFIVE Legion is considered the flagship of the P320 platform that brings added weight and features. The TXG grip module has tungsten infused directly into the polymer along with an attachable magazine well. It comes standard with Henning group aluminum base pads and a skeletonized flat trigger. The complete 9mm slide is cut and ported to reduce weight and assist in recoil and feeding abilities. It also has a slide plate for optic capabilities.[23]

P320MAXEdit

The SIG P320MAX is a sporterised variant of the P320, designed in 2021 for use by competition shooters. The pistol comes with ROMEO3 MAX sights and tungsten infused TXG heavy grip module, weighs 43.5 oz (1.23 kilograms), has a 5-inch (130 mm) match grade barrel, and an overall length of 8.5 inches (220 mm).[24][25]

Drop firing problemEdit

In late July 2017, the Dallas Police Department in Texas instructed all personnel to stop carrying the P320 pending an investigation.[26] There were concerns that the firearm may discharge when it is dropped and the back of the slide hits the ground at a 33-degree angle. The problem was thought to be related to the trigger weight; some triggers were heavy enough that they essentially continued to move due to inertia after the gun hit the ground. Internet publications, such as TheTruthAboutGuns.com, conducted independent tests that appeared to confirm potential drop firings (at a 40 percent rate).[27]

On 8 August 2017, SIG Sauer issued a notice that they would upgrade all P320s to address the issue.[28] The upgrade is described on the company's website as: "an alternate design that reduces the physical weight of the trigger, sear, and striker while additionally adding a mechanical disconnector."[29]

LawsuitsEdit

Steyr Arms, Inc. v. Sig Sauer, Inc.Edit

In May 2017, Steyr Mannlicher filed a patent infringement lawsuit against SIG Sauer.[30] Steyr refers to their patent US6260301 (filed in 1999 and approved in 2001),[31] which is for a handgun with a removable chassis. Steyr Arms requested a preliminary and permanent injunction against SIG Sauer selling any such firearms. On 11 March 2020, the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire found that SIG Sauer did not infringe Steyr's patents, and dismissed all motions.[32]

David Hartley, et al. v. Sig Sauer, Inc.Edit

A lawsuit related to the above noted drop firing problem and filed in April 2018 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri led to a class action settlement in February 2020.[33][34][35] Elements of the agreement include:[34]

  • Communication that the mechanical disconnector added via the P320 voluntary upgrade program "provides an additional level of safety," to be advised via the SIG Sauer website and direct customer communication
  • Extension of the voluntary upgrade program for 24 months past the settlement date
  • For anyone who submitted their P320 to the voluntary upgrade program and was charged for repairs, a refund of such charges
  • For anyone who submitted their P320 to the voluntary upgrade program and was told it was unrepairable, a refund of the purchase price or a new P320

A class action settlement form is available on the SIG Sauer website.[36]

Derick Ortiz v. Sig Sauer, Inc.Edit

In September 2019, an Arizona gun owner who purchased a P320 in September 2016 initiated a class action lawsuit.[37] It claims that SIG Sauer "continued to sell the flawed gun to the public",[37] and that the upgrade offered "would still not fully compensate him for the significantly diminished resale value of his pistol."[38] In March 2020, judge Joseph N. Laplante denied SIG Sauer's motion to dismiss the case.[39][38] In May 2020, a trial notice was issued, with pretrial statements due on 5 October 2021; in January 2021, the due date for pretrial statements was revised to 1 February 2022.[40]

UsersEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://www.sigsauer.com/press-releases/sig-sauer-introduces-m17-9mm-p-ammunition/
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External linksEdit