So, the SIG P320: Will You Follow the Army’s Lead?
Dr. John Woods 03.24.17
As far as I know the Beretta has been a pretty good sidearm for the troops afield, but every so often the military gets the itch for something new. It may just be a simple factor of pistol weight or some reliability factor. It may also be that to upgrade or retrofit all the military pistols now in service could be more expensive than a whole new pistol.
Whatever the reason, the M9 is out, and SIG’s striker-fired gun is in. I have had the opportunity to handle the new P320, but not yet shoot one. All the reports I read on preliminary field tests by reliable sources are very positive.
Here are just some of the features of the P320. First of all the pistol can be disassembled without the use of any tools. SIG really worked hard to produce a good trigger that is smooth and with a consistent pull. The double action pull is set at 6.5 pounds. This striker fired mechanism can actually be converted to another caliber or pistol size and keep the same trigger group.
The SIG 320 uses interchangeable grip modules. This means the pistol’s fit can be customized to the shooter by simply changing out the grip modules from small, medium, and large grips. This allows small handed shooters or female troops for example to change out the grips so they can reach the controls easily. Bigger handed shooters simply use the other grip sizes.
The SIG P320 comes in 9mm, .357 SIG, .40 S&W, and .45 Auto. Presumably the military would stick with the 9mm. The frame material is stainless steel. The slide is finished in Nitron but is also made of stainless steel.
The barrel length is 4.7 inches with an overall pistol length of 8 inches. It is only 1.3 inches wide with a height of 5.5 inches. The total weight is 29.5 ounces. Contrast or SIGLITE night sights are available. The 9mm P320 retails for $679 and comes with two 17-round magazines.
So, speeds and feeds aside, are you planning to jump on the bandwagon?
If so, why? And if not, why not?
Editor: I’ll chime in with the first comment, since I’m the editor and I can do that 🙂 I saw someone post, in response to the announcement, that a pistol as a best a tertiary concern for the military. The number of confirmed kills with a pistol in the GWOT could be counted in Mickey Mouse’s fingers. The guy’s point was that there are a whole host of political and practical considerations that go into military pistol selection that have exactly zero relevance to civilian concealed carry. This struck me as both true and relevant.
In fact, I’d add to this by saying that as a civilian, in my area of operations my concealed carry piece is my primary weapon and the only thing I’m likely to have with me (apart from a pocket knife) if something bad goes down. So my carry gun is my “rifle,” which puts it in a whole different category for than the military is thinking about when it does pistol selection.
I say all this not to bash the SIG, which is an outstanding handgun (I myself carry DA/SA SIGs), but just to point out that the fact that the Army has selected some gun or other has very little influence on my own decision making process.
Now, in a few years, thanks to the platform’s ubiquity, it may well be that the P320 is the ultimate choice for a SHTF sidearm, given the sheer number of them that will be out there, as well as aftermarket support and so on. But we’ll check in then and see.