Sig Sauer P320 Drop Tests
Kevin Felts 08.08.17
There are some rumors going around which say the Sig P320 can discharge when dropped. The guys over at OmahaOutdoors put together a video showing exactly what they found.
The standard drop tests calls for the handgun to be dropped with either the muzzle down, or on its side.
When the Sig P320 is dropped with the rear of the slide down, the handgun can discharge. During the tests, the frame and the slide made contact with the ground at the same time.
Further testing showed that the Sig X-Five passed the drop tests.
After some experimenting, The guys at OmahaOutdoors figured out the weight of the trigger played a factor in whether they handgun would discharge when dropped. The P320 handguns with the lighter triggers did not fire when dropped. Reducing the trigger weight had a direct affect on the drop test results.
OmahaOutdoors posted a full write up about what they found – Sig Sauer P320 Fails Drop Test.
Now for the video.
During the drop test, results were the same across frame size and calibers.
SIG SAUER recently released a statement, which was posted on AmmoLand – SIG SAUER Reaffirms Safety of P320 Pistol.
The P320 meets and exceeds all U.S. standards for safety, including the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, Inc. (SAAMI), as well as rigorous testing protocols for global military and law enforcement agencies.
All SIG SAUER pistols incorporate effective mechanical safeties to ensure they only fire when the trigger is pressed. However, like any mechanical device, exposure to acute conditions (e.g. shock, vibration, heavy or repeated drops) may have a negative effect on these safety mechanisms and cause them to not work as designed. This language is common to owner’s manuals of major handgun manufacturers.
From the article at omahaoutdoors.
The only differentiating factor we were able to identify between those pistols which would fire and the pistol which would not was that the latter had a lighter trigger than the other pistols – not in terms of pull weight, but the physical mass of the trigger. When we swapped that lighter trigger into one of the P320s which would regularly fire when dropped, the incidences of uncommanded discharges were drastically reduced.
When we went a step farther and reduced the weight of a stock, standard P320 trigger by 30% and shifted its center of gravity towards the center of the pistol, we observed no discharges in over 50 drops. This would appear to be one potential solution to the P320 drop fire issue.
After reading that article, it would be easy to say this is a trigger issue, the trigger is too heavy.
No, this is not a trigger issue, this is a design issue.
The P320 can discharge:
- Without the shooter being ready.
- With no action from the shooter.
Several years ago I was on a forum reading a thread about accidental and negligent discharges. One guy said something along the lines of, “There is no such thing as a accidental discharge, because firearms do not go off by themselves. If a firearm discharges, the shooter was negligent.”
I wonder what the guy who posted that thinks about the P320 and other firearms that can discharge without the trigger being pulled, such as the Remington model 700.
So, what is SIG SAUER going to do?
Continue to say the P320 is safe?
Do a recall and fix the handgun?
Wait to be sued, like they did with New Jersey?