There’s a growing trend for concealed handguns: put a red dot on it. As the cost and size of red dot optics come down it’s becoming economical for the average shooter to mount a red dot sight on their pistol. But a challenge remains: finding an affordable optics-ready handgun. Or a handgun with a pre-mounted red dot sight. SIG SAUER has a prescription for that: the P320 RX.
Lest we forget, the SIG SAUER P320 is a modular handgun. Throw a lever and push a button and the firearm that started life as a full-size .40 or .357 SIG man-stopper transforms into a compact and concealable 9mm carry gun. P320 replacement frames and caliber exchange kits don’t even require a trip to the FFL; SIG ships them straight to your door. The P320 RX Compact is the rallycross version of the P320.
SIG SAUER ships the P320 RX Compact with a slide pre-cut for red dot optics, pre-installed with a ROMEO1 reflex sight. The ROMEO1 is their smallest optic, roughly the same size and feature set as the Leupold Deltapoint or Trijicon RMR. A couple buttons on the side control the dot’s brightness.
It’s powered by a watch battery that can be swapped-out through a top-loading cassette. As watch batteries don’t tend to last very long, SIG SAUER added a motion sensor that turns the dot off when the gun isn’t moving — and turns it back on when it detects motion. Right answer.
On this firearm, the P320’s iron sights have been swapped for suppressor-height sights, to enable co-witnessing the red dot and iron sights. Everything is aligned. Should the red dot suddenly disappear, you can swap from the electronic aiming system to the iron sights without a moment’s hesitation. To that end, the ROMEO 1 optic has a slot machined into its base to make the suppressor height iron sights visible through the window.
The optic is great for shooting, but complicates carrying, increasing the P320’s height significantly. At the same time, the SIG is a chunky old thing with a rather tall snout, larger than most entrants in this category. The combination of the tall slide, suppressor-ready sights and an under-barrel Picatinny rail renders the P320RX Compact’s snout decidedly John Goodman-esque.
There are RX Compact compatible holsters (such as the 5.11 model above), but not many at the moment. And they aren’t what you’d call discreet, especially for a gun that bills itself as concealed carry firearm. Tyler Kee sometimes totes his red-dotted S&W in an appendix carry holster without printing, so there is that. But then Tyler is a ridiculously thin bastard.
Out on the range the gun handles well. I’m a fan of the P320’s ergonomics and trigger and this example is no different. The pistol is easy to point, has plenty of space to get a proper grip, and keeps recoil to manageable levels. All of the controls are well placed. It’s a great gun.
Accuracy isn’t hampered in the least by the shorter barrel. These five rounds were fired from our usual 30 foot distance by yours truly using the red dot for aiming with exactly zero adjustment — the sights were dead-on from the factory and required no fine tuning. Ignoring the one flier to the left, the gun stacks the rounds right on top of each other on the target. For a carry gun that’s a major win in my book.
A number of gunmakers (e.g., FN, GLOCK and S&W) offer “optics ready” firearms. They all require that you buy, mount and zero a separate optic. SIG SAUER’s P320 RX Compact is the complete package, ready to rock-and-roll straight from the factory, sold for a reasonable price. If you’ve decided that it’s time to carry a handgun with a red dot optic, this is the easiest way to get in the game. And the chances are, you’ll stay.
SPECIFICATIONS: P320 RX Compact
Overall length: 7.2 inches
Available calibers: 9mm Luger
Weight: 25.8 ounces
RATINGS (Out of Five Stars):
Accuracy: * * * * *
The gun is accurate enough to stack round on top of round at 30 feet.
Ergonomics * * * *
For handling on the range the gun is great. The grip grabby while not abusive, the controls are well placed, and the overall feel of the gun is solid and sleek. As you’d expect, carrying is a bit more difficult due to the added height of the red dot.
Reliability * * * * *
Hundreds of rounds through this and other P320 models without a single issue.
Overall * * * *
Less effort and expense than anything else on the market, built like a tank, with the modern styling we’ve come to expect from SIG SAUER. Dropping a star for the excessively large snout, but otherwise a damn fine option.