BREAKING: TTAG Test Shows P320 Striker-Fired Pistols Are Not Drop-Safe

Last Friday we ran a post, “SIG SAUER: P320 Striker-Fired Pistols Are Drop Safe.” The post contained a SIG press release issued after the Dallas Police Department temporarily withdrew their approval for officers to carry the P320 on duty. The DPD had heard rumors that the gun wasn’t drop safe. SIG determined that those rumors of “safety issues” were greatly exaggerated, noting that the DPD had not experienced any unintentional discharges.

SIG told TTAG that the P320 has been extensively drop-tested, both in-house and by literally dozens of state, military, and other government entities, in multiple countries. No issues were found. With hundreds of thousands of guns sold commercially, they’d received zero reports of a gun firing when dropped.

TTAG had also been in contact with online firearms retailer Omaha Outdoors and Andrew Tuohy who does their testing and evaluations. Omaha and Mr. Tuohy drop-tested four SIG SAUER P320 pistols and released their video yesterday. According to their tests which we reported, when a P320 is dropped from approximately four feet onto a hard surface in a very specific orientation — on the back of the slide behind the rear sight — it can fire.

During our discussions with Omaha we discovered that some of the SIGs used in their drop-testing — both 9mm and .45 ACP — had undergone the full California DOJ drop test protocols (which they passed) before being dropped at the angle described above. And before that, they’d launched at least one of the tested pistols fifty or more feet in the air (via trebuchet, no less) and torture-tested them in dirt and mud.

So while three of their tested guns had fired when dropped, it was reasonable to question whether Omaha Outdoors’ tests were meaningful or fair given what the guns had previously endured. With those questions surrounding Omaha’s results in mind, we decided to test a brand new P320 for ourselves.

We purchased a box-fresh SIG SAUER P320 Compact from our local gun store, Sportsman’s Finest. Jon Wayne Taylor set to work pulling bullets from 9mm cartridges. Soon we had a pile of primed, but otherwise empty 9mm cases and were ready to go.

We were concerned that that we might have to construct a fancy jig to get the P320C to fall in the Omaha Outdoors-identified orientation. As it turned out, when the pistol is held by the forward corner of the trigger guard, with the normal weight of an inserted magazine, the P320C balanced in the exact way necessary to land on the top rear of the slide when dropped.

Just to be clear about safety during our testing, for each drop a primed, empty case was chambered. The top round in the magazine was a snap cap. The rest of the magazine was loaded with normal 9mm rounds so the gun would have the appropriate weight.

Then we started our tests. We dropped the P320C from a height of 4-4.5 feet onto a concrete floor.

Drop #1: The gun fell a little off-kilter. It didn’t hit squarely on the back of the slide and did not fire.

Drop #2: The gun fell right on the intended spot. And it fired. Full-on, striker-induced primer dent and an ignited primer.

Drop #3: Another good drop. And it fired again. Three drops, two discharges.

We dropped the gun another seven times and the P320C fired on impact once more. It should be noted that after the third drop, the slide would occasionally pop off of the front slide rails. We re-mounted it and the pistol still seems fully functional.

After our discussions with SIG and Omaha Outdoors, we did our test fully expecting to debunk the claim that the P320 isn’t drop safe. As you can see in the video above, we couldn’t have been more surprised when it fired.

When we reported our findings to SIG SAUER they were no less shocked. They reiterated that the P320 platform had been tested six ways from Sunday and had never previously failed to pass a drop safety test.

How these and other findings may affect the Army’s decision on the Modular Handgun Program (if at all) can’t be predicted.

I’m in New Hampshire with Jon Wayne Taylor this morning. We’re visiting SIG HQ to learn how the company will be handling this situation. We’ll have much more detailed information on the response from SIG SAUER soon. Stay tuned.

comments

  1. avatar John Boch says:

    Nice job, Jeremy!

    1. avatar Madcapp says:

      SA/DA is the best system out there. Get happy with it, because that fact is never going to change.

      1. avatar Xcom says:

        This, 100% this.

      2. avatar Joe R. says:

        This ^ ^^

        Don’t go saying a GLOCK is better either.

        I was hoping that the M17 reign would be pretty, long enough for me to scoop up about 15K M9’s but. . .

        Metal frame, hammer, slide de-cock safety. Live it, love it, wear it out.

        1. avatar J says:

          Glock IS quantifiably better. Who designs a striker fired pistol without a trigger saftey?

        2. avatar The Duke says:

          Directed to J:

          Exactly, who designs a striker fire polymer pistol that’s truly different? How can one claim a Glock is quantifiably better when they make literally the exact same thing as everyone else?

          Sure back in the day Glocks were revolutionary, ground breaking and unbeatable.

          Nowadays they are a dime a dozen with exceptional (arguably uncontested) aftermarket support, but quantifiably the same as everyone else

        3. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          RE the three comments right above mine here: I don’t feel like this is the place to point out the fire control group differences between GLOCK and P320, but there are meaningful ones.

          I will state that, to be clear, the P320 does have a trigger safety of a different design that’s a bit more like the M&Ps or the Arsenal Strike One or some other guns, where the trigger initially pivots/rotates before it then begins the rearwards travel that acts on the sear. That pivoting is what clears the striker block safety out of the way, I do believe, but if that isn’t the case (if that happens later in the trigger pull) then it’s intended to do what GLOCK’s does.

        4. avatar Arc says:

          @the duke

          Glocks being a dime a dozen is pretty much why I got one. Its hard to beat the value and you know exactly what you are getting.

          I can’t speak for how drop safe it is, I don’t make a habit out of dropping my weapons.

      3. avatar Bob h says:

        Feeling happier with my Px4 this morning! Too bad tacticool firearms operators in tactical cargo pants tell us we will die for sure in a gun fight because there is no possible way our first two shots will be on target… oh well, at least we won’t “Glock Leg” ourselves on the way to said gunfight lol.

        1. avatar Tal says:

          Agreed.

          Ordering my HK p30 this month. HK is giving away 4 free magazines too.

        2. avatar Bob H says:

          I saw that 4 mag thing, thats pretty amazing considering they sell new mags for $50-$70. Unfortunately i’m not in the market for an H&K. I do want one of those S&W 4006 TSW CHP guns for $399, maybe after next payday 🙂

        3. avatar Xcom says:

          PX4 all the way brother. I use subcompact and compact for CCW, depending on dress. Fantastic pistols.

        4. avatar Greg says:

          I would rather go out with my Cougar then have a Glock found on my or near my corpse.

    2. avatar Ed says:

      While you are there, let them know that my Beretta 96 is fully drop safe. Sig Sauer, when your firearm has to be the most ver-priced over-rated firearm out there, accept no substitutes.

      1. avatar Mr. Pierogie says:

        I used to own two P226 pistols. Had issues with both of them. It was enough to turn me off Sig guns completely. Definitely overpriced and overrated. Do they still make the douche-bro tribal tattoo editions of their guns? Or maybe that tough-guy diamond plate garbage on the slide?

        1. avatar T-Bob says:

          I’m just curious what type of problems you had with the P226. Those are widely regarded as the standard for DA/SA pistols.

      2. avatar Tim Tim Timmy Tim says:

        Oh? You’re saying that title doesn’t belong to everything made by FN?

    3. avatar W says:

      Thanks TTAG for adding some evidence to this issue.

      1. avatar Renner says:

        Curious what the cost of this test was. Brand new off the shelf pistol is what, $700? Box of ammo $15. Three people’s time, maybe 12 manhours to set this up. So it cost a total of about $2,000 maybe? When it comes to a potential safety issue, I am thankful TTAG spent the dough even though some people complained it would be prohibitively expensive to do a test like this. With the amount of visibility TTAG will get from its readers, the gun industry, and Sig Sauer itself, I have a strong suspicion TTAG will make the money back in advertising page views and deals with manufacturers.

        Good work, guys and gals!

  2. avatar Snatchums says:

    Might this not bode well for the Army contract? The drop safety was a requirement of the new gun wasn’t it?

    1. avatar No one of consequence says:

      Passing the specified test for “drop safety” was the requirement. Not necessarily the same thing as being drop safe. Given that they passed the army test regimen, I suspect Sig could argue that they meet the requirement in place when the contract was awarded.

    2. avatar Wiregrass says:

      Doesn’t say much for the Army’s specifications and evaluation process does it?

    3. avatar J says:

      The army never actually finished testing

    4. avatar Silversax42 says:

      The Army version also required a manual safety – with that in place, as this is an issue of trigger inertia rather than the failure of any safety device, it should not be an issue. They might redesign the trigger a bit anyway, but I doubt it will affect the contract.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        Unless one worries about dropping a gun with the safety off… like when one is handling it in combat. Shit happens, right?

  3. avatar Adam says:

    And Gaston Glock is just laughing hysterically in the background. Looks like the army should have went with perfection.

    1. avatar Boba Fett says:

      Right? I bet everyone at Glock is just forwarding all these articles to each other with smug smiles. “Well, we tried to tell them.”

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      Meanwhile, someone in the Army’s testing program designed it in such a way as to specifically exclude Glocks. So now they have guns going off when dropped. Good job guys, you got the sexy Sig instead of the boring old Glock.

    3. avatar John heater says:

      G19M?? G17M???

  4. avatar bobinmi says:

    Do you mean to tell me that sig would send out unproven firearms expecting the end users to be defacto Beta Testers? Surely you must be joking. (Bitter 556xi early adopter here. I might be biased)

  5. avatar Dan in CO says:

    Maybe you’ll do this test with all new pistols? My money is on the speculation that you will not. You’re redefining “drop safe” in your non – standard test. Great job following the spotlight.

    1. avatar Hank says:

      Yeah I honestly want to see this done with glock, xd, and s&w before everyone starts screaming PURFEXON!!!

      1. avatar J says:

        Those guns all have trigger safties of one sort or another. Proven Drop safe.

      2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        If you could make a Glock discharge by dropping it, YouTube would already be packed with the video evidence.

        1. avatar Mike says:

          There are but those Glocks are modified with after market triggers. The 320’s with the trigger shoe safety tab don’t drop fire only the heavier smooth triggers. AT least according to the video I just watched.

    2. avatar No one of consequence says:

      Passing a standard test for “X” does not mean a product is safe for all “X”, just that it passes the standard test protocols. If the protocols are insufficient you can have a problem.

      They had a 40% discharge rate when dropped. That’s a non-negligible rate even if they weren’t “doing it right.” This tells me among other things that the formal test protocols for drop safety may need to be revamped

    3. avatar None says:

      Uh oh, I think I can spot the guy who jumped on the 320 bandwagon and may be feeling the saltiness…

      1. avatar Dan in CO says:

        Dear no name,

        Sorry, I don’t fit your perception. I’ve got a 250, not a 320; I do however have a developed sense of pessimism and an eye for detecting bs. I noticed that these turd monkeys jumped straight into poop creek and began throwing s—. I get it, they found a flaw, but they are making a new standard while they’re at it. As if right now, the Sig 320 is the only gun tested to this newly made up standard.

        I hope you find your name soon, have a wonderful day.

    4. avatar Wilson Lanue says:

      “Maybe you’ll do this test with all new pistols? My money is on the speculation that you will not.”

      That is exactly what Andrew at Omaha Outdoors is doing.

      Per his Facebook comms: “I have tested quite a few others and will continue to test more, and Omaha Outdoors will incorporate drop testing in all of our future reviews, and immediately let the public know about failures.” And: “I think [military and industry] are still testing for the way a 1911 would fail a drop test – that needs to change.”

  6. avatar Shire-man says:

    Does this mean X-Change kits will finally be available at decent prices?

  7. avatar No one of consequence says:

    Not an implausible result if the test you did isn’t part of the SAMMI or CA test regimen. From what I’ve read this might well be the case.

    An engineer who knows how a product will be tested, tends to design it to pass that test first and foremost. That can lead to reduced focus on other scenarios. The higher the focus on the known test conditions, the less focus on general cases, and that’s what might be expected in a very high stakes contract bid situation.

    Hopefully this is something that can be rectified fairly easily. And it might also be a call for updating the test protocols to include elements of randomness.

    1. avatar Nick says:

      And this effect is what is wrong with the public school systems’ reliance on standardized testing.

      Making success on a particular test a priority above all others leads to choices that serve as a detriment to others, in this case, meeting the very specific requirements of the various drop safety tests led them to ignore more common scenarios that could induce an accidental discharge when dropped.

      1. avatar Pseudo says:

        Ok, I’ll bite. Why isn’t this what’s wrong with poorly designed standardized testing?

  8. avatar Texheim says:

    Why are y’all wearing plate carriers?

    1. avatar Sammy says:

      Because drama? They are loading primed cases in the gun. No need for armor.

    2. avatar No one of consequence says:

      I would’ve been in one. People make mistakes, even with the best of intentions, and there were live rounds in the magazine.

    3. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      Because tacticool, man! I thought JWT looked kinda cute in that little plate carrier – like when you’re on a boat and they run out of adult life jackets so you have to give a kid’s version to someone.

      Seriously, such body armor is for those brave few who can’t avoid dangerous situations. For the rest of us, if you think you need body armor, you probably shouldn’t be there at all.

    4. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Literally, just to be goofy. I had on a ton more PPE, but it got too hot.

      1. avatar Texheim says:

        Thank god

    5. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Why are y’all wearing plate carriers?”

      I was wondering the same, when for this test I see no one wearing the PPE they *should* have worn, eye pro.

      Ah. JWT was just being a bit goofy… 🙂

      EDIT – Side question, what’s to be done with the dropped test article? Future TTAG (slightly used, a few scratches) gun giveaway? 😉

      Extra EDIT – The blank name and e-mail field issue is still there, even after clearing all cookies ‘to the end of time’…

    6. avatar RuralJuror says:

      That’s just standard daily work attire for gun bloggers.

  9. avatar FedUp says:

    A non-magnum small pistol primer shoots flame out the muzzle?
    That makes two things I learned today.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      A non-magnum small pistol primer would likely launch the projectile from the weapon at a speed that you wouldn’t want to be in front of at those ranges.

      A .22 LR primed (no powder) round should be considered deadly at 30′.

      1. avatar Dave R says:

        That’s not true at all, anyone who reloads ammo and loaded a primed round without powder would know that. I can specifically tell you that in a 9mm M&P, it will yield a squib that has just entered the barrel rifling, but not far enough to let an additional round chamber.

        1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          i know this: a calibri primer only .22 will kill a skunk deadern hell.

        2. avatar Joe R. says:

          I would reiterate my statement above, that, at those ranges, I wouldn’t recommend getting anything you don’t want destroyed in front of the muzzle when you fire such a round. No, a primer-only 9mm won’t cycle the action of a semi-auto, but it is safer to assume that the projectile is going to clear the barrel.

        3. avatar Joe R. says:

          You can target shoot primer only (handgun calibers) with wax and rubber bullets at short ranges.

        4. avatar dph says:

          Dave R is correct about the squib load. Don’t ask me how I know. It was in a 9mm Shield.

        5. avatar Ian says:

          Totally agree Dave, did the exact same thing a handful of times recently. Switched from a turret to a progressive and my powder measure wasn’t working right with it, and ended up loading a numbef of rounds with no powder. Had a few bullets get stuck just inside the barrel, preventing the next round from being chambered. Had the same thing happen with some 38 specials, one halfway exited the cylinder and completely locked up the revolver. Had another one that must have had a tiny bit of powder in it, the bullet stopped halfway out the muzzle! Have since implemented a powder cop die to help me catch them.

        6. avatar Joe R. says:

          Ok, you got me to change my mind. Yes, you should probably test that with your face or nuts in front of it.

        7. avatar Joe R. says:

          ^ / sarc (if needed ?)

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Yes.

      A primer (with no powder) will launch a bullet far enough down the bore of a firearm to cause a real problem when you shove in a round that is fully loaded behind the now-lodged bullet or shotshell, and then light off the fully loaded round.

      This is why, when I’ve been on a range and I hear the unique and unmistakeable sound of a squib in a lane next to me, I start shouting “cease fire!” immediately. Even tho I might not be acting as RSO at that moment, if I can save someone from seeing their gun disintegrate in their hands, (and next to, or near, me), then I’m going to do so.

      Magnum primers have more brisance than regular primers, and their “flame” will reach deeper into the powder stack, igniting more of the powder at once. Match primers will have a very uniform, but not especially hot, brisance, in attempts to ignite the powder stack as uniformly from shot to shot.

  10. avatar Eric Lawrence says:

    I would still like to see ANSI replicate this test.
    I would like to see other pistols subject to the same test since, if ANSI isn’t testing this angle on the P320 they aren’t testing it on Glocks/Berettas/XD’s/HK’s either.

    I’m willing to bet there was a small manufacturing change that didn’t require another round of ANSI testing, or there has been a manufacturing error/worn machinery that is causing some sort of incorrect dimension/tolerance issue.

    1. avatar PK says:

      This isn’t a manufacturing tolerance issue, this is the lack of an inertia safety on the trigger.

      This exact scenario is what the safety tab on the Glock trigger prevents. Note how many other striker-fired pistols have a similar tab.

      1. avatar jst says:

        Yes it is… I’m not sure why all these “exposes” neglect to mention this well-known fact.

        I keep reading them, and they apparently don’t understand the basic workings of striker-fired guns, and apparently don’t understand what standardized testing is… though the comments keep pointing that out over and over. Just because it passes the Army test with flying colors DOES NOT mean it’s drop-safe in every situation. For that, get a double-action something and keep the hammer down.

        The lack of that inertia safety (if true; I haven’t seen a diagram) is probably why the triggers are so good. But again, this is common knowledge.

        1. avatar TommyJay says:

          I just bought a CZ-75B. The B is a firing pin block update to the original CZ-75. If I understand correctly, if you dropped an old CZ-75 on its decocked hammer, it could fire.

    2. avatar Burley says:

      I subjected my PT145 to this test, and harsher, when I heard about the pending litigation against them for the Millennium Pro series pistols. I was not able to achieve uncommanded firing. I still don’t carry it, because lawsuits. However, I would say that my PT145 is safer than a new P320…

      1. avatar former water walker says:

        I’ll keep my drop-safe 111g2 and 709. I had gen 1 Taurus’ and never had a problem. Basically the new Taurus’ are clones of GLOCK(with a thumb-safety)-not a Sig 😄😎😄

      2. avatar Mike J says:

        Just out of curiosity, before dropping your PT 145, did you first make it unsafe by putting the safety on with the trigger pulled part of the way back?

        I’m embarrassed to admit that I bought a WPOS from Taurus that might drop fire, but only half as embarrassed as I’d be if I’d bought a WPOS from SIG Sauer that drop fires. 🙂

        1. avatar Burley says:

          I dropped it in a variety of configurations, but I don’t recall going out of my way to do that. I agree about embarrassment level, not to mention expenditure differences.

    3. avatar Pseudo says:

      It might pass any given standard for testing. You have multiple videos showing 4-5 ft drop from how the gun naturally hangs when held by the trigger guard demonstrating that the gun is not “drop safe” in any reasonable way. Why do you give a damn who conducts the tests? I agree that I’d like to see other guns put through the same paces, but good money is on most of them being OK given the current best hypothesis of why it’s happening (trigger inertia).

  11. avatar 10x25mm says:

    It is now pretty clear that there is an impact directionality issue at play here. Free dropping the pistol is no longer sufficient to ascertain the propensity of a pistol to discharge due to rotation in flight during the drop. Too much testing is required to obtain all possible impact directions with any degree of accuracy.

    The industry should seriously consider applying the ‘drop impact’ artificially using instrumented impact systems. This would allow precise directionality of the impact blow and a digital record of its history, along with a video record. The pistol itself can also be instrumented to measure its response.

    The Instron Company now makes the ‘Dynatup’ instrumented impact testers which I have used successfully in such situations. They make both vertical drop and pendulum systems which could be easily adapted to pistol ‘drop testing’. A pendulum system impacting a stationary pistol held in a fully articulating x y z axis jig would be a good starting point because it facilitates pistol instrumentation.

    More information on these instrumented impact systems here:

    http://www.instron.us/en-us/products/testing-systems/impact-systems

    1. avatar No one of consequence says:

      At least one of the protocols does allow for an “equivalent impact,” if I recall correctly.

    2. avatar Wiregrass says:

      “Dynatup” . That brings back memories. Used one of those back in my days of testing line pipe Drop Weight Tear Test samples.

    3. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I agree. Actually dropping the pistol is always going to introduce the element of chance. A jig with a specified force, specified angle, etc, would be repeatable and consistent.

      1. avatar Jay says:

        It ceases to be a properly representative test, though. The forces on the parts inside a gun are very different in freefall than at 1g.

        To cite a specific, artificial example, consider a notional gun which fires when the firing pin block is out of the way and it experiences an impact on the bottom of the magazine well. Say further that the firing pin block is not sprung—it’s only held in place by gravity. That gun would fire if dropped, but would not fire if you took a hammer to the underside of the magwell.

  12. avatar J. J. ANGE says:

    I will attest from first hand knowledge that my Springfield XDs 3.3 is drop safe. I was removing the the pistol and a On Your 6 IWB holster on a very cold day when it slipped from my hand and fell butt first from about 36″ and did not go off, not my proudest moment for sure. It felt like slow motion as I watched it drop and I could see the bullet in the barrel as it fell and hit the concrete, all the time with the thought I am going to get killed by a dropped pistol, great. Only damage besides my bruised ego was a couple of nicks on the rear sight……

    1. avatar jt says:

      Anecdotes are not data.

      Do it 5000 times, in every orientation, on surfaces of different hardness. THEN you might be reasonable in calling it “drop safe”. One experience means… nothing at all.

      (Though you are probably still right, due to the grip safety! But to _prove_ it to some level of certainty, it takes a lot more than one drop.)

    2. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

      Your sample size is one…

    3. avatar D says:

      Just came here to ask if the grip safety on a XD would make it drop safe in this scenario.

  13. avatar W says:

    FWIW, ANSI is a bureaucracy often including customers and manufacturers. It’s standards are bureaucratic compromises. Companies seeking to excel try to do much, much more than meet ANSI specs.

  14. avatar CA says:

    Their press release over the weekend was awfully specific in its wording – so much so it made me suspicious.

    They said that there have been no incidents of this in the “US Commercial market.” This made me immediately wonder about other markets.

    Sure enough, it came out this morning that a Connecticut cop was shot by a dropped P320 (in the holster!) and he sued Sig on Aug 4th. This means that Sig was VERY aware of the issue and likely chose the “US Commercial market” words on purpose.

    Shame on Sig. By not recalling these with a known safety issue, lives are at risk in exchange for money for Sig and a government contract. Even worse, when they use such carefully chosen words to assure people that the P320 doesn’t have this problem, they are risking making the problem much worse by giving a false assurance!

    They face insane amount of liability if anyone else gets hurt. I can only imagine the next lawsuit now: Sig knew this was an issue (from the gun community, from the lawsuit, and possibly their own testing – they warned to keep the chamber empty unless firing in their manual until two days ago), didn’t recall the pistol, and instead made a public statement telling folks not to worry because it’s completely safe because no incidents of the alleged safety issue have happened.

  15. avatar i1uluz says:

    The line of thinking is that the trigger is heavy enough that upon impact the inertia will cause the trigger to travel enough to fire the round.

    Give owners an Apex Tactical flat face trigger, call it done. Being lighter weight than the stock trigger it would not move as much upon the impact as the heavier steel stock trigger.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Why all the drama? The obvious solution is to mandate Smart Guns. Sure, you may not be able to determine if they will in fact fire when you want them to, but you can be damned sure they WON”T fire when you drop them.

  16. avatar Cdotson says:

    You have conducted a “drop test” and the pistol fired. It’s easy to claim this means the pistol isn’t drop-safe and have a good argument. I think it also is evidence to call into question the validity of standardized testing methodologies, whether they be ANSI, California, or the military’s qualification requirements. If a test does not accurately reflect reality or even exceed reasonably expected abuse in actual usage it’s not a worthwhile test. From what little I’ve read about the ANSI drop test from about 1 meter onto a 1″ thick “hard rubber” mat you’ve only allowed for outdoor soil (or softer) surfaces and typical residential floors (hardwood, linoleum on suspended wood flooring, or padded carpeting). This might be adequate if you only handle weapons inside your house and at outdoor ranges or while hunting. This to me sounds like an inadequate test given the likely environs encountered while manipulating weapons for even the average concealed carrier. Surfaces typically found in parking lots, garages, security checkpoints, and other locations likely to force weapon handling should be tested. IMHO your ~5ft onto concrete test is probably more valid for this application.

  17. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    This does beg the question, do other pistols fail from this angle of drop, and onto concrete.

    Never been a fan of Sig since their pistols all seem to be heavy and a bit clunky, but to each his own.

    1. avatar CA says:

      Great question. However, there’s a new video that shows it firing when dropped and the muzzle and magwell hitting the ground (upside down orientation from these other videos).

    2. avatar Boba Fett says:

      It’s worse than that, though. It’s more like: To each Army officer his own P320 …which he will not trust.

    3. avatar Trevor says:

      Uhh the Beretta M9 is significantly heavier than the P320 (34.4oz vs 29.4oz)… And that’s the full size P320. The compact p320 which holds the same amount of rounds as the M9 is only 26oz.

      If you’re going to call out any gun for weight it should be the M9. It weighs as much as a metal 1911.

      1. avatar borg says:

        Weighing as much as a 1911 could be a selling point since a beginner may find it easier to handle the recoil.

  18. avatar DrewR55 says:

    Beretta M9A3 for the boys in green!

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      . . . and the rest of us !

      1. avatar DrewR55 says:

        Especially if the release it in bruntion.

        1. avatar Joe R. says:

          yeah, but I actually like the FDE too.

  19. avatar jt says:

    I find it fascinating that “gun writers” have to pull bullets to get primed cases. Y’all don’t reload? Must get your ammo for free or something…

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      While a properly handloaded primer will work the same way as a factory primer, they may have been attempting to ward off the inevitable speculation that the primers they were using were somehow easier to detonate than what is found in factory ammo.

      It only takes a few good wacks to pull a handgun bullet, so if you don’t have a pile of cleaned, decapped cases lying around it’s probably the quickest way to get what they were after.

        1. avatar AubreyB says:

          DUDE! Thank you! haha

  20. avatar MatKep says:

    PLEASE repeat this test with a dozen other popular striker fired pistols. M&P, VP9, G19, XD9, PPQ, SR9, et al. This type of investigative reporting, although not scientific, if done without bias, will help keep the manufacturers honest.

    1. avatar Adub says:

      They should have loaded up a Glock 17 and dropped it too just for comparison purposes.

      This is the testing that TTAG should do.

      1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        The Glock 17 has been around for over 30 years, sold by the millions and used by most of the police in the country. If it wasn’t drop safe, we would know it by now.

        1. avatar Joe R. says:

          Right, it’s drop safe as long as you let it drop. If you try to catch it you might shoot yourself in the A. . .irport.

        2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

          A similar rule applies to knives and chainsaws.

          Don’t ask me how I know.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      If you’ve looked at the designs, revolvers and DA/SA semis are not going to have the problem due to length of trigger pull, 1911s will not due to grip safety. No need to retest. For this particular problem, trigger-mounted safeties (as Glock) will prevent this problem, but some toys, like the Ruger LC9s PRO, I’d like to see this test on, too.

  21. avatar Bigfoot of Borg says:

    Huh, how about that. You learn something new every day.

    It does look like the standard testing was insufficient in this case especially since this looks like an easy orientation to test in a handgun and could easily happen in the real world, I would have assumed the standard tests would include a drop like that but it would appear not.

    Also it’s a good example of what that whole trigger in a trigger thing that’s so common on striker guns actually does. If anyone asks how it works to make a firearm safer you can just show them this video. I admit I always found it a bit silly since anything inside the trigger guard would disable it as it pressed the trigger but it never really occurred to me the weight of the trigger itself could potentially be enough to fire the gun in some cases without it. I guess I never thought that much about the mechanism in hindsight it’s obvious.

  22. avatar MyHairHurts says:

    On OO’s Facebook page, they did the same test with Glocks, M&Ps, and XDs. They could not replicate the issue. There are videos floating around where another guy does the same test with 3 different P320s, a Glock 17 and 19. Needless to say, the P320s fired, the Glocks did not.

    I can’t remember what forum I saw the videos on simply because I was going to numerous forums and reading the arguments, anger, denials and meltdowns.

    1. avatar rob says:

      pistol-forum.com

  23. avatar Scott says:

    Living up to your name – thanks for taking the time and expense to do this guys!

  24. avatar st381183 says:

    If this were a HiPoint or a Taurus you Sig fanboys would be demanding a recall and saying your I told you so to everyone. Sig has at the very least a PR problem and the very worse a full on safety recall.

  25. avatar Don says:

    And this is why Glock would have been the better choice for the Army. With 30+ years of service behind the same basic design, there are likely to be much fewer surprises.

    70% of America’s PDs use Glock as do numerous branches of the military. And the DOD chose a new (albeit promising) gun with little real world data after not bothering to perform tests like these when they ended the testing early.

    Idiots.

    1. avatar Bob h says:

      Because nobody has ever heard of a ND or AD with a glock pistol… that has literally never happened.

      1. avatar Jon in CO says:

        Learn not to pull the trigger. Won’t have an issue. Very simple.

      2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        This discussion concerns a pistol that allegedly will discharge upon impact with the floor. It has nothing to do with other pistols that discharge when people pull the trigger. They pretty much all do that.

      3. avatar John in AK says:

        I understand that saying that makes you feel better, but it’s a fallacious analogy.

        Glock ‘ADs and NDs’ are caused by TRIGGER PULLS, whether by inadvertent finger application or inadvertent ‘thing-other-than-a-trigger’ application: SOMETHING physically presses the trigger, and the gun fires exactly as it is designed to do.

        SIG NDs, now. . . that’s different: Here, the TRIGGER is pulling the trigger, apparently. Something in the trigger mechanism is allowing the trigger to ‘pull itself’ under its own power, as it were, and fire the gun with no finger or ‘thing’ on the trigger.

        Once again, Glock is proven right–37 years on, and still safer than a modern design. What are the ODDS?!

  26. avatar JoeinCT says:

    I picked up a P320 this past March after eyeing it for about a year. I like it better than my G19. The lack of finger groves is what does it for me. Its one of my carry guns.

    That bring said, after you guys confirmed it in the testing, I went to my safe and unloaded it this morning. I commented on here how I had a G30 fall on me and hit the ground as it was pointed at my face. Needless to say no discharge occurred.

    I’m disappointed to say the least. I really liked this gun. I never fell in love with any of Sigs other offerings after owing a few. (229, 227) I have owened every popular pistol I think so far and for me its Smith & Wesson, HK, and Glock all day. Love my PPQ too. Its like falling in love with a girl and finding she has herpes after a flair up. Sometimes your just a sucker.

  27. avatar GS650G says:

    It’s shocking how easy it was for it to go off. Recall soon in the works.
    I’ve dropped a pistol and has it land the same way. Having it fire would have been a life altering tragedy.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “It’s shocking how easy it was for it to go off. Recall soon in the works.”

      I suspect this will have far-reaching impact in the gun industry.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if this leads to new drop-safety testing protocols, and requirements for something like Glock-type trigger safeties…

  28. avatar PROUD chicano says:

    Time to go back to the definition of perfection in a handgun. That’s right a 1911.

    1. avatar DJ says:

      Still carrying a 1911 with Military Service Grade 45 acp 230 grain FMJ.

    2. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      Yep!

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        Yep! Still saving up your pennies for a Beretta 92 or 96 I see.

        ; )

        1. avatar DJ says:

          Laughing….when something works don’t f… with it.

  29. avatar JoeGrumby says:

    Honestly, is anyone who served more than 2 days in the Army surprised AT ALL about the choice they made on this weapon. I’m sure someone will make millions (KBR or the likes) selling aftermarket kits to the Army in order to make these weapons safe for all the POG’s to handle. Give me an effing break…. “there I was, no S**T, making coffee in the TOC when all of a sudden “BLAM” my gun just when off”

  30. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    why doesn’t consumer reports have a gun safety test lab?

    1. avatar Adub says:

      Because guns are icky and CR is full of socialists who do nothing but recommend the most expensive products that most people can’t afford.

      I get it for their car reviews and reliability surveys but the rest is a joke. $2,000 washers and $1,000 grills?

      1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        CR also speaks on our behalf, imploring Congress to pass more laws that make dangerous stuff illegal.

        Because what we really need is more laws. That will make the world a safer place.

  31. avatar DJ says:

    I still remember my Drill SGT screaming at us…..DON’T LET THAT WEAPON TOUCH THE GROUND, 46 years ago.

    Maybe the same should apply today.

    DON’T try and catch a falling weapon……really, you know how many push ups it is if it hits the ground?

    1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      “Get down with it” is what the Drill Sgt yelled at us when someone dropped a rifle.

      then, of course, the “All of you get down NOW!” came quickly right after.

      ..sigh, long time ago.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        And don’t forget the “That’s it, now I have to FING kill all of you”

        hoorah one-team : (

      2. avatar DJ says:

        All those push ups is probably why one shoulder was a major repair and the other shoulder was a salvage/major repair.

        Oh yeah, running for miles with the rifle above my head……

  32. avatar PeterK says:

    This is fantastic coverage. Ya’ll on point.

  33. avatar Matt says:

    I’m gonna guess a manufacturing defect in recent lots. Helps to explain why there have allegedly been no reports till now.

  34. avatar Glocks Rock says:

    Very interesting. I looked closely at everything involved in making this possible. I even watched a video of the complete disassembly of a P320, down to the little bitty springs. The Sig P320 goes off for a number of reasons. GLOCK has covered these possibilities with their three prong attack “Safe Action” (three safeties) system. All three have to be there and working or the GLOCK could fire from a similar drop. The Sig is missing the trigger safety. This allows it to fire. Here are my observations:

    – The Sig fires in this test with a particular orientation – striking the ground on the top of the slide – because it keeps the slide from even slightly coming out of battery from the impact force, which if it did would dissipate some impact energy, and would distance the primer from the firing pin (striker). This is important because it allows the full force of the impact to be transferred to the fire control system with the slide in the locked position.

    – Both the GLOCK and the Sig have functional firing pin (striker) safeties, which most would think would be enough to prevent a primer strike when the gun is dropped. A lot of other guns have this feature as well but by itself it is not enough, at least in these two gun models.

    – The problem is that the Sig (when compared to the GLOCK) has no trigger safety. The force of the impact, and the sudden stopping of motion in that configuration acts on the mass of the trigger transfer bar mechanism, which is not locked in place by a trigger safety. It is the mutifunction transfer bar type of firing mechanism that allows this to happen.

    – The transfer bar in both the Sig and GLOCK are multifunction. In addition to actuating the firing mechanism, by moving rearward it also allows the firing pin (striker) safety to be disengaged.

    – I am not sure if the P320 has the third safety feature of the GLOCK, which involves the rear of the transfer bar. In a locked position the back of the transfer back is UP, and locks the firing pin (striker) “sear”. This also keeps the gun from firing when dropped. When the trigger on the GLOCK goes back the transfer bar also goes DOWN, releasing that safety.

    – Regardless, without the trigger safety all other safeties are moot because if the transfer bar is allowed to move rearwards all other safeties are disengaged.

    – The drop in the configuration shown allows the transfer bar on the Sig with no trigger safety to move rearwards, disengaging the firing pin (striker) safety. The force of the impact overcomes the spring pressure of a now “free-floating” firing pin and allows it to move forward, striking the primer.

  35. avatar Charles5 says:

    Well, that is just unacceptable. I have 5 P320’s and 2 exchange kits. I really like the pistols (obviously) and despite this testing I am not going to rush out and replace them all. However, this is still disconcerting and I can no longer in good conscious recommend the P320 to others. Perhaps a trigger safety would correct this. I do believe I saw earlier mock-ups of the P320 with a trigger safety. Do I expect SIG to fix this? Eventually, very, very slowly. SIG better buckle up because they are in for a rough ride.

    I would still like to see this same drop test performed on other popular striker fired pistols (Glock, M&P, XDM, Walther, etc.) just to see if this is inherent to the nature of striker-fired guns or if it is exclusive to the SIG P320. Damn you Glock. Why can’t you just get rid of those damn finger grooves.

  36. avatar TommyJay says:

    Amazing work. Pretty shocking that some testing standards use rubber pads or carpeting on the impact zone. Love the comment on the Instron dynamic tester.

    My striker XD has two metal tabs up front to guide the slide, but two plastic in the rear. So I thought it was good that the P320 had all metal tabs as part of a metal carriage/insert. Let’s say for the sake of the argument, that the P320 never drop fired. As an army evaluator, would you not be a tad upset, that the slide popped off of the metal carriage when dropped?? If you look at that Sig insert carriage, you can see how it might happen.

    Years ago the billion dollar Mars Polar Lander crashed into Mars instead of landing because they didn’t understand shock and vibration and didn’t do the testing. S&V science is difficult but hardly impossible. I’m guessing the Glocks really are safe, and perhaps Gaston & co. did do the science correctly. As to the safety of 1911’s and DA/SA pistols, it is not a given that all of them are safe, until the analysis &/or testing is done. Because shock and vibration is complicated.

    1. avatar Charles5 says:

      The slide coming off is the much more troublesome thing about this to me. Based on initial evaluation, the drop safe issue might simply be mitigated with a lighter weight trigger (the mass, not the pull) or one with a trigger safety. However, the slide coming off?!!?! For the first time in my life I am starting to regret a firearms purchase.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        If plastic was a good idea for holding the slide on, they would have put plastic inserts in metal framed weapons.

        If plastic was a good idea for a pistol frame, I wouldn’t buy the metal ones with a hammer. Heavier? Maybe, but it’s the same weight when you pick it up as when you dropped it.

  37. avatar Jorge says:

    Ummm… why didn’t you give credit to Andrew from Omaha Outdoors & Vuurapen Blog. He did far more in depth testing than y’all with new & tortured guns

  38. avatar Larry Goldfinger says:

    Some ill-informed individuals above referred to the Glock’s trigger tab as a Trigger Safety. It’s not. A Trigger Safety will prevent a weapon from firing when the trigger is pulled. Pull a Glock’s trigger and BANG. It’s just an external part of the gun’s drop safety.

  39. avatar Rob Black says:

    Blemish fire sale on a P320 for sale! First “I’ll Take It” gets it.

    Dropped twice, fired once. Great condition!

  40. avatar Seth says:

    I think it is time to re-evaluate the safety standards and testing methodology in this country. Granted we can’t test every minute angle, but we can eliminate the rubber mat, maybe increase the drop height to about 6 foot, and maybe even test various angles that could most logically cause a discharge.

  41. avatar Owen says:

    The real question is….what is in the box with pink ribbons at 2:01?

  42. avatar Ralph says:

    Real men would have done the drop tests with live ammo.

  43. avatar Bobby McKellar says:

    Meanwhile, several other sites are doing the “drop safe” test and having NO LUCK with getting the STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BOX P320 to fire. Just saw one done by Jacqueline Carrizosa and the P320 was dropped a LOT AND AT THE SAME ANGLES, HEIGHTS, ETC without a single discharge. All this TTAG test has been is yet another GLOCK FANBOY attempt to “throw shade” (as my son says) at the MHS winner. The follow up comments pretty well seem to confirm that.
    NOW…IF TTAG GETS 50 OUT OF THE BOX P320’s and drops those 50 P320’s on “the sweet spot” and gets 25%, hell even 10% to discharge THEN is say there’s an issue. But ONE PISTOL…c’mon that’s nothing in the big scheme of things.
    Now…before everyone throws a fit saying I’m a SIG FANBOY, I ASSURE YOU I AM NOT. I DO NOT LIKE PLASTIC PISTOLS, PERIOD. I DO NOT LIKE STRIKER FIRED PISTOLS, PERIOD. I think the Army going to a plastic pistol is STUPID, BUT I am not in the Army any more.
    I’ve been around the block a time or two and every time I see a story about the P320 or anything that starts referencing “how will this affect the Army’s choice of the P320 as the MHS” reminds me of the same conversations and articles that splashed all over gun magazines back in the 80’s when the Army decided to ditch the 1911 for the Beretta M9/92FS.
    There is NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN.
    The Army isn’t going to suddenly decide to buy Glock’s because of a few independent “tests”. The Army isn’t going to choose Glock’s because of a Dallas PD memorandum or an accidental discharge (even one recreated over and over again by dropping the test pistol exactly the same way and in the same place every time). The Army didn’t choose the Sig entry because “the tests weren’t completed” and that Glock’s were “so much better, but they just didn’t get to PROVE it” (read the GAO report). The continual wailing and gnashing of teeth about Glock losing out to Sig for the MHS isn’t going to change the contract for the MHS.
    LASTLY, IF THERE IS A VERIFIABLE ISSUE WITH THE P320 MHS entry, Sig will be given a chance to correct it before it goes into “full production”. The PROOF that will happen lies in the number of corrections and improvements made to the design of the Beretta M9 AFTER that contract was awarded. Glock as the MHS or M17 is not going to happen anywhere or anytime in the foreseeable future. Things just don’t work that way.
    So, you can all calm down and enjoy whatever flavor of plastic wonder pistol you enjoy and argue till your heart’s content….or you can join the Army and eventually be issued a Sig Sauer M17 MHS in the future and smile, because that’s gonna be “the flavor of the month” for a LONG TIME.

  44. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

    Might be time to start looking for a slightly used Sig. I would take my chances with this gun even if they had not released the trigger upgrade.

  45. avatar Moose_Bear says:

    I carry a P320 as often as I can and I’m disappointed. I’m optimistic, though. It’s a popular firearm and if this is the worst it can get then I’m not too worried. At least I can (presumably) have a trigger with a dingus shipped to my door!

  46. avatar J c says:

    So looking at the background they just shoot bullets thru their roof & their regular garage door. They guy dripping the gun didn’t even flinch when the gun discharge that close to his hand, huge flash on the first, no flash on the second, their armor will be ineffective if the bullet goes their way, angle would be more of a face shot. Way to many mistakes on their behavior & the location where they conducted the test…..hmmmmmm. I call bs on that one

    1. avatar Kevin C says:

      Maybe read more closely. They only chambered casings with primers, no bullets, and no powder. The body armor was for comedic effect, since they didn’t expect to cause a discharge by dropping.

  47. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    BTW, it would be useful to take pictures of all the primers of all the cases used in these drop tests – just for completeness.

    One thing I’d really like to see in this testing is some high quality, very slow (like 1,000 fps) video to see whether the slide was coming out of battery as a result of the drop impact, and if so, what was the sequence of the slide’s movement to the primer firing?

  48. avatar IN Dave says:

    The one thing I learned from all of this is how rabid “fan boys” can be. The first videos came out and all you heard where “the gun store is owned by glock” “the pistol were already torture tested” & my personal favorite “FAKE NEWS”. Now another video comes out and they are screaming “test everything” “glock would have the same problem” & “Glocks have ND all the time”. And I thought the Springfield Armory fan boys were bad after SA sold IL down the river.

    Listen there is a problem. Sig is a good enough company that they will fix it. All you fan boys are out there looking for your 5’11 blonde with blue eyes but you have to remember that the brunettes and redheads are pretty fun too. Maybe if you didn’t rail all the time about one being superior to another you wouldn’t stick yourself in a corner to where you have to defend yourself. Be like me and just go to the safe and take a different one out to play with.

  49. avatar borg says:

    If it had a Glock style trigger safety it would probably prevent this defect.

  50. avatar AR 15 says:

    Times are changing and the striker fired polymer king Glock, is being given a run for its money by Sig Sauer.

    Normally known for its double action, single action hammer fired pistols, Sig Sauer is the gold standard of semi auto handguns.

    Their entry into the striker fired market is the p320, a welcomed sight in a stagnating market and avery real replacement for Glock pistols for CCW and general shooting.

    1. avatar Rain says:

      Sound like this gun has alot of holes.

      1. avatar SIG SAUER says:

        When we reported our findings to SIG SAUER they were no less shocked. They reiterated that the P320 platform had been tested six ways from Sunday and had never previously failed to pass a drop safety test.

        How these and other findings may affect the Army’s decision on the Modular Handgun Program (if at all) can’t be predicted.

        I’m in New Hampshire with Jon Wayne Taylor this morning. We’re visiting SIG HQ to learn how the company will be handling this situation. We’ll have much more detailed information on the response from SIG SAUER soon. Stay tuned.

  51. avatar Sig Sauer says:

    When we reported our findings to SIG SAUER they were no less shocked. They reiterated that the P320 platform had been tested six ways from Sunday and had never previously failed to pass a drop safety test.

    How these and other findings may affect the Army’s decision on the Modular Handgun Program (if at all) can’t be predicted.

    I’m in New Hampshire with Jon Wayne Taylor this morning. We’re visiting SIG HQ to learn how the company will be handling this situation. We’ll have much more detailed information on the response from SIG SAUER soon. Stay tuned.

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