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The SIG P320 story just got more complicated. According to a suit filed in US District Court on Friday, a Stamford Connecticut police officer was injured when a SIG P320 pistol he dropped discharged when it hit the ground.


According to the complaint filed Aug. 4 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, officer Vincent Sheperis dropped his holstered department-issued handgun while loading equipment into the back of his car in January. The gun fired when it hit the pavement, and the bullet entered beneath his left knee and lodged to the side “with the round protruding from his leg.”

Yesterday we reported that online retailer Omaha Outdoors had conducted drop tests on four P320 pistols and found that certain models can, in fact, discharge when dropped.

According to the suit, however, the Sheperis incident wasn’t a simple case of a dropped gun contacting pavement. The suit alleges that the P320 in question was holstered when it was dropped.

12.   Officer Sheperis’s P320 pistol discharged on mere impact with the ground, without the trigger being pulled or even touched, which defendant SIG represented was not possible in marketing materials for the P320

12.   It also discharged while it was fully holstered in a [Safariland] Model 6360 ALS/SLS Mid Ride, Level III Retention Duty Holster, which attaches to, and detaches from, a mid-thigh area mount worn by Special Response Team Members.

13.   Because it was holstered, the trigger was protected from any movement upon impact with the ground, in addition to the protection provided by the pistol’s own trigger guard and internal safeties which failed to prevent the weapon from firing.

14.   At no time before, during or after the incident did Officer Sheperis place his finger on the P320’s trigger or touch the holstered firearm in any manner.

The timing of the suit is noteworthy as it was filed just a few days after reports circulated that the Dallas Police Department had suspended the use of P320 pistols for duty carry.

Sheperis, a 34-year-old member of the department’s Special Response Team, underwent multiple surgeries and is back on light duty, although more surgeries may be required, according to his attorney, Jeffrey Bagnell of Westport.

Sheperis is seeking at least $6 million in punitive and compensatory damages, and is demanding Sig Sauer recall the pistol or include a warning that the gun is not “drop safe” when a round is chambered.

“For it to just go off—it’s kind of horrifying, really,” Bagnell said.

Later today we will publish our own P320 drop test results along along with more information on this situation from SIG SAUER.



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  1. Hmmm, Ruger’s stock dropped after the Mark IV snafu. I wonder how Sig’s will do over the next couple of weeks.

      • The SIG-Sauer firearms businesses are owned by Lüke & Ortmeier Holding Gruppe of Emsdetten, Nordrhein-Westfalen, BRD. They also own Blaser, GSG, Rigby, Mauser, and other firearms companies. The current Swiss SIG corporation no longer has any firearms activities.

      • I.wonder if it is to late for the U.S.Army to back out of their major league contract that was just approved. Probably not, as the government will and do what ever they want ,(with no scarring or recourse). A legal and lawful contract to them is as binding and meaningful to them as a piece of toilet parer is to a ma and pa corner store.

        • The Army contract required a drop safe pistol so if anything Sig was in breach which may enable the Army to back out without paying anything.

    • Why? A holster’s job is to retain the firearm and protect the trigger guard.

      It is no fault of the holster that the internal workings of the firearm malfunctioned when dropped.

      • Yes, I read that wrong at first and then unsuccessfully tried to delete the post. Initially I thought the pistol was dislodged from the holster. Although I must say, it doesn’t say much for the thigh mount system that was used.

        • You misread again. It didn’t fall off his leg, he was carrying the rig to his car and dropped it.

  2. My one question about the whole decision of the Army going with the Sig 320, why do Special Forces, Seals and MARSOC choose the Glock 19 instead of the Sig 320??

    • Its battle tested and an off the shelf solution. With the p320 exposing its flaws for all to see, i cant see the tip of the spear switching over anytime soon, if at all….

      • I phrased the question incorrectly, which you answered. I should have said, there is a reason those units chose the Glock over Sig. Maybe big Army should have emulated them. And the question, why didn’t they?

        • My two cents believes that the P320 is the optimum in modular firearms. Having a ” pop-out” firing group as the registered firearm allows for complete customization and reduced inventory. At least, in theory, there are $$ to be saved. It was at least a good selling point

        • Follow the money. Also, when did Big Army ever care or listen to what the point of the sword thinks? One is a larded up sloth that serves to screw everything up, while the other actually accomplishes things. That said, the modularity of the Sig design was likely appealing.

    • Because its cheaper for them to leave a bunch of G19s on the shelf to gather dust while individual guys choose their own gun.

  3. That sure looks like a Clock in that holster – not a SIG. And the pistol did not “just go off”. It was negligently dropped as though it were nothing more than a soccer ball.

    • No, sorry, that’s bullshit. Don’t try and conflate dropping a gun (in a holster) to a negligent discharge by using the same language.

      There’s a reason guns need to be ‘drop-safe’ and this is it. Big difference between dropping one and it going off because the trigger was pulled.

    • Follow up: I see that it is the stock picture on the Safariland website that the article links to, but still…

      • S’okay Dan, I think most of us interpreted it that way. Looks pretty damn secure to me – I figure Sig will have a hard time blaming Safariland for this one.
        This whole p320 kerflufle is making me rethink how I present them as a choice to my customers. Many have come in asking about them since the news of the Army choice started disseminating out to the masses – I wonder how long until these stories start to become common knowledge.

  4. Good luck suing Sig dipshit shudda read the owners manual as it clearly states, “may fire when dropped” so their ass is covered.
    Lesson to be learned here don’t be dropping your weapons and if you do, then do it correctly!

  5. Loaded gun in a holster being negligently handled.
    I’d say this is a operator error.

    This is the same kind of person that gets offended when you clear a firearm they hand you and they tell you it’s unloaded, but it’s not.

  6. Hmmmm. Physics doesn’t look right. The thumb shield and thumb break look like they would have lessened the deceleration enough to keep what we’ve seen in the last couple of days from happening.

    …but I’m just sitting here in an armchair.


  7. After watching a few testing videos, it seems the 320 only fires when dropped if it is dropped onto its back strap or rear end first. It seems that when the gun hits the ground, the trigger continues to move rearward because of its weight, which fires the gun.

    OMAHA Outdoors did a really good drop test video explaning it. It would be really cool if TTAG did an article on this video.

  8. From the article quoting the lawsuit:
    “13. Because it was holstered, the trigger was protected from any movement upon impact with the ground…”

    The holster doesn’t look like it’s contacting the trigger at all, so how could it protect it from movement when it hit the ground? The point of the holster is to prevent any object from entering the trigger guard, not to immobilize the trigger.
    Any design that contacts the trigger would seem unsafe.

    • I THINK what they were trying to convey is that the trigger could not have been touched or moved by contact with something on the ground… but not well worded. Lawyers.

  9. I know a lot of police officers in my area, and I do a lot of gun cleaning and maintenance to their patrol rifles for them. Most police officers I admit are not gun people, however you have a SWAT team member that dropped his holster rig onto asphalt and the gun discharged and hit him in the leg. This seems that Sig Sauer has got to get the problem in their pistols fixed. I realize that this is their second run of striker-fired pistols. However if you can’t build a firearm that is designed especially for civilian defense and police military defense, you need to really make sure that the gun is safe. I’m not a cig Fanboy by any means because ever since they opened up their shop here in the United States their quality control has gone down the toilet. And this new release of problems with their P320 is just another sign that their aim is money and producing units for sale instead of the old Sig Sauer quality comes first. I have a friend who owns two of these pistols and I simply told him about all of the write-ups on the gun going off when dropped his response I won’t drop the weapon LOL. This is ridiculous Sig Sauer wants to sell our military epistle that if you drop it will go off that is crazy. People are going to get hurt seriously or even killed by this gun and their fix was to build a more robust trigger that won’t engage if dropped?? Lol how about building a gun that’s drops safe from the get-go seeing that you’re going to be placing this in the hands of civilians police officers and don’t forget that multimillion-dollar contract with the United States Army let’s go ahead and build something that possibly can cause one of our soldiers to accidentally shoot himself if he drops the weapon or bangs it up against something real hard. I hope the military drops the contract with Sig Sauer for that piece of s*** pistol. It would serve them right if you build junk people won’t buy it no matter even if it’s got Sig sauer’s name stamped on it. Next the military will be taking Jennings 25 automatic into combat because of the quality of the pistols that are being made by Sig Sauer. You know they could have just bought a Smith & Wesson M&P or a Glock 19 and be done with it something that’s been used on the beat with cops and carry by civilians since 1984 and they would have been good to go but they had to go with that modular ergonomic system where that cheesy little stainless steel frame can move around inside of that polymer frame instead of being actually encompassed by the polymer to keep it more rigid. So much for the best Striker Fired trigger in the batch. I guess there’s a reason behind Smith and Wesson and Glock having a mushy or trigger more traditional striker-fired trigger pull. It’s because it makes the gun a little bit more safe maybe Sig should consider safety as a priority over the money they’re making off of it.

  10. So with all the testing the military is supposed to have done on this pistol they never discovered this problem? WTF

    So much for Sig Sauers testing also, WTF!

    • Well you can’t test the gun by just DROPPING it, right? Not only does that seem unscientific, but it might hurt the gun! We can’t break the gun in testing or we won’t have a gun to test!

    • Was also wondering why the military stayed with the 9 mm. It seems the Pentagon has purchased a lot of equipment that is giving the military hell. The jets, Harriers I think, have been crashing ever since they were new, lousy body armor, and some of the guys have to get family to send them basic stuff like socks. Our military deserves the best and as soon as they need it.

  11. Is it possible that the armorer replaced the firing module in the gun and it somehow (?) was in a configuration that let it fire when dropped? Just wondering… I’ve used SIG pistols for more than 20 years and trust them implicitly. If it is their fault they will make it right for all concerned.

    • Seems like a needlessly complicated reason when we have other (new in box) sigs going off when dropped in tests.

      And these aren’t your daddy’s Sigs, so to speak… when I think of Sig, I think DA.SA. These are the fancy new striker fired versions. And maybe Sig should have left them to Glock.

    • Most LE agencies don’t go monkeying with fire control components as a matter of policy. Generally the only “customization” done is the addition of department approved accessories.

      Given what we know at this point I suspect Sig’s legal team will likely do some quick discovery on this. If the allegations in the lawsuit seem legit then Sig’s lawyers will likely bring a company checkbook to a meeting with the officer’s lawyer(s) to discuss the $ figure of said check. They need to be thankful this wasn’t any worse than it was.

      IMHO If Sig is smart they will do some quick fact finding on this particular situation and make this right with the injured officer without any lengthy legal battle. Sig take responsibility, pay the bill, learn from it, and move on.


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