Gun Review: SIG SAUER P320 XCompact 9mm Pistol

SIG SAUER P320 XCompact 9mm Pistol

Josh Wayner for TTAG

The P320 XCompact is a member of the modular P320 family. Like other P320 models the XCompact consists of a stainless steel chassis that bears the serial number. The chassis in the X Compact is exactly the same the one found other P320 pistols and can be readily dropped into any other grip module and slide combination.

That means you can rebuild it as you like and return it back to its original configuration in a minute or less with no specialized tools.

The pistol comes standard with SIG Xray3 night sights. Since we live in an age when many other guns have what can only be described passable sights, it’s refreshing that a significant portion of SIG SAUER’s product lineup comes with extremely durable, useful night sights.

SIG SAUER P320 XCompact 9mm Pistol

SIG SAUER’s P320 XCompact – is it the new standard for compact handguns? (Josh Wayner for TTAG)

The rear sight is removable and is part of a SIGLITE slide plate assembly. The ability to add optics has become almost a requirement for many end users these days, but that often comes at a premium. It’s standard on the XCompact. The lines of the slide plate are clean and blend well with no unsightly screws in the top of the assembly. The screws are hidden underneath the frame.

I have heard that some people dislike the fact that the rear sight comes off when you mount an optic. The Tactical Polo Bros love to throw this out a negative. In real world use for the vast majority of gun owners, it is in no way relevant considering that there are in fact slide plates that can be purchased that include a rear sight.

Being a carry-sized gun, I would probably not opt for a red dot as I have rarely used one and I don’t fully trust them in defensive situations. Still, I like that it’s an option. I see the ability to mount a red dot as a major plus for suppressor owners who would otherwise have to opt for a set of taller sights at additional expense.

The P320 XCompact’s has a short 3.6″ barrel. That’s actually shorter than the barrel on the P365 XL, which itself is a very small gun to begin with.

The gun is the same thickness as a standard P320 at 1.3 inches. The outward appearance is that of a somewhat chunky gun, but looks can be deceiving.

Overall length is just 7 inches and the unloaded weight is 25 ounces. These stats put it on the smaller end of the spectrum of comparable compact guns despite having more steel and more robust parts than many competitors.

SIG SAUER P320 XCompact 9mm Pistol

Simple disassembly. Just drop the magazine, lock the slide to the rear, and rotate the takedown lever. You can pull the lever all the way out to remove the chassis from the grip. (Josh Wayner for TTAG)

The XCompact has one of the best grips of any modern polymer framed compact on the market. Not only is it probably the most ergonomic by direct comparison, but it is also among the most aesthetically pleasing. Putting your hand on this grip is an eye-opening experience into just how comfortable a gun can be.

The trigger guard is spacious, but has a generous undercut that allows the hand to sit high on the frame. That translates to greater comfort while firing, marginally less felt recoil and no slippage of the hand you get with slab-sided guns.

I tested the P320 XCompact with just under 2,500 rounds of various 9mm rounds. Accuracy shown is the average of three five-shot groups at 15 yards. Velocity is the average of ten rounds fired over an Oehler 35P chronograph five feet from the muzzle.

Black Hills 115gr TAC XP +P——————1170fps, 1.1″ (50 rounds)

Black Hills 125gr HoneyBadger————–982fps, 1.25″ (100 rounds)

Black Hills 110 HoneyBadger +P————-1205fps, .75″ (100 rounds)

Black Hills 115gr FMJ————————-1060fps, 1.5″ (400 rounds)

SIG SAUER 124gr V-Crown——————-1177fps, 1.75″ (150 rounds)

SIG SAUER 115gr V-Crown——————-1235fps, 1.3″ (150 rounds)

SIG SAUER 365 FMJ————————–1185fps, .9″ (300 rounds)

SIG SAUER 365 JHP————————–1163fps, 1″ (200 rounds)

SIG SAUER 115gr FMJ ————————Did Not Chrono (450 rounds)

SIG SAUER 124gr FMJ————————Did Not Chrono (375 rounds)

Hornady 124gr Critical Duty +P————–1116fps, 1.25″ (50 rounds)

Hornady 135gr Critical Duty +P————–1063fps, 1.75″ (50 rounds)

Buffalo Bore 147gr JHP +P——————-1071fps, 2.0″ (20 rounds)

Lehigh Defense 105gr CF +P—————–1269fps, .9″ (20 rounds)

Lehigh Defense 90gr Xtreme Defense +P—1408fps, 1.25″ (20 rds)

I experienced no failures to feed or fire in the course of my testing and I ran it hard and dirty. I didn’t give this gun a break because I knew what it was up against. I wasn’t especially nice to the pistol…it was subjected to dust, sand, and other debris at the range.

I fired at both paper and steel and it never missed a beat. I never cleaned it out of the box and never even so much as wiped it down after putting box after box of ammo through it. The Xcompact was an absolute beast and just kept going and going.

The pistol delivered exceptionally mild recoil and was not at all snappy. While I don’t have the space here to talk about each round tested, all were great and I’d heartily recommend them.

I fired a range of bullet weights through the XCompact in both standard and +P offerings. Overall, I found it performed best with SIG SAUER 365 loads, where it was just plain fun to shoot.

It handled very well and recoil with the 365 loads was bouncy and light, not sharp or dramatic. (I tested this ammo for TTAG last year)

The Black Hills 100gr +P HoneyBadger delivered the best accuracy. This load has consistently delivered the best accuracy from the 9mm pistols I have reviewed, with only one exception to date.

XCompact vs. GLOCK 19

GLOCK G19 Gen5 9mm

The standard: GLOCK 19 Gen5 (Josh Wayner for TTAG)

So now is the time that we will get down and dirty. This gun has lots of competitor on the market, but one that stands out in many gun buyers’ minds. Despite the existence of many very good 15+1 9mm compacts like the Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 and FN 509, the P320 XCompact’s primary rival is the GLOCK 19.

GLOCK has made evolutionary changes to its pistols over time and has a wide and deep user base that’s been built over decades. They have a very successful formula for the majority of their handguns and they don’t really stray from that.

The modular P320 platform, was more of a revolutionary change in SIG’s lineup. One that’s won over a lot of gun buyers…the military among them. It has a lot of updated features that gun buyers look for in a duty or defensive carry handgun.

The P320 XCompact is what a modern compact 9mm should be. The standard set by the G19, that being a reliable 15+1 pistol suitable for concealed carry, recreational, and general use, is a good one that must be respected. The G19 has been called “peak handgun” by some writers, and I tend to agree that its feature set is excellent.

But in my opinion, the P320 XCompact exceeds the G19 with its ergonomics and modularity.

SIG SAUER P320 XCompact 9mm Pistol

Ergonomics-‘R’-Us just opened for business. The XCompact grip is an amazingly well designed and comfortable addition to the P320 feature set. (Josh Wayner for TTAG)

Not only is the XCompact slightly smaller, but it’s far better balanced in the hand and points more naturally than the G19. Many shooters I know will point out that it has a higher bore axis. Folks, it’s not that high in reality.

If you’re used to the P226 and 1911, you’ll never notice a difference. If you compare it directly to the G19, it is slightly higher, but only marginally so, and the difference isn’t enough to be a disadvantage.

Then there are the ergonomics. I’m willing to say that most shooters will consider the grip on the XCompact to be much better than the G19′. The G19, and most GLOCK pistols for that matter, have always struggled ergonomically in the eyes of many shooters due to their grip angle. I suggest you go to your local gun store and hold them both, side-by-side. The difference is quite apparent.

The more rounded shape and contour of the XCompact grip is also far more organic and comfortable without the torquing found on the flat-sided G19.

SIG SAUER P320 XCompact 9mm Pistol

The G19 grip cutout…which isn’t popular with all shooters. (Josh Wayner for TTAG)

The G19’s grip can only be adjusted in thickness front-to-back with the provided backstrap options. The XCompact is compatible with a full line of ergonomically designed grip modules.

The trigger on the XCompact is also superior to that of even the Gen5 G19. Not only is it crisper with little to no stacking or mush, it breaks and resets more cleanly. The reset on the XCompact is a hair longer than I would like, but that’s my only complaint and it’s a minor one.

Then there are the sights. GLOCK doesn’t have a lot of devoted fans of its standard sights.  The XCompact ships with night sights at close to the same price.

Since weight and magazine capacity are identical for all practical purposes, I’ll call that a tie. We can debate the merits of (steel lined) polymer vs. steel magazines, but there is clear advantage to the wide availability of G19 aftermarket mags. How big an advantage that is depends on the individual shooter’s needs.

SIG SAUER P320 XCompact 9mm Pistol

SIG’s flat triggers are crisp and functional. (Josh Wayner for TTAG)

The barrel length comparison is interesting. I have always wondered just why GLOCK never put a G26 slide on a G19 frame. Instead they did the G19 slide on a G17 with the popular 19X.

Some like the short frame/long slide thing but I find it too Tactical Polo Guy for me. S&W did the right thing, in my opinion, by putting a 3.6″ slide and barrel on the M&P 2.0 Compact.  SIG decision to go the same way is a good move as there is virtually no loss in velocity and accuracy with a 3.6 inch barrel. Trimming that half-inch off the front end makes it feel like a different gun.

Overall the SIG SAUER P320 XCompact is an exceptional gun. I’ve reviewed both and both are excellent choices. That said, the XCompact outperformed the G19 in most categories by which I measure a modern gun.

The XCompact is, on all points, a next-gen gun and is arguably the best in class. That’s a big deal considering that the 15+1 9mm class has so many worthy competitors. Long live the new king.

Specs: SIG SAUER P320 XCompact

Caliber: 9x19mm
Capacity: 15+1 Rounds (two magazines included)
Barrel Length: 3.6”
Overall Length: 7”
Sights: XRay Night Sights with removable rear sight plate
Weight: 25oz
MSRP: $680. Street Price about $630

Ratings (out of five stars):

Accuracy * * * * *
The XCompact was an absolute hammer at the range. The on-paper accuracy was spectacular for a compact gun.

Reliability * * * * * 
2,500 (ish) rounds and no failures. I depleted much of my on-hand 9mm stock trying to get this pistol to fail. It didn’t.

Ergonomics * * * * *
SIG really went for the gold on how this gun feels in the hand. It is, without a doubt, the most ergonomic compact pistol on the market today.

Customize This * * * * *
There is no other carry sized 9mm that even comes close to the P320 platform’s modularity and adaptability. You can reconfigure it just about any way you want.

Aesthetics * * * * 
No modern plastic gun is a beauty queen, but the lines of the XCompact are modern and clean. That flat trigger gives it a state-of-the-art look.

Overall * * * * *
SIG deliver a fully customizable pistol with the P320 XCompact. It’s optics-ready, has a great trigger, and is very accurate. I think that SIG has reset the standard for the 15+1 9mm pistol here.

comments

  1. avatar James69 says:

    Yawn. Another $100 per letter in the name gun. Sig the new barbie gun for men.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      who pissed in your oatmeal this morning

      1. avatar Hans says:

        I did, Your Hanniballship. IMHO, it is priced
        about a buck thirty too high.

        The big plus, however, is the magazine capacity
        which is impressive.

      2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        I just noticed that the price on a P238 like I have is now $1000. I think I must have been sleepin’. Or something.

        1. avatar RWJ says:

          P238 $1000? I don’t think so.

  2. avatar jwm says:

    A gun review? You sure you’re in the right place?

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      I’m working on 3 myself, 2 of the 3 just hit the 1000 round marks and now I feel they qualify for review… Maybe I can get some nice photos, or possibly game besides clay pigeons. After that get ready for 20 guage shotgun overload.

  3. avatar Augray says:

    All good points. It looks like a great product. But is it worth $200 more than the M&P2.0 with the 3.6” barrel?

    1. avatar Hans says:

      No, it is not, Augray. It is a bit longer but
      has even a larger capacity and is thirty bucks
      cheaper.

      https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/mp-9-m20-1

    2. avatar Mitch says:

      I am a huge M&P 2.0 fan, and really dont like anything 320 based so far (including the X-carry). That being said, yes, the X-Carry absolutely is worth the extra $200. Think about just how few pistols in the same price range even come close to having the same feature set. I cant think of a single one that comes with an optic cut and night sights that is anywhere close to the same price. Anyone care to educate me on some options that I’m not aware of yet? (please!)

    3. avatar B.D. says:

      I got my 3.6″ for $300!

  4. avatar No_Ones_Home says:

    Though it has, for most appearances, been an aborted product from the git-go….the Ruger American Pistol has the same serialized modular chassis concept that Sig does. No tools required to pop it out either. There was a video from SHOT a few years ago of a Ruger rep popping it out & explaining it.

    Unfortunately Ruger never offered different sized frames for sale.

    1. avatar Tom T says:

      I was surprised they didn’t even offer color variations. They really did a poor job marketing and following through with the American. So much wasted potential.

      The Security 9, on the other hand, is selling like crazy. Go figure.

  5. avatar Coffeemonster says:

    Had the P250 compact w similar sights. It was a very good piece, but I liked the CZ-75 family better.
    I only hated the trigger pull length, the picatinny biting through thinner or softer holsters, and sometimes the sandpaper grip abrading my side.

  6. avatar Yawns says:

    Is this guy a Sign employee? He’s wrote about like four or five Sign fluff pieces so far, perhaps more. This is ridiculous.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      I mean… they’re generally good guns, what do you want? The main con to them is that they are pricey but value is a highly subjective factor.

    2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      I accused Nick aka Foghorn for being a Sig fanboi in his MPX review back in 2016. I shot a full auto SBR at TFF that year, I had to find Nick and personally apologize. The Sig MPX is one of the best firearms I have ever shot.

  7. HEY THERE OLD GOOD BUDDY ,LET`S PUT IT UP AGAINS`T IT`S BIG BROTHER ;THE M-17 320 SIG SAUER AND ALSO THROW IN YOUR GLOCK AS COMPETION ,PLEASE ;JUST WAN TO SEE HOW MY SIG SAUER ,M-17 320 9 mm STACKS UP AGAINST THE STIFF COMPETION ,FOR A PERSONAL DEFENSE PIECE ,THANK YOU ;!

    1. avatar Mantitude says:

      John, first, please stop abusing that Caps lock key, thank you.
      On to your request, I’m actually working on an M17 review, and I had casually compared it to my tricked out G17.
      Despite Agency Arms doing their finest to Gaston’s gat, I consistently shot the Sight better.
      I’m about thirteen hundred rounds in, so it’ll still be while before I’m done, but I’m loving the new Army pistol.

  8. avatar David says:

    Is it drop-safe?

    1. avatar TNoebel says:

      Are you?

      1. avatar Sal Chichon says:

        Hahahaha!!!

  9. avatar Bobsuruncle says:

    I own more than a few compact 9mm from various manufacturers, ie.. Taurus, ruger, glock, etc. I’ve shot a few sigs, never liked any of them except the 365. Biggest problems I found is the lack of affordable magazines and take home price. I don’t need 1 inch groups, 40$ plus spare mags, and double the price on a ccw piece. I need a reliable, minute of bad guy (at a legally defensible distance) gun. A ccw gun is not a range gun that I would customize by changing grips or anything for that matter. For example, I own a Taurus pt111 g2, have 3k plus rounds without issue, cost 200$ 3 yrs ago. Goes bang every time, I can group very close to what you got out of that 650$, and I wouldn’t care if the police hold onto it if I had to use it in defense.

    1. avatar James69 says:

      My point exactly. I’ve been looking at those g2’s since they came out.

  10. avatar Hank says:

    Load and chamber then Bash it with a hammer!

    1. avatar B.D. says:

      We call that the “SIG Test”

  11. avatar David Phares says:

    Clearly the reviewer has never held a Walther. There no nicer grip on the planet across their line of 9mm firearms. Even my older PPX HAS A DREAM GRIP. I also have a tricked out Glock G45, but thevWalrher grip is nicer!

    1. avatar Some guy says:

      Steyr L9 family has the best grip but I’ve never held a PPQ

  12. avatar DB Cooper says:

    I’ll add to my Glock line with a ‘19 from your comments. Thank you for the comparison.

  13. avatar Poppy says:

    I’ll put my PX4 Storm Compact up against any. Great shooter & reliable out of the box. It seems to get better every time I shoot it & have yet to have any failures out of it. The replacement mags are the ONLY gripe I have with Beretta. They are about the same as the Sigs.

  14. avatar Sandy Respess says:

    All good points. The Sig 320 XCompact does have better ergonomic options (at an additional cost) and better sights than the Glock 19. Overall it is a quality reliable pistol that will run with the best of the pack; however there is a dark side to the 320 that doesn’t get a lot of attention from the gun writers and that is complexity. The trigger mechanism, that stainless steel part assembly that is the gun, is vastly over engineered The take down lever cannot be operated unless the slide is locked to the rear and the magazine is removed. Complete those two operations the take down lever works and the slide assembly is then removed without having to first pull the trigger. A nifty safety feature that requires extra small parts and springs. The striker assembly is so complex that the armorer’s manual doesn’t provide instructions for disassembly; it is replaced as an assembly. The fire control group and striker assembly are far more complex than necessary and hence more subject to failure that the similar Glock assemblies. Also note that Sig recommends normal cleaning, inspection, and maintenance every three years or 5,000 rounds. The service life of most 320 components is rated at 20,000 rounds.

    1. avatar Bobsuruncle says:

      More part equals more possibilities for something to fail. I work in the automotive industry. When a company doesn’t release repair procedures for an assembly, it’s either because they don’t want to release engineering info…. or they don’t want non-company personnel messing around with their dirty Peter beaters.

    2. avatar Mantitude says:

      I went to check my documents, and true enough, they don’t have takedown info for the striker unit.
      So, I went ahead and stripped my M17, and then promptly took apart the offending unit.
      And then put it back together without any difficulty.
      I think it’s absence from the literature is more to stop bubba from screwing around with it, than to high complexity.

  15. avatar Mark N. says:

    For my money, I’d opt for the P365 if California would let me have one. But then, I like thin little pistols. And , this being California, why bother with a fairly bulky gun when one’s capacity is limited to 10 rounds? So my Kahr with 7+1 capacity and a 3.6″ barrel will just have to do.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      You can buy a P365 off of Calguns.

  16. avatar Neil says:

    I so want this gun in California. I’d buy it right after a P365xl and a P365.

    4 of my 5 favorite guns are Sig’s. The other is a S&W shield. I also own a USP, G34, Walther, another Sig, and Iensure that I try out my friends’ CZs and Berettas.

    The two guns compared are exactly the two guns I recommend as first choice for self defense (Ghad is the stock Gen5 so much better stock than older stock Glocks.). Oh, there are dozens more I recommend depending on the shooter’s preference, but these are the two crowd pleasers.

  17. avatar sound awake says:

    sig sauers are like the green bay packers
    its not that theyre a bad team
    its just the fans that are hard to be around

    1. avatar Mike V says:

      Thought that was HK?

  18. avatar Shiffrod says:

    I have become quite enamored by the 320 series in general and the X Series specifically. I shot a buddy’s X series competition 320 with the upgraded trigger and it was fantastic.

    That said……I’m not into the “compact” size. I’m more into full size or sub compact. I cant decide if I want a full size 320 or a 365 for my next purchace.

  19. avatar BusyBeef says:

    You neglect to point out that that awful grip angle people complain about on Glocks forces you to rotate your hands forward, lock out your wrists, and squeeze properly – further mitigating the recoil.

    And while you may want to claim the bore axis doesn’t really matter, having shot both guns back to back, the Sig does have more flip – but there’s less felt recoil due to the extra bulk of the Sig. So it’s kind of a wash between the two – although I feel the Glock shoots faster.

    As for trigger – put 3,500 rounds through a Gen 5 and you’ve got a fine trigger. The Sig is better out of the box.

  20. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    The Sig 320 is the more reliable gun compared to the Glock because the Sig 320 is a full cock striker fired gun while the Glock’s striker is only 67 per cent cocked, pulling the trigger (kind of) cocks it the rest of the way resulting in a very week ignition system. My high primer tests had 3 different Glocks fail the high primer test 3 times in a row on each gun. Proof enough of its very weak ignition system.

    Although this Sig 320 model does not appear to have the option of a manual safety one could buy another chassis and parts to covert it buy like most people you should not have to do this. Sig should make the manual safety an option on the gun. I found two military models on line that do come with the military safety but those guns are not compact either. So for now I will not be buying the compact model. No manual safety means a no sale as I consider the gun unsafe to handle or carry without one. No one in their right mind would carry a revolver with the hammer cocked back but the average gun owner is not high enough on the evolutionary scale to see that there is no difference between carrying a revolver with the hammer cocked back and a striker fired pistol without a manual safety. Its totally beyond their comprehension.

    The take down system on the Sig 320 is far safer than the idiotic unsafe take down system on the Glock which is an accident waiting to happen and happen it does over and over again. The average Glockster simply says “I am infallible and I could never fk up and forget to check the chamber when I take it down”. In a way its tragically hilarious. Its proof of Darwinism at work.

    Yes the Sig P320 will continue to be popular just because its the U.S. Governments military pistol because people think the Government only chooses the very best designed weapons like the flawed M16, the BAR and the Remington M40 just to name a few. But that is another long story for another day. So next time you point your finger at the Germans for adopting the jamamatic Luger or the flying apart P38 which was also noted for going full auto and also cracking its slide remember you have got 3 fingers pointed right back at some of your own military weapons.

    1. avatar Broke_It says:

      Vlad, you strike me as the kind of wretched, crotchety individual that would bitch about a lack of umbrella if it suddenly started raining $100 bills outside.

      1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        Your right I would if I did not have bucket to put all the cash in and get to keep it.

        1. avatar Mantitude says:

          Y’know, when you’re not being a smarmy lil shit, I quite appreciate your perspective.
          It is refreshing.
          For the record, I love my M17.
          Sig’s safety design for the 320 is a rather useable thumb rest.

  21. avatar IdahoBoy says:

    I would be more trusting of this review if there were fewer superlatives.

  22. avatar James69 says:

    I see ruger now has a compact security 9 now.

    1. avatar BusyBeef says:

      That gun is supposed to be awesome, btw.

  23. avatar Grumpster says:

    The P320 X Compact is a nice pistol but I personally much prefer my Glock 19 over it. The P320 X Compact is noticeably taller than the Glock 19 and closer to Glock 17/45 height which is significant for IWB carry. I also don’t like that the P320 trigger has so little take up. I know many like that but for a CCW pistol I like more takeup like Glock has. Regardless of paper comparisons I still shoot my Glock 19 better than the competitors including the P320 X Compact, As always one should try whatever options one is considering and go with what works best for them.

  24. avatar Charles says:

    There are some tricks to tinkering with the fire control modules on P250s and P320s, and like all pistols, they are not “private proof”; but are much easier to service than the ubiquitous classic Ruger 22 pistols, or even: 1911s, or P35s, or P226s, or P92s .

    The P38s made by Walther were great.
    The ones produced with pot metal by war time slave labor had problems with drum cracking from repeated hammer dropping using the safety decocker.

    The Lugers were so difficult to machine (with 1900 era equipment) that only highly skilled operators could produce reliable pieces and they are highly prized and respected by serious collectors.
    Like the SIG 210, they are a joy to shoot, but are so expensive that they really are “safe queens”.

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