Chris and Nick have it bad for the SIG P320. Apparently our readers did as well based on the enormous amount of submissions in our P320 contest. And, based on the number of various P320s SIG brought to our recent media day(s), they’re just as excited. For those who don’t know, the SIG P320 is a brand spanking new pistol that deviates from the norm in the same way the P250 does, with the trigger pack being the serialized part. This allows the user to change calibers, grip size (diameter and length), and slide length. And while our boy Chris loved the DAO hammer fired P250, the market demands a striker fired gun and SIG has delivered. There’s been a lot of talk in the comments sections of every P320 article about how that level of modularity isn’t exactly necessary in this modern world, a viewpoint I think is slightlyshort sighted . . .
While at SIG SAUER for two days, I had the opportunity to run the P320 in a variety of shooting scenarios and I came away very pleased with the platform. Since the trigger is the serialized part, it’s the only common feature among all the different configurations of P320 that can be made. I think that’s a wise design consideration as the trigger is one of the most important part of any pistol platform, a point we’ve belabored in the past.
The feel of a trigger is something that can change from model to model. My trigger on buddy’s XD(M) 4.5 feels different than my XD(M) 3.8 Compact. Not necessarily worse or better, just different. So when I practice a ton with my XD(M), then pick up a 4.5, there’s a small learning curve as I adjust to the new trigger. From that perspective, the P320 makes a ton of sense for those who really need two different pistols (full size and carry), but want to keep the feel of the trigger consistent among them.
Before I get into other items of consideration, a little more on that trigger. I tend to be harsh on that subject. I think it’s horrendous that a manufacturer would ship a $1000+ AR 15 with a gritty “mil-spec” trigger. I’ve brutalized the S&W M&P stock trigger, telling prospective buyers that they should factor the cost of an Apex kit in the purchase price of any new M&P. I think the GLOCK trigger is too “snappy” on the reset, and the XD(M) a bit mushy. If that was TL;DR, I’m picky about my triggers.
With that out of the way, I think the P320 has one of the top stock triggers I’ve ever tried. There’s a minimal amount of takeup before you hit a wall. Push through that — and a slight amount of grit — and you’re rewarded with a glassy break with a touch of overtravel. I didn’t bring my trigger test gauge with me, but I’d ballpark it in the 6 pound range.
The reset is definitely not as tight as an Apex, nor as close to the break, but its not too terrible. And unlike a GLOCK which forces your finger forward with a spring-assisted reset, the P320 lets you know the trigger has reset, but doesn’t mess with your mojo in doing so. Overall, a really good package. I’m certain it could get better, but unlike most guns I test, it isn’t the first thing I’d want to change.
Speaking of change, the world’s your oyster when it comes to swapping out components. Fancy a compact? Grab a compact grip. Like a full size? Go big. Small hands, big hands, average sized hands can all have their grip of choice.
“But Tyler, the Gen 4 GLOCK, S&W M&P, FNS, and XD(M) all offer replaceable backstraps”, you say. True, dear reader, they do and and they’re better than nothing. But the 320 grips that were made available to us seem to all have totally different profiles. The “small” stock is truly small all around, and in all the right places, whereas the large grip is universally large instead of just a small profile with some thick bits tacked on. That’s great for large- and small-handed shooters alike as they don’t have to compromise their comfort to get a fairly custom-feeling gun.
The thing I’m most excited about in regards to the P320 is its use for range days with new shooters. An opinion that Nick, Jeff Creamer of SIG, and I all shot the breeze about over dinner. Nick and I try to take new people shooting as often as possible, and as such have started to amass a collection of pistols some in the mainstream media might refer to as an arsenal. All this just to expose a new shooter to as much as possible during a 2 hour outing.
Not that I don’t enjoy owning a large variety of pistols, but sometimes I just need to show people the difference between 9mm and .45, compact and full size. So the ability to take a large case to the range with everything I’d need to accommodate a gorilla-handed linebacker who fancies a full-sized .45 or a small-handed lady who wants to try a compact 9mm is huge.
As a standalone pistol, I think the 320 does an admirable job of being a polymer framed striker fired pistol. I agree with Nick’s assessment that the bore axis is too high, but it isn’t obtrusively so. It’s “higher than I’d like” not “too high to function.” As a full-sized 9mm with the small grip, I was accurately and quickly shooting steel plates within a hundred rounds or so, a fact Leghorn can attest to as I beat him in several steel challenges while we waited around for the other writers to finish up class.
Viewed through the lens of its modularity, I think SIG has a true winner on their hands. The 320 can be whatever you need it to be with the quick swap of a few components. That’s a huge benefit for an owner who conceals a compact 9 during the summer, but wants to move to a full-sized version of the same gun for the winter. Or an owner who initially wanted a .45, but finds that 9mm ammo is cheaper, more plentiful, and easier to shoot. Or for the owner who tries to take new shooters to the range a few times a quarter and wants to be able to maximize a new shooter’s exposure to as many types of pistols in a short window of time. The P320 can do all that in a tidy little package.