DISCLAIMER: I am not the cause of the current ammo shortage. Tests like this take place over couple years or more and are not done in one sitting.
There have been few handguns as controversial as SIG SAUER’s M17 9mm duty pistol. I’ve covered the gun and its adoption in great detail across several outlets in the last few years. It’s hard to find a shooter today that hasn’t formed some sort of opinion about it and its parent gun, the P320.
So, in light of that, today I’m going to talk about my experience with the pistol and my thoughts on it after several years of use. I’ve had a few of these guns, and the one with the highest round count is in the photos of this article, sitting at about 25,000 shots fired.
It’s seen virtually ever kind of ammunition sold so I won’t waste electrons listing out each brand I’ve fired. If it’s made, chances are it has been fired in this gun.
The main takeaway is that this M17 hasn’t had any sort of malfunction. I also had no issues with any of the previous P320s I’ve shot or the M18. I seem to hear a lot of people talk about how poorly these guns are allegedly made, but I have yet to find someone who has actually had that experience himself, aside from obvious shills in the comments or forum sh*tposters.
For those unaware . . .
- 200,000+ M17 MHS pistols have been delivered to the military
- The M18 (compact variant that’s in USMC service) passed 12,000 rounds each for three pistols with zero malfunctions during a recent Lot Acceptance Test (LAT)
- The M17/M18 is currently in service with all military branches
Since some of think this will just be a SIG worship session, I’ll start out with what I don’t like after having spent as much time with this gun as I have.
The only mechanical issue I had was unrelated to the function of the pistol itself, but rather the sights. The screws in the underside of the slide that hold the rear sight and optics plate on begin to work their way out. That’s an easy fix, but I forgot my wrenches that day, of course, and I had to call it quits early.
That happened at about 10,000 rounds. It was totally preventable ad I admittedly had removed the plate at an earlier point and may not have tightened the screws well enough. I add this as more of a warning to make sure things are always tightened up.
Ergonomically I am not a huge fan of the contours of the modular pistol’s rounded grip, and I find that the texture isn’t aggressive enough for me. As I’ve used the pistol, the texture has smoothed out a bit over time and it’s a little hard for me to get a solid purchase on it with sweaty hands.
The diameter of the standard grip module is also a little wide for me, though this will vary from individual to individual.
The only remaining gripe isn’t so much a SIG problem as much as a rest of the industry problem. I’d like to see more options for the M17 grip modules with the safety notch cut-out. There are plenty of options for the standard P320, but not enough for the M17 in my opinion.
Moving on, let’s talk about what it has done very right. The gun is extremely soft-shooting. I have never had a load, including some wild +P+ stuff, that wasn’t tamed. The full-size barrel and slide with full-length recoil assembly make it very smooth.
It’s almost like an M16 compared to an M4 as far as recoil. The M16 just feels so relaxed and the cycling of the action is more of a glide as opposed to the rapid and harder cycle on the M4.
Something I noticed shooting all those rounds was that the trigger never really got that ‘broken in’ feeling. Most handguns that I shoot to a high round count eventually get a worn in feeling, like the parts are ground in together and know each other.
Not with the M17. I think that this has to do with the large size and robust design of the pistol’s striker assembly. There is much more metal there than in, say, the hammer sear of a 1911.
The trigger has, however, been very very good and hasn’t changed in pull weight at all over my time with it. It’s not exactly a light trigger by any standard, but it’s repeatable and breaks cleanly.
Which brings us to accuracy The pistol hasn’t shown any significant reduction in overall accuracy and it displays no unintentional rattle. Out of the box, the gun was producing 2 inches at 25 meters all day long for most ammo. That hasn’t really changed. It still produces the same patterns with the same ammunition.
I think the recoil spring may need to be replaced eventually, but again it is not causing problems. I notice that the slide seems to hang back in space-time slightly longer with hard-recoiling +P+ loads, but that’s not something that I can really quantify as a true problem.
So if the gun here has seen that many rounds, shouldn’t it be down to bare metal and covered in dings and dents? Surely some of you out there are thinking, “Well, Josh, you WOULD have had some failures if you buried it in your chicken coop for a week, threw it into traffic, and cleaned it with salt water like Special Forces does to their guns. You aren’t really testing it hard enough.”
I hate to say it, but that’s not normal. Most people take decent care of their guns and it was never my goal to intentionally ram this thing into the ground. The pistol was normally maintained, regularly carried, had various lights mounted on it over time, and was used in some typical pistol matches.
25,000 rounds isn’t an insane total. I know guys in the pre-crazy ammo days who shot 50-100,000 rounds a year in IDPA and USPSA matches. If you’re trying to make something fail, it’s really easy to do. I treated this pistol like any gun I own and it’s treated me well in exchange.
Statistically you’d think there would be a round in the tens of thousands I’ve fired that would have caused a failure, but in this particular gun, it did not. Ammo, in my experience, is far more failure prone than most guns.
As far as wear and tear, the M17 here has held up extremely well. The internals are all in great shape because the modular chassis is easy to clean out since it’s removable. The exterior is reasonably worn, but not in poor condition at all.
I wouldn’t do much as far as replacing barrels, but I may get a new spring at some point. Most competition guys I knew over the years only replaced springs annually on their match guns. I think that, based on the current state of the gun, it should easily get to 50,000 rounds with no additional maintenance, although going forward I may switch out to a grip module that better fits my hands.
My overall impression at this stage is that the M17 is a fine pistol and the military has chosen a great suite of handguns that are durable, accurate and reliable. I wouldn’t for a moment hesitate using this as my primary carry gun and I’d be happy using it in matches as-is.
My issue with Sig is that seem to let their customers do pay to their Beta testing for Sig. The P320 was an initial release disaster, as was the P365, I eventually bought a P365 a year after it’s release and Sig had fixed the problems. Impressed with the gun. I always have lusted after a P210 and P220. The P320 may be a good gun, but I’m unlikely to own one. Sig needs better QC.
Yep. Wait a year before buying when a new model comes out.
But on the other hand, Sig is innovative and comes with new designs frequently which makes them daring and courageous. I agree with your QC comment but you got to keep in mind QC is easy if all you do is make a 1911 and never change.
I have a friend who went on a mission to break the M17 when it first came out. He has over 52000 round through it. Pretty much the same story. Never had a failure. I got the 320 in M17, M18 and Legion models. My round count on them is much lower (around 10000) but its been the same for me too. The Legion model is one of the most accurate pistols I own.
Lol you can buy a Sig SP 2022 (Aka SIG Pro) for like $375 and it does everything you imaginary Navy Seals need, and for 1/2 to 1/3 of the price. But that won’t impress your equally rotund friends down at the range, which is after all what counts, right?
You mad bruh?
Personally, my entire current collection is budget and functionality based because I simply cannot afford Legion-type firearms, but there is absolutely no reason one shouldn’t spend their money on what they like. I have a great “budget” pistol that I carry everyday, has a great trigger and never failed in any way but I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a proven higher-end gun if I was in the position to. Not every nice purchase is to flex. Sometimes it’s just nice to have nice things!
Being poor is an excuse.
Yeah, my Sig SP 2340 Blueline has been my carry gun for years. The 2340 is the predecessor of the 2022 and the blue line was only sold only to the police/military. Bought it used and there’s no telling how many rounds I’ve put through her over those years and I’ve never had a single malfunction. It just works and shoots great so I never felt the need to buy something else.
Or you could just spend more for a P320, because that’s what you want
The SigPro is an excellent pistol, but many of us prefer the consistent trigger pull of striker fired pistols.
FWIW I bought my Sig M17/320 because I wanted the pistol because US Armed Forces was using it. I also have my Grandfather’s Colt M1917 .45acp Army revolver he used in WWI.
I think they make a nice pair of US Army issued handguns.
Also bought the Sig P365 9mm because it was the smallest 9mm everyday concealed carry gun I could find that had good accuracy. I love both.
Don’t knock the M17. It’s a great pistol. besides.. No one here is knocking your Sig model….Always keep in mind the old saying…”to each his own”
Not everyone is broke… just because someone owns something nicer/more expensive than you doesn’t mean they are trying to flex.
You go ahead and drive that Smart Car or Yugo too. It does everything you need in transportation. Pay no attention to the snickering when you drive by.
I made four upgrades to my stock P320 Full-size that turned it from an average gun to a great one, and that I enthusiastically recommend to other P320 users if your version doesn’t already have them:
1) Sig X-Series Grip Module
2) Sig OEM Flat Trigger
2) Tactical Pontoon Sear Spring kit
3) Gray Guns Thick Guide Rod w/ 15 Ibs. 1911 Spring
This will NOT sit will with the Glockista Temple Worshippers or the Cult of MAC that think running a pistol through dirt, water, mud and sand over and over is in some far fetched reality any indicator of reliability. This type of reasonable evaluation of a pistol simply cannot be allowed to stand.
Prepareth the stocks and the “BLASPHEMER!” sign, which shall be chained aroundeth his neck!
I have now shot the regular 320s, the 320 legion and the scorpion (I think steel frame one) and while I dont think they’re bad guns I dont think they offer anything new outside of the unique frame materials and the quick recoil impulse which I think is a plus. I shoot glocks and czs and hks and sigs but if the military didn’t pick the 320 due to price and factory support I dont think it would have the following that it does. Also, I dont know of another gun with so many negligent discharge lawsuits following it around. Some are probably user error but some have strong supporting evidence as documented by the legal teams in the cases. The 320 to me is just another plastic gun fighting for the same market as all the rest.
Price wasn’t the reason the military picked the M17. They picked it because it was the only pistol that satisfied all their requirements.
@TommyGNR If you are familiar with military procurement, they have a habit of tailoring the requirements to suit a particular vendor from time to time.
The Military told the vendors they wanted a external safety. The 320 didn’t have it, but put it on. Glock didn’t.
The Military called the project the “Modular Handgun System”. The motivation was alot of the Beretta M92’s were developing cracked frames. When the frame cracked they had to buy a new gun. Hence they were looking for a platform that enabled them to easily change out the lower part of the gun and be easy to tailor to different size hands. Sig gave to them. The other vendors didn’t.
Glock most definitely did put a safety on their MHS submission. They just removed it from the civilian 19x that they are selling.
Any issues of it magically going off in the holster like several sites and lawyers claim it does?
25k rounds and no worn out springs is slightly unlikely. 25k rounds and the finish isn’t worn through in even one spot (especially the locking surface) ? Lmao bullshit. I might have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night. As someone that averages 30k rounds or so per year and shoots IDPA along with the occasional three gun match, there’s no way that barrel finish would not be bare in at least two spots with that round count. I hope nobody reading this article is dumb enough to believe yet another internet round count.
It’s a flatwire spring. 10 times the lifespan of a round wire spring. 25K is about half-life.
I agree with you on the barrel though. Never had a sig without a jacked up spot on the front of the barrel hood, and a smiley near the muzzle.
I use the Wilson Combat grip module superior to stock Sig module.
THANKS YA ALL ON INFOR ALWAYS
I have to say that the P320 had good ergonomics in the gun shop but it wasn’t a good shooter. I found myself shooting very low with the P320 so my guess is the ergonomics were so different from the Glock I carried for years that I wasn’t able to adapt to the P320. I never had a failure of any kind in thousands of rounds but never felt like I could shoot it competently so back to the Glock I went and have stayed since then. The Glock, incidentally, never had a failure either and costs $150 less…
I have some really really nice auto loader pistols. I purchased an m17 for my grandson. After working with him and the m17 I decided that I needed some. One for each rig. All the same, same characteristics. I use one as my range gun. Average over 1000 rnds month. Never an issue, as accurate as high priced customs. It’s my carry. And it still looks like new.