SIG’s P320 is having a hard time staying out of the news. Regular readers will remember our ongoing coverage of the polymer pistol’s drop safe problem, leading to a “voluntary recall.” We now learn that SIG knew about the issue long before it hit the media . . .
Two days ago omahaoutdoors.com ran a blandly titled post entitled Pentagon Weapons Testing Office Report on the SIG MHS / XM17. The revelations contained therein are anything but bland.
Inside the Pentagon’s DOT&E FY 2017 Annual Report, a standard bureaucratic work product usually full of dry legalese regarding expensive weapons systems soon to be canceled for cost overruns, there is a section on the Sig Sauer XM17 / XM18 pistols. It contains several interesting facts about the pistol program.
One of the more interesting statements in the report is the fact that the Army discovered the drop fire issue with the XM17 pistols prior to it becoming known to the world with the P320 pistol.
The wording of the report is not entirely clear on the exact date, but it states the Army directed SIG to develop an ECP, or Engineering Change Proposal, to lighten the weight of the components in the trigger to fix the drop fire issue. This ECP-updated, non-drop-fire pistol was the one which took part in PVT, or Product Verification Test, beginning in April 2017.
TTAG cannot verify whether the U.S. Army knew about the P320 drop safe issue prior to our coverage in August 2017.
When we asked about the P320 drop safe issue that August, SIG SAUER told TTAG they had modified the military model’s trigger to enhance the trigger pull and eliminate the “click” about which many users — including the U.S. Army — had complained.
SIG told TTAG that their work on the P320 trigger coincidentally fixed the drop safe issue. Be that as it is, the aforementioned report reveals that the Army had other serious issues with the P320’s performance. taskandpurpose.com:
The Pentagon’s overview on its gear and tech programs in 2017, conducted by the Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation and released earlier in January 2018, indicated that both the XM17 and XM18 pistols demonstrated a series of persistent problems, including accidental discharge, ejecting live ammunition, and relatively frequent stoppages when firing ammunition encased in a full metal jacket.
Even worse, the report recommends the Army engineer some fixes “upon identification of the root cause” of the ejection issue — a statement that indicates the branch hasn’t yet identified the source of the issue.
TTAG has placed a call to SIG SAUER for comment.