The SIG Sauer P320 overshadowed everything else this year. Among other things, the handgun got the nod in the US Military’s tender for a new service pistol. It will replace the trusty Beretta M9 as the M17 and M18. We reported the news in an earlier issue. Click here for a review of the XM17 pre-series model.
Of course we couldn’t resist giving the SIG Sauer P320 a go at the shooting range ourselves. We wanted to get a feel for the polymer frame pistol that’s been the talk of the town for some time now.
Testing the SIG Sauer P320 service pistol in caliber 9 mm Luger at the range
SIG Sauer sent us two review models of the P320: the P320 Full-Size and the P320 Compact, both of them chambered in 9 mm Luger. At the moment, the handguns still come from the plant in Exeter/USA. But the factory in Eckernförde is already making the first service pistol series’ for the European market. The SIG Sauer P320 is also available in calibers .40 S&W and .45 ACP.
The Full-Size and Compact models differ in terms of their size and their weight. This also relates to the magazine capacity. The Full-Size fits 17 rounds, but the Compact’s magazine is designed to take just 15. Check the table below for the precise technical data and dimensions.
The P320 is a polymer frame, striker-fired pistol. It works on the basis of the proven Browning-Petter-SIG system. This means that the barrel and chamber tilt downward from the slide when a shot is fired. In striker-fired pistols, the striker is cocked every time the slide is racked.
We took down the gun into its individual components with just a few easy moves. We even managed to remove the trigger mechanism with embossed serial number, leaving only the polymer frame with receiver behind. SIG Sauer offers grip modules in a variety of sizes. Switching them could hardly be easier, as these modules themselves – the frame and the receiver – are not counted as part of the weapon.
On the subject of replacing parts: shooters will have little trouble changing the caliber, slide length and grip size as well. So the pistol guarantees a certain modularity.
Our review: The P320 Full-Size and Compact rested easily and pleasantly in the hand. All of the edges were nicely rounded for ideal ergonomics. The slide serrations offered good purchase at the front and the back. The trigger broke clean as a whistle with the hefty pull you’d expect of a service weapon.
The 3-dot sights enabled faultless target acquisition at the range. Sports shooters will be delighted, as the white dots offer good contrast. We only used GECO 9 mm Luger 124 grs full metal jacket (8.0 g FMJ) for our review.
Summary of the SIG Sauer P320 polymer frame pistols
The SIG Sauer P320 is a robust pistol with great reliability and ease of use. We didn’t experience any malfunctions while shooting at the range. All the group sizes were good. The P320 by SIG Sauer is a nicely engineered and solid handgun chambered in 9 mm Luger with polymer frame. It can be – and is – used as a service pistol in the Production Division of the dynamic shooting sport IPSC.
Overview of Specs for the SIG Sauer P320
|Model:||P320 Full-size||P320 Compact|
|Caliber:||9 mm Luger||9 mm Luger|
|Magazine capacity:||17 rounds||15 rounds|
|Sight radius:||168 mm||147 mm|
|Barrel length:||119 mm||99 mm|
|Trigger pull:||30 Newton||30 Newton|
|Dimensions:||203 x 140 x 33 mm||183 x 135 x 33 mm|
|Weight:||833 g (unloaded)||737 g (unloaded)|
|Material:||Stainless steel slide with
Nitron coating, polymer frame||Stainless steel slide with
Nitron coating , polymer frame|