SIG Sauer P320 service pistol, review and video showcase

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
We couldn’t resist giving the SIG Sauer P320 a go at the shooting range ourselves.

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.

Comparing sizes: the P320 Full-Size and Compact
Comparing the sizes of the two P320 Full-Size and Compact models.

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.

The SIG Sauer P320, stripped down
The SIG Sauer P320 can be stripped in just a few steps.

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.

Two SIG Sauer P320 pistols
The barrel tilt (at the back) is already noticeable when the slide on the P320 is retracted.

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.

Trigger with the serial number on the P320 pistol by SIG Sauer
The serial number is embossed on the trigger assembly, which can be removed completely from the SIG Sauer P320 pistol.
Rounds in the magazine of the P320 by SIG Sauer
The rounds are extracted from the magazine and slotted into the chamber when cycling the SIG P320.
How the SIG Sauer P320 works
The barrel and chamber tilt downward and facilitate insertion of the round.
Trigger assembly on the SIG Sauer P320 pistol
The trigger assembly is installed in the polymer frame receiver of the SIG Sauer P320 and can be removed completely.
Slide unit on the P320 SIG Sauer 
The slide on the P320 includes the striker, which is cocked with each cycle.
Sights on the SIG Sauer P320
The 3-dot sights on the SIG P320 offer good contrast.
Muzzle of the SIG Sauer P320 pistol
Muzzle with slide serrations and Picatinny rail on the dust cover of the P320 by SIG Sauer.

Overview of Specs for the SIG Sauer P320

Model:P320 Full-sizeP320 Compact
Caliber: 9 mm Luger9 mm Luger
Magazine capacity:17 rounds15 rounds
Sight radius:168 mm147 mm
lateral adjustment
lateral adjustment

Barrel length:119 mm99 mm
Trigger pull:30 Newton30 Newton
Dimensions:203 x 140 x 33 mm183 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

For more information about SIG Sauer pistols, visit the company's website.

Read also a review of the P320 Fullsize 9mm Luger on all4shooters.

An overview of SIG Sauer novelties 2017 can be found here.

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