SIG P320 Drop Test: What’s wrong with the US Army’s new sidearm?

On January 19, 2017, it was announced that the SIG Sauer P320 had won the United States Military XM17 Modular Handgun System competition. Becoming the new US armed forces sidearm was a huge deal, even more so because it beat their hated rival in the process, the Glock pistol.

Fans quickly flocked to buy the newly crowned champion. Fanboys made a huge deal over it, blowing the P320 out of proportion and crowning it the best invention ever in mankind’s history. If that sounds exaggerated you should have seen some of the threads discussing the contract win back then…

Anyway, the difference between fanboys and actual firearms experts is that anyone that knows the first thing about weapons design knows that the P320, in spite of its design pro and cons, simply hadn’t past the ultimate test: Time.

You see, when certain people (me included) recommend Glock and mention it as without a doubt the best combat handgun in the world, we don’t do so out of blind fan adoration, we do it out of clinical observation. Simplicity, weight, accuracy, durability, reliability, commonality, ease of use, these are all important and they are the reason why the Glock is the most copied combat handgun design, but none of this would matter if it hadn’t passed the test of time.

You see, the Glock 17 was adopted by the Austrian military and police forces in 1982. Shortly after by the Norwegian and Swedish armed forces and more recently in 2013 the British Army adopted the Glock 17 Gen 4 to replace their Browning Hi-Power pistols. Why didn’t the US Military adopt it as well? All excuses aside, it came down to a matter of politics. The American military doesn’t want to carry around all day long a very non-American, rather very European firearm. Silly? Maybe, but it’s the same reason why they didn’t go for the FAL and chose the M14 instead while the rest of the world saw the potential of “the right arm of the free world”.

But all this brings us to the fact that way too many people spend their hard earned money on a gun that wasn’t nearly as proven as they thought it was. They believed that the army adopting it instantly gave it all the credentials they needed. Guns & Ammo ran with this now infamous cover.

And then someone dropped his P320.

You see, the trigger in the P320 is too heavy, and inertia is enough to dischage the weapon when dropped. Glock covers this potential issue with its trigger safety, which the P320 lacks.

Now Sig fanboys are on meltdown mode. Quite honestly a modern firearm with such a massive design flow should not be carried. That Sig chose to play dump and not do an official recall and instead offer an upgrade in their “voluntarily recall” added offense to insult. The upgraded trigger isnt looking very good either.

Is the P320 a viable carry option? Of course its not, at least not with such a design flaw it isn’t, and the upgraded trigger is having problems of its own.

Good guns are like good software or good cars, they need to be tested and get the bugs sorted out. In the case of guns we’re talking about decades of recorded use in the field, both battlefield and street.

For your concealed carry gun, its particularly important to stick to reliable, well proven models which you know you can count on. The P320 simply isn’t that gun, at least not today.


Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”


SIG P320 Drop Test: What’s wrong with the US Army’s new sidearm? — 5 Comments

  1. I only disagree with one statement you made. So here is the correction, the best COMBAT handgun ever designed is the Colt 1911 .45acp (and clones). It has proven to work, even with sand and mud caked on it. While not the most accurate pistol, it has enough for combat purposes. And finally, the 230 grain FMJ round has been stopping the bad guys for over 100 years when one slug hits the torso. The main reason that the Glock is so popular, is that it can be cheaply manufactured due to the use of injection molded plastic.

    • Hi Drake, cant say I agree. (and I learned to shoot handguns with a 1911)
      The 1911 was king of the hill long enough, still is a good gun, but the best? Today? Nope, better combat handguns out there.

      • OK, we can agree to disagree. You love your Glock, I prefer a 1911 in . 45acp. Some guys like dark haired women,I prefer blondes.As long as you are the last man standing after the shooting ends, every thing else is academic.

  2. I have owned many various 1911 pistols and they all share one common thread, they all are reliably unreliable out of the box. There, I said it! 13 Glocks owned for almost 30 years all reliably reliable out of the box. I guess if you are willing to spend 2-3K to make one work most of the time have it!

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