Thursday, August 24, 2017

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”

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