By Vic Laboy
In a growing firearms market, finding the perfect handgun may be a more daunting task than you may think. With a wide array of options available, from a smaller, pocket-carry sized .380 auto, to a full size .45ACP, you are given the arduous task of finding the right pistol for you. We all know and understand the struggle of finding the perfect fit, from how it feels in your hand, to whether or not you enjoy how effective the firearm is at recoil mitigation. What if there was a pistol with a frame size you could easily adjust and alter to your exact specifications?
SIG Sauer P320 Basics
Towards the beginning of 2014, SIG Sauer unveiled their newest addition to their immense lineup, the SIG P320. This would be SIG’s first striker-fired handgun, as they are renowned for their hammer fired pistols. In an attempt to engineer a firearm that would compete with other reputable companies, Glock, for example, SIG was determined to surpass the competition by producing a product that could seemingly fit every hand size, as well as implementing their newest Modular Handgun System, MHS. As a predecessor to the P250, a double-action, hammer-fired pistol on the same platform, many improvements were introduced to appease the hunger of the demanding crowd.
A major refinement was the decision to switch from a hammer-fired pistol, to a more modernized, striker-fired operating system. One feature that sets this model above the rest is the fully modular setup. Instead of having to choose between a full-size, compact, or subcompact, you now have the ability to change the size, caliber, and fit to best suits your needs. This is accomplished by removing the takedown lever after performing a basic field strip and removing the trigger assembly from the frame. Once this has been done, you are now able insert the trigger assembly into your desired frame size, reassemble your firearm, and you are ready for the range.
The P320 offers four sizes, full-size, carry, compact, and subcompact. The full-size provides you with a full length barrel and large grip, supporting a 17 round magazine with one in the chamber, allowing for an 18 round capacity in 9mm Parabellum. Moving down, you have the carry model. The carry model gives you the best of both worlds, providing a compact slide and barrel length, while resting on a large frame that provides you a similar grip to the full-size, housing a full-size magazine, also also allowing an 18 round capacity. This equips you with a platform that is easy to carry, without sacrificing potentially crucial ammunition, leaving you ready for any encounter.
The next step down is the compact, which utilizes a medium frame housing and a 15 round magazine with one in the chamber. You gain a few advantages with this pistol compared to its competitor, the Glock 19, including a smoother, thicker grip and a slightly more extended beavertail that delivers added stability while firing. Last, but certainly not least, you have the little brother of the pack: the subcompact. This is a firearm that, while smaller in stature, allows you to supply 13 rounds, including one in the chamber, for a smaller, easy to fire handgun fit for smaller hands.
In addition to the modular capability of this pistol, it is equipped with a rugged M1913 picatinny rail on the underside to attach a tactical light or laser. The P320 includes tritium night sights out of the box that will hold their glow and illumination, making firing in low-light situations a breeze. Looking at the rear-sights, you will notice they rest at a 90-degree angle, allowing for one-handed operation from clearing a stovepipe to chambering a round. This gives you greater advantage in a defensive scenario as it leaves your supporting hand free to access a phone to alert help, or safely escort subjects to safety while leaving one hand on your pistol, ready to engage the threat.
The SIG P320 weighs between 25.0 oz in the subcompact loaded to capacity to a measly 29.4 oz for the full-size. The P320 has made a name for itself with beginner level shooters, and recently it was adopted as the US Army’s new service issue sidearm. For advanced users, there are additional variants geared for a more tactical, competition ready platform. More advanced models include the P320X, which offers a thinner slide, X-series straight trigger, rough grip texture, extended beaver tail, and a hi-viz front sight, making it easier to align your rear sights to the front. Another variation is the P320RX, where the slide is drilled and tapped for an RMR of your choosing. Lastly, in conjunction with their tactical line-up, the P320 TACOPS is available for those intending to apply a suppressor. This offers the same features as the standard model; however, it includes raised suppressor sights, a threaded barrel, and four, 21 round magazines from the manufacturer.
Final Thoughts On The P320
With a wide range of sizes and calibers available, the P320 comes with a hard case, chamber lock, three magazines, user manuals, a kydex holster, and a vinyl sticker. It retails for an affordable $579.99, and it has become the weapon of choice for many law enforcement officers, service members, and CCW holders around the nation. If you are in the market for a handgun to fit your exact specifications, and you desire one for any condition or scenario, and one cycle any round you place in the chamber, the P320 may be the right choice for you. Look for it at your next range visit and give it a shot for yourself to see if this is the right fit for you.