The New SIG P320: Striker-Fired, Modular Duty Pistol

sig sauer

The NSSF’s SHOT Business magazine is reporting that SIG Sauer is getting ready to introduce a brand new product line called the P320 Modular Pistol.  The new SIG P320 will be a striker-fired, polymer framed handgun that is designed to easily change configurations to match the shooter’s hand and use.

A shooter can change the SIG P320 to different frame sizes, different hand sizes and even different calibers.  Essentially, a single serial numbered fire control unit serves as the basis for the pistol.  Different sized barrels, frames and magazines can then all be used with the pistol to make a semi-custom gun to match the shooter’s need.

Currently, the company has a modular pistol in the catalog: the P250.  The P250 is a hammer-fired gun, while the new P320 is striker fired.  While comparisons between the two guns will inevitably happen, a comparison of the new gun to Glock, Smith & Wesson’s M&P and Springfield Armory’s XD(M) is likely a better one.

SIG Sauer new gun

This is the header SIG was running on the company’s Facebook page prior to the P320 announcement.

Like the P250, SIG Sauer will offer the P320 in three basic fame sizes:  full, compact and sub-compact.  Barrels, slides and magazines will all be made to match the various frame sizes.  In theory, a shooter who wanted to buy only one gun could buy several kits from SIG Sauer and change the size and caliber of the gun at will.

Four calibers will be offered:  9mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG and .45 ACP.  Magazine capacities will vary depending on the size of the frame used.  For the full size frames, capacities will be 17 rounds for the 9mm, 10 rounds for the .45 ACP and 14 rounds for the .40 S&W and .357 SIG calibers.  Smaller framed guns will have matching magazines with less capacity.  For example, the 9mm mag capacity drops to 15 rounds in the compact version and 12 rounds in the subcompact version.

The P320 frames will have a Picatinny rail, and all of the guns will ship with SIGLITE night sights.  MSRP will be $713 on each.

Ed. note:  The original photo of the SIG P250 was removed and replaced with the above graphic.  Even though it was captioned as a P250, SIG Sauer’s other modular pistol, it caused more confusion than it added to the article.  I apologize for any problems this may have caused.

Update – January 10, 2014

More information is leaking out about the new SIG P320 striker-fired handgun set to be introduced next week.  Here is the latest.

Highlights:
  • striker fired with “short, crisp trigger” and “pronounced reset”
  • two trigger types
  • swappable polymer frames
  • no external controls standard
  • thumb safety optional
  • four calibers
  • taking on Glock and M&P head on

The P320 will use a partially pre-tensioned striker that will have a “short, crisp trigger pull with a quick, pronounced reset.”  Assuming this is true, this should make a lot of people happy, and it shows SIG Sauer has been listening to the market when developing this gun.

There will be two styles of trigger offered.  One style will be a standard trigger, while the second will be “tabbed.” This possibly means there will be a safety device on the trigger like the Glock, or hinged like the M&P.  Interestingly, it seems SIG is offering the tabbed trigger specifically for government sales.  I do not yet know if the trigger will be available through commercial channels.

No external safeties or decockers will be on the standard pistol.  However, a model with a frame-mounted thumb safety will be available for law enforcement purchase.  This is similar to the route taken by Smith & Wesson, who offers the M&P with thumb safeties as an option.  I am unsure what portion of the market – law enforcement or commercial – prefers the thumb safety model, but I suspect it is a small percentage of the total market.

Polymer frames similar to the P250 will be the order of the day with the SIG Sauer P320.  This means the shooter can swap frame sizes between full and compact sizes, plus make adjustments for hand size.  A single fire control unit, the part with the serial number, would pop out of one frame and drop into another.

In theory, a shooter could get different colored frames, though SIG is only expected to introduce black (for now.)  However, if the gun is popular, I would expect a range of colors starting with tactical flat dark earth and OD green.

The new SIG P320 pistols will have the SIGLITE night sights standard.  The magazine release will be reversible, but not ambidextrous.

Clearly taking aim at the Glock and Smith & Wesson M&P pistols, SIG Sauer will be highlighting that the P320 will be field stripped without the need for pulling the trigger or using a tool.  (Although I just use my pinky when disassembling the M&P, Smith & Wesson has a built in tool to do the same job.)

Initially, the SIG Sauer P320 will be available in 9mm, .357 SIG and .40 S&W.  These are set to ship immediately.  A .45 ACP version is expected later this year.  Like the frame conversions, the gun can swap calibers at will if  you have the conversion kits.

It seems pretty clear that SIG Sauer is aiming for the law enforcement market with this new gun platform.  Take a look at my prior article on what the company is doing in 2014 to go after government sales.

First Impressions from the SHOT Show

SIG P320 SHOT show 2014

The curtain has been pulled back on the new SIG Sauer P320, and the response has been mixed from the people I have spoken to.  Since SIG did not attend Media Day, I have not had a chance to shoot this new gun.  However, I have handled the guns in the company’s exhibit.  Any review would be incomplete, but I can give you my initial impressions of the gun.

In a nutshell:  I’m underwhelmed.

I was initially excited about the prospects of a striker-fired SIG.  However, it appears the gun is just a striker mechanism dropped into a P250.  The guns look very similar and the P320 even has a plate covering the back of the slide where one would expect the P250’s hammer to be.

If the P320 is simply a P250 with a striker-fired mechanism in it, I think SIG has missed the mark.  The double action trigger of the P250 was not the only reason the guns have been only moderately popular with shooters.  While I would hate to think the P320 was rushed through development, modifying an existing platform would certainly be a shortcut to getting a new gun to market.

SIG P320 slide

The upside of the P320 being a P250 clone is that it should fit holsters already on the market.  Since SIG is positioning this pistol as a law enforcement duty weapon, having duty-style retention holsters already on the market is a huge benefit when trying to sell a department on these pistols.

The trigger on the guns felt good, and the reset was obvious.  I would have to get one on the range before I could determine if I like it, but I suspect the trigger will be pretty good.

SIG P320

So, what do you think?  Does a striker-fired version of the P250 make sense to you? Or, should SIG started with a clean slate when designing a new pistol?

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About Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, police trainer and really bad joke teller. Check out his other writing in Combat Handguns, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, on The Firearm Blog and at BlueSheepdog.

  • http://www.exurbanleague.com/misfires KevinC

    Holy cow! Just a couple of hours ago, based on a few hints that I had, I predict the same thing over on my site! Turns out I was right! Wow, what a good guess! For my next trick, I’ll predict the Triple Crown winners this year and the selling price of Apple stock in a month! :)

    • http://www.GunsHolstersAndGear.com Richard Johnson

      Remind me to take you to the casino with me in Vegas…

    • http://www.romeotangobravo.net RomeoTangoBravo

      I would have never guessed it.

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  • LHS

    Sig, I believe, needs to work more on their QC than introduce more and more “modular” kit guns. Over the last 5-10 yrs:
    A) Quality has suffered.
    B) The prices have increased well over their value.
    C) Only gun maker of sub-$1,000 guns supplying only one magazine with initial purchase. The word is chintzy.
    D) All above reasons why I do not and will not have a Sig in my stable.

    • http://www.GunsHolstersAndGear.com Richard Johnson

      Hi LHS,

      Thanks for taking the time to post. SIG prices are definitely toward the high end of the market when compared to all of the polymer guns on the market.

      Regarding quality slipping in the past years, I haven’t seen it personally. I hear about it on the internet, but have not experienced it myself. I’ve been a SIG owner for about 20 years, starting with a West German P220 and most recently a P226 with the E2 treatment, with a few in between. I’ve tested a variety of their guns here and for other publications, plus worked at a 140+/- man PD that issued P226 handguns. Every one of them has been extremely accurate and reliable.

      I’m not saying there haven’t been problems, but I just haven’t experienced them.

      Regardless, I am looking forward to shooting one of these. It looks like it will be a big year for SIG with the new modular rifle system they have coming out, the P320 and some other additions to the existing lines.

      Richard

      • txJM

        From what I hear out of Sig, I wouldn’t expect anyone who has broken embargo to keep their media day invite.

    • Mark D

      I’ve personally seen a lot of issues with Sig springs failing which caused malfunctions in the gun or mags in duty weapons. With their 1911’s we had guys that at the three year mark all of ther mag springs went bad. 5-7 year mark on their other pistols. These were all guns that were not only carried but were used heavily by individual officer in training. The one positive note I may add was a Wolff spring kit had them running good as new. The Wislin Combat mags which I perfered got the sig 1911 guys issues fixed. At least the fixes were easy. I think I had almost a year waiting on critical part that wore out on me from another German maker and that was through their LE side. Or mim casted parts from a very expensive duty weapon literally bending and seizing up the gun at a critical moment. I think when guns are carried and used heavily one can see where some of the weaker aspects on any maker is or that one defective gun in the batch is pushed to where it has a failure. that Be it the sighs falling of a Glocks, Bertetta’s new and improved slides still cracking after high round counts and the list ones on all.

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