Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sig P320 Review - First Trip to the Range, and it is Good

Summer is officially here, and my Sig Fling has begun... I finally was able to get to the range and put 150 rounds of various range ammo through my new P320 Compact.

And... the verdict...

All other things being equal, Sig Sauer's new P320 isn't going to replace my dolled-up G19 as my Hell-And-Back pistol, but if I had it all to do all over again starting back in the late 2000's and this blaster were on the market, I would probably have turned into a Sig guy on the spot. Now that my weekend range gig has upped their game and become a Sig Master Dealer, the P320 will be on my hip at work. While I was never that into their classic line of pistols (nothing against them, just never bought that particular purple drink), this new striker-fired Sig is definitely my stein of bock.

First, that trigger. It's cleaner and more consistent, out of the box, than my professionally-polished Glock internals which I love and shoot well. A solid trigger is, well, a SOLID TRIGGER, and that's a good thing. It's a Sig trigger, and deserving of the name. This isn't a dumbed-down price point gun that suffers from penny pinching. It's not as glass smooth and Kettle Chip crispy as the SRT in their classic line, but it's close. It is light years better than the 2022 and the P250. Many are calling it the best striker-fired trigger out of the box. Ever. They might be right.

I'm not a Tupperware trigger snob... dumping $300 into the fire control system on a $600 gun is like throwing a turbo on a Hyundai Elantra. Sure... plenty of folks are going to do it and brag to their friends, but the first time they get treed by a proper V8 on the corner of Main and Shouldn'tHaveDoneThat Boulevard, the light bulb goes on. That being said, though, for the first time ever, I finally feel like I have a plastic fantastic pistol in the P320 which doesn't NEED to go out to a 'smith to get polished, cleaned up, or have a magical trigger installed in to perform to the standards I know I can shoot to.

I know, I know... enough of the fluffy mumbo jumbo about who's plastic trigger is awesomer. Shoot the f***ing thing already!

After 165 rounds, I'm pleased to say this thing is a beast. Anytime I get a new pistol I will toss a bullseye target out at 20' and lob 5 or 10 rounds at it, just to see if I'm gonna wind up fighting or dancing with my new partner.

The shot to 12:00 was my first round out of the gun. the bottom two (touching) were my last. I held the top of the front post centered in the bullseye. I can't complain... 5/5 in the red (yeah, liners count!)

Next, punch the rest of the mag into the target at 20' and start walking it back. First to 35', then to 50', then to the back of the range at 75.' I've noticed I appear to have a tendency to drive the gun slightly left at longer distances. However, I certainly won't complain about cutting most of the bullseye completely out of the target by the end of the first box of ammo -- GECO 115gr 9mm FMJ, if you were wondering. For the record, the center of the bull to the edge of the 9 ring on this target is 4."

Crunching the numbers, all 50 rounds went through the black. 38/50 punched the 10-ring. Most rounds were fired from 35' and 50' -- this is all standing freestyle (two-hand) shooting, no bench rests or support. I'd definitely call this well beyond "combat accurate." *THUNK* APPROVED.

Now, on to the meat and potatoes of this test... take it out of first gear and see if she hits on all cylinders. Using a standard IPSC / USPSA practice target set at 15 feet, I proceeded to beat on that trigger like it owed me money. Hammers, triples, and failure drills... what amazed me the most was just how fast the sights returned. Short frame and slide guns love to run fast, and the P320 Compact is no exception. Next to no "dive" you see from long-slide competition pistols you have to overcome with recoil spring swaps... the front post just dropped right back into the notch and stayed there. Every one of these shots were sighted... as soon as the sights came home, hit it again. These first 30 or so rounds speak for themselves. I have never fired this gun in 9mm before today.

Despite feeling like the break was fairly north of 5 pounds, I get the impression this one wants to run fast. Feed it, fire it, wipe off the silly grin, and repeat as necessary. None of that "fabled Sig height-over-bore" became an issue. This is one of the softest-shooting compact 9mm handguns I have ever fired, hands-down. By comparison, the Glock 19 (arguably the benchmark for all compact 9mm polymer pistols) feels like it shoots a little flatter, but there is next to no "flip" like you might expect when you first pic up the Sig. Their engineers got this gun very, very right. Once a few of the Grays-tuned full-size P320s in 9mm make the rounds in USPSA Production and NRA Action Pistol, heads are going to start turning toward New Hampshire. Mark my words on that one.

Now... off to 50' for some head shots. Then out to 75' for more COM work. Then back in close for some T-Box fun. Yep. I'm driving this one left just a tiny bit. I wonder if the Small grip frame would help me stay on the face of the trigger. Clearly this isn't a problem with all of my shots, but I'm definitely drifting. My guess is that I should be able to train this out, just like I had to do with my Glocks, and remember to drive the trigger straight back with the pad of my shooting finger. Regardless, MOST of the rounds are finding the center of the target, and I'm not just converting money into baby-fart-in-the-tub grinning.

With a little more practice, a little more love, and a little more trigger time I have a feeling this could quickly become my new favorite pistol or, at the very least, tie my chance-pickup CZ-75 SP-01 which I have yet to tell you about.

Now that we've talked about the good, let's discuss the bad and the ugly. I encountered two stoppages - both failures to extract - with this gun tonight. The first was a classic stovepipe somewhere around round 22-25 of GECO 115gr ammunition. I cleared the malfunction, got the gun back up, and encountered no further issues until I switched to my third box of 9mm ball, Federal "white box" 115gr FMJ. All "test" ammunition is ammo I've fired hundreds, if not thousands, of times with little or no issue. Two hangups in the first 150 rounds with a new pistol generally won't worry me, but I will certainly keep an eye on the issue. As Hickock45 recently mentioned in his review of the full-size P320, polymer-framed duty guns have become so good that ANY hiccup is cause for concern. Until I rule out the magazine, I'll be keeping an eye on this one, just to be sure. Since our Sig rep was kind enough to supply me with two boxes of their new V-Crown JHP ammunition I punched a mag of it through the P320 with zero issues.

As for this whole business of driving the gun to the left, I'm not exactly sure what was going on there. You can clearly see the pattern drifted slightly off toward the left side of the target, but on the whole I shot the P320 pretty much to point-of-aim both in slow fire and with the throttle wide-F-open.

Like I mentioned before, many writers are calling this the best factory-provided polymer gun trigger on the market, which is likely to upset those Walther fanboys over in the corner. Yes, the trigger on the PPQ is excellent, but those new Walthers are all butterfaces - I know they FEEL good, but they look like a soup sandwich on steak day. After spending a TON of time on Glocks, M&Ps, XDs, Kahrs, and a host of other pistols, the Sig is predictably fantastic - the P320 is understated and just freaking excellent. I will not be sending my P320 in to get tuned up in any way. I've blacked out the night sights, and that's about it. I may (MAY) see if the forthcoming flat P320 trigger from Apex helps address what I think is a reach issue If that doesn't do it, I may just snag a small grip frame and see if that helps me push those stragglers back to the right. But I'm otherwise keeping this one factory-stock and expect I should be able to shoot the bejesus out of this thing and have a ton of fun doing it.

Let me repeat myself. Again. This gun absolutely rocks.

If you're platform-agnostic or on the fence between Springer, Glock, and Smith and Wesson, run (unless you're carrying scissors, then run REALLY fast) to your nearest Sig Sauer dealer and check out the P320. If the sales of our in-stock guns on Sig Sauer Day was any indication, this one's going to be big. I've said that before, but I really do think Sig's surge is going to hinge on the upcoming success of the P320 as a pistol for everyone.

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