By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com
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February 24, 2014
The SIG SAUER P320 series polymer-framed, striker-fired semi-auto combat/tactical pistols, comprised if the SIG P320 Carry Nitron (SIG P320C Nitron) and P320 Full-Size Nitron (SIG 320F Nitron), have been receiving a lot of press lately, and for good reason. The P320 is SIG's first foray into the polymer-frame, striker-fired pistol field, and it's taken them a hell of a long time to get here. While some may argue that the P320 is at least ten years too late, DefenseReview (DR) welcomes any new high-quality combat pistol to the market, especially one that's striker-fired and made by an established company with a proven track record.
DR got a chance to handle and photograph both the SIG P320C Nitron and SIG P320F Nitron for a few minutes towards the end of the first day of SHOT Show 2014 (on 1/14/14), and we liked it overall. Specifically, we liked the guns appearance, it's feel in the hand (thanks to its grip shape and angle), and the relatively short DAO (Double Action Only) trigger pull with fairly short and positive reset. We also liked the P320's extended beavertail/grip tang, which protects the hand from slide bite and provides additional leverage for double and triple taps and fast follow-up shots. The P320's frame (gripframe) is actually based on the SIG P250 series pistol frame, so it utilizes a removable fire control assembly and modular stainless-steel/polymer hybrid frame design, comprised of a stainless-steel internal frame chassis inside the polymer outer grip frame for enhanced strength and rigidity. The P320's modern-looking angled stainless-steel slide is Nitron coated for increased rust/corrosion resistance.
Because the SIG P320 tactical/combat pistol's design is based on the P250, it sports a relatively high SIG-like bore axis that's significantly higher than that of a Glock or Smith & Wesson (S&W) M&P series pistol, and much closer to a SIG P250 or SIG P226/P228 hammer-fired pistol, which is a bit of a negative for us, but since we haven't test-fired it yet, we want to be measured in our criticism of this design aspect. In general though, lower-bore-axis pistols recoil more straight back into the hand and exhibit less muzzle flip/muzzle rise than higher-bore-axis pistols, which transfer more recoil energy into an upward direction. In Defense Review's experience, the lower the bore axis, the better, as it aids in faster and more accurate follow-up shots during fast multiple-shot strings. That said, the SIG P320C and P320F pistols may shoot great, and we're sorry we didn't get a chance to shoot them while we were at SHOT Show Media Day at the Range 2014.
Hopefully, we'll get a chance to rectify that at some point, soon, and get some range time with the P320 Nitron. The SIG P320 series pistols are available in 9mm Parabellum/9x19mm NATO, .40 S&W and .357 SIG calibers, but DR is primarily interested in running the SIG P320C (Carry) Nitron 9mm compact pistol model, since we're interested in running it side-by-side against a Gen-3 G19 (Gen-3 Glock 19), which is your humble correspondent's current carry gun.
We should note that SIG is really driving home the P320's safe disassembly aspect in their videos. You can disassemble the pistol without first pulling the trigger, as must be done on a Glock. While this is perhaps indeed safer, particularly for LEO's (Law Enforcement Officers) who don't do a lot of shooting and inexperienced civilian shooters, this feature will most likely have little-to-no affect on tactical professionals' and experienced civilian tactical shooters' respective desire to purchase the P320. It certainly won't have any effect on ours. But, it is technically safer. No one ever claimed the Glock series pistols are the right choice for idiots.
The following information on the SIG P320 series pistols comes directly from the SIG SAUER website:
"Introducing the P320, a polymer-framed service pistol designed from the ground up with the input of law enforcement officers. The result is the most operator-safety focused striker duty pistol on the market today.
Taking into account the concerns of military and police training officers, the P320 provides an enhanced level of safety not found on most modern service pistols. Unlike its competitors, the P320 does not require the operator to pull the trigger nor use a special tool to take-down the firearm for cleaning or routine maintenance.
Featuring a modular grip frame and removable fire control assembly pioneered by SIG SAUER, the P320 is customizable to any hand size or duty requirement. The P320 can quickly be converted from a Full-size to a Carry pistol. Slide and barrel conversions allow the P320 to change between calibers and barrel lengths as well. The P320 will be immediately available in 9mm, .40S&W and .357SIG, with .45ACP coming later in 2014.
With a partially pretensioned striker, the P320 has a short, crisp trigger pull with a quick, pronounced reset right out-of-the-box. The P320 comes in two trigger variants: a standard trigger and a tabbed safety trigger for specific law enforcement clients. Featuring the SIG SAUER internal safety system, the P320 has no external safety or decocking lever to snag or hang up on the draw. A frame-mounted thumb safety version will be available for law enforcement needs. SIGLITE® night sights come standard, and the reversible magazine release makes the P320 completely ambidextrous.
Whatever the requirement, patrol duty, competition, time at the shooting range, or concealed carry, the P320 brings SIG SAUER legendary reliability, durability, and quality to the polymer-framed, striker-fired duty pistol."
Company Contact Info:
SIG SAUER, Inc.
18 Industrial Drive
Exeter, NH 03833
Law Enforcement Email: [email protected]
Military/Govt. Email: [email protected]
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