By J. B. Wood
If you asked a gun-person about the first full-sized 9mm striker-fired pistol, they’d probably say “Glock.” And, they’d be wrong. It was the Heckler & Koch VP70 and VP70Z, introduced in 1970, as the model number suggests. Around ten years later, the Glock continued the trend. Now, finally, SIG has entered the field, and they have done it nicely.
As their full-page ads humorously announce, they have “dropped the hammer” on the competition. The striker-fired P320 has a double-action-only trigger system. It is a reset type, requiring slide movement to partially re-cock the striker. After a brief take up, about one-eighth of an inch, the trigger has a nice 8-pound let-off. The wide and nicely-rounded trigger has no annoying ridges.
The polymer frame is available in sizes, to fit hands from small to large. Mine is marked “Pull Medium” and it’s perfect for my average-sized hand. The front of the trigger guard is hooked and cross-grooved, for those who still use that obsolete hold. There’s a standard rail at the front for mounting a light or laser.
The rest of the construction is, of course, high-grade steel, and done with the usual SIG quality. The external controls are simple. Takedown latch, magazine release button, and ambidextrous slide latch levers. For left-handers, the magazine release is reversible. The magazine has a great number at the bottom hole, “17”. That’s right, loaded full, you have 18 rounds.
Internally, the P320 has an automatic striker-block that is cancelled only in the last fraction of the trigger pulls. With this double-action-only trigger system, there is no need for a manual safety. Also, there is no magazine-disconnect safety.
In a magazine-less-emergency, you can still fire a chambered round.
A Compact version is available, with a shorter slide and barrel, but my P320 is the full-size model. The numbers: Weight, 29.4 ounces. Length, 8 inches. Height, 5.5 inches. Width, 1.25 inches. Barrel, 4.7 inches. As noted earlier, the magazine capacity in 9mm
is 17 rounds.
Speaking of the cartridge, I should also note that the P320 is offered in .40 S&W and the marvelous .357 SIG; in those chamberings, magazine capacity is 14 rounds. A nice design touch: The magazine normally flicks out when you push the button. But, if you get a sticky one, an oblong opening on both sides allows a grasp of the floor plate.
Trying out the P320 at the Big Tree range, I mostly used the 115-grain CorBon DPX load. Distance was 7 yards, standing, two-hand hold. The felt-recoil was
mild. Groups were well-centered in the 8-inch black of the Champion VisiShot targets, and averaged 2.0 to 3.5 inches. For serious business, excellent.
Suggested retail price of the P320 is $713. For this, you get square-picture glowing night-sights, a hard-polymer case, a spare magazine, and a nice extra―a Kydex quick-on holster.