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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



Massad Ayoob

SIG INTRODUCES THE P320

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Last summer, I got to sit down with SIG-SAUER CEO Ron Cohen and the engineers, and got to play with a prototype of their new striker-fired pistol.  I promised them I wouldn’t discuss it in public until they announced it at the SHOT Show this week.  Some in the business didn’t hold to that agreement.  I did.

And, it has now been announced:


This is the first striker-fired SIG pistol, and is of course designed to compete with the hugely successful Glock and Smith & Wesson Military & Police semiautomatics.  It’s built on the chassis of SIG’s familiar P250, and in fact the prototype we photographed six months ago is actually marked P250.

The P250 had growing pains, particularly in the area of the trigger bar.  It had one of the smoothest double action only trigger pulls in the semiautomatic pistol industry and still does, but today’s market seems to want shorter trigger strokes, which the P320 certainly delivers.  The widely copied Glock trigger safety – which SIG calls a “tabbed” trigger – will be only an option on the P320, since some folks don’t care for that design.  The P320 will share the P250’s modular design, allowing quick changes of grip length and configuration, slide and barrel length, and caliber.  Now, going back to the Dan Wesson revolver of decades ago, it turns out that quick-change barrels are not a big draw for American police and handgunners, but the feature is there for those who want it.

The early bugs seem to have been worked out of the P250 design…I liked what I saw of the P320 prototype in New Hampshire…and the P320 is going to be a handgun to keep an eye on.  Congratulations to Ethan Lessard, SIG’s in-house genius who led the P320 design team.

Ethan Lessard, left, fills Mas in on new suppressors, the just-announced P320, and other matters SIG, August 2013, Exeter NH. Photo from forthcoming Second Edition of Gun Digest Book of SIG-SAUER.

SIG_Web

 

 

 Prototype P320, photographed in summer 2013.  Note that frame is marked “P250.” Photo from forthcoming Second Edition of Gun Digest Book of SIG-SAUER.

SIG_P230

28 Responses to “SIG INTRODUCES THE P320”

  1. Nick L. EMT-P Says:

    Mas,

    I believe the grip frame module is marked P250 because the P320 will be compatible with P250 grip frame and magazines.

    This is a good thing as I own a 2nd generation P250 and absolutely love the ergonomics and smooth DAO trigger.

    I hope you can review the new P320 for your blog sometime on the near future.

    Nick

  2. Jim CARROLL Says:

    Mas,

    When I first handled a SIG 250, I was surprised. I really disliked it. There is something in the feel of the grip that really turned me off.
    Right now, my favorite shooting 9m.m. is the SIG 225. I find the grip fits me better than any other, so the 250 was a huge disappointment.
    Based on my own observation, I am not the only one who has passed on the 250, so I think they need to do more than tweek the trigger.

    Jim

  3. Marc-Wi Says:

    Caliber??? Guessing 9mm maybe.40?

  4. KiA Says:

    what’s the point of having it striker-fired if it’ll maintain the high barrel-axis of the P250 and pretty much every other SIG? just to have a shorter trigger stroke?

    it looks like a P250 from 10ft away and i imagine that’s the closest that a lot of people will get to it.

  5. robbie Says:

    I love the p250, it is the most comfortable gun I have ever held. I own 3 p250s and I will buy 3 p320s when they are released. I love the modularity of the 250 and love the idea of making it a striker fired gun. This will replace my p250s and my glocks if it is as reliable and accurate as my p250s have been.

  6. Paul Edwards Says:

    After viewing this article, I googled the P320 on the web, and learned that I has a Manufacturer’s price of over $700.00, so to me, that’s way too high, strictly aside from the fact that I not really a fan of the DAO only pistols to start with.

    I had a “Stricker Fired” pistol before, the WWII German Luger, and it was a surprise to me to learn that you could disassemble it into two parts, and still be able to fire the round in the chamber, by pressing on the side of the mechanism that held the stricker in the cocked position.

    Hope that doesn’t still apply to this new Pistol as well?

  7. ERIK ASHER Says:

    It would be great if Sig will sell just the 320 trigger group and slide as an option to people who already won a P250

  8. Steve Says:

    IDK, seems like trying to out Glock Glock.

    The G30, even the 20 y.o. one I had to get here in MA, the land of idiot and crooked legislators, seems just fine to me.

    It is illegal to carry a pistol on Boston Common, near where the Revolution started and where, after dark, one would most want to carry a pistol these days.

  9. Rick Ke Says:

    Dear Mas, Thank you for another fine article. I try to read everything you penned because I have found over the years that what you pen I can believe. I really hope that here in the twisted state of California, the powers-to-be will find they don’t have to protect us from Sig at all. I really enjoy my Sigs and I hope I get the chance to enjoy the P320. Have you heard anything about the micro-stamping of shell, primers and bullets?? Again let me thank you for all the enjoyable reading you have penned and I hope you continue for years to come. God Bless Mas. Fiat lux, Rick in Chula Vista, CA

  10. Parnell Says:

    I have a P250 Compact .380 and it has the most ergonomic grip of any pistol I own. When the P320 comes out in .45, it may change my decision on a Glock 21.

  11. Mas Says:

    Marc: I’m told they have the 320 in 9mm to start, with .40 S&W and .357 SIG scheduled by end of first quarter 2014, and .45 ACP scheduled for end of second quarter.

    Rick Ke: The microstamping thing is absolutely ludicrous. Can’t tell you where it’s going in CA.

  12. Robert Says:

    Sig sticks with the high bore axis and high cost. My money will go towards an M&P.

  13. Dave in ATL Says:

    Mas, I love your 1st edition on SIG, when is the 2nd edition due to hit the stores?

  14. Mas Says:

    Kind words appreciated, Dave. Second Edition is in editing now, I’d expect it out by end of second quarter or sooner.

  15. Bonnie Says:

    Hi there, Mas,

    I appreciate your writing and have learned a lot from it over the years.

    Had you seen this case of a Florida man stopped for 3 hours by Maryland police solely because he has a CCW permit in Florida, even though he wasn’t committing a traffic violation?

    Link to article in the Tampa Tribune:
    http://tbo.com/list/columns-tjackson/jackson-gun-owner-unarmed-unwelcome-in-maryland-20140112/

    He didn’t even have a gun with him on the trip.

    This points to police having access to a secret national data base of legal firearms owners (or at least CCW holders). Do you have any thoughts on this? Sometimes it feels like we are already screwed and freedom is already lost…

  16. Mas Says:

    Welcome, Bonnie.

    I’m not aware of any secret data base. In some states, issue of CCW is linked to department of motor vehicles, so an officer making a routine pullover of such a driver will, when he calls in the tag before the stop, be notified that the driver may be armed.

  17. Old Fezzywig Says:

    The Tampa Tribune article Bonnie links to is scary. Two years ago I asked a knowledgeable person if my home state cops knew that I had out-of-state CCWs. He said “no,” the states are not allowed to share that type of information with each other. Clearly, the MD transit cop was able to access information from FL, and he knew from that info that the driver owned a gun. That is the only reason the driver was pulled over. We know the Internet is insecure, we know there are cameras in buildings and at traffic intersections and we know the metadata from our phone conversations is stored. We also know drones will be spying on us soon, if they aren’t already. Those of us who tried to obey the rules and get CCWs now have permanent records of being gun owners, and it looks like authorities from all over the USA can find out who we are. So, gun registration has already happened to us. Maybe we should have joined the crowd who said, “I don’t need no stinkin’ license to exercise a right!” Big Brother is watching. We live in interesting times.

  18. David Keough Says:

    Mr. Fezzywig, it seems truer and truer. Registration has already begun, using different methods.

    I don’t want to be criminalized for owning a rifle or handgun.

    And, while I really would enjoy visiting historical sites, places like Washington, DC., (AS AN EXAMPLE), If I”m caught with an (EMPTY) shell casing, I like any of us can end up in jail.

    Why throw people in jail over an empty shell casing? Where’s the common sense in that?

  19. Dennis Says:

    Welcome to the “Brave New World” of digital technology. We have entered an age of nearly infinite information gathering and storage.

    Our government, hell, anyone with a computer, has access to more information on you than most can even imagine. Every purchase you make using plastic is recorded and stored for future access and use by someone.

    This info can be used for many things, most benign, some malevolent. So, yes, if you purchase a weapon, ammo, or even a hunting license, that transaction is recorded for future retrieval and meets the definition of a gun registry.

    Wouldn’t worry about it much though. You, your vehicle and license plate probably had their picture taken, recorded and stored numerous times before you got home with your purchase.

    Paranoia? No, fact. Learn to live with this knowledge, act accordingly because it will not go away in your lifetime.

  20. Old Fezzywig Says:

    “Yes” to David Keough and Dennis. After posting I realized that my Firearms ID card already registered me as a gun owner. I guess what we have had for a long time is gun owner registration, not necessarily gun registration of every firearm. However, the paperwork we fill out at the store (is it Form 4493?) is kept by the store, and can be retrieved by authorities if a gun is used in a crime. Like Dennis said, “Learn to live with this knowledge,….”

    I guess I have been trying to follow the advice of others to keep a low profile. However, Mas, other firearms instructors, and radio talk show hosts are out in the open. They can’t hide. Well, I can’t hide very well either. So, I might as well be open about my beliefs. Actually, I would rather be open anyway. I don’t like lies and cover-ups. Since I can’t hide from the electronic surveillance, I might as well get courageous now and stand up, while it is still easy to do so. History is repeating itself.

  21. Chris - VA Says:

    Would be nice if everyone assumed everyone was armed.

  22. Tom Says:

    The best part about this article by Massad Ayoob is that he kept his word to not to give out secret trade information, until Sig-Saur announced it’s new striker fired pistol at the Shot Show.

    Mr. Massad Ayoob thank you for showing that a mans word still stands for what is in his heart and personal values. You continue to be a genuine example of being a great person who still believes.

    “A Man’s Word Is His Bond”.

  23. David Keough Says:

    Mr. Fezzywig, your right. History is repeating itself. And it’s a good thing to stand-up.

  24. Larry E. Says:

    I agree with an earlier comment wherein the feel of the Sig 225 was considered great. I tend to dismiss most if not all Sig designs because I fail to see any justification for the high prices of their line when one considers the economy inherent in modern manufacturing methods.

  25. Ben Champion Says:

    I really like my Sub-Compact Sig P-250 and I like a hammer fired DOA because being an old guy it feels like my old Colt Trooper that I carried so many years ago as a Deputy Sheriff in South Texas. But I have always liked Sig products and have five of them now, however I do not care for the Glocks trigger and takedown bar which is hard to use with Arthuritous and I also don’t like to have to pull the trigger while taking the gun apart for cleaning. I will withhold judgement on the new Sig until I try one.

  26. AnthonyC Says:

    Mas,
    There are a few situations where I can see the modular design of the Sig P250 or P320 may be a huge benefit: any state where all handguns need to be registered.

    Up front I will admit I am a newbie regarding guns. For those of us in NY, the Sig P320 modular trigger (as well as the P250) gives us the ability to register a single “firearm” but easily switch both caliber AND frame size without the hassle of registering them with NYS. That’s three frame sizes and four frame sizes for a 12 possible combinations. Because every single pistol in NYS must be registered, even before that travesty of legislation, the SAFE Act, was passed.

    To fully appreciate the magnitude of this let me explain that buying a gun in NYS (forget about NYC cesspool) is real pain in the butt. Before you can legally touch a pistol in NYS you must have a pistol permit. The application process, in and of itself, is a pain with multiple forms, fees, at least four references, fingerprints and background checks including any mental health issues ever in the past, family court appearances, etc. After submission is a 6 month to ? waiting period for an interview and approval by the county licensing authority (usually the sheriff but can be a judge). My brother’s wife waited 14 months. And he is a LEO.

    If you get a pistol permit it usually limits where you possess you gun; home/premise, business, target and hunting, unlimited (full carry). So I go to the gun store and pay for a gun at full MSRP (because LGS owners never sell a gun for less, NEVER) + NYS taxes and fees, I get a receipt and a form with the make, model and serial number on it to take to sheriff’s office again. I give these and wait 7-10 days to see if it approved. If so, they call me to come back to sheriff’s office. Mind you, the visits to sheriff’s office are all during weekdays so I am missing work. There, I pay another small fee and give them my permit so they can record the make, model and caliber on the back along with all my other pistols that I own. They also hand me a “ticket” to take back and give to the gun store proving that the pistol is now register to me and recorded on my permit allowing them to finally release the gun to me.

    Trust me, in states like NY, the Sig P320 and P250 make a lot of sense.

  27. Mas Says:

    AnthonyC, you make some excellent points. The P250 and P320 offer interchangeable calibers as well as “frame” sizes and barrel lengths. Since registration there seems to include caliber, would that not limit a New York Stater insofar as caliber changes with these guns? Just curious.

  28. Lt. Dan Says:

    Good informative article.

    Even though I prefer the XD and Caracal I still think handgun buyers are missing an excellent auto pistol by ignoring the P250. The ONLY reason I could ever think of was the trigger pull length. The pull itself is smooth and consistent but as with ANY trigger it needs practice to get the most out of it.

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