SIG Sauer has long been a powerhouse in the firearms world, particularly when it comes to personal protection. It’s also a firearm manufacturer we’ve covered before.
Their pistols are noted for their versatility and ease of use, and it’s no surprise that SIG Sauers of every description have found their way into many an American household.
One of the most dynamic and versatile of SIG’s line-up is the SIG Sauer P320 handgun. Introduced in 2014, the handgun proved to be immensely popular with US citizens, and in the interceding years, the range has gone from strength to strength.
Over the course of this article, we’ll be examining this range in great detail and providing a few lesser-known facts about the SIG Sauer P320.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at this iconic firearm range!
The SIG Sauer P320 Was Designed For Maximum Versatility
From the outset, the P320 (including the later SIG Sauer X5 range) was designed to be as versatile as possible and suited for users of any kind.
This was reflected in its creators’ design philosophy; the pistol is ambidextrous, with a user-reversible release for the magazine and catch levers on either side of the release meaning that both righties and southpaws can comfortably make use of the weapon.
In addition, the P320 is designed to be field-stripped without tools of any kind, making it easy to clean and/or deal with malfunctions quickly and efficiently.
It Was Adopted As The US Military’s Service Gun
SIG Sauer is a highly-regarded firearms company in civilian circles, but it has also garnered no small amount of respect in LEO and military circles, too.
So much so, in fact, that in 2017 it won the United States Army’s XM17 Modular Handgun System Competition, and the P320 was modified into two new variants: the M17 and the M18.
The two variants were distinguished by their size, with the M17 being standard size and the M18 being more compact.
Aside from this, both variants were modified for better durability in the field (such as the implementation of mud flaps to prevent foreign debris from clogging up the firing mechanisms) and were able to accommodate reflex sights.
It Is One Of America’s Most Popular Handguns
SIG Sauer, Inc. is one of the foremost American gun manufacturers, and their handguns are incredibly popular across the country.
It’s no surprise, then, that the SIG Sauer P320 (and variants like the SIG Sauer X5 series) has seen massive success.
According to the Washington Post, it’s owned by hundreds of thousands of civilians, and it is also extremely popular with law enforcement departments all over the country, with police departments in Wisconsin, Texas, and beyond adapting the handgun for use.
It Has Been Subject To Several Controversies
The P320 (but not specifically the SIG Sauer X5 series) has been the focus of several controversies since its inception, specifically with regard to its use by American LEOs.
The primary reason for these controversies has been the firearm’s purported tendency to ‘drop fire’ when the slide hit the ground at a 33-degree angle.
Independent gun-enthusiast websites conducted their own test, concluding that the firearm was subject to unintentional discharges 40% of the time when dropped at such an angle.
Because of this, the firearm was withdrawn from active service by several police departments, including the Dallas and Milwaukee police departments.
By April 2023, six police departments had recalled the gun from service.
The SIG Sauer P320 X5 Series is a Dedicated Competition Pistol
The P320 is a firearm well-suited for personal protection, home defense, and LEO use (the above issues aside). But the X5 variant was created with a more specialized purpose in mind – competitive shooting.
The X5 Series wasn’t simply a rehash of the factory-standard P320 but a ground-up reconfiguration of the pistol specifically to make the best competitive firearm possible.
With ergonomic redesigns that mean less muzzle rise and less recoil, the X5 is perfect for target shooting while still making for a great all-purpose firearm.
Add to the mix slightly more weight, a longer barrel, and a lighter trigger pull of 5 pounds (the standard P320’s is 7 pounds), and you have a gun that’s designed from the bottom up to be the ultimately competitive pistol.
It Has Several Variants
It’s a testament to the modular nature of the SIG Sauer P320 that there are a number of variants out there suited for almost any purpose.
While the SIG Sauer X5 series noted above is perfect for competitive shooting, there are several other iterations of the gun on the market suited for other purposes.
This series of P320 variants comprises a number of firearms with differing grips and chambering, as well as a compact version of the P320 (named the XCompact) suited for concealed carry.
The X-Carry is a variant of the XCompact; the primary difference between the two is that the former has a clip capacity of 17 rounds, while the latter holds only 15.
The XFive Legion represented a somewhat radical overhaul of the P320 upon its release in 2019. It boasted several new and redesigned features, including a detachable magazine well, a tungsten-infused frame, and recoil-assistive cuts designed to make sustained firing easier.
This 2022 model was sporterized by SIG in order to make it a better firearm for competitive shooting. Slightly heavier and with a longer barrel, it’s designed to reduce recoil and increase muzzle velocity.
This variant, chambered for 10mm rounds, is a large, heavy gun that feels more like a 9 mm-chambered weapon than a 10mm one.
It packs serious stopping power and is a great choice for someone who likes a little more punch in their firearms.
Although the SIG Sauer P320 has been subject to its fair share of controversies and less-than-flattering descriptions, the fact is that it’s a ubiquitous weapon across the US precisely because it does what it does so well.
When it comes to accuracy, versatility, and affordability, it’s hard to go wrong with the SIG Sauer P320.