20 Jan 14

SIG’s P320

“I have not ‘failed.’ I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work!”

Thomas Edison

As I indicated, SIG’s new P320 represents SIG’s first attempt at a polymer-framed, striker-fired, main-stream, duty pistol. Like S&W, SIG has been compelled to (belatedly) introduce this Glock-like product in order to remain competitive as a major player in the industry.

The copy of the 320 I saw at the SHOT Show last week did not have a passive, trigger-tab safety, nor did it have a manual safety. I was told an optional (and superfluous) manual safety lever will be offered, at some point, as an alternative. This will be a mistake, as it will hopelessly confuse consumers, much as it has among M&P owners.

Like Ruger before them, I suspect SIG will belatedly discover that not having a trigger-tab passive safety on this new pistol, similar to Glock’s (or a jointed trigger, similar to S&W’s) from the beginning, was also a mistake. Absolute, mechanical drop-safety on serious pistols has become an institutional requirement, and a universal consumer expectation. Modern consumers demand a pistol that can be routinely carried, even in tempestuous environments, with a round chambered and ready to fire, with never a worry about trauma-engendered ADs.

In any event, the 320 will be available in a “service” version, and a “compact” version. I only saw the former at the Show. 9mm is first, of course. 40S&W and 45ACP will follow at some point. With the 320’s modular system, these options can be added with relative ease.

As noted, what will give the 320 a competitive edge is its ingenious modularity, similar to the 250’s. A wonderful feature, particularly for institutional consumers! Accordingly, my prediction is that, like S&W before them, SIG will be greeted with much success with this new pistol, and will thus, for all practical purposes, phase-out of production most of their dated, manually-decocking, hammer-fired offerings. S&W used to have an extensive line of hammer-fired, manually-decocking pistols too. They’re all gone, as S&W’s full attention is now devoted to their excellent M&P line. Time marches on!

I predict the same (eventual) fate will befall Beretta and H&K, but I don’t believe they, at least as yet, “get it.” I’d wish them good luck, but they wouldn’t know what to do with it!

The four pistols we see most often in Courses are Glocks, M&Ps, XDs, an Kahrs. Polymer-framed (except some Kahrs), self-decocking, striker-fired, and mostly double-column (high-capacity), with no decocking levers, no manual safeties, and no magazine safeties, and absolutely drop-safe, as noted above. The foregoing defines the current ”main-stream.” For serious pistols, owned for serious purposes (police and non-police), those are the criteria consumers, institutional and individual, are currently demanding.

When pistols like that are not part of your line, you’re off the main stream. And, manufacturers who add unneeded, foolish folderol, like manual safeties and magazine-safeties, are only hurting themselves, and confusing their customers, as noted above. Making this trash “optional” only adds to the confusion!

There are many “side-streams,” however. For example, the concealed-carry market is big and growing. Lots of demand here for short, flat (mostly single-column), light, simple pistols that are thus suitable for a wide spectrum of concealment challenges. Some pistols in this category, like the Boberg, Rohrbaugh, Beretta Pico, the Double Tap, the Kahr P380, and the five-shot, snubby revolver will continue to do just fine confining themselves to just this segment of the market.

“Speciality” pistols, like the 1911, have a following, and likely always will, but it is not growing. Same comments for “race-guns” and non-serious “kiddy-guns,” like the double-barreled 1911 AF2011-A1. They may get a disproportionate amount of hype in gun-rags, but it will never translate to significant market-share!

All the foregoing, of course, from the lips of someone who never manufactured any kind of gun in his life. I like to think I’m up to speed on this market and industry, but I’ve been surprised before!

Good competition makes for good products! Of course, we want all gun companies, particularly American ones, to be widely successful. As a nation, we need a strong, and growing, arms industry, lest we be forced to buy our arms elsewhere!

This world, domestically and internationally, will never be “at peace.” That’s a cruel fantasy! That being the case, let’s plan on coming out on top, no matter what happens.

Modern, superior arms will help!

“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good!

Greed is right! Greed works! Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures, the essence of the evolutionary spirit!

Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind”

Gordon Gekko (played by Mike Douglas) in the 1987 feature film, Wall Street