21 Jan 14

More on the SIG 320:

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.”

“Albus Dumbledore” (portrayed by Michael Gambon), in the 2001 feature film, Harry Potter

Friends at SIG contacted me today with regard to my last Quip, about their new 320 Pistol.

Their comments:

“The pistol is being offered both with a tabbed ‘safety-trigger’ and a standard, blade trigger. The P320 passes NIJ, SAAMI and NATO drop-tests with either trigger. Some people/agencies will insist, so we made one.”

My opinion is that it should be one way or the other! Who have a 320 with a blade trigger will begin to think their pistol is “not quite as good” as the one with the trigger-tab. Once again, average gun-buyers in America are bewildered enough, without throwing this bit of confusion at them. If a trigger-tab on the 320 is utterly superfluous, as you insist it is, then it shouldn’t ever be there to begin with! For one, I don’t want unnecessary moving parts, that contribute nothing, on any gun I carry. I’m obviously in the minority on this, but that is my view from down here on the consumer-level.

“A frame-mounted manual safety was developed to satisfy specific international LE and military requirements. It will be offered commercially, as an option. A magazine-safety was developed as an option to meet certain domestic LE agency requirements, and will not be offered commercially.”

For one, I’m glad magazine-safeties will be confined to certain special LE orders. I consider magazines-safeties a death-trap! However, they’ll be out there, and will eventually make their way into private ownership, and pistols with them will be indistinguishable from those without them. They will invariably get mixed-in with each other at some point, and that is the problem. Friends at S&W will tell you all about this issue!

Glock has courageously, steadfastly refused to produce a pistol, for anyone, that is equipped with a manual safety or a magazine safety. When I pick-up a Glock, any Glock no matter how old, I don’t have to worry about which “version” I have, nor do I have to squint at fine printing on the slide reminding me that I have this “variant” or that! It is my opinion that Glock is correct on the magazine-safety issue, and that both S&W and SIG are incorrect.

XDs have been produced with manual safeties, but, happily, none has ever been produced with a magazine safety.

A manual safety, on any of these pistols (SIG 320, XD, M&P) is, in my opinion, unnecessary, and does little but contribute bulk and clutter. However, unlike a magazine-safety, I don’t consider a manual safety to be a death-trap. If you think you need one, it is available on the 320 some XDs, and M&P, but not on a Glock!

“I’m perplexed by your prediction of certain death for ‘antiquated,’ hammer-fired pistols.”

Again, where you stand depends on where you sit! At the corporate level, hammer-fired pistols may continue to sell, but we’re not seeing them on the range! Average consumers are not buying them, at least ones I have as students.

“As the 3rd largest US producer of handguns, before the P320, I’m pretty sure we were competitive already. We introduced this striker-fired pistol for the same reason we introduced an AR platform rifle in 2009. We believe we can bring something to the market that offers the consumer a technical and quality advantage over the competition.”

And, I sincerely hope you’re right! As I indicated, I want all small-arms producers, including SIG, to be widely successful. Rigorous competition makes for good products!

I have many friends at SIG, and they have always been very nice to me! As a trainer, I like to point-out what I see as trends, even mistakes, but I have no personal agenda. I have no financial relationship with any gun company, including SIG, nor any ammunition company. I’m free to say terrible things about all of them, and do!

But, it is all for the benefit of the industry and of our Art.

Before the year is out, I’ll get a copy of the SIG 320, and I’ll persuade my good friend, Gregg Garrett at Comp-Tac, to make me an IWB holster for it. And, I’ll carry it with confidence, just as I’ve carried Glocks, M&Ps, XD, Kahrs, and a host of others.

Good show, SIG! We’re glad to have this pistol, and I trust my opinions will be seen in the helpful light they are offered.