14 June 18

SIG/320 Pistol

SIG’s 320 Pistol was selected by the Pentagon for general issue within the American Military at the beginning of 2017. The 320 (designated the M17) ends the thirty-two year reign of the Beretta 92F (M9)

SIG narrowly edged-out Glock for this prestigious contract.

However, the “military version” of the 320 differs from the original “civilian version” in that:

When a drop-safety issue reared its ugly head during testing of the 320, SIG quickly re-engineered the pistol in order to correct the problem. This “new version” (the “military version”) is what is being currently delivered to the Pentagon. This Military Version also has ambidextrous, manual safety levers (an optional feature on the civilian version).

Since then, SIG has incorporated these internal “military upgrades” into all new, non-military production, although manual safety levers are still optional.

Most Operators, myself included, prefer the 320 without manual safety levers. The Pentagon, of course, insisted on them! The pistol is perfectly functional, either way, but I consider a manual safety lever on a pistol like this to be a superfluous redundancy. Indeed, it represents needless clutter.

Not everyone agrees.

However, a half-million 320s were produced and sold in general commerce before the above-mentioned military upgrades were incorporated.

Drop-safety issues have been haphazardly reported with a small number of these “pre-upgrade” 320 pistols, at least one involving injury to the shooter. Yet, I think it is safe to say that drop-engendered UDs, if they occurred at all, were exceeding rare.

SIG has responded by offering the military upgrade to all SIG 320 owners, at no charge.

My copy of the 320 was among the “pre-upgrade” production, and I carried and shot it for a number of months. It always functioned perfectly with no issues, as I would have expected. I didn’t “drop” it, but it was subjected to vigorous handling as are all my serious, working guns.

However, friends at SIG advised me that getting my 320 upgraded has no downside! SIG does all work at no charge and covers all shipping costs, both ways. I was advised that work would take four to six weeks.

So, I sent my 320 back to SIG in May (shipping details are on SIG’s Web Page). They returned it to me in only three weeks, completely upgraded and test-fired!

Trigger has been replaced, along with the completion of a number of machining operations. It is a sophisticated and involved process!

New trigger and reset represent an improvement over the old system, and the pistol is now absolutely drop-safe.

I’m carrying it again, with complete confidence (of course, I carried it with confidence before the upgrade)!

Based on my experience, my advice to all owners of “pre-upgrade” copies of the 320 is to send them into SIG and have this work done, without delay!

Granted, non-upgraded 320s will probably serve their owners faithfully for the rest of their useful service lives, but getting them upgraded has no downside, as noted above.

Neither SIG, nor any other manufacturer, makes a “perfect” product, nor are all management processes and decisions “perfect.”

Yet, I have to give SIG credit for recognizing (some say too late, I know) this issue and instituting a legitimate
and competent correction.