Most of the pistols I own were designed for personal defense. They are medium-sized handguns that offer a good compromise between accuracy, control, and concealability. For pure shooting fun, however, there is nothing more attractive than a large, heavy, accurate handgun that is designed for competition. Today, that gun was the SIG P320 XFive Legion.
Heavier guns are the ones that win shooting competitions. Practical shooting contests are also won by heavy-frame pistols, and increasingly, you will see striker-fired handguns bringing home the gold. Simply put, recoil interrupts the time between shots (known as splits). In a contest where the winner may excel by but a few tenths of a second, every advantage is important.
I have fired a shot or two in competition, but my credentials in this regard are limited. Therefore, I will attempt to get ahead of the story with that admission. That being said, I know how to shoot and what works well. The SIG P320 XFive is an eye-opener.
There are competition guns that were based on the 1911 and others based on the CZ 75. Most are terribly expensive. However, this is a game like any other. Whether you race go-karts, motorcycles, horses, or handguns, you must spend money. The P320, however, is based on a handgun designed primarily for reliability.
History of the P320
The P320 was adopted by the U.S. Army — primarily for its modularity and reliability. SIG’s goal was simple — design a competition pistol based on the P320, keep its reliability, and minimize anything that limits accuracy. The P320 XFive is that pistol, and it succeeds at its design goal very well.
The expense in this handgun isn’t in modifying the pistol after the fact for competition use. The expense occurred during testing and evaluation at SIG, which makes the pistol is an affordable option. The P320 XFive Legion should be a reliable handgun that runs well for many years without upgrades or modifications.
The SIG Legion Series
The Legion treatment is comparable to the P226 and P220 Legion pistols. The pistol features a PVD finish called Legion Gray. This is a very attractive and durable finish. The pistol also features 25 lines-per-square-inch checkering in the right place. SIG has also performed the incredible feat of infusing tungsten into the SIG P320’s polymer frame. The result is a pistol that weighs 44 ounces — about 10 ounces more than the standard P320. The result is outstanding heft and balance.
The pistol is delivered with three 17-round magazines. This is a good touch in a day when many handguns are supplied with a single magazine. These are proven high-quality magazines.
SIG Sauer P320 XFive Features
The grip doesn’t feel like polymer, but it doesn’t feel like steel either. The pistol is supplied with a magazine well that may be easily removed. A good point is that the grip surface may be worked to suit the individual shooter — just as the standard polymer grip may be.
P320 XFive Trigger
The trigger is a big part of the story. The trigger action of the P320 is much different than most polymer frame, striker-fired handguns, and it doesn’t feel like a single-action either. Some shooters love the trigger. These shooters are able to master the trigger’s function and thrive. Likewise, there are other shooters that cannot get the hang of it. This is understandable.
I managed good results, but not the results some of my friends exhibited with the trigger. So, choose the trigger action that suits you best. The P320 trigger may be managed well by those who concentrate on its nuances and adapt.
The trigger broke at a consistent 4.0 pounds. After a few weeks of use, the trigger was registering 3.9 pounds on my Lyman digital scale. A friend, who runs his gun in competition, tells me his P320 trigger has improved considerably after a year of use.
SIG XFive Sights
The front sight is a fiber-optic. This sight is bright and easily picked up. I particularly enjoyed the adjustable rear sight. This sight offered an excellent sight picture. The ability to properly sight the pistol for projectiles ranging in weight from 88 to 158 grains, and velocities of 800 to 1,500 fps, was important.
I did not use optics on the pistol. I fired the pistol, as issued, with iron sights. I evaluated the pistol with a good range of ammunition. This ammunition was primarily a 115-grain Winchester 9mm FMJ. I also added a handload using a hard-cast 124-grain RNL bullet at 1,050 fps, and another handload using the Hornady 147-grain XTP at 1,020 fps. This is a heavy load that hits hard, and accuracy seemed topflight.
Performance at the Range
Drawing from a Galco belt-slide holster, I began with the pistol loaded with the Winchester FMJ ammunition. A sharp draw led the pistol to the target. The pistol wasn’t difficult to get on target quickly, and once on target, the pistol stayed on target.
The pistol’s sights proved easy to acquire and lined up on target as the trigger was pressed to the rear. As the trigger broke and the striker dropped, the front sight simply hung on target. After that, it was as simple as fire and repeat.
As I admitted, I am not a serious competitor. Just the same, I understand the advantages of the P320 XFive over the standard P320. For a good shot, who is used to handling handguns quickly, the P320X is an ideal pistol. If you need a competition-ready pistol, don’t overlook the SIG P320 XFive Legion.