After many years in law enforcement, I developed a strong respect for SIG products. I was issued the SIG P226 at one time. I also carried the SIG P220 at times. While the SIG P320 XCompact came along well after my time as LEO, I am no less enthusiastic about reviewing or carrying it.
When the brass specifies the SIG as a service pistol, you know that they have not purchased the handgun on a low bid. SIG has attempted to produce budget guns as well. They are not cheap, but they cost less than the P226, as an example.
History of the SIG P320
The SIG P250 was introduced 15 years ago. The P250 is a hammer-fired double-action-only pistol with a polymer frame. The P250 is usually the least favorite SIG of SIG fans for some reason. However, in my case, I have the greatest respect for the P250 9mm.
I have a long serving P250C 9mm that is a front-line pistol for home defense. The pistol is simple enough — load, holster, draw, and fire. There is no decocker and only one trigger action to learn.
The P320 follows with this simplicity. The P250 did not do as well as SIG hoped for. The P320 was developed as a striker-fired version of the P250 pistol. The P320 has been successful for SIG and received critical acclaim for its short, crisp trigger action and reliability.
The pistol features a relatively low bore axis, a well-shaped grip frame, and good features such as excellent combat sights. The pistol features a light rail for mounting combat lights and lasers. I used the SIG Foxtrot combat light during the evaluation.
The SIG P320 has been in service for more than seven years. The pistol features a modular construction that allows changing the grip frame for full size, compact, or subcompact grip frames. The serialized chassis is the ‘firearm.’
SIG P320 Features
The striker-fired SIG P320 offers good combat accuracy with less training time than a double-action pistol. The SIG P320 target versions have been successful in many types of competition. The pistol is a favorite among handgunners. However, there are also those who do not care for the pistol.
The trigger, that many find attractive and useful, doesn’t appeal to some shooting styles. Like most SIG pistols, the P320 features a Nitron-coated slide. The XSeries also features a slide cut for optics. Simply remove the plate, mount a SIG Romeo sight, and you are good to go. Well, a little more complicated than that but not difficult.
The 320 XCompact also features SIG’s new X-Ray night sights. The grip frame is smaller than the original and offers an excellent hand fit. The X Frame grip features a longer grip tang, often called a beavertail extension.
The grip is thinner and more aggressively finished than the original with an excellent balance of adhesion and abrasion. This makes for greater comfort and control when firing the pistol. The X Frame features an under-cut trigger guard to help raise the bore axis by using a high grip.
The overall design and engineering are impressive. I like the XCompact more than the original P320 by quite a margin. Many polymer frame pistols are slide heavy. SIG has gone to considerable effort to perfect the balance of this pistol. Interestingly, the pistol also features a modified magazine well that makes for excellent speed in reloading.
The most telling improvement to the pistol is the square-faced trigger. The trigger feels good and breaks sharply. I don’t feel the SIG P320 is a true double-action trigger, but SIG calls it a double-action.
When the trigger was pressed, the safety block moved, and the pistol’s striker broke. The trigger broke sharply at 5.5 pounds. There was more overtravel than I would have liked, but the reset was sharp. Firing rapidly wasn’t that difficult, but accurate rapid-fire was another matter.
Accuracy and Reliability
I fired the pistol extensively with a variety of ammunition. The pistol was drawn from a Galco paddle holster. Drawing and firing at man-sized targets at 7 and 10 yards, accuracy was excellent.
Most of the ammunition used was the Winchester Active Duty — a full-power loading. I punched out the X-ring of the targets with good results. I also fired a few rounds into the cranio-ocular cavity at a long 10 yards. None ventured out of the center of the outlined head.
Firing for absolute accuracy, I used the Winchester 124-grain +P. This is a strong load that breaks 1,200 fps. Accuracy was tested firing off a solid benchrest. I put five rounds into 2.5 inches at 15 yards. The SIG P320 XCompact gets a clean bill of health for accuracy, reliability, and handling.