This post is going to be a very informal review of the Sig Sauer P320 Compact 9mm pistol. In full disclosure, the gun in the pictures is not mine. Rather, it is the recent purchase of a close friend. He was in search of a striker fired gun but has a strong dislike of the feel of the Glock trigger, specifically the protrusion of the tabbed trigger safety. He recently purchased a Sig Sauer P320 Compact 9mm as his new pistol, and he was kind enough to allow me to shoot it and review it here.
The P320 is Sig’s newest entry into the striker fired handgun market. The pistol is somewhat unique in that it is a modular design, with different sized grip modules and different barrel and slide lengths available to fit around the serialized frame assembly. In theory, one firearm can be easily configured for several different needs and scenarios, ranging from a full size duty gun to a subcompact concealed carry gun. My friend chose the Compact version since it is large enough to have a full grip but compact enough for concealed carry. In terms of size, the external dimensions of the Compact version are very similar to a Glock 19. Although a model with night sights was available, he instead chose to purchase the pistol with 3 dot contrast sights. The pistol came with two 10 round magazines (on the other side of the iron curtain, the pistol comes with 15 round magazines…) as well as a basic belt holster and plastic case.
One of the reasons that I really like the P320 is because it has an ambidextrous slide catch lever. This is useful to me specifically for practicing one handed manipulations with my support hand as if my right hand was injured or otherwise disabled. In addition, the magazine release can be reversed to accommodate left handed individuals. With no other external controls beyond the takedown lever, the pistol is essentially completely ambidextrous. For these reasons alone, I will recommend this gun to my left handed friends and family.
The pistol can be quickly and intuitively disassembled for cleaning similarly to other Sig Sauer “P” series pistols. Simply remove the magazine, lock the slide back, rotate the takedown lever clockwise, and then release the slide and remove it from the frame. The recoil spring and barrel are easily removed to finish field stripping the pistol. I did not attempt to remove the frame assembly from the grip module, but I can’t imagine that it’s terribly difficult… Reassembly is the reverse of disassembly and is equally straightforward.
We shot approximately 150 rounds through the pistol with no failures to fire. Ammunition was Speer Lawman 115 gr. FMJ. My friend experienced absolutely no malfunctions. I did have a few issues initially when my normal two handed thumbs forward grip caused the slide to lock open under recoil. I don’t consider this a malfunction, but simply operator error. By adjusting the position of my right thumb slightly, I was able to eliminate the issue and experienced no further problems. If I was ever going to purchase and carry the P320, this is something that I would just have to practice to avoid.
A common criticism of Sig pistols is the high bore axis, but I didn’t really notice a big difference in recoil between the P320 and my G19. The G19 felt familiar in my hand, but the P320 was comfortable to hold and fire. I would rate its ergonomics as being much better than the Glock. I have often been tempted to explore frame modifications for my Glock pistols, but I have no such inclinations when shooting the P320. As with all Sig pistols, it fits my hand like a glove. The slide release is easy to reach and manipulate with either hand, and the trigger is crisp with a short length of travel and distinct reset point. In short, the gun is just easy to shoot. I had no difficulty in hitting my point of aim. Another standard feature on the gun is forward slide serrations. I like having these cut into the slide for certain manipulations. In my opinion, the forward slide serrations are a feature that adds value while detracting nothing.
So far, my impression of the P320 is that I really like it! As I told my friend when he was considering his purchase, if I wasn’t so heavily invested in Glock pistols and accessories, the Sig Sauer P320 is the gun that I would probably buy. In my opinion, Sig did their homework and got it right. It is taking time for them to get the pistol in all its iterations fielded to the market, but now that it is available, I think it is proving to be worth the wait.