The Sig P320 Compact
While our main business is selling holsters, we do like guns here at Gunner’s Alley (we are a Class 3 FFL, by the way). We have noticed over the past several months that there has been a big increase in the number of holsters being ordered for the Sig P320 series. Most orders are for the P320 Carry, P320 Compact, or the P320 Sub Compact. Being big fans of the Sig Sauer product line, we decided to order a P320 Compact to see how it compared against some of the other popular striker fired guns we shoot on a regular basis. We didn’t do any head to head comparisons, but more of a “let’s take this to the range, shoot it, run some
range drills, and see what we think” type of thing. Our goal was more to see what we were missing than it was to compare the P320 Compact to its competition. There are plenty of online reviews that do that, so this is more of a range report of our experiences and thoughts.
For those that are unfamiliar, the P320 series is Sig Sauer’s line of striker fired polymer framed pistols aimed at the LE and civilian CCW market. Their differentiating feature is the ability to easily remove the serialized “receiver” so you can swap out the frame for a different size – either shorter or longer (think full size, duty, or sub compact), or a wider or narrower grip (instead of replaceable back straps). It is even possible to switch calibers with caliber conversion kits. I can see this appealing to police departments that want to standardize on a single pistol platform. The interchangeable grip modules make it easy for them to accommodate different sized hands, as well as different mission requirements (uniform full size pistol vs off duty compact, for example). All the details are available on Sig Sauer’s website.
We decided to order the P320 Compact, as it seemed to be the most popular model that we are selling holsters for. This model is basically the same size as a Glock G19, another extremely popular CCW gun. It holds 15 rounds of 9mm, comes with two metal magazines, and a polymer holster. Our model has the SigLite night sights on it.
We made two trips to the range with the pistol. On the first trip, we shot the gun straight out of the box. The gun has a nice feel in the hand. The standard retail offering appears to ship with the medium sized grip frame. It has a slight palm swell, making it feel a little beefier in my hand than a Glock G19 or an M&P 9 full size with the small backstrap installed. It feels more like an M&P with the medium back strap. For my average sized hand, it felt fine. I had no trouble getting a grip on the gun or reaching the trigger while shooting. Even when drawing from the holster, I had no issues obtaining a good firing grip right away. The three dot sights hit to point of aim for me at ten yards. I did not have to make any major corrections under ten yards, or at fifteen yards either. They worked well.
I like the front cocking serrations on the pistol. I tend to press check using the front serrations if a pistol has them…old habit I guess. The serrations look good to me, but you may not think so. Which is fine. They did not seem to impede my draw out of the two MTR leather holsters I used during the testing, so that is a plus. I had no issues with the trigger, either. I could reach it fine, and the trigger pull was decent for a striker fired pistol. To me, it felt slightly better than a stock Glock trigger, but not as good as an H&K VP9 or Walther PPQ trigger. It was nowhere close to an M&P with an Apex Tactical trigger kit in it, but I would not expect it to be. The trigger was functional, and the out of the box trigger pulled weighed in at 8.3 pounds when weighed with my Lyman digital trigger scale. The best thing about the trigger was that it made the gun fire each and every time I pulled it. I did not notice an issue with the bore axis of the Sig P320. I have read that the P320 has a high bore axis (like most Sigs) and that makes it flip more than a lower bore axis pistol, like a Glock. I did not notice it, maybe because I have shot Sigs for years and I am just used to it…? On the first trip we ran about one hundred rounds of Speer Lawman 115gr. through it without a single issue. Like most of the modern self-defense pistols I have shot over the past several years, there were no malfunctions or problems of any kind. I know it was only one hundred rounds, but my experience has always been that if there was going to be a problem, the problem will usually show itself sooner rather than later.
To keep things interesting, I ordered an Apex Tactical trigger ($44.95) for the P320. This is a flat faced trigger that replaces the factory trigger body. There are no other parts replaced, no springs, connectors, trigger bars, etc, just the trigger itself. The install was relatively simple, not requiring any tools. I will not cover the details here, but there are how-to videos for it on YouTube if you are curious.
After installing the trigger, we made a second trip to the range to see what kind of a difference the new trigger made. I found the new flat trigger to be even easier for me to reach. I like the “feel” of the flat trigger, also. I didn’t think I would be a fan, but I liked it. The pull weight ended up about two pounds lighter (you can see the results in the table) with the new trigger. The weight change was not drastic to me, but I noticed improvement in trigger travel and reset. The “feel” of the trigger was quite good. For some reason I enjoyed running the gun with the Apex flatty in it a lot more than the stock trigger.
To test it, I ran the FAST drill (from pistol-training.com) with the P320 Compact and Apex trigger. I had not done the FAST drill with this gun during the first range trip, so this would be the first time for this test with this pistol. (I was shooting the gun from the MTR Adversary carried in appendix position for this run.) Brad hit the timer and when I finished, the timer read 6.99 seconds. The run was clean, so I “scored” Advanced on the first try with the gun. I quit while I was (sort of) ahead and moved on. We ran another one hundred or so rounds through the P320 on the second range trip drawing from the MTR Adversary and the MTR Deluxe Full Size Quick Snap holsters. Both holsters worked well for me, allowing me to get a firing grip on the pistol with no interference, and provided good retention and a smooth snag free draw. The P320 Compact ran like a top. There were no stoppages of any kind during the second half of the testing. Accuracy was very good out of the gun, even after two hundred rounds without a cleaning. You can see the five shot group in the photo. This was shot standing, off-hand from ten yards.
After running about two hundred rounds through the gun, using it for various range drills, and shooting it for groups, my opinion is that the Sig P320 Compact is a very good polymer framed, striker fired pistol for CCW, home defense, or plinking. In addition, the interchangeable grip modules and the ability to change calibers may be another big benefit to some. The size of our sample was almost the exact same size as a Glock G19, so using the P320 Compact for CCW should not be an issue. If you need or prefer a smaller, sub compact grip, that is just a quick change away. Also, holsters are readily available for the various sizes of the P320 series from MTR, and Don Hume. To me, the Sig P320 Compact had all the desirable characteristics of a polymer framed, striker fired pistol, while still feeling and shooting like a Sig Sauer pistol. To me, that is a good thing.
Please feel free to comment or ask any questions, and I will do my best to respond.