FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Tactical Pants - Galls
A popular choice for public safety professionals, the Galls Tactical Pants are...

Reviews : Arsenal

SIG Sauer P320 Duty Pistol

SIG's new striker-fired, polymer-framed duty pistol is tack-driver accurate and offers excellent ergonomics and features.

July 31, 2014  |  by A.J. George - Also by this author

Photo: Mark W. Clark
Photo: Mark W. Clark

SIG Sauer pistols are what I would call unique guns and somewhat of an acquired taste. They have unusual ergonomics that don't appeal to everyone, but they shoot true and run reliably.

Perhaps it's their accuracy and reliability that has made SIGs so popular with law enforcement officers, especially federal law enforcement officers.

Where SIGs have fallen short of other competitors for the law enforcement duty market such as the Glock or Smith & Wesson's M&P pistols are in their weight and complexity. The Glock and M&P are polymer-framed, striker-fired pistols; the first with no "active" safety and the latter available with both.

The Glock is extremely easy to operate compared to the SIG's DA/SA model. If you hand a Glock shooter a SIG, the first thing he or she will likely complain about is the manual safety. The second complaint will likely be the DA/SA trigger.

SIG has now recognized that these features, although they have merit, have been steering some buyers and agencies away from its pistols. The company's answer is the new P320, which blends the best of the classic SIG design with the attributes of a striker-fired, polymer-framed pistol.

Announced at this year's SHOT Show, the P320 is a true striker-fired duty pistol with no de-cockers or safeties to manipulate. It's available in 9mm and .40 S&W, and in two off-the-shelf sizes; the standard and the "carry" model, similar to a compact.

Key features of the SIG P320 include three different grip sizes for a customized grip fit. The trigger itself is available in either a standard version or a version with a "tabbed trigger safety" that is very similar to the trigger safeties on Glocks.

The P320, like SIG's P250, is a modular handgun. That means owners can use a conversion kit to swap out worn parts or change the configuration of the pistol. The fire control unit is the only part of the gun that bears a serial number. So the frame, trigger, slide, and barrel can be easily and, more importantly, cheaply swapped out. This means that when you buy a P320, you're essentially buying a "starter kit" that allows you to build a variety of different guns.

Out of the Box

What caught my attention first as I removed POLICE's sample P320 from the box was the grip. The texture, ergonomics, palm swell, and angle are fantastic, and I actually prefer them over my duty pistol.

The P320's grip has just enough texturing to add traction but not so much as to wear on your hands after a day at the range. The grip angle is a little steeper than most pistols, and to me that is welcome as most combat shooting stances naturally produce a more vertical hand orientation. This is where the wrist is strongest and allows the shooter to better manage recoil.

Distance from the grip to the trigger is what I would consider normal and should accommodate most shooters without forcing them to "reach" with their trigger fingers. The finish on the slide itself is impeccable, which is what I've come to expect from SIG, and perfectly smooth.

The balance of the P320 is a little top heavy, and the muzzle end carries a little more weight than the rest, resulting in a gun that feels muzzle-heavy. Add a pistol light (I fitted mine with a Streamlight TLR-1) and this is much more noticeable.

Fully loaded and fitted with a pistol light, the P320 definitely felt heavier than my Glock 22. SIG claims the gun weighs slightly more than 29 ounces unloaded with a magazine in the chamber, compared to about 25 ounces for a Glock 22. That's a considerable difference. If the gun were a bit more balanced, this wouldn't be as noticeable, but after a long day at the range it'll likely take its toll on the shooter.

Feature Set

The P320 sports a lot of nice features. The standard framed version holds an impressive 18 rounds of 9mm ammo (17 in the magazine and 1 in the chamber). This is on par with the competition and definitely an attractive feature in any duty pistol. The .40 S&W version holds 15 rounds, one less than the competition.

Moving on to the functions of the gun, the P320 sports true ambidextrous controls. Both the magazine release and slide-lock lever can be manipulated from either side of the gun. As a left-handed shooter I have learned to manipulate my pistols with right-handed controls. And even though I feel I am very proficient now, I remember my first range days with my Glock 22 and wishing I had as easy a time as the "rightys" did. Having the controls positioned properly for the shooter gives that shooter more positive and efficient manipulations with fewer errors.

The P320 comes standard with two high-capacity magazines. Most officers generally carry three mags, one in the gun and two on the belt. Having to purchase an extra magazine separately is a bit annoying and adds to the overall cost of using this gun as a service weapon.

In addition to the magazines, SIG includes a nice Kydex single-retention holster for off-duty wear. While it may not seem like much, the ability to carry a gun right out of the box without having to wait while you hunt for a holster is nice. I actually carried the P320 and made several draws from this holster, and its single, pressure retention design worked very well. The Kydex, although not overly thick or rigid, held up to some vigorous draws and showed little wear.

One excellent aspect of the P320 is the sights. It comes standard with SIG's proprietary SIGLite night sights.

Another big selling point for the P320 is the ability to disassemble the gun without pulling the trigger. This is accomplished via a single rotating lever on the left side of the frame. Simply lock the slide to the rear, rotate the lever, and the top half of the gun effortlessly slides forward and off the frame.

Personally, I've never been concerned with pulling the trigger to get my gun apart. After all, if we're following the firearms safety rules as we should, there should be no unintentional discharges upon doing so. That said, I do understand the reality that a large portion of gun-carrying law enforcement officers are not what one might call "shooters" and may be known to skip a step or two from time to time. If we can keep these folks from pulling the trigger when they take their guns apart that's probably a good thing.

First Shots

Due to their design, SIG pistols have a unique feel when firing that isn't for everyone. Since the P320 is kind of a different animal, I was eager to see if that true SIG "feel" was still there.

I loaded both magazines with SIG's new proprietary 9mm duty-grade ammunition and cranked off a couple of rounds toward my range's berm. The recoil was noticeable and that good-old SIG feel was definitely there.

If you're wondering what I mean by the "SIG feel," here's my explanation. All SIG pistols tend to have a bore axis that is very high in relation to the shooter's hands. This makes it difficult for the shooter to really get behind the gun and absorb the recoil in a linear fashion and results in greater than normal muzzle rise.

Even in 9mm, the muzzle rise on the P320 was significant. Normally, this kind of recoil is found in high-pressure rounds like the .40 or a 10mm. If the 9mm P320 is difficult to control, I'm afraid the .40 version would be even more so. Managing the recoil was a constant concern of mine throughout my time on the range, and I would have to say it definitely slowed down my follow-up shots.

Our test P320 came with the standard double-action-style trigger with very little "slack." I found the two-stage trigger press to be smooth and not at all gritty. But it is what some would call "spongy," and it doesn't have a clear defining point between the slack (stage 1) and the shot falling (stage 2).

The reset was excellent and seemed to require only a few millimeters of travel before the trigger positively reset for the next shot. I would estimate the trigger pull to be around 5 to 6 pounds all the way through the cycle. SIG says the two "stages" of the trigger pull are 5.5 and 7.5 pounds, respectively. I didn't notice much difference.

Running the P320 was a dream. The ambi-controls are well placed and large enough to be positively engaged even while shooting with gloves. Magazine exchanges were smooth and hang-up free, and both magazines dropped free every time. The polymer baseplate is thick enough to allow the shooter to "palm" the magazine to seat it positively without worrying about pinching skin between the mag-well and baseplate. If you've ever run a standard 1911 you know exactly what I'm talking about. The smooth, blued finish on the magazine's steel body allowed for smooth operation without being too slippery.


I'd give the P320 an A+ for accuracy. At 25 yards I took my sweet time and managed to cluster several rounds in about a 2-inch circle. I don't know that I've ever done that with a pistol before. I think it is safe to say this gun is able to shoot better than I can. It is a tack-driver.

I mixed up a batch of the new SIG duty ammo with some random 9mm rounds and loaded it into the P320's mags. I wanted to see if a particular type of round would cause a hitch in the pistol's giddy-up.

After rapid firing three magazines, I admitted defeat as the P320 didn't skip a breath. Ejection was forceful and positive with each and every round and not once did I experience a malfunction, even toward the end of the range day when the gun was a little dirty and dry.

Here's the bottom line on the SIG P320. If you're familiar with SIG pistols and like their ergonomics and shooting feel this is going to be your dream come true. The quality is there and the innovations over previous generations are many. This is truly a reliable, duty-grade pistol designed from the ground up to be an officer's gun.

Even if you are not an experienced SIG shooter, I would strongly encourage anyone looking for a new duty pistol with the newest in pistol technology to check out the P320.

The P320 is shipping now and available at your local SIG LE dealer at a retail price ranging from $669 to $713, depending on the configuration. SIG has a law enforcement program that offers individual officers a significant discount on almost all of its guns, but at press time, the P320 didn't appear on that list. I would suggest you give them a call to be sure.

A.J. George is a patrol sergeant with the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Police Department. He has also served in the advanced training unit as a firearms and tactics instructor.


  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 17 rounds
  • Action: Striker-fired DAO
  • Overall Length: 8 inches
  • Barrel Length: 4.7 inches
  • Sight Radius: 6.6 inches
  • Height: 5.5 inches
  • Width: 1.4 inches
  • Weight: 29.4 ounces
  • Sights: SIGLITE night sights
  • Grips: Interchangeable polymer with three inserts
  • Frame: Polymer
  • Slide: Stainless steel with Nitron finish
  • Features: Take-down with no tools or trigger manipulation required, ambidextrous controls, accessory rail, comes with two magazines
  • Price: $669 to $713

Request more info about this product / service / company

Comments (30)

Displaying 1 - 30 of 30

ftrnr @ 8/6/2014 3:40 AM

"If you hand a Glock shooter a SIG, the first thing he or she will likely complain about is the manual safety."

I have carried Sig pistols since 1991 and have never seen a manual safety on one.

TR @ 8/6/2014 8:01 PM

The P320 is on their law enforcement pricing. I just ordered the 9mm in the carry size for about $550. Additionally, if you order through the law enforcement pricing program it comes with 3 magazines.

David Bush @ 9/2/2014 9:59 AM

Have to agree with ftrnr, I've never held a Sig with a manual safety. All my Sigs have a safety mounted between my ears.

RW @ 9/17/2014 11:48 AM

Well, I purchased a FS P320 in 9mm and just got back from a Shooting Institute and put 600 rounds through it with zero malfunctions. It was a tack-driver and I cannot say anything negative about it. Although people will say it is more expensive than a Glock, they have to remember it comes with night-sights installed. As TR mentioned it is on the IOP list and comes with 3 mags. Great firearm and I can't wait to get the carry or sub-compact model.

T.J Hawkins @ 9/18/2014 9:01 PM

Carrying Sig Sauer since 1985. Bought the P320 9mm Carry on 09/17/14. Solid Sig dependability in in performance. Bought in Texas at "GunCorp". $499 L.E. price.

GUS @ 9/21/2014 11:05 PM

One bad thing about this sig P320, metal mags is your only option at this time. As we all know metal mags rust really easy, special near ocean officers.
Also safariland does not have a decent hoster yet. Besides that great gun.

L.H. @ 10/3/2014 2:26 AM

I have never seen a manual safety on a Sig Sauer handgun and to the best of my knowledge, they don't even offer them on most of their P series handguns... Sounds like the author has been poisoned by the Glock koolaid. How about this statement, you hand a GLOCK to a Sig Shooter and the most common complaint is the horrible grip angle? Glocks have become so popular because of how cheep they are and the fact that they are fairly reliable (with proper maintenance).

charles @ 10/12/2014 11:25 AM

What we call today a Combat Hand Gun do not come with mecanical safeties. Usually a double action hand gun with a decocker to take the weapon out of action which can be quicklyfires via double action.

David @ 10/17/2014 12:35 AM

one reason I like glocks is that you can use the mags from the standard size in the compact and subcompact sizes. Can SIG do that??

mike @ 10/19/2014 7:25 AM

the only SIG I have with a manual safety is the P380 pocket pistol
my P220, P226, P229 and P250 do not have manual safeties
the P250 compact is DAO all the rest are SA/DA with a decocker
i have small wrists and for me the SIG's are more comfortable to shoot than the Glock's.

Tom R. @ 10/25/2014 7:05 AM

I keep reading all over the web that 320s & 250s will fit each other's grips((frames, etc). I called Sig & they say NO, but I have even seen reviews that say YES. Size doesn't seem to be the issue, just the mounting points for the actual Fire Control Module. Any thoughts or experience? BTW, my P250 2 SUM
shoots great, just has a loooong trigger pull.

Sam @ 11/28/2014 12:20 PM

One of the best looking semi autos out there, I have watched every promotional video and clip there is on the entire internet ... result ... I have to get one. Youtube's Hickok45 does a really good demonstration of it. A must see. I think this far exceeds the glock. Note "I Think" so Glock-A-Holics don't get all bent out of shape ... till you shoot one. lol

Warren Roach @ 12/1/2014 4:52 AM

Ref: David and the magazines...yes the magazines are compatible, obviously as long as you are stepping down in size. The full size mags will fit the carry and the subcompact(when it comes out), the carry will fit the subcompact (when it comes out).

Chris @ 12/8/2014 10:13 PM

Sig does make SAO variants of the 220 and 226 with a manual saftey.

Tim @ 12/9/2014 7:49 PM

For all those that say Sig does not have a manual safety, it does!!!! It is the de-cock level. That is a manual safety guys........

Andrew @ 12/16/2014 1:15 PM

Sig's do not have a manual safety, just 5 passive safeties (on standard classic models not 1911's/938's/238's). The 250 shells will fit the 320 trigger mechanisms and vice versa (I've personally done it). - the slides will not swap because of striker vs. hammer fire. I just sat through a training with the National Sales Management team of Sig (full disclosure - I work for a Sig distributor that sells a LOT of their line). They also confirmed this - not just by saying so but physically showing this can be done - as I asked the same question. I'm personally excited to get my personal P320

Billy C. @ 12/17/2014 9:33 AM

I have been a Glock Carrier for years. Great Guns however I bought a Sig 320. I was impressed with the Sig P320 and carry it on duty. I found since safariland has not got around to building a holster for the 320 although I do not know why. The Safariland holster for the Springfield XD will work for the 320 with a TLR - light attachment, if anyone is interested. As far as ordering 17 round mags for the P320, good luck with that.

Dave @ 12/18/2014 11:23 AM

Just got my new Sig P 320 carry, nice gun but disappointed right handed holster gun companies really do leave out left handers when producing. Also my price including 6% 511.00 good price got it from The Exchange in Brookings SD.

dave @ 12/25/2014 9:46 AM

Is there such a LH holster for the P320 carry it came with right handed.

Dylan @ 2/11/2015 12:21 PM

Billy C.

What Springfield model fits the p320? I have the full size 320 in 9mm. On safariland website the choice is 4 or 5 inch barrel on the XD-9.


js manning @ 6/24/2015 11:43 AM


caffeinated @ 7/4/2015 5:39 AM

The Safariland ALS holsters for the P250 work. I'm currently using a Safariland 6378 with my P320 Carry off duty. I believe there is also a 6360 ALS duty holster available.

Brian @ 12/7/2015 1:44 PM

I find it mindblowing that any male of average size and strength would make a point to mention the recoil on the 320 in 9mm. It's an incredibly smooth shooter - much softer than a G19.

staney @ 1/1/2016 2:53 PM

LE Price for a P320 full-compact is still $499 with SIGLITE night sights and 3 mags and $495 for subcompact w/same config. Subcompact can be ordered with (med grip) rails or without (small grip).

bob flagg @ 2/15/2016 11:29 AM

what is the orange plastic thing in the box my new sig p320 came in ?

Darrell @ 3/30/2016 6:17 PM

Bob, the orange plastic thing is an empty chamber indicator. That goes into the chamber and holds the slide back slightly and shows visibly that the gun is clear. A safety device of sorts, not sure how many owners really use them after purchase, I always assumed it was more for dealers and displays/transport buffer.

David @ 4/5/2016 3:11 AM

I am not a police officer, and I have never fired a pistol in my life until I went to a range with my son in law who allowed me to shoot his new P320 .40cal S&W compact. After firing a couple mags to get familiar with the gun, I was able to shoot groups with 95 % of my shots within a 5 inch circle at 15 yards. That may not be impressive to an experienced shooter, but for never having fired a handgun before I couldn't believe I was shooting that well. That's got to say something about this gun. I was certainly impressed. The recoil wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be and it felt very comfortable in my big hands. I am pretty tall and I have long fingers. The only thing I didn't like about the gun was that the trigger was in the middle part of my index finger rather than at the tip making it a little awkward, but I was still able to shoot decent groups. Maybe the larger grip would be of help to me. If I were in the market for a pistol, I'd definitely be looking at this gun.

Dave @ 6/3/2016 7:39 AM

The author mentions that he is left handed and that the pistol comes with a kydex holster. Does this mean there is an option to order the Sig with alert handed holster?

Dave @ 6/3/2016 7:40 AM

That should have been "left"!

Dave @ 3/20/2017 12:14 PM

Don't Sig Sauer 1911 hanguns have manual safeties?

Join the Discussion

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.
Police Magazine