The Ultimate CZ Shadow 2 USPSA Production Project

I recently thought I’d try out the CZ Shadow 2 and see what all the fuss was about. Many of the Production shooters at my local range have been moving to the Shadow 2 and have been singing its praises, so after some conversations with them about its pros & cons, I decided to order one. I thought the look of the Urban Grey version of the Shadow 2 was appealing and happened to find one in stock online. A quick press of the submit button, and a few days later I had my shiny new Shadow 2 in hand.

What I gleaned about the Shadow 2 from the people I spoke with is that although it’s quite capable for competition out of the box, there is some room for improvement. 

I’ve always used striker fired pistols in Production, so the thought of using a DA/SA style pistol was a bit of a concern for me. If I was going to transition to a DA/SA pistol, I really needed it to have an excellent DA trigger pull. I figured that if I could get the first trigger pusll as smooth and light as possible, I might have less trouble moving to the Shadow 2. However, the fear was that if I lightened up the trigger too much I would sacrifice reliability which in USPSA where we battle over 100th’s of a second, that’s simply not an option. So, with the primary goal being reliability, I wanted to wring as much performance as possible out of the Shadow 2 before tipping the scales into the unreliable zone. Getting to shoot along side of many local CZ shooters I was able to see what was working and what wasn’t. There were also immense amounts of online resources to sift through for clues into creating the Ultimate USPSA Production CZ Shadow 2.  Ironically, the best combination of modifications to meet my goals was already in play on my training partner’s Shadow 2. A big thanks to him for all of the help and guidance getting my Shadow 2 setup and performing flawlessly. In the hopes of helping others save their time, money, and likely lots of frustration, here are the modifications I settled on for setting up my new Shadow 2.

Let’s begin with the top end of Shadow 2.

Since I’ll be shooting Minor Power Factor ammunition, I didn’t need the super heavy factory recoil spring and opted for a lighter recoil spring. A 11 pound recoil spring was selected to lighting things up and better match my competition load. That should help significantly reduce muzzle flip and reduce perceived recoil impulse. Since we’ll be adjusting the lower half of the pistol and lowering the hammer spring weight, I wanted to ensure that the pistol could pop any primer I put in it, so that called for installing an Extended Firing Pin. To balance it out with the new system, a Rami Reduced Power Firing Pin Spring was also installed.

On to the lower end.

It seems that the Trigger Return Spring is one of those parts that tend to break without warning, and typically at the worst possible moment. And to make matters worse, to replace it you need to drive out the trigger roll pin which requires a rather large punch and a hammer. No bueno! Luckily, there is a replacement trigger pin that is “floating” and is retained by the Trigger Return Spring resting in a slot the prevents it from moving. Now, if the Trigger Return Spring fails, you can simply slide the floating ping out and easily drop in a replacement spring. Speaking of the Trigger Return Spring, I also opted to install a new Reduced Power Trigger Return Spring that improves reliability over the factory spring while  helping to drop the weight of the trigger pull.

Next, the factory Main Spring was replaced with a 11.5 pound Main Spring that greatly reduces the DA trigger pull while still leaving plenty of power to set off any primer that gets in it’s way.

And finally, as great as the black factory aluminum grips look juxtaposed to the Urban Grey frame, they are fairly ineffectual in helping you hang on to the gun while driving it hard in competition. When searching around for a good replacement set of grips with the most aggressive texture, it seems that a great majority of people land on the LOK Bogies. If that sounds like a good idea for you, have a look at the site and do note that they have different sizes of the Bogies to better fit your hand size. In fact, it seems that some folks get them in different sizes for each side of the pistol to even further enhance the grip and feel of the pistol.

And one last note for those who like to tinker on their own CZ’s pistols. Getting the Main Spring compressed back into position to insert the retaining pin can be very challenging. My friend who helped me through installing these items had a “Joe Tool” which greatly eases the task of compressing the Main Spring. It’s probably worth getting if you’re going to be working on your own pistol.

So, that’s the parts list, pretty simple when you consider the vast list of options available for the CZ. And of course, there are plenty of areas inside the Shadow 2 that can benefit from a little smoothing out and some judicial lubrication. 

To finish up here, these are the parts and rationale used to create a very reliable, yet high performance competition ready CZ Shadow 2. Initial testing with my trigger pull weight gauge has the Double Action trigger pull down to a manageable 6.5 pounds down from 11 or so pounds. The Single Action trigger pull was also reduced to 2.5 pounds down from 3 pounds. It’s very smooth with a very nice break.

I plan on posting more articles about my thoughts, tips, range reports, etc. of the Shadow 2, so check back for updates. I hope this helps those seeking to get started with a Shadow 2 and like me, wasn’t quite sure what I needed to do to get it ready for action.

Parts List and Links Used Above

11 lb. Recoil Spring

Extended Firing Pin

Rami Reduced Power Firing Pin Spring

Floating Trigger Pin

Reduced Power Trigger Return Spring

11.5 pound Main Spring

Joe Tool

 

Shooting Stats From 2017

As 2017 gives way to 2018, I thought I’d take a moment to see what gear that worked for me/didn’t work for me, see where I needed to retool or change, and get setup for the 2018 shooting season. During that process I pull together stats from my shooting logs, as I’m pretty diligent about tracking every shot I shoot in matches, practice, and otherwise. Once my 2017 shooting stats were aggregated, it tells a pretty interesting story about the last season.

The Elephant in the Room

First off, you’ll notice some new gear on the list. I was a enthusiastic Sig Sauer P320 shooter. In fact, I had 4 of them and had just received my match gun back from Gray Gun and hadn’t even fired a shot through it when the news broke about the unsafe drop issue. Talk about crestfallen! I validated it and found that one of my Production P320’s would discharge when dropped so I was uncomfortable using it until it was fixed. Seeing the writing on the wall, I knew it wouldn’t be fixed anytime soon, so I thought I’d explore some other options like pulling my Glocks back out of the safe or trying something else. As fate would have it, I was able to try out some new pistols from all of the vendors at Nationals and fell in love with the Walther PPQ Q5. I’ll post more about it soon, but I did pick one up shortly after Nationals, as well as a backup pistol since I typically try to always have a spare if that is my gun for the season. If you look at the stats, you’ll see a big spike from the Q5’s which accounts for about 30% of my total rounds fired for the year.

If you recall from an earlier post, I picked up a Sig P320-RX to try my hand at Carry Optics, but just never got around to using it other than using it for dry fire. In that regard, I learned a great deal about shooting from just dry firing that thing. My draw and presentation became massively better since I needed to be spot on as to not lose the dot. I also had some major breakthroughs with shooting target focused, and most importantly, driving the gun. That was huge! Most trainers suggest shooting a cadence to learn that skill, in practice of course, and it never really clicked with me until I used the RX and was pushing hard to make the 1.6 second par time from a drill in Stoeger’s book where you draw, and put two shots on 3 targets from 10 yards. In retrospect, that was probably the single most important skill I picked up in 2017. So, am I sorry I bought the RX and never shot it? Nope. That skill was worth the price of admission!

Other Highlights in 2017

If I had to choose just one thing I was most proud of in 2017, I’d have to say it was making Master Class in USPSA Production. Not being especially talented at shooting, and being so limited on time, I really had to work hard, mainly in dry fire, to earn the bump in classification. The guys I train and shoot with all bumped up to Master last season and I just couldn’t seem to catch them, so better late than never.

I got a slot and shot the Production Nationals for the first time ever in 2017. What an experience! It was like going to Disneyland for shooters. Although I didn’t place as well as I had hoped, I learned more in that week than I did in the last year or so. It was amazing to watch the great ones shoot the same stages I was shooting and see how they did it. It was fun to shoot and made a lot of new friends, so I certainly hope to do it again in 2018.

Another thing that I figured out in 2017 was how to effectively train, how to analyze my own shooting and identify the weak areas in my skillset as well as figuring out how to build them up to the next level. I wrote post about creating a training plan a while back, so if you’re interested have a look. 

Goals for 2018

Ironically, I really have been struggling with defining this season’s goals. It’s be easy to say, make GM, or win a Level II match, but that really isn’t that important for me right now. Not that it wouldn’t be nice to win some of that Walther Match Money, but I have no control over how other shooters compete, so that isn’t a goal I can quantify and meet. Like I said, I’m having some heartburn with this at the moment. I do want to shoot more major matches and certainly want to compete at Nationals again this year, but that really isn’t a skill goal per se. I would like to consistently shoot Master level scores in classifiers and shoot more points in matches, blah, blah, blah… Picking up some sponsorships would be great to help offset the cost of gear and matches, plus who doesn’t want a cool jersey? OK, I’ll have to revisit this. Stand by.

Things to Work On

Like I alluded to in my goals section, I actually do want to shoot more consistently. I have been pushing hard as of late, and with the lack of training/practice in the off season, I’ve shot very inconsistently at my local matches. So first item on my agenda is to get my dry/live fire training schedule back on track and start making progress again. I seem to lose the basics fairly fast when out of practice, so I can never not practice draws, reloads, boring stuff, etc, so that’s going to be part of any program I set up this season. But two areas I want to really bolster is my entry/exit speed, and figuring out my target focus/sight focus thresholds. I will likely slap a dot on my backup Walther and dry and train with it like I did with the 320-RX and see where that takes me.

BJ Norris spoke about turning on your intense mental focus for the stage and then switching it off until the next stage to keep yourself from getting mentally exhausted during a match. I noticed that I start losing focus at the end of matches and make stupid mistakes, like making up a bad shot on a Virginia Count stage. So I want to work on just having more fun in between stages and stay fresh for the actual shooting of the match.

And one last thing, I do want to get more articles and posts up on the blog this year. It’s been very difficult finding them time to train, let alone blog about it, with all of the commitments with young children, wife, work, other stuff, etc. But I really am going to make time for it since I really enjoy sharing information and experiences with other shooters. Plus I do want to give back to the shooting community. I have learned so much from the generosity of others’ posts and videos, so I want to do my part as well.

Well, that’s the year in a nutshell, and here’s to 2018. I hope it’ll be even better!

 

 

Building Your Training Program

2017 was an especially great year for me as a shooter and looking back, there were a few pivotal moments that I can attribute to my successes. I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to compete in the 2017 CZ Iron Sight Nationals, and although I wasn’t close to winning a place on the podium, I learned more in those few days than I had all year. I came back from Nationals reinvigorated and hungry for growth. I took the time to analyze my performance and developed a training program to specifically address my weaknesses. Although this seems obvious, this was a major breakthrough for me and my performance has improved at a much greater rate than ever before.

In the past I’d grab a book off the shelf, flip through it, and find a drill or two that looked like fun and work on it with no real goal in mind other than trying to “get better.” Often I’d work on the same set of drills and not bother recording the times let alone have a par time I was trying to beat. So it was back to the drawing board to figure out how to train effectively. After many hours of video analysis I had a pretty good idea of what I did well, and where my weaknesses were. It would have been easy to say that I needed to improve everything, but that would have paralyzed my training program, and wouldn’t provide any path for improvement. It was time to create a prescriptive training program.

Where To Start

At the time I was developing my training program I was barely out of B class, and had been stuck in A class for quite some time. In my local matches I often placed right along a few of the Master class shooters which was an indicator that my core classification skills were not in alignment with field stage skills. That being said, I decided to double down on the basics like drawing, reloading, transitions, etc. The timing was actually perfect since I had just moved from the Sig P320 to the Walther PPQ Q5 Match. I spent an inordinate amount of time resetting all assumptions and developed a new grip which is the foundation that all other skills are based upon. From there I developed my new draw, reloads, transitions, and how to properly drive the new Q5. I rebuilt all of my gun handling skills from the ground up in dry fire and confirmed their efficacy in live fire. Gun handling and basic USPSA classification skills became Section One of my new training program, using Steve Anderson’s book, Refinement and Repetition. Forcing myself to push harder to meet a specific goal for a specific drill was a small but important detail that produced results.

Stage Skills

Outside of the aforementioned issues with my core gun handling skills, reviewing my match videos showed a lack of movement as well as gross losses of time entering and exiting shooting positions. Like I did with my gun handling skills, it was time to hit the reset button on my stage movement, to tear it down build it back up with the proper techniques. For this segment, Section Two of my training program, I broke things down even further and looked for drills in these two categories; Shooting on the Move, and Entries/Exits.

I had a copy of Steve Anderson’s book, Get to Work, that he gave me a couple of years ago and after I started flipping through it I realized that I hadn’t read it yet. It was just perfect for what I needed to practice, all about efficient movement.

Both Sections of my training program were covered extensively in various training books I have purchased, so I just created a reference system to align which drills I wanted to practice for each Section as well as other drills I discovered on YouTube that I thought would be beneficial.

I also decided that I would video myself training whenever possible to ensure I was performing the drills as efficiently as possible and compare it with videos of the “Super Squad” members for any little thing I could do to improve.

My new training methodology and program coalesced within a very short time after shooting Nationals, and unlike my previous unstructured training in the past, the results were almost immediate. It has been very exciting to work this new process and see tangible improvement by the end of the practice session, and more importantly, in the next match. From the time I shot Nationals, got back and found a Walther Q5 Match, created my training program, and started working the program, it was probably 2 months or so until I made Master. It’s a bit of a bitter pill to discover that I’ve been doing it wrong for a very long time, but it’s equally satisfying to see with some forethought, planning, and hard work, it is possible to make great strides in a very short time.

Another attribute of this training program is that the basic workflow is adaptable and adjustable. For example, during the last match I made a couple of mistakes that kept me from winning Production, so I identified my errors by analyzing my match video, created a few drills to isolate and improve those particular errors, then worked on them in dry fire then live fire. By the end of my live fire session, I had improved those skills to the point where they wouldn’t be an issue again. The cycle was very quick and effective.

Although this system is relatively simple, I won’t lie and say it has been easy. It’s taken quite a bit of energy to build my training program, to tear down my shooting foundation and start over from the beginning. It’s taken a massive amount of dry fire and time and ammunition. I have bloodied my grips repeatedly, and destroyed my hands to the point that my fingerprints no longer unlock my iPhone. But the analysis and isolation of my training program is paying great dividends, worth every second. I no longer show up to the range without a training plan for the day. I have all of the drills planned out for each training session and all of the materials needed ready before I leave the house. Same goes for my dry fire. Depending on where I am with my master plan and how the last training session went, I will work on specific items that need improvement and make adjustments along the way.

Putting It All Together

In an effort to simplify my journey and give you a plan you can use to improve your shooting, I would suggest using following steps to build your own, unique training plan.

Analyze – Watch your videos, analyze your match results.
Identify – What are you doing poorly/well?
Goal Set – What do you want to accomplish?
Isolate – Create drills to improve each of the skills that need work.
Verify – Are the drills working? Are you meeting your goals?
Reset – Time to start the cycle over.

Shooting Stats for 2016

Yep, it’s that time of the year again. The time when I put up the stats for the year and talk about the highs and lows from the previous year and shooting season and perhaps even list some predictions and goal for the next season. Right off of the bat the biggest thing to notice from this season was I shot a lot more than last season. In fact, over double the shots fired this year compared to last year; 12,599 vs. 6,112. I was able to make more matches this season as well as really stepping up my live fire training. Although I didn’t make Master this year, I grew a great deal as a competitor, and even had several overall Production victories. Not too shabby for a lowly A Class shooter. My hip injury continues to plague me and really limits the amount of training I’m able to do, especially dry fire. I went from 1-1.5 hours of dry fire a day to pretty much zero. My gun handling skills really took a nosedive and glacially slow draws and reloads are not the way to bump up into Master class. But as bleak as that sounds, I really think I’m a much better competitor than I have ever been. 

One thing that really helped me this year was joining the TFI Academy, a training program with a coach (Keith Tyler), weekly dry fire/live fire plans for me every week, and a monthly training day for me and the rest of the team. Not being able to do the dry fire component of it did limit what I was able to get out of it, but focused training with a coach was very beneficial nonetheless. 

Among some of the highlights of the year, shooting my first major matches. I’ve shot a sectional match before, but this year I shot the sectional, Area 1, and the Oregon State Championship. My P320’s performed flawlessly all season and let me focus on the shooting, so the matches were all on me. 

This year I am going to dip my toe in the Carry Optics water, and just picked up a Sig P320 RX to get me started. I’m sure it’ll be fun, but it’ll have to be orders of magnitude to displace my passion for Production. Shooting is fun regardless, so I’m sure it’ll be a kick.

As far as goals for the next season? Well, making Master would be nice, but not a huge priority for me to be honest. I want to keep improving and shooting my best every match. I’m sure as my skills improve I’ll stumble into a M card, but I really want to win matches, not just classifiers. I know this year’s goals aren’t really all that specific, which kind of defeats the purpose of setting goals, but most of my goals are “enabling goals” that should up my game all the way around. 

So, until then, shoot strait and train hard.

Foray into Carry Optics – the P320 RX

Although I’m really happy shooting Production, it seems to be a great fit for me personally, I really loved what I could do with an Open gun, but just didn’t like how many issues I had with it, the maintenance, the dependency on a gunsmith, etc. Given all of the frustration I had in Open, it just wasn’t worth it for me, but a red dot on a Production pistol? Now that’s something special. Anyone who’s followed this blog in the last year or so certainly has noticed my affinity for the Sig Sauer P320, so when they released the out of the box Carry Optics ready P320 RX, I took notice, but wasn’t immediately interested. But the thought of having all the things I love about Production combine with the best things I liked about Open, was an idea that just got under my skin and wouldn’t abate until it bubbled to the surface yesterday when a new Sig P320 RX followed my home from Cabela’s. 

I’ll have to order a Springer Precision guide rod and a new Small Grip Module (and have Alma Cole work his magic on it), and I should be good to try it out, shoot a match, and see how it goes. So stay tuned, and I’ll get more reports, thoughts, tips, and photos posted as I have a chance to run the new Carry Optics rig.

The Ultimate Sig P320 USPSA Production Project – UPDATE

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I know that this update is long overdue, but better late than never. Pictured above are my two Sig P320’s that I alternate between for USPSA Production division, and apart from the color, they are identical. I originally planned to have Burke, The Sig Armorer, perform his Competition Trigger Job, but unfortunately, the FCUs I received back from him didn’t function in a small grip module and he couldn’t get them to perform well/reliably in a small grip module, so I had to replace them. If you use a small grip, you might want to use Gray Guns for your P320 work. 

Both of my P320’s are essentially stock, just with copious amounts of polishing and one of the two sear springs removed which yields around a 5.5 lb trigger pull, which sounds a little on the heavy side, but it’s such a great trigger that it “feels” lighter. I have no issues regularly getting .17 splits with it, so I really can’t complain. Perhaps one day I’ll send one over to Bruce Gray or his drop in kit will actually materialize. And unicorns are real…

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Aside from the FCU, both pistols have a small grip module that I received from Alma Cole and have the grit epoxied on them permanently so no more loose grip tape! As far as custom grips go, they don’t come any better than Alma’s. After trying out Yong Lee’s P320 last spring, I had to have ’em.

Both pistols sport Dawson Precision sights (the Competition rear with the 0.115 notch and the P Series front sight that has perfect POA/POI with 0.100 wide and 0.220 height), a Springer Precision guide rod with a Wolffe 14 lb variable spring. I’m still using the original Take Down Levers, but have the newer/smaller slide releases installed. 

“Ebony,” the black slide P320 is pushing 8500 rounds and “Ivory,” the bead blasted silver slide is pushing 4000 rounds and both run absolutely great. Ivory had very unreliable extraction at first, one FTE per 250 rounds, but a new extractor remedied that in short order. Ebony started to have extraction issues as well around 5000 rounds and was fixed with a new extractor as well. The extractors seem to be the only weak point on the platform that I’ve noticed so far. You might want to grab a couple and keep them in your range bag. Replace it at the first FTE and you should be good to go. I’ll put a post together that shows my parts kit, part numbers, and how to keep it all organized while taking up next to no space in your bag.

So am I happy with P320? You bet! In fact I haven’t touched my Glock G34’s since I started shooting the Sigs.

 

 

 

The Sig P320 FAQ

XE2-1461Being that the Sig P320 is a relatively new platform in terms of USPSA, I thought I’d post a quick FAQ about it as it relates to our sport. But in a nutshell, the Sig P320 is a modular handgun where the serialized component is not the frame, rather the Fire Control Unit, or FCU, that has isolated the components of the firing system into its own standardized module that can be moved across a multitude of components allowing for a quick transition to any other calibers and platforms and allowing endless customization. In fact, it was this customization that initially won me over to the platform.

Note, this is a living document so expect some changes and updates as things change.

Last update, 2.4.2016.

The Sig P320 FAQ

 

Basic Information on the Sig Sauer P320

Is it Legal to Shoot in USPSA/IDPA?

  • Yes – USPSA NROI Production Gun List
  • IPSC – Yes: IPSC Production Gun List
  • IDPA – Yes, but note that IDPA doesn’t maintain a list of approved pistols, rather a list of requirements.
    • IDPA CCP rule is barrel length of 4.1″ or less. SIG P320 Full-Size has a 4.7″ barrel. SSP legal, not CCP legal. The Carry and Compact versions with 3.9″ barrels are legal for CCP and SSP.
    • With it’s 3.6″ barrel the SIG P320 compact is IDPA BUG legal.

Sig P320 Specific Gunsmiths – This is not the definitive list by any means, but these three gunsmiths are by far, the de facto wizards of the P320

Available Sights for Competition

  • Dawson Precision has a Fixed Set for Competition that I feel is sized incorrectly at .200 tall rear and a .205 tall front. For me, it shoots far too high. I currently have a .200 rear and a .215 front that shoots about one inch high at 25 yards. I think a .220 would be perfect, but will get one and confirm. As for widths, I am currently shooting the .115 rear and the .100 front. I am having a custom set made by Dawson/Burke that will be .125 rear and .115 front with some other little touches that I prefer. More on that later.
  • Gray Guns has a sight set for the P320 that unfortunately isn’t sold, rather fitted so currently you’ll need to send your slide to him for his custom made rear (which is my favorite once produced at the moment) and a Dawson Precision fiber optic front.

CR Speed Magazine Pouches

  • Will they work? Yes, with a little work. Apparently they molds used to create the CR Speed magazine pouches and inserts were made long before the P320 existed, so none of the included inserts work out of the box. But if you use the STI/SV insert and put a shim (I use a 1/16″ flat washer) in between it and the wall of the magazine pouch it works swimmingly.

Accessories and Parts – With any new platform, it’s going to take some time for the aftermarket to ramp up once the platform has proven that it’s going to survive and there are common demands for improved/custom/desired options. For now, it’s pretty slim which is partly due to how new the gun is, but also in large part a testament to how Sig got it right.

Common Issues

  • Dead Trigger – This isn’t really an issue per se, but rather part a safety feature, the crux of it resulting in a “dead trigger” after reassembly. Once you reattach the slide you are required to lock the slide back using the slide catch. Pushing the slide catch up will release the safety disconnect inside the FCU and return the pistol to normal operation. We all do this once.
  • Pinched finger/Dirty finger – the gap in the Grip Module where the trigger exists that can allow some escaping gas to flow and/or pinch the user’s finger. To address these complaints, the latest revision of the FCU includes the “Adverse Trigger,” which essentially provides a wing on top of the trigger that fills more of the gap, as well as slightly extends the tip of the trigger.
  • Slide Not Locking Back on Empty Magazine – This is most certainly due to the position of the slide catch lever being too far rear, too big, and too wide. Many shooters, including myself, using an aggressive/high grip will inadvertently press the catch lever up enough to prevent the slide from locking back. Sig has redesigned the slide catch lever to be half the size, and extend forward as to prevent interference as well as built a “fence” around the catch lever to further shield it. For me, this part was a must have, and fixed the problem in short order. Note that Sig responded to this (as well as the larger Take Down Lever that most people hate) and now ship with the updated parts, see my post HERE. If you want the new smaller Slide Catch Lever, it can be had from Sig by calling them directly. The revised part number is 1300891-R. And if you hate the original Take Down Lever, you might as well order the new flat version, part number 1300777-R.
  • The gun prints high with the factory sights – If you’re getting factory sights, you might want to get the tall front and short rear.
  • Extraction – I don’t think this is a major issue, but I have heard of some people having issues with extraction, usually remedied with a new extractor.
  • Recoil/Muzzle Flip – This is not so much an issue as it is a misconception. Due to it’s higher bore axis, it is assumed that it will have more leverage against the shooter, thus have more muzzle flip. I myself had assumed this would be the case coming from the Glock G34 with a grip so high that I’d get the occasional slide bite. But truth be told, it has turned out not to be the case. In fact I can easily control recoil, far better than I ever could with my G34, and with much less effort with my box stock Sig. This “issue” is a non-issue, so don’t let it influence your decision.

What Parts to Have on Hand – So far, the P320 seems to be without an obvious Achille’s heel, but it’s really too soon to say. The pistol does have an inordinate amount of tiny springs, some of which are difficult to remove/install and are easily lost, so it’s a good idea to have some spares on hand in case of loss or damage. I spent a half an hour on the phone with some poor Sig sales person who helped me identify and order the parts, so I though I’d list the part SKU’s and Descriptions here for anyone needing to place an order.

  • Spring, Safety Lever, 320 – 1300673-R
  • Spring, Sear – 1300799-R
  • Spring, Striker Reset – 1300848-R
  • Spring, Safety Lock – 1300857-R
  • Spring, Striker 320 – 1300979-R
  • Spring, Trigger Bar 250, 320 – SPRING-5 – Brownells now carries this one.
  • Spring, Mag Catch, 250, 290 – SPRING-51
  • A spare extractor
  • Lucas Oil and Grease – It’s the official recommendation of Sig and Bruce Gray

Other Parts and Maintenance – Some other parts you may want to have because of revisions or wear

  • Lucas Oil and Grease
  • The revised flat Take Down Lever from Sig – 1300777-R
  • The revised smaller Slide Catch Lever from Sig – 1300891-R
  • Guide Rod and Spring – It seems that most are pitching the factory guide rod assembly and getting a new guide rod that accepts 1911 springs. Gray Guns and Springer Precision both offer one.
  • Spare extractor

Misc

  • Alma Cole has created a series of excellent videos on YouTube demonstrating how to tear down and reassemble the P320’s Fire Control Unit as well as tricks to getting the Trigger Bar Spring removed/reinstalled. Alma also offers permanent grip texturing if you are tired of slipping grip tape.
  • My competition load – 125 grain SNS RN bullet, 3.8 grains of Tite Group, CCI 500 primer, OAL is 1.1475. It averages 1023 FPS and 127 Power Factor.

Sig P320 Specific Sites

Shooting Stats for 2015

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 9.13.10 AMAs 2015 yields to 2016 and the confetti is still being swept up from the ball drop, I like to reflect upon the last year’s shooting season and set my goals for following year. 2015 was pretty interesting for me competitively in that is was as frustrating as it was gratifying. With only 6112 rounds fired this year, it is likely the least amount of shots fired since picking up the shooting sports. The same hip that I had reconstructed in January 2015 was re-injured and a subsequent surgery was required a few weeks ago. It’s been tough to compete, practice, and dry fire while needing to move very slow and gingerly, so as expected, my skills are not what they once were, and my stage times are pitiful.

I also really struggled with shooting in the Open division and the ongoing optic issues that seemed to haunt me. Going back to Production was really the shot in the arm I needed to put the energy and enthusiasm back into the sport for me. Conversely, discovering the Sig P320 has been one of the highlights of the year for me when it comes to equipment. It’s been a delight to shoot as well as the picture of reliability. Although I’m still waiting on my “Burke-a-fide” P320 race gun to find its way back from the smith, I continue to be impressed with the box stock P320 I’m using right now. Other than some decent sights, I could probably happily compete with the stock platform and not need anything more, it’s literally that good.

Outside of gear, shooting highlights of the year were pretty slim due to the fact I really didn’t get to shoot much. Ironically, I did wind up making A class in USPSA Production after shooting Open for a while. I guess I was able to pick up some skills in Open after all.

One other thing that I would file in the “good” column from 2015 is that I think I finally figured out how to train, as funny as that sounds. I recently posted about Training with Purpose and that has already beginning to accelerate my learning. I’ve been looking at shooting as if I’m just starting and questioning everything I do and how I do it. For example, the way I grip my pistol has changed dramatically in the last month and just doing that has allowed me to break through some of my speed barriers. I’m starting back at the beginning and building each piece and skill back up in the proper way. I know that sounds pretty boring and vague, but in reality, it’s been invigorating and exciting.

So with that, let’s throw down the gauntlet and list the goals for the upcoming year.

  • I want to make Master class in Production. And not just get the card, I want to shoot at that level and then some. Even though I hold an A card now, I don’t consider myself an A class shooter, so I’ve got my work cut out for me. I really do feel that I’m discovering lots of new skills, so it’s just honing those and being consistent. Getting close.
  • Shot Confidence. I want to know that there are no shots that I can’t make and do it quickly. I’m getting back to that that with the Sig already, but that has always been freestyle, but I need to have that same confidence shooting strong hand only/weak hand only. Practice, practice, practice. Always working on the fundamentals and raising my baseline marksmanship skills.
  • Speed. Speed. And more speed.
  • Major matches – I did squeeze in a sectional match this year, but that was the extent of it. Hopefully I’ll get to an Area match and who know, perhaps I’ll make it to Nationals this year.

 

The Ultimate Sig P320 USPSA Production Project

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I’ve updated some of this content, so please double check my recommendations and see this UPDATE post here:
https://www.recoilsports.com/2016/11/the-ultimate-sig-p320-uspsa-production-project-update/

I’ve recently moved to the Sig Sauer P320 as my new USPSA Production platform after quite a bit of vetting. The pistol fits me so well that I’m able to drive it much harder with less recoil than anything I’ve tried up to this point. It’s every bit as accurate as the CZ’s out there in Production, light as the Glock, and seems to be as reliable as they come. Out of the box it is very capable, but it does need a few items addressed to allow it’s driver to get everything it’s capable of delivering. With that in mind, I thought I’d outline what I’m doing to prepare my P320 for the world of competition.

The primary reason I switched to the Sig from the Glock was ergonomics. The gun has to fit your hand so the shooter and the pistol can achieve maximum performance. The P320 ships with a Medium size Grip Module but several sizes are available, so be sure to try out the various sizes and select the one that best fits your hands. In my case, the Small Grip Module fits extremely well. For a little more traction of the pistol, a sheet of tall custom grip tape from Springer Precision was added and baked on with a heat gun.

The stock sights were replaced with a set of Dawson Precision Sig P320 Competition Fixed Sight Set. I selected the 0.115 rear notch, and for the front I installed the 0.100 wide .215 tall fiber optic sight. I’m not totally crazy about the set, but it’ll due for now. I also bought the taller front sight since I have found that most sight sets are spot on at 7 yards, but much too hight at 25 yards, where I happen to like my zero. I am having a custom set of sights made to my exact specifications which I’ll expand upon later in the post.

The Fire Control Unit, of FCU, is the section that needs the most attention. I performed a polishing job on my FCU which dropped the pull weight down a little over a pound, but there is much more to be done here. As a matter of clarity, I bought a second P320 and have sent it off to Robert Burke, The Sig Armorer, for a competition action job, among other things. When to comes to custom Sig action work, the de facto top two gunsmiths is Bruce Gray of Gray Guns, and Robert Burke. I’ve never heard anyone who isn’t completely satisfied with the work from either of them, so pick one and get in line. As I mentioned in this post, the Burke FCU’s I received did not function properly, therefore I would not recommend The Sig Armorer. 

Aside from the Competition Action Job that Burke will be performing, he is going to bead blast the slide which is simply cosmetic, but I like the look of it with the black Grip Module. The Small Grip Module is being sent out for stippling to increase my grip on the pistol which I hope will be equivalent to the grip tape because I always seem to destroy the tape and it adds up pretty fast. The factory guide rod assemble will be replaced with one from Springer Precision that allows standard 1911 springs to be used. I believe Burke uses a 14 pound recoil spring in conjunction with his Competition Action Job, but I have a box of them in various weights so I can tune the pistol to my load.

I am very particular about my sights and my favorite set to date are the Taran Tactical sight set that I installed on my Glock. Trying to mimic that set, Burke is going to install a 0.125 rear and have a 0.115 made for the front. I also asked him make it a little taller than my 25 yard zero requires so he can remove as much material as possible from the top of the front sight post so the fiber optic is as close as possible to the top of the sight.

One other thing worth mentioning is that my second P320 came with a flat/flush take down lever, and a redesigned slide release lever that is much smaller and forward than the one on my first P320. It seems as though Sig has listened to the complaints of its customers and have taken steps to correct and improve those “less than perfect” attributes of the pistol. Kudos to them! I can’t wait to have the smaller slide release, but to be honest, I really like the big ole’ take down lever. I use it like an Open gun “gas pedal” to fight recoil as well as give me a consistent index point when mounting the gun.

Other odds and ends. I ordered the Boss holster hanger and a Comptac holster for my new Double Alpha belt. I am a fan of the CR Speed magazine pouches, but found there ins’t an insert that fits the Sig magazine. I wound up using the STI/SVI magazine insert with a large washer behind it and it fits perfectly. I also ordered a set of Springer Precision +.25 base pads for my magazines to help when grabbing them from the magazine pouches and inserting them into the gun. As far as lubrication goes, I bought a bottle of Lucas gun oil and a tube of the Lucas grease as well.

When it’s all said and done, I’ll have my “Burke-a-fide” race gun and my backup P320 (pictured at the top of the post) that I’ll use for dry fire since the heavier trigger should help keep me honest. I imagine I’ll have my gun back from Burke in a couple of weeks or so, so expect a new range report with all of the custom work and new race parts installed. Until then, train hard and shoot strait.

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Sig P320 #1