As promised from the last post, Switching to the Sig P320, this is a range report about my thoughts and experience on the P320, as a competitive platform, specifically for competing in USPSA Production Division. Like I mentioned in the last article, I found the ergonomics of the P320 far superior with the small grip module than my Gen4 G34’s. I do have some difficulty hitting the magazine release consistently and wish it extended back a little bit further to the rear, but hopefully with some dry fire I can make it a non-issue. At this point, the only thing that has been done to the pistol so far is a bit of polishing on the FCU, and the addition of a small grip frame module sporting some grip tape. It still sports the stock sights which are of the 3 dot variety. I’m not sure what Sig uses to sight in or select sight sizes, but it was printing about a foot high at 25 yards. Not too big of a deal since they’ll be getting replaced soon enough.
The first thing I did was shoot a quick set of groups at 7 yards, to verify functionality and get an idea of how the gun feels when I shoot it. 10 rounds in pretty much the same hole. Next I started backing up and shooting groups, to the 10 yard line, to the 15 yard line, then the 25 yard line. All groups seeking the same hole which was very impressive. I don’t generally think of a stock plastic gun as being super capable of shooting tight little groups and being anywhere near the accuracy of my high end 2011, but wow! It is shooting lights out with whatever ammo I’m feeding it.
Next I shot a “Standards” stage where you have a 5 second par time for each of the three strings; using 3 targets, 2 shots per target freestyle at 30 yards, then 2 shots per target strong hand only at 20 yards, and finally, 2 shots per target weak hand only at 10 yards. Then add up your points. With my G34 I typically get around 54 points, but with the (stock gun and sights, mind you) P320, my first attempt yielded 66 points, even while holding low to account for the POI being almost a foot high. Impressive!
Next up, Bill Drills. At 7 yards I planted 6 shots into the target as fast as I could keep the sights in the A zone. Although a bit slower than usual, not bad at all. A closer look at the timer revealed that it wasn’t the trigger that was adding all of the time to my drill, it was the draw, which I guess is to be expected since it’s a new gun with a totally different grip angle than I’m used to. The heavy trigger did have an impact on my splits as well, as most of my split times were in the .20 – .22 areas. Cumulatively, it wasn’t a surprise that my times were almost a second off.
One thing I was little concerned with about the P320 is the high bore axis. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get the recoil reduction anywhere near what I can get the the G34, but after firing copious amount of rounds into the berm, I started to refine my grip in a way that not only hold the sights on target, but actually requires less effort than doing the same on my G34. Again, shocking how well the P320 was at smashing my expectations for it. Heck, it still had the factory recoil spring installed! I found that if I get my support hand further out towards the front of the gun and use the big take down lever that everyone complains about as my “gas pedal,” it requires very little effort to thwart recoil. I wind up having the rear of my thumb knuckle on the front corner of the take down lever while locking out my support hand wrist. That leaves me with a very relaxed strong hand grip which in turn provides me with a good trigger pull.
I rounded out the session with a variety of other drills I often perform to get an idea of the Sig’s capabilities vs. the G34. It performed swimmingly in all cases and eagerly ingested any ammo I fed it. Not a single issue at all. Very nice.
Now it is not all rainbows and unicorns, albeit close. The slide catch release lever is awful. It is too far to the rear, much too big, and sticks out much too far which leads to an issue where the slide never locks back on an empty magazine, and massive abrasions to meaty part of my support hand palm. That thing is just insidious in nature and needs to be addressed.
Another annoyance, which in all honesty is not the gun’s fault, is that my 9mm load will need to be adjusted. It is tailored for my G34’s longer barrel and produces 131 power factor. Out of the Sig’s shorter barrel, I lose about 50 fps which puts me right at 125 power factor, much too close for comfort. So be forewarned, you may find yourself shooting for no score if you don’t check your load for it’s power factor from your P320.
And finally, in the annoyance department, I wound up with a bloody blister on the side of my trigger finger from the bottom of the trigger blade. Not sure how that happens, but you might want to take some tape with you if you’re going to start shooting a P320.
All in all, I adore the P320 already despite some of the little annoyances. I have a ton of work to do in dry fire now to get used to it not being a Glock, but I plan to move forward with it in the upcoming USPSA season.
Next up, getting it ready for USPSA battle.
More to come…