SIG Sauer is offering a voluntary upgrade package to P320 owners at no cost to address recent concerns about drop safety. The P320 is SIG’s flagship service pistol with around 500,000 in use today.
In recent weeks rumors that the P320 was not entirely drop-safe started making the rounds. Independent testing by various bloggers showed that under specific circumstances these guns will fire when dropped. SIG confirmed the problem last week, calling it the -30 degree drop failure.
The root of the problem is the weight of the P320 trigger. If you drop the P320 at a specific angle the pistol stops when it hits the ground but the trigger keeps moving until it releases the striker.
Despite this the pistol passes all American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Sporting Arms & Ammunition Manufacturer’s Institute (SAAMI), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Department of Justice (DOJ) and many other municipal and military safety standards.
SIG maintains that this is an upgrade and not a recall and that the pistols are safe as-is. The SIG P320 is in its fourth year of production and only a small number of non-intentional drop failures have been reported, in the single digits.
It’s possible that the flaw led to the injury of a police officer in Stamford, Connecticut. To-date that is the only injury that anyone has reported associated with the P320. SIG maintains that any firearm is capable of discharging unintentionally due to any number of reasons and that no design is entirely drop-safe.
SIG has also asked users who feel compelled to drop-test their guns to do so with primed cases only, that is to say, cartridges without bullets or powder, just a primer. Stress-testing any gun with fully-functioning ammo is violently stupid and potentially criminal.
The upgraded pistols will receive a new, lighter trigger, sear, and striker assembly. In addition to lighter parts, SIG is adding a disconnect to the design. SIG needs both the chassis and the slide assemblies in order to furnish the upgrades.
The program is open to all P320 owners and users, individuals and departments. Dealers may also return their pistols to SIG for the fix. Essentially every pistol built since day one is covered by SIG’s upgrade program since essentially every pistol is affected.
Some guns, like the X-5 models, are less prone to the problem. These guns have lighter triggers with less mass to fire under inertia when dropped. Regardless, SIG will issue the upgrade to all affected pistols if requested.
Unlike the P320 pistols, the M17 and M18 Modular Handgun System, or MHS program guns are not affected. The U.S. military recently adopted these P320 variants to replace the M9 family of sidearms.
The changes to the commercial P320 appear to be based on the MHS design. That would explain how SIG was able to deliver a fix shortly after confirming the problem.
The upgrade program is completely free of charge and covers shipping both ways. If you have a P320 and would like to register for the upgrade program head over to the SIG website or contact customer service by phone at 603-610-3000.
SIG is requesting that customers send them only the frames and slides without any magazines or accessories. The company will not guarantee that they can return any additional parts with the guns if they are included.
The expected turnaround on upgrades is four to six weeks. That is a relatively short fix considering how many thousands of guns SIG has sold.
Do you have a P320? Let us know if you’re going to get the upgrade, and how it turns out for you!