With all the winning SIG Sauer has done over the last 18 months with the P320, I feel like here at GunsAmerica despite our extensive coverage of the U.S. Army Contract, the X-Five, the X-Carry, the RX, the LIMA Laser Grip we have forgotten to highlight one great feature. The P320’s magic modular chassis system.
A lot of companies have hyped a “modular chassis” handgun system, but most of them fall short. The SIG P320, in my experience, has been the only one that is truly modular in that it is really easy to swap from one frame or caliber to the next. Even with a new gun it takes only about 30 seconds to change out. This week I got my hands on a couple of caliber conversion kits and tested them out.
The “Caliber X-Change Kit,” as it’s officially called, is a product direct from SIG. The kit includes everything you need: a complete slide with sights, a frame, and a magazine. The best part about this system is that it’s not only good for swapping calibers but for frame sizes as well (compact, subcompact, carry, full size and RX). You can go from a full-size race gun to a concealed carry pistol in a flash. And recently, SIG added the RX models as an option, which includes the SIG Romeo1 red dot sight.
So, why is this valuable? In my mind, it comes down to versatility. One gun, which also means one form 4473, gives you numerous options. I always recommend to new shooters that they start with a full-size pistol chambered in 9mm. That has to do with training dollars and forgiving recoil, nothing to do with 9mm’s effectiveness or lack thereof. I don’t care what the FBI says, I prefer a harder hitting round in a duty gun. And after they did such a bang-up job on the Hillary email-server investigation, maybe you should question what they say too. I will also be the first to admit that it is easier to shoot a full-size gun but easier to carry a compact or subcompact gun.
These conversion kits offer you the ability to train with cheap 9mm in a big boy gun, but in 30 seconds have a compact carry gun chambered in.40 S&W. This also has the added benefit of letting you carry a gun with unworn internals, except the fire control group. With Murphy’s law ever-present for the op order, it’s best to give him the smallest role possible.
The conversion also offers a third benefit. I ordered mine in .40 S&W (my favorite caliber) and .357 SIG. Not to offend the .357 cultists in the audience, but prior to this I wouldn’t be caught dead with a gun in that caliber. Not because I think it won’t perform. Because ammo is scarce and expensive. A quick glance today shows it at double the price of 9mm, and 10 cents per round more than .40 Slow and Weak. But will I take a gun that fires .357 SIG on special occasions? Yes. Yes, I will.
A single gun with multiple calibers also makes a great survivalist gun. Setting aside the grips for a moment, you could plan this a different way. A full-size 9mm gun, plus two slides and one set of spare magazines sets you up for success in a big way (.357 SIG and 40 S&W use the same magazines in the SIG platform.) At a very limited weight addition to your kit, you can shoot almost anything you can lay your hands on. During ammo crunches, strange things happen. I remember in 2013, where I was living at the time, you couldn’t touch .45 ACP, .40 S&W, 9mm, or .380. But .45 GAP was still on the shelf. 357 SIG is more popular than GAP, but still not all that common.
Steps for Swapping
X-Change Kits in hand, I headed to the range. This wasn’t so much a test as a verification of a highly probable eventuality. Using the X-Carry grip module, I swapped over to .40 S&W and then .357 SIG. Both ran flawlessly using SIG’s own brand of ammo. And while I am not quite ready to order the die set for 357 SIG, it at least now has my attention. Right now, the conversion kits are only for 9mm/.40S&W/.357 SIG, with no .45 ACP announced. But the paragraph above gave me a great idea. What if SIG released one in. 45 GAP?
Price for the X-ChangeKit starts around $407. For more information visit SIGSauer.com.