Sig Sauer is making some big moves to dominate the polymer pistol market, which either denotes genius from the outset or an unrivaled ability to adapt on the fly. Or maybe a bit of both. Of course, we are talking about the P320 family in this case, as the P365 is already in a near unrivaled class of its own for the smaller guns.
We are talking this week about what could be termed an accessory part, but to give it a proper shake out, we have to look at the overall lay of the land. If you were Sig 5 years ago, and you desired to become the new King of Polymer, what would the battlefield look like? It would be pretty grim. The Glock dynasty would look like the Roman Legions backed up by the British Navy, in a time that the best an enemy could muster against them was Bronze Age swords and paper Mache armor. I mean, the dominance of Glock in the market space was absolutely unquestioned. Smith and Wesson had created arguably a better firearm (M&P, and especially M&P 2.0), and eeked out a small percentage for themselves, but it was like a toe hold instead of a beachhead.
The Glock juggernaut looked absolutely unstoppable. Even as late as 2018, with M&P doing its best for 10 years plus, Glock owned 65% of the US handgun space, and upwards of 80% of Law Enforcement space. Those are absolutely staggering numbers. From about 2005 forward, you could see this reflected in the trickle-down industries as well. If you made an aftermarket part, it better go on a Glock. First run of a new holster design? Glock. It affected so much that even things like a Surefire flashlight had Glock rail as the default setting out of the box.
If you wanted to take over this space, what would you do? And I don’t mean carve yourself a little niche. Lots of companies did that, some of them are even still around. Make a better gun? Arguably, the M&P, XDM, and CZP10 are all better performers. They didn’t make a dent. Make a cheaper but just as good gun? Best of luck. Glock raised prices starting around 2015, and didn’t lose sale one. Do some great marketing? Ask Hudson Arms how that went.
So what kind of a madman would enact a plan not just to put out a gun that would survive, but that would absolutely dominate the space? Ron Cohen apparently, from Sig Sauer, New Hampshire. And from my look at the crystal ball, it is absolutely going to work.
Step one was securing the new Army pistol in 2017. No small feat, but at least it is a level playing field. LE purchases aren’t controlled by Congressional mandate, so you can do all kinds of things to win with LE. And while the DOD procurement system does have problems, you can’t rig their contest by having strippers in your booth or donating to the Mayor’s re-election fund. Others have written plenty about the P320 winning the DOD contracts, and while it was important, it isn’t really our focus today.
Step one was important because it assured the P320 would have secondary market support. Holsters, lights, all that stuff- because of the contract, it was assured 400,000 P320’s would be made at a minimum. As an aftermarket manufacturer, that will get your attention.
Step 2 is where we are now. Sig is embracing the concept of both aftermarket major parts and in-house-built performance parts in a way no one has ever done. The introduction of the SIG Pro-Cut slides cannot be overstated as to how it changes the game. To this day, can you buy just a slide or just a frame from Glock or Smith and Wesson? You cannot. Sig has always offered you both a Caliber exchange kit, or a new frame, at a pretty reasonable price. And now? How about a custom-looking slide that you know had input from the stable of gunslingers Sig has on staff, that doesn’t void your warranty?
The Pro Cut slide is not only a work of art, though the pictures in this article say it is that too. But it is a value, at least to the intended customer. $400 for a slide might not sound cheap compared to the base price of an entire P320 at $579.00. But for the guys that are really into customization, this one is a steal.
To put it in perspective, how would you match this in a different brand of gun? Most likely, you would send your slide off to a custom shop. They would mill it out, cut a Red Dot attachment into the top, and refinish it for you. Which in most cases, is going to cost well more than $400. Oh, you would just buy an aftermarket slide? From any reputable company, that is going to be about $450 at a minimum. Before you buy slide internals and sights.
The Sig Pro-Cut, for that $400, comes out of the box ready. The firing pin, back plate, night sights, everything. Drop in your barrel and recoil spring, put it on your frame, and you are ready to get some.
For me personally, this also represents a great travesty being corrected. Of all the guns I have ever reviewed, I regret not buying the X-Carry the most. (Writers often have the option of buying our review guns. If for no other reason, they are used after we test them. And if you have a reputation, such as myself, for not treating them like a princess? Then they are really used.) Now I can build one myself, with ease, using my X5 trigger group.
The Sig Pro-Cuts are available in 3.6, 3.9, and 4.7-inch lengths so far which cover almost all of the bases. They’re available in either black, FDE, or a bead blasted stainless finish. The stainless is perfect for either an absolutely unique two-tone finish or if you already have custom Cerakote plans.
This is going to be a huge development. If you started with a base model P320, and want to slowly build it up? Covered. As long as you are sticking to the same slide length as before, all you need is the slide. Maybe toss an X-Grip module on later for the stunning price of $59.99. Oh, you wanted to get real gangster? How about your new Pro-Cut slide on an AXG aluminum grip? And not to mention the promise of things to come. While the Pro-Cut slides are 9mm only right now, it is easy to see they will be in other calibers later. How about a full-length Pro Cut on an X5 Legion frame in 40 S&W for USPSA? Or an X-Compact in 357 Sig?
The sky is the limit with the first truly modular handgun, and the Pro-Cut slides are an important milestone in development. We are going to see big things from the P320 series. And I can’t wait to see what components come out next.