IT’S A BEL­TER!

SIG are now pro­duc­ing an air­gun ver­sion of their P320 but with a rev­o­lu­tion­ary dif­fer­ence

Airgun World - - The Sig P320 -

SIG now pack­ages its air pis­tols in a clear blis­ter pack, so it must be car­ried within an outer bag, to avoid alarm­ing by­standers or break­ing the law.

The .177 P320 out­wardly has a stan­dard au­to­matic pis­tol ap­pear­ance, although it fires via an in­ter­nal striker, so like a Glock there’s no ex­ter­nal ham­mer vis­i­ble. It’s avail­able in black or ‘coy­ote tan’, and looks very au­then­tic. ‘Au­then­tic weight, bal­ance and han­dling’, says the pack­ag­ing, in­clud­ing the three white dots in the sights, windage-ad­justable front post and square rear notch, and the Pi­catinny/ Weaver ac­ces­sory rail un­der the fore end for tac­ti­cal ac­ces­sories. Ex­cep­tions to the re­al­ism are the fake, moulded ejec­tion port, the non-func­tional slide re­lease and field-strip lever, and the ad­di­tion of a slightly stiff man­ual safety on the left side of the up­per frame. This is handy for your thumb if you’re a right-han­der be­cause it’s not am­bidex­trous. When in ‘fire’ po­si­tion, a small red tab is vis­i­ble. In the ab­sence of a vis­i­ble ham­mer, the safety is the only ex­ter­nal in­di­ca­tion of a ‘safe’ sta­tus.

The poly­mer frame and steel slide, cock­ing grooves/ridges front and rear, are re­al­is­tic, as is the weight: 821 grams; the grip is lightly tex­tured all round for trac­tion and fills my big hands nicely. It’s a gen­uine SIG de­sign, Ja­pane­se­made.

REV­E­LA­TION

Blow­back .177 CO2 airguns are noth­ing new, but the big ad­vance with this pis­tol is that the de­tach­able magazine con­tains a 30-shot belt. This im­me­di­ately stream­lines rapid-fire, pel­let-plink­ing ses­sions over the stan­dard is­sue eight-shot cylin­ders that we’re all used to, although be­cause it’s pow­ered by CO2, rapid fire will freeze-down the 12gm cap­sule and ve­loc­i­ties will drop. Slow and steady fire, or ‘dou­ble-tap’ two-shot tech­niques will max­imise avail­able ve­loc­i­ties, as you’ll see from the chrono’ test­ing.

LOAD­ING

The light­weight plas­tic mag’ is ejected by press­ing the but­ton on the left side, and springs free pos­i­tively. Lift the top panel af­ter pulling on the up­per face, to ac­cess the pel­let belt. Push pel­lets nose-first, or drop BBs, into each pair of linked cham­bers, ro­tat­ing them clock­wise. Close the lid with a pos­i­tive click and re-insert flush into the grip, with an­other click. A mag­net in the tip pre­vents the lead BB fall­ing out. The belt can feel stiff to ro­tate whilst load­ing, but trust me, it isn’t when shoot­ing.

To load a 12gm CO2, pull the grip back strap down and off, insert cap­sule point up­wards, and tighten us­ing the cap­tive wing-nut in the base, then re­place the back strap. BE AWARE: You don’t cock the pis­tol with the slide, just load, safety off and fire away.

As the bar­rel is ri­fled, I’d pre­fer to stick with pel­lets my­self, although I tried BBs here for thor­ough chrono’ and group­ing tests.

Top tip: Add a drop of Pell­gun oil to the pierc­ing nip­ple be­fore in­sert­ing each cap­sule, to keep your pis­tol in­ter­nals run­ning smoothly.

TRIG­GER PULL

As men­tioned, the P320 is striker-fired, but it’s also DAO - Dou­ble Ac­tion Only. Ev­ery shot has the same trig­ger weight, which will of course be heav­ier than SA pis­tols. The trig­ger con­sis­tently broke at 7lb 2oz, and this sounds heavy, but be­comes nicely pre­dictable very quickly.

CHRONO’ TEST­ING

Pack­ag­ing claims ‘Up to 430 FPS’, but who knows what that was with, so we want to know what it’s ac­tu­ally pro­duc­ing. I ran sev­eral mag’s worth of pel­lets and BBs across the Airchrony/R2A; am­bi­ent con­di­tions out­doors were mild at 14 de­grees. Steel BBs: Ten shots, ave. 317 FPS (341-296 spread) Bis­ley Prac­tice 8.18gr wad­cut­ter pel­lets: Ten shots, ave. 318FPS (348-296 spread)

RANGE TEST­ING

Whilst I’ve got the Cald­well bench-rest bag on loan, I thought I’d use that as a sta­ble rest for bench-rest test­ing. Used with a stan­dard two-handed grip, this pro­vides a very sta­ble rest, in ad­di­tion to shoot­ing

“on the range, it doesn’t dis­ap­point. It’s so much fun fir­ing 30 shots in a row.”

un­sup­ported, both seated and stand­ing.

At 6m I hit my DIY small pel­let-tin tar­gets ten out of ten, and at 10m it pro­duced groups of 5.3” with BBs. Bis­ley Prac­tice pel­lets fared bet­ter @2.4” wide, although strung-out to 5”/6” ver­ti­cally as the CO2 power dropped. Blow-back guns do use more CO2, and I’d change the P320’s cap­sule with ev­ery mag’ load.

CON­CLU­SIONS

I loved the idea of the P320 from the pub­lic­ity, and on the range it doesn’t dis­ap­point; it’s so much fun fir­ing up to 30 shots in a row. A sec­ond mag’ would be very handy for speed-load drills, although you’d need to re­plen­ish CO2 un­less in warm con­di­tions.

RRP is £159.95, and no, I couldn’t re­sist get­ting one my­self.

SEEN THE ME­DIA? DON’T PANIC!

Whilst await­ing the new P320 I’ve seen State­side YouTube videos of this pis­tol. One scan­dal hot off the presses (mid-Au­gust) is the dis­cov­ery that if held in­verted by the front of the trig­ger guard, then dropped - the firearm ver­sion can dis­charge ac­ci­den­tally. (https://www. om­a­haout­doors.com/blog/sig-sauer-p320-fails­drop-test/).

Ini­tially, they thought this was due to the weight and mo­men­tum of the trig­ger it­self, con­tin­u­ing to travel down­ward as the gun im­pacts the ground si­mul­ta­ne­ously on the rear grip spur and slide. A new video re­veals that the gun can also dis­charge when hit on the back of the slide by a rub­ber gun­smith’s mal­let. SIG have ac­knowl­edged there’s an is­sue with the firearm, and are is­su­ing a prod­uct re­call to rem­edy this prob­lem.

The AIR­GUN SIG P320 does not have the same in­ter­nals AT ALL. I didn’t want to risk dam­ag­ing the new SIG, so I just tested the lat­ter fail with a rub­ber mal­let and – no dis­charges.

UK SOURCES:

1. SIG P320, Airchrony and Pell­gun Oil: BAR (Black­pool Air Ri­fles/air­gun­buyer.com) 2. RFD Pis­tol Han­dling, 12gm CO2 and pel­lets: Core94.com 3. Bench-rest bag: John Roth­ery Whole­salers.I

The smile of the sat­is­fied shooter.

Easy load­ing comes as stan­dard.

30-shot group 5.3” at 10m with BBs; left arm rested on my el­bow.

Load­ing the mag’ belt with pel­lets. BBs just drop into mag’ cham­bers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.