The X-five Fac­tor

The sig sauer P320 Up­dated for 2017

Firepower - - CONTENTS - TEXT & PHO­TOS BY RICHARD SCHUTZ

SIG Sauer up­dates the P320 with the pur­pose-built X-se­ries

The big news for SIG Sauer at the 2017 SHOT Show was the up­dated P320, the P320 X-se­ries. That is, un­til SIG was awarded the XM17 MHS con­tract for a new ser­vice pis­tol for the United States mil­i­tary. But as big as it was, the an­nounce­ment of the MHS award only took the spot­light off the P320 X-se­ries for a sin­gle af­ter­noon.

The new P320 X-se­ries takes the P320 line to a new level of shoota­bil­ity. Al­though not a di­rect re­place­ment for the P320, the P320 X-se­ries will draw many dis­cern­ing shoot­ers from the orig­i­nal P320 se­ries pis­tols.

OVER­VIEW

All of the P320 X-se­ries pis­tols have a new X-se­ries grip mod­ule, en­hanced flat 90-de­gree break trig­ger, im­proved slide ser­ra­tions, 4-sided beveled mag­well, and slide light­en­ing cuts. From there, each of the three mod­els (X-five, X-VTAC and X-carry) goes in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion.

The P320 X-five 9mm, the flag­ship of the X-se­ries lineup, is the topic of this eval­u­a­tion. This is a com­pe­ti­tion gun and is fea­tured ac­cord­ingly. It adds a 5-inch bull bar­rel, ex­tended slide, ex­tended re­mov­able mag­a­zine well, Daw­son sights, ex­tended

slide catch lever, 21-round mag­a­zines, and it is com­pat­i­ble with SIG’S Romeo1 op­tic.

OP­ER­A­TION/SPEC­I­FI­CA­TIONS

De­signed to be a gun­fighter’s pis­tol, the P320 X-five is a striker-fired, semi-auto, 9mm pis­tol. The cur­rent surge in con­cealed-carry hand­guns cer­tainly drives the de­vel­op­ment of pis­tols like the P320 X-carry, but there are also many com­pet­i­tive shoot­ers who fly un­der the radar but who are al­ways look­ing for that lit­tle edge that will make them a split-sec­ond faster than the com­pe­ti­tion. The engi­neers at SIG Sauer have given them just that with the P320 X-five. Th­ese shoot­ers are also will­ing to

“De­signed as a gun­fighter’s pis­tol, the P320 X-five is a striker-fired, 9mm semi-auto.”

spend a lot more on their pis­tols to get that edge through the in­cor­po­ra­tion of cer­tain en­hance­ments into a pro­duc­tion pis­tol.

The most no­table dif­fer­ence be­tween the X-se­ries and its pre­de­ces­sor is the trig­ger. The first thing you’ll no­tice is the flat trig­ger face. Many com­pe­ti­tion ri­fles use or at least of­fer this type of trig­ger, but it is not all that com­mon on pis­tols. The trig­ger breaks when it’s per­pen­dic­u­lar to the bar­rel, thereby caus­ing less dis­rup­tion to the point of aim when the striker is re­leased. The trig­ger’s op­er­a­tion is about as good as it gets for a striker-fired pis­tol. It is rea­son­ably light, with a break that can be al­most de­scribed as crisp, and a short re­set.

There is no man­ual safety but there are mul­ti­ple safeties built in. An in­ter­nal striker safety locks the striker in the back po­si­tion un­til the trig­ger is pressed all the way to the rear, and a dis­con­nect safety pre­vents the pis­tol from fir­ing if the slide is out of bat­tery. Upon dis­as­sam­bly, it is not nec­es­sary to pull the trig­ger first, and it can­not be dis­as­sem­bled un­less the mag­a­zine is re­leased and the slide is locked to the rear. Also, there is no safety latch or tab in the trig­ger as is found on some striker-fired pis­tols. The X-five’s frame re­tains the mod­u­lar­ity of the P320 but with some sig­nif­i­cant re­fine­ments. The beaver­tail is more pro­nounced and the back­strap is higher for bet­ter re­coil man­age­ment. The gen­er­ous un­der­cut at the rear of the trig­ger guard/top of the front strap al­lows for a slightly higher grip for bet­ter con­trol to help re­duce muz­zle rise. A re­mov­able grip weight (in­side the mag well) helps im­prove the gun’s bal­ance and a re­mov­able mag­a­zine fun­nel helps guide the mag­a­zine into the well dur­ing rapid mag­a­zine changes. A 1913 Mil-std rail molded into the dust cover pro­vides plenty of real es­tate for mount­ing a light, a laser,

“The P320 X-five is a full-size semi-auto, but it han­dles like a much smaller gun.”

or a combo unit. The one item that is lost go­ing from the P320 to the X-se­ries is an in­ter­change­able small/medium/large grip mod­ule for each size (full/com­pact/sub­com­pact) pis­tol.

The slide is made of stain­less steel with a Nitron fin­ish. Light­en­ing cuts are milled into the top to re­duce over­all mass and move the cen­ter of grav­ity of the slide lower for re­duced muz­zle rise. Slide ser­ra­tions are pro­vided front and rear. They are slightly wider and are more ver­ti­cal than those on the P320. A bi­lat­eral, ex­tended slide catch lever is part of the se­ri­al­ized trig­ger mod­ule. Daw­son Pre­ci­sion sights are pro­vided and are an ex­cel­lent choice for open-sight com­pe­ti­tion. The dove­tail front sight uses a green fiber op­tic and the rear sight is fully ad­justable for both el­e­va­tion and windage. The rear sight in­cor­po­rates a mount­ing plate that can be re­moved for the in­stal­la­tion of a Romeo1 op­tic.

The el­e­ments de­signed into the P320 X-five to help man­age re­coil are small taken sep­a­rately, but when they are all put to­gether they make a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in the shooter’s abil­ity to make quick and ac­cu­rate fol­low-up shots.

“small re­coil man­age­ment el­e­ments make a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence over­all.”

VER­SIONS

“The P320 X-five 9mm, flag­ship of the X-se­ries lineup, is a com­pe­ti­tion gun and is fea­tured ac­cord­ingly.”

Three ver­sions of the P320 X-se­ries pis­tol are avail­able. The X-five eval­u­ated here is the flag­ship com­pe­ti­tion model de­signed to pro­vide ac­cu­rate first shots and quick and ac­cu­rate fol­low-up shots. The large mag­a­zine ca­pac­ity also pro­vides more shots be­tween mag­a­zine changes.

Kyle Lamb, Sgt. Maj. Re­tired, col­lab­o­rated with SIG Sauer in the de­sign of the P320 X-VTAC (Vik­ing Tac­tics) ver­sion of the X-se­ries pis­tol. This re­sulted in a tac­ti­cal ver­sion us­ing the X-carry grip mod­ule, 4.7-inch bar­rel, FDE slide and V-TAC 6-dot sights. It is not com­pat­i­ble with the SIG Sauer Romeo1 op­tic.

Fi­nally, the P320 X-carry model features the X-carry grip mod­ule, 4.7-inch bar­rel, X-ray3 day/night sights and slide light­en­ing cuts. It is com­pat­i­ble with the SIG Romeo1 op­tic.

AM­MU­NI­TION

As with most firearms man­u­fac­tur­ers, SIG Sauer’s own­ers man­ual in­structs the op­er­a­tor of the P320 X-five to use only the cal­iber of am­mu­ni­tion en­graved on the firearm

(on the bar­rel of the P320 X-five). Fur­ther­more, it warns the op­er­a­tor to use only clean, good-con­di­tion, fac­tory-man­u­fac­tured am­mu­ni­tion. The use of reloaded, “re­man­u­fac­tured” reloaded, or other non-stan­dard am­mu­ni­tion voids all war­ranties. Only am­mu­ni­tion man­u­fac­tured to SAAMI stan­dards or to mil­i­tary spec­i­fi­ca­tions is rec­om­mended.

For eval­u­a­tion pur­poses, we used nine dif­fer­ent fac­tory loads from six dif­fer­ent

man­u­fac­tur­ers. Bul­let weights ranged from 80 to 124 grain. Six loads used FMJ bul­lets, two used JHP bul­lets, and one used a cop­per-poly­mer ma­trix bul­let. The P320 X-five func­tioned flaw­lessly with all nine loads.

PUTTING THE P320 X-FIVE TO WORK AT THE RANGE

The first or­der of busi­ness at the range was to break in the P320 X-five with 50 rounds of var­i­ous ball am­mu­ni­tion. This also gave us an op­por­tu­nity to be­come fa­mil­iar with the trig­ger and the over­all feel of the gun. We fired three five-shot groups at 25 yards us­ing nine dif­fer­ent types of fac­tory am­mu­ni­tion to de­ter­mine ac­cu­racy and ve­loc­ity. Ruger ARX 80-grain +P was the most ac­cu­rate, with an av­er­age of 2.07 inches. SIG Sauer 124-grain V-crown came in a close sec­ond at 2.15 inches. The next three loads were close be­hind at 2.22, 2.22 and 2.27 inches. This showed great con­sis­tency with a spread of only 0.20 inches for the first five types of am­mu­ni­tion. As ex­pected, the 80-grain Ruger ARX had the high­est ve­loc­ity at 1,479 feet per sec­ond. The re­main­ing 115-grain to 124-grain loads ranged from 1,085 to 1,239 feet per sec­ond.

Our next trip to the range with the P320 X-five was just for fun. We put about 100 rounds through the pis­tol knock­ing down plates at 15 yards. The gun was well­bal­anced and re­coil was well-con­trolled for quick tran­si­tions be­tween plates. The fiber op­tic front sight is our fa­vorite type and it was easy to put on tar­get.

AGAINST THE COM­PE­TI­TION

I couldn’t wait to use the P320 X-five

at my monthly In­ter­na­tional In­fi­del Gun­fighter League 3-gun tac­ti­cal match. The new for­mat con­sists of eight stages, six of which ei­ther re­quire or al­low the use of a pis­tol.

The CTE stage con­sists of three com­bat task eval­u­a­tions. The CTES con­sisted of the Mod­i­fied El Pres­i­dente, Meet­ing Gone Bad, and Mag­a­zine Dump. It is dif­fi­cult to score well with a new pis­tol that I had only put about 500 rounds through, but the P320 X-five ac­quit­ted it­self well in all three parts of the stage. The bal­ance and quick sight ac­qui­si­tion of the X-five made the tran­si­tion from car­bine to pis­tol go smoothly in the Mod­i­fied El Pres­i­dente CTE and the draw and tar­get ac­qui­si­tion was as smooth as silk in the Meet­ing Gone Bad CTE. The 21-round mag­a­zine and ex­tended mag­a­zine well made for a de­cent score in the mag­a­zine dump CTE where I scored 24 hits out of 26 shots in 10 sec­onds with one mag change on a steel torso plate at ten yards. I can do bet­ter with my Glock 17, but that’s mainly be­cause I use a 33-round mag­a­zine!

For Stage 1, the P320 X-five made short work of five bowl­ing pins at ap­prox­i­mately 15 yards after tran­si­tion­ing from my car­bine. On Stage 3, tran­si­tion­ing from car­bine to pis­tol, shoot­ing while mov­ing and scor­ing hits on tar­get was eas­ier than it looked due to the P320 X-five’s han­dling and sights.

Stage 4, my fa­vorite, pits man against man on steel us­ing a plate rack, a fixed pop­per and two small plates each, plus a shared Texas Star, at 10 yards. I ran the stage fast but I didn’t hear the “hit” call on the fixed pop­per so I took a sec­ond shot at it and lost the first round in a “bang-bang” fin­ish. Again, the X-five ran as smooth as silk. I’m sure I would have won the Stage if I had not taken a sec­ond shot at the fixed pop­per or had a Romeo1 on the gun in­stead of the open sights.

The pis­tol/shot­gun steel stage re­quired ten hits on steel of var­i­ous sizes and at var­i­ous dis­tances, first with the pis­tol, then with the shot­gun. Again the X-five did its job well with no misses.

The shoot house was the fi­nal stage of the match. The sce­nario is that you are

seated watch­ing tele­vi­sion and hear a com­mo­tion in the back of the house. Your wife is in the room next to you and your daugh­ter is some­where in the back of the house. It is your job to clear the house of in­trud­ers. I would nor­mally run my AR-15 in the shoot house, but the sce­nario was such that I would be more likely to have a pis­tol close by than a ri­fle, so I ran it with the P320 X-five. Again it did its job well. I had one miss (one hit in the “A” zone in­stead of two) and no pro­ce­du­rals.

I fin­ished 16th out of 36 in the match against a much younger group of shoot­ers. The per­son who beat me in the man­a­gainst-man steel stage (thereby giv­ing me an ad­di­tional 300 points), won the stage and fin­ished 10th over­all.

FI­NAL WORDS

SIG Sauer did an out­stand­ing job de­sign­ing and build­ing the P320 X-five. It han­dles very well, al­lows the shooter to man­age re­coil well, and it is both ac­cu­rate and re­li­able—all very nec­es­sary traits in a com­pe­ti­tion gun. We pre­dict that it will be a big hit on the com­pe­ti­tion cir­cuits.

Whether or not you are fa­mil­iar with SIG Sauer pis­tols, the P320 X-five is worth a hard look. You will not be dis­ap­pointed. I am con­fi­dent that the P320 X-VTAC and X-carry mod­els will ac­quit them­selves equally well.

“whether or not you’re fa­mil­iar with sig sauer, the P320 X-five is worth a hard look.”

The P320 X-five comes in a molded foam-padded case with four mag­a­zines, lock, red and green fiber op­tic in­serts, Lu­cas gun oil and an own­ers man­ual.

The Red Hill Tac­ti­cal double layer com­pe­ti­tion hol­ster is ad­justable for re­ten­tion and al­lows for quick draws and easy re-hol­ster­ing.

Above left: The slide as­sem­bly con­sists of the slide frame as­sem­bly, 5-inch bull bar­rel and the re­coil spring.

01-02. The all metal Daw­son Pre­ci­sion rear sight is fully ad­justable for both el­e­va­tion and windage. It also features an in­te­gral base that al­lows it to be eas­ily re­moved and re­placed with a SIG Romeo1 red dot op­tic 03. P320 X-se­ries features a bi­lat­eral ex­tended slide catch as well as im­proved slide ser­ra­tions. 04. The Daw­son pre­ci­sion fiber op­tic front sight makes sight ac­qui­si­tion easy. Red and green re­place­ment fil­a­ments are pro­vided. 05. Many com­pe­ti­tion ri­fles use or at least of­fer the flat-faced trig­ger, but it is not all that com­mon on pis­tols.

The RHT hol­ster re­tains the SIG P320 X-five se­curely and makes fast draws seem easy. The stain­less steel frame or trig­ger group is the se­ri­al­ized com­po­nent of the pis­tol and can be moved be­tween var­i­ous grip mod­ules.

The slide light­en­ing cuts on the top of the slide re­duce its mass and lower its cen­ter of grav­ity for bet­ter re­coil man­age­ment. The Daw­son Pre­ci­sion sights with a fiber op­tic front sight are easy to pick up and track from tar­get to tar­get.

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