A NEW AGE
THE SIG P320 RX COMPACT PERFORMS BIG
Big things come in small packages, such as the SIG P320RX compact. By Dave Rhoden
So, I’m in an LE Protective Operations course. As a class, we’re discussing suits and apparel that match the assignment. I made the simple suggestion of having a cobbler modify the outsoles of your dress shoes, so that they’re not so slick, when I was immediately shown the error of my ways; the ensuing snickers and jokes confirmed if you use the word “cobbler,” you’re old.
Let me back up. The night before, I’m driving to my hotel in a brand new rental car, a 2018 Dodge Durango GT. Sweet ride, but God help you if you’re over 40 and the windows start to fog up. I swear I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to work the new digital screen or knob to turn on the wipers and defroster. Up until that moment, I was in the market for a new car. Now, maybe I just need a newer car.
The icing on the cake? I’m looking for reading glasses to compliment my contact lens prescription. Man, when it rains, it pours, right? So, I figure, while I’m piling on the change train, why not really give myself a curveball and try carrying a SIG instead of my traditional Glock 19?
I picked up a new striker-fired SIG P320 RX Compact recently. At the time of writing this, I have about 1,500 rounds through it. Let’s break down first impressions:
Is it accurate? Absolutely. Every manufacturer is slightly different with regards to their sights and where to hold the irons in relation to the bullseye, but the RX comes with the 3 MOA ROMEO1 reflex red dot sight mounted and already co-witnessed to its SIGLITE Night Sights. I’ve trained extensively over the last few years with red-dot sights mounted on pistols, using both Leupold’s Delta Point Pro and Trijicon’s RMR, so this part was an easy transition. I can consistently punch the same hole
“EVERY MANUFACTURER IS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT WITH REGARDS TO THEIR SIGHTS AND WHERE TO HOLD THE IRONS IN RELATION TO THE BULLSEYE, BUT THE RX COMES WITH THE 3 MOA ROMEO1 REFLEX RED DOT SIGHT MOUNTED AND ALREADY CO-WITNESSED TO ITS SIGLITE NIGHT SIGHTS.”
standing, unsupported, with either irons or the red dot at 7 yards.
The irons are smartly placed in the bottom edge of the red dot optics’ field of view, which I appreciate, so that your target is not obstructed by either your front or rear sights. This is very similar to how Leupold sets theirs up. The ROMEO1 has a large field of view, similar to the Delta Point, which makes it easy to see your target and surrounding targets for faster transitions. The dot is clear and crisp. There are seven levels of brightness (the dot flashes five times when it hits the brightest setting) and holding either brightness button for three seconds turns the dot off. The lowest two settings are night- vision-compatible. I will say that on a very bright sunlit range day, I found myself searching for a couple brighter settings, but that, and other upgrades have been addressed on the upcoming ROMEO1T, which has 10 brightness settings.
You don’t have to worry about losing your zero when replacing the batteries, because access is simple and on top of the optic. In fact, in a recent SIG battering of over 5,000 rounds of .45 ACP, the optic shifted less than 1 inch at 25 yards.
The brightness settings for the ROMEO1 are on the left side of the optic housing. I did have to Dremel the top edge off my Pitbull Tactical holster’s sweat guard to allow room for it to clear without hitting the brightness controls. (I’ve heard some officers ran into a problem when their duty holsters pressed against the optics side controls when seated in their patrol cars, accidentally turning them off).
In the EP course mentioned at the top of the article, I was in and out of cars all week long and fortunately never experienced that. When the ROMEO1T launches, there will also be an available shroud that further protects those controls, as well as the optic itself, not only making them perfect for tactical and duty pistols, but great for pistol-caliber-carbines, shortbarreled rifles, and side-mounting
them on competition rifles with magnifying optics.
Both ROMEO1 optics have an IPX-7 rating for complete immersion in water up to 1 meter, and are fog-proof—a great benefit when transitioning from air-conditioning to the hot and humid outdoors.
To save battery life, the dot turns off after two minutes of inactivity and instantly turns on when you move the weapon. That said, I hadn’t ever turned mine off and had already flown with this pistol several times, preventing it from entering “sleep mode.” Subsequently, I finally had a dead battery when I arrived on my latest trip. The ROMEO1T does, however, significantly improve battery life to over 20,000 hours. Both versions of the optics use a single CR1632 battery that can readily be found at your
local hardware store.
In the hand, the P320 feels fine, very pointable, though maybe a hair too smooth in the areas without the factory stippling (I will modify this in the future). SIG does offer varying grip modules for the P320, so you can get the fit that matches your hand size. I did swap out the stock trigger (which I found a little heavy) with an Apex Tactical Flat Face trigger that also had a more pronounced reset, and I have been very pleased with it. The trigger guard has ample room to use with gloves, and I don’t see a need to do an undercut, like I have on my Glocks, to get a higher purchase on the grip.
The slide comes standard with front serrations that make press-checks a cinch (are you listening, Glock?). That said, a press-check really isn’t necessary, as there’s just enough room between the chamber and slide to see with a quick glimpse the brass when it’s loaded, a very handy feature.
Shooting the SIG P320 compared to a Glock really is all about rhythm. The bore height (barrel over hand) is taller than that of a Glock, so the snap and felt recoil are simply different. Think about listening to a favorite tune in your car and then someone changes radio stations mid-song. The new rhythm isn’t necessarily wrong, it just takes a minute to adjust. About an hour after shooting the P320, I felt like things were starting to click, and I hit my new stride. Right now, I can accurately shoot my Glock faster than I can shoot my SIG. But that difference is minimal and improving with reps.
On my SIG P229, I rarely had the slide lock back on empty because my hands always seemed to ride the slide release, but I haven’t had that problem at all with the P320. I do like the SIG’S mag release better than my Glock’s; it’s more pronounced, easier
to hit, and seems to have a more positive release. And my reloads are definitely faster with the P320, as the steel mags always drop free. It might just be perception, but I also feel I’m faster seating their mags, as well. The compact P320 comes standard with 15-round mags, but the 17- and 21-round variants also fit and make for great backup mags. The slide release is ambidextrous, and the mag release can be swapped to either side.
Breaking down the P320 is simple and gets easier as the gun is broken in. Lock the slide to the rear, rotate the breakdown locking lever, and then remove the slide forward and off the grip module. A huge advantage is in their serialized removable frame and trigger housing, allowing you to not only convert your P320 to another caliber or pistol size with the same trigger group, but it’s now easier to get a deeper cleaning on your internal components than on a Glock. My preferred carry position is appendix and I usually want a light mounted to all my mid-size pistols (I’m running a Surefire XC1 on the P320). Initially, choosing a holster did pose a slight problem, as there were fewer options that also accommodated lights, but that’s changed even in the last 30 days as the P320s gain in popularity.
My SIG is newer, so it’s past that whole drop issue from their initial release, but I have not experienced a single malfunction or failure to feed, even when running varying grains (115-grain, 124-grain and 147-grain), including factory and reloads.
So, it’s accurate, reliable, customizable for fit through the grip modules, and can come standard with a red dot optic that’s co-witnessed. A SIG P320 RX is new tech that I can get used to. TW
The FDE ( flat dark earth) ROMEO1T with Shroud and 1913 mounts with riser on SIG’S MPX K PSB make for a perfect bag ( or truck) gun combo. The ROMEO1T has 10 brightness settings ( versus 7 for the ROMEO1), and is easily bright enough for a bright outdoor range day in Florida.
Whether shooting the ROMEO1 or 1T, SIG has torture- tested the optics to assure your zero is maintained.
The SIG P320 RX comes with the 3 MOA ROMEO1 Reflex Red Dot Sight mounted and already co- witnessed to its SIGLITE Night Sights.