Sig Sauer is on a Roll With its P320 Pistol: The United States Armed Forces officially selected the Sig Sauer P320 as its service pistol in early 2017 – with the handgun adopted as the M17, while the shorter-length carry model was designated the M18.
It won’t be just American warfighters that are armed with polymer-framed pistols, as some of our allies will be carrying the same sidearm.
Why the Sig Sauer P320 Keeps Selling
In recent weeks, the militaries of Australia and Canada also selected the handgun, which will replace the Browning Hi-Power that each country had used for decades. In addition, elite units of the Spanish National Police have chosen the Sig Sauer P320 to become the standard sidearm.
In the case of Spain, the Special Operations Group (GEO) and Special Operational Security Groups (GOES) each opted for the P320 as it had received the highest score in recent evaluations carried out by a team made up of members of the two units.
Among the aspects that were reportedly evaluated were precision, ergonomics, performance of the standard sights, use with gloves, ease of changing chargers, handling of the included laser aiming and lighting system. The Spanish National Police will receive at least 300 of the pistols for its GEO and GOES units.
Australia’s New Sidearm
As noted, the Australian Defense Force will retire its Browning Hi-Power Mk3s – and the island continent nation had been one of the last Commonwealth countries to still rely on the venerable 13-shot single-action classic.
The Sig Sauer P320 XCarry Pro was selected as part of the Australian military’s $500 million LAND 159 Lethality System Project. The contract also calls for new sniper rifles, pistols, shotguns, personal defense weapons, and fighting knives for the ADF.
“This is a bold step into modern weaponry to quickly improve Australia’s defense preparedness,” said Australian Army Major General Andrew Bottrell, head of Land Systems.
The XCarry Pro was selected as the platform for the Sidearm Weapon System and will be complemented with reflex sights, and a white light illuminator. The same handgun had been selected by the Danish military in the summer of 2018.
Australia has also gone all-in with Sig Sauer, as it further selected the company’s MCX assault rifle, chambered in .300 Blackout caliber, as the ADF’s new Personal Defence Weapon System (PDWS).
Canada Called for the P320
It is also the end of the line in Canada for the Browning Hi-Power (BHP) after nearly eight decades. In fact, Canada had been at the center of Allied BHP production during World War II with an estimated 150,000 crafted in Toronto by the John Inglis Company.
Those “Maple Leaf-marked” Browning-Inglis models will soon be retired, and replaced by the Sig Sauer P320, which will be designated as the C22 in Canadian service.
The government will purchase an initial 7,000 C22 pistols for the Canadian Army. Additional options for up to 9,500 pistols will be available under the contract to cover the remaining requirements for the army, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Canadian Navy, and military police.
The potential contract value if all options are exercised is reported to be $7.6 million (U.S.) – and covers the pistols, holster systems, spares, and operator and maintenance training.
“This contract will provide our troops with modern, reliable pistols and holsters to carry out their work, while supporting economic opportunities for the Canadian defence industry,” said Canadian Public Services and Procurement Minister Helena Jaczek.
The Canadian military selected the Sig Sauer, which can be operated with both the left and right hand, in part due to the fact that it is chambered for the same 9mm ammunition as the BHP, and offers similar ballistic performance.
“The Government of Canada is committed to providing the Canadian Armed Forces with the equipment they need when they need it,” explained National Defence Minister Anita Anand. “Replacing the Browning 9mm with the C22 full frame modular pistol (Sig Sauer P320) will help ensure the continued operational readiness and effectiveness of all our members.”
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.