One good 10mm Auto review deserves another. Likewise, one good SIG Sauer P320 autopistol review deserves another.
Yes, this gun writer has already written a couple reviews of the controversial SIG P320/M17/M18, with the most recent one more positive than the others. But those were all the 9mm Parabellum versions, and lately, I’ve been (1) getting more and more reacquainted with the 10mm cartridge and (2) slowly but surely growing to actually like SIGs after many years of antipathy and a “meh” attitude toward the brand, it was time to expand my shooting horizons and get a taste of a combo of that caliber and brand. Especially since one of my oldest friends has been raving about it so much.
Let’s discuss the 10mm SIG-Sauer P320-XTEN striker-fired semiauto pistol.
SIG Sauer P320 XTEN History and Specifications
Specifications on the XTEN version include a barrel length of 5.0 inches, an overall length of 7.3 inches, a height of 5.75 inches, a grip width of 1.02 inches, and an empty weight of 30 ounces. The standard magazine capacity is 15 + 1 rounds. The slide and fire control unit (FCU) has a stainless steel composition, with the former bearing a so-called Nitron finish, whilst the barrel is made of carbon steel and the grip unit is a black polymer. Sights are labeled by the manufacturer as “X-RAY3 Day/Night Sights.” As the manufacturer’s official info page adds:
“The latest addition to the SIG P320 family brings all of the features of the XSeries into a carry-style handgun in 10mm for shooters and hunters looking for performance to the power of 10 … For those looking for even more precision, every P320-XTEN is optic-ready and compatible with the SIG SAUER ROMEO2 reflex optic which is designed to withstand the abuse the 10mm cartridge delivers. To reduce the recoil, a completely redesigned XSeries polymer grip module provides a strong purchase and stippled finish and makes shooting comfortable for any type of round.”
Personal Shooting Impressions
This latest opportunity to evaluate and get reacquainted with the bigger-bore version of the P320 comes courtesy of my old high school buddy “Misfit,” whose pseudonym you may recognize from several of my other gun articles, the most relevant one to this current piece being “FIRE! Meet The 5 Best 10mm Handguns On The Planet.” Misfit happens to own an XTEN, and he’s raved about it repeatedly in his communications with me; one on occasion he advised me to try it along with the assurance that “you’ll thank me later.” (He admits to being a SIG fanboy just as I admit to being a fanboy of Beretta, Glock, and Ruger.)
Well, that occasion to “thank [him] later” came this past weekend, when I was visiting sunny southern California with my wonderful girlfriend Lisa – whose name y’all may also recognize from several of my previous gun write-ups – and we linked up with Misfit to go to the Smokin Barrel Gun Store and Shooting Range in Simi Valley, California. For those of you not familiar with Simi Valley, it’s one of the decidedly more conservative enclaves of the strongly leftist California.
Accordingly, I went to work with 40 rounds of Sellier & Bellot (S&B) SB10A 180-grain full metal jacket (FMJ) and Smokin’ Barrel’s slightly scaled-down in-house version of ICE-QT paper target. The course of fire was divvied into 25 rounds of head shots at 7 yards, and 15 rounds of center-torso shots at 25 yards, delivered from the Classic Weaver Stance.
Ergonomics and trigger pull quality were top-notch. My only gripe was the highly vestigial nature of the slide release lever, much smaller than on the traditional double-action (TDA) SIGS like the 9mm P226 and .45 ACP P220. The felt recoil was more than that of the Smith & Wesson M&P 10mm, but not excessive, as it felt like more of a vigorous push (not entirely unlike that of a .45 ACP). As for the accuracy performance? At 7 yards, the rounds grouped nicely but pulled low-left, obliterating the paper bad guy’s right nostril and upper lip. So I took “Kentucky windage” with a 2 o’clock hold at the 25-yard line … and ended up overcompensating a bit, with two of my rounds straying into the 2-zone of the target’s left shoulder. However, the remaining 13 rounds stayed satisfying within the 5-zone, including five rounds taking the tiebreaking 5x-ring.
Reliability was flawless (by contrast, the S&W M&P had given me a couple of hiccups).
The Lady Friend’s Shooting Impressions
This was Lisa’s first time shooting a 10mm, and it was a positive shooting experience: “Loved it. Even though she has more kick than a 9mm, still very easy to shoot, very accurate. I’ll probably get one of my own! For someone who doesn’t like SIG, it *has* to be special.”
Want Your Own?
According to True Gun Value, “A SIG P320 XTEN pistol is currently worth an average price of $716.59 new and $649.67 used. The 12-month average price is $716.59 new and $649.67 used.” Sportsman’s Outdoor Superstore has a current asking price of $799.99 for the 3-dot sight edition and $1,499.99 with the Romeo2 Red Dot Optic.
Christian D. Orr has 33 years of shooting experience, starting at the tender age of 14. His marksmanship accomplishments include: the Air Force Small Arms Ribbon w/one device (for M16A2 rifle and M9 pistol); Pistol Expert Ratings from U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP); multiple medals and trophies via the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) and the Nevada Police & Fires Games (NPAF). Chris has been an NRA Certified Basic Pistol Instructor since 2011.
Note: The image is a of a Sig Sauer P320 X-Carry. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
From the Vault