Out Of The Box Match Pistol: SIG P320 X5

Promised to be capable of winning matches out of the box, the P320 has many competition features, plus home defense capability.

The SIG SAUER folks had a “SIG Day” before the SHOT Show opened in Las Vegas this year, and I got a chance to shoot the new high speed, low drag version of their P320 pistol, the X5. The “X-Numerical” series has hitherto been a sobriquet reserved for the master gun shop in Switzerland that is to SIG what the Performance Center is to Smith & Wesson.

How high the speed, how low the drag? It came with a 5-inch barrel, cutaway slide, and Dawson Precision adjustable rear sight coupled with green fiber optic front. A straight trigger with “flat surface that breaks at 90 degrees results in the best factory P320 trigger yet” according to the SIG website, is part of the package. So is a humongous magazine well that is belled in every direction. The rear sight rides on a removable plate, under which is a mounting space for one of SIG’s Romeo red dot carry optics.

A Nitron-coated, cutaway slide—offering a peek at the pistol’s 5-inch bull-barrel—helps reduce reciprocal mass and get the green fiber-optic front sight back on target with impressive expediantcy. The frame’s integral M1913 rail allows mounting of a weaponlight and/or laser, if your X5 is destined for defenseive use.

The grip module, which they call an “X-grip, is well stippled for secure grasp. The back strap sweeps up to a beavertail that helps guide the hand into firing position when drawing quickly, and the front strap is undercut up under the rear of the trigger guard, in hopes of allowing a higher hand grasp.

On Target’s test sample was chambered for 9mm Luger and came with four 21-round magazines. This is proof positive that folks who knew what a competitor needs in the action pistol sports had a hand in putting the P320 X5 package together.

Behind the Trigger

The P320 X5 has a straight trigger, but it’s still a pivoting trigger, which means that the principle of leverage holds true and it will require less pressure at the toe (bottom point of the trigger face) to discharge than it will at the center, where the index finger most naturally comes to rest. So, on a pistol like this, I weigh it from both locations. Perhaps due to the geometry of the flat-faced trigger, there was very little difference between the two weight measurements, less than half a pound.

The X5 features an extended slide release and flat-faced trigger. The grip module is also specific to the X5, and features a deeper trigger guard undercut, higher backstrap and extended beavertail for the highest grip possible. Stippling can be found on all for faces of the grip; side panel stippling nearly reaches the top of the frame, instead of only part way up as is the case with the standard 320.

At the toe of the trigger, our digital Lyman pull weight scale averaged 5.53 pounds. Perhaps not coincidentally, that compares to the 5.5 pound standard for “duty” pull weight on a striker-fired pistol that goes back to the introduction of the ubiquitous Glock more than 30 years ago. From the center, probably the more relevant measurement for practical purposes, the P320 X5’s trigger pull averaged 5.95 pounds—awfully close to the six-pound duty pull weight minimum I keep hearing about from Smith & Wesson M&P armorers.

Bad news: that’s heavier than a lot of pure target shooters want for their purposes. Good news: it’s heavy enough to “pass the liability test” for home defense use. I’m referring here to something we’ve seen again and again in unmeritorious criminal charges and lawsuits arising out of objectively “clean” self-defense shootings.

I would have sworn that the trigger on the P320 X5 we test-fired at the SHOT Show had been much lighter. I asked my girlfriend, a nurse, “Could this be a sign of early Alzheimer’s?” She replied, “Honey, at your age, it ain’t early.”

The serrated, all-black Dawson Precision rear sight is fully adjustable for windage and elevation. The sight rides in a removeable plate that also serves as a home for SIG’s ROMEO1 red-dot optic, making the X5 optic-ready right out of the box. Southpaw shooters will appreciate the ambi slide release and reversible magazine release button.

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