Out Of The Box Match Pistol: SIG P320 X5

However, she’s a pistol champ herself and she too remembered a lighter pull on the pre-release sample a few months before. SIG has recently made the very smart move of hiring a world-class shooting champ, Phil Strader, as their Pistol Product Manager. Phil confirmed that I wasn’t an Alzheimer’s patient, at least not yet. Phil told me, “I made a few changes from the original concept after I was hired. The original trigger on what they were calling the P320 Target was quite light, but it was a totally new design and wasn’t compatible with legacy 320 systems. That, as well as the liability of an overly light trigger on a striker-fired system was a bit more than I wanted to gamble with . . . the specs should be nearly identical to a standard 320 since the trigger group is the same. The only exception is the straight trigger, which gives it a bit of a different feel. The trigger pull is around 5- to 6-pounds, depending on where you put the trigger weight. It can be adjusted with aftermarket parts (such as Grayguns and/or Apex kits) but it is not, by definition, a factory-adjustable trigger.


The X5 ships with four 21-round magazines, all of which loaded easily and functioned flawlessly during testing. When it’s time to send a fresh mag home, a sizeable (and removeable) magwell funnel helps make sure the job gets done smoothly and quickly.

A match gun should be accurate. We tested from the Caldwell Matrix rest on a concrete bench at a measured 25 yards, with the three most popular 9mm bullet weights. Each group was measured once for all five shots, just as it would be at a match, giving an idea what we might shoot at that distance without the rest if we were more stable than most of us are. Each group was measured again for the tightest three among those hits, because testing has taught us this gives a very good approximation of what the gun can do for all five from the machine rests most of us don’t have access to.

For the popular 147-grain subsonic loads, I used Federal’s economical American Eagle brand with copper-jacketed, truncated-cone bullet. The aiming markers I was using were Birchwood-Casey Shoot-N-C bulls-eyes, five and a half inches in diameter. The test SIG shot a tad left for my eye, and I wound up with 49 points out of 50, with four hits in the 3.4” diameter 10-ring, and one just outside in the 9 ring. I was shooting for group instead of score, though, and the five hits measured 1.45” center to center, with the best three in 9/10ths of an inch.

Save for the flat-faced trigger, the X5 uses the same interchangeable, drop-in striker-fired trigger group (which is actually the serialized portion of the handgun) as the standard 320, allowing an unheard of level of caliber, slide/barrel and frame-size modularity. Field-stripping the X5—like most SIG handguns—can be done in about two-seconds-flat.

For a 124-grain—and because the trigger convinced me this P320 X5 would be suitable for a home defense gun—I wanted to try a jacketed hollow point. It seemed appropriate to use SIG’s own brand of ammo in their V-Crown flavor. The five shots plunked into 1.80”, and once again with four 10s and a 9 because I was shooting left. The best three were in 0.65”.

At IDPA and IPSC matches, I’ve noticed that shooters who don’t load their own are more likely to shoot Winchester White Box full metal jacket than anything else, simply because they’re sold so cheaply at big box stores like WalMart, said to be the nation’s largest seller of firearms. That made WWB a logical choice for the 115-grain load. Our P320 X5 turned out to deliver champagne performance on a beer budget, because this cheap ammo gave the best groups in both measurements: 1.35” for all five, and a mere 0.30” center to center for the best three. Those three shots were in a super-tight cluster, and there was also a very tight double with the SIG ammo. All five of the Winchester rounds were in the 10 ring, scoring a “possible” of 50 out of 50 points.

The X5 rode comfortably in a Safariland M6 holster designed for a standard P320.

Let’s analyze that. Average 5-shot group: 1.53”, including probable unnoticed human error in aim and trigger press. With those elements factored out as much as possible with the 3-shot group measurement, we were looking at an average accuracy potential of less than two-thirds of an inch, 0.62”, at 25 yards.

That, brothers and sisters, is definitely “match accurate.” The gun shot a little left for the old guy here. Well, that’s what the adjustable sights are for. No problemo.

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