Sig Sauer P320 XTEN
By: Guy Coursey
The backcountry bruiser of the P320 line
The Sig P320 XTEN is the latest in the hugely successful line of P320-type self-defense and competition pistols from Sig Sauer. As the name suggests, the XTEN is chambered in 10mm, being the first P320 in that caliber, with the only other 10mm Sig being a P220. The 10mm itself has a relatively recent and interesting history, being developed in the aftermath of the infamous Miami FBI shootout of 1986, where the 9mm of the day was determined to be an inadequate fight stopper. The FBI was briefly equipped with the 10mm, but being a bit too hot for many agents, it eventually led to the 40 S&W cartridge, which itself has given way to improved 9mm self-defense loads. The 10mm was moribund for a few decades but, as of late, has enjoyed a resurgence, particularly for hunting and predator defense. This, in turn, has led to the development of new 10mm pistols based on existing platforms. Enter the Sig P320 XTEN.
Those familiar with the Sig P320 (and who isn’t?) will feel right at home with the Sig P320 XTEN. The heart of the pistol is the full-size polymer X-Series frame, nicely stippled, with a deep undercut trigger guard, ambi-capable mag release, and an M1913 rail forward. The trigger is the XSeries straight model, which is arguably the best factory striker-fired trigger out there. As with all P320s, the fire-control unit can be easily removed for cleaning, replacement, or exchange into most other P320 frames. The stainless steel Nitron ion bonded slide has the usual angled grasping grooves front and rear and is equipped with excellent Xray-3 night sights. It is also cut for an optic, in this case, direct milled for a Sig’s ROMEO series of mini red-dots, but capable of taking an RMR with a plate. The ROMEO2 used for testing is unusual in that it can be either an open or enclosed emitter, depending on if the user wants to install its metal protective hood with a rear window.
Though similar in size and weight to its brother in 9mm, the XTEN feels a tad larger and is heavier, weighing in at 33 ounces empty, with an OAL of 8.5 inches and a height of 5.6 inches. The barrel is also a bit longer at five inches to better take advantage of 10mm ballistics. The P320 XTEN comes with two 15-round steel mags in a typical Sig plastic case. Tip: just go with 14 rounds. Your thumbs will thank me.
Shooting the 10mm is an acquired taste. Developed with extra power and penetration in mind, recoil can be punishing even in a large handgun, especially if you are used to shooting something smaller. The Sig XTEN makes it more manageable thanks to the combination of its ergonomic frame and superlative flat-faced trigger, which broke consistently at a light 4.5 pounds with about 1/4 inch of take-up and minimal reset. With the balance of the XTEN weighted forward, recoil was expectedly stout but manageable, with follow-up shots relatively quick. This is not insignificant when accosted by large four-legged (or two-legged) predators. Reliability was perfect and accuracy excellent, coming in centered at an inch at 15 yards and offset a bit under two inches at 25 yards for 5-shot groups with S&B 180gr FMJ. In This author’s opinion, the Sig P320 XTEN is arguably the best of the bunch compared to its closest rivals. If you are looking to get into handgun hunting or carry something into the backcountry that isn’t a long gun but has a reasonable chance of dropping big game, the Sig 320 XTEN is worth a very hard look. See it at your nearest dealer ($879.99 or $1,649.99 with a factory-mounted ROMEO2 red dot), or for more information, contact Sig Sauer; Tel.: (603) 610-3000; Web: www.sigsauer.com
Action: Striker fired
Caliber: 10mm Auto
Barrel Length: 5 inches
Weight: 33 ounces
Capacity: 15 + 1 rounds
MSRP: $879.99 to $1,649.99