A bit of controversy currently surrounds the P320.  Many did not agree with the US Army adopting a version of the P320, the M17, and now some are reporting premature failures and malfunctions. Well, I have had the P320 now a few months and about 600 rounds later I have some thoughts on the whole deal.

First Impressions 

Sporting ambidextrous slide lock/release with enough of a ledge to release the slide, loading from a fresh magazine. A 1913 Picatinny Rail is incorporated into the polymer receiver, as a duty/defense handgun should.  Generous forward and rear cocking serrations allow for easy racking of the slide but not aggressive enough to wear on a leather holster.

The take down lever is prominent. The magazine release is easily reversible for the Southpaws.  Note the deep beavertail to allow a deep purchase on the P320.  The trigger is a little weird, breaking at seven pounds with right much take up and some over travel, but the reset is nice. After a few magazines, I got used to it and began to appreciate the design.

The sighst are three dot night sights. The resr is drift adjustable and has enough ledge to rack the slide.

The front night sight securely dovetailed in.

The most innovative feature on the P320, is the actual serial numbered part, considered the firearm, is just more than the trigger group. The grip module, bottom on the photo, can be swapped out for different sizes or color to add a bit of customization to your pistol. You can also get a caliber conversion from Sig, with a different slide, barrel, recoil spring, grip module, and magazine. This makes adding a new caliber or size a bit cheaper than buying another entire pistol.

The P320 Nitron comes in a hard plastic clamshell case with two fifteen round magazines, and a hard plastic holster. The included holster is sufficient but not my favorite. It will get you by until you decide on exactly what you want. Sig also offers a twenty one round magazine that is also reliable, though it does protrude from the grip area a bit. I see this as an ideal spare magazine, increasing your reload capacity.

Range Time 


3 shot groups fired from a rest at 25 feet.


I can tell you this for sure, I like the P320 miles over the Beretta M9/92FS and can understand why it is replacing that pistol. I do not have anything against Glock so I have no opinion on the Army contract. I don’t have a cat in that fight as well so even if I did have an opinion it would be irrelevant. The modularity of the P320 is very innovative, with the actual serial numbered receiver being little more than the trigger group. Changing out the grip module for a bit more customized fit is easy enough and allows a bit more change than just interchangeable backstraps.  There is also the added convenience of caliber changes that can be ordered from Sig, which consists of a new grip module, complete slide, barrel, and recoil spring, and magazine. Using your receiver you can change sizes and calibers for less than buying another pistol. Details on that provided via the link under “Specfications”.

With all that out of the way, I genuinely liked the P320 Nitron. Between myself and several of my friends, we put about 600 rounds through the pistol from various weights of ball ammo and a solid cross section of modern defensive ammo, without a single malfunction. Throughout the review, I did not clean the pistol, but about half way through I did oil it just a bit. Ergonomics of this pistol fit my hand well, and several folks made a similar comment. Though it is a full size pistol, with the help of a Next Holster Guardian, I carried the pistol every day during the review. Though you do have to dress around it, with a quality holster, it can be comfortable carried concealed. With the accessory rail, this pistol would make an exceptional duty and/or home defense pistol. As far as the reports of failures, I cannot attest to that. As for the drop failures from early production pistols, that issue has been addressed and corrected.


Sig Sauer 

Sig Ammunition  

Next Holster


Defender Ammunition 

Cor Bon 


Caliber Conversions  from Sig Sauer

Grip Modules from Sig Sauer  

Caliber: 9mm Luger, also in 357 SIG, .40 S&W, .45 Auto
Action: Semi-Auto
Receiver: Full-Size
Receiver material: Stainless Steel
Receiver material: Stainless Steel
Grip Module: Polymer
Slide finish: Nitron
Slide material: Stainless Steel
Accessory rail: M1913
Trigger: Striker
Barrel length: 4.7 in
Overall length: 8.0 in
Overall width 1.3 in
Height: 5.5 in
Weight: 29.5 oz

By Hunter Elliott

I spent much of my youth involved with firearms and felt the call early on to the United States Marine Corps, following in my father's and his brother's footsteps. Just after high school I enlisted and felt most at home on the rifle range, where I qualified expert with several firearms and spent some time as a rifle coach to my fellow Marines. After being honorably discharged I continued teaching firearm safety, rifle and pistol marksmanship, and began teaching metallic cartridge reloading. In the late 1990s I became a life member to the National Rifle Association and worked with the Friends of the NRA. Around that time my father and I became involved with IDPA and competed together up until he passed away. I began reviewing firearms for publications in the mid 2000s and have been fortunate to make many friends in the industry. Continuing to improve my firearms skills and knowledge is a never ending journey in which we should all be committed. I am also credited as weapons master on a few independent films.

4 thoughts on “Sig Sauer P320 Nitron, a darling of a pistol.”
  1. Since this excellent review came out, and due in part because of this review I went ot and bought a SIG 320 XFive for IDPA and IPSC Competitions. The gun which is just a variant of the 320 reviewed here is every thing Hunter describes in his video and a bit more given it is designed for competitions. Accurate, reliable and user friendly. Yo can’t ask for much more …did I also mention very well made as you would expect from SIG.

    Thanks again Hunter.

    Take Care

    Bob Bonenfant
    Terrace, BC, Canada

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