In 2014 the DOD notified the World they were looking to replace the MP or Berretta Model 92. To start this process of the DOD put out a 351 page final solicitation explaining the pistol design they were looking for. The technicality and spec heavy document rebuffed many potential American firearms competitors. Smith and Wesson joined up with General Dynamics to make sense of this. Never the less Sig Sauer won the $580 million contract with the P320 and is required to produce 6,300 guns a month.
The DOD is expected to initially to buy 280,000 pistols. My hopes are the DOD gets a discount which should be much lower than the MSRP of $679.00. Dealer price is close to $438.00. So Uncle Sam should get better than dealer price when ordering 280,000 pieces. At $410.00 each DOD can buy 1,414,634 handguns which could supply every man and woman in every military branch including clerks, mechanics and a raft of others. Okay I am getting down off my soap-box before I break a hip.
The Sig Sauer P320, Military version M17, by many accounts is a good gun with many ideal features. The P320 comes in several calibers but I am focusing on the 9mm the U.S. Military will be issuing. The P320 comes with ambidextrous slide release and safety. The full size model can come with barrels threaded for silencers. The P320 also comes with a high visibility loaded round indicator which is so important, I found out in Iraq, to the military. The M17 will have a MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail under the barrel. This can be used for attaching lasers and illumination devices. It will also have modular swapable grips panels for the various hand sizes in the military.
The M17 or P320 can be field stripped very quickly including the removal of the trigger mechanism. I like this feature as I get crazy with I can’t reach the last bit of lint stuck in a “can’t go there” place. With some luck I may get assigned to do an article on the M17. We will see how I fare with my editors.
Safety Warning: Drop Test Failed
There have been some reports on various websites reporting the P320 or M17 the U.S. Department of Defense has adopted, if a round is in the chamber when dropped it will possibly discharge. Watch this YouTube video by Patric R. You must make your own decision on whether to carry the P320 or wait for a recall, unknown if coming, to have Sig fix.
Hey Clint; Don Lee. Is this a gun that will be available to the general public? If so, how hard would it be to get one since the DOD is ordering so many?
This Sig will be available to the public. However, due to its notoriety by winning the US military trials, the P320 will be sold at a premium. I could get a sample but I would be put on a long list. Keep an eye out for another author’s article on the P320 in a upcoming Gun World magazine.