Sig P320 pellet and BB pistol: Part 1
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Start with the package
- The pistol
- Many P320s — which one is this?
- Light rail
- CO2 cartridge
- Large handgun
- No disassembly
- Evaluation so far
Start with the package
When is a clamshell package not a clamshell package? Answer? When a Sig Sauer P320 pellet pistol comes inside! Guys, Sig has done the impossible. They have created a clamshell package that does not have to be cut apart to get the product out! What they give you is a cardboard box with a two-piece plastic case inside. It makes a transparent window that shows off your new Sig P320 pellet pistol, and, like other cardboard boxes, the gun can go back inside and be stored until you want it again. It’s reusable. They ought to get an award for this!
The Sig P320 pellet/BB pistol is a 30-round semiautomatic repeater that mimicks the new Sig 320 firearm the U.S. Army recently selected to replace the M9 pistol. In the world of firearms the 320 is making news because it is an inexpensive Sig pistol. Of course that’s relative, since most Sig sidearms are costly, but the 320 is hundreds less than the norm, and it is modular. Parts can be swapped to give a sidearm in different caliber and one with different ergonomics.
The Army will be getting theirs in 9mm, and now you can get yours in .177. Yes, I said .177 and this time I don’t mean just BBs. The Sig P320 is a real pellet pistol! A semiautomatic pellet pistol that has a blowback slide, a RIFLED barrel (yes, I checked), a 30-round belt-fed magazine (you’re going to love that!) and the same size and weight as the firearm. And, yes, it also does shoot BBs.
When was the last time I told you about a true semiautomatic PELLET pistol? Answer? Eleven years ago I reviewed the Desert Eagle pellet pistol. I called it the first pellet pistol with blowback. Is this the second one?
Many P320s — which one is this?
Sig has brought out a plethora of P320 pistols in various configurations for different tasks. I think the pellet pistol I am looking at is styled after the P320 Nitron Full Size, which is chambered in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. The pellet pistol is a full-sized handgun.
All the controls are in the correct place, but not everything works. The drop-free magazine works when the release button is pushed, but the disassembly lever doesn’t move. The safety switch is above the left grip and takes a stout push to engage and disengage.
The sights are fixed with two white dots inn the rear and a white dot in front. The rear notch is wide and the front post is wide and square. With strong lighting on the target I think I can do good work with these sights.
There is a Picatinny light rail cast into the front of the gun’s frame. That’s for your tactical lights and lasers. I had to pay several hundred dollars to get the same thing on my Wilson Combat CQB.
The trigger pull is strange. It’s a long pull that feels like single action, but it stacks near the end like a double action pull. It’s long and heavy for a single action pull but light for double action. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in the accuracy test.
The 30-shot magazine has 15 linked plastic pieces with two chambers in each piece. The owner’s manual calls them “seats.” To load you raise a cover on the back of the mag and just stuff pellets or BBs into each chamber as the belt is moved clockwise. You can load pellets and BBs in any order, without regard to each other. The BBs seem to be held in by friction and not by a magnet. I will watch how well this magazine works, because I have seen similar belt feeds in other airguns. Some work well while others hang up.
To install the CO2 cartridge you must remove the backstrap. On the P320, that’s an easy task. The backstrap comes off with a tug on the plastic that surrounds what would be the floorplate. The manual shows the magazine installed when this is done, and that does work, but I found that to put it back on, the magazine needed to be removed.
There is a folding screw tab to help you pierce the CO2 cartridge, yet it tucks out of the way when the grip strap is on the gun.
I just had to see how it felt, so I dry-fired it several times with a CO2 cartridge installed. The recoil is both quick and stout. It will be interesting to see what the shot count is, since it’s going up against the Desert Eagle that uses gas like a dragster!
The slide is solid. What would be the ejection port is just a cast window in the solid slide, and since nothing has to come out of the receiver, it works fine. If you jam a pellet or BB in the barrel, just remove the magazine to gain access to the breech. Then the jammed projectiles can be pushed back with a rod through the muzzle and dumped out the magazine well.
This is a large handgun — fully 1911-size, and the grip is even wider to hold the 17-shot double-stack magazine (in the 9mm firearm). I bet the firearm recoil in 9mm is almost nothing. I mention the size because some shooters have small hands and this would seem large.
You can forget disassembling the P320. It isn’t designed for that. And, at the retail price, you wouldn’t expect it to be.
Evaluation so far
The Sig P320 will be an exciting air pistol to test. It’s a semiautomatic pellet pistol that also fires steel BBs.There aren’t too many like it.
I remember touting the accuracy of the Desert Eagle for many years. Is thisa challenger? Perhaps. We shall all see.