by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- The test — 1
- Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
- Failure to feed
- Qiang Yuan Training pellets
- The breakthrough!
- The test — 2
- Back to 10 meters
- RWS Hobbys
- H&N Finale Match Light
Today we look at the accuracy of the Sig Sauer P320 pellet pistol with pellets. I will tell you right up front — this day went differently than I expected. I actually learned a lot about the pistol, but also about myself!
The test — 1
Normally with a pellet pistol I shoot off a rest at 10 meters. I shoot 10 shots per pellet and then measure the groups, just as I do when I test air rifles. That was what I started out to do with the P320, only things didn’t go as I anticipated.
Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
I thought I would begin with Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets, so 10 were loaded into the magazine belt. They fit the chambers very tight.
I started shooting at the test distance of 10 meters, because when I’m shooting with open sights they are usually on at that distance. Not this time!
I used the 6 o’clock hold that I always use when shooting at paper bullseye targets. That’s the bullseye sitting on top of the front sight, when the front sight is level with the top of the rear sight and centered in the notch. If the bullseye was a clock face, I would be shooting at 6 o’clock on the dial. However the first shot didn’t hit the paper.
The cardboard backer behind the target seemed to have a new hole that was aligned with the center of the bull and about 4 inches below the aim point, so I stopped shooting. I moved up to 12 feet from the target and fired shot number 2. This time I aimed high and the pellet went to the point of aim, which perplexed me. The pistol was hitting right at the aim point. Twelve feet is hardly far enough for testing pellets, so I went back to 10 meters again and used an old Elmer Keith trick of holding the front sight high in the rear notch, and still using a 6 o’clock hold. When you shoot a 1911 pistol at 100 yards, that’s the sight picture you use.
The pellets all landed on target, but not in a great group. That was due to the lack of precision in the aiming — not the pistol’s fault.
It was time to experiment, so I did. And I decided to forgo the 10-shot groups. I tried Falcon domed pellets next, but they sprayed all over the place. That led me to think maybe the P320 wants heavier pellets. So I tried some RWS Superdomes. They were better, but still not good.
Failure to feed
There were some failures to feed with the Superdomes. The belt simply did not advance. The pellet wasn’t sticking out of the belt, either in the front or the back, but I decided to try another pellet.
Qiang Yuan Training pellets
I tried Qiang Yuan Training pellets next. They weigh 8.2 grains, so I thought they would be heavier and perhaps shoot higher (didn’t really know that for sure — it was just a guess), plus, after the failure to feed with the Superdome pellets, I wanted to get back to wadcutters.
When I loaded 5 Qiang Yuan pellets into the belt I discovered 3 Superdomes were still there. The belt had stopped advancing again. I left them where they were and just loaded 5 more pellets behind them. I decided to move up to 12 feet from the target and just shoot the entire magazine rapidly. And that’s when I discovered how the Sig P320 pellet pistol wants to work. Yes, I was only 12 feet from the target, but it seemed like every pellet wanted to go where I aimed! The three Superdomes went into the black where I was holding (center of the bullseye) and the 5 Chinese wadcutters followed right along. The 8 shots fired rapidly from 12 feet with two different pellets went into a group that’s about 2-inches across, measured on the outside.
The test — 2
The Sig P320 is a fast double action pistol, so I decided to test it that way instead of like a target pistol. I still shot at paper targets to get a record of where the pellets hit, but the accent was off of target shooting and on to hitting what I was shooting at! I’m not going to measure these groups to the thousandth of an inch because that doesn’t make sense.
Back to 10 meters
I now knew a couple things. First, the P320 wants to be aimed at the center of the target — not at 6 o’clock. That should make some readers who don’t care for target shooting very happy. It is also very much in-keeping with a double action trigger pull.
Next, I had discovered that the trigger, while double action only, is very controllable. Few people can shoot as accurately double action as they can single action, but a good DAO trigger does help things. I have a Glock 36 in .45 ACP that came from the factory with a mediocre (long and creepy) trigger, but I had it upgraded with an aftermarket kit that made it very nice. The trigger became both lighter and smoother. I can shoot groups at close range (out to 15 yards) that are quite respectable. This Sig P320 trigger is at least as good as the upgraded one on my Glock, and I find it easy to shoot.
So, five shots from 10 meters with the Qiang Yuan training pellets went into 2.6 inches — measured across the outside of the widest holes. They are a little to the left of center, but that’s me — a right-handed shooter — squeezing off the shots and pulling the gun to the left just a little. That’s common with right-handed shooters. Southpaws go the other way when they shoot with one hand as I do.
The next pellet I tried was the RWS Hobby. Five of them went into 2.1 inches at 10 meters. Again, they are a little left of center, which is me shooting double action and not the pistol.
H&N Finale Match Light
The last pellet I tried was the H&N Finale Match Light wadcutter. Now that I knew where to aim (center of the bull) there was no problem keeping these on the bull or close to it. Five pellets went into 2.2-inches, and this time there were a little closer to the centerline. That’s not because this pellet is better — it’s me, learning how to shoot double action again.
If you paid attention, all three 5-shot groups in today’s test are in the 2-2.5-inch range. That shows the pistol is consistent and in today’s report it’s the shooter who needs more practice.
The Sig P320 pistol is a pleasure to shoot. I would recommend shooting pellets if you want to shoot at 30-50 feet. This is not a paper puncher. It’s for rolling a soda can around the yard as fast as you pull the trigger.
In this test you can see that I am improving my groups as I shoot. Double action is not easy — especially if you are used to great single action triggers with crisp let-offs. But the training value should not be underestimated. Even with a pellet gun, you are learning trigger control, so when you get back to your Sig firearm, it will seem a little easier.
I like the blowback on this pistol. It feels realistic, yet it didn’t cause any problems with accuracy.
The 30-round belt magazine works very well. Until today it never failed to feed, so pay attention to which pellet you shoot and there shouldn’t be a problem.
The trigger is the strongest feature of the pistol. You would pay a lot to get a firearm trigger as good as this one.