Is the Sig Sauer P320 Handgun Safe to Carry, or Can it Fire on its Own?

Back in 2014, Sig Sauer released their 9mm P320 handgun with outstanding success, even earning a United States military contract to replace the Beretta M9 service pistol in 2017. However, since 2017, people have questioned if the P320 has an inherent design flaw that makes the gun unsafe.

9mm p320 from Sig Sauer

Trouble With the P320 —

Is the P320 Drop Safe?

The issues started when people reported the P320 could discharge if the back of the slide struck the ground at a certain angle after it dropped from a minimum height. Here is a post we published back in 2017 discussing the drop-fire safety issue.

Sig didn't release a mandatory safety recall after the issue came to light. Instead, they let P320 owners send their guns into Sig to receive a “voluntarily trigger upgrade”. Sig defended this by pointing to the fact that the P320 passed all the same drop-safe testing standards, and it's possible that any gun could fail in the same way as the P320 because manufacturers don't test any gun under the specifics that caused the gun to discharge. All P320s produced now have the “upgrade”.

Despite the upgrade and explanation, many in the industry didn't like how Sig Sauer handled the situation. Some even claimed Sig Sauer was selling handguns with known reliability issues, essentially ‘beta testing' their designs on the public. I'm not saying I agree with that sentiment, but the handling of the drop-safety issue probably didn't earn the company any favor.

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Can the P320 Fire on its Own?

Then, in 2018, reports surfaced stating that P320s discharged on their own, without being dropped. Some reports came from law enforcement officers who stated their P320 discharged without trigger manipulation and while inside their duty holster. Others came from civilians who claim their P320s discharged with no physical trigger manipulation.

Because of the reports, some police departments no longer allow officers to carry the P320 for duty. Just as you could imagine, the discharges led to several lawsuits. Earlier this year, a judge ruled on a class action lawsuit brought by plaintiffs who claim their P320 is unsafe and Sig knew it. Sig asked the court to dismiss the case, but the judge riled against Sig Sauer, meaning the case continues.

Sig Sauer p320

Here is a recent account from a competitive shooter with a YouTube channel called Gungis_Khan. In his video, he states his P320 discharged with nothing interacting with the trigger during a competition. Others at the competition witnessed the discharge and could attest that the gun didn't fire because of user error, and no object interacted with the trigger to make it fire.

Just recently, the Milwaukee Police Department announced they were moving from the P32d0 for duty firearms. They say the reason is due to 3 unintended discharges of holstered P320s.

As far as I can find, some guns that “fired on their own” had the upgraded trigger, and some did not. I have found no instances where someone had installed an aftermarket trigger or done any modification to the gun's internals.

The Other Side of the Story —

The other side of the story is equally intriguing. Regarding P320s randomly discharging, it's difficult to say if they are all cases of mechanical, design, or human/user error?

While there are certain people who've stopped trusting the P320 design, there are many who've studied the gun and not only trust it, but say it is one of, if not the safest design out there. A pretty smart dude in Canada created a YouTube channel called Sig Mechanics. Sig doesn’t employ him and he doesn’t receive money from Sig. The guy just posts well-done videos explaining the design, safety features, and how to really understand the workings of the P320.

How then, are people so divided on something that would seem straightforward?

Well, if you watch the extensive explanation of the P320's safety features in several of Sig Mechanics' videos, you might wonder how it’s even possible that a P320 could fire with no trigger manipulation.

What is Going On—

There is a lot more invested in sorting this out than just winning some MEME war on social media.

First, there is the safety issue. If there is a safety issue inherent to the P320 design, we need to know. Not only for the individual carrying the gun, but for folks like me who write to an audience and make recommendations on different firearms.

We also need to know if this issue crosses over to any other similarly designed guns, like super-popular Sig P365.

Could this be an issue with quality control, where some guns have defective parts? Possibly. In the recent video from Gunghis_Khan, he mentioned he sent the P320 back to Sig to look at. According to Khan, Sig said a “defective firing pin return spring” caused the unexpected discharge.

Now this is just according to what Khan said in the video. Could it be a customer service rep sent a generic response to Khan? Possibly, but considering the ongoing legal case, I bet high-level employees handle any P320 issues like the one Khan reported.

For the same reason, I find it strange that Sig would essentially admit that a component in a relatively new P320 caused it to fire without pressing the trigger. Especially because understanding how the P320 operates would seem to eliminate a defective firing pin return spring from allowing the gun to fire on its own.

I'm not saying anyone is lying, just that even with this latest account, from the outside, it's tough to determine what is really happening.

So is the P320 Safe to Carry—

I don't know enough to say the gun has major design flaws that make it unsafe. I can only say there are too many claims of rogue P320s to ignore outright. Some claims are likely user error, or people trying to make some money at Sig Sauer's expense. But all of them? Probably not.

I don't carry a P320 but know many well-informed people who still trust the P320 design. Several of these guys are intimately acquainted with the P320 and find the design trustworthy.

If the current lawsuit gets resolved without a non-disclosure agreement, maybe we will finally get to see sworn affidavits from both the plaintiffs and Sig Sauer representatives. These discoveries may finally shed light on what is really going on.

Do you carry a P320? Have the reports of P320s firing on their own made you change to a different every day carry (EDC) handgun, or do you trust the P320? Let's hear about it in the comments.

About Matthew Maruster

I follow my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who is the eternal co-equal Son of God. I currently live in Columbus, Ohio with my wife and daughter. I served in the Marine Corps Infantry. I was a Staff Sergeant and served as a Platoon Sergeant during combat in Iraq. After I was a police officer at a municipal agency in San Diego County. I have a Bachelors's Degree in Criminal Justice from National University. MJ Maruster Defense.


  1. Billy Miller on October 26, 2022 at 4:53 pm

    I would like to listen to a podcast on this issue with Riley interviewing Bruce Gray.
    Bruce knows this pistol, inside and out, better than anyone.
    Bruce could dispel many of the myths.

    • Bob Bonenfant on November 1, 2022 at 9:36 am

      I own a XFive version of the 320. I trust the gun complrtely. I am also quite certain SIG would not continue the design if thousands of the pistols were in user hands with a major design flaw..

    • Schilich Pred on December 6, 2022 at 3:44 am

      This gun is UNSAFE.

      • Perry Burrow on December 19, 2022 at 12:45 pm

        Do you own one? What is your experience to make a comment?

        • Mark Brestel on April 13, 2023 at 6:28 pm

          I am an old guy and I would never own a striker fired gun. I need to see where the hammer is at all times. In my day it was taught that if you dropped a gun, any gun, and it had a round in the chamber it was likely to go off. I know modern guns are much safer in this aspect. Now this may mean I don’t have a dog in this fight., but I would like to point out how some companies handle problems such as this. Remember the Ford Pinto that exploded in flames when it was hit from behind. My understanding is they had a big meeting ran the numbers and decided it would cost more to recall then to pay out law suits. So they did not recall the fuel tank issue. I hope I am wrong and no one else gets hurt.

          • Sailorcurt on April 20, 2023 at 1:22 pm

            Interesting that you picked the Exploding Pinto urban myth to support your thesis.

            The fact is that, although any car may burst into flames when struck hard enough to crack open the fuel tank, and the fact that older, smaller cars are more vulnerable to this than larger and more modern designs, the fact is that the Pinto was no more prone to this type of failure than any other vehicle design of the time.

            So how did this myth become “common knowledge”? Easy, our media didn’t wake up a few years ago and decide to start spreading misinformation, they’ve been at it for decades. The liberal outlet Mother Jones started the ball rolling by making an unsupported claim that 800 people had died in such Pinto crashes. 60 minutes quickly followed up by inflating those numbers even more. Both were wrong. The actual number of deaths of this type recorded by the NHTSA during the period in question was…27. Considering how many Pintos were on the road at the time, statistically speaking, they were safer than many other small cars of the era including the Vega, the Pacer and the B210.

            So, after Mother Jones and 60 minutes started the craze, 20/20 got into the act by airing a video of a Pinto being hit in the rear and bursting into flames. What they didn’t mention is that the video was shot by researchers trying to determine what kind of interior damage is caused by fuel tank fires…and that they’d had to intentionally rig the car with an incendiary device because they’d tried multiple times to get it to ignite just from a rear end collision and failed every time…they just ended up with a bunch of wrecked cars.

            So, in summary, I find it extremely fitting that this was the example you chose to illustrate your distrust in the P320.

            Personally, I’m not buying it. The first excuse everyone after a negligent discharge is “it just went off on its own”. There are plenty of videos out there breaking down exactly how the P320 works and how it is frankly impossible for them to go off on their own short of a mechanical failure. Until someone can show me specifically how the design is failing and allowing these guns to go off on their own, I’m taking it with a huge train of salt.

          • j on May 3, 2023 at 9:03 pm

            look at pick up trucks with in cab gas tanks. The manufacturers did the math it was cheaper to 100,000 for every dead person than to change the design.

          • Jim on May 27, 2023 at 3:05 pm

            It’s not about the gun going off while dropped.. but rather it being in a holster and randomly going off. That is the issue. I love the 320.. but I got rid of it after this started. Too many reports to ignore.

            Besides that, it’s unacceptable for any gun to go off while dropped. It’s also unacceptable for a gun to be dropped also.

            I have owned Hamer fired weapons and I can attest that those hammers can also fail.

        • Brett Timothy on July 30, 2023 at 1:58 pm

          I’ve been carrying my m18 for over a year now only upgrade is a wilson combat grip module and Leopold DPP shoots like a champ never once has gone off without trigger pull maybe I’m lucky who knows but love the gun and will continue to be edc

        • dave on August 4, 2023 at 6:36 pm

          no proof just repeating what other incompetent guns owners said

          • Laura Heddin on January 27, 2024 at 4:48 pm

            How do you know this to be true? Do you own and carry one that has fired without trigger manipulation? Do you know, firsthand, someone that had that happen to themf?
            I have carried a P320 for 8 years and have NEVER had a problem with it. My husband has carried one for 10 years with no problem. We still trust Sig Sauer 100%.

    • Steve Gill on April 11, 2023 at 8:56 am

      I would not carry an Sig P320. Lack of a trigger safety and a striker block is a no-go for me. Also, any striker fire gun I would carry will have some take-up before hitting the wall. Take-up just helps in an inadvertent discharge and has no effect on follow-up for self-defense. There are lots of great triggers out there with trigger safeties. Why SIG is so adamant about not having one, I do not understand. The only handguns not needing one are ones with a grip safety or DA/SA action.
      My motto – Safety first. I don’t want any accidental discharges, and I don’t ever want to shoot the wrong person or myself. This is my opinion, not everyone will agree.

      • Craig on April 13, 2023 at 1:00 pm

        The P320 has a striker block, like every other modern striker fired gun does. It doesn’t have a trigger “dingus” like Glock and the others have.

      • Tony Moore on June 17, 2023 at 8:36 am

        Sig’s M17 and M18’s have safeties and I googled a safety switch for my P320 XTEN and found a kit for $200. The kit is supposed to work for all calibers. I don’t know why SigSauer doesn’t offer a manual safety on all of their 320 series pistols. I know that many people don’t want a safety on their pistols. I am one of those people who like having a safety on every pistol. If you train with it, the safety shouldn’t be an issue. Regardless, I wish Sig would offer this option.

        I own several Sigs and Glocks. All of my guns are loaded at all times and when I handle them, I always treat them as if they could go off at any time. Steve is right…safety first. I did a lot of reading about the safest way to store and or carry my Sig 1911 style 10mm. I opted for a holster with a strap that goes between the hammer and the firing pin. I bought a P365 Macro when they first came out and I added a safety.

        In my opinion, the P320 pistols are the most ergonomic of any guns I own. My wife has small hands and the 320’s are her favorites. I watch network news but have no interest in cable “news”, which is just entertainment. It is a fact that the 320’s have inexplicably discharged. I’m not getting rid of my SigSauer 320’s, but I won’t ignore the facts and I look forward to an unbiased report on what the actual cause is/was. In the meantime, I will continue to add a safety switch to my Sigs and hope that nobody gets hurt or killed by one.

  2. Michael Nistler on October 26, 2022 at 10:11 pm

    Folks interested in a recent development on this topic will want to follow this latest incident…

    “My Sig P320 fired on its own in the holster and tried to shoot me! (P320 X-Five)”

    • Matthew Maruster on October 27, 2022 at 6:47 am

      Michael the video you reference is the same one from Gunghis Khan I mention in the post.

      • Matt on November 8, 2022 at 6:49 pm

        Just a heads up, the Gunghis Kahn video failed to mention that his incident occurred in 2019.

  3. James B on October 27, 2022 at 9:53 am

    I have several 320’s and since I carry aiwb for my edc I have stopped carrying them and now carry my SS MR920’s only. I may go back to the sig since I do shoot better with them but still on the fence.

    • KAtt on April 13, 2023 at 9:50 am

      Currious as to the differences between the sig 226 and the 320. If you’ve experience with the former.
      I fall on the Beretta side of the fence anyway so I’m currious to hear a sig carrier’s point of view.

      • JTHAz on August 22, 2023 at 9:21 am

        This is a simple one, the P226 is a hammer fired pistol, so you can keep your thumb on hammer when reholstering, the P320 is striker fired, i.e. no external hammer.

  4. Bill Crisafulli on October 27, 2022 at 11:40 pm

    Could this be an analogous situation to the Toyota Sudden Acceleration? It kind of has that feel. After all was said and done, no flaw was found and all evidence pointed to misapplication of the accelerator or an issue with the mat/accelerator interface.

    • Jon on November 9, 2022 at 5:40 am

      I have appendix carried a glock for years or in recent the Shadow systems MR920. Great guns. I saw the sig p320 spectre and thought it was great with a great trigger. But if there is the slightest doubt then I can’t carry it. What I am doing is unloading and racking the slide and carrying it around to see if it ever fails. That way it will not fire. I don’t do this in situations where i may need it. I will carry it, put it in my back pack. Anywhere it can get jostled around. Each week I check to see if the trigger has pressed. May prove nothing but for now it is a range gun.

  5. Luke Nordvick on October 28, 2022 at 9:26 am

    I believe nothing in the recent video. He claims the gun went off right after holstering and bringing his hand up to the ready position. I bet his hands were moving up extra fast after he pressed the trigger and the gun went off.

  6. jays133 on October 28, 2022 at 9:24 pm

    I have an early P320 and when the drop issue arose originally I decided to not cary it. It sits in my safe because I don’t shoot it and I do not want to sell it to someone else if there truly is a problem and put them at risk. SIG would have been best served to recall them all at the beginning of this and replace after corrections were made. Now I have switched over to Glock.

    • Clark Kent on November 6, 2022 at 10:12 pm

      So you are unaware of the recall?

    • Dan collins on March 13, 2023 at 1:37 pm

      Jay I agree. I really want the new 10mm SIg has. But I would worry all the time I carried it. So glockenspiel 20 or 40.

  7. Joe Shahoud on October 31, 2022 at 3:26 pm

    Matthew, I have carried the p320 exclusively for years. I love this pistol; it’s practically part of me. Upgraded to the RXP last year. Never had an issue. Heck, I ran close to a 1000 rounds through the RXP at the Guardian Conference this year and the same through the Compact last year. Never an issue. Have heard this stuff before and paid little attention to it since mine were all the “newer” version. That said, I’d be lying if I said your article didn’t grab my attention. I honestly don’t know where I stand now. I’m probably right where I have been all this time with a little bit of hesitation mixed in. I still love the pistol. Always will.

    • Matthew Maruster on November 1, 2022 at 6:50 am

      I’m happy the article was interesting and thought provoking, but my intent wasn’t to persuade anyone against carrying or trusting the P320. I just hope the lawsuit produces some non-biased info that can put the whole thing to rest. It was good seeing you at the conference 🙂

      • Brett on April 1, 2023 at 6:51 pm

        Very well said. I own a P320 Full Size with the voluntary upgrade done to it. Now I hear about this new batch of accidental discharges and it’s confusing the shit out of me. For one, what are the chances that Sig has has a problem, fixes the problem with a high probability of correct operation, and then a similar discharging problem happens AGAIN. I just don’t know about this something smells wrong, or it really could be that bad of luck.

  8. Rick on November 1, 2022 at 8:38 am

    Thank you for the article. I own a P320 and had an inadvertent discharge while holstering. I sent the gun back to Sig to be checked and they returned stating it was okay. I suspect my shirt got between the gun and the holster and caught on the trigger. I have since changed my holster to get some distance away from my body and lower the gun in the holster so I can visually ensure the gun is clear of obstacles.

  9. Chad H. on November 1, 2022 at 9:01 am

    I have carried and competed with the P320 for a couple of years now. Several people I shoot with regularly also compete with and carry the P320. Now, I know that’s a small sample size, but none of them have had an incident.

    When I became aware of the supposed issue with the P320, I started doing research on the safety mechanisms designed into the pistol.

    First, let’s talk about the firing pin block. If by some miracle of science, the first and second failsafes stopping the sear from releasing fail, the firing pin cannot hit the primer unless the trigger is pulled. There is a plunger that gets depressed when the trigger is pulled that moves the firing pin block out of the way. If you don’t pull the trigger, the P320 CANNOT FIRE. Period. End of story. We’ve all heard “trust the science” and in this case, it’s true. Physics don’t lie. The striker spring is simply not powerful enough to get past the firing pin block.

    Now lets talk about how the sear is designed and how it has a primary position and a failsafe position. Should the sear become worn and slip off, there is a second position that will catch it before the striker is moved forward. So even if the sear fails…the gun PHYSICALLY CAN’T GO OFF.

    All the safety features I’m referring to apply to a OEM bone stock pistol. If someone starts reducing the trigger pull weight with aftermarket kits…is it possible for the gun to fire “on it’s own”. No. The trigger would still need to be moved rearward…but it would take much less force…which many shooters consider a “good trigger”.

    Most modern guns (sans some dedicated competition guns) have a firing pin/striker block. In all cases…the trigger MUST BE moved rearward to push the firing pin block out of the way. I don’t care what gun you are shooting. Glock, Walther, Sig, S&W, etc…they all have that firing pin block.

    Just like most things spread around the internet, a few minutes of actual research (not just watching some videos) will empower you with knowledge. I’ve inspected my own pistols after researching the safety mechanisms in the P320. I’ve pulled the FCU out and attached the slide and watched them function. I’ve tried to force the gun to fire without pulling the trigger.

    I’m satisfied that Sig has designed an extremely safe pistol and have one on my hip as I type this.

    • Matthew Maruster on November 1, 2022 at 9:24 am

      Thank you for the comment and info. I won’t assume you’re saying the article is based off of a few youtube videos. But, I want to make it clear that this phenomenon is documented in more than a few videos or social media hearsay, and to the extent not seen in other firearms in similar usage. For example, I’ve contacted law enforcement PIOs and received their ‘official statements’ on their agency incident(s). Again, I haven’t said what the cause of the problem is, I don’t know enough (nobody does). But again, in my opinion, there is too much to blame every incident on user error.

      • Sailorcurt on April 27, 2023 at 12:55 pm

        I don’t doubt your reporting, I doubt the veracity of the information the reporting is based on.

        The cops involved in the lawsuits can claim “the gun just went off” all they want. I don’t buy it. I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one or two of the claimants were flat lying. They pulled the trigger, they know the pulled the trigger, they just don’t want to admit to negligently handling their firearm.

        It also wouldn’t surprise me if at least one or two of them had their finger against the trigger while holstering without even realizing it. In my experience, many (if not most) city cops didn’t grow up around guns and aren’t avid shooters. They do their qualification shoots once or twice a year and that’s all they’re interested in. As an NRA instructor with 20 years of experience I can say that the most difficult thing to teach an inexperienced shooter is to keep the booger hook off the bang switch. The trigger just seems to be the instinctive place to put that index finger and you have to really train yourself not to do that.

        Another possibility is, as someone else mentioned in this thread, something was caught in the trigger as they holstered: shirt tail, loose strap on their equipment belt, even the drawstring on the bottom of a windbreaker could do it. They may not have even realized anything was there but with any firearm with no external mechanical safety, that’s a concern.

        Again, as I said before and as with Chad H’s analysis above, I’ve seen videos from gunsmiths and other experts who disassembled the P320, explained exactly how the safety mechanisms involved work, and demonstrated to my satisfaction that claims of the P320 being unsafe are implausible at best.

        I’m not from Missouri, but in this particular case, I’ve got to fall back on their attitude: “show me”. If this is something endemic to the design, surely there’s an engineer somewhere in the world that can determine what’s going on and demonstrate it.

        BTW: I own a P320 and I like it, but but I don’t carry it and I’m not a “fanboy”; it’s a range gun for me. I like something smaller and more concealable for my carry gun (A Ruger LC9 currently), so my reluctance to buy into this story is not based on some emotional bond or resistance to changing my habits. I just don’t find it plausible.

    • J on November 2, 2022 at 3:43 am

      Amen, Chad!! Watch the Sig science guy videos from Canada. There are too many failsafes and simple laws of physics, safety backups in place on the p320. It can NOT fire on its own without human interdiction. It is physically and mechanically impossible.

    • Zebediah S on December 4, 2022 at 9:14 pm

      “There is a plunger that gets depressed when the trigger is pulled that moves the firing pin block out of the way. If you don’t pull the trigger, the P320 CANNOT FIRE. Period. End of story.”
      How do you know that the plunger goes back to re-block the firing pin after the gun is fired? Isn’t it spring loaded? Couldn’t it get clogged up with dirt and fail to return to the safe position? Physics don’t lie. But sometimes mechanical parts fail to operate as intended.
      No, I don’t know if this is the case here. But your certainty that “physics don’t lie” doesn’t take into account the fact that the design may or may not be robust enough to continue to be safe after a certain amount of wear or dirt get into the system. And we all know that sometimes our guns aren’t quite as clean as we’d like them to be. And that plunger and spring are sitting in a place that’s really hard to see and clean.

    • J on April 8, 2023 at 3:37 am

      Guns just don’t randomly go off on their own. I guarantee that 100% of these lawsuit cases are people lying about their own negligence and not wanting to admit it. It is PHYSICALLY AND MECHANICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for ANY gun to fire without the trigger being pressed. This whole ridiculousness with the p320 is stupid. I have one, carry it appendix, it never fires without me pulling the trigger. Don’t mishandle your gun or be stupid with it and it won’t go off.

      • Stanford Guillory on April 11, 2023 at 11:53 am

        Not crapping on your answer J, but that is a pretty worthless guarantee, kind of like the one in Tommy Boy. Are you going to help Sig compensate the victims if you are wrong? Then what exactly are you “guaranteeing”?

        Full disclosure: Own two P320’s and have never had an issue with them.

    • dave on August 4, 2023 at 6:43 pm

      well said.

  10. Mark Sievers on November 1, 2022 at 11:31 pm

    I have competed in IDPA for several years with my Sig X5 and have about 30k rounds through it between competition and practice. I have a Sig P320C as my duty gun that I have been carrying for about 2 years and have about 4k rounds through. I have a P365 as my EDC and have about 2k rounds through. I’ve never had an issue with any of them.

  11. Charles Darling on November 27, 2022 at 8:36 am

    I’ve been wondering if this could be an ammunition issue more than a gun issue. I’ve been asking if multiple “light”primer strikes can eventually lead to an unintended discharge. There seems to be significant agreement that a second full primer strike will fire a round when the first strike failed. Not so different? If a primer has been bumped lightly 20 or 30 time’s, might it go off with an additional small tap? It would explain a lot. I try to routinely rotate the carry round out of the chamber of my firearm because I worry.

    • D.K. on January 15, 2023 at 8:09 am

      My 320 jumped out of my holster ran and took cover and started firing at me. When it ran out of ammo I recovered it and to this day I continue to scold my Sig severely about its conduct.

  12. Steven S. Palmer on December 6, 2022 at 6:54 am

    Sadly, the articles, reports of lawsuits, videos, etc…leave “reasonable doubt”. As a retired Marine Corps officer, I have tried to research Armed Forces reviews of problems…can’t seem to find any. That alone would make me “reasonably confident” in the firearm. Question is…is “reasonably confident” enough when dealing with a tool capable of deadly results? It would seem to me, the prudent man would wait this one out. I’m a Sig proponent but will err on the side of safety.

  13. Dennis Schiavone on December 6, 2022 at 3:54 pm

    I carry my p320 in a shoulder rig. My worst scenario is being in public out church, and having a round discharge. It’s now an expensive paperweight because it’s not worth the risk. This sucks. I loved my p320

  14. David Webb on December 9, 2022 at 10:10 am

    I own P320 compact 40 cal and have carried it for 3-4 years. I always have a round in the chamber. It has never discharged on its own without me pulling the trigger.

  15. John Vanek on December 9, 2022 at 11:23 am

    The challenge in determining the truth is (among other things) we don’t know exactly which models of the P320 had the “u/d,” their date of manufacture, their condition of maintenance (were they clean, a little dirty, a lot dirty), the environmental conditions at the time, the other clothing / equipment being worn or used by the shooter, the make and model of holsters… the list goes on. Sadly, we Sig owners will likely never know all the details.

    I’m retired LE and carried the original P228 9mm for 20 plus years. I’ll bet I have 80k rounds through that pistol. I also spent many years as an instructor and four years – full time – as an armorer inspecting service pistols (mostly Sigs as the P226 was the issued oistol) and other weapons. From experience I also know how lack of cleanliness (and other of the issues mentioned above) can effect firearm operation, especially in all areas of the FCU (for Sig) and the striker/internal safety areas of other weapons. I moved to the P320 X Compact 18 months ago. I love it! That said, I’m pouring over everything I can find in this issue. (While simply “playing the odds” is not a good justification where major injury or death is a possibility, knowing there are a reported half-million P320s sold in the U.S. also needs to be taken into account.)

    Your article is well-balanced and useful. Thanks for sharing.

    • John Ashlock on December 12, 2022 at 9:25 am

      I have a friend that has an Sig 320 M18 and no where in all the articles does it specify if M17 or M18 are involved in this issue?

      Can you verify if they are?

      I have talked to hime about the issue but we can’t find answer.

      Thanks, John

  16. Mike on December 16, 2022 at 8:32 am

    There was NO recall. There was a voluntary upgradr program. EXTREME difference.

  17. Jon on January 4, 2023 at 12:48 pm

    I own a Sig P320 Spectre. Beautiful gun. Shoots really good. Most of my experience has been with Glock and over the last year or so the Shadow Systems MR920. I train a lot and wanted to experience a new pistol and the 320 was the gun I chose. I have no idea if it will go off on its own or not. Maybe something in the holster is the issue. But I appendix carry and I have chosen to stay with a Glock or a variation of. Maybe a trigger safety is the solution, I have no idea. Maybe the gun is safe but when it comes to a fire arm unless you are 100% confident in it then you are better off carrying something else. I only have one other thought though. If the gun is unsafe surely someone would by now would have shot their private area off. All I’m saying is why has the gun only gone off on side carry outside the waist band holsters? Or am I incorrect about that?

    • Cooter Molot on January 6, 2023 at 10:43 am

      The black base model is the only one doing it supposedly

  18. Harry on January 13, 2023 at 7:58 am

    Matt- I just recently bought a P320 X-compact (3.6″ barrel). Has there been any instances of discharge with this model? It looks to me a lot of instances have been with the X5 or other full size models carried by law enforcement.

    • Matthew Maruster on January 13, 2023 at 2:10 pm

      Hey Harry, I am sorry I don’t know for sure the barrel length in every supposed incident. The ones where it can be presumed or clearly been reported don’t seem to include the 3.6″ barrel, but I am not confident enough to say that they aren’t involved in any. If there is some design issue, it seems like it would be an issue in the FCU and barrel length wouldn’t play a role. But since there is a lot of speculation, I am not comfortable speaking with absolute confidence on what could or couldn’t be the issue or if there is for sure a mechanical issue. I really wish for the sake of safety, all the information comes out and people can make an informed decision.

    • JOHN on January 27, 2023 at 9:24 pm

      My son has a Sig 320 compact in 45acp. He just texted me that it went off when he played it on the passenger seat and put a hole on the passenger door. He bought it new a couple months ago.

  19. Randy Jackson on January 17, 2023 at 9:45 am

    I have been looking at buying a Springfield EMP 4″ for a year or more, but when Sig offered the P210 Carry, I began to desperately want one, in spite of the difference in price. I have been squirreling away to buy one or the other, deciding to wait until I am ready to buy before making my final choice.
    But with this issue, I am now leaning more to the EMP. Yes, I understand this issue, if real, is with the P320. As far as I have heard, no other Sig line is having such accusations.
    Still and all, the issue adds to the price difference and is swaying me away from Sig. It is a shame. I think I would have loved the P210 Carry.
    Maththew, thank you very much for an excellent, objective, and fair article. Appreciate it.

    • Matthew Maruster on January 17, 2023 at 9:52 am

      Thank you very much sir. This is an issue that I’m not trying to influence people’s opinions on. Just want to present info in a fair manner and let people decide for themselves. Thanks again for reading and a thoughtful response.

  20. Ron Strobel on January 24, 2023 at 10:33 am

    I can tell you from personal experience that the P320 gun is unsafe. I carried the P320 45 carry in a Kydex holster. I was sitting on my couch in the living room watching television, and out of nowhere, the gun discharged. I sent my gun into Sig, and they claimed nothing was wrong with it. This is now a worthless paperweight. My son was in the basement playing video games; I was lucky the bullet did not strike him.

  21. L.R. Elbon on January 24, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    I own several p320s in all sizes and variations like the m18, x carry, compact, full size, macro and 365 xl. I personally have had ZERO issues with any. My police agency also has them as duty weapons and non of them have had any unwanted discharges. I like Sig and I trust the math. It was previously stated the only issues that keep being reported are owb and hip placed discharges. I could be holster issues or a trigger snag with clothing which could happen to any pistol. So in my opinion, if you like Sig continue to buy them and trust the product. If you don’t like Sig and don’t trust them, don’t buy the product. Don’t bash someone who does. Because if it was this big of an issue hundreds of thousands of sig would’ve discharged on their own by now. This was a good article, I liked to see how this gun ticks it was informal and educational.

  22. Dapper Detective on February 9, 2023 at 8:44 pm

    My SIG P320 has been loaded constantly for the past four or so years either in my duty holster (multiple variations of the Safariland 7TS series) or in one of my off-duty holsters (a Phlster IWB holster or a Milt Sparks Versamax 2), and it has yet to accidentally discharge. My P320 has been subjected to foot pursuits, a traffic collision (rear-ended by a car at approximately 25 miles per hour), and high altitude on a commercial flight while being carried on an out-of-state prisoner extradition: still no discharges. That’s just my experience. Not to diminish anyone else’s experiences, but I will continue to carry my loaded P320 and gladly edit my comment should anything change during my “ongoing experiment”.

  23. Ray McKelvey on March 1, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    I have a recently purchased WCP320, Wilson Combat version. I find it hard to believe Wilson Combat would put a handgun out there if they had any concern whatsoever, and I trust WC.

    • Miles on May 5, 2023 at 9:35 am

      I’ve had my WCP320 for just over a year I’ve put 5000 rounds through it without any failure. I appreciate your comment, I completely trust Bill Wilson and his crew I can’t believe they would make a build that isn’t reliable.

  24. RAY HARVEY on March 29, 2023 at 11:02 pm

    I just bought a sig p320-m17. Can someone tell me if the the accidental discharges were with the safety on or off?

  25. Christopher Manhoff on April 5, 2023 at 9:51 pm

    I just took a look at the P320 today since I’m looking for a full-size 9mm. I have always loved Sig build quality and figured this would be my final choice. I knew about the upgrade program but figured it was a one-off that had been addressed. Then I come home to do more research and read that yet another class-action lawsuit was filed just last week (March 27, 2023) about the unintentional firing issue that included LEOs and combat vets in the list of plaintiffs. And many more reports from police departments with the same complaint.

    Is there a real problem here? I don’t know yet and that is part of my concern. Sig hasn’t done itself any favors with their lackadaisical response in both cases and I’d want responsible gun manufacturers to address these issues forthrightly and with transparency.

    Also, the problem has occurred so many times with LEOs and ex-military (who are likely to be more diligent in maintaining their firearms and in gun safety practices) that I’m scratching it off the list for now.

    Like almost all gun owners, I’m committed to handling firearms responsibly. I don’t care if it can drive tacks at 200 yards; it needs to fire when I need it to and ONLY when I need it to. If I can’t feel confident in that, I’m not going to use it. So…I’m looking at M&P 2.0 and Glock 17 now.

    Very disappointing. 😕

  26. Joshua N on April 19, 2023 at 8:43 am

    I have three P320, M17, Xcarry and Xcompact specter,My favorite is specter. None of the three P320 had any issues, but my current EDC is P229 DA/SA.

  27. OldSaltUSNR on May 22, 2023 at 10:34 pm

    First logical question I ask in complex situations is, “Who benefits?” The problem with this whole SIG-fires-on-it’s-own issue is that MANY will financially benefit if SIG loses ANY of the lawsuits. It is difficult to trust anyone’s “facts”, including the sincere testimony of someone who commented in this thread that he personally experienced his SIG discharged while static, in the holster.

    We’ve also seen that the “law” is no longer governed by logic, and Constitutional justice, but upon something called “lawfare”. One can be in the right, can win the argument, and still lose the case due to a tainted jury, activist lawyers, and/or activists Judges. Filing these lawsuits is a low risk, relative low cost, and very high payoff, for the lawyers and plantiff’s involved.

    Second, there is SIG’s competitors to consider. What role do they have in encouraging, or bringing these lawsuits? The motivation is certainly there, so how do we know that it’s not a factor in the lawsuits.

    Third, there is CLEARLY an anti-2A cottage industry out there. They have an interest in seeing SIG’s handguns declared “the most dangerous gun in America”, as a starter; they can get to all the rest next.

    Fourth, and finally: I agree with another comment in this thread, about engineering. Until an engineer can prove TECHNICALLY how a SIG in proper operation and storage, can fire without a trigger pull, hands free, AND CONSISTENTLY REPRODUCE THAT EVENT, these lawsuits are malarky. If the lawyers bringing these lawsuits COULD produce such evidence, they would. Instead, what does every, single one of the media stories have in common, about this supposed problem with SIG’s P320 pistols? The human aspect. Why is it more important to cover how lives of brave and noble people were ruined when their SIG handgun fired all by itself, than to describe HOW the SIG fired, all by itself. Yes, the drop safety problem WAS reproduced, identified, and corrected, even though the conditions for that event were exceedingly rare, which is why SIG went the voluntary return route rather than a general recall. (Disclosure: My early SIG P320/.40 was also my first striker fired handgun, and was repaired/upgraded by SIG.) That first defect provides ammunition to the SIG critics, since P320’s had a known problem when first introduced, inspite of the fact that it was resolved a half dozen years and at least a half million handguns ago.

    Nope, the critics can’t prove or reproduce the problem, but the plantiff’s lawyers will all have great cases, tugging on the emotional heartstrings of the jurors, because that’s how “law” is now done in America. Logic and evidence and facts and science, no longer count in court. SIG produces handguns which themselves are hazardous tools, and which no man or woman should even have, so that’s two and a half strikes against them from the start. Then add in that our “noble and brave Officers” are dying in droves because of them, and you have a ready made class action lawsuit. (No offense to our LEO’s, but why is it mostly LEO’s who are shooting themselves with SIGS, and not the street thugs? Where are the lawsuits by the crippled gang bangers, is what I wanna know?!)

    I’ve been running SIG’s since I was in the Navy, and lol, I’m real old now; that’s a long time ago. Deadly reliable. I’ve bet my life on SIGs, and will continue to do so, absent some science that proves otherwise. (No, “lost lawsuits” do not prove anything.)

  28. Just1Saddletramp on May 23, 2023 at 2:16 pm

    Guess I am old school as are some of the other posters here but I would not own a striker-fired firearm regardless of who the manufacturer might be. Give me the good old manual safety, i.e. 1911 clones. I carried a Glock as required by the department for a number of years but also had my heart in my mouth every time I strapped it on. A striker-fired firearm is inherently dangerous regardless of which side of the gun you are on

  29. Larry Jewitt on May 25, 2023 at 5:18 pm

    Larry J. I have a P320 and carried in my center mass, with the recent news of people having mis-fires I have put it away and use my P365 on my side hip. I do hope Sig offers converting public hand gun upgrades to a thumb safety. It sure would help to set people’s minds in trusting Sig’s P320 issues.

  30. Jason on May 26, 2023 at 11:20 pm

    I stumbled across this article by accident and gave it a read. I have followed this since the beginning. I own 8 p320s and still trust them and carry them when I want a bigger gun. I also shoot about 3-6k a year through them and take classes with them.

    I will give at least parts of my hypothesis to this topic:
    1. There is tremendous financial gain to be had if Sig loses
    2. Not a knock but many LEOs, especially the ones who work in less desirable cities do not have a lot of previous firearm knowledge
    3. Most LE agencies use safariland holsters, specifically the 6000 series.
    4. This is the kicker, I own 2 6000 serIes p320 holsters and with the standard curved, and the standard xserIes trigger you can EASILY pull the trigger with the gun HOLSTERED WITH HOOD ON. I can’t do this in my 7000 series holster.
    5. One of the guns that was a catalyst for the was in a serpa holster (which are banned in a lot of high end instructors classes) and in a purse….
    6. Canadian spec ops claimed the gun would fire on its own. On further investigation that claimed incident occurred when the gun was put in a holster that was made for another gun then rigged for the p320.
    7. I have yet to see one of the guns in these lawsuits that had the legion 4.5 lb trigger with the longer take up, only the standard and the x trigger which have next to no take up,.

    IMO based on all the facts that I personally have been able to see, there has been a lot of areas of negligence that have been over looked to get us where we are from holsters to bad practices.

  31. JTHAZ on August 22, 2023 at 10:03 am

    First, I would like to thank Mr. Maruster for writing this unbiased article and generating a non-hysterical thread of responses.
    Like many in this thread I have had and carried a P320 compact since 2017. The weapon went through the Sig Voluntary Upgrade process in 2018 after the infamous “drop test” issue. This pistol was (still is) my first striker fired pistol and I love the way it fits in the hand and the way it shoots. As time rolled by and the number of lawsuits grew I became more concerned as my EDC style is AWIB and, even though I am old, I still want to maintain as many body parts as possible. To reassure myself the pistol was safe I pulled a bullet out of a case, chambered the case with a live primer and banged the crap out of the pistol with a rubber mallet (kind like a YT video channel called ProTec, I believe). Even dropped the pistol a number of times onto the side of a cardboard box placed on a concrete floor. The pistol never discharged.
    As more lawsuits and claims (the most recent being the Montville police officer weapon discharge that was caught on video cam) come to light, it makes me wonder if there is something to the claims that there is a design flaw. I find it ludicrous that every single case can be discounted based on: the operator is an idiot, the holster is at fault, the individual was carrying the weapon in a gym bad or purse so obviously something pressed on the trigger, etc. For the “holster caused the misfire” types the question becomes how many holsterings does one have to do to legitimately say the holster is safe to use with a P320? (Which begs the question, does one do such rigorous testing with every pistol/holster combo?).
    The bottom line for me that like someone else said in this thread, despite the fact I really like the pistol, my EDC went back to being my hammer fired P229. The P320 is now sitting in a locker for the same reason another stated: “It sits in my safe because I don’t shoot it and I do not want to sell it to someone else if there truly is a problem and put them at risk.”
    Thank you again Mr. Maruster and God Bless the Republic.

  32. Randals on February 2, 2024 at 12:18 pm

    How very extremely odd it’s always a Sig P320 that goes off on it’s own. Where’s all the Glocks? All the Smith and Wessons? If it is truly operator error there’d be no shortage of other manufacturer’s handguns going off uncommanded, but it’s ALWAYS a Sig P320.

    Bottom line is is Sig Sauer lies. They lied about the original drop fire issue with the P320 claiming it was unpossible and then had a “fix” available in less than 24 hours of the problem being confirmed.

    Trash. 👎 Won’t ever own a Sig. Garbage company that makes garbage guns and only gets contracts because they give away guns.

  33. Sam on March 16, 2024 at 10:54 am

    I am a long-time devout Sig fan. I have carried a Sig 229 .357 sig for years. I own 6 Sig handguns with 3 of them being 320 models. Despite my overwhelming positive impression of Sig firearms, I must say I am still hesitant about carrying the 320’s. Of my 320’s I have an M18 9mm, a 320 Carry in .357 Sig and a 320 compact in .40s&w. I have not had a single issue with any of them, but I cannot get past the possibility of an issue. The only one I feel comfortable carrying is the M18 due to the thumb safety. Overall, I have too many other proven handguns to take any kind of risk with a carry weapon. With scrutiny on those who carry these days, an accidental discharge, whether anyone is hurt or not, would surely place the person at great financial and legal risk. I love most sigs and carry a sig regularly, but the 320 just has not reached the overall confidence level for me to carry it with complete confidence. I continue to put rounds through it, but I feel it will never meet my confidence standard to carry the standard 320 model.

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