We just reviewed the excellent Sig P320 compact in 9mm and absolutely loved it. The compact frame in the medium size fit into my hand like it was designed for it. I wanted to know if the sub-compact version would feel just as at home as the compact. The X-Change kit that we requested was the 9mm with the small frame, a mistake that I would later realize.
WARNING: Industry professional rant incoming!
The X-Change kit showed up in a plastic case that resembled a smaller version of the Sig pistol cases that we are all familiar with but it was wrapped in a strange cardboard wrapper with a hole in it for a peg hook. I am not sure why Sig designed the packaging to be hung on a peg, it seems like this isn’t the sort of thing you hang next to spare mags and cleaning kits. After working in the shooting sports industry I have become reasonably familiar with how often customers will buy something when they thought it was something completely different, I sure would hate to think of the customer complaints when they bought what they thought was a gun only to find a few crucial components missing.
The P320 comes apart rather easily to swap the pistol to the sub-compact configuration. I was able to take the compact apart and reconfigure it in about 2 minutes. Included in the kit is a complete slide with the standard Siglite night sights, a barrel in the respective caliber, a guide rod and recoil spring assembly, one magazine and the grip frame in your choice of sizes.
All put together the pistol looks pretty fantastic for a plastic wonder 9. The forward serrations on the pistol are a nice touch, I like that the pistol retains most of the functionality of the larger gun with the exception of the mounting rail. My understanding is the rail is still on the larger frame sizes starting with the medium on up.
Previously I stated that I regretted the choice on the frame size, there is one thing that I found rather annoying about the small frame. The slide stop protrudes quite a lot on the smallest frame, I am sure this is necessary so that the frame fits in as many grip frames as it does. It did cause one of my friends that went with me to test the sub-compact experienced the slide locking back mid magazine every now and again thanks to his grip on the pistol. The slide lock failures were the only malfunctions that anyone had experienced in about 1400 rounds of testing the P320 with the exception of a upside down limp wrist test that just about every handgun will reliably fail.
Included in the sub-compact X-Change kit is one magazine in the correct size, I would have liked to see two even if it bumped the price up a touch. I can understand Sig omitting a second mag in the effort to keep the price low and within reason. Capacity on the 9mm subcompact is 12 rounds, about on par with other pistols of the same size.
Getting out to the range with the P320 and the sub-compact X-Change kit was something I had been looking forward to all week. Once out there I quickly found that while I had fallen in love with the compact P320, the smaller frame just didn’t agree with my hands. I was still able to shoot it quite well and would probably seriously consider it as a carry gun with the medium frame instead of the small, after all the P320 is fantastic and would be a really solid choice. The recoil was as one might expect with a small handgun but it wasn’t anywhere near uncomfortable of difficult to control.
Overall I have been nothing short of impressed with the P320 in the sub-compact size, I definitely give it a thumbs up. The X-Change kit is a great idea for shooters that aren’t able to purchase more handguns as a result of legal loop holes as well as those that don’t care to buy more than one. When I was a freshly married man in my early twenties I would have killed for a pistol like the P320 since I didn’t have much money at the time, the ability to pick up the capability of another gun for about half price would have been game changing for me.
The P320 X-Change kit carries a MSRP of $399 with a street price closer to the low 300 dollar mark. If you would like to learn more about the converion kits you can check them out on the Sig Sauer website by clicking HERE.