Sig launches ‘voluntary upgrade program’ covering all P320 pistols

08/17/17 1:00 PM | by

The Sig P320 on display during a demonstration. (Photo: Sig/Facebook)

The Sig P320 on display during a demonstration. (Photo: Sig/Facebook)

The Sig P320 on display during a demonstration. (Photo: Sig/Facebook)

Gun maker Sig Sauer launched a webpage for owners of P320 pistols concerned with drop safety issues to voluntarily upgrade their guns at no cost.

The issue gained momentum this month after the Dallas Police Department suspended the use of the pistol by its officers because of safety concerns and then an independent test revealed the potential problem.

The company’s webpage for the voluntary upgrade contends the P320 design meets industry and government safety standards, but it also confirms that the consumer model could discharge if dropped. The company specifies that it takes “multiple drops, at certain angles and conditions” to trigger the occurrence.

However, Andrew Tuohy, the gun writer who identified the circumstances for an “uncommanded discharge” with the P320, told that at first he thought: “there’s no way this thing is going to fire, but then it did, like really fast.” After releasing his video, multiple people shared their own showing both new and used P320 pistols discharging when dropped after only a couple tries.

While the FAQ section answers basic questions, made multiple attempts to reach Sig by phone and email to request an interview for greater clarity on the issue, but the company did not respond.

The description on the webpage for the voluntary upgrade confirms critiques gun writers shared identifying the trigger as the problem, but Sig stops short on explaining how. Some speculate that Sig used the wrong type of trigger or the wrong size. The webpage explains the upgrade will implement a “physically lighter trigger, sear, and striker assembly with the addition of a mechanical disconnector.”

The company says “all current serial number ranges are affected” with the drop safety issue, but it’s unclear how many P320 pistols are circulating in the consumer market. Unconfirmed reports suggest the number may be as high as 500,000. It’s also unclear if the upgrade is mandatory for retailers with unsold P320 pistols in their inventory.

What’s unaffected by the voluntary upgrade is the variant selected by the U.S. Army in February as its official sidearm, since the company curated that specific variant to military standards. Although the problem may not exist with the military pistol, it’s unclear if the company was aware that an issue existed before the Dallas Police memo.

In its initial response to the Dallas memo, the company said there have been “zero reported drop-related P320 incidents in the U.S. commercial market,” but a recent lawsuit seems to contradict that. The pistol design is the subject of a personal injury case filed this month that alleges a Connecticut police officer was injured in January when his P320 pistol discharged when it hit the ground.

For owners of Sig P320 pistols wanting to participate in the voluntary upgrade, they must follow the steps listed on the notice.

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