By TRAVIS PIKE – SOFREP
SIG’s polymer frame, striker-fired P320, was a major departure from the company’s famed hammer-fired, all-metal legacy. The departure turned out to be an outstanding success. Police forces adopted it en masse as they ditched their 40 caliber Glock pistols. The biggest one came when the Army formally declared the P320 the winner of the Modular Handgun System competition making it the branch’s newest handgun. In 2021, the latest model of the P320 premiered as the P320 AXG.
What Makes the P320 AXG Different
At the core of the P320 is the fire control unit (FCU). The FCU contains most of the firearm’s frame internals and is considered the actual firearm. Users can install the FCU in a multitude of grips to change the weapon’s size and caliber. The SIG P320 AXG utilizes the brand new AXG grip module.
AXG stands for Alloy X-Series Grip module. Yep, alloy is in the name and the AXG defies what makes the standard P320. If you’re a fan of the classic P-series guns and their metal frames, then the AXG is for you. The metal grip frame harkens back to the days when men were men, women were men, and guns were all metal.
A metal grip module provides the P320 AXG with an insanely ergonomic frame. My particular model falls under the SIG Sauer Scorpion line. Scorpion means it’s flat dark earth in color, wears custom G10 grips, and looks sexy as hell. The carry model you see here utilizes a full-sized frame with a compact slide. It makes for an extremely well-balanced weapon. The beavertail at the back is big enough to protect your hand from the hammer that isn’t there. It allows you to choke up high on the gun for more control. You’ll feel the G-10 grips digging deep into your hands, and that provides even more control over the gun.
The top of the slide has been cut for an optic, and I included the SIG Romeo1PRO as my red dot of choice. It turns out it’s a very well-designed optic and provides professional-grade durability. It’s a perfect match for the P320 AXG. I only wish it came in FDE as well.
Unboxing the P320 AXG
The P320 AXG is the first gun from SIG Custom Works. It comes in a beautiful Italian case with a custom cut inside that fits the gun and three magazines without issue. The case locks with a combination pad. SIG went baller with the case and I love it! It looks good and matches the high-end nature of the firearm.
Inside, you get a Custom Works challenge coin to top off the beautiful case and firearm. SIG held nothing back with this gun, and it’s absolutely fantastic. The P320 AXG got off to a good start by just having such a sweet box to accommodate it.
On the Range
Saying I was excited to get to the range was an understatement. I couldn’t wait. I loaded up all three 17-round magazines, as well as my other three 21-round SIG P320 magazines. Even with current ammo costs, I didn’t mind dispensing lead at the target.
The first thing you notice when you shoot a new gun is the trigger.
Of course, I’d dry fired it a hundred times or so by now and knew what to expect. But doing it dry never tells the whole story. The P320 AXG features the Legion series trigger with its flat face. The trigger pull delivers a wonderful experience. It glides rearwards, hits a light wall, and breaks cleanly. It’s quite light and very controllable. It’s brilliant.
Beyond the trigger, the next thing you notice is how the gun recoils as it fires. The P320 AXG barely moves. It jumps and bucks just a bit. The hefty weight of the all-metal frame keeps the gun on target with barely any movement between shots. Obviously, you need to use proper stance, grip, and recoil mitigation to experience this, but the gun helps a lot.
What About Accuracy?
I did a quick zero of my Romeo1PRO and was set up for red dot success. I love red dots on handguns, and on the SIG P320 AXG, it’s a brilliant combination. At 50 yards, I rang a six-inch gong with ease. As long as I went slow and focussed, I could hit the gong anyway. A 10-inch gong was super simple to hit and I could do so rapidly.
Toss out a man-sized target and at 50 yards I can hit it without trying hard at all. At 25 yards, I hit a four-inch gong enough times to swing it around the gong’s hanger. This gun can’t help but be accurate. Not only is it accurate, but it’s fast at the same time.
It’s also reliable. The SIG P320 AXG ate everything I tossed at it. Jacketed hollow points, steel-cased crappy ammo, and more all went through the gun without issue. It eats everything and doesn’t seem to care about being dirty and fouled by dust, sand, and carbon fouling.
The Best P320?
I’ve handled my fair share of P320s, from the X series to the Legion models. I like the guns, but the P320 AXG is the very best I’ve ever handled. Maybe I’m a sucker for metal frames. Maybe the Custom Works brands just outperform every other P320. Whatever the reason is, I love the AXG and it gets a hearty thumbs up from me.
ABOUT TRAVIS PIKE
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.