Surprise Star: P320 VTAC
Thursday afternoon at SHOT Show, I was standing in the Sig Sauer booth – “pavilion” would be a far more accurate term – when a friend tugged my sleeve and whispered, “Sig won the Army pistol contract. They’re announcing it in twenty minutes.” Well, that explained the full court press Sig had been putting on with the P320 at this show, with multiple new specialty variations on display. The variations included high-end versions of a gun that had rolled out with a fairly low-key launch as an affordable duty gun barely two years prior.
[As our hastily-conscripted hand model demonstrates, the X-Five shoots hella flat]
They’d had three of them out to handle and do some blasting at a VIP event on Sunday afternoon before the rest of the show kicked off. First up was the rumored X-Five competition gun. Like the rest of the trio, it showed every sign of being a P320 that had been extensively worked over with input from pistolsmithing legend Bruce Gray.
Sporting a 5” bull barrel and a correspondingly lengthened slide with lightening cuts, the X-Five is obviously set up to race right out of the box. There’s a straight trigger, removable weights in the re-contoured frame, a removable factory magwell, and numerous other touches. One of the cleverest is the Dawson sights, the rear of which is actually part of a removable plate that exposes a cut for Sig’s Romeo 1 MRDS. Bonus: The gun is shipping with four – count ’em – twenty-one round magazines.
[Detail of the combination cover plate/rear sight on the X-Five]
Similarly configured, but shorter, was the X-Carry. It has a shorter version of the recontoured X-Five frame, but doesn’t come with the magwell. The sights are tritium, although the rear is still part of a removable plate to allow MRDS use. It comes with three seventeen-round mags from the factory.
Lastly is a new P320 VTAC. Kyle Lamb, last seen lending his name to M&P variants, has now worked with Sig Sauer and Bruce Gray to come up with a top-end duty-style version of their striker-fired gat. With the XM17 announcement, the timing is just right.
The VTAC model comes with the full-size slide with lightening cuts, to help the gun shoot flatter and make sight tracking easier. The top of the slide has been flattened and serrated. This removes some weight, was traditionally done to reduce glare in the sighting plane, and looks cool.
Like the X-guns, the VTAC ships with the new recontoured frame. This means the option to add weights and the magwell from the X-Five are there, although the gun doesn’t come configured this way from the factory. Also like the X-Five, the VTAC sports a flat-face trigger that finishes the pull at a true 90-degree angle to the frame. Having used it, I’d say that detail pays bigger dividends in trigger control than one would think.
[The controversial VTAC sights work better than you’d think they would]
Of course the VTAC comes from the factory with the trademark VTAC fiber-over-tritium sights, which aren’t as busy as I feared. In fact, on the demo gun at the range, I’d already fired the gun and was setting it down before I noticed that it didn’t have a plain fiber optic sight up front. In daylight conditions, the un-outlined tritium dot wasn’t really noticeable, at least relative to the honkin’ bright light pipe above it.
[Cool logo, flat trigger, Tactical Dirt Color: It’s the X-VTAC.]
Available in both black and a sort of Tactical Dirt Color that’s almost but not quite FDE, the P320 VTAC is said to be shipping in March. With MSRP on the X-Five at $1,005, you can expect the prices on the X-Carry and VTAC to be somewhat lower.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.
About the Author: Tamara Keel made a living slinging guns across the glass for more than 20 years, so it goes without saying she’s been muzzled more times than just about anyone we know. Tamara has been regularly published in many places such as SWAT Magazine, Concealed Carry Magazine, and is currently the Handgun Editor for the NRA’s Shooting Illustrated magazine. But it’s not just on dead trees that she writes–you can catch most of her wit on her blog. She’s into making fun of gun hipsters, shooting bowling pin matches, drinking new craft beers, and collecting old and outdated cameras. You can also catch her on Instagram @tamarakeel