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SIG Sauer P320 CO2
July 2018
Dan Martinez  

If you are thinking that I’ve caught some sort of a SIGness, you may be right. Behold … Sig Sauer P320 number three! But as you can surmise from the title, this one does not burn powder, but relies on good old CO2 cartridges for thrust.

It is a genuine SIG, not a licensed copy, though it’s not made in New Hampshire, but in Japan. But it is designed, spec’d, and sold exclusively by the guys at SIG Sauer, Inc.

It is a .177 caliber pellet or BB shooter with, get this … a 30 shot chain link magazine! Now that is different. It is meant to be a training pistol, as it is dimensionally accurate in every way to a full size P320. It also weighs the same as the real thing. The trigger pull is a bit longer and heavier, but the slide even reciprocates with every shot, to give a little of the flavor of genuine recoil. Of course it fits perfectly in any holster designed for a P320.

The CO2 P320 comes either in black or “Coyote Tan”. Below, here it is next to the real thing, a P320 Compact FDE. As you can see, the Japanese manufacturer wasn’t quite able to match the firearm’s FDE color, so they just called it something different, I guess.

From a realism standpoint, about the only thing that could have been better is the simulated barrel breech block in the slide. It is just a depression that they didn’t bother painting black. It’s Coyote Tan, like the rest of the slide. Sooner or later, I’ll get around to masking the rest of the gun, and hitting that depression with a quick shot of black spray paint.

The takedown lever is black, but it’s a non-moving dummy. It doesn’t do anything. You can’t do any grip swapping with the CO2 gun like you can with the powder burners. It is what it is. You cannot take the CO2 pistol apart for field stripping.

Another in-authenticity is that the “slide release” is not, but it’s a safety button that moves back and forth. The safety operates a little weirdly. When engaged, you can still pull the trigger through. The magazine will index the next shot, and the gun will go click – every time. But what does not happen, is the release of CO2 gas. That’s all that the safety does – prevents the gas from discharging, hence the gun does not fire.

The magazine release operates exactly how you would expect – it drops the magazine cleanly, just like the regular P320. The difference is in the magazine itself, which is a long skinny thing.

About that magazine – the chain links I mentioned are something like a plastic bicycle chain. The first part of the trigger pull moves the chain to bring the next pellet in-line with the barrel. Strangely, the extra magazines that you can buy are only 20 rounds. The 30 round magazine is only available with the gun. One CO2 cartridge is good for around 60 shots, or two full 30-round magazines.

That you cannot take the gun apart turns out to be a small problem. Sometimes, a pellet can jam in the magazine. That happens when a pellet moves out of position within the magazine belt, sticking perhaps halfway out of the pellet recess within the link. When that happens, pulling the trigger cannot advance the magazine belt, thus you cannot complete the trigger stroke. This has happened to me a couple of times when using low-quality pellets, left over from who-knows-where. The fix is to push some sort of a rod or wire, of diameter less than .177, down the barrel from the muzzle, to push the errant pellet back into place within its recess in the magazine link.

Loading the magazine is a little time consuming. Grabbing a pellet from a pellet tin, making sure that it is oriented correctly, and pressing it into a link recess, 30 times, gets a bit tedious.

As you can see in the photo above, when the magazine is removed from the gun, what would be the basepad of the real firearm’s magazine stays with the gun. But actually that can be removed as well, by simply pulling down. The basepad and the backstrap come off as a single unit. This reveals the CO2 cartridge recess. The basepad/backstrap can be removed with either the magazine in-place or removed.

As far as accuracy in concerned, it is not even close to the accuracy of the Gamo PR-45 single-stroke pneumatic that I wrote about for the March issue of the newsletter. But that’s OK. The Gamo does not keep shooting and shooting with every stroke of the trigger like this SIG does. It is just a fundamentally different kind of animal, fun to shoot in its own way. It is still capable of knocking over cans at 10 to 15 yards for plinking fun like the Gamo. It just may take a few more shots to do it.

And because the CO2 cartridges are expendables, it ends up costing more to shoot than the Gamo which only requires muscle power to recharge. If you buy them in bulk, the gas cartridges can be less than a buck each, which is not too bad.

I was able to get this gun for “free” with saved up credit card points. Cost was about $100. As a new SIG fanboy, I couldn’t resist.

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