Sig P320 Drop Safety Concerns Continue

The company announced a "voluntary upgrade" and a lawsuit regarding the gun has been filed by a police officer in Connecticut.

Some have alleged that the striker-fired pistol can discharged when dropped.
Some have alleged that the striker-fired pistol can discharged when dropped.mfg photo

The Sig Sauer P320 pistol controversy continues. Rumors began swirling on the Internet last week when a story surfaced LINK about the Dallas Police Department telling it's officers that they should stop carrying the pistol because of defect detected that could result in the gun firing when dropped.

Since, the gun maker—which recently secured a half-billion dollar deal to supply the U.S. Army with the P320 as its new sidearm—issued a statement saying there had been “zero reported drop-related P320 incidents in the U.S. commercial market.”

On Monday, a gun blogger for OmahaOutdoors published test results in the video below, that show the gun discharging when it hits the ground at a certain angle.

Then, on Tuesday, the company announced it is offering a "voluntary upgrade" for owners of the P320 later this month after "recent events indicate that dropping the P320 beyond U.S. standard for safety may cause an unintentional discharge," according to this CNBC.com story.

The story says the company didn't elaborate but in a press release said it has received input from law enforcement, government, and military customers and developed "a number of enhancements in function, reliability, and overall safety including drop performance."

The CNBC story says Sig announced it would detail what exactly those fixes would be on August 14, but this story from outdoorhub.com shared a tweet from Recoil magazine 18 hours ago that showed images of the upgraded fire control group and this text: "So here's what we're looking at: Revised striker, chassis, trigger, disconnector, and sear housing for the P320."

As the story says, "Basically, you'll be holding a whole new firearm when you get it back."

This could have been a case of unfortunate timing, as the Dallas PD has since said the memo referenced in last week's news stories was based on a miscommunication and it's unlikely Sig could have developed and put such an upgrade into place in five days, yet concerns persist.

And the company maintains that the “P320 meets U.S. standards for safety, including the American National Standards Institute (ANSI / Sporting Arms Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, Inc. (SAAMI), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), as well as rigorous testing protocols for global military and law enforcement agencies.”

However, the safety concerns continue to mount on social media, as a number of firearms news outlets reported on alleged drop tests on the P320, resulting in an unintentional discharge.

Today, guns.com reported that Sig Sauer was named in a $7 million personal injury lawsuit by a Connecticut police officer, Vincent Sheperis, who was injured when his holstered, department-issued P320 allegedly discharged when it was dropped and hit the ground as he was loading gear into a vehicle. The pistol discharged and Sheperis was struck in the leg and knee.

The 34-year-old police officer in Stamford, Connecticut, filed the suit last week that alleges his injuries were the result of a defective safety mechanism in the P320 design.

"The weapon's internal and external safeties all failed to prevent it from discharging and shooting Officer Sheperis," the lawsuit says, adding the trigger was "incapable of being touched or of any movement" because the gun was inside a holster. The guns.com story says in May, Sig was named in a lawsuit by the state of New Jersey, which alleged the company sold its state police department malfunctioning pistols. The guns in question were the company's P229 model, and Sig has since denied those allegations.

The P320 is a modular, striker-fired semi-auto pistol chambered in 9mm, .357 SIG, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP. The company currently offers the gun to consumers in 12 configurations including full, compact, and subcompact sizes.