Sig Sauer P320 Range Report

I am pleased to report that the United States Army made a good decision to go with the Sig Sauer P320 for its Modular Handgun System.  This is my range report on my P320RX with the Romeo1 sight.

Up until last Friday I had not had the opportunity to take the Sig Sauer P320 to the range and check it out.  It felt like a very nice handgun.  It felt really good in my hand.  It had that solid feel that a well-made gun has.  But, from the outset, I was afraid there would be issues.  For example, the cap that covers the Romeo sight on the pistol simply would not stay put.  That was irritating; I finally just took it off.

The next problem I noticed, in dry-fire (snap cap) practice, was that it was hard to get a natural point of aim that allowed me to use the red dot to fire.  I almost immediately had a form of buyer’s remorse that I had spent close to $1000 on a pistol I might not actually like or be able to use.

But, of course, the worst problem I had was that the P320RX with the Romeo sight was sort of a bastard firearm.  None of the big guys made a holster to fit it.  Aliengear did not.  Nate-Squared Tactical did not.  Even some of the lesser names did not offer a holster that accommodated a red dot sight.  And even some of those that claim to make Kydex holsters to fit guns with lights and lasers (a natural fit I would assume) did not make one for the P320RX.  There is a dent in my office wall from where my head kept crashing into it!

But one of my chief assets is tenacity, and I am nothing if not dogged in search of a solution.  I finally found, on Amazon, a holster by Concealment Express.  I found it by accident.  I looked at a question that dealt specifically with my weapon, and the answer was “no, it doesn’t fit.”  But right after it Concealment Express had posted an answer that said “try this one,” with the link to the correct holster.

Like a chicken on a June Bug I jumped on that link and ordered the ridiculously low-priced holster for $34.95 (free two day Prime shipping).  It came on Friday and my comments about how the holster performed are found here.

So, the P320.

First, if you were doing target shooting that nonsense I wrote about a natural point of aim might be relevant for the first ten or so shots.  After that you adapt to the Romeo sight pretty easily.  But, what I found in practice at the 5 yard, 7 yard practice lines, was that I rarely ever got the weapon up to eye level before I fired, using essentially a kind of point-shooting that I have always used.  I found that my combat accuracy with the Sig was at about 80%, and will likely improve with practice.  I found this Sig to be the most natural firearm I have ever used.  The recoil was manageable, follow-up shots were easy, and at 5 to 7 yards, combat accuracy for me was excellent.

In the first 100 or so rounds I had probably half a dozen stovepipes with the P320, but this is an ammo thing.  I bought some cheap ammo from Academy.  It was the culprit, not the P320.  Once I went to Winchester and Remington 9 mm ammo, everything was terrific.

As I mentioned in another post, I am very much happier with the Sig (which does not have an ambi safety) than I am with the S&W M&P Model 2.0.  The S&W I wind up losing up to second because I forget to drop the safety.  So I spent the remainder of the range time that day working on that because in a stress situation, you do what you have done in practice, and I want to make damn sure if there’s a safety that I am taking it off.

This first video here is from my two target drill, with two shots to both targets.  I consistently shot this two target drill in about 3.5 seconds.


This next one is from a side view in a similar drill.

As you can see the P320 performed very well.  And in shooting from 15 yards for accuracy, the red dot was zeroed perfectly, right from the factory.


All in all, the P320 gets a thumbs up from me in terms of operation.

Cleaning was interesting too.  I’ve cleaned lots of Glocks and other pistols, but this is the first one I got to take the guts out of to clean.  I rather liked that.  I know for certain now that all of my pistol’s inner workings are clean and free of fouling.  There are several very long-winded videos on You Tube on how to disassemble and clean this pistol, but I simply followed the very informative instructions in the manual, and it worked very well.

I give the P320 a full 15 round magazine of approval!

Shot Timers Aid Training

If you’re like me, you probably have thought, what does anyone need a shot timer for?  I realized that they were used in shooting matches, etc., but I don’t think I ever appreciated what a useful adjunct they are to training.  Like the Go Pro camera, mentioned here,  the Shot Timer is an excellent addition to your range day, if for no other reason than to see what your response times, draw times, and second target response times are in a crisis situation.  This is a shot timer:IMG_6276

A shot timer, for those of you who do not know, works by measuring the overpressure wave from a gun’s discharge.  They can be used in two ways.  In IDPA and other competitive shooting events, after a shooter announces ready, the buzzer on the unit is triggered and the response time and split times between targets is measured as part of the score-keeping that goes on.IMG_6281

When used for training, you can set a random delay up to 4 seconds where the shot timer, after being pushed, will wait a random interval before giving you the beep.  You then fire whatever drill you want, and the result is whatever the result is.

This Friday I set up my range at the gun club with two targets at 7 yards.range1  I wanted to see whether “boarding house rules” was an effective strategy for me to use.  For those of you who do not know, boarding house rules say everyone gets a first helping before anyone gets seconds.  So, one shot to both, and then follow up shots.  After playing around a little, I determined that these rules are probably not going to work for me.  At 62 I am much slower on execution than I was at 19, and as a result, I am not going to shoot each target once, then shoot each target a second time.  Not and live to tell the tale.

So after experimenting, I applied the drill I recorded in an earlier post, and repost here:

Drill First Second Third Fourth
1 1.93 .28 1.2 .26
2 1.62 .24 .79 .23
3 1.41 .76 .59 .45
4 1.47 .20 .93 .44

Average First Shot:  1.60

Here is what some of that data look like:IMG_6280

It took me an average of 1.6 seconds to draw my weapon and get off the second shot, and an additional .3 seconds to get off the second shot.  The third shot came in around .85 seconds, and the fourth about .37 seconds.

I would stand closer to one target than the other, and, applying what I learned in the Army that the guy closest to you can kill you quickest, I shot the closest, and then the next closest with two rounds each.  I then set the range up with targets at 5 and 7 yards, offset somewhat.

I did the same thing, with roughly repeatable results.  The information derived from the shot timer has been very helpful.

And, while we’re on it, a word about targets.  This is one of the targets I use.IMG_6269 You can see the other in this video:


As you will notice, the targets are not flapping in the wind.  They stay put.  I bought these in bulk from Omaha Targets.  They are all-weather, durable targets, and they are a dream to staple to the range beams for practice.  It is rare when a product exceeds my expectations.  Usually, I am disappointed.  I can’t tell you how many targets have torn while being stapled to the target posts.  Not these!  These stay put, don’t tear, and are easy to both put up and take down.  The selection on line is truly amazing, with lots of different photo targets similar to those shown above.  Pretty much any kind of target you can think of, they have.  They truly get the job done.  I will be buying more of these from this company!



Concealment Express Holsters

I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.  Comfortable is not the thing to look for in a holster.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with a comfortable holster as such, but a comfortable holster that is hard to draw from is…well…a death sentence.  Let me explain.

I bought a holster from a company I used previously for my Smith & Wesson M&P Model 2.0 Compact, and it fit well.  It also covered that rather scratchy part of the danged grip that feels like you’re sitting next to a porcupine.  It was, in a word, comfortable.  But it had not come in the first time I went to the range, so I used an Aliengear holster that worked for the Glock 19.  It wasn’t perfect, but it worked and I could draw from it.  I just had that “porcupine” problem that the new holster solved.

So, being the smart guy I am, I got my comfortable holster and have been wearing it for the last two months.  All’s good, right?

Up until Friday, I would have agreed.  But Friday I went to the range, and try as I might, I could not wear my pants with the belt cinched in a way that didn’t show my butt, and still draw from that holster.  In essence, there is a twist associated with the draw stroke that, in an emergency (or a perceived emergency, is going to cost you an average of 1.7 extra seconds.  How do I know this?  I used a shot timer.

My P320 RX however, was much harder to fit into a holster, and I had waited going to the range until I had a holster that fit it. img_1366 That came from Concealment Express (via Amazon) on Friday morning, and I put it to use Friday afternoon.  It is Kydex on both sides, and as a result, feels a little bit like someone shoved rock between your waistline and your belt.IMG_6273  It was not particularly comfortable at 3 o’clock on my hip, but completely workable, if not greatly comfortable, at the 5 o’clock position.

Using the first holster and the M&P it took me an average of 3.5 seconds to get off my first shot.  In other words, I was worm-food in a gun fight.  With the Sig and the Concealment Express holster, my first shot came in between 1.4 and 1.8 seconds every time.

Here are the strings:


Drill First Second Third Fourth
1 4.19 .23 1.16 .24
2 3.11 .25 .84 .22
3 2.96 .76 .88 .23
4 2.76 .29 .81 .22

Average First Shot:  3.25


Drill First Second Third Fourth
1 1.93 .28 1.2 .26
2 1.62 .24 .79 .23
3 1.41 .76 .59 .45
4 1.47 .20 .93 .44

Average First Shot:  1.60

Difference:  1.65 seconds


That’s a heap of difference in a situation where lead flies and lives are what’s at risk.

Having worn the holster now for several days, I am much more comfortable with it at the 4:30 to 5:00 position than where I normally wear my concealed carry pistol, and that will take some getting used to.  But the holster itself has excellent retention (you can insert the pistol, hold it upside down, shake it, and the pistol doesn’t fall out).  The belt clip is very secure, and more importantly, the pistol does not rattle on your body, being held up close to your body by the Kydex (though, perhaps not as close as if the back were leather).  Though it doesn’t have any leather in it, it is I think maybe the best Kydex-alone holster I’ve used. I have tried the Sig and Safariland holsters (don’t care for their retention devices). Most of those would be best in OWB.  The great thing about this one is it can be IWB or OWB as you choose, and more importantly, it can be right hand or left hand, as you choose.  For $34.95 you are unlikely to find a better, more serviceable holster.


Sig Sauer P320

It was back in December when I bought my last firearm.  At the time I got a S&W M&P 2.0 in 9mm, the compact variety, and really liked it.  I enjoyed shooting it at the range, but in training I learned that the safety was a clear impediment in terms of rapid action in an emergency.  During training at least twice I found that the safety hung me up, and kept me from getting off a shot on time.  At one point my time was 3 seconds to draw.  Yikes!  That’s head to the morgue time.

So, although I have a Glock 19 (and a 17, and a 34, and a 22, 26, 27, and 21) as well as a Sig P229, ultimately I determined I wanted to go in a different direction.  I am, at some point, going to sell my .40 calibers and standardize on the .45 and 9 mm platforms.

Sig Sauer recently won the Modular Handgun System contract (some suggest they stole it away from Glock) with the design of the P320.  While the M17 handgun is certainly different in some respects than the P320, it nonetheless has enough of the same material that you could argue you were carrying the same pistol that Special Forces carried.  While I do not brag about what I carry or suppose that my choice is any better or worse than any others, the chief reason I chose the P320 was that if the Army has them, they are going to be around for a long time, and so will the parts.

Now, at the same time it is worth noting that shortly after it was released in the civilian market, someone decided to drop test it.

Okay, who does this?  Who says, “Geez, I just spent $800 on this gun, let me drop it and see what happens?”

If dropped in the right way, the P320 would fire if there was a round in the chamber.  I am exceptionally careful about firearms and firearms safety, but even I drop things from time to time.  The last thing I wanted was a gun that was going to go bang without me pulling the trigger.

However, reputable gun stores had already had their stocks retrofitted by the end of the year last year, and in March, when I went to get my P320, the model I received was already retrofitted.

Because the P320 comes in a variety of configurations, including the updated X-Five version (a race gun coveted by many IDPA contenders), I had to decide whether, and to what extent I wanted a stock unmodified gun, or one of the more custom jobs.  After talking with my wife about it, I decided on the P320RX which comes in the compact version with a Romeo1 sight built in.  My wife, in her uncharacteristically snarky manner, suggested that to hit the “broad side of a barn” I had better get the reflex sight.  I would note, she can shoot the antennas of a gnat’s ass as 100 yards, so I decided to listen to her.img_1362

As it happened, I bought the gun the very day that the worthless, no good, rotten, lying Republican in Name Only Rick Scott signed the “Screw the 18 Year Old Voter Act” into law, banning sales to those between 18 and 21.  Federal law already prevented 18 year olds from owning pistols, but this now prevents them from buying them in Florida.

But not from possessing them.

Which means, of course, that anyone who wants one will simply drive across the state line to Alabama or Georgia and buy their AR-15 there.  Yes, we should probably not bother telling the pearl-clutching, weak-kneed “We’ve got to DO SOMETHING” crowd that federal gun laws allow sales to these prohibited buyers in contiguous states.

Anyway, apparently the FDLE had to shut down and reprogram their computers and it took two hours for background checks to go through.  That was very frustrating.  But eventually I was able to take my new P320 home, install the battery, and play with the weapon in dry-fire mode.

One thing I really liked was the degree of variability in the light intensity on the Romeo sight, and the auto-shutoff that turns the sight off when not in use.  That will surely save some CR1632 batteries down the road.

The first major problem I discovered, much like when I purchased the Smith, was that there were not a lot of holsters designed for the 320RX.  I finally found one on Amazon from Concealment Express that should be arriving shortly.  I am looking forward to reporting on how it works.

Range report will appear here soon!

Tactical Armour Designs


I am going to do something that sounds really strange. I am going to give a shout out to a company I have never done business with.

I recently acquired, through Armslist, a KelTec PMR-30. A full review will appear after I go to the range. But the guy who was selling it had purchased a holster for it, and since it was specific to the firearm, he handed me the holster. Inside I found a letter from the guy who manufactured the holster specific to the firearm. His name is Shane Snavely and his company is Tactical Armour Designs.


Shane is a service-connected disabled veteran, meaning, of course, he has paid a price in blood for his patriotism and gets up every morning reminded of this fact. Instead of sitting on the corner and whining about how badly life has treated him (and if he gets care at the VA, you know he’s been badly treated), Mr. Snavely instead bought guns. Lots of guns. 180 guns at last count according to his letter.

Can’t you just hear the leftists: “no one needs that many guns!” Well, actually they do if they are going to make custom holsters to fit specific models of handguns. Because Shane molds Kydex to the exact size and shape of the gun you purchase the holster for, and it fits like a glove.

If you’re familiar with some of the other “custom” holster houses like Wright Leather Works (an excellent company and an excellent product) then you know that you can actually get holsters custom made for your firearm that are literally a work of art in leather. Of course, you’ll pay a price roughly approximating an original drawing by Van Gogh, also. Not to say that for the person who goes this route, the value isn’t there, because I am sure that it is. If you can afford it, you should own whatever you like. That’s freedom!

But Shane doesn’t think you’re loaded with dough. Shane probably has bills to pay. He probably has mouths to feed. He probably understands that you do too. I say this because this custom-made holster for the PMR was only $39.95. The well-designed holster can be worn inside or outside the waistband, has a sturdy clip, and excellent retention (which is important because the PMR is so light).   He explains that he uses very tight tolerances for his holsters so they fit like a glove. I can confirm this.


Now, I did not buy this holster. I got it free when I bought the firearm. But I am going to be purchasing a holster from Shane as soon as I figure out which of my firearms I want to indulge. Normally I carry a Glock 19 every day, but I may see about getting one of these for my Glock 26 or 27.


There are a lot of people out there who are passionate about their firearms and their right to conceal and carry. That does not mean that manufacturers should be able to gouge you for a product you need. That’s why competition is such a great thing. A guy like Shane can compete with the big boys, and it’s obvious that he’s making a quality product at a fair price.

I support people like that.  And, by the way, he collects military and police insignia and patches.  If you have a patch from your local law enforcement agency, consider sending it to Shane.  I never met the guy, but reading the letter, I think he and I would get along just fine.

I hope you will too!


Tactical Armour Designs is found at:

N8 Squared Tactical Customer Service

Several months ago I reviewed the Ambassador holster from N8 Squared Tactical.  As I discussed in that review, the holster uses plastic clips to hold the holster in place.  I was generally positive about the holster, and it remains the most comfortable holster I own.

I have also used both plastic and metal clips on my Aliengear Holsters, and there are positives and negatives to both.  The metal clips are great for retention early.  That is, when you first get the holster, the clips will hold it on there tightly.  The problem comes in when you have worn the holster for a year and the clips are now loose.  You can bend them back into position, but the effect of that is temporary.  Before long you’ve gotten a sprung clip with metal fatigue and you’ll worry about whether the clip will hold when you need it.

Plastic clips, of course, are prone to fracture and that too can be a problem.  So I was a bit skeptical of the N8 Squared product because of these plastic clips.  However, in daily wear over the course of 6 months I can honestly say that the clips have performed well.  They’ve held the holster and they’ve never let go.

My wife cannot identify the midline of our garage, and as a result, the room left for me to get in her car when we go somewhere is tiny.  Add to this the fact that she moves the front seat up into the glove box (and she drives a Mini-Cooper just like me) and the job of getting into the car is like trying to push 10 pounds a concrete through a paper soda straw.  When I attempted it several weeks ago I heard a “pop” and when I got out of the car I found my holster dropping well below my waistband.  The clip had broken due to the stress of me trying to get into the car.

I would like to point out that this is not a clip failure.  This is a holster-wearer failure.  I should have told my wife to back out, fixed the seat, and gotten in the car.  But I did not.  I was in a hurry (it was Wednesday and so it was meatloaf day at Kitchen 3810).  The clip broke, but not because it was defective, but because I put way more stress on it than I should have.

I had talked to the N8 Squared folks at the NRAAM and they said the holster had a lifetime guarantee and if anything broke to let them know.  So I sent them this picture.


I demonstrated the broken clip by image, and before the day was out the clip was on its way to me via USPS.  When it arrived I replaced it in about 30 seconds.  I handled everything by email.  The customer service folks were a delight to deal with!

Even really great products sometimes fail.  The measure of a company is not whether its products never fail, but what happens after they do.  N8 Squared honored its warranty, and did exactly what they said they’d do.  You really can’t ask for more than that.

N8 Squared Tactical is a company that stands behind their work.  Find them here!

Range Report Kimber TLE II

So last week I bought my first Kimber, and I took it to the range on Saturday.  The results were better than I expected.

First, I had never experienced the 1911 trigger before.  What a joy.  Unlike the hard-breaking trigger on most of my Glocks, this trigger was butter-smooth and made firing the pistol a dream.

Here’s the result of my first 30 rounds through the pistol:


I am very happy with my Kimber, and I really think they know how to make an exceptional pistol.


The Blackhawk Double-Stack Dual Ammo Carrier

This is a product review.  I have no affiliation with Blackhawk.  I have not been paid for this review.  The opinions are my own.  Your mileage may vary, some restrictions do apply, offer not valid in Uzbekistan. 

I recently bought the Blackhawk Double Stack Dual Ammo carrier for an upcoming IDPA match.  I wanted to get comfortable with it, so I stuck it on my belt and wore it for a couple of days.  I was not, what you might call, a happy camper.

But as I experimented around, I found out what I was doing wrong, and I now find the device to be superior to most of the others I have seen.

Okay, first the disclaimer.  I am overweight (or, 2 feet under-tall if you prefer).  I’m not exactly to Hefty-Bag size, but you won’t find me in the skinny jeans department of Dillards either.  Unfortunately, when I sit down, stuff hangs over the belt.  Bummer.

So, when I got the new pouch, I looked it over, and I saw this:


Yep, that’s the hole where the belt goes through it.  So, being the compliant guy I am, I used the belt holes and mounted the carrier.  Had I been planning a radical approach to a splenectomy, this would have been perfect.  However, all I wound up with was pressure indentations on my left side and a lot of discomfort during the day.  It bound getting into the car because it was secured in a way that the carrier did not move well.  It was very secure, and it wasn’t coming off.  I liked that.  It was just very uncomfortable.

In desperation, I decided to try to use it with the more flimsy mount:


Initially I was worried because my assumption was that it would ride up and pop off my belt when I sat down or drove in the car.  But I had not counted on a lovely little addition that they put on this device shown here:


That little device is the backside of a hook-shaped end that grabs the bottom of your belt.  The more flimsy plastic bends easily, but it never leaves your belt (in fact, it can be difficult to get off).  I now found out that when I sat down, the device moved away from my body based on the gentle pressure of my adipose tissue on the Glock 19 magazines I put in the device.  The carrier was both comfortable and secure.

I got mine at The Firing Pin in Auburn, Alabama.  You can also find them online at Amazon.  I give this 4 out of 5 stars.  The only reason it does not get 5 stars is that like lots of stuff made today, it doesn’t come with tips and techniques for wearing and using, and as a result, wholly requires experimentation to determine if the product will work for you.  I could have saved two very uncomfortable days if I had been able to read instructions similar to mine above.