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Old August 25, 2021, 02:05 PM   #1
HighValleyRanch
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Sig 320 unsafe?

I just read this article about the numerous accidental discharges of Sig 320's while holstered.
There are currently a number of lawsuits by law enforcement regarding these pistols.
Anyone know more about this than in the article?
https://abcnews.go.com/US/detective-...ry?id=79605906

Any clues what could be happening....other than finger on the trigger or foreign objects getting into the holster.
Doesn't the Sig have a fireing pin block like most other striker fire pistols that would totally prevent this?

Note: This is NOT a troll post.
I do carry a striker fire pistol AIWB sometimes, but this has always been a concern. I do feel more at ease with my hammer fired ones in this position.
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Old August 25, 2021, 02:23 PM   #2
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The Serpa holster she used looks really sloppy on the gun. In the video you can see how much the gun moves forward and back while she is putting her finger inside.

No telling what was in her purse and it seems unlikely for everything to happen just perfectly, but it does seem possible. She said the purse was swinging on her arm. I wonder if somehow when it swung around did it contact her body and come to a quick stop while something was in the trigger guard?
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Old August 25, 2021, 02:43 PM   #3
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Totally believe something got caught in the holster. Coat, string etc. I have a friend that was shot in the leg from just this. One reason I only carry DAO EDC. The Public wants "CRISP" triggers now, every review of a new pistol they brag about how crisp it is.. Great for some, not for myself. Getting rid of one now. I was going to use it for range only since it has a Red Dot, but just not worth it.
Smooth, controlled, Deliberate DAO for myself. Others can have the shortest reset, the most "CRISP", the loudest reset etc. Each to his own. I wonder how far they will take it.
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Old August 25, 2021, 03:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Doesn't the Sig have a fireing pin block like most other striker fire pistols that would totally prevent this?
Yes, yes it does.

It wouldn't prevent the gun from firing if the user pulled the trigger, though. My educated guess is that is what happened and the user doesn't want to admit fault/is in denial.

Putting a gun in a crap holster and that assembly into a purse with other crap rolling around is asking for trouble.

I have 2 P320s: an X5 Legion and a full size with a GrayGuns trigger. I use them for 3Gun Matches. Though both triggers are far lighter and shorter than stock (ie what a PD would issue), each take a considerable amount of pressure and movement to fire.

I'll raise the BS flag high on this claim.
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Old August 25, 2021, 03:36 PM   #5
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54 cases of unknown discharges....all due to mishandling? Hmmm

The officer getting out of his vehicle also had the Sig in his duty holster.
Seat belt catching the trigger? Unlikely.
Is the striker partially cocked or fully cocked?
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Old August 25, 2021, 03:45 PM   #6
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I’d be amazed if it’s only 54 cases of mishandling. Remember all the reports of “Glock leg” back in the day? The P320 has gown in adoption rapidly and with those rising numbers we’re going to see more and more cases of negligence. While I may also carry a striker fired pistol with a similar trigger pull weight, even I admit that such designs are less forgiving of negligence than some others with heavier trigger pulls or manual safeties (at least to stop absent mindedness or foreign objects).

I think there’s a tendency for those of us on this forum to forget that we are, generally speaking, in the minority. There are loads of firearm owners that are just that, firearm owners and not what I would call shooters. They possess or are issued firearms and have little interest in learning more about them. I’ve had experiences at public and private ranges that have made it so that when I drive to my current club and see the lot empty I breath a sigh of relief. And to be fair even experienced shooters have cases of mishandling, though theirs tend to get more press.


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Old August 26, 2021, 08:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl the Floor Walker View Post
Totally believe something got caught in the holster. Coat, string etc. I have a friend that was shot in the leg from just this. One reason I only carry DAO EDC. The Public wants "CRISP" triggers now, every review of a new pistol they brag about how crisp it is.. Great for some, not for myself. Getting rid of one now. I was going to use it for range only since it has a Red Dot, but just not worth it.
Smooth, controlled, Deliberate DAO. Each to his own.
I am with you, I like DA/SA with a safety for AIWB carry. Sure, that DA trigger is more difficult to master, and the safety is one more toggle to train for before firing the pistol; but THAT'S exactly why I want it: I do not want a single pull of the trigger to be the only step before the pistol that I am carrying discharges.
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Old August 27, 2021, 09:02 PM   #8
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The 320 is safe but the people carrying them are not.
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Old August 28, 2021, 01:38 PM   #9
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I'm not surprised. This has been talked about in length but the trend in the gun market is short light triggers with no manual safety. I will never carry or buy a striker fired gun without a manual safety for this very reason. We have made it too easy for the smallest mistake to end in disaster. People aren't machines, you can never be perfect and every one of us makes mistakes. When I holster a gun I can feel the safety (or hammer) and know its not caught. Can't do that with most of these striker fired pistols and the trigger is so light the littlest bump will fire the thing.
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Old August 28, 2021, 02:07 PM   #10
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People aren't machines, you can never be perfect and every one of us makes mistakes.
Exactly.
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Old August 28, 2021, 03:04 PM   #11
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This post got longer than I intended.

The first part of the post is about guns discharging.

The second part is about investigating an unintentional discharge.

The last part includes practical recommendations for how to avoid unintentional discharges.

Guns discharging: (What we do know about what happened.)

It is extremely rare for a gun to truly just "go off by itself".

For a gun to truly "go off by itself" the gun would have to have enough energy stored in the striker/hammer spring to fire the gun, and that energy would have to be released so that the firing pin/striker hits the primer with enough force to ignite the primer. The release would require, at a minimum for a critical part (e.g. sear or sear equivalent) to break spontaneously.

Why is this extremely rare?

1. Some designs don't even have enough energy stored in the striker/hammer spring to ignite the primer. True DAO designs are like this. The trigger must be depressed either partially or fully to compress the hammer/striker spring and store enough energy to fire the gun. Single action guns that are not cocked are like this. Until the hammer/striker is cocked, there's not enough energy to fire the gun. But, of course, many designs do have enough energy stored in the hammer/striker spring to ignite the primer.

2. It's extremely unusual for parts to spontaneously break. Sears can break during the firing cycle, but for one to just snap out of a clear blue sky is really unusual. Even under stress (as from being stored in a cocked/partially cocked position), it's very rare for a steel part to just snap on its own.

3. Virtually all guns have some sort of safety system designed to prevent the gun from discharging unintentionally. Things like rebounding hammers, firing pin blocks, transfer bars, trigger safeties, drop safeties are built into designs so that even of something goes wrong (say a sear really does snap out of the clear blue) the gun won't fire.

Well, if that's true, how is it that we hear about guns firing unintentionally? The key is that while it is not so uncommon for a gun to be fired unintentionally, it virtually always requires some input from the user to fire.

What kind of inputs? The simplest way to say it is that virtually always, some kind of energy needs to be put into a gun before it can fire.

Examples are:

1. Pulling the trigger. This is the most common way that guns are fired unintentionally. It may be that the user pulls the trigger intentionally thinking that the gun is unloaded or won't fire for some other reason, they may pull the trigger unintentionally (less common than the previous). Something else may pull the trigger--a foreign object in the triggerguard during holstering, for example--an item in a pocket or a purse.


2. Dropping the gun. Guns are designed to be drop safe, but impacts can apply a tremendous amount of force to parts of the gun and in some cases it is sufficient to cause breakage, or to bypass design features and fire the gun. We worry a lot about drop safety, but in the real world, it's kind of rare for guns to fire from being dropped--but it can happen. In addition to the possibility of defects from the manufacturer, parts in the safeties designed to prevent discharges could be damaged/worn over time, or could be compromised by user modification or by replacement parts that don't meet the manufacturer specifications.

3. Bumping, jostling or shaking a gun that is either defective, damaged, badly worn, or improperly modified could conceivably be sufficient to fire a gun.

I know, that's a lot of words, but the point is important.

When someone says a gun "went off by itself" that should raise red flags. Guns virtually never "go off by themselves". They DO go off unintentionally, but that almost always involves some kind of input or action on the part of the user.

Investigating discharges: (Why we don't know what really happened yet.)

So the first step in an investigation into an unintentional discharge needs to be dertermining what sort of input or action on the part of the user actually started the process that resulted in a discharge.

In this case, the user states:

“I picked up my bag, my keys were on top,” she said. “As I walked around my desk, my purse swings out and it shoots out the bottom of my bag.”
As we should have suspected, the gun wasn't just lying somewhere and suddenly fired without warning. The user was moving the purse containing the gun around. So right away, we know that the gun didn't just "go off by itself".

The next step is to examine the evidence to try to determine a likely cause. The gun, holster, purse, and purse contents should be examined. Obviously we're not going to be able to do that here--we'll have to wait for others to do that examination and provide results.

It's also worth keeping in mind that users often have a significant stake in the outcome of these investigations. Jobs can be at stake. Huge sums of money could change hands if a manufacturer is determined to be liable. Hospital bills can be very expensive. Unfortunately, this means there's often incentive to alter evidence before it can be examined.

Even when the evidence isn't intentionally modified, understandable actions at the time of the discharge may complicate the investigation. In one video I saw, the person grabbed the holstered gun out of his pants after the discharge and threw it away from him. A gun/holster combination that's been thrown across the room could have been damaged or modified in the process. Even just the recoil from the discharge will move things around a bit. I can guarantee you that when the gun fired in the user's purse, it definitely shifted in the purse and moved other objects in the purse in the process.

Anyway, the investigators will look at the gun. Was it modified? Was it in good condition? Can it be made to fire by dropping it, jostling it, etc.?

They will look at the holster. Could something have gotten into the triggerguard with the gun holstered properly? Was the holster in good condition?

If they can, they will try to look at the purse and its contents to determine if there were objects in the purse that might have worked their way into the holster.

What to do: (Whatever happened, how can I keep it from happening to me.)


1. Understand your gun. If the carry condition of your gun is such that there's enough energy stored to fire the gun, you need to take steps to insure that energy is kept stored until you want it released. This may mean using the provided manual safety. It may mean carefully choosing a holster that protects the trigger and/or safety. It could even mean choosing a different carry gun--not all guns are really designed for carry. Pay attention to what the manufacturer tells you in the manual. People like to talk about lawyerese and scoff about CYA and manufacturer worries about lawsuits, but the bottom line is that if the manufacturer is worried enough about something to try to limit their liability with a warning in the manual, it's worth your attention too. Before you disregard a recommendation or warning, you need to understand exactly what risk you run by doing so.

2. Make sure your gun is in good condition. Periodically the gun should be inspected for excessive wear. Areas in that particular design known to experience failures should be inspected for cracks or damage. Pay attention to recalls.

3. Make sure your other equipment is safe and is in good condition. Does the holster protect the trigger? Is the holster starting to sag and lose its integrity? I've seen pictures of a worn leather holster that folded over into the triggerguard and eventually put enough pressure on the trigger to fire the gun. Are you carrying a gun in a case with other items which could contact the trigger?

3. Make sure your gun meets the manufacturers specifications. Drop in parts are relatively inexpensive, can be easy to install and can offer improvements in trigger feel or other benefits. But it's your responsibility to insure that the safety mechanisms in the gun are still functional. On another forum, a person installed a well-known brand of drop-in trigger into a common pistol and found that it was no longer drop safe with the new part. Some people like to modify their firearms. Be sure you know what you're doing and also know how to test the gun when the modification is complete. There's one common model of pistol that can be easily modified in such a way that all of the passive safeties in the gun are defeated leaving the gun prone to discharges from being dropped or even bumped hard.

4. Follow the safety rules. People worry a lot about dropped firearms, trigger snags and design defects, but reality is that it's not the firearms that are the problem most of the time. It's the human. Practice the safety rules every chance you get. Keep them in mind when you handle firearms.

5. Minimize your risk. Since a gun almost always needs some kind of input from the user to fire, think about minimizing those inputs. If you don't really need to load and unload your carry gun daily, then don't. Why manipulate a loaded gun if there's really no need to do so? Don't mess with loaded guns if you don't have to. I've heard too many unintentional discharge stories that started with a show and tell session of a loaded carry gun.

6. Don't get complacent. Your firearms don't get safer just because you're used to them and have owned them a long time. In fact, just the reverse can be true.
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Old August 28, 2021, 03:07 PM   #12
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Sig 320 unsafe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by adamBomb View Post
Can't do that with most of these striker fired pistols and the trigger is so light the littlest bump will fire the thing.
I have owned literally dozens of pistols, including most of the available striker fired polymer framed pistols in current production and some that are no longer in production. I have not owned one where the second half in the above statement is remotely true. In the litigious world we live in I have a hard time imagining a company that is going to mass produce a product that, by the above description, is practically guaranteed to result in an unintended discharge. There’s a point where hyperbole goes from illustrating a point to being ridiculous.


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Old August 28, 2021, 03:47 PM   #13
lll Otto lll
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Originally Posted by BILLG View Post
The 320 is safe but the people carrying them are not.
Well, the US Army didn't think so. They informed SIG that the gun was unsafe and refused to adopt it until changes were made. SIG complied but not for the civilian or LE models. That came later as the lawsuits began racking-up. The Voluntary Upgrade program wasn't announced until Aug. '17. In my opinion, it should have been a mandatory recall instead.

Edit:There were other problems with the P320 as well. One is that it could fire OOB, and Sig added a disconector to correct that. Another issue is that it could fire if dropped. SIG lightened the trigger and other components to lessen the mass.

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Old August 28, 2021, 04:08 PM   #14
TunnelRat
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Sig 320 unsafe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lll Otto lll View Post
Well, the US Army didn't think so. They informed SIG that the gun was unsafe and refused to adopt it until changes were made. SIG complied but not for the civilian or LE models. That came later as the lawsuits began racking-up. The Voluntary Upgrade program wasn't announced until Aug. '17. In my opinion, it should have been a mandatory recall instead.

Edit:There were other problems with the P320 as well. One is that it could fire OOB, and Sig added a disconector to correct that. Another issue is that it could fire if dropped. SIG lightened the trigger and other components to lessen the mass.

Actually that’s an incorrect recollection of the events.

The Voluntary Upgrade Program came about because of a press story regarding a department (Dallas, TX) pulling its P320 pistols. It ended up that the department pulled the pistols due to a misunderstanding about the manual, but them pulling the pistols prompted a number of people to test whether a P320 was drop safe. It was discovered during that independent testing that if the slide was struck hard on the rear the pistol could in fact discharge. This blew up on YouTube and other social media websites and after all the bad press SIG started the Voluntary Upgrade Program (which I do agree should have been a recall).

The reason SIG had the fix practically immediately with regards to the drop safety issue was because that same issue was discovered during the MHS trials and SIG implemented a parts fix during that trial. Those were the changes the Army requested, not an additional separate issue as mentioned above (at least per the articles I’ve read).

All of this is recorded both here on this forum (we had a number of threads on the issue) and in press articles on a number of DoD/firearm industry oriented websites.

Edit:
Some links

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/...-p-320-pistol/

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/...-test-failure/

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/...fety-failures/

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/...-mhs-triggers/

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/...ems-questions/

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/...outdoors-test/

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Old August 28, 2021, 04:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
The Public wants "CRISP" triggers now, every review of a new pistol they brag about how crisp it is.. Great for some, not for myself. Getting rid of one now.
The crispness of the trigger is irrelevant. It is the trigger pull weight before it breaks and the length of pull that matter if one is talking about an "accidental" discharge due to the trigger being depressed enough to fire.
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Old August 28, 2021, 04:44 PM   #16
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In the litigious world we live in i have a hard time imagining a company that is going to mass produce a product that, by the above description, is practically guaranteed to result in an unintended discharge.
Yes that's exactly why they keep getting sued and settling the lawsuits. The gun apparently goes off without a person pulling the trigger. Most likely from a bump or something getting caught. The cases of the p320 are crazy "I touched the holster and it fired'' etc.
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Old August 28, 2021, 04:46 PM   #17
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Sig 320 unsafe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by adamBomb View Post
Yes that's exactly why they keep getting sued and settling the lawsuits.

The number I see floated here is 54 lawsuits, without an answer as to how many were settled. SIG is cranking out hundreds of thousands of P320s. We should be well above 54 if the situation was as dramatic as your original claim.


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Old August 28, 2021, 05:32 PM   #18
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Sig 320 unsafe?

Let’s examine one of the most recent lawsuits. The officer in question was a 20 year veteran. He was struck in the lower leg and had a serious injury.

https://www.wcvb.com/article/sig-sau...-2021/37408324

“According to his lawsuit, Collette removed his gun belt and secured his P320 in a smaller compartment in his gym bag, wrapped with a cloth. As Collette walked with his bag over his right shoulder, the gun allegedly fired without the trigger being pulled, and the bullet went through his leg.”

When I read this, I read an officer took a loaded firearm (chambered round) without a holster, put it in a gym bag, and while walking around the firearm discharged. To me this seems incredibly negligent, and something that would likely see a lawsuit against the officer had the round struck another person. While I have a healthy distrust of a corporation that sells a product for profit, I also have a healthy distrust of people that may well make mistakes and look for someone else to blame. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to me to assume something in that gym bag got into the trigger guard, pressed the trigger to the rear, and the firearm discharged. The cloth he wrapped the pistol in may well have bunched and pulled at the trigger. At the very least this is no less likely than a catastrophic failure of the striker block safety that is part of the gun and would prevent such a discharge. When corporations do something negligent it’s usually a combination of people at that corporation that were negligent. If people working for a corporation can be negligent or even heinous, so can a private citizen.

One final point I will make is in all of the lawsuits I am familiar with the officers are suing because of harm caused to themselves or others whom they didn’t intend to harm. I’m unaware of a case of an officer holding a suspect at bay and the firearm discharging. This leads me to ask, why were these firearms pointed at people and particularly the officers themselves? I have and use a type of duty rig when I take certain courses and I’m familiar with other duty rigs. I’m unaware of any of them that position the firearm so that it is pointed at yourself while standing or seated or that should require you to muzzle yourself during a draw. At the same time I have personally seen active duty officers muzzle themselves during a few different firearms courses, with most of them being veterans.

There’s a fair point here that a manual safety or a DA trigger pull might have stopped some of these cases, I concede that. But the larger issue to me seems to be people not minding their muzzles. The four general safety rules offer redundant protection in terms of personal safety. If my finger presses a trigger but the muzzle isn’t directed at another person, no personal injury will result (being mindful of what walls and floors will actually stop a bullet). If I muzzle a person but I never press the trigger, no personal injury will result (assuming proper mechanical function). Just because the rules are redundant doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be mindful of them on their own and try to follow them individually as well.

I often see a response that this requires “perfection” on the part of a person, and to an extent that’s why the rules are redundant. However, if a person tells me that being mindful of their muzzle is beyond their ability (especially when we’re talking pointing a firearm at yourself), I would have a serious conversation with that person of if carrying a firearm is right for them. This isn’t to say that a person wanting a manual safety and or a double action trigger is wrong or I’m calling them unsafe. I’ve carried such pistols myself. My point is even those devices cannot completely stop negligence. I say this as a person that had a negligent discharge with a pistol that had a manual safety, a double action pull, and a magazine disconnect. The pistol couldn’t stop me from pressing the trigger. My muzzle management, however, at least prevented personal injury.


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Old August 28, 2021, 08:59 PM   #19
Lima Oscar 7
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Resolved: Firearms are dangerous.

Opinion: Handguns with no manual safety are especially dangerous. Extra care must be taken during holstering and unholstering.

Any firearm can misfire due to mechanical failure. Is the gun pointed in a safe direction?

Personally, I have to have the trigger dingus on any handgun sans a manual safety. Feeling the dingus immediately engages my mind——-is the firearm pointed in a safe direction?

Never handle a firearm without clearing it.
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Old August 28, 2021, 09:09 PM   #20
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Feeling the dingus immediately engages my mind——-is the firearm pointed in a safe direction?
While I take your point, I feel I would be remiss if I didn't comment on the issue of waiting until one's finger is on the trigger to start thinking about muzzle control.
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Old August 28, 2021, 09:19 PM   #21
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Agreed, never point a pistol at anything you don’t intend to destroy. I have shot Glocks since 1993. Depressing the dingus is a part of the mental sequence for me once I have made the decision to fire the pistol and am already on target. I will add I will not handle any firearm I am not allowed to clear if it has not been cleared just prior to my handling it.
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