The commercial version of the Sig Sauer P320 might have undergone its share of controversy recently, but the Army—which picked a version of it as its official sidearm back in January—still has a pistol to test. And test they did, putting it through its paces for the U.S. Army Operational Test Command at Fort Bragg’s Range 29 on Aug. 27. Scroll through the gallery above to see the photos.
In a press release, the Army said most soldiers who sent rounds through the P320 that day were with the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, but testers from throughout the service will be at Fort Bragg over the next few weeks, including soldiers from the Special Operations Aviation Regiment out of Kentucky, as well as the 3rd Infantry Division based in Georgia.
“We wanted to make sure that we have a huge sample to make sure that we’ve got this right — that the Army has it right,” said OTC’s Col. Brian McHugh.
Some of the military occupational specialties involved in the testing process include police, pilots, infantry and crew chiefs.
“These are the Soldiers who would be using the weapon every day, so getting their feedback on the pistol is really what is important for operational testing,” explained OTC test officer Maj. Mindy Brown.
U.S. Army soldiers aren’t the only ones who’ll get a chance to test the new Modular Handgun System. Sailors, airmen and marines will also have the opportunity to try it out, the release notes.
Fort Bragg was selected as a testing site because it has ranges that “support realistic conditions,” according to the Army.
“You are using real Soldiers in a realistic environment,” Brown said.
Participating soldiers provided feedback regarding the interchangeability of the Sig Sauer P320 with the M4, in addition to its effectiveness while wearing cold weather gear.
“It’s good. We don’t really get the opportunity to test the equipment in the unit we’re in,” said Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Custer of 160th SOAR.
Sgt. Emily Todd, 16th Military Police Brigade, also gave a thumbs up for the test. “It’s a great opportunity for Soldiers to get to shoot more rounds . . . it’s nice to have a forward look into what the Army might use some day,” she said.
As we mentioned up top, the polymer-framed, striker-fired Sig Sauer P320 was selected back in January as the winner of the U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System competition to replace the Beretta M9.