Sig Sauer is kicking ass and taking names in the handgun market. Exeter, New Hampshire, has evolved into the new epicenter of the handgun universe. A Midas-like touch with the P320 and P365 product lineup make this hard to refute. Legacy models such as the P210, P220 and P226 still have loyal followings, as well. The polymer striker-fired Sig P320 quickly evolved into an industry leader for duty and personal defense handguns. This is after arriving on the scene in 2014. Its selection as the U.S. Army’s new sidearm via the MHS (Modular Handgun System) solidified this position. This led to all other U.S. branches of service adopting the P320 in its M17 or M18 form. And now the Sig Sauer P320 AXG Scorpion.
The Sig Sauer P320 AXG Scorpion
It is hard to convey the pride felt from Sig Sauer CEO Ron Cohen all the way to the factory floor related to the selection of the M17/M18 as our military’s sidearm. Cohen and many others at Sig Sauer have served either in the U.S. military or our allies’ services. The satisfaction of providing a sidearm that was selected after rigorous testing and millions of rounds fired since its inception is immeasurable.
Sig Sauer currently employs over 1,800 employees located in numerous facilities across five U.S. states and two other countries—Germany and Switzerland. The company’s HQ is located in Exeter, New Hampshire. Sig’s horizontal business strategy of creating/acquiring divisions focused on suppressors, ammunition, optics and training is paying real dividends as evidenced by the MHS contract award as well as several other military/LE solicitation successes in the United States and around the world. In fact, Sig is the largest U.S. exporter of small arms, with their products available in more than 80 countries.
Sig has a reputation for not resting on its laurels. Always pushing the envelope, Sig introduces new variants of already successful weapons in the quest to scratch everyone’s itch. This happens by combining/adding features based on wish list comments coming from competition, tactical, law enforcement and personal defense customers. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to have a successful new model. There are currently 13 P320 variants on the Sig website. The Sig P320 AXG (Alloy X-Series Grip) Scorpion is the newest entry and the focus of this article.
Heart Of The Matter
The fire control mechanism or “chassis” is the heart of all Sig P320s. The chassis is considered the pistol and bears the required serial number marking. The fire control chassis fits into a grip module. The chassis is the key allowing for the Sig P320’s modularity between different models’ slides and frames. The chassis contains the trigger mechanism, hammer and slide catches. The slide assembly does not interact with the grip module but operates along the chassis’ integral steel rails, which guide it. The rails are located on both sides of the chassis, front and rear.
The fire control chassis is easy to swap between grip modules without requiring any tools. Rotate the takedown lever and remove the slide. Remove the takedown lever by turning and pulling out simultaneously. This frees the fire control chassis for removal by pulling/pushing it upward while drawing the trigger shoe backward. You are done. An important nuance pointed out in Sig literature is that the P320 can be field stripped without requiring either tools or needing to pull the trigger.
Separating From The Pack
The new P320 AXG Scorpion brings a heightened level of performance to the P320 lineup. The 320 AXG Scorpion is a Sig Custom Works offering. The P320 AXG Scorpion falls into the Sig X-Series of P320s. Sig Custom Works made sure the P320 AXG Scorpion is very distinctive among its P320 brethren. Not only aesthetically but also with added features. The P320 AXG Scorpion arrives with three 17-round magazines placed inside a Custom Works case. The package also includes a Challenge Coin and Certificate of Authenticity.
The P320 AXG features a metal alloy grip module. The metal grip module adds 3.2 ounces of weight to the Scorpion compared to similar sized Sig P320-M18. Custom Hogue G10 Piranha side grip panels/rear backstrap, FDE Cerakote finish, X-Series flat skeleton trigger, XRay3 day/night sights with U-notch rear, and X-Series Optic Ready Slide compatible with Sig Romeo 1PRO, Leupold DeltaPoint Pro and Trijicon RMR red-dots are other Sig P320 AXG Scorpion characteristics. The ability to easily mount a red-dot optic on the Sig P320 Scorpion is a sure sign of the times. Red-dot use on handguns is spreading rapidly to everyday personal-defense weapons, as well as law enforcement and military weapons.
The Sig P320 AXG Scorpion was one of the big reveals at the Athlon Rendezvous in Idaho last September. Fortunately, Sig Sauer manufactures their own ammunition and was able to acquire a healthy supply of 9mm for the Athlon Rendezvous event. The P320 has always attracted admirers thanks to its ergonomics. For example, its grip angle found favor with many who argue it offers a better natural point of aim than competitors. Thankfully, Sig maintained the grip angle with the AXG Scorpion’s alloy frame module. Instead, they focused on other tweaks such as Sig X-Series straight trigger, beveled four-sided internal magazine well, undercut triggerguard, extended beavertail and sights.
The 3.2 ounce difference in weight added by the alloy frame generates a distinctive positive ergonomic feel that will appeal to many. What could be better than a proven striker-fired handgun exuding the classic feel of metal in your palm? Not much. The AXG Scorpion’s generous undercut and extended beavertail immediately sent positive signals to the right side of my brain.
No Safe Queen
After nearly 200 rounds fired in Idaho with the AXG Scorpion—with the line behind me stacking up wanting their turn—I was quick to request P320 AXG Scorpion for a more in-depth experience. The best way to learn or appreciate a product is to use it unhindered over an extended timeframe. We did not experience any malfunctions with the Sig P320 AXG Scorpion. During range visits to Echo Valley Training Center (EVTC) we test fired 500 rounds. We decided to keep the T&E an all Sig show by using Sig ammunition. Loads fired spanned 115 grains to 147 grains with hollow points and FMJ bullet types utilized.
The P320 AXG Scorpion was put through its paces by shooting a course designed for a LE competition held yearly at EVTC. Multiple targets are engaged from three different positions with mandatory magazine changes between firing positions. This gives a good benchmark for time and accuracy by being able to compare it to the average times posted by numerous competitors and their different weapons. Even under the induced stress of drawing against a timer and engaging multiple targets, the Sig P320 Scorpion performed smoothly with the trigger conducive to accuracy or speed of placing multiple hits on target.
Multiple scenarios involving shooting/moving, engaging multiple targets behind barricades while switching magazines, working in/around a vehicle, and then running steel plates at every imaginable range—10 yards out to 80 yards—left no doubt of the P320 AXG Scorpion’s potential. Sig Sauer XRay3 day/night sights provide a solid sight picture if in a hurry no matter the light conditions. The sights are also proficient in providing stand-and-deliver accuracy at distance. The P320 AXG Scorpion instills confidence with how it stacks hits on targets that result in jagged holes.
Breaking It Down
The Sig P320 AXG Scorpion features a trigger pull measuring approximately 6 pounds. However, the Sig X-Series straight trigger offers a 90-degree break for better geometry and less likely to pull sights to the right or left. The key with the P320 AXG Scorpion is the same trigger pull every time. The Scorpion’s trigger is an asset with its consistency. Anyone that familiarizes themselves with it will not be disappointed.
The Sig modifications with the P320 AXG Scorpion center on enhancing the handgun’s interaction with the user, especially in terms of placing multiple rounds on target accurately, efficiently and reliably. This offers a tactical advantage. With the P320 AXG Scorpion, you can instantly sense Sig Sauers’ attention to detail. Crucial items such as grip texture, trigger and getting the shooter’s hand as near the bore axis as possible are seamlessly interfaced between handgun and shooter. Years of experience allow for Sig engineers to take the nebulous concept of “feel” and translate it to being one of best-shooting pistols on the market right out of the box.
A key to the Sig P320’s overall success is its minimal operating controls, high cartridge capacity to size ratio, and relentless reliability. Simplicity should not be confused as lack of refinement. The Sig Sauer P320 AXG Scorpion’s features mean nothing if it does not perform up to the standards Sig Sauer is famous for. The dream of any end user attempting to pick a handgun is that it performs every imaginable job description with equal aplomb. The Sig Sauer P320 AXG Scorpion satisfies this quest.
For more information, visit SigSauer.com.
Sig Sauer P320 AXG Scorpion Specs
Barrel: 3.9 inches
OA Length: 7.4 inches
Weight: 31.3 ounces (empty)
Grips: Hogue G10 Piranha
Sights: Xray 3 day/night
This article was originally published in the Combat Handguns Sept/October 2021 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions at OutdoorGroupStore.com. Or call 1-800-284-5668, or email [email protected]