That’s right, SIG knew the P320 failed drop safety tests and kept quiet. Omaha Outdoors’ intrepid Andrew Tuohey — the man who discovered the drop-safety problem with the SIG SAUER P320 — has been digging into obscure Pentagon reports. And he’s found an interesting tidbit about the timing of what SIG knew and when they knew it regarding the Army’s XM17 (P320) drop safety testing.
Omaha Outdoors testing regarding the P320 drop fire issue was conducted in early August 2017 and released on August 7, 2017. On August 4, 2017, SIG had stated that the company “has full confidence in the reliability, durability, and safety of its striker-fired handgun platform” and that there had been “zero (0) reported drop-related P320 incidents in the U.S. commercial market” as well as describing that “the P320 meets and exceeds all U.S. standards for safety.”
But as the highlighted portion of the Annual Report indicates, the Army had found the problem four months earlier.
The DOT&E Annual Report’s apparent statement that, sometime prior to April 2017, the Army directed the ECP as a result of failures during drop fire testing, which resulted in the lightweight components being adopted, is incongruent with previously public descriptions of the same events. As described on Soldier Systems in August 2017, “While the MHS passed DoD’s TOP 3-2-045 test with the trigger currently in the commercial P320, SIG proposed an enhanced trigger via Engineering Change Request E0005.” It is, of course, possible that both parties simultaneously discovered the drop fire issue and further simultaneously and separately directed (on the part of the Army) and requested (on the part of SIG) the ECP to address drop fire test failures. However, it does not explain the DOT&E description of the drop fire issue as apparently being known sometime before April 2017.
So SIG was extremely careful to note in their original statement to Omaha Outdoors that there hadn’t been any incidents in the civilian market. That was an artfully worded, Clintonian denial of a problem they’d long been aware of. Read the whole thing.