Last week, the Sig P320 drop tests we conducted reverberated throughout the gun world. Many people were shocked, as we were, that a high-quality firearm manufacturer could produce a pistol with such a dangerous defect. Others didn’t believe the results, blaming us for not following standard drop test protocol. When The Truth About Guns made their own drop test, though, showing the same results, and seemingly dozens of other media outlets did the same, acknowledgement of the problem became more widespread. Sig Sauer reacted the next day, announcing that their pistols did indeed have a problem when dropped at that angle, that they had a fix, and that details of the “voluntary upgrade” process would be released soon.
We wanted to address some of the questions found in the comments section of that video, so we start this one off responding to those questions. First, an apology from me for not mentioning that we used primed cases in our testing. These were all factory loads with the bullets and powder removed, so the cases were the same as factory ammunition in terms of primer seating depth and primer hardness, but we did not have the danger of a bullet going in some undetermined direction. As both 9mm and 45 headspace off the case mouth, the lack of a bullet did not have an effect on where the case sat in the chamber, meaning that the distance from the striker to the firing pin was exactly the same as it would have been had they been live rounds. In summary, these cases were an exact analog for the drop safe performance of factory ammunition in the same guns.
Other comments related to my wearing shorts and flip flops while drop testing guns. First, as noted, the guns were not firing live rounds. But even if they were, what sort of pants and shoes do you wear that would stop a 9mm or 45 bullet at close range? I wear shorts and flip flops because the Arizona summer is unforgiving and the shop where these tests are conducted is not air conditioned. Plus, Combat Flip Flops does great work and their products are super comfy.
Some people didn’t like that we were, in effect, dropping the guns “wrong” according to the established protocols. Our test did, however, show a flaw in both the firearm and the protocol. I’ve never been a fan of blind obedience to a standard without knowing why the standard exists, so to me, our tests show that the standards need to be updated to include how a striker gun without a trigger safety might fail, and also that the P320 needed a fix for its drop fires.
Finally, the part you’ve all been waiting for. A lot of people said things like “any gun will go off if you drop it like that” or “X handgun will fire if you drop it like that.”
At the time that we released our first drop test video, we had conducted many other drop tests of common service handguns from other manufacturers, but we chose not to make the video a comparison between Sig and X manufacturer, simply a focus on that particular issue. Needless to say, many folks were wondering if their chosen pistol platform was susceptible to this issue, so in this video we drop test, at many angles, a Glock 17 Gen 2, Glock 17 Gen 3 modified by Zev, Glock 22 Gen 4, Glock 43, Heckler & Koch VP9, HK VP9SK, Polymer80 PF940C Glock kit with all stock Glock parts, Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0, S&W M&P 45, and a Springfield TRP Operator 1911.
None of these firearms caused a primed case to discharge. It is not acceptable for a modern service handgun to fire a round when dropped and no excuse can be made for one that fires. Omaha Outdoors will continue to test many of the firearms mentioned above at different angles and we will incorporate drop testing in all of our future reviews. As we discover firearms that fire when dropped, we will attempt to confirm our results, contact the manufacturer for their comment, and then release the results of the failed tests in a timely manner to the public.