As seen in Thunder Roads Louisiana Oct. 2017 Vol. 14 – Issue 9.
SIG-Sauer and Glock continue to hold the covers of magazines and the front of web-pages across the internet. For SIG, the headlines consist of the Army’s M17 variant and the “voluntary upgrade” program on “unsafe” P320s in the civilian arena. For Glock, their headlines cover the good and the bad of the new Generation-5 line of handguns. Of course, both issues were met with various degrees of controversy.
SIG-Sauer offered a voluntary upgrade for a safety issue: wherein, if the handgun is ever dropped on the back-plate it could result in a discharge. This came about after two different law-enforcement officers reported discharges, when their service handguns fell to the ground. The most recent case resulted in the officer being wounded. I will be sending one of mine off to assess the differences when it comes back. It doesn’t strike me as a big deal. The mechanical fault requires such specific parameters to meet that it is almost a non-issue. There have been two incidents that brought the problem to light, out of over 500,000 P320s sold commercially and to law-enforcement, so far.
A note from my end. I submitted a voluntary upgrade request for my first P320C. It took about three weeks to get a response back, after the first acknowledgement of the submission. The email simply stated that I would be contacted, kept up with and eventually be sent a shipping label “throughout October and November.” They verify that the information provided was correct and that if there were any problems, to contact a specific number. And, of course, that someone would have to be there to sign for the package when it was finished and returned to the owner. So, that’s the latest there. The timeline looks like Jan-Feb before I see a return, after I send it in.
Glock, on the other hand, released their Generation-5 line. The Gen-5 handguns are the commercial version of the M-variant L.E. handguns. It has been described as the “Gen-4 without finger grooves”, but this isn’t accurate. There is a whole lot of difference internally. There is very little backwards compatibility with older models’ parts. For that reason, there has been a lot of disappointment with the new Glock. New barrel, new internals, and a requirement for (mostly) new holsters. The compatibility list with older models extremely is short.
The Gen-5s are currently only being offered in 9mm – with the full-sized 17s and compact 19s. The next bit of news may alleviate that burn slightly. Glock’s Head of International Sales, Richard Flür, stated that the Modular Handgun System offerings would be put on the commercial market. The two MHS guns are G19 and G23 variants with compact slides on full-sized frames. Currently, there has been no word on other 9mm models or calibers such as .45 ACP. If you are fresh into the handgun market and happen to like the Glock design, then it is irrelevant. The Gen-5 might be right up your alley.
The argument of dominance between Glock and SIG is rather irrelevant. Glock reigns supreme in the law-enforcement community (Glock says 65% of the U.S. L.E. market.) and will for the foreseeable future, but they were beaten in the Army’s program due to a lack of modularity. You won’t see Glock innovate until there’s a credible threat to the market they currently control. They merely need to comply with any bulk commercial requests.
SIG’s cheap grip modules and X-Change kits are a superior alternative to buying a whole Glock frame. Which, I might add, must be sent through an FFL because it is a serialized part. Those go for between $220-250 before shipping and transfer, versus SIG’s $40 grip modules or a $300 X-Change kit in any other size and caliber.
As the companies battle it out with new designs, it is the American public that benefit from such competition. On top of the Glock and SIG, Smith & Wesson is releasing a compact-sized M&P 2.0 in 9mm, CZ-USA has their striker-fired P-10C and the H&K VP9 has all controls on both sides without having to be switched. The diversity is there within the commercial market, and there is far more from 2017 than what little I have just covered.
Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE Act – H.R. #3668, Duncan S.C.) – Features many pro-firearms related material including a “Hearing Protection Act” provision for deregulation of suppressor purchases. After the mass shooting in Las Vegas, the bill was said to have been put on hold — the first alert from House Speaker Paul Ryan, here. It is listed as having been placed on the Union Calendar, item No. 224, on the 18th of September.
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