SIG P320 COMPACT VS. GLOCK 19

The Contenders: Glock 19 on the left, Sig P320 Compact on the right

When one thinks of Sig Arms handguns, things like the beautiful P210, the classic P220, or even the more modern P229 come to mind. Polymer isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind as Sig’s Pro series was, well, sort of lackluster. I don’t think anyone is going to look at any of the Sig Pro series and wonder why more people don’t use them (well ok, maybe two people that I can think of). Sig however, learned from that, and started with a completely new concept and design. They call it the P320 and they did an amazing job of building an economical, tasteful, and versatile handgun. The problem however, is this combination places the Sig P320 squarely in the sights of one of the heaviest hitters in the industry, the Glock 19, but can it compete? Sig P320 Compact vs Glock 19 – I’m not sure there be a more fitting matchup?

The overall length is close between the two when consider the butt in the OAL.
The overall length is close between the two when consider the butt in the OAL.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last nearly two decades, you’re probably aware of Glock’s compact 9mm offering, the model 19. Now in its fourth generation (some would argue the law enforcement M series to be the fifth generation), the 19 has seen an increase in popularity due to its rather compact size, 15+1 capacity, reliability, and relative affordability. In its fourth generation version it has even managed to find itself with a larger and reversible magazine release, to better accommodate lefties and interchangeable back straps to accommodate various hand sizes.

The Sig P320 is the proverbial new kid on the block. Released into wild in 2014, the Sig P320 has gained traction quickly in competition. The P320 I use in the images of this article, utilizes a compact medium frame that has had some work done by Boresight Solutions.

Weights and Measures

Glock 19 Sig P320 Comp.
Width 1.18 in. 1.3 in.
Height 4.99 in. 5.3 in.
Length 7.36 in. 7.2 in.
Weight (empty) 23.46 oz. 25.7 oz.
Capacity 15+1 15+1
Barrel Length 4.01 in 3.9 in.
Sight Radius 6.02 in 5.79 in.

*Weights and measurements are as given by the manufacturers

Trigger

The trigger in the 19 has driven me nuts. While it would break at around six and a half pounds, it was anything but crisp. It seemed like the trigger tended to get heavier up to the wall and then before it would break as well. Contrasted with the P320’s long smooth pull of also six and a half pounds, I have to call the trigger comparison in favor of the P320.

Sig P320 Compact: 1     Glock 19: 0

 

Glock 19 with its grip additions on the and Sig P320 on the right, wearing a medium grip module that received the attention of Boresight Solutions. To the right is a small grip size module.
Glock 19 with its grip additions on the and Sig P320 on the right, wearing a medium grip module that received the attention of Boresight Solutions. To the right is a small grip size module.

Modularity

Glock’s parts interchangeability and adjustable back straps are about as close as they seem to be willing to get to modularity. Forget factory available conversion kits. Sig on the other hand has elevated it to a fine art in the P320. There are two “frames” (really just the trigger pack” one is for 9mm, .40 S&W, and .357 Sig while the other is for .45 ACP. This means that if you start with a 9mm, .40, or .357, you can’t swap to a .45 or vice versa.  That said, you have frames available in full size, carry (full size grip with compact dust cover), compact, and sub compact. And all of those are available as small, medium, or large grips sizes to accommodate different hand sizes. It’s a pretty ingenious plan if you ask me. Point goes to the Sig.

Sig P320 Compact: 2     Glock 19: 0

 

Aftermarket Parts and Accessories

At present, while there is aftermarket support for the P320, particularly in the competition arena, it is nowhere close to the Glock 19 which is to be expected with a 20+ year head start and significant popularity. That said, aftermarket base pads, barrels, and sights are readily available for both pistols. Though the Glock can probably be built from 100% aftermarket parts and the same cannot be said for the Sig. This point goes to the Glock.

Sig P320 Compact: 2     Glock 19: 1

 

Factory Sights

Let’s face it, whether it’s factory 3-dot sights in tritium or their non-luminescent offering, the Sig factory sights are serviceable straight from the box. Whereas the Glock 19 generally comes with plastic “sights” that could be blown off the pistol by wayward mouse flatulence. There are exceptions to this, but they’re not common. Sights should be serviceable out of the box, even if they aren’t the end user’s preference. This point goes to the Sig.

Sig P320 Compact: 3     Glock 19: 1

 

Back to Back: The Glock 19 on the left shows as being a touch shorter in height than the Sig P320 Compact on the right. The author believes the extra height is in the Sig's slide.
Back to Back: The Glock 19 on the left shows as being a touch shorter in height than the Sig P320 Compact on the right. The author believes the extra height is in the Sig’s slide.

Bore Height

Glock has always had low bore height going for their design. Sig, well, not so much. Glock’s approach contributes to a more compact slide as well. When firing these two pistols side by side, the difference in bore height and the resulting leverage on my wrists was noticeable. While it’s possible it’s just because I’m used to the Glock, I just found this aspect of the Sig to be annoying. But that isn’t the biggest reason the slide and bore height annoy me. The extra bulk that goes with the taller bore height I seem an annoyance to me. It just feels like there more gun to deal with when carrying it. This point goes to the Glock. Your views on this may vary.

Sig P320 Compact: 3     Glock 19: 2

 

Proven Durability

The Glock has, in some form or another, been around for decades. In that time, it has been one of the most popular guns on the market. While not long on looks, it enjoys a solid reputation for durability that is well earned. In the time I spent managing a firing range with a rental counter, I could count on one hand the number of failures we had with the various Glocks we had for rent. I won’t say there haven’t been teething issues with various models and generations, but overall Glock has always managed to sort things out. The 320 on the other hand, hasn’t been around long enough to have the same reputation for reliability though it’s very looking promising, particularly since the Army found it reliable and durable enough to adopt as the replacement for the M9 9mm Service Pistol in the form of the Modular Handgun System or MHS. That said, ultimately time will tell. Give this point to the Glock for the time being.

Sig P320 Compact: 3 Glock 19:3

 

Overall

By my estimation, this comparison is a tie. It will really come down to what someone’s priorities are in a handgun when they decide between them. Both guns are solid performers and this is the closest match in competing pistols that I can recall seeing in years. I didn’t bother looking at the price as the msrp is similar and will end up varying depending on where buyers purchase them. Will I be giving up my Glock 19? No, but then, I’m not going to kick the P320 out of the safe either. If I didn’t have so much time invested in the Glock, I’d probabIy switch without any hesitation. I do fully intend to keep experimenting with the P320. Who knows, maybe it’ll end up in my carry and competition holsters yet as I’m tempted every time I pick one up.

Thank you to:

Sig Sauer

Glock

TaranTactical Innovations

Boresight Solutions

This post originally appeared as an article in the May 2017 issue of Dillon’s the Blue Press.