The SIG Sauer products are perennial favorites with PoliceOne readers, and I was able to get a firsthand look at a host of new SIG firearms, ammunition and electro-optics at this year’s SIG range day, held the Sunday prior to SHOT Show 2020 in Las Vegas.
As a result of a massive vertical integration effort, SIG Sauer has redesigned itself as a “complete systems provider” who can support the entirety of an officer’s or department’s firearm needs. What this means for you and your agency is that you don’t have to shop around any longer ‒ you can find your firearms (both handguns and long guns), ammunition, weapon-mounted lights and lasers, and optics all under one roof.
There’s too much going on at SIG Sauer for me to recap it all, but here’s a sampling of some of the noteworthy products that I got my hands on in Vegas.
SIG SAUER P365XL
The P365 pistol was a runaway hit when it was introduced a few years ago. The combination of its subcompact size, 10-round magazine and excellent shootability catapulted this mighty mite to the forefront of its class in quick order.
The P365 is getting a little bigger for 2020 with the addition of the P365XL. The XL version retains the great ergonomics, sights, trigger and performance of its smaller brother, but adds a little bit of length to the grip frame and the barrel/slide assembly. SIG Sauer found that a large number of their customers were carrying the P365 with the optional, extended and collared, 12-round magazine that was offered for the gun, in order to obtain a better purchase on the grip and boost capacity. So SIG did the sensible thing and extended the grip frame of the P365 to accommodate this 12-round magazine as standard, which now fits flush with the bottom of the frame on the XL. The slide and barrel were likewise stretched a bit to increase sight radius, obtain additional ballistic performance and help to mitigate muzzle rise while firing the gun.
The 4.8” height of the P365XL is 0.5” taller than the P365, and the 3.7” barrel is 0.6” longer than the P365 as well. The overall length of the P365XL has stretched to 6.6 inches, courtesy of the longer slide and a slightly increased beavertail at the rear of the frame. The pistol weighs an additional 2.9 ounces, coming in at a very portable 20.7 ounces total weight (empty).
These increases are marginal, but they are definitely noticeable when you fire the gun. The P365XL behaves a little better than the smaller P365 and allows you the ability to get back on target a bit faster, without adding an extreme amount of size and weight. This gun is still quite concealable and comfortable to carry, barely pushing the size and weight envelope set by the earlier P365. If you already carried the P365 with the extended magazine, you won’t even notice the difference, until it’s time to shoot.
The P365XL also offers a few additional features that you won’t see on the standard P365. The gun is equipped with a flat-faced, straight “X” trigger that breaks at a 90-degree angle to the bore, and the rear sight (one of SIG's excellent X-RAY3 day/night sights) is mounted to a removable plate that allows you to mount a red dot sight on the gun. The slide cut accommodates sights like the popular Shield RMS-C or SIG Sauer’s new ROMEO ZERO sight, described below.
SIG SAUER ROMEO ZERO REFLEX SIGHT
The ROMEO ZERO reflex sight is a new red dot from SIG Electro-Optics, which is suited for subcompact guns like the P365XL.
The design goal for the ROMEO ZERO was to provide a high quality, but economical, red dot sight option for subcompact pistol shooters. While it’s not built to withstand the rigors of regular law enforcement and military use, the ROMEO ZERO is a rugged reflex sight that will excel in the off duty and concealed carry environments where subcompact pistols are carried and used.
The ROMEO ZERO sight body is made of polymer (vice magnesium or aluminum in the larger, duty-sized models), but don’t let that fool you into thinking that it’s fragile. The energy imparted by subcompact pistol slides greatly exceeds that of full-size duty guns in the same caliber because the slide velocities are so much higher. As such, the ROMEO ZERO was built to withstand the 8,000 G-forces imparted by subcompact guns like the P365, in contrast to the 4,000 to 5,000 Gs developed in a larger gun like the P320. This is one tough optic!
The ROMEO ZERO uses a high-density polymer, eyeglass-grade lens to help reduce weight and control costs. It’s advertised to offer 10 times the impact resistance of traditional glass lenses. The aspherical shape of the lens helps to eliminate distortion at the edges, giving you a clear, 1X image as you look through the sight. There’s also a fixed rear sight at the back of the unit that is set up to co-witness with the red dot.
The ROMEO ZERO has eight brightness settings and offers up to 20,000 hours run time on the battery, depending on use. It has the SIG Sauer MOTAC motion-activated illumination system, which powers up the optic when it senses motion and shuts it down when it’s not being used, to preserve battery life. The buyer will have a choice of two modes, offered with either a 3 MOA or 6 MOA red dot reticle.
I shot a P365XL equipped with the ROMEO ZERO and found it to offer a clear and usable image. The window is relatively small, due to its subcompact nature, but I was able to acquire targets easily with the aid of the 3 MOA dot. The ROMEO ZERO has been in production since December 2019, and with a production goal of 10,000-15,000 units per month, you should be able to find one to add to your pistol. You can also purchase a P365XL with the unit already installed and zeroed for the gun.
SIG SAUER P320 RXP XFULL-SIZE AND XCOMPACT
The popular P320 pistol has been upgraded in 2020 with the addition of the RXP XFull-Size and RXP XCompact models. The two guns are P320 pistols with SIG Sauer’s upgraded X Frame, and a ROMEO1 PRO reflex sight mounted to the slide.
The X Frame package changes the basic P320 by adding a flat-faced, straight trigger that breaks at a 90-degree angle to the bore, and extended ambidextrous slide releases. The frame incorporates a deeper undercut behind the trigger guard and an extended beavertail to allow a higher grip on the pistol, and an integrated magazine well to help with reloads. The XCompact frame also has a rounded butt to reduce printing and aid in concealment.
The X-series guns feature optics-ready slides and enhanced slide serrations, and the new RXP models come equipped with a ROMEO1 PRO sight, and suppressor-height XRAY-3 day/night sights direct from the factory. The ROMEO 1 PRO features a rugged aluminum housing, a 6 MOA red dot, 12 brightness settings, MOTAC motion sensing, and an estimated 20,000-hour battery life.
Although I’m not an accomplished reflex sight shooter and feel more comfortable with traditional iron sights, I enjoyed shooting the 15-round, 9x19mm caliber, P320 RXP XCompact very much. I found the ROMEO1 PRO sight was more helpful as the distances increased, and I also found the X Frame was a significant improvement on the standard P320 grip module. Combining these two capabilities resulted in a very efficient and shootable pistol, that will certainly be well-received by law enforcement officers as a duty or off-duty gun.
SIG SAUER AMMUNITION
Just before SHOT Show, SIG Sauer was proud to announce it had been granted a $7.5M contract with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to supply ammunition for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). Under the terms of the contract, SIG Sauer will provide a variety of handgun and rifle ammunition for training and duty use by FLETC students, to include Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) and Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) designs.
SIG Sauer Elite Ball FMJ ammunition uses the same powder and primer as its Elite V-Crown JHP ammunition, and bullet weights are matched, to ensure that the FMJ training ammunition has the same energy, flash and point of impact as the JHP ammunition used for duty.
The FLETC competition involved shooting 80 calibrated gelatin blocks to test bullet performance from a variety of makes, and SIG Sauer is rightfully proud to have been selected for this prestigious contract. I shot a large amount of the Elite Ball FMJ ammunition at the SIG media day, and it performed very well.
There’s much more going on under the SIG Sauer tent, to include the new Cross and Tread rifles, the prototype ROMEO2 reflex sight, the TXG tungsten-infused XFIVE LEGION pistol, the MG 338 machine gun adopted by US Special Operations Command, and SIG Sauer’s work on the 6.8X51mm hybrid cartridge for the United States Army.
For more information about these products and other developments, visit the SIG Sauer website today.