Sig Sauer P320 AXG Scorpion Review
Among the most hard-core former and current special forces operators out there—aka, the real Billy Badasses of the world—most all of them carry one of two brands of handgun; Glock or Sig Sauer. Both are supremely reliable and accurate. Those who prefer a slightly heavier feel, a metal trigger, and a more acute grip angle tend to prefer Sigs; those who like lighter weight and simplicity go with Glock. Glock also differs from the Swiss-based, American-made Sig company in that once Glock releases a new model, it believes its own “Glock Perfection” mantra despite the obvious fact that nothing is perfect in this world. On the other hand, Sig seems to relish the chance to offer limited-edition runs of established models featuring custom-like enhancements. The result is often an elite handgun among its elite handguns, much like the Army and Navy do when they pick proven soldiers from its ranks and turn them into Rangers or SEALs.
Sig Sauer’s new P320 AXG Scorpion is the elite of the elite among striker-fired, compact 9mm handguns. The first offering from Sig’s New Custom Works shop, the 17-plus-1 round, 3.9-inch barrelled 9mm AXG (Alloy X-Series Grip) is based on the P320X but with an aluminum frame rather than polymer. In going the all-metal route, engineers could machine very aggressive checkering in the front strap, integrally machine a slot in the backstrap for a customizable backstrap modul, and also fit interchangeable grip scales on the gun. The mottled G10 “Piranha” scales made by Hougue provide superior purchase over plastic and well as a distinctive, custom look. All told, physically the gun feels more like a 1911 than a polymer gun, what with its unflexing frame, non-slip grip combined with an angle that innately puts the sights on target for most shooters. In terms of price, this debut model from its Custom Workshop, like subsequent offerings in the future, are expected to fall between Sig standard production models ($600-$800) and its Legion Series ($1,200-1,500) at the top end.
After the frame, Sig spent much time crafting the slide. Most notably, it’s cut out to accept a mini-red dot optic. It’s shipped with a dovetailed cover. Admirably, considering Sig also makes electro-optics, the cutout is tapped in two positions that will not only accommodate its Romeo red dot sight but also third-party optics such as Trijicon’s RMR. Fully ambidextrous (or swappable) controls and a flashlight rail finish out the frame.
The slide wears a wonderful set of Sig’s tritium-filled XRAY3 day/night sights; the rear is a windage-adjustable U-notch; the front is a post. Unless you desire taller sights for co-witnessing through an optic, you’ll not need aftermarket sights, as the XRAYS are stellar. Front and rear slide serrations enhance racking and crack-checking.
This P320’s trigger is great for a striker-fired gun—but that isn’t saying much. My test sample Scorpion averaged 4 lbs.,12 ozs. with about ¼-inch of slack takeup required before a ⅛-inch valley of creep during the actual pull. It’s not a premium 1911, but it’s a damn sight better than most other guns in its class, owing largely to its flat-faced, Legion trigger that is metal as triggers should be. I wish it were a pound lighter, had no creep, and its reset spring was a little stiffer (faster) but hey, I also yearn for a yacht with five Playboy Bunnies on the fantail, but evidently both these things are more easily envisioned than actually made.
Because this Scorpion’s entire frame and slide are metallic, they can be finished in Cerakote Elite coating so they exactly match; and as much as many of us might say a gun’s color doesn’t matter, it most certainly does for sales and for saying to your buddies, “Look at this baby!” The Flat Dark Earth looks sweet, and more importantly, supremely protects the gun from rust while keeping it slick.
Performance-wise, the Scorpion is an all-star. After 500 rounds (hey, there’s an ammo shortage!) the gun remains 100-percent in my hands. Expect 99.9 percent reliability over its lifetime if kept clean and oiled.
I found the Scorpion very accurate. While “handgun accuracy testing” with all its variables is as much an accolade or indictment of the tester, I recorded .9-inch groups at 10 yards from a rest with iron sights, which is in the 85th percentile for me shooting a handgun with a 3.9 inch barrel. With a red dot, my average shrunk to .75-inch. The gun is accurate, no doubt.
Recoil mitigation was great, which is expected of a 31.3-ounce (unloaded) handgun. I was able to double tap with ease. I contend, however, that one of the prices paid for its Sig-type perpendicular grip angle that brings the sights to target so effortlessly is that it also puts more of the gun higher above the hand and therefore creates more leverage than, say, a Glock. For comparison, recoil is on par with a Glock 19, but one would expect it to be less because this Sig weighs 6 ounces more. In practical terms, recoil from this compact 9mm is mild; speed reloading—thanks to the Scorpion’s flared mag well and oversized metal release button—is faster than any stock compact gun available.
In sum, Sig’s new Custom Works P320 AXG is a joy to handle, shoot, and look at. It does everything well, has no glaring flaws, and, most importantly, feels great in my hand. Frankly, if I could only choose one gun for everything—target, training, home defense, and concealed carry, this Scorpion, with its 18 rounds of easy-to-shoot, concealable firepower and its stingingly good looks, might very well be the one I’d choose, regardless of its elite pricetag of around $1,100. While it can’t magically turn me into Billy Badass, at least the gun is.
Sig Sauer P320 AXG Scorpion
Cal 9mm Luger
Mags included (3) 17rd Steel Mag
Sights X-RAY3 Day/Night Sights
Length 7.4 in [188 mm]
Width 1.3 in [36 mm]
Height 5.5 in [140 mm]
Barrel 3.9 in [99 mm]
Weight 31.3 oz [887 g]
Action Type: Striker
Trigger: Flat faced, metal
Grip Type: Carry AXG
Finish: Cerakote Elite: Flat Dark Earth
Slide Material:Stainless Steel
Frame Material: Stainless Steel
Accessories: executive case, three 17-rnd mags, challenge coin
Purchase the Sig Sauer P320 AXG Scorpion at www.sigsauer.com.