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Lessons From Remington – Sig Sauer’s P320

December 29, 2017

Lessons from Remington – SIG Sauer’s P320

By: Nicholas S. Gurney, Esq.

Will ‘drop fire’ concerns over SIG Sauer’s P320 handgun lead to nationwide recall?

In early August, retailer Omaha Outdoors shocked the firearm community with a warning: SIG Sauer’s P320 may fire when dropped.[1]  This revelation, hot on the heels of otherwise positive reviews of the popular striker-fired modular handgun platform, caused a firestorm of responses in online communities.  Reports of so-called “drop fire” and “bump fire” problems exploded across the web.[2]  Within days, SIG defended its product while simultaneously offering to “upgrade” an estimated 500,000 P320s then in circulation.[3]  To date, SIG has yet to issue a safety recall of the embattled pistol.

SIG’s decision to not recall the P320 comes just three years after Remington Arms Company was sued, with claims that the eponymous model 700 rifle would fire without the trigger being pulled.[4]  The widely-publicized Remington 700 Class Action lawsuit resulted in an eventual settlement with an estimated total cost to Remington at nearly half a billion dollars.[5]  Less than a year later, in 2014, Taurus International MFG, Inc. was sued in federal court for producing the PT-series pistol that would, among other things, allegedly fire when “dropped or bumped.”[6]  The Taurus settlement, reached within two years, came at an estimated cost of $50 million to the Brazilian company.[7]  Alongside the settlement, Taurus agreed to recall nearly 1 million pistols.[8]

Despite the lessons available to observers of Remington and Taurus, SIG Sauer maintains that the P320 “meets and exceeds all US safety standards”[9] and SIG has yet to issue any mandatory recall.

sig p320 trigger

Interestingly, SIG also admits, “we have confirmed that usually after multiple drops, at certain angles and conditions, a potential discharge of the firearm may result when dropped.”[10]  This revelation is particularly fraught given the P320’s current use by U.S. military personnel[11] and countless members of law enforcement.[12]  Despite SIG’s assurances, several law enforcement agencies have gone so far as to ban the use of the P320.[13]

With hundreds of thousands of P320s thought to be in circulation, drop and bump fire risks are beginning to impact the public.  Earlier this year, a Stamford Police Department Special Response Team Member was injured when his fully holstered P320 duty pistol fell from a height of just a few feet.[14]  Thankfully, Vincent Sheperis survived his injury and is now pursuing an individual action against SIG Sauer.[15]  In filing his lawsuit, Officer Sheperis is seeking a full recall of the P320 pistol platform.[16]

It remains to be seen whether SIG Sauer will be forced to act as a result of court action, like Remington and Taurus before it, or if SIG will initiate a recall on their own volition.  However, as a direct result of Officer Sheperis’ injury and dozens more reports of unintended discharges involving SIG Sauer pistols, Newsome Melton has activated an investigation.  Newsome Melton is investigating the cause of unintentional discharges and all potential defects involving the P320, as well as its predecessor, SIG Sauer’s P250.  If you or anyone you know has information regarding unintentional discharges involving a SIG Sauer pistol of any type, please call Newsome Melton immediately at (888) 270-9051.

[1] https://www.omahaoutdoors.com/blog/sig-sauer-p320-fails-drop-test/

[2] http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/08/08/p320-failed-without-even-dropping-no-plans-test/; https://youtu.be/A6N15rzP-AA?t=6m27s

[3] http://americanshootingjournal.com/so-it-begins-sig-sauer-p320-voluntary-upgrade-program/

[4] Pollard v. Remington Arms Company, LLC, et al., Case No.: 13-cv-00086 (MO filed Jan. 28, 2013).

[5] Id.

[6] http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2015/07/taurus_agrees_to_voluntary_rec.html

[7] Id.

[8] Id.

[9] https://www.sigsauer.com/support/p320-voluntary-upgrade/

[10] Id.

[11] https://www.sigsauer.com/press-releases/u-s-army-fields-sig-sauer-m17m18-pistols/

[12] https://bearingarms.com/bob-o/2016/05/25/sig-bites-law-enforcement-handgun-market-can-glock-remain-relevant/

[13] http://www.wmur.com/article/dallas-police-suspend-use-of-gun-made-by-nh-based-sig-sauer/11652316; http://www.11alive.com/article/news/local/morrow-police-chief-pulls-sig-sauers-guns-from-service/463471360

[14] Sheperis v. Sig Sauer, Inc., Case No.: 17-cv-01318 (CT filed August 4, 2017).

[15] Id.

[16] Id.

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