13 Investigates


Popular pistol could misfire when dropped

Posted at 6:00 PM, Jan 16, 2018

A safety alert involving a popular pistol that can fire without anyone pulling the trigger. Contact 13 examines a hidden danger for police and gun owners alike.  

The Sig Sauer P320 is "the most adaptable pistol ever" according to the gun's manufacturer on its website.

But videos on YouTube show gun enthusiasts testing the P320s with results that might contradict that. 

"Obviously it needs to be corrected," Bob Irwin. 

Local firearms expert Bob Irwin says guns are carefully designed to be drop safe so they don't accidentally fire when dropped.  

Sig Sauer claims the P320 is drop safe, but published this warning on its website saying "...recent events indicate that dropping the P320 beyond U.S. standards for safety may cause an unintentional discharge." 

They're offering to "upgrade" the guns with a lighter-weight trigger. 

Why a lighter trigger? Some gun owners think the problem is the trigger's weight. If the gun is dropped at a certain angle, with the muzzle up, the gun stops when it hits the ground but the trigger keeps moving, potentially causing the gun to fire. 

"It's dangerous to whoever owns the gun or is standing near him," says Irwin. 

According to a federal lawsuit, a Stamford, Connecticut SWAT officer was loading his Sig into the trunk of his car when he accidentally dropped it.  And the still-holstered gun fired "...without the trigger being pulled, shooting him in his left leg." 

The Stamford police chief removed all of the Sig P320's from that department.

Though North Las Vegas and Henderson Police don't use that pistol, some Las Vegas police officers do.

Las Vegas police declined to talk to us on camera, but says the department has not pulled the P320 off its approved firearm list. They say they're informing the approximately 70 officers who carry it about the potential problem so they can take advantage of Sig Sauer's offered fix.

"Numerically its a very small problem. Unless you happen to be the guy who's hit by the bullet--then it's a huge problem."
Irwin says guns, like anything mechanical, can have flaws or break down but in that industry it's rare. 

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