I recently purchased a new P320 XTEN. The feel of this gun in my hand is amazing
! I swear it literally feels like it was molded for my hand
It tames recoil unlike other polymer 10mm guns. It was as easy to shoot as my 5" SIG P220 10mm guns or my big 6" TRP Heavy Operator 1911.
This literally makes me sick to my stomach to say. SIG took an otherwise absolutely perfect high capacity 10mm and rendered it useless by shipping it with magazines that were NOT ready for prime time. The magazines are made in Italy by Mec-Gar and have Mec-Gar's excellent "Anti-Friction Coating", or AFC.
I really felt like my dream of the perfect high capacity 10mm had been fulfilled.
Until I started shooting something other than SIG's 180gr FMJ.
On the first outing, I forced myself to go right before the range closed and ran 50 rounds of SIG 180gr FMJ through it.
I had one failure to return to battery (FTRB). I thought it might be just stiff springs, because it was hard to load with my UpLULA, and I thought that would ease up after keeping them loaded for a week. I haven't done that yet, but as you will shortly see, it won't matter.
The magazines started indicating a problem the minute I started loading them with Underwood 180gr Bonded JHP (Speer Gold Dot bullets). I have measured the rounds with a digital caliper and found that they are well within SAAMI specs on OAL.
I was using an UpLULA to load the magazine. I was constantly hitting an invisible floor while loading. Meaning, I was having to stop, bang the mag on its back, smack the UpLULA (to the point of injuring my hand), to force the stack of rounds down to make room for the next round to be inserted.
After you get about 8 or 9 rounds in these 15-round mags, there is so much resistance to the movement of the rounds in the magazine tube (body), that you can tip the magazine over, and the top rounds fall out of the magazine! I first experienced this at the range on my second outing. I had pulled the magazine to clear a misfeed (FTRB), and I turned the magazine a little past horizontal as I was about to lay it on the bench, and five rounds fell out of the magazine!! While examining the issue at home, I discovered that there is very little room in the magazine for the rounds to move forward under recoil without contacting the front of the magazine tube.
The magazine spring, as stiff as it appears to be, is unable to push the rounds up fast enough - and not at all when rounds get jammed in the tube - to support reliable feeding.
The Mec-Gar logo.
As can be seen in this photo, the rounds farther down in the stack are "jammed up" in the tube. I can turn this mag horizontally and rounds will fall out. You can also see that the top round, as it is oriented, is touching both the front of the tube and the rear. I've also produced situations while test-loading the mags at home, where rounds midway down the tube were jammed up, and there was a gap below them and the rounds lower in the tube. I could shake the bottom rounds up-and-down under the jammed rounds. I only had one FTRB on the first range trip shooting only SIG's 180gr FMJ, because that bullet is very rounded with a low profile and would have more room in the magazine tube.
Spraying the interior of the tube with a Teflon dry lube and using nickel plated cases (not shown) had no noticeable positive effect. In the photo below, the rounds below are jammed up and the round on top is falling down into the tube.
Also, even with the UpLULA, it is virtually impossible to load the 15th round. While difficult to capture in a photo, I dent the case on the 14th round trying to push it down enough to start the 15th round.
Pictures of the follower in this magazine. Kind of odd looking.
When the rounds stay properly oriented in the tube, there is BARELY enough room for them. Maybe 1mm in length.
There is a phenomenon that occurs with bullets in a magazine where the top round can be properly oriented for feeding, but the round below it (second from the top) is almost horizontal. This is caused mostly by the interaction of the case rim of the top magazine with the case rim and extraction groove of the round below it. This phenomenon is most pronounced with .45ACP double stack mags, due to the size of the sloped are of the extraction groove and springs that are too weak. This misalignment leads to "nose dives" stopping the cycling of the weapon (hello P227 14-rounders). In the photo below, you cannot see the second round due to the divergence of angles between the top round and the 2nd round below it. The rounds down near the magazine catch holes appear completely horizontal with about 1mm to 1.25mm clearance between the bullet and the front of the tube.
I think the problem with these 10mm mags is that transition point when the rounds go from a proper feed angle and start to "go horizontal" in the tube. There isn't enough clearance in the tube, especially if the rounds shift at all under recoil.
I fear SIG screwed up and didn't make the magazines large enough for anything other than their small-profile 180gr FMJ.
But maybe a modification to the follower (I don't know what kind of modification) and a different spring could fix them. I just don't know yet.
I have grown tired of SIG pushing guns out without thorough testing. They seriously need to test their products with ammo that everyone will want to use, especially for self-defense or protection in the woods.
They made an otherwise perfect gun little more than a curiosity by failing on the magazines.
Unfortunately, given SIG's complete lack of interest in fixing the 14-round magazines for the P227 (when all they
needed were stiffer springs), I fear that SIG will never fix the XTEN mags. 😭
I did a quick search on the Internet to see if I was alone in this issue and instantly found that I am not.
Videos exist of others deciding, like me, that the XTEN is not worthy of staking your life on it.
Do NOT use it as a "woods gun" or for any other self-defense purpose. At least until (and if) SIG corrects the problem with the mags.