The Ford versus Chevy and Coke versus Pepsi rivalries have nothing on the Glock 19 versus Sig P320. Within the firearms and tactical community, this debate is intense. This is the battle of two of the best guns in the modern, semi-auto polymer pistol category.
Some of the most heated debates I have ever witnessed or been a part of involve enthusiasts trying to convince someone of why their pick for the best gun is the right answer. It can get quite amusing to watch. The debate between the Glock 19 versus the Sig P320 is one of the most common debates I see. It’s even a debate in my own house.
As a civilian firearms instructor, I get asked all the time “what is the best pistol, and what should I buy?” Let me set the record straight right now and lay some ground rules. If anyone proclaims that their pick is the best, and the one and only “best,” feel free to tune them out from that point forward. In this community, if anyone ever proclaims their way is “the only way,” duck and run for cover. Low crawl out of there just as fast as you can. Or pop smoke and vacate your current location with extreme haste. Just some friendly, professional advice.
The US Army Pistol Contract Competition
Several years ago, when the U.S. Army announced that it was finally opening up the competition to award a new sidearm replacement for the aging Beretta M92, the stage for the epic battle was set. Fast-forwarding to the two finalists and big contenders: Glock and Sig were the clear options. By all accounts, it was a close competition and probably not an easy choice for the Army (except for the cost).
Long story short, Sig won. They were chosen as the overall “best value” to the Army and fulfilled the requirements of a truly modular or adaptable firearm system. Sig Sauer won the $580 million contract and will field 300,000 units over 10 years. Glock, also a workhorse and the tried and true standard in the tactical community, offered the Glock 19x — an update to the venerable Glock 19. It offered a new barrel and essentially became a Glock 19 on a Glock 17 frame adding room for two more bullets. In the end, perhaps, what hurt Glock was the fact that they tried to simply upgrade the Glock 19, while Sig offered the new P320. Glock challenged the results of the competition and Sig’s win. The government upheld the award and threw out Glock’s challenge.
Glock’s strategy was to allow their reputation to carry them, but in so doing, did not satisfy the modular requirements of the competition. Sig, however, has created something truly unique in the firearms space. The fact that the grips/frames are modular and interchangeable in size, makes the gun very attractive to the Army (and Marines) since so many different people with different hands could be accommodated. For some, the shape of the Glock and its feel in one’s hand is enough of a reason to not like them.
Form, Fit, and Function Matter
I have never understood why some people in the firearms community are so adamantly opposed to Glocks or even hate them. I once had a Special Forces 18B (the gun guy of the ODA teams) tell me that he would not have chosen a Glock if it was the only gun available. (Insert the little shrug emoji here.) With a Glock, there is really nothing to hate. Very little to dislike, in fact. Their simplicity and functionality are their beauty, and they just work. All the time. Over and over. They set the standard many years ago, proving what a polymer semi-auto pistol could be.
Yet, a Glock’s boxy nature and angle of the grip are what bother many people. All other complaints or arguments aside, this matters as the grip and the angle of the grip can affect some shooters. However, some argue that the slightly odd angle of the Glock makes it naturally easy to shoot and that the angle helps one point the gun more effectively. Still, for others, it’s uncomfortable and does not ergonomically work.
Don’t think for one second that when developing the Sig P320, that Sig did not use the Glock as the target to beat. It does feel great in one’s hand and has an interchangeable and more ergonomic grip. Both guns, in my experience, are just as reliable. They both shoot well and handle all kinds of ammo without issues. They are both about equally accurate, although the new Gen 5 Glocks with the match-grade barrel included as standard, might have a very slight edge in accuracy. However, at pistol engagement ranges, I doubt it will make that much of a difference.
Glock 19 Versus Sig P320 for Home Defense or as Carry Guns
I shoot them both equally well and tight accuracy has never been an issue for me. In IDPA shooting competitions, I have never felt like I was at a disadvantage using either. Any reliability issues with a Glock 19 or a Sig P320 often tend to be because of the ammo or magazine and not the gun. (I have often thought that was the issue for the Beretta M92, as well: cheap, bulk ammo and old, crappy magazines beat around in arms rooms for years and years.) Buy decent ammo and take care of your magazines and then you will have one or two fewer things to worry about.
Both guns cost about the same in the civilian market, and now have a huge amount of third-party or after-market customizations available. Many companies offer parts and upgrades for Glock, and Sig even now lets you buy P320 parts individually. The different configurations in the Sig P320 also take into account whether you want to use it as a carry gun.
The Glock 19 and the Sig P320 are just about as big as one can adequately conceal-carry and are still concealable with the right clothing, belt, and holster — the holster being the most important part, followed by the right belt.
Glock 19 Versus Sig P320: Which Should You Choose?
I like a good debate, plus it’s fun to pull the pin, drop the grenade in a group setting, and watch what happens next. So, I have to share this as the foundation for the rest of the conversation: you will not go wrong with either gun. Wait, what?!
I can already hear you Glock fanboys (and girls) screaming “heresy!” And I know the Sig acolytes are getting ready to pounce into the comments section.
In today’s world of cancel culture, the inability to form independent decisions based on free thought is widespread. This is also evident in the tactical community. Many people think their tactical and technical expertise is the only one that matters or could possibly be right. We tend to eat each other just as much as anyone else. Sorry to break it to you. It happens, unfortunately. Kind of a lot. There are lots of Call of Duty Operators and tactical haters out there, and people who talk a big game. People who also don’t know jack.
In training a new or inexperienced shooter looking to get into the hobby or protect himself, I always start them on a Glock 19. Then, I introduce them to a Sig P320. I basically dump them right smack into the middle of the debate of the Glock 19 versus Sig P320. Why? Because with either a Glock 19 or a Sig P320 you will not go wrong.
You Won’t Go Wrong With Either Gun
Both guns are highly reliable and function very well. If you are you are trying to weigh the pros and cons of the Glock 19 versus the Sig P320, they come out as equal. In the firearms enthusiast community, just like in the “professional” tactical community, everything is about trade-offs. And one size never fits all. You have to explore what works better for you and understand the reasons why something works better or not.
In full disclosure, I have four of these guns: two Glock 19s and two Sig P320s. When I bought my first Sig P320 I felt like I was cheating on my Glock. Then I got over it after I got spoiled by that sweet trigger pull and amazing trigger reset. When I pick up the Glock 19 and it practically shoots by itself, I fall back in love again.
Hold them in your hands and pay attention to how they fit. Ask a friend to shoot their guns or go to a range that will let you rent them. Shoot them side-by-side, back and forth, with a couple of boxes of ammo. I do this for all my new shooters, and it never fails in helping them make a good pick. In making what truly might be a life-and-death decision one day, make the time and see what works best for you. But this is one dilemma that you can’t lose.