You might remember the other day when we ran an article entitled Modular Pistols, Future or Fad. Well it seems that modular guns are in the news again as rumor has it that part of the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), has picked the Sig Sauer P320 as their new duty sidearm. It’s the first time to our knowledge that the United States federal government has chosen a modular personal weapon system to give their agents. As the classic 1964 folk song by Bob Dylan goes “The Times They are a Changin”. It seems that every day there is a new development on military or law enforcement agencies selecting new firearms to combat the ever evolving threats to society.

The “go to” firearm for most law enforcement agencies in the United States was one either the Glock 17/19 pistol or the Beretta model 92. Over the last few years that status quo has quickly been disrupted by Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson and other companies looking for a piece of the pie. This shake up has left the market for law enforcement communities wide open and ripe for competition. This can only result in more competition and better deals for law enforcement budgets and officers. In this day of shrinking budgets, better deals for better gear is a win-win for taxpayers and city government. This choice is also curious because recently ICE Officials were accused of trying to stack the deck in favor of Smith & Wesson and the Military& Police Series of pistols (M&P).

Image Courtesy:weaponsman.com

The rumor mill is very active considering this choice of the Sig Sauer P320, top rumors surrounding the selection of the modular pistol include the following minor details and some changes from what use to be standard policy. The new directive to be released soon will also cover the selection and use of calibers and models of weapons to be used by off duty agents and officials.

  • New Weapon to be Sig Sauer P320
  • Sig P320 will be issued to academy students after October 2016
  • Only approved caliber to be 9x19mm
  • All .40 S&W weapons to be removed from approved weapons list
  • Sig MPX to be issued to all units dealing with Federal Warrants / Detail in FY 2018

ICE recently completed the contract with Sig delivering the .40 cal SIG 229R DAK.  DHS (with ICE, Secret Service and Coast Guard using Sigs) was the largest customer Sig had in the world. There was widespread discontent among ICE agents with the large grips, weight, snappy recoil and heavy DAK trigger on the 229.

weaponsman.com seems to have the inside track on ICE.

“Many ICE agents prefer the Glock platform, and retain a deep distrust of an agency firearms bureaucracy, the Office of Firearms and Tactical Programs (OFTP). OFTP is perceived — rightly or not — as so biased towards SIG as to practically be in the pocket of the firm. The current issue weapon is the SIG P229 DAK, but it is broadly disliked and many agents carry one of the approved personally owned models instead, most often Glocks. ”

ICE agents have told TAG that the current and very unpopular Director of the Office of of Firearms and Tactical Programs (OFTP) is retiring soon.  He may be looking to give Sig a big contract on his way out the door to get a job with Sig on the other side. Let’s hope this isn’t true, and that if it is, the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility is monitoring the situation.