The SIG P320-XTEN: A 10mm that is Female Friendly

When it comes to handguns someone of small stature and strength would often shy away from a 10mm pistol. The SIG P320-XTEN allows for small hands to manipulate the gun while still allowing for the power of 10mm. Recoil has the feeling of shooting a 9mm and controls such as the slide release and trigger are easily reachable. First time shooting the XTEN on a 25 yd B8 proved that this firearm isn't intimidating to shoot at all.

Finally, the firearms industry starting to catch up to the fact that everyone is different. Not meaning female vs male, but big hands vs small hands, etc etc. The firearms that are coming out that are dubbed “female” or F-Series, looking at you Walther, is not because it is only made for a female, but that it is female friendly due to allowing smaller hands and different strength levels to employ it properly. The SIG P320-XTEN does the same with easy to use controls and recoil of a 10mm that is barely there. I know, I didn’t believe it at first either..

The SIG P320-XTEN

These are the types of JHP ammunition out there to test with your XTEN and find what groups and feels best for your specific firearm.

“The latest addition to the SIG P320 family brings all of the features of the XSeries into a carry-style handgun in 10mm for shooters and hunters looking for performance to the power of 10…To reduce the recoil, a completely redesigned XSeries polymer grip module provides a strong purchase and stippled finish and makes shooting comfortable for any type of round.  Each P320-XTEN comes standard with two 15-rd magazines. The new SIG P320-XTEN takes performance to the power of 10.” -Sig Sauer

Specs

  • Caliber: 10mm Auto
  • Sights: X-RAY3 Day/Night Sights
  • Barrel Length: 5 in.
  • Weight: 33 Oz.
  • Accessory Rail: Yes
  • Trigger Action: Striker
  • Trigger Type: XSeries Straight
  • Grip Module: Full-Size Polymer XSeries
  • Barrel Material: Carbon Steel
  • Slide Material/Finish: Stainless Steel w/ Nitron Finish
  • Optic Ready?: Yes
15 rd steel mags allow for the mags to fall freely under weight. Zero magazine malfunctions were found during a day of shooting.

The Controls

When it comes to smaller hands and handguns there are some things that immediately give the shooter trouble.

Notice my thumb and my trigger finger. My thumb can easily reach the slide stop and the mag release. My trigger finger can easily reach the trigger on the pad of my finger allowing me to play with placement.

The Slide Release

The slide release on a handgun can be difficult for two reasons. One, the shooter can’t reach it. Often times our thumbs won’t be able to get to the release without breaking our grip, and if it does get to the release we won’t have enough purchase on it to actually press it. Which leads to the second issue, the strength it takes to press it. Slide releases are weird because if the slide cut where the release fits into is too deep, we have to press down more, too small of a cutout and the slide doesn’t stay locked. Same with the slide release spring, too hard and the release can’t be pushed, too soft and it falls out of the slide. A third issue, the release not being far enough away from the slide to actually get purchase on it or the release not being ribbed for our pleasure.. (too much?) or in appropriate terms not having any ridges to allow our thumb to catch on it.

Now to combat these issues there are mods out there such as the Kagwerks Extended and Raised Slide Release for Glocks and other aftermarket mods. For the P320-XTEN though, no mods are needed.

Immediately my small hands were able to reach the slide release without breaking grip, press it with ease, and my thumb was not slipping off. The slide release is designed so that it is angled away from the slide at almost a 45 degree angle. It has three ridges. If I were to have this modified I would deepen those ridges or stipple it due to it almost resembling the Glock ridged slide release which can cause issues with sweat or during rain. The spring is really what makes the release easy to use as it is a lighter spring making it easier to press the release. I do wonder if that will ever wear out over time due to the lightness of it.

Under my strong hand thumb is the slide release. It is easy to reach and push.
Eye Protection: Revision I-VIS

Racking the Slide

Smaller and weaker hands often have a hard time with racking the slide of a handgun and most beginner firearms handling classes will go over this specifically. They will teach a push push method. Push with the grip hand as you overhand the slide and push. This is mainly the method I have always done, the overhand on the front of the slide full hand rack method. Often though we don’t see many professional shooters use this method. They more so do the pinch the front of the slide, which is the reasons for serrations. Well I’m happy to announce that this is the FIRST HANDGUN I’ve been able to get it down with. The serrations are deep and wide enough and the slide is easy enough to push. Small and weaker hands will have zero issues with slide racking no matter the method you choose.

Reaching the Trigger

Small hands mean small fingers, and small fingers mean that they will often have a hard time reaching the trigger. When shooters have a hard time reaching the trigger this means that they will also have a hard time pressing it in a comfortable and straight to the rear fashion. They will usually only get the very left of their finger on it and won’t be able to find that comfortable spot on the meat or first inside knuckle (whatever you prefer because there is no right way for everyone). A fatter grip module that pushes the trigger finger even further from the trigger just adds to the problem as well. I had zero issue with the XTEN.

The XTEN features their X Series Straight Trigger. Pair that with their ergonomically friendly skinnier grip and you can easily reach and bypass the trigger, allowing you to find the comfortable spot on your finger of where to press the trigger. You are not forced to press the trigger any certain way due to having room to play.

Notice that I can easily reach the trigger with my full and high grip on the gun. This allows me to press the trigger how I want and not conform to the gun.

Mag Release

An ergonomically friendly grip and a well designed mag release also help fix the issue of needing to press the mag release and not break grip. The mag release is pushed far enough away from the grip that the thumb doesn’t lose it, It is also easy to press and the triangle shape allows you to use the corner of your thumb to press it. The mag release has a bit deeper ridges than the slide release.

The Recoil

So, this is a 10mm right? Big, powerful, not fun to shoot. My personal experience with 10mm was when I shot a Glock 20 and the gun was so large that it was intimidating from the start. With all of that mass it didn’t eat the recoil as I thought it would either..

The SIG P320-XTEN is exactly what the name shows. A P320 in a different caliber. It has a polymer frame, reminds us of a normal 9mm firearm, and still eats the recoil of a 10mm up. Before I had my own XTEN I shot one at a stage at a match. The SIG guys working the stage stated that women have said that they didn’t know they were shooting 10mm until they were told. I believe it with how well I was able to shoot this 10mm right off the bat. To test just how well I could handle the recoil I shot some 25yd B8’s and shot some normal drills that anyone would shoot with 9mm.

B8’s

This is my B8 target with three 5 round iterations at 25yd shown. The brown pasties are covering the previous two iterations.

Shooting Drills

With the shooting drills I wanted to see how well I could stay on the sights during recoil and keep the grip during quick follow up engagements.

Note: If I could change another thing about the firearm it would be the day/night iron sights. Both the front and rear sights have a green color to them, so the front gets lost. The front also has two colors green, a green ring around a green dot. This turns into a big green blob pretty quickly. So instead of just focusing on putting front on target, it kind of just all blobs together (in the most technical terms..)

Easy Holster and Optic Options

The P320-XTEN makes it easy to start shooting and carrying. Since it is the 320 frame shooters can throw on a light and place it into any light compatible holster and go. For this shooting I used a BLACKHAWK Omnivore and just threw a X300U onto the gun. The slide is also RMR compatible which are easy to find online, or on our shelves just waiting for a gun to put on.

To Purchase

To purchase, find a local dealer near you.

Anna is a Federal Weapons Gunsmith with 8 years of previous experience within the US Army Ordnance Corps (91F). She has taken multiple armorer and weapons proficiency classes to include FN, Knights Armament, and Small Arms Weapons Expert course. She also writes for American Gunsmith, AR Build Junkie, and is active in Precision Rifle sports around the nation.