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Just because you can,
doesn't mean you should
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To the purists that seem to be offended by the drift into the ammo price part of the discussion, the original vague post title was a simple "P320 lifespan". Not your custom 1911 or some other gun.
That question was pretty simple and to give an answer to that narrow parameter-infinity. On a P320 pretty much anything can be replaced to keep the gun running.
If you are asking about the exact part with the serial number, who knows. 20,000, 100,000, 1,000,000?
They are all WAG's and that ends up being a pretty boring discussion with little to no science behind the answer. Hence, the ammo price vs gun price part of the discussion. No offense intended.
There are a lot more important things to get your panties in a wad over.
Posts: 6294 | Location: NE GA | Registered: August 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of sigfreund
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Originally posted by 220-9
There are a lot more important things to get your panties in a wad over.

True, alas.
Such as logical thinking.

“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
Posts: 42665 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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To actually answer the question while avoiding an analogy that I agree is irrelevant to the question, I believe the chassis style 320 offers longevity beyond any previously manufactured gun.

It has the basis of simplicity going for it. Not simplicity in terms of parts but simplicity in terms of what can break. The serialixed part of the 320 is literally a stainless steel U shaped box with rails. Everything else could break and be replaced. There is only one part that if it broke , kills the machine. And that piece is solid steel, has 4ish sets of bends and couldn’t be simpler. Can it break? Of course. But where would it. I’m thinking the rails it’s the weakest spot and it not ver weak.

It comes down to what is more likely to break and the 320 has the smallest and arguably strongest and simplest serialized part.

I think the 320 wins.
Posts: 2941 | Registered: June 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Web Clavin Extraordinaire
Picture of Oat_Action_Man
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I think that's a fair assessment.

The (legal) heart of the gun is essentially indestructible. Short of tossing grit into the rails and ruining the slide to FCU fit, I don't think you could kill anything not replaceable.

Only thing I think would have a shorter service life than say, a Glock, are the small FCU parts, which seem a bit flimsy to me (mostly by virtue of being exposed on the outside of the chassis when it is removed from the grip module).


Chuck Norris put the laughter in "manslaughter"

Educating the youth of America, one declension at a time.
Posts: 18881 | Location: SE PA | Registered: January 12, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Half the fun of owning high quality Sigs and HK's is looking for deals on spare barrels - and if you don't end up using it, it can be an inspired and much appreciated birthday present for your favorite shooting buddy who also owns a similar firearm.
Posts: 11 | Location: Chicago area | Registered: April 01, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think I ran something like 15,000 rounds through a P320F last year. Cleaning and spring changes were about all it needed. I did a sight change somewhere in there, changed the trigger, though as it came from the box, it would have been okay. There were other handguns in there that saw time too, specifically a P320 carry and a G34. None of the P320's have shown any degradation in performance or function so far.

I think the only one on the board likely to shoot a P320 to destruction, to the point of parts wearing out and failing, is Jerry Jones. I have no idea how much he shoots in a given year, but suspect it far exceeds what most of us will ever shoot, and I believe he was making a practice of pushing a new pistol through that process each year to see how it ran.

I have a friend who last year had about 30,000 through his P320F, and both the pistol and the Delta Point Pro on top were running just fine.

I don't think the modular design is particularly relevant so far as the life of the pistol goes.

I will add the caveat that most of the ammunition that I pushed downrange was handloads, and not really abusive ones. Mostly 147 gn blue bullets over 3.2-3.3 grains of titegroup. With those kinds of loads, I expect the P320 will go a long, long time, and with the coated bullets, there's little wear and little in the way of deposits left behind. Firing a steady stream of jacketed +P ammunition might be different. I'm using reduced power springs (14 lb presently, vs. the factory 18 lb), while many others are going with 12 lbs or less.

If the argument is that one can't afford to shoot enough to wear the pistol out, then there may be some validity, when the limiting factor is the cost (or availability) of the ammunition. The total number of rounds fired is nebulous.
Posts: 5321 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
98.SiG and Rising
Picture of Sig Fever
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For me, knowing that a $500-700 pistol can hold up to firing 100k + rounds is amazing. Sure, I can't afford to shoot that much, but it is a testament to the quality of certain pistols. I have no doubt that my SiG's, H&K, Glocks, and Colt 1911 will outlast me.

Warning...SiGs are addictive, keep out of the reach of adults!

Blue Lives Matter: Thank a Police Officer for their Service!
Posts: 5779 | Location: Virginia USA | Registered: March 30, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There was a guy who went by the screen name "Big Bore" who spent several years online documenting his use and abuse of a Glock 21. While not much for torture tests, his were fun to follow. Aside from all the ridiculousness (burying in sand, freezing, throwing out of an airplane, dragging behind a truck), the G21 went over 200,000 rounds before he retired it a few years ago.

I don't know if anyone will try that with a P320 (though plenty seemed encouraged to drop them and smack them around with hammers, a couple of years ago). It's a bit like how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop. More than most are willing to give, I suspect.

On the other end of the spectrum is keltec, which offered a 6,000 round life for their P3AT. In my experience, they never made it.

So far, at least for my own P320's, they're like timex. Still ticking.
Posts: 5321 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
E tan e epi tas
Picture of cslinger
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I think a scant few of us will completely wear out ANY pistol much less a modern design to destruction. (Now one does need to consider any machine needs maintenance and without it you will likely have issues or hasten wear). But like I said I think the vast majority of us would be hard pressed to shoot a pistol to destruction in our lives.

So like I said earlier in the thread, I would imagine the P320 will run a shit ton of ammo before being rendered inoperable. This is not even considering the frame serviceability.

I still say if you want a firearm that is potentially useable a few generations down your line then a Ruger GP100 or Smith 686 with wood grips is your ticket. With a MODICUM of care these will not only last for damn ever, they have no polymer parts to decay, they have no magazines to loose or be out of production etc. They are all steel and wood modern revolvers. Not saying a semi auto or even a polymer semi auto will not stand up to generations of time but I am damn sure either of those revolvers will. (Again modicum of maintenance and assuming normal amounts of shooting, not my dad and his dad and his dad were all grandmaster competition shooters and this old girl has eleventy billion rounds through her, but normal shooters.)

"Guns are tools. The only weapon ever created was man."
Posts: 5339 | Location: On the water | Registered: July 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a P226 in .40 that has over 25,000 rounds through it. Same barrel and only ONE replaced recoil spring. Now to be honest probably 1000 rounds were through a .357 Sig barrel but I still think the wear is going strong. Still shoots great. I did just order my third set of sights.

__________________Making Good People Helpless . . . Will Not Make Bad People Harmless!___________________
Posts: 1701 | Location: South Carolina | Registered: May 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I guess since the OP asked an opinion I will say 35,001 rounds in a statistically valid large scale sample. Since one would think that SIG wouldn't do anything to make it last longer than the design spec required. Now unless somebody ponies up for a massively expensive statistically valid sample size test of life its all conjecture. When some glock guy documents his went to 200K what do you know about yours, nothing not a thing. What do you know about the overall population, not a thing. My oldest 226 is over 60K rounds, what does that tell you about yours? nothing. I'm guessing as have others this gun will age well at least as far as the actual serialized part of it. But I really don't know what actionable part of the discussion I might use. For guns I shoot 'a lot' I have spare parts and ultimately spare guns. If they are rare and there are no parts I don't shoot them extensively no matter what someone says is the life (my X-5's come to mind).

“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
Posts: 9031 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Statistics don't necessarily mean a thing, but they can be made to say about anything.

In absence of a massive test population, we see what we see; if you have a 60,000 round handgun, it doesn't tell em what mine will do because it's not my handgun, but it does give an example of what one copy of a given model has done.

The military tests a few firearms, before buying large quantities. They test it against a standard and make projections based on what they see; if the sample can do it, the assumption is made that the larger population will fare as well.

Short of buying 30,000 handguns and running them all to destruction, we look for examples as indicators of what the design has been shown to do. We also look for examples, or trends, that might suggest otherwise.

Or as the ring master says, you pays your money, and you takes your chances.
Posts: 5321 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of T.Webb
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I didn't fully read this thread this evening, but the portions that I did read mentioned nothing about modern lubricants, and CNC manufacturing tolerances. Cars that a few short years ago which needed 3000 mile oil change intervals, now can go 10,000 miles between oil changes. The manufacturing tolerances and synthetic lubricant qualities far exceed what was the norm a few short years ago. The same can be said for firearm manufacturing materials, and advances, as well as modern synthetic lubricants.

"Tonight, we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done". {George W. Bush, Post 9/11}

Posts: 733 | Location: Long Island, N.Y. / Stephentown, N.Y. | Registered: March 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a friend who has around 30k through one 9mm p320 slide, barrel and FCU. He has used a couple different frames. No maintenance except a new extractor and recoil spring.
Posts: 28 | Registered: June 10, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
When you fall, I will be there to catch you -With love, the floor
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Originally posted by SCfromNY:
I have a P226 in .40 that has over 25,000 rounds through it. Same barrel and only ONE replaced recoil spring. Now to be honest probably 1000 rounds were through a .357 Sig barrel but I still think the wear is going strong. Still shoots great. I did just order my third set of sights.

A few years back a Sig instructor and a Boston FAM was forced to replace the barrel in his P229 in 357 Sig. It had about 70K through it.

The VAST majority of handguns purchased are likely to see less than a few hundred rounds through them.

Richard Scalzo
Epping, NH
Posts: 5436 | Location: Epping, NH | Registered: October 16, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigforum K9 handler
Picture of jljones
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Everybody thinks groups like the FAMS have strict maintenance cycles.

Truth is, they shoot them till they break. Fix the problem, and keep shooting.

"It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it works out for them"

Posts: 34492 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
Picture of MikeinNC
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When I was in the service we had 1911’s that had 40 years of firing on the guns...only thing replaced was recoil springs.

The M9 had a lifespan of 5000 rounds before it was expected to be worn out, but we had documented guns that had over 50k with only a locking block replacement and a new recoil spring.

The USCGs P229 in 40S&W were only warranted for 5k rounds....same thing, when I retired we had a few pistols that had about 35k , only recoil springs replaced..

Now they are gonna go to the Glock (maybe 19?) and, frankly that is why they should have gone to in the late 80s

With regular recoil spring replacement I’d expect a lonnng lifetime

This message has been edited. Last edited by: MikeinNC,

"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

Posts: 7625 | Location: Temple, Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In my youth, the same question was asked: "How long will my rifle barrel last?" Usually asked of a hunting rifle that might get shot a box a year; magazine dumps were not done except maybe with a .22 in those days.

One gunzine writer replied: "Answering that would require me to systematically wear out several barrels. I don't have the time, money, or inclination."
Posts: 2892 | Location: Florence, Alabama, USA | Registered: July 05, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Misanthropic Philanthrope
Picture of MWC
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Maybe it's infinite.

Originally posted by Psychobastard:
Well, we "gave them democracy"... not unlike giving a monkey a loaded gun.

Posts: 6587 | Registered: June 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think a lot of older guns were built on the assumption that they wouldn't be shot much. The Glock has changed that, along with a lot of other things.

I expect a handgun to go 30,000 to 50,000 rds. If I have doubts, I don't buy.

Posts: 292 | Location: Pacific NW | Registered: April 09, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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