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    Preventive Measures: Some Practices for Handling the SIG Sauer P320

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    The SIG Sauer P320 is a popular handgun among civilians and a standard issue for U.S. military branches.

    In 2017, a report from the US Army revealed that 23 out of 120 service members had suffered accidental discharges from their P320 pistols.

    Additionally, there were reports of civilian accidents involving the P320, including one in which a man shot himself in the leg while holstering the gun.

    These incidents have resulted in serious injuries, with victims claiming that the firearm fires without a trigger pull, raising concerns about a potential design flaw.

    SIG Sauer has refuted these allegations, asserting that the P320 is incapable of discharging without a trigger pull and meets U.S. safety standards.

    The P320’s popularity with law enforcement has also been affected, as several agencies have removed it from service due to safety concerns.

    Incidents reported involve a variety of circumstances, including the gun firing during routine actions such as holstering, climbing out of vehicles, and even when the user’s hand is not on the firearm.

    This pattern of discharges has led to speculation of a possible design issue, particularly after SIG Sauer modified the internal design of the P320 following earlier reports that the pistol could fire when dropped.

    Despite SIG Sauer’s voluntary upgrade program for the P320, which allowed owners to return their pistols for modification, many incidents involved firearms that had already been upgraded.

    Critics point out that the P320, when used by civilians and police, is effectively cocked at all times with no external safeties, a feature that could make it more susceptible to unintentional discharges.

    The controversy is exacerbated by the exemption of firearms from federal consumer product safety regulations, leaving no regulatory body with the power to investigate alleged defects or impose mandatory recalls.

    Bill Lewinski, a behavioral scientist and executive director of the Force Science Institute, has even gone so far as to say, “The number and frequency of injuries are strongly suggestive of a design flaw versus a human performance error.”

    When it comes to avoiding an accidental discharge with the SIG Sauer P320, there are several steps you can take. First and foremost, always keep the gun unloaded until you’re ready to use it. This is true whether you’re storing it, cleaning it, or transporting it. Inspect the chamber and magazine to make sure it’s empty before each use.

    Next, follow all safety rules for handling firearms. Treat every gun as if it’s loaded, even if you know it isn’t. Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until you’re ready to fire. When handling the gun, be mindful of your surroundings. Do not point it at anything you do not intend to shoot. Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction, such as downrange or at the ground. Make sure no one is within range of the barrel.

    Finally, stay up to date on your firearm maintenance. Clean and lubricate the gun regularly and replace any worn or broken parts immediately. Make sure that the firing pin, hammer, and other parts are working correctly.

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