The world in which we live is changing rapidly, and the need to preserve our second amendment rights through these times of uncertainty is crucial. This not only stands true for the right to protect ourselves against evil in this world, but also against the strength of nature. I recall my first backcountry elk hunting trip and the need for a side arm in camp. A fellow hunter had been carrying a Glock 10mm and raved about its performance. Little did I know, this caliber was just scratching the surface and would soon become one of the more sought after rounds for backcountry hunters.
During the mid 1980’s, a shootout occurred between two suspected bank robbers and the Miami FBI. Two agents were lost that day, and while the end result shook this nation with tragedy, autopsy reports revealed that had the 9mm guns issued to both agents delivered more penetration to the perpetrators, both agents might still be alive today. This seems to have been a driving force behind the adoption of the 10mm auto within law enforcement. While the intent of this caliber was for a variety of different reasons, it is my understanding the cartridge was requested to be customized with a lesser charge which eventually led to the .40 S&W. It appears the cartridge was too much gun for some individuals on the force which resulted in the transition to a different caliber. One might ponder.… did the 10mm fade away because it was too much for the user, or was it overkill to be used on humans?
When I began to hunt in grizzly country in 2017, it became apparent why that fellow hunter years prior had carried a 10mm during my first backcountry trip. I began to question whether my carry configuration was effective enough. While I was in love with the fit and feel of the gun, my SIG SAUER P320 chambered in a .357 sig may not have the strength and rigor to withstand the ultimate situation. After diligent and comprehensive research, I purchased the 10mm. Across all available options at the time, the Glock 20 Gen 4 was what I went with given its reputation. The following year as I prepared to travel west, I retired my SIG P320 as 10 mm was not a chambered option at the time.
Some critics might argue the aesthetics of the Glock in comparison to other brands on the market is inferior, however, there isn’t much argument surrounding durability and reliability. However, the physical size of a Glock’s frame has always felt cumbersome to me. I have physically small hands and have found that putting any of their guns in my grip is noticeably uncomfortable. I will emphasize that this is a personal issue as there are many people who prefer their brand over others. To secure a more custom fit, I commissioned Ben at Boresight Solutions to shave down the grip. His knowledge and craftsmanship were phenomenal. While there was a difference in the fit, I truly never felt the same comfort as I did with my long-lost love, the SIG P320.
In April of this year, I was honored to be invited to the SIG SAUER Elite Hunter & Guide event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The wealth of knowledge obtained in the three day onsite was irreplaceable. From the classroom learning about current products, future products, and end user feedback, SIG demonstrated unwavering customer loyalty.
During the onsite, we had the opportunity to discharge the P320 10mm new production pistol. Upon removing this firearm from its holster, I immediately felt comfort in my hand tight up to the tang. I did not feel the typical beefed out back-strap as I do on my Glock and was able to easily, comfortably and effortlessly place my index finger on the trigger without feeling like I was stretching to get there.
Recoil with this gun seemed to be mild. Which made the shooting experience enjoyable and energized to continue. The slide is optic ready, an option I will certainly take advantage of with the Sig Romeo 2 during my Montana elk trip this year. The instructors at the Sig Academy are a wealth of knowledge and provide courses also to the public for those who want to advance their skills. I certainly have hopes of returning to the Academy in the future to become more proficient.
While I admit my skills with a hand-gun don’t stack up to Jason Bourne, I certainly felt like he may have had some competition in the simulated “wolf charge” on the last stretch of our course. Three well placed rounds in the chest of a charging animal in most situations will bring you home to your family. Putting my life in the grips of a SIG allows me to rest easy in the event I need to protect my life against a predator, or perpetrator. Being able to remove your side arm from your holster comfortably, get on target and place rounds without doing much thinking puts my mind at ease in the event a situation arises in the backcountry.
There are many variations of ammunition one can choose from, I’ve thought at great length what the situation might be in the event I have to draw my pistol and what would be most applicable. A quick Google search of bullets that are best for grizzly bears yield a million responses, but beware of your situational circumstances as a charging bear won’t be standing Jackie Bushman broadside. A grizzly attack is one that would be quick and require fast action with confidence in the projectile. While I hope I’m never faced with this situation, I’ve settled on a hard-cast bullet that would shoot stem to stern with confidence. I plan to cycle various brands prior to my departure come September, however, I have experienced excellent groups with Underwood hard cast bullets to date. During my new X-ten review, I found there to be an issue with the 180 grain JHP V-crown during its cycle. On a few occasions the round would feed into battery but the firing pin would not ignite the primer. Upon investigation with an extremely educated individual at SIG corporate, there had been some issues with a particular lot number of these rounds causing a replicated event. I will note, I did not have this issue with a standard FMJ, or hard cast rounds and this is a prime example on knowing your gear before entering the woods.
Product testing was part of our SIG tour, which I found to be a remarkable experience. After gaining a deeper understanding of the production lifecycle, I learned that testing is the final stage before each gun is packaged and shipped. The quality assurance requirements of each firearm are rigorous for safety and efficiency and rank highest priority. A whopping 1.3 million rounds of ammunition were discharged the month prior to our visit, a true testament that SIG is invested in their product performance and safety for all end users.
I am excited to carry with confidence the new Sig Sauer X-ten this fall as a personal side arm. To learn more about the recently launched SIG SAUER 320 X-Ten, be sure to visit SIG SAUER for a complete line up of options. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or comments, I look forward to continuing the dialogue!