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SIG'S SERVICE STAND-IN: THE P32D HAS A VERY COST-EFFECTIVE C[O.sub.2] STABLEMATE.

My first "pistol" was an air-powered .177 Benjamin smoothbore with a wooden "Tootsie Roll" pump handle and a grayish plastic set of grip panels. It was what it was. A very cool tool for ventilating tin cans, but nothing remotely intended to resemble a real handgun of darn near any description.

This is definitely not the case with the SIG P320. The term "spittin' image" may bring early 1960s Daisy ads for kid's TV shows to mind, but it perfectly describes this CO2 pistol's resemblance to the company's modular, striker-fired 9mm US Army issue pistol (which sports the same model number). The P320 is obviously intended as a low-cost practice stand-in for the real thing. And if you're going to emulate the real thing, our new, recently adopted service sidearm makes for a pretty sensible template. Plus, unlike my old Benjamin, this CO2 understudy is rifled and handles .177 pellets or BB's from a 30-round magazine.

The P320 has 9.6-inch OAL and a 2.2-pound weight--numbers easily bracketed by our new modular service pistol's various formats. And our test sample even had the "Coyote Tan" finish of the 9mm service arm--not to mention the M1913 light/laser rail. Economy is key here, as SIG describes the virtues of its CO2 option: ... "low audible profile, practice space versatility and radically less expensive ammunition." And the gun itself costs $119.99--a radical downsizing from the sticker price of the real thing.

The steel "blowback slide" reciprocates. The sights--thankfully--are a direct copy of the real 3-dot thing and are easy to acquire. Rested 5-shot groups at 30 feet were less than an inch. The muzzle velocity claim (at peak CO2 pressure) is 430 fps, which we found to be only 4 fps over our peak figure using our trusty chronograph.

The only drawback--and not uncommon for a C[O.sub.2] pistol--is the long, creepy trigger. The one on ours broke at a bit over 7 pounds. But once you're used to it, you can do some very accurate shooting.

We've mentioned before SIG is truly a full shooting-service operation--guns, optics, ammo, and accessories. Everything we used with it was also a SIG product--.177 Match Ballistic Alloy I Pellets, Quad Shooting Gallery Target and Texas Star Spinner. The Quad, incidentally, was perfect for inside-the-garage practice, featuring a pellet trap and a row of nifty pop-down reset targets. This certainly beats the heck out of our old, unsophisticated expedient of a cardboard box filled with old magazines. One caveat: It's for low velocity pellets, not BB's--which can bounce erratically to say the least.

Do not forget eye protection, no matter what you're running thru the SIG P320. When it comes to your eyeballs, there's no such phrase as "only 450 fps."

ROLLING RANGE BOX

Our days of heading out to the range with a box of shells and a single rifle or handgun ended long ago. Now it's a major logistical exercise--multiple guns, wads of ammo, chronograph, spotting scopes, ear protection, shooting mats, sandbags and assorted shooting rests, not to mention targets, assorted cleaning implements and what have you.

The CaseCruzer Universal 6-Pack Handgun Case will hold an assortment of popular semi-auto pistols longer than 7 inches in length. What's very handy is it has a pull-out handle with wheels for easy, airport-like transport. The lockable synthetic case itself is 100 percent watertight, dust-and-corrosion proof and floats! And, yes, they do models for revolvers as well as ones for a lesser amount of handguns for $359.

CPD INDUSTRIES. 4665 Stale St.. Montclair, CA 91763. I www.casecruzer.com. SIG SAUER, INC.. 72 Pease 4 Blvd. Newington, NH 03801, (603) 610-3000, www. sigsauer.com, WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM/INDEX

RELATED ARTICLE: AN ELITE LMG.

The short-recoil Johnson Model 1941 Light Machine Gun, despite its virtues, is one of the "also-ran" LMG's of WWII. It was designed by Melvin Johnson, who was later associated with ArmaLite and the M16 program.

Although never a standard-issue item, the Johnson LMG was used during the earlier stages of the conflict by the elite US Paramarines in the Pacific as well as the joint Canadian/American 1st Special Service Force (the "Devil's Brigade") in Europe. It feeds from a 20-round box magazine and is, obviously, a Class III item. Chambered in .30-06, it's fairly rare.

This particular specimen pictured is in 85 percent condition and went for $63,250 at Rock Island's September 10, 2017 auction. For information on the company's future events, contact them at RIA, 7819 42nd St. West, Rock Island, IL 61201, (800) 238-8022, www.rockislandauction.com.

Caption: SIG's "other" P320 is the Coyote Tan, .177-caliber air pistol, (below), sporting serious sights and excellent accuracy (above).

Caption: Realism-plus (above): A reciprocating slide and a puff of smoke! SIG's Quad Shooting Gallery Target (below, foreground) has a trap for indoor use and the Texas Star Spinner (behind) offers a bit of moving-target challenge.

Caption: A pull-out handle for rolling transport (left) plus individual recesses for your cherished pistolas and magazines (below) are what the CaseCruzer Universal 6-Pack Handgun Case offers.

Caption: The Johnson LMG is a little-known groundbreaking arm. Eugene Stoner used it as a springboard in his design of the early ArmaLite AR-10. It is possible the Johnson inspired Nazi Germany's Louis Stange's FG42 as well. Photo: Rock Island Auction
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Title Annotation:GUNS INSIDER
Author:Miller, Payton
Publication:Guns Magazine
Date:Dec 16, 2017
Words:884
Previous Article:GO-FER AR.
Next Article:TRIED AND TRUE: NEW TECHNOLOGY CAN BREATHE NEW LIFE INTO YOUR OLD RIFLES.
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