Eagle Industries

SIG SAUER Statement on CANSOFCOM Incident

Yesterday, a Canadian news outlet, CBC News, published a story regarding the unintended discharge last year of a SIG P320 by a Canadian Special Operator, resulting in injury and his unit withdrawing the pistol from service. After the accident the unit returned to using the SIG P226 they had planned to replace with the P320.

Unfortunately, the story is not well researched. For example, they edited it after publication, removing an inaccurate description of how the pistol operates. Rather than critique it all here, we leave it up to you to read it.

However, we will point out that the story alleges that the pistols in question do not feature the drop safety upgrades found in the US Military Modular Handgun System M17/18 and current production P320s. Considering they were procured from SIG after the changes were made to the design, this is false and severely undermines the narrative offered up in the article.

While the story was shared in various corners of the web and social media, it didn’t gain near the traction that we had expected. Reactions ranged from confirmation bias from those who don’t like 320s and just read the headline and not the full story; to others who brushed the issue off as a Negligent Discharge; to those who questioned the timing of the story as a hit piece placed by SIG’s competitors.

The last factor is worth examining, considering that the Canadian Department of National Defence is poised to release a tender for a replacement for their long-serving Browning Hi-powers, a firearm which should have been replaced years ago.

In a similar fashion to US “Buy America” directives, the Canadian government requires “Canadian Content.” For small arms, this means Colt Canada, a company which doesn’t manufacture modern, polymer, striker fired pistols.

In 2011, DND tested the waters, surveying industry’s willingness to sell their pistol Technical Data Packages to the Canadian government so that Colt Canada could be involved in the procurement. As you can imagine, the notion fell flat. Almost a decade has gone by and they’ve finally refined their requirement, deciding to open it to international contenders. Word is, they also homed in on a modular design inspired by MHS, with different frame and barrel sizes along with a common trigger mechanism. If true, this gives SIG a serious leg up on the competition.

But back to the firearm. Apparently, the pistol and holster made it to SIG where they attempted to replicate the malfunction. They couldn’t. What they did find odd was that the P320 was paired with a P226 holster which had modified, possibly with a Dremel tool, and heated and reformed. The fit is reportedly, far from optimal.

Naturally, the Canadian government is reticent to address the entire issue, considering the sensitivity of the unit in question. Since it made the papers and a point was made in the story to politicize the weapons purchase (it is categorized under politics for good measure), the Minister of Defence was assuredly briefed.

Absent an official statement from DND, we can only imagine how this affair might affect the upcoming pistol tender. Only time will tell.

However, we do have SIG SAUER’s statement on the matter:

NEWINGTON, N.H., (February 5, 2021) – SIG SAUER is working with Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) to resolve an incident involving the unintended discharge of a P320. An inaccurate and incomplete report of this incident was recently published in the Canadian media that called into question the safety of the P320. While this incident occurred months ago, this erroneous media report is driven by multiple sources, including our competitors, and coincides with the imminent release of other Canadian military and law enforcement tenders, indicating the timing of its release is an attempt to improperly influence the procurements.

The firearm involved has been extensively tested by SIG SAUER and it has been determined to be safe. The investigation revealed the use of an incorrect holster not designed for a P320. The use of a modified P226 holster created an unsafe condition by allowing a foreign object to enter the holster, causing the unintended discharge.

The SIG SAUER P320 is among the most rigorously vetted pistols in the market. The P320 meets and exceeds all US safety standards and global military and law enforcement protocols, including the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and Department of Justice (DOJ). The P320 is one of the most innovative and sought-after pistols in the firearms market, and the pistol of choice for all branches of the United States Military (M17/M18), along with numerous law enforcement agencies and other military units worldwide.

What caused the malfunction? That’s still up in the air, but the actual pistol doesn’t seem to be the culprit. That leaves poor holster choice or operator error. Regardless, the article served its purpose, to disrupt pistol procurements. If not for DND, at least for LE Agencies in Canada.

– Eric Graves
Editor

41 Responses to “SIG SAUER Statement on CANSOFCOM Incident”

  1. Amer-Rican says:

    The P320, P365, HK VP9, CZ P10, and most Glocks, are all great poly striker pistols.

  2. James says:

    Holster interference ,modified 226 holster is all you had to say.

    • txJM says:

      I love Sig, but this is a game of shadows.

      Considering that Sig commissioned IMI holsters that are cross-compatible with the P226 and P320, this response doesn’t say anything more about the incident than the original news story does.

      • SSD says:

        Doesn’t say any more? Did the original article explain the upcoming pistol solicitation?

        Did the original article mention holsters?

        Finally, are you saying that the operator in question was using the IMI holster? How much do you know about that holster? It claims to fit pretty much everything including different lights. If he was, why did they need to modify it?

        • txJM says:

          (Did the original article explain the upcoming pistol solicitation?) I don’t see how that’s relevant unless you’re a stockholder, which is whom this release is really for.

          (Did the original article mention holsters?) Yes, it references an implied holster-related incident in the US.

          (are you saying that the operator in question was using the IMI holster?) All I’m saying is that Sig says nothing more substantive than the department did. No holster model. No photos. Just more hearsay.

          (How much do you know about that holster?) I have one and use it, from time to time. I love that it securely fits three of my Sigs with mounted lights.

          (It claims to fit pretty much everything including different lights.) No, it doesn’t. Give me a link to that claim, and I’ll give you a donation.

          (If he was, why did they need to modify it?) There are a million reasons to modify a holster, but Sig never officially said it was modified. You said “reportedly”. All they said was that it wasn’t designed for a P320. Which is dubious, because P250 holsters aren’t designed for a P320, either. …Shadow games.

          • SSD says:

            You didn’t actually read the article. That’s okay.

            The impending pistol tender is absolutely germane to the issue and if you would have actually read the article, you’d get that.

            SIG is privately held and not publicly traded. Please, if you’re going to say things, at least know what you’re talking about.

            Yeah, that CBC piece mentioned holsters, but not in regard to the incident in question.

            They don’t owe anyone a photo. They are reacting to a hit piece that alleges a whole bunch of things that aren’t true. I offered further amplification.

            Yes, I said reportedly because I haven’t seen the holster but I trust my source.

            Here’s the holster description. You’ll have to go read it tho.

            https://www.imidefense.com/product/tlh-tactical-light-laser-holster-level-2-for-sig-sauer/

            It wasn’t this holster in the incident. In fact, it has nothing to do with the incident but you brought it up trying to make a point that doesn’t exist.

            • txJM says:

              (You didn’t actually read the article. That’s okay.
              The impending pistol tender is absolutely germane to the issue and if you would have actually read the article, you’d get that.) So, you can’t or won’t articulate your point.

              (SIG is privately held and not publicly traded. Please, if you’re going to say things, at least know what you’re talking about.) No, you’re right, I stuck my foot in it, there. But, Sig’s official release smacks of an appeasement to those with a fiduciary interest.

              (Yeah, that CBC piece mentioned holsters, but not in regard to the incident in question.) Imagine that.

              (They don’t owe anyone a photo. They are reacting to a hit piece that alleges a whole bunch of things that aren’t true. I offered further amplification.) I wouldn’t spend time on getting a proper photo, either, if I had the Tactical Fanboy carrying water for me.

              (Yes, I said reportedly because I haven’t seen the holster but I trust my source.) You never referenced a source.

              (Here’s the holster description. You’ll have to go read it tho.
              https://www.imidefense.com/product/tlh-tactical-light-laser-holster-level-2-for-sig-sauer/) Nowhere does it say that it is compatible with “pretty much everything”. I see three families of six distinct models.

              (It wasn’t this holster in the incident. In fact, it has nothing to do with the incident but you brought it up trying to make a point that doesn’t exist.) Sig brought up holsters, not me. It’s not unreasonable for a consumer to ask for more clarification. Unfortunately, I had to reference a specific holster in the defense of my request, because Sig’s PR guy – er, SSD, rather – is shooting down every skeptic with benign responses.

              • SSD says:

                Did you go to Canadian Gun Nutz, The Firearms Blog and every where else that carried the SIG press release and make wild accusations about them?

                You’ve gotten as much clarification as you’re going to get unless DND or SIG releases more info. DND isn’t going to because they don’t even want to acknowledge the guns exist. SIG probably won’t, out of respect for a customer.

                You aren’t a skeptic. A skeptic has reasoned arguments. Your twists and turns are obvious to everyone.

                It was you that brought up the IMI holster, and yeah, if a holster says it fits this multitude of dissimilar lights and lasers, that’s pretty much everything:

                Light/Laser Compatibility:

                Insight M3/ M6.
                Streamlight TLR1/ TLR2 (also fits TLR-2G, TLR-G, TLR-HL, TLR-R).
                Surefire X200/ X300.
                SIG SAUER STL-900L/Foxtrot 1.
                Nightstick TWM-850XL.

                So now you’re claiming he was using a belly band holster? Or are you just making stuff up to fit your narrative? Hoping something sticks? What do you get out of it?

                You work for GLOCK? Or, are you one of these idiots who had an ND and want to claim, “the gun went off all by itself, just sitting there!” Looking for a payday and praying you won’t get fired for being negligent with firearms? You signed on with that lawyer CBC talked to? It’s obvious you think you’re going to get something out of this.

          • Popcorn Eater says:

            You are acting like you know something that hasn’t come out. Do you? Or do you just get off putting out bullshit?

            • Ton E says:

              Read SSDs write up about the MHS DOT&E report he goes out his way to play defense for SIG.

              • SSD says:

                No, I went out of my way to determine the truth. Sorry it doesn’t fit your narrative.

                • Ton E says:

                  You didn’t determine anything. You speculated and didn’t prove the report to not be true.

                  • txJM says:

                    SSD was so much better when it was just Eric. This Tactical Fanboy jib is pure cringe.

                    • Eric Graves says:

                      I write 90% of what is posted here.

                      I wrote this piece after speaking with SIG and multiple sources in the US and Canada.

                      I wrote the DOT&E article after speaking at length with DOT&E, PEO Soldier and SIG.

                      I wrote the article on the Army’s fielding of MHS, after attending a media round table hosted by PEO Soldier.

                      I wrote the article on how SIG dealt with the negative 30 degree drop angle misfires after visiting SIG with multiple other media outlets.

                      I stand behind what I have written.

                      Unlike any of you, I have to be able to back up what I say. I have to be factual. I don’t get to hide behind a made up name and pretend to know what I’m talking about.

                      Unlike you, I don’t see this as some sport where you get make things up to ruin the lives, reputations, and businesses of others.

                • Ton E says:

                  The DOD actually did the tests and submitted the data. You speculated and tried to pass it off as fact.

                  • SSD says:

                    Yes, the PEO Soldier statement is:

                    “When tested in accordance with the TOP 03-2-504A, the weapon passed in all drop orientations.

                    PEO Soldier”

                    That is the final word from the US Army on the matter and they made that quite clear to me.

                    If that doesn’t dispute the DOT&E report and isn’t a fact, then what is it?

  3. Patrick Sweeney says:

    Hmmm, let’s see: we have an AD/ND, a firearm that everyone testing says is not at fault, and a modified holster?

    My guess is that, in a real-world investigation, we’d find that some bright light in the bureaucracy thought that non-Canadian holsters were just not going to be allowed, and since holsters are holsters, the units involved can make do with the perfectly-good ones they already had. Further, that the members of the unit involved knew that complaining about having to use modified holsters was a career-ending choice.

    So, suck it up and move on.

    Reality, not caring about the suck, reared its ugly head, and now it is CYA time.

  4. Stickman says:

    Using a holster not designed for the particular weapon is criminal, and should be an absolute termination of anyone in the chain of command who knowingly allowed it to happen.

    Ask King County Deputy Herzog about modified holsters, and “close enough”. You will have to ask it pretty loud, he was killed when his Uncle Mikes holster (incorrect model for his pistol) split open and he was shot in the head with his own gun.

    My questions would be if the entire team were still using their old holsters, or if this was just one individual who decided he didn’t want to break in a new holster. If he did, he should be off the team. If everyone was ordered to use the old equipment, those involved need to be held accountable and removed from their positions.

    My next question would be if they all modified their 226 holsters to make the 320 fit, what holsters are they using now that they have switched back to the 226… Are they now, knowing that they have ruined their holsters, continued to use them with their 226s? If so, I would reiterate the above comments regarding termination of those involved in the decision making process.

    I think a lot more is said about the Canadian team than a simple firearm selection. I believe their teams are hampered at a low level when we see issues over something as simple as a few thousand dollars for mandatory equipment.

    Lastly, I would like to thank the brass for once again F’ing over their troops, which seems to be a consistent theme.

    • Davy Crockett says:

      Criminal?

      • AOC says:

        Yes, all gun ownership should be outlawed. We have introduced legislation that will ban all militaries and citizens from owning firearms. It’s a common sense measure. Guns are used to commit violence every day in the world and banning these weapons of war is the only right thing to do.

        I almost died in the capitol raid by insurrectionists. CNN confirmed my story.

        I ate paint chips as a child.

        AOC

      • Stickman says:

        Yes, criminal. Knowingly forcing troops to use equipment which defeats the safeties of a weapon system and allows the weapon to fire into the equipped individual is criminal.

        The actual charging code would depend on the state, country or jurisdiction involved. If I gave you a rifle with ammunition that I knew was defective and may cause you serious injury or death, that action would be criminal as well.

        Whether you choose to look at what I wrote above as “criminal” in the legal sense, or whether you choose to look at it in the intended and more informal/ oxford sense meaning of, preposterous, shameful, reprehensible or disgraceful, it works either way.

        If you were legitimately confused, hopefully that clears it up.

  5. SwampyJ says:

    In reading the linked original article I am left with the impression the military is getting a different FCU version than civilians. I don’t know much about these new pistols and would like to get one. Does anyone have any insite on that part of the article below?

    “While it is couched in terms of a performance upgrade or enhancement, [the document] basically shows that the Army demanded that the entire internal fire assembly of the [SIG] P320 be ripped out and replaced with different and improved parts,” said Jeff Bagnell, a lawyer in Westport, Conn., who has litigated 10 cases, mostly commercial gun owners, related to SIG P320 misfires across several U.S. states, and is about to file two more.

  6. Steve says:

    Seems to me that, where the question is “why did a dropped pistol discharge?”, the holster is immaterial. Dropped is dropped and implies the holster was not touching the pistol. A remote holster in no way fires a dropped pistol.
    Glocks exhibited this problem in the early years, I was within earshot of one and was present before the smoke cleared. and I heard from (a US Special Operations guy) eyewitnesses in another case of it that happened in South America. Big hoopla happened in the example I was near. Glock was involved. In the end, the problem was blamed on parts tolerances all stacking up in the wrong direction. The pistols of the agency were refitted with new internal components. But I never saw a word about it in the publications and periodicals. No recalls. Maybe I missed them, but I think I’d have noticed. So, I reckon the problem pistol’s cousins are still on the streets.
    The test for the defect turned out to be, clear the pistol of all ammo, operate the slide, Palm the pistol and slap it against a surface. See if the sear disengaged. Repeat until you are convinced it’s OK. VP9 is said to have a sear disengagement problem, but I only “know” what I have read.
    If SIG has a problem I hope they identify it, make it widely understood, and refit all affected models.
    After Glock, I jettisoned the striker design. I carry DA/SA HK and SIG

    • SSD says:

      It wasn’t dropped.

      • Steve says:

        My edits left out the fact that the discharge I was near was a Glock, in a correct holster discharged when the holster was struck.
        Didn’t mean to mislead.
        In the South America event, the Glock was dropped into a pebbly stream and discharged when it hit the rocks.

    • Vic Toree says:

      RE: “Seems to me that, where the question is “why did a dropped pistol discharge?”, the holster is immaterial. Dropped is dropped and implies the holster was not touching the pistol.”

      From the article, “The military would not say how the misfire happened, whether the weapon was dropped or went off in the holster…”

      Do you know something about this incident that the rest of us don’t? If so hook up some info!

  7. Robert says:

    Is the Serpa still sold in Canada?

  8. karl says:

    I’ll probably buy one. Looks like a tactical P210

  9. Captain Canuck says:

    Just a case of soldiers being soldiers and modifying existing kit to made do. Serpa holster needs to be forbidden in the CAF. Modifying a Sig P226 Serpa holder to fit a Sig P320 is a disaster in the making. There are many who shot themselves in the leg using the Serpa. It’s a safety POS.

  10. N. Cognito says:

    Seatbelt buckle in the holster trick?

  11. GS says:

    One member taking a nonlethal injury and they get to keep their Sig P226s? Would suck to be the guy who drew the short straw.