I Carry: SIG Sauer P320X Compact in a Dark Star Gear Orion Holster

posted on March 13, 2020

Firearm: SIG Sauer P320X Compact (MSRP: $679.99)

SIG Sauer’s P320 series has seen a number of improvements and changes since it launched more than half a decade ago. Originally designed for the U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System competition, the first P320 was, obviously, a full-size pistol designed for duty use. While, of course, there are plenty of folks who carry full-size pistols concealed every day, most prefer a slightly smaller version for daily toting. Even the venerable Colt 1911 (we have to say “venerable” when talking about the 1911, it’s in the bylaws I think) has its Commander and Officer models, offering shorter, lighter versions easier to keep tucked away.

Enter the P320 Compact. It’s no secret what general size SIG was aiming for in its Compact frame. The “mostly fits all three fingers” grip with a roughly 4-inch barrel has become somewhat of an industry standard, with one particular Austrian variant setting the pace. Most handgun manufacturers that offer a striker-fired, polymer-frame 9 mm have something in approximately this size, and SIG is no different. The P320 Compact fills this niche well, adapting all the things we love about the P320 series into a more easily carried offering.

The X designation lets the user know that the P320 in question offers an upgraded, flat-faced trigger, X-Ray3 night sights and what has now become a standard option, an optics cut for a mini-red dot. However, SIG does the optics cut differently; while most manufacturers have a plate that removes with a couple of screws, SIG curiously requires partial disassembly of the slide before the optics mount is revealed. The company claims it is armorer-level work, so plan accordingly; obviously the mechanically inclined tinkerer is almost certainly capable of the work, but SIG Sauer does recommend against it.   

Holster: Dark Star Gear Orion holster (MSRP: $80)

With single-sheet Kydex construction and your choice of either a Kydex clip or two PTD snap loops, the Dark Star Gear Orion can be configured for inside-the-waistband or appendix carry with the optional Dark Wing attachment to keep it in place. Numerous color options are available, and “standard” options like gray or tan do not incur additional charge. The attentive eye will note that this Orion is designed for the full-length P320. This is no accident; when carrying inside the waistband, especially at the appendix position, having a little more holster below the belt line helps to stabilize the rig. Obviously, it also allows you to carry a full-size pistol should you so desire. 

Magazine Carrier: Blue Force Gear Single Pistol Belt Pouch (MSRP: $22.95)

For the ultimate in minimalist, lightweight carriers for a spare magazine, Blue Force Gear’s Single Pistol Belt pouch is hard to beat. Constructed of a high-performance laminate material with an elastic front, the Single Pistol Belt Pouch weighs a scant .7 ounce and can fit belts up to 2 inches wide. It can also be rotated 90 degrees by simply removing the hook-and-loop attachment strap. One note of caution: While it’s possible to retrieve a magazine quickly, putting one back in is rather difficult, so take your time. 

Light: Pelican 7620 LED (MSRP: $80.95)

As a general rule, an EDC flashlight really ought to fit in the palm of your hand, but we are willing to make exceptions. In the case of Pelican’s 7620 LED flashlight, the size is slightly larger than we generally like, coming in longer than 6 inches and weighing 6.9 ounces with batteries. However, it’s feature-rich and rather affordable, so it’s worth consideration. Offering three brightness settings ranging from 28 lumens on low to 1,124 lumens on high in addition to a strobe setting, the 7620 has five different preset programs that can be cycled to change what happens each time you press the tailcap. Additionally, it runs on two AA batteries, 2 or 3 CR123 batteries, or even a proprietary rechargeable available separately. All this utility for slightly more than $80? That’s a pretty sweet deal.

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