There are three simple rules to safe firearms handling: ALWAYS keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction; ALWAYS keep your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to shoot; and NEVER load a gun until you are ready to use it.
Rules number one and three are pretty easy to train into a new shooter, but it’s that pesky #2 that gets most folks in trouble. As an instructor, I have a certain fondness for products that address training away this natural tendency and for that reason I decided to include Smart Firearms in my 2020 SHOT show coverage.
Smart Firearms--which is not to be confused with the so-called "smart guns" that our friends at NRA-ILA have discussed at length--built their success on their patented SF-30 training gun. It features an accidental/ negligent discharge suite, which gives the user an audible and visual warning when they have their finger resting on the trigger. Said trigger is built with a realistic pull weight and tactile reset. Up until this year, they only had models fashioned after the G19 and Smith & Wesson M&P, however, new for 2020 we are proud to cover their newest design-the SIG 320 training pistol ($249 MSRP).
As we spent some time with President Mike Farrell he explained that Smart Firearms' new SIG 320 training pistol is more than just a new shape of the same technology that they introduced in 2013.
“This new training pistol is built with their latest incursion detection suite that can now determine if you are violating rule #2 or simply taking a well-aimed shot,” said Farrell. “It also includes a series of accelerometers and inertial reference units that tell the gun how it's oriented. This allows for slightly more time during presentation and, more importantly, less during reholstering before the alarm sounds.”
I took a few minutes with it and tried every conceivable way to “trick it” and I simply could not. If I was a new shooter it would be hard to get complacent about my trigger finger with this thing screaming at me every time I violate Rule 2. (Instructors will love it, too—because they might actually have some voice left when they leave the range.)
The new pistol will fit all SIG 320 holsters and even accepts 320 magazines for realistic reload drills. Like all of their other training guns, it is built to survive an 8-foot drop onto concrete and even has the ability to be upgraded with a Laser Ammo training cap for visual shot indication and compatibility with reactive targets and simulators.