Introducing: Project Nemesis - P320 Roland Special

#1
First and foremost, I need to give credit where it's due - I've had the general idea for years that adding certain components from Open division competition pistols to a duty pistol could have some potential performance benefits, but could never quite figure out the right combination of parts or base platform to build on (for a while there I was fairly set on saving up for a completely custom 2011 platform...Glad I ended up not doing that). It wasn't until I started to see pictures floating around the interwebz of a certain professional door-kicker's modded and comped G19 though that I really got serious about this project. So, Roland, for being just crazy enough to try to turn a joke into one of the most badass concepts for a fighting pistol I've ever seen, much gratitude is in order.

There was still one problem I had with the standard RS formula though; that damn Glock it was based on...I know, I know, I have nothing against Glocks or those who choose to shoot them. But I learned how to shoot pistols on a Sig 1911 - the ergonomics of a Glock and my brain were just two things that were never going to get along. So what to do? At first I kicked around the idea of basing my build on an M&P, but still being a bit brainwashed by my 1911 roots there was just something about a hammer-fired, all-metal pistol I couldn't look past...And then Sig won the MHS program. I had thought the P320 was a neat platform for a while, and with the prospect of the future aftermarket support destined for the new sidearm of our entire armed forces, it was finally the push I needed to get past the "but muh hammer and metal grip!" blockade.

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So, a few months ago I ordered up an X-Carry. My particular example came with the Romeo1 sight already mounted and zeroed at the factory, which was fine by me considering that would've been the first thing I did to it anyway. Within minutes of getting the pistol home, I'd mounted up a X300U flashlight, torn the pistol apart and started to familiarize myself with the internals.

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My next step was to find a source for magazine extensions (because MOAR), which brought me to Springer Precision. I ordered up a handful of their 140mm base pads along with some Grams Engineering follower and spring kits, and shortly my 17 round magazines could swallow up 23 rounds of shiny 9mm.

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Of course, once you have extended magazines, everyone knows you need a nice magwell to help feed them into your hungry blaster. The nice thing about the X-Series line of P320s is that all of the X-Series grip modules are compatible with the magwell that comes on the X-Five model. Many competition shooters who purchase the X-Five quickly remove the magwell to make the pistol legal for Production and Carry Optics divisions; a bit of quick negotiating with one such X-Five owner, and suddenly I felt like I could toss a fresh magazine into the pistol from across a room and it'd seat properly.

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Up next, I got to wondering and doing a bit of quick math in my head - If 23 rounds is good, more rounds will always be better, right...? So, I ordered up a couple of OEM Sig 21 round magazines, made another visit to Springer Precision for more base pads and some of the Grams 13 coil spring and follower kits, and before you know it I had a functioning "happy stick" that provides for 27 rounds reloadable. Now we're getting somewhere!

Of course, the whole point of this project was to get that "holy trinity" of the slide-mounted dot, X300U hanging under the barrel, and short compensator for the ultimate in tacticool. But you can't have a compensator without a threaded barrel...So, another visit to Springer and I shortly had in my possession a Bar-Sto stainless compact threaded barrel, with 1/2x28 threading, and one of Springer's "shorty" 9mm compensators with threading to match the new barrel.

Bar-Sto's barrels are "semi-drop-in", meaning a minority of the barrels will require some minor fitting to work in your particular pistol. I just so happened to be one of the shooters that drew the short straw and found my barrel will need some fitting, which means a trip to my gunsmith is in order.

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And this is where the pistol currently sits - Ready to be taken to my gunsmith to have the barrel fitted properly, so that I may begin to enjoy the sweetness that is a compensated duty pistol. I had originally intended for this to be my carry gun, but have found the X-Carry grip module to be slightly too long to conceal well enough (especially with the addition of the magwell and extended base pads). I will likely soon purchase a Compact grip module, and use that in combination with the compensated top end as my carry setup. The fullsize X-Series grip with magwell will be dedicated for when the pistol is pulling duty as my nightstand gun, as well as the "go-to-war" setup where concealment isn't as much of a concern.

Please feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments. I'll update this thread once I get the gun back from my gunsmith and try to do a shooting review once it's all said and done
 
#2
I've had a similar idea with similar motivations. But I started with the p320 Tacops Carry. Factory suppressor sights and threaded barrel. Plus 4x 21rd mags included. So now I just need the slide milled and a comp

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#3
You'll want to take a look at Springer Precision, they make two compensators that are compatible with the OEM barrel threading;

https://shop.springerprecision.com/...D9AE1B3326F72A4.p3plqscsfapp001?categoryId=86

One is the two port "shorty" compensator, designed to work with factory recoil spring and most factory produced ammunition, and the other is the larger three port "open" comp, designed to work with factory +P and handloaded Major PF ammo.

As for milling the slide for an optic, unless you're set on going with a Trijicon RMR, it may actually be more cost effective to look for one of Sig's Caliber X-Change kits for a P320 Compact RX;

https://www.sigsauer.com/store/caliber-x-change-kit-p320-compact-rx-9mm-blk-15-round-mag.html

It includes a slide, pre-drilled and tapped, with a Romeo1 red dot already mounted and zeroed from the factory, and includes the same suppressor height night sights of the Tacops model. It's about $600 for the total package including optic, as opposed to several hundred dollars to have your current slide machined and another several hundred dollars to purchase the optic separately
 
#6
I have only used red Loctite on muzzle devices to get carbon locked AAC 51T mounts out of my old M4-2000 and Mini-4 cans and then just put a mag through the gun to loosen the red Loctite to remove and reapply Rocksett to the muzzle device. Does red loctite hold any better on a pistol?

I only ask because the KKM method of having two set screws and flats cut into the threads of the barrel never had issues back when I was running Glocks.
 

MojoNixon

Regular Member
#7
I have only used red Loctite on muzzle devices to get carbon locked AAC 51T mounts out of my old M4-2000 and Mini-4 cans and then just put a mag through the gun to loosen the red Loctite to remove and reapply Rocksett to the muzzle device. Does red loctite hold any better on a pistol?

I only ask because the KKM method of having two set screws and flats cut into the threads of the barrel never had issues back when I was running Glocks.
It depends on which red Loctite you’re using as there is a large number of red colored Loctite all with differing applications. I used #262 I believe (it could have also been #263 or #272)on my TBRC comp for the barrel threads and blue #242 on the side set screws. All 3 of the red #’s listed here will get the job done. They differ in this application mainly in how much torque is required to break it loose if you want to remove the comp.
 
#8
Sounds like Mojo has more experience with Loctite than I. If the manufacturer of the compensator sent this particular type to use, I'll follow their instructions. If it has trouble holding on then I'll deal with that if it happens. I would trust Springer Precision though, they've been manufacturing compensators for various types of pistols for competition use for a long time now
 
#9
Not to be a dick...but some questions

1) Is the aftermarket barrel more accurate than the factory one with the desired load?
2) Any ability to mount back up irons?
3) Is the Sig optic deemed worthy for use? I've never heard anyone say they are and the button placement has been mentioned as a critical flaw (IE there is a propensity to turn the optic off/change settings by accident if carrying AIWB as a right hander).

I too have thoughts of doing a "roland" 2011...the Costa Carry Comp or DVC Omni look like good candidates.
 

MojoNixon

Regular Member
#10
Sounds like Mojo has more experience with Loctite than I. If the manufacturer of the compensator sent this particular type to use, I'll follow their instructions. If it has trouble holding on then I'll deal with that if it happens. I would trust Springer Precision though, they've been manufacturing compensators for various types of pistols for competition use for a long time now
Yeah, maybe I do, however, what experience I do have ( mostly work related) makes me a stickler for identifying which formulation one is using. Someone could say "I used red Loctite" without id'ing which red Loctite and some unwitting soul could go out and get some red Loctite that has no better holding properties than duct tape. Not good for the type of application we're dealing with on comps and moderately large diameter threaded barrels where you have not only the multiple recoil impulses but sometimes lots of heat build up as well. I never mention using Loctite by color alone. I always identify which specific formulation I'm using. I wish everyone did but that's just the enginerd in me coming out.
 
#11
Not to be a dick...but some questions

1) Is the aftermarket barrel more accurate than the factory one with the desired load?
2) Any ability to mount back up irons?
3) Is the Sig optic deemed worthy for use? I've never heard anyone say they are and the button placement has been mentioned as a critical flaw (IE there is a propensity to turn the optic off/change settings by accident if carrying AIWB as a right hander).

I too have thoughts of doing a "roland" 2011...the Costa Carry Comp or DVC Omni look like good candidates.
1. It will be yes once it's properly fitted because it will have marginally tighter tolerances.

2. With the X-Carry and X-Five no, when you remove the slide plate you remove the rear iron sight with it. The actual body of the Romeo1 has a notch engineered into it that can act as the rear sight and will cowitness with the proper height front sight though, so you still effectively have backup irons.

3. It had some teething issues when it first came out but all the anecdotal evidence I've heard of recent samples of the optics would seem to indicate it's good for use. While the placement of the buttons could be an issue for right handed shooters carrying AIWB, this happens to be one of the very few instances where my being a southpaw comes in handy (you'll notice in the pictures I've also swapped the mag release button over to the right side of the pistol, works vastly better than having to use my trigger finger to drop a mag...)
 
#12
My thoughts on a 2011-based gun would've been a STI Carry Comp, but with a frame mounted optic as opposed to something riding on the slide. I may still end up building one at some point in the future, but for now the finicky nature of 2011 platforms (particularly with magazines) makes me content with this P320
 
#13
It depends on which red Loctite you’re using as there is a large number of red colored Loctite all with differing applications. I used #262 I believe (it could have also been #263 or #272)on my TBRC comp for the barrel threads and blue #242 on the side set screws. All 3 of the red #’s listed here will get the job done. They differ in this application mainly in how much torque is required to break it loose if you want to remove the comp.
I used 271 and after 20 rounds of 5.56 it resembled cranberry juice and removing the muzzle device was easily accomplished with a small crescent wrench and holding the rail with my other hand. It definitely wasn't going to move as I was removing the Kroil soaked can with a strap wrench before shooting the 20 rounds but the 271 succumbed quickly to the heat.

I'm not sure what the exact differences in temperature are between a 16" 5.56 and a 4.5" 9x19 at the muzzles but only having a Loctite threadlocker holding the comp on definitely would cause concern for even moderate firing schedules given how many pistol cans I have had to retighten after the first few shots. It obviously wouldn't be hard to add a set screw to the Springer comp like is done with the TBRCi and KKM version and also machine a corresponding flat in the threads of the barrel.
 
#14
3) Is the Sig optic deemed worthy for use? I've never heard anyone say they are and the button placement has been mentioned as a critical flaw (IE there is a propensity to turn the optic off/change settings by accident if carrying AIWB as a right hander).
Definitely not a duty grade optic. The major advantage is how cheaply you can get an RX Sig to test and see if you like MRDS on your handguns and that you can supposedly remove a small amount of material from the slide to get a DPP to fit.

In my personal experience, a buddy and his mom each got an RX SIG. His Romeo stopped illuminating at all after 500 rounds and her Romeo would only increase the brightness without any way to turn it down after 100 rounds. He is getting his milled out for a DPP and she is getting a new slide to have an RMR installed.
 

MojoNixon

Regular Member
#15
I used 271 and after 20 rounds of 5.56 it resembled cranberry juice and removing the muzzle device was easily accomplished with a small crescent wrench and holding the rail with my other hand. It definitely wasn't going to move as I was removing the Kroil soaked can with a strap wrench before shooting the 20 rounds but the 271 succumbed quickly to the heat.

I'm not sure what the exact differences in temperature are between a 16" 5.56 and a 4.5" 9x19 at the muzzles but only having a Loctite threadlocker holding the comp on definitely would cause concern for even moderate firing schedules given how many pistol cans I have had to retighten after the first few shots. It obviously wouldn't be hard to add a set screw to the Springer comp like is done with the TBRCi and KKM version and also machine a corresponding flat in the threads of the barrel.
271 is rated at 500 degrees. Heat it to 500 and it should break loose fairly easily.
262 or 263 is rated to 900 IIRC. It could have been 272 that was rated at 900. It was almost 6 months ago that I did my TBRC comp and I don’t recall specifically which one I used. A little research by me will develop the answer. It has not even remotely come close to loosening. I’ll be back, tomorrow with the answer.
 
#16
Definitely not a duty grade optic. The major advantage is how cheaply you can get an RX Sig to test and see if you like MRDS on your handguns and that you can supposedly remove a small amount of material from the slide to get a DPP to fit.

In my personal experience, a buddy and his mom each got an RX SIG. His Romeo stopped illuminating at all after 500 rounds and her Romeo would only increase the brightness without any way to turn it down after 100 rounds. He is getting his milled out for a DPP and she is getting a new slide to have an RMR installed.
Apologies, but I will have to respectfully disagree here. Yes, the optics had some troubles when they were first released, but one thing Sig does very well is to integrate upgrades into their production lines continuously. Given other shooter's reported experiences with the newer examples of the Romeo1 specifically, I believe it has become dependable enough that I would trust my life to it. As you mention though, if someone is absolutely dead set on an optic that has a more established track record, it is very easy to adapt the RX mounting point on the slide to fit a DeltaPoint Pro and several machine shops do now offer RMR-specific mill patterns.

If I do wind up having any trouble with the optic whatsoever, I will of course post about it here in detail
 

MojoNixon

Regular Member
#17
Well it’s not tomorrow and I couldn’t find the info I was searching for so I don’t have the answer as to which specific Loctite I used but I’m pretty sure it is either 262 or 263. 263 is actually the newer replacement for 271 & 272. I believe they all cure anaerobically(without the presence of oxygen) and all are thixotropic which means they will migrate along the circumference of the threads as the parts are being put together and not so thin that it all bleeds out. Both properties wanted for the fixing of a comp to a threaded barrel.
 
#18
Also worth mentioning as it pertains to the duty-readiness of the Romeo1 sight, Sig will soon be shipping an add-on part that is a steel shroud, enclosing the optic similarly to a DeltaPoint. Will make it that much more impervious to bumps and dings and may solve the problem of the placement of the adjustment buttons for right handed AIWB carriers;

IMG_1896.JPG
 
#19
Well it’s not tomorrow and I couldn’t find the info I was searching for so I don’t have the answer as to which specific Loctite I used but I’m pretty sure it is either 262 or 263. 263 is actually the newer replacement for 271 & 272. I believe they all cure anaerobically(without the presence of oxygen) and all are thixotropic which means they will migrate along the circumference of the threads as the parts are being put together and not so thin that it all bleeds out. Both properties wanted for the fixing of a comp to a threaded barrel.
I did some research on this. I am certainly not a Chem E, but I have a decent amount of Mech E schooling to my credit. Since this comp is being chemically attached to the barrel instead of a mechanical solution I am obviously slightly out of my wheel house. All links are .PDFs for fair warning.

On the US website for Loctite it only has Red 272 and Blue 242. Going into the US Technical Data sheet (LINK) provides us with a service temperature of only -65°F (-54°C) to 300°F (149°C). Obviously quite a lot lower that we were previously speculating and it is certainly not outrageous to expect a handgun barrel to start to approach the upper bound with a spirited firing schedule. You will even be able to start to smell the melting of the thread locker and it will exhibit a clear gelatin appearance once exposed.

Obviously this kinda of thread locker can work on a light use gun but you would always like a greater factor of safety that something like an 1100 degree Celsius operation temperature Rocksett would provide if you want to insure guaranteed attachment of the muzzle device. Also it is worth noting that most people do not properly degrease and clean the threads which leads to greatly decreased threadlocker performance.

The UK version of the Loctite website had much more informative technical data sheets for 262 (LINK), 263 (LINK), 271 (LINK), and 272 (LINK). As you can see on the second pages all of the compounds exhibit varying degrees of strength loss with heat as well heat aging degradation of strength with some compounds being rather unsuited for muzzle device attachment. If insisting on using a Loctite product I would use 272 over any of the other three.
 
#20
Loctite 272 is the high temp thread locker it's good to 450F and frequently used for compensators. I've built quite a few compensated pistols in my old shop and what I learned was to not depend on loctite alone to hold a comp on unless it's tightened against another element like a shoulder. Without torque the comp is just sitting there on the threads and sooner or later it will loosen up, if you add a set screw it will probably still come loose but the set screw will keep it from threading its way off the barrel.

Another important factor is the quality of the thread fit, some commercial products have pretty crappy threads. It's also very important to have both threads as clean and oil free as you can get them, oil kills loctite, there is also a primer-activator which really makes the loctite take hold.