Canada’s elite Special Operations Forces commandos are getting a great new sidearm, and the exact type of pistol they are getting is a secret. Except it’s not really. Because – uhh – the internet.
Despite the canuck’s Special Ops command declaring their new pistol a state secret, prior public reports have made it pretty clear that the new gun is the SIG Sauer P320.
And an accidental discharge during training with the P320 may be a reason the Canadians are trying to keep the new gun buy secret.
The Vancouver Sun reports that:
The ongoing saga of the now secret pistol started in November 2020 after a member of the counter-terrorism unit, Joint Task Force 2 [JTF2], accidentally shot himself with an SIG Sauer P320 during training in Ottawa. Taxpayers had already spent $680,425 to buy the new guns and the commandos were in the process of familiarizing themselves with the weapons.
The incident, which resulted in a flesh wound, prompted a temporary halt to Canadian special forces training with the P320, a development reported by CBC in February 2021. At the same time, SIG Sauer issued a statement noting it was “working with Canadian Special Operations Forces Command to resolve an incident involving the unintended discharge of a P320.”
The gun in question had been extensively tested and found to be safe, the firm noted. “The investigation revealed the use of an incorrect holster not designed for a P320,” SIG Sauer added in its statement.
Fast forward to last week when Canadian Special Operations Forces Command released a statement announcing it was now proceeding with bringing its new pistol into service. It acknowledged the original shooting incident but an investigation had deemed the new pistol to be safe and functioning properly.
However, in a new twist, the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command declared the exact type of gun to be secret, despite statements and news articles identifying the pistol as the SIG Sauer P320. In response to questions from this newspaper about the decision to now claim secrecy over the P320, the special forces said it has a policy not to disclose specifics about its weapons or capabilities.
The Sun notes however, that this claim is false:
…as Canadian special forces leaders have not only discussed with the news media specific equipment purchases but the command has released photos of that gear to the public.
While no one knows for certain why Maj. Gen. Steve Boivin, head of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, is now claiming the SIG Sauer P320 pistols are suddenly secret, some believe he is trying to limit publicity over the embarrassment of a JTF2 soldier accidentally shooting himself.
Whatever the reason, Canadian commandos seem ready to receive SIG P320s similar to the SIG M17 and M18s already in U.S. Army and Marine Corps service.
This pistol, despite the publicity over a few accidental discharges, mostly due to operator error, and a SIG fix to the gun, is proving to be a solid weapon. ADN