When Strike Industries announced their Strike Modular Chassis (SMC) for the SIG Sauer P320, I was intrigued. Strike Industries sent out their SMC in for this review as well as some recently released upgrade parts for it. So let us dive in and take a closer look at their modular chassis.
Strike Industries @ TFB:
Installing The SMC
The Strike Industries SMC is a modular frame. So installing it onto your FCU (Fire Control Unit) is simple. Remove your slide from your existing frame, remove the takedown lever and pull the FCU out of your current frame. Then drop the FCU into the SMC chassis and reinstall the takedown lever and slide.
I used my SIG Sauer Custom Works FCU that was in my FLUX Raider. This FCU does not have any frame safeties like my SIG M17. So it drops into the Strike SMC without modification. The SMC has witness marks if you want to cut the frame to allow for the factory frame safeties but Strike Industries does not recommend that. There is a safety delete pin that you can get for your safety lever-enabled FCU. I mentioned it in my FLUX Raider review.
Strike Industries sent me their SMC Alpha chassis. It came with some extras like gray grip panels and the Lego mini figure compatible SMC toy gun. At the time of writing this article, the SMC Alpha comes with the following:
-x1 SMC – ALPHA GRIP MODULE/CHASSIS with SMC Grip Panels SI Modular Magazine Release [w/ extended button] and Rear Module Backstrap [w/ QD sockets] (fully assembled)-x1 Ambidextrous Side Charging Handle-x1 Slide Cover Mount for Ambidextrous Side Charging Handle-x1 Screw for Ambidextrous Side Charging Handle to Slide Cover Mount [M4x8mm T20 Rounded]-x2 Rubber pad for Ambidextrous Side Charging Handle bar [back side facing slide]-x1 Spare Magazine Holder for SIG SAUER P320 with SI Modular Magazine Release [w/ extended button] (fully assembled)-x1 Screw for Spare Magazine Holder for SIG SAUER P320 [M5x30mm T27 Socket Head]-x1 Nut for Spare Magazine Holder for SIG SAUER P320 [M5 Hex]-x1 Multi-Optic Mount-x4 Screw for Multi-Optic Mount [M4x7mm T25 Socket Head]-x3 Screw [M3x8mm T10 Flat]-x3 Screw [M3x9mm T10 Flat]-x3 Screw [M3x10mm T10 Flat]-x3 Screw [M3x14mm T10 Flat]-x3 Screw [M3x15mm T10 Flat]-x3 Screw [M3x7mm T10 Rounded]-x3 Screw [M3x8mm T10 Rounded]-x3 Screw [M3x10mm T10 Rounded]-x3 Screw [M3x11mm T10 Rounded]-x5 Large mounting post-x5 Small mounting post-x5 Shallow mounting post-x3 Tall mounting post-x1 Torx tool [T10]-x1 Torx tool [T20]-x1 Torx tool [T25]-x1 Torx tool [T27]-x1 Loctite® Threadlocker Blue 243®-x2 Warning card-x1 SMC Enamel Pin-x1 SMC Sticker
Since I have the FLUX Raider, I was most curious to try the Strike Industries SMC with a slide-mounted optic. So I used my SIG Sauer M17 with Delta Point Pro. I also installed the spare magazine holder. The SMC does not come with a brace or stock but it has a Picatinny section on the back so you can use any Picatinny compatible brace or stock. I still have the Strike Industries dual folding adapter so I installed it on the SMC.
The length of pull (LOP) of the SMC with dual folding adapter is a bit long. You can see how much longer it is compared to the FLUX Raider brace.
The longer LOP is due to the design of the SMC. The rear Picatinny section is all one-part machined aluminum with the back strap of the SMC. The rear section is so far back to clear the reciprocating slide. In fact, the SMC has a similar profile to the B&T USW frame for the P320. Below I laid the B&T chassis directly on top of the SMC. They are very similar.
Strike Industries has plans to make a normal backstop so you can use the SMC chassis as a bonafide handgun chassis. If you remove the spare magazine holder, you can holster the SMC. I used my Black Hawk Omnivore. Even the dual folding adapter clears the holster.
Spare Magazine Holder
I was curious to see how the SMC looked with the 30 round P320 magazines. It is a bit tall.
The spare magazine holder does not allow the spare magazine to sit up higher. You can see a triangular protrusion at the front face near the bottom of the mag holder. That is the magazine catch and release. The spare mag holder comes with a factory-installed mag catch extension. I found that the extension would hit my palm when I grab the mag holder for support. See the pictures below. The extension sticks out rather proud of the holder.
The other issue I had is the position of the button. I want to hold my support hand (left hand) as high up as possible for recoil management and better control of the SMC. This places the mag release near the bottom of my palm. I have to shift my hand down, find the mag release and press it with my thumb. This feels slow and awkward to me. It is not as natural as the dual mag release of the FLUX Raider.
I thought about switching the button to the other side and pressing it with my ring finger but it sits behind the second knuckle. It is still awkward to press it that way so I ended up simply removing the extension. The mag holder is more comfortable to grasp but removing the magazine is not as natural as I would like. I would prefer a friction fit setup rather than an actual mag catch.
Slide-mounted charging handle
The SMC comes with an ambidextrous charging handle and slide cover. You need to remove the rear slide plate on your P320 slide and replace it with Strike’s slide cover mount. Once installed you slide the charging handle through the side, you can have it on the left or right side of the slide. I noticed when it is on the left and when I shoot the SMC like a traditional handgun with my support hand grasping my fire control hand, my thumb is in the way of the charging handle. So be mindful of that issue if you want this charging handle for your handgun setup.
When I took the SMC to the range I had some issues with failure to feed. I was struggling for about 20 rounds when I noticed the slide cover mount and charging handle was low.
I removed the slide from the frame and the entire slide cover mount just slid right out. The part that is held captive broke off and is still retained in the slide.
I removed the broken parts. You can see how thin the metal is so it is not a surprise that it broke, Also having the charging handle on the left side means there is added torque applies to that thin part. Luckily I brought the factory slide cover plate with me. It was in the brown box you see in the photo below. So I swapped it back in and the gun ran fine.
Strike Industries replaced that broken part but I prefer my Virtuous Engineering ambidextrous charging handle anyway.
Optics Bridge aka Multi Optics mount
I like to call the Multi Optics Mount the optics bridge. It is based on Strike Industries optic mount plates for handguns and offset red dots. You can see it has a lot of holes drilled and tapped to accommodate a plethora of mini red dots. It even has drop-in recoil bosses.
Can you run a slide-mounted optic and the optics bridge at the same time? Yes. But the slide-mounted red dot sight picture is obscured by the optic mounted on the bridge.
I had some issues with the optics bridge. the two front corners were getting hit by the slide reciprocating.
According to my contact at Strike Industries, the tolerances of the SMC are very tight. However, the FCU rails for the slide are merely folded metal. They are not precision machined. So there can be some slight tolerance issues that show up like in the case of the optics bridge getting hit.
Another issue I had seemed to stem from running a compact slide. I am using a P320 RXP XCompact slide on the SMC, the same slide I use on my current FLUX Raider setup. Also the same FCU. However in the Strike chassis, with the Optics Bridge installed, the slide moves so fast that it bumps the chassis and causes the slide catch to bounce up every shot. If the optics bridge is not there, the slide catch will still bounce but it clears the slide and the gun continues to cycle. I tried my friend’s compact slide with Parker Mountain Machine comp and it ran fine. The slide seems to move more slowly and the slide catch stays still. I also did not have issues when I ran my full-size M17 slide.
Additional SMC Accessories
Shortly after SHOT Show, Strike Industries sent more accessories for their modular chassis. They sent:
- Blast Shield
- Comp (Small and Large)
The Blast Shield helps to protect your support hand thumbs as well as lengthen the accessory rail. With the spare magazine holder on the modular chassis, there is no room to add a pistol-mounted light. The Blast Shield allows you to mount small compact lights but sadly not full-size like a SureFire X300 or Streetlight TLR-1.
The comps are attached and bolted directly to the modular chassis rather than requiring a threaded barrel.
The comps come with a screw that you can turn with your thumb but when it sits down in the recess, it helps to use a tool. There is a slot cut into the top that is perfect for a coin.
I did discover a slight issue with my slide setup. The Strike Modular Chassis comps are designed for slides that use 3.9″ barrels. My slide has a 3.6″ barrel. So there is a noticeable gap between the comp and slide/barrel.
Luckily, my neighbor has an M18 so I borrowed his slide and it fits the SMC with comp.
The Blast Shield slides over the chassis accessory rail and is held in place with a cross bolt. You can then slide the spare magazine holder and it bolts to the last slot on the Blast Shield.
The chassis backstrap has a threaded hole for the magwell.
The magwell is injection molded polymer.
It has a lip at the front that grabs onto the front edge of the pistol grip.
Once hooked onto the front, you rock the magwell up and bolt it in place with the supplied screw.
The magwell will accommodate P320 mags even with the polymer covers like the factory 30 rd mags.
The comp seems to work but I did not notice much vertical movement from the Strike Modular Chassis since you have so many points of contact.
Final Thoughts On The SMC
I am ambivalent about the Strike Modular Chassis. It has some issues with the tight tolerances and there are a plethora of small screws all over the chassis. While they are Loctited, I am concerned after prolonged use could they back out? The FLUX Raider is simpler and one solid piece but not nearly as modular as the SMC. The SMC retails for $539.99 and that is without the dual folding adapter. If you want that option you need to add another $219.99. Now you are spending $760 and that does not include the P320 of your choosing. Changing magazines with the spare magazine holder is a bit awkward but with practice, it can be done proficiently.
Check Prices on Strike Modular Chassis
I like the fact you can set up the Strike Modular Chassis to your personal preference. You can have a slide-mounted optic or install the optics bridge for a fixed optic. In order to have a slide-mounted red dot option on a FLUX Raider requires a permanent modification where you remove the fixed bridge. I would like to see a Picatinny optics bridge so you can use normal red dots and not just mini red dots normally mounted to pistol slides. An optics bridge cut for Aimpoint Nano, Acro and Steiner MPS would be nice. The entire chassis is precision-milled aluminum so it is arguably stronger than a polymer chassis.
If you want customization that just requires bolting on or unbolting parts for a customized setup then the Strike Modular Chassis might be for you. Go to the Strike Industries website for more information.
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