For the life of me, I can’t seem to understand why we continue to act like the SIG Sauer SP2022 doesn’t exist.
Yes, I know: The P320 this and the P320 that, but appease me for a second. Unless you’re a striker-fired loyalist and think hammer-fired guns have gone the route of antiquity; then go buy the fancy new P320 and be done with it. Just know you’re passing over what I believe to be the gun world’s best-kept secret that everyone knows about, but ignores because it’s not a Glock.
I remember walking into gun stores seeing SP2022s going for $349. At this moment, Academy Sports and Outdoors has it for $429. I know you’re thinking, big whoop, there’s nothing new about a gun going for well below $500. You can get a Smith & Wesson SD9VE for $300, or a Diamondback DB9FS for $400. I could also pay a crackhead on Scott Street in Houston $5 to wash my car instead of paying $30 at an actual car wash, but do I really want to?
To my eyes, the SP2022 is the best looking gun for the money. It’s not hard to see why: It looks exactly like the SIG Sauer P229R, and you have scores of people paying college tuition money for that. Except with the SP2022, you get the look and in many ways the performance of a $900 gun for less than $450. Think Corvette Stingray.
But for SIG Sauer’s notoriously high-bore axis, the SP2022 has the most politically correct ergonomic system I’m aware of. Everything about the gun feels neutral. It won’t be the most ergonomic gun in the world, but I don’t see anything about the ergos offending anyone. The grip texture feels rough when you slide a finger across it, but in your hand the texture seemingly disappears. It points like a 1911, and all of the controls are readily accessible without forcing you to contort your grip to engage them.
In many ways it feels like SIG wasn’t too sure how people would receive their polymer wonder and priced it cautiously low out of shame. Yet, at its price point, the gun comes with night sights, replaceable backstraps, loaded chamber indicator, de-cocker, a damn good magazine release and a 1913 accessory rail to attach lights and lasers.
Most guns in this price range have triggers that feel like someone with a hangover designed them; they’re just sloppy. The SP2022 has by no means a perfect trigger, but even compared to guns twice its price –cough, cough, HK P30 – it definitely holds its own. To be completely honest, but for other SIGs fitted with their SRT trigger, the SP2022 is almost as good as any of the other triggers on SIG’s more expensive models. The double-action pull is a relatively smooth ten pounds. It has a slight false reset before actually engaging, which is a little annoying. But for that slight false reset, it’s a noticeably decent trigger, which will likely get better as you break it in.
I’d be hard pressed to say I had an ethereal shooting experience with the SP2022. If you have a good number of guns, you’re not likely to wake up with an overwhelming desire to shoot the SP2022. However, when you do shoot it, it is an enjoyable experience, as it’s an easy gun to shoot well.
Though its characteristically “SIG” high-bore axis doesn’t do it any favors, the SP2022 recoils exactly the way you expect a semi full-sized gun to recoil. It snaps a little and comes right back on target. But I was surprised at how fast I could shoot the gun. This gun doesn’t exactly scream warp speed, but I was able to make it throw up bullets on a steel target in a hurry.
The SP2022 is perfectly proportioned so it maneuvered well without feeling like I was waiting for the gun as I transitioned from target to target. I run rather high thumbs-forward grip on my gun, so I was constantly riding the slide catch. This gun is slightly bigger than a Glock 19 with 15 rounds. I feel the pinky extension on the magazine is unnecessary. They could have made the grip a little longer and added an extra round or two instead.
From the very first time I saw the SP2022, there was something about it I liked. My first gun was a Ruger SR40, and it was a great first striker-fired option, but I feel the SP2022 should have been where I started. You can’t really appreciate a striker-fired gun until you’ve lived with a double/single-action gun with an exposed hammer.
At this price point, the SP2022 is an incredible gun. It lacks some of the refined qualities of a typical non-polymer framed SIG, but in all of the places where it counts, it’s right on par with its aluminum framed counter parts. If you’re waiting for me to say it’s better than Glock, start breathing because it’s not. But, if you were buying a gun on a budget that needed to fill multiple roles, you’d be doing yourself a massive disservice by not entertaining the thought of the SIG Sauer SP2022, especially if you just want a traditional SIG that doesn’t weigh 1,000 pounds. The SP2022 isn’t some redheaded stepchild, it’s a true and proper SIG Sauer. It’s just made of the same material your mother puts the leftovers in.