When it comes to keeping up with the technology of the gun world, I think it is vital to keep updating and modifying your designs to stay relevant. When I first heard of the SP2022 I was a bit skeptical, to be honest. At that time I was unaware that the SP2022 was not their first ever attempt at going to polymer framed pistols. In 1998, Sig began production of their Sig PRO line of pistols, which brought them into the realm of polymer framed pistols to answer the need for lighter, and less expensive duty pistols by Law Enforcement agencies. The SP2022, which is the newest edition and result of the lessons learned from the two earlier designs (SP2009/2340) has been adopted by the French Government in the largest single pistol contract (250,000+) they have made since WW2. Once you get behind the pistol, it is not hard to see why. I feel that it is better to save your money and just get an SP2022, than to spend more money for a pistol like the P229, which will do the same thing at a higher price point.
It is obvious that the frame on the SP2022 is polymer, but I think people misunderstand why that is a good thing. Personally I don’t see that the polymer frame is significantly lighter than the Aluminum framed P228/229. The two pistols share about the same size overall, but are separated by about a half pound in overall weight. The real difference to people like me is that the frames will have different reactions to getting slammed by the stainless steel slide when firing high pressured rounds like .40 and .357 Sig. These two rounds have a reputation for hastening wear and causing cracks in metal frames at round counts as low as 20,000 rounds. This may not mean much to people who consider 1,000 rounds to be alot of ammo, but for someone who will shoot 10,000 rounds in less than a month like me, it is a big deal. Polymer has proven to be a very sturdy material against these types of pressures and stresses. In fact, it is one of the only known materials that can gracefully handle these pressures long-term. This to me, is a big reason why I feel that Sig did good with going to polymer, since it lowers the price of production, but adds strength to the platform in all calibers. This is a solid example of killing two birds with one stone.
In recent years, we have been seeing a trend occur. Most hollow point ammo these days is being calibrated for 4″ barrels. Standard duty pistol barrel lengths are starting to be shortened from being at least 4.5″ to 4″. The SP2022 does a good job mirroring this trend and following it, perhaps unintentionally. There really is no extra advantage in range and power that comes from an extended barrel when the ammo you are shooting was designed to optimally perform out of 4″. Plus, it just adds to the weight savings when you cut the barrel length down a half inch.
The triggers on the classic Sig P22X series of pistols are seen as a standard by which all DA/SA triggers should be judged. When you pull the trigger on the SP2022, you will notice that it is just as smooth as the classic Sig trigger, but with a little less weight and a little less travel. The weight of the trigger is about the same as the classic Sig pistols, but it just feels lighter. I think the shape of the grip provides better leverage on the trigger pull for the shooter. But the new design of the trigger internals makes it confusing to know exactly how it works, even for me.
The SP2022 can be found generally for about $500 where I live. But I got my pistol from Cabelas for about $350. The pistol came with two magazines, another backstrap, and a holster. Sometimes, you will get an attachment with the pistol instead of the holster if I remember correctly. In earlier sales, it wasn’t uncommon for you to only get one magazine and a bland box for $300-$350. Overall, That is about half of the price you would pay for a heavier P229. For me, the SP2022 is definitely a better value, by a long shot.
There are areas that I believe that Sig could do better if they ever wish to further upgrade the basic design of the pistol. First thing I think they could fix is the extensions on the controls. At first, I liked the idea of the extended controls until I found that the decocking lever irritated my support thumb quite a bit when shooting.
I feel that the extension on the base of the magazine is a bit overdone and unnecessary. It brings the pistol to be taller than the full sized P226, but with only 15 rounds in the magazine. I would love to see them cram a couple more rounds in the magazine and remove the belligerent extension on the base plate.
There is very little aftermarket support for this pistol, even from Sig themselves, which can be off-putting for people looking at this pistol as a serious option.
Though this pistol has a few shortcomings and some odd features to the design, it doesn’t really take away from the platform in terms of durability, reliability, and overall value. I know that the pistol does alot of things differently, like using a different barrel camming method, a flat wire recoil spring, and their first attempt at the adjustable backstrap.
But the things I listed are the features that I feel really highlight what Sig Sauer is doing to maintain their presence in the 21st century gun market. Overall, I appreciate their efforts and applaud their commitment to stay modern and deliver a quality pistol at a reasonable price.