SIG Sauer SP2022 9x19mm Pistol
By the Guns and Shooting Online Staff
The SIG Sauer SP2022 seems to be one of the lesser known SIG pistols. This seems strange, as in December 2004 the U.S. Army ordered 4,000 of these pistols, making the SP2022 a substitute standard service pistol. The polymer framed SP2022 is much lighter and more compact than the Beretta M9 service pistol, 3 ounces lighter than a SIG P229 with the same length barrel and a little larger and heavier than a Glock 19. Its double row magazine holds 15 rounds of 9x19mm ammunition.
Like most SIG's, the SP2022 is a double action/single action (DA/SA) pistol with a conventional external hammer (no "burr" hammer here, thank goodness) that can be easily cocked for a first shot SA trigger pull. Alternatively, the trigger can be pulled through its long DA stroke for a quick first shot. Subsequent shots will be SA, as the mechanism is self-cocking after the first shot.
There is no manual safety and none is required. Only SIG's handy hammer drop lever at the top of the left grip is required to make the SP2022 safe from accidental discharge, as the SP2022 incorporates SIG's four-point safety system. Like a Glock, if you want this pistol to fire, you must intentionally pull the trigger. This is our favorite type of pistol fire control system: simple, fast, safe and convenient. (For police departments that don't trust their officers with regular guns and want to make hitting the target more difficult, SIG offers a "double action only" variant of the SP2022.)
Our test pistol is chambered for the popular 9x19mm (9mm Luger) service cartridge, but the SP2022 is also available in .40 S&W caliber for those who like something different. Magazine capacity is 12 rounds in .40 S&W and reduced capacity 10 round magazines are available in both calibers to appease government officials who believe high capacity magazines are somehow immoral. (Where do they get this nonsense and why do people put up with it?) Only one magazine is included with the pistol, extra magazines are priced at $46 (2011 MSRP) direct from SIG Sauer.
In addition to a reasonable price, the SP2022 incorporates some convenient features. One is an integral accessory rail at the front underside of the frame for lights, lasers, etc. Such rails are becoming common on service pistols.
Another is interchangeable grips. The SP2022 comes with two grip/back strap panels. The smaller grip reduces the trigger reach by 0.07" compared to the larger grip. The difference is not great, but it was enough that, among our staff, Jim and Rocky preferred the larger grip, while Gordon and Chuck preferred the smaller grip. Kathy found the difference negligible.
SIGLite tritium night sights that provide a three dot, glow in the dark aiming system are optional for the SP2022. Our test pistol came with SIGLite sights, which we very much appreciate and prefer on our personal SIG pistols. In bright light, the SIG's otherwise conventional Patridge sights are easy to see and align.
While the frame is molded polymer, the slide is machined from a block of stainless steel. The metal finish is SIG's durable, flat black, Nitron. Since the polymer frame is also black, the result is an all black pistol. The front of the trigger guard is squared, a non-functional styling touch that merely adds to the overall blocky look of the pistol.
In addition to an external hammer, trigger and hammer drop lever, there is a push button magazine release behind the trigger guard and directly in front of the left grip panel. The only other control is the combination slide stop and takedown lever on the pistol's left side. The SP2022's controls are conventional in location and operation, so anyone with a passing familiarity with SIG pistols will have no problem adapting to the SP2022.
Our range experience with the SP2022 took place on a somewhat windy, partly sunny afternoon with a high temperature of about 70-degrees F. As is usually the case, we conducted the shooting part of this review at the Izaak Walton range south of Eugene, Oregon.
Factory loaded ammunition included Remington/UMC 115 grain FMJ, Winchester/USA 115 grain FMJ and DRT lead free 124 grain cup point loads. All recorded groups were five shots from a bench rest, using a Pistol Perch, at a distance of 25 yards. Guns and Shooting Online staff members Chuck Hawks, Gordon Landers and Jim Fleck did the shooting. Here are the results.
Jim felt that the SIG kicked harder than his Glock 19, which weighs less, while Chuck and Gordon found the SP2022 pleasant to shoot. Like most SIG pistols, the slide is rather tall and the grip is rather low, putting the barrel well above the shooting hand. This makes the pistol climb more on recoil than most of its competition, possibly making for slightly slower repeat shots. Not to worry, though, you can shoot plenty fast with an SP2022 if you want to. In reality, it takes more time to aim than to recover from recoil.
We had issues with the trigger system. Jim and Gordon were bothered by the tight curve of the trigger blade, which poked their trigger fingers during recoil. Chuck had no such problem. All shooters commented that the SA trigger pull had excessive take-up prior to release and some creep, which made precise trigger control more problematic than necessary. The trigger pull weight is much heavier than specified. Advertised as 4.4 pounds, our test gun's trigger actually released at 6.5 pounds per our trigger pull gauge. The supposed 10 pound DA pull was actually beyond the 12 pound maximum of our gauge, probably 13-14 pounds. As a result of the long take-up, creep and heavy pull, there were a higher than normal percentage of flyers during our shooting session.
To summarize, among our three shooters, Jim didn't care for the SP2022. Gordon liked it well enough to buy our test pistol, but likes his SIG P226 even better. (The P226 carries a 2011 MSRP of $1068.) Chuck enjoyed the SP2022 and recommends it, particularly considering its reasonable price. Its relatively low MSRP makes the SP2022, in effect, the entry level SIG 9 pistol. If you have wanted a 9mm SIG, but couldn't afford a P226 or P229, the SP2022 may be the right pistol for you.
Copyright 2011 by chuckhawks.com. All rights reserved.