SIG Sauer SP2022 Handgun – the One We Forgot About

U.S.A. – Sig Sauer thundered into the polymer pistol market when they introduced the P320 to market a few years ago and it has taken the civilian market and the US military by storm. They followed up this striker-fired duty pistol offering with a pocket-sized P365, which hit the shelves last year. Both models have been very successful, but Sig isn't this late to the polymer pistol game.

Their first plastic fantastic debuted back in 1999 and it is still to be had, the SP2022–otherwise known as the Sig Pro.

SIG SAUER SP 2022 SIG PRO

Like its more famous predecessors, like the P226, the 2022 is a double-action hammer fired pistol and the general operation is identical, but the platform is wedded to a lightweight polymer frame. This unusual amalgamation of old and new found initial success, but has since been forgotten.  I have always liked this quiet player, that along with a newer offering that follows the same basic operation, the CZ P07. Not mainstream, but cool. I had it in my head that my first polymer duty-sized pistol would be one or the other. The latte drinking, plaid shirt wearing hipster in me wanted the CZ, but I went home with the Sig instead. After a few months of use and six hundred rounds downrange I am here to give what few impressions I can.

The Sig SP2022 is a duty sized handgun designed around the snappy 40 S&W round.

A Brief History

The 2022 started out life as the P2340 in 1999. At the time, Glock's polymer framed striker-fired pistols were cutting into Sig's share in the military and law enforcement world. Polymer guns were still tough, but lighter-weight and cheaper to produce. Sig's answer was a 40 caliber pistol targeting law enforcement, using a polymer frame while retaining the aforementioned familiar operation of their older, trusted platforms. This was a conservative design but one that landed in time, as the French were looking for a new police pistol. The 2022 won the contract in 2002, the largest pistol contract since the end of World War II. 400,000 units were ordered with an expected service life of twenty years and replacement, hence the name 2022. Some military and law enforcement adoptions followed, but since then the 2022 has played a very underrated role, not just in Sig's line up, but in the rise of budget-oriented fighting pistols.

Overview

The 2022 is a full sized handgun available in either 9mm Luger or 40 S&W. Oddly enough, it is one of the few handguns developed from the ground up for the 40, whereas most 40 caliber handguns are 9mm designs made to take the larger 40 round. The gun is hammer fired and is a traditional double action/ single action design. With the hammer down, the gun may be fired by a long pull of the trigger or with a light trigger pull with the hammer cocked rearward.

There are only three controls that need to be worried about, all of which are on the left side of the pistol: a standard magazine release button, a decocker lever, and an elongated slide release all clustered together and accessible by your right thumb when you grip the pistol.

To round things out, there is a relatively small lanyard loop behind the magazine well–an ancient holdover that military pistols simply must have. More appealing is the universal rail forward of the trigger guard for all the light or laser accessories you could want.

The SP2022 uses a standard 1913 picatanny rail that will take most universal lights and lasers. Note the scratches on the Nitron finish. Even after some hard use on the surface finish, the stainless steel slide is nearly impervious to rust and corrosion.

Specs

  • Barrel length: 3.9 inches
  • Loaded weight: 2 lbs. 2 ounces
  • Slide: Stainless steel, Nitron treated
  • Trigger Pull: 9.2 lbs. double action, 4 lbs. single action
  • Sights: rear notch, front blade in a three white-dot setup
  • Capacity: 15 rounds in 9mm Luger
  • Accessories: two magazines, manual, hard sided case, and a cable lock
The SP2022 features a loaded chamber indicator at the top of the ejection port. When a live round is in the chamber, the indicator sticks skyward.

Range Time

Over several sessions, I ended up firing about six hundred rounds through my pistol with a single cleaning in between. I did my best to include a variety of brands and bullet weights to assure function. This included:

  • Aguila 115 grain and 124 grain FMJs
  • Remington UMC 115 grain FMJs
  • Browning 147 grain FMJs
  • Winchester White Box 115 grain and 124 grain NATO FMJs
  • Remington HTP 115 grain JHPs
  • Sig Sauer Elite Performance 124 grain JHPs
  • Hornady Critical Defense Lite 100 grain FTX

First Impressions

Out of the factory grease, I started shooting. I loaded my two fifteen shot magazines with the Winchester fodder. The double-stack magazines are of stamped steel construction with a polymer base plate that gives some addition to the grip. However, the magazines can be hard to load if you are working with finger power–which I was. Thumbing in the first ten rounds is easy but the spring gets prohibitively tight the further you go. This isn't always the case with other autoloaders, but a good magazine speed loader is a worthwhile investment.

Handloading those magazines were a pain, but shooting the 2022 was a no-frills affair–at least in the end. I started out by putting my eight inch AR500 steel plate and proceeded to plink away at it from ten yards away. I shot from the holster in the safest carry mode, hammer down, relying on the long double-action trigger pull to carry through the first shot, followed by two more shots with the hammer recocked by the slide and a lighter, shorter single-action pull to boot. My first shot hit the gong dead center, but next two rounds hit off to the right of the plate. I swept across the pistol with my right thumb and hit the decocker. The decocker does as it is named, safely lowering the hammer automatically with a quick swipe; there was no need to change the grip

After a few more strings of fire I realized I had too much finger on the trigger. Here I have to disclaim–or give excuses. I am a revolver shooter and used to pulling triggers with the first joint of my index finger. Having that much is great for long and heavy trigger pulls, but not so great for the light-and-short of the matter. This makes for a pistol that moves around in the hand and errant rounds sent down range. After getting another grip on the pistol, I found that the first pad of my finger rested on the trigger and I should simply try shooting that way. Sure enough, the transition between double action and single action was minimized and it was nearly impossible to miss. After a few magazines worth, I decided to back up to twenty-five yards where my hits on still were still predictably easy.

Accuracy and Handling

The 2022 is easy gun to shoot. Even with the polymer frame, isn't a lightweight pistol nor is it abbreviated with the short grip and controls of a pocket gun. With this service sized handgun you can expect accuracy that is more than acceptable for the task. The trigger isn't particularly crisp, with some noticeable take-up when firing in single action. The sights are a high profile three-dot arrangement that is easy to pick up on target quickly but less conducive to punching paper. Even so, I could reliably put ten rounds into a 1.5 inch hole at ten yards without much difficulty. The sights seem naturally graduated to shoot 115 grain and 124 grain ammunition with the heavier 147 grain subsonic loads hitting a few inches high. A group taken with light-for-caliber 100 grain Hornady Critical Defense Lite loads hit two inches lower than the point of aim. For the purpose of self-defense, the differences are worth noting, but mostly academic. In terms of recoil, there were some differences. The smart checkering appointments kept a firm grip and the rather overweight-looking slide soaked up most of the muzzle flip. You can expect some snappiness when using +P or NATO spec ammunition, but standard pressure defense and target loads were easy to get through without any rawness in the hand. The lighter offerings fared even better.  The Hornady Lite offering is consistent and, in a gun like this, virtually absent of recoil.

Group size: 1.5 inches
Distance: 10 yards
Ammunition: Aguila 115 grain FMJ

Reliability

As always, I strive to go beyond a “first shots” impression yet not stack up my ammo bills doing “torture” tests. A gun is a mechanical object and you can expect it to fail at a certain point, but in my limited testing the 2022 has been flawless. There was never a failure to cycle or fire, but I did have a few occasions where the slide failed to lock to the rear after going through a magazine. I began to notice that my thumb was depressing the slide stop above the decocker. The 2022's slide stop is prominent and elongated compared to the 220 series and it would be easy for someone with meaty hands (like mine) to keep the slide from locking back. This had no effect on actual function of the pistol, however.

SIG SAUER 2022

Disassembly and Maintenance

Taking the 2022 down for cleaning is a little more involved than some new guns on the market. Rather than working with a pivoting takedown lever like on the 220-series and other modern pistols, the slide stop acts as the takedown feature, much like a 1911 pistol. Jack the slide back until the pivoting end of the slide stop lines up with a square notch. Use your free hand to push the slide stop out from the other side of the pistol. With the slide stop removed, you can take off the slide. The challenge really comes when taking out the barrel and recoil spring.

The 2022 has a typical Browning-style locked breech mechanism where the barrel interfaces with the slide. The recoil spring and polymer guide rod held tight under the barrel. I found that by depressing the barrel from the top of the slide helped take the guts out of the pistol.

Disassembly starts by pulling the slide to the rear until the slide stop interfaces with the takedown notch in the slide.
With the slide stop removed, the slide and its contents can be removed.

Final Thoughts

The gun industry is one of the few still remaining in which you get what you pay for. That doesn't mean that great deals don't exist, but sometimes getting a less expensive gun means trading something else. In terms of pricing with other polymer framed handguns, the SP2022 is second-tier. It runs below the usual Sig 320s, Glocks, and Smith & Wesson M&Ps. Yet, my shooting experience with the 2022 was far more enjoyable than those other options. This odd duck really is a first-tier pistol masquerading at second-tier pricing. In other words, the 2022 is a good deal with a proven, if somewhat obscure, track record that only Glock could really match.

There isn't much pride in ownership if you have the money to burn on a 220 series handgun, but as I got to know the 2022, I began to see it as an everyman's pistol. Many new gun owners are looking for a pistol that balances safety with affordability. Even without a manual safety, it takes conscious effort to fire the 2022. The hammer is a visible indicator of whether the gun is ready to fire and it can be perceived as safe when it is down. It takes a long pull of the trigger to fire the pistol and whenever you want to quit shooting, the gun is made safe again by dropping the decocker lever. You won't be left with a cocked handgun and no way to make it safe. This, along with the addition of a loaded chamber indicator might seem insulting to experienced shooters, but for new owners it is an additional feature that might prevent accidents. But even to those of us who shoot a lot, what is wrong with a well-built Sig pistol below the Sig price tag?

The 2022 is visibly and mechanically safe, built to high standards, yet still priced in the reach of most of us. What is not to love?


About Terril Hebert:Terril Hebert

Terril Hebert is a firearm writer native to south Louisiana. Under his motto—Guns, Never Politics—he tackles firearm and reloading topics both in print and on his Mark3smle YouTube channel, where he got his start. He has a soft spot for ballistics testing, pocket pistols, and French rifles. When he is not burning ammo, he is indulging his unhealthy wildlife photography obsession or working on his latest novel. Scourge of God was published in 2017.”

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    […] SIG Sauer SP2022 Handgun – the One We Forgot About – U.S.A. – Sig Sauer thundered into the polymer pistol market when they. […]

    trackback

    […] SIG Sauer SP2022 Handgun – the One We Forgot About – The sights seem naturally graduated to shoot 115 grain and 124 grain ammunition with the heavier 147 grain subsonic loads hitting a few inches high. A group taken with light-for-caliber 100 grain. […]

    trackback

    […] SIG Sauer SP2022 Handgun – the One We Forgot About – This isn’t always the case with other autoloaders, but a good magazine speed loader is a worthwhile investment. Handloading those magazines were a pain, but shooting the 2022 was a no-frills affair–at. […]

    trackback

    […] SIG Sauer SP2022 Handgun – the One We Forgot About – Their first plastic fantastic debuted back in 1999 and it is still to be had, the SP2022–otherwise known as the Sig Pro. Like its more famous predecessors, like the P226, the 2022 is a double-action. […]

    trackback

    […] SIG Sauer SP2022 Handgun – the One We Forgot About – The sights seem naturally graduated to shoot 115 grain and 124 grain ammunition with the heavier 147 grain subsonic loads hitting a few inches high. A group taken with light-for-caliber 100 grain. […]

    trackback

    […] SIG Sauer SP2022 Handgun – the One We Forgot About – The Sig SP2022 is a duty sized handgun designed around the snappy 40 S&W round. The 2022 started out life as the P2340 in 1999. At the time, Glock’s polymer framed striker-fired pistols were cutting. […]

    trackback

    […] SIG Sauer SP2022 Handgun – the One We Forgot About – As always, I strive to go beyond a “first shots” impression yet not stack up my ammo bills doing “torture” tests. A gun is a mechanical object and you can expect it to fail at a certain point, but in. […]

    Jeff
    Guest
    Jeff

    Great pistol, I’ve had mine for 7 years now. 2000 rounds through it & I can remember one FTE when I was trying out some cheap aluminum case ammo. I’m always partial to hammer guns over striker-fired, I guess it’s my early years with wheel guns. With that in mind, Sig Pro hit the sweet spot for me on design, price, reliability.

    Brian Lee
    Guest
    Brian Lee

    My first Sig, was this pistol. My experience is that everyone either loves it, or hates it, and I am one of the former. 4000+ rds, of various 9mm loads and pressures, and I might have had 2-3 fte’s and no other shooting issues. I eventually traded it on my P320, but I wouldn’t mind owning another one, if the price point was low enough.

    Blady
    Guest
    Blady

    If im Not Wrong ist the sig sp 2009 the First sig polymer pistol with the swiss Made frame… i have ans older sig sp2022 Made in Germany in French lenguage… and after more then 10 year and tousends of rounds it still working.

    The Revelator
    Guest
    The Revelator

    @Blady

    Be ready for hate mail from some of the people here then.

    I’m a 1911 man myself so I don’t have a dog in this fight, but to those of you like yourself, Tc96z, and Steve who have had them and found them reliable for years the more power to you.

    Shoot what you love. Glad you had something you enjoyed and found reliable and accurate.

    John
    Guest
    John

    I got my SP2022 a couple of years ago. I’ve only ran a few hundred rounds through it so far. Hardballs, jacketed hollow points even a box of some nasty steel casing ammo from Wally world. It handled everything like a dream. The only down side for me is finding a holster that fits probably. Especially a shoulder rig. I like the Miami rig. I still prefer my Colt 1911 .45 ACP, but my 2022 is almost as desirable.

    Eric Silvestri
    Guest
    Eric Silvestri

    You having a tough time finding the shoulder rig you going to need to have one custom made but if you just want a regular outside the waistband paddle holster Sig actually makes one for the 2022

    Steve Graham
    Guest
    Steve Graham

    I got my shoulder holster off eBay from a local seller, they are out there. It’s made by Tagua, good quality and not expensive.

    Dubi Loo
    Guest
    Dubi Loo

    Andrews Leather in Florida makes a top notch shoulder rig. I’ve had one for 2 years and love it. Contact Andrew Stevens to see if he has the mold for your pistol. The quality and craftsmanship of his products is Old Skool. You won’t regret it.

    Jose
    Guest
    Jose

    Milt Sparks holsters in Garden City Idaho has any holster you like.

    Devo
    Guest
    Devo

    Great article that tells it like it is. I picked up a stainless steel 9mm model last year off Gunbroker for a steal of a deal. The 2022 is a whole lot of pistol at a great price point. It’s very well balanced and mimics my Ruger P-95 in platform and characteristics very closely, which I like. Never went 600 rounds between maintenance (whew!) but I have no doubt the 2022 could do it without a hitch. I shoot 124 grain and this little puppy has never FTF/FTE.

    Tim
    Guest
    Tim

    I own a SP2022 in .357sig. I absolutely love it! I have an older model without the loaded chamber indicator, and the extractor is internal (not visible on the outside of the slide). I work as an armed guard and traded my company issued S&W SD9VE for my personal SIG. Qualifying on a law enforcement firing course with a daytime score of 91 and a night time score of 96 (Law Enforcement must score a minimum of 70%, Security Guards have to score a minimum of 80% in N.C.). It is also my EDC. I’m a bigger guy, and it… Read more »

    George Rogers
    Guest
    George Rogers

    I have a 2340 in .40 and 357 sig and have enjoyed this pistil better than any other I have shot. Over 1000 rounds of each caliber since I bought it new and carry it with me when ever I am hiking in griz country with the 357 sig barrel. Shooting like any other sport requires equiptment the shooter prefers you may like other brands and models and good for for you but I personaly will never give up this clasic……..Good shooting and always enjoy your sidearm

    Mark
    Guest
    Mark

    Is the option for a flat faced trigger avaliable in the SP2022?

    M. Cooper
    Guest
    M. Cooper

    I own an SP2022 and it is still one of my favorits. After moving into the world of semi-auto handguns from my mod.10 my department chose Glock mod.17 and then the 21C. To this day I would put my 2022 up against either of those Glocks. I’ve put over 10,000 rounds through it and have yet to have a misfire, failure to feed or failure to extract. It’s been like the Energizer bunny, it just keeps going.

    Neil
    Guest
    Neil

    I have 25,000 trouble free rounds through my Sig sp2022. It is a great gun. The only ‘issue’ is I found hopes #9 after 700 quick rounds starts smoldering. I switched to a thicker synthetic oil. Meh. My favorite gun and I own 4 other more expensive Sigs, a H&K, a S&W, a Glock, and other guns lost in that tragic boat accident.

    The trigger after 3,000 rounds becomes butter smooth.

    Terril Hebert
    Guest
    Terril Hebert

    Kinda funny I experience the same smoldering. I tend to go between Hoppes #9 and 3 in 1 machine oil.

    Tim
    Guest
    Tim

    I have found that Lucas Heavy Duty Gun Oil works well on it, I also use it on my AR.

    J
    Guest
    J

    What’s hipster about owning a CZ again?

    Underdog
    Guest
    Underdog

    Well written article. I’d disagree on the quality of the gun which is an each to the own decision.

    What is fact is the price of this pistol remains around $500.

    I’d take a M&P or Glock over this Sig for that price all day every day.

    Dr.Will-i-am Smith Bey
    Guest
    Dr.Will-i-am Smith Bey

    Very Intelligent information.Student of firearms.

    Dave Wright
    Guest
    Dave Wright

    I love my sig p2022! It is nearly accurate as my 2 1911s. The only thing wrong with it is the number, or it needs a new snappy name to make it appealing. It ain’t ugly and it hits whaI aim it at. I carry a Sig P238 because it’s small, but I’d much rather shoot the big Sig. In the winter the “Pro” hides nicely in the Alien ware holster on my backside. It is just not as pretty as my pearl handled Colt Defender. I still love it.

    Tc96z
    Guest
    Tc96z

    First , the review is on the SigPro2022 not the P220. ‘Fatal flaw’ guy do you really believe such a pistol (or car) exists? Your issue may be a 1 in 10,000 production problem due to a faulty part or maybe you used a solvent on it that is not recommended? It kills me when someone make an off the cuff remark that effects tens of thousands, mo make that hundreds of thousands, on one frigg’n experience. I had to replace the ejector on my P938; does that make it good only for a paperweight too? I have a SP2009… Read more »

    Kb
    Guest
    Kb

    The trigger is held in by a small piece of plastic that will eventually fail because it’s plastic. If you shoot your gun enough your’s will fail too. Bad design, plain and simple.

    Kb
    Guest
    Kb

    FYI, the Ford Pinto is just one example of a fatal car design, literally. Many people died or we’re injured because the gas tank exploded upon rear impact. Google it.

    Jack A Furbush
    Guest
    Jack A Furbush

    A real POS. The University P.D. I retired from for my last 12 years in lawenforcement traded them into Sig when we replaced the 229 9mm pistols we had been carrying. Nothing but trouble. At least 5 out the 12 guns were out of action for one reason or the other at any given time. After 2 years of putting up with this we switched back to the 229 DAK. We came whisker close to the Glock 23. Sig took the guns back and replaced them with the 229 and 4 magizens at no charge. The only expense we had… Read more »

    Glenn E Williams
    Guest
    Glenn E Williams

    I got mine on a consignment buy it had never been fired. I have always enjoyed shooting with it. I did switch out the sights for Sig Sauer Xray sights. I have mostly consigned it to dry fire drill shooting with a Mantis device because it is so close to my P229 in feel when shooting, and the P229 is my regular carry piece. I am admittedly a Sig fan boy, having a P220, P226,P229, Mosquito, and a GSG 2911 .22lr. (on top of the SP2022) I find the 226 to be the most accurate for me, but really they… Read more »

    Paul Matthew Pruett
    Guest
    Paul Matthew Pruett

    I had one and it sucked. It felt like a top heavy toy. Traded for a CZ 75 and never though twice about it.

    Steve Graham
    Guest
    Steve Graham

    I’ve had my Sig 2022 in 40 for years. It has been the most reliable, accurate and enjoyable pistol I have ever owned. The trigger is butter smooth and therefore my constant companion. The ilafon finish helps with the smooth operation, it makes the gun self lubricating.

    MB
    Guest
    MB

    @Steve, funny that you have had a gun for 40 years of a model that came to market 20 years ago. Time Machine?

    Steve Graham
    Guest
    Steve Graham

    Look closer MB, I said a .40 for years.

    John
    Guest
    John

    Check your statement next time before you post it.
    “I’ve had my Sig in 40 for years” looks like a typo with the word “in”.
    “I’ve had my Sig on in .40 for years” has a totally different read to it. Hence people laughing, thinking your boasting about having a model of weapon for 20 years longer than it’s been around.

    Steve Graham
    Guest
    Steve Graham

    John,
    You added the word “on”, no where in my comments do I use the word “on”.

    The Revelator
    Guest
    The Revelator

    @John Steve’s right. His comment was worded correctly, he just didn’t drop a period in front of the number “4”. Anyone with 20/20 vision can see he was saying he has had a model 2022 chambered in 40 for years, but you must have caught that since you changed his words in his original statement this way.. Let me show you. “I’ve had my Sig in 40 for years” – This is the way you worded it, saying it looks like it had a typo. “I’ve had my Sig 2022 in 40 for years.” – This is how Steve originally… Read more »

    Steve Graham
    Guest
    Steve Graham

    Thank you Revelator, for clearing that up!!!

    The Revelator
    Guest
    The Revelator

    @Steve Graham

    No problem. You either defend the truth wherever you go and whoever is saying it, or you aren’t defending the truth at all.

    Best of luck to you.

    Steve Graham
    Guest
    Steve Graham

    Likewise to you sir!

    Kb
    Guest
    Kb

    There is a fatal design defect in the 2022. The snapper sleeve, also known as the trigger pivot pin retainer, is a tiny plastic ring on the right side that can pop out after extended use. When this happens, you can’t pull the trigger and the gun won’t go bang. Had it happen to me at the range and nobody believed me when I told them my Sig broke.