Just a week before our 2022 handgun test began, Sig Sauer introduced their P322. With Sig Sauer’s fan base and the popularity of their P365 and P320 pistols, the P322 was immediately in demand. We managed to pull a few strings and get one to include in our test, and we’re glad we did. Although the Taurus TX22 Competition SCR edged out the P322 by just over a point for Editors’ Choice, we thought the Sig Sauer P322 was the most fun to shoot. I liked it better than Demi, but we were committed to sticking to our results. Here’s a closer look at the latest rimfire from Sig Sauer.
Sig Sauer P322 Specifications
- MSRP: $539.99 (at the time of this writing)
- Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
- Magazine capacity: 20 +1 (Ships with two 20th polymer magazines)
- Views: Fiber optic front, rear adjustable
- Overall length: 7 inches
- Overall width: 1.4 inches
- Hight: 5.5 inches
- Barrel length: 4 inches [102mm]
- Weight: 17.1 oz
- Additional rail: M1913
- Trigger action: Single
- Barrel material: Carbon steel
Bad news for the Sig P322
As with any handgun, there is some good news and some bad news. In the case of the P322, there’s very little bad news, so let’s get that out of the way. The number one problem is that, aside from some cheap generic holsters, Sig Sauer and Comp-Tac are the only companies that currently offer holsters to fit the P322. Both are polymer, and the SIG holster retails for $29.99 and the Comp-Tac for $69.99. As popular as I expect this pistol to become, that will likely change soon.
The second downside we found is that you have to be careful when loading the magazines. If you don’t, it’s possible to get a stoppage. You can’t just pop into the magazine willy-nilly and go shooting. When loading the magazine, care must be taken to ensure that each round is properly positioned. In other words, they must be stacked evenly and consistently. While this may seem like a serious matter, it is not. Once you commit to paying attention to what you’re doing, it has no negative impact on load times or shooting enjoyment.
Good news for the Sig P322
Now we can get to the good stuff, and there is plenty of it. For starters, this pistol weighs only 17 ounces, which is incredibly light for any pistol. It also comes with a fiber optic front sight and fully adjustable fiber optic rear sight. Also, the rear sight is integral to a sliding plate that can be removed to allow attachment of a miniature reflex sight. But what really sets this pistol apart is the capacity. Those magazines that must be loaded correctly will hold 20 rounds each and the pistol comes with two of them. Load them both and you can empty a box of ammo in one shooting session.
What you will also find surprising is that while the P322 looks similar to the P320 and P365, it is not a striker-fired pistol. When you remove the slide, you can see that there is a hidden hammer underneath it on the back of the frame; The P322 is a semi-automatic action. This goes a long way to explaining why the trigger feels so good. With just a little pull, the trigger on the P322 we tested broke consistently at just 3 pounds. And, according to Sig, you can safely shoot this pistol as much as you want without damaging it. Also, the pistol is carried with two trigger shoes. One is flat and the other is curved, and they can be easily switched in just a few seconds.
The grip on the P322 filled my hand well and I wear large or extra large gloves. But it wasn’t too big for younger shooters. My oldest daughter is 18 years old, but she is only five feet tall and has small hands. She had no problem at all with catching the P322. In addition to being hand-friendly, the P322 is fully dual-purpose; a manual thumb safety and slide lock are located on both sides of the pistol and the magazine release is reversible.
The takedown lever is the only non-ambidexterous control on the P322, and since this is not a striker-fired pistol, you do not need to pull the trigger before dismounting. All you have to do—after fully unloaded—is rotate the takedown lever up, pull the slide back and up, and then slide it out of the frame. The barrel is an integral part of the frame and the recoil spring is held isolated by a nut on the threaded muzzle. Assembly is just as easy and is done in reverse order. If you want to use a suppressor on the P322, simply replace the standard barrel nut with the two-thread version that comes with the pistol.
We tested two loads from the P322 from a sandbag at 10 yards. Sights were spot on at 10 yards right out of the box, and CCI’s Clean 22 load averaged 0.85 inches for three- to five-shot groups; their Mini-Mag load averaged .90 inches. We put almost 1,000 rounds through this pistol, including about 400 rounds of each of the CCI loads and another 200 rounds of Federal’s new .22 LR Punch load. Except when the magazines wouldn’t load properly, we didn’t have any problems.
Why you should buy a Sig P322
I have continued to have fun with this pistol even after our pistol test ended. I removed the slide plate and installed a Crimson Trace mini-reflex sight. Every couple of days I go out on my range and leave. The P322 offers a much more affordable way to practice with a reflex sight on a pistol. I also think that when the right holster becomes available, the P322 would make an excellent track and small pistol. And since our testing is complete, Sig Sauer is now offering a 25-round P322 magazine. Two of them will destroy a box of 22 LR ammo.
Read more: Why every outdoorsman needs a .22 pistol
If you are considering a new 22 pistol, my advice would be to start your search with the P322. Due to demand, prices have not yet stabilized; I’ve seen them listed for as low as $700 and as low as $320. But when supply meets demand, they should settle at around $400. If you get a P322, I would advise you to buy a lot—and I mean a lot—of ammo, because I don’t think you’ll ever get tired of shooting this pistol. If you are in a shooting family, you may have to fight for range time as well.