We've been kicking the new Sig Sauer P322 .22LR pistol around for a couple of months and so far, it has given us over 3,200 reasons to love it.
Introduced in March-- on 3/22 as a matter of fact-- Sig's first rimfire pistol since the much-disliked Mosquito was swatted about a decade ago, has been flying high. A hammer-fired 20+1 shot .22 LR pistol, the P322 uses an internal stainless steel frame inside a polymer grip while the pistol's aluminum slide contains a 4-inch barrel, which gives the blowback-action rimfire an overall length of 7 inches.
This puts it about the size of a Glock 44, FN 502, or Taurus TX22 but with a higher magazine capacity. Plus, the P322 includes a threaded barrel adapter and an optics-ready slide-- two things Glock fell short on.
So far, we have stripped our test and evaluation pistol on arrival for initial inspection and every 500 rounds during the first 3,000 that we sent down range due to the downright filthy nature of rimfire ammo. Other than normal cosmetic wear, the gun is holding up very well.
The P322's barrel uses a fluted chamber with a well-designed feed ramp which aid in reliability when it comes to both feeding and extracting a wide variety of common ammunition. I say common because that was a goal for Sig when it came to developing the gun (remember the commentary about the Mosquito?). This resulted in an R&D period in New Hampshire of over 15 months that included 5,000 dry fires on each test pistol and running three guns through 40,000 rounds of a wide mix of .22 LR loads drawn from across the ammo market.
We ran a gamut of bulk pack range ammo through the P322 so far including two 425-round cartons of Blazer 38-grain lead round nose bullets (1,235 fps), an old-stock 500-round gray brick of 40-grain Blazer LRNs, and two 325-round boxes of Federal Auto Match 40-grain LRNs (1,200 fps). Added to this were several 100-round blisters of CCI standard velo, a couple packs of Mini-Mag 36-grain copper-plated hollow points (1,260 fps), a pack of Stingers (1,640 fps), 200 CCI Clean polymer-coated (1,070 fps) blue round nose subsonic, and 100 CCI Clean Hi-velo (1,235 fps) red nosed polymers. We also tried some Winchester (333-round bulk pack) and Aguila Super Extra.
In all, we had about 15 failures during testing give or take a round or two. In general, this came in light primer strikes on a dirty gun gummed up with a few hundred rounds worth of carbon and lead that typically, when recycled back into the chamber, would fire on the second go around. We did encounter a few straight-up failures to eject, primarily using the Aguila.
The P322 is easy to control and remain on target, holding flat even with Mini-Mags and Stingers. Thus:
We found the trigger to break on our test gun at about 5.5 pounds regardless of which shoe was installed. Observe the break and reset in one-handed fire:
Check out the quiet time, with an old direct-thread TAC65 mounted to the P322 and running CCI blue nose subsonic. Of note, the standard sights were high enough to see over the 1.085-inch diameter can, but you may run into issues with a fatter suppressor.
When it comes to accuracy, the P322 proved capable in when it comes to practical shooting. We did not run it off the bench or with a rest using match-quality ammo because that's not the purpose of the pistol. With adjustable fiber optic sights and an optics cut with a common Shield RMSc footprint, you have options.
In the end, Sig Sauer kind of hit it out of the park when it comes to the P322. It dependably stands ready to be employed as a plinker, Steel Challenge Rimfire platform, trainer or, with the right ammo and mindset, in self-defense in a pinch, especially for those who are recoil sensitive-- 40 percent of folks that bought .22s in a recent market survey of FFLs did so for self-protection.
When it comes to semi-auto .22 pistols, it is easy to do worse and hard to do better than the P322, especially for the price.