Sig Sauer recently made headlines with the imminent release of its new polymer P365 pistol. While we eagerly await to test this gun for ourselves, we also wanted to take a moment and examine what Sig Sauer had brought to the table prior to that.
As a long time Sig fan, I’ve often wondered what the planning room of Sig Sauer looked like in Newington, NH. When the P320 came out, I felt a bit like I felt when Glock came out with their Glock 43 after seemingly no one wanted the G42.
Why didn’t they just do the P320 first?
What was the point of the P250 existing in the first place?
Did anyone truly want a DAO pistol?
This seems especially true when considering that the first polymer pistol Sig Sauer produced was the SP series (“SIG Pro”) back in 1998! With the P250 first hitting shelves around 2007 and the P320 arriving in 2014, it’s like SIG just up and abandoned its polymer line altogether for nearly seven full years.
SP2022 — Never Made It To Prom But They Should Have
In a sense, I get it. The SP2009 was the first accessible model of Sig Sauer I ever fired. It was bulky for a polymer pistol. Comparable in features to a Glock 19, this SA/DA model definitely worked hard and withstood a lot of abuse. It was also popular with foreign militaries and police forces.
Sig had a pistol it could sell abroad. But how did it do in the United States?
To answer that question, thankfully the internet existed back when the SP2009 first came out. And, thankfully, Google has indexed it. Going through forums like the Firing Line and other internet locales, it seems that the Sig SP2009 and SP2340 (.357 Sig) were both commended for their durability but not widely adopted in the U.S. marketplace.
The Sig SP2022 is just a slightly modified version of the SP2009. Essentially, there’s no real change that the average consumer would notice outside of a change of lettering, the slight change of the trigger, and the adoption of a Picatinny rail versus proprietary.
From reviews at the time, it appears that the majority of people who bought into the SP2009/SP2340 actually wanted the P229/P226 but didn’t want to spend the considerable amount of money required to own one.
A standard magazine holds 15 rounds — and if you get the Mec-Gar version, you get 17 rounds, and the magazines are usually cheaper than Sig branded ones. And now that Sig is full-on promoting its modularity, you can go to their website and purchase threaded barrels and all the pieces you need to convert your SP2022 from 9mm to .357 Sig or .40 S&W.
Even though nearly 20 years have passed since the proverbial ‘Prom,’ the Sig SP2022 is still as good looking as it was back in 1998 and now twice as accessible.
Advantages of the Sig SP2022:
- Hands down, cheapest Sig Sauer pistol on the market.
- Extremely reliable.
- Can be easily converted to .357/.40 S&W
- Optional threaded barrel.
Disadvantages of the Sig SP2022:
- She will never be her older sister, the P229.
Now that we’ve addressed the original polymer Sig Sauer pistol, we can talk about the newer generation.
The Next Generation of Sig Polymer Pistols
We have the P250 and the P320. The P250 was Sig Sauer’s first attempt at fully modular design. The P250 had a removable receiver group which could be interchanged into different pistol grips and upper receivers.
This meant if you bought one P250 pistol, you could essentially convert it into any other form.
There were setbacks when it first came out in 2007.
It was not as popular as advertised.
People really didn’t like the DAO trigger pull. Trigger travel distance felt like forever and trigger reset was a myth perpetrated by marketing execs and parroted by the likes of Guns & Ammo.
The trigger is double action only with a long stroke, but it has a short reset and, on my test gun, a light, six-pound pull. I would prefer to see a shorter stroke like that of Sig’s DAK trigger, but the P250’s was plenty smooth and easy to manage.
Greg Rodriguez, Guns & Ammo, June 8, 2007
Short reset? What?! It’s a DAO. The hammer goes forward, the bullet fires, and then you have to reset your finger to get the hammer to go again. Trigger reset really only comes into play in single-action/double-action, single-action only, and striker fire. The P250 had an insanely long reset — if one could even be said to exist at all.
And as for a light, six-pound trigger? That’s the type of marketing hype that could have only existed in 2007.
Guns & Ammo can and will say just about anything for money. No hate, just straight talk.
Other internet gun reviewers were just slightly more honest with their opinions.
Gun Test Writer, Roger Eckstine, said one of his staffers testing the P250 described it as “holding a light bulb.”
The medium grip frame featured a somewhat bulbous feel… Our first impression from shooting the P250 was that it was unusually prone to muzzle flip. We couldn’t say if the gun was actually generating more recoil or if it was a product of the grip, which one of our staffers described as being similar to holding on to a light bulb.
What the public wanted was a striker-fired version of the P250. What was evident was that Sig couldn’t deliver that in 2007 and decided to field its initial designs — custom modularity being the core piece — in the P250 and then take the successes from that to make the P320.
Sig could have easily avoided the P250 altogether and simply gone to the P320.
This is the equivalent of gamers paying full price to be in the Beta test of a video game and then being forced to pay full price to get the finished product.
With that said, the P320 is pretty evidently the final product.
P320 — “The Final Form” Edition
The P320 is a different animal entirely. It retained the modularity of the P250 but came in a striker fired action with a 5.5 lb trigger. Yes, there was that whole issue with the gun accidentally going off if you dropped it at just the right angle. That had to do with the absence of some integral parts that should stop any striker fired pistol from firing.
The P320 is still arguably the best polymer pistol that Sig Sauer ever produced. It even won the MHS contract for the U.S. Army. Modular, able to handle just about any major pistol caliber, and upgradable with a Romeo1 Red Dot…
…The Red Dot only works for 9mm, though. If you doubt me, give it a shot with heavier calibers and report back.
Honest truth time: The SP2022 is the most accessible pistol regarding price point. The P320 is leagues ahead of either the SP2022 or the P250 regarding new price, availability on the market, interchangeability, and combat viability.
Seriously. Twenty-one round extended magazines that are flush with the pistol grip. You can’t go wrong.
The P320 runs like a champ and doesn’t break down. Slight issue aside with dropping it, the P320 is probably one of the best new pistol systems created in the 21st century. That’s a bold claim. Considering it has only existed since 2014, that may turn out to be a false prediction of excellence. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, the U.S. Army and many police and law enforcement departments are piling onto these guns. I can’t wait to pick up the first MHS gun that arrives on the surplus rack.
Final Verdict: P320 ≥ SP2022 … >> P250.
If mathematics isn’t your strong suit, the plain English version is: “The P320 is equal or greater than the SP2022. The P250 is incredibly less than either.”
Still, some people will claim they love the P250 and will hold onto it despite the fact that Sig Sauer has essentially cut all ties to it and has stopped supporting it with modular upgrades.
For those that say, “I can use the P320 pistol grips”… You may run into issues with that.
And for the entry price of $599 or either a brand new P320 or Sig SP2022, it’s well within reach to just get either of those.