The SIG Sauer P322 is a new .22 Long Rifle pistol that is both performance-efficient and aesthetically captivating: and also, SIG Sauer's first rimfire to be engineered and manufactured entirely in the United States
Among SIG Sauer's hottest new products for 2022, the SIG Sauer P322 .22 Long Rifle semi-automatic pistol represents a new approach for the company to the field of rimfire pistols for sport shooting competition, training, plinking, and for the introduction of first-time shooters and novices to the basics of marksmanship and safe firearms handling.
The P322 is the first rimfire pistol marketed by SIG Sauer to have been entirely engineered, and being entirely manufactured, in SIG Sauer's own plant in Newington (New Hampshire, USA). Other semi-automatic rimfire pistols based on the P226 and 1911 designs had already been distributed under the SIG Sauer brand in the past, but they were all manufactured under contract in Germany by a third party – more specifically, the German Sport Guns company.
The SIG Sauer P322 is reminiscent of the P320 under many points of view, albeit sporting a generally more streamlined design and an internal hammer instead of a striker-fired system, but still remaining familiar enough for P320 owners and shooters to get accustomed with easily.
The SIG Sauer P322 is built around a polymer frame with an inner steel structure, with a MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail for accessories integrated on the dust cover; the 102 mm / 4" barrel is manufactured out of carbon steel, while the slide is machined out of alloy, and hard-coat anodized in black.
Standing in at 178 mm / 7" in overall length and weighing in at barely 484 grams / 17.1 oz. when empty, the SIG Sauer P322 is definitely a compact, albeit a hot one, with a crisp single-action only trigger that makes this funny, sturdily built handgun a very quick shooter.
The SIG Sauer P322 is also completely ambidextrous: the frame-mounted manual safety and slide stop release levers are located on both sides, while the magazine catch button can be reversed upon field-strip for left-handed or right-handed users. The takedown lever is the sole control to be found on one side only.
SIG Sauer's new P322 pistol feeds through proprietary polymer high capacity mags: two are issued with each pistol, offering a staggering 20 rounds of .22 Long Rifle ammunition each, with the possibility to host an additional round in chamber. 25-rounds magazines are also available separately as aftermarket accessories from SIG Sauer
What makes the SIG Sauer P322 unique on its reference market is the quick trigger shoe interchangeability system. Each P322 comes issued from factory with two trigger shoes – curved and flat-face – allowing the users to shift to either style by simply removing manually the trigger shoe from the trigger guard and replacing it with another. No need to field-strip the pistol!
The SIG Sauer P322 is also packed with desireable, highly sought-after features that are now mainstream on centerfire service, defence, and competition shooting handguns, and are becoming increasingly popular in the latest generations of rimfire training and plinking handguns.
Among those are a protected thread at the muzzle, allowing the use of barrel weights, muzzle compensators, muzzle brakes, or sound suppressors (where legal) without requiring any adapter or a new barrel; and an optics-ready slide, with a removable rear sight plate and a modular interface for small-sized red dot or reflex sights.
The slide of the SIG Sauer P322 pistol is streamlined on both sides, to simplify and speed up drawing and holstering, and features a good set of front and rear slide serrations.
The SIG Sauer P322 comes with a set of factory-issued iron sights – fixed front post, adjustable low-profile rear – with high-visibility green fiber optic inserts.
The P322 pistol represents SIG Sauer's offer on the growing modern rimfire pistols market, which as of today is almost dominated by well-known, high-quality handguns such as the FN 502, the Glock 44 or the Taurus TX-22 Competition.
With the P322, SIG Sauer tackles the competition head-on – particularly when it comes to the price tag. Generally SIG Sauer does not announce a manufacturer's suggested retail price, but for the P322 it appears to be set at around $400 for the US market.