I am now the happy owner of two very different pistols. Both are chambered in 22lr, but both are designed in very unique ways. These two pistols probably aren’t reviewed side by side anywhere else, just because both are from very different categories If you’re curious about either of these two weapons however, please read on. I hope to have judged them as objectively as possible.
My SR22 is Ruger’s attempt at a more mainstream rimfire pistol compared to their Mark series of pistols. Some people who are familiar with the name Ruger were turned off from the unusual style of the Mark pistols. The new SR pistol maintains the look of a “normal” pistol and I’m sure they hoped that would draw in those customers who wanted a “pretty” Ruger pistol.
The Sig 1911-22 is a rimfire version of the traditional 1911 style pistol. Its very different internally compared to 1911’s chambered in standard calipers, but it is 100% the size and weight of a 1911 pistol. Most rimfire 1911’s are typically about 80% the size and weght so I was happy that this one is full scale.
The Sig is a lot larger and heavier than my Ruger, but I expected that when I went to buy it. 1911’s aren’t known for being “small” pistols so I won’t count that. However, the Sig is almost too big for my tiny hands. Reaching the mag release with my thumb is impossible without re-positioning my hand. With the Ruger I can easily access all of the parts even with the larger of the two grips installed. +1 Ruger.
I honestly have to give a hands down +1 to the safety on the Ruger. I can leave the safety in the “on” position with my SR22 and still chamber a round, something that’s not possible with the Sig which requires the gun to be cocked before you can use the safety. This could lead to accidental discharge before you are ready to fire. Decocking on the Ruger also scores it a +1. The only thing required to decock the Ruger is moving the safety to the “on” position. With the Sig you have to hold the hammer back while depressing the trigger and then slowly lower the hammer. This action requires two hands. I’m not uncomfortable with this method, its just much easier (and a bit safer) on the Ruger.
Balance-wise, I have to call a tie. Both pistols feel great in my hand. Aiming is easy and I have no problem keeping the sights on target. The sights on both feature 3 dots; the Ruger’s are white and the Sig’s are green. In low light both do well but the green dots are a bit easier to see in darker areas. +1 to the Sig. For adjustment purposes, both rear sights can be moved left or right. Vertically, the Ruger’s front pin can be adjusted up and down. Sig only provides 3 pins of various heights, but both seem dead on and I haven’t adjusted either. So ill call that a tie.
Trigger pull is very different on the two pistols but neither is terrible. The Sig is a single action pistol only while my Ruger is single or double action. For personal preference, I’m giving Ruger a +1 for providing the mechanics that allow for both. I’m always in favor of options, even if I don’t use it both ways.
Single action trigger pull on the Sig is slightly better. Having 786 rounds through it before I bought it, the trigger was well broke in. My Ruger is also well broke in with around 1000 rounds through it. On a few occasions Friday evening at the range, the Sig went off before I was anticipating. It requires barely any pressure to fire, and that’s great for accuracy. +1 for Sig.
Speaking of accuracy, the Sig scores another +1. The longer barrel is likely the main factor, but as I mentioned before, the trigger also plays a part. My groups of 10 shots at 7 yards averaged 2.5″ with the Sig and 3.1″ with the Ruger. With the Sig, 26% of the rounds hit the 1″ “bullseye” while only 22% hit the center with the Ruger. This is even more impressive when adding the fact that I had never shot the 1911 until the comparison; I had more experience with just under 1000 rounds in the Ruger.
Access to accessories, while not important to function, is very important to a potential buyer. With the Sig being a full size 1911, it is compatible with all (as far as i know) 1911 grips and holsters. And since the 1911 has been out so long, there is a plethora of options for both. In addition, the Sig’s barrel is threaded to allow for a suppressor. The Ruger is not threaded. Ruger firearms are built toward family fun and hunting so tactical accessories like that are less available. I find Ruger’s values to be top notch and I’m glad to see a company that doesn’t sacrifice tradition and values for a quick buck. That said, the Sig gets a +1.
Now that you’ve made your pistols pretty, and shot them a bunch, its time to get down and dirty. Time to clean them. The breaking down of these two pistols is only similar in that, in the end, the slide comes off of them both . . .
Before we get to that magical time however there’s a process both go through. The Ruger takes 3 seconds and involves 3 steps, no tools needed. The Sig takes about 3 or 4 minutes and involves almost 10 steps and an allen wrench. That said, the Sig allows you to take more of it apart to clean. Unfortunately for the Sig, basic cleaning doesn’t require that much breakdown. All mechanical parts can be cleaned on the Ruger from that quick take-down. +1 to the Ruger.
So how’d they do?
Ruger SR22: 5
Sig Sauer 1911-22: 4
Please don’t take the scores to mean that either of these pistols are inherently better than the other. I am not a professional (I’ve only got like 1,500 rounds under my belt), and while I reviewed these weapons as objectively as possible, every shooter is different and what matters to me might not for you. I enjoy shooting both of these pistols and if I didn’t I wouldn’t own them It’s also true that I’ve owned the Ruger about 3 months longer than the Sig. Perhaps in time my gun and shooting preferences will change.