Nearly two decades ago, a 22 lr pistol hit the market that was all metal and branded by SIG Sauer. It was known as the Mosquito, and for many shooters, it appeared to be an unbelievable bargain as a German-made SIG in 22 lr with a sub-$300 price tag. It almost brings to mind, “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Read on for this SIG Mosquito Review and make your own decision.
Getting The Unicorn
I remember the first time I saw a SIG Mosquito. It was about 17 years ago. I had just moved to Nevada after a 7-year exile in the gulag known as the People’s Democratic Republic of California. My most recent purchase was a Walther P22 with a threaded barrel. It was a novelty, just for the hell of it type of pistol closer to an airsoft pistol than a real one. However, that threaded barrel would have classified it as an “Assault Pistol” in California. No doubt because of all the silencers for sale in the local military surplus store. I was in a small gun shop looking for my next purchase.
“Here’s one for you; I just got 4 of them in from SIG.”, said the shop owner as he handed one to me across the counter.
Outwardly it resembled a SIG P226, only scaled down a bit. More importantly, it felt like I was holding a real pistol in my hand instead of an airsoft gun dressed up to look like a 22. As much as I liked it, I didn’t feel like I needed it at the time. I had a threaded 22-caliber pistol, and I was making up for lost time with new ARs, AKs, and HKs.
After a few years, I noticed that SIG would release different variants of the Mosquito. Mostly different colors like black, grey, OD, etc. I decided I would wait for one that I really liked, and a few years later, it happened.
Another local gun shop was running a customer appreciation sale. I stopped in and actually won a couple of prizes, and then when I looked in the SIG cabinet, I saw my Mosquito.
It sported a multi-cam finish, came with three factory magazines, and included a thread adapter from Silencerco, converting it to 1/2×28 from the factory M9 x 0.75. This one was silencer ready, and I had more than one 22-can sitting in my safe. The fact that it was 30% off due to the sale and included this adapter made it a no-brainer. That was nearly a decade ago, and that pistol has been used to test more than 22 silencers than I can remember. It’s unfailingly quiet, reliable, and reasonably accurate.
SIG Mosquito Review: Testing the Unicorn
The main types of ammunition that I use are CCI Stingers and Gemtech subsonic. The key takeaway for me was that this is a blowback operated 22, meaning the pistol needs to be cleaned and lubed after every shooting session. Only the three metal factory magazines are all I’ve ever used, as I’ve heard horror stories about some of the aftermarket polymer ones being failure-prone.
A little after I picked it up, I started to hear horror stories about the Mosquito. It was a jammamatic, it did not work well with Remington Golden Vipers, or it was the worst gun that SIG had ever made.
All the while, I wondered if I had a unicorn. I may have had one failure to fire out of several thousand rounds, but I blamed that on a single cartridge that was likely a dud.
In retrospect, I don’t believe my pistol is a unicorn. It was definitely not a so-called “factory ringer” sent to impress a writer, as I bought it over the counter. While I did wonder if maybe I had some special edition because of the finish and the adapter, I later found out that the shop owner just included the adapter to sweeten the deal.
No, the performance of any firearm or any machine, for that matter, breaks down to how you maintain it. We all have those guns that have fired thousands of rounds without cleaning. Sometimes we pride ourselves on that. I used to say, “the only time I clean my guns is when they stop working.”
This goes back to my formal training as a bullseye pistol shooter, where your guns have such tight tolerances that you risk ruining their accuracy by taking them apart. Luckily, I hit a point where I was having issues with firearms that were not performing well, and I took a new look at cleaning and maintenance as a result. There is genuinely a different protocol for different types of firearms. Some require minimal cleaning, but some require a little more than you might think. Blowback 22s are definitely in the latter category.
Back to the SIG Mosquito Review
As mentioned, the SIG Mosquito is a blowback-operated rimfire pistol chambered in 22 lr. It was not made by SIG but was built by German Sport Guns (GSG) for SIG. This is what may need clarification for some people, as GSG needs to be marked on the pistol. However, the font for some of the markings on the barrel is unquestionably identical to what GSG uses.
It is 90% the size of a SIG P226, and the manual of arms is similar primarily. You have the takedown lever followed by the decocking lever and the slide release running down the left side of the slide. There is a manual safety mounted on the slide that requires you to push it upward in order to fire. In the area of the mainspring housing, there is a key lock feature to enable you to lock the pistol to prevent movement of the trigger, etc.
The frame is a polymer with a three-slot Picatinny rail molded in so accessories like lights and lasers can be added. The slide is an aluminum-zinc alloy, and the sights are a standard 3-dot type. There is a magazine safety present, and the pistol will not fire without a magazine in place. Trigger pull is not too bad in either single or double action, breaking at 6.5 and 11 pounds, respectively, and it has a long reset. While it definitely is not a target-grade pistol, you can typically expect groups in the 4-5” pattern at 25 yards.
Even though it may seem a little overloaded on safety features (manual safety, decocker, magazine safety, lockout, etc.), that is not bad for a scaled-down rimfire pistol, as most of these are bought for young people to learn the basics. A double advantage might be that it could teach a new shooter the importance of maintenance.
I have to give this pistol solid marks on reliability, looks, and of course, it is quiet with a silencer. Its trigger and accuracy are not the stuff of legends but don’t write this one off because Bubba fired 9 thousand rounds without ever cleaning it, and when he fished it out of the sea of fast-food wrappers in the cab of his dually, it would not cycle reliably. If you decide to pick one up, (or do your own SIG Mosquito review), remember to clean and lube it regularly.
The Mosquito Today
For whatever reason, SIG stopped importing this pistol, and its production as the Mosquito ended in 2015. That was a little after the time I purchased mine. I cannot say if this was due to poor sales, poor QC from GSG, or if SIG was taking their pistol line in a new direction with the P320 line.
Yet, the pistol is still being made by German Sport Guns (GSG) and is imported by American Tactical Imports (ATI) as the Firefly. It still has the look of a classic P-series SIG pistol but no longer has the name.
Although it can be difficult anymore, use quality ammo like CCI Stingers. Rimfire ammunition is notoriously filthy, and some of the cheaper bulk-packed brands aren’t the best for something like this.