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Sig P238 Owners: What's your take?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Snowdog, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Snowdog

    Snowdog Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Hendersonville, WNC
    I'm seriously considering the purchase of a Sig P238 to more or less replace my Keltec P32 as my "always" pistol.

    I know the P238 doesn't hold a candle to the P32 in terms of pocket carry, but I suspect that small P238 carries well in a quality IWB.

    I remember reading of teething issues with this pistol soon after its release. I suspect those issues have since been resolved.
    For those who own the P238, what do you think of these pistols in terms of dependability and accuracy? Is it something you would suggest to someone in the market for a small .380acp?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. 2wheels

    2wheels Participating Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Carries well pocket or IWB, and mine has been very reliable. Definitely something I'd recommend as long as you're ok with cocked and locked carry.

    My P238 will easily shoot circles around any pocket .380 that any of my friends own. Sure, their Bodyguard .380s and LCPs are lighter and easier to carry (and cheaper)... But at the end of the day I like being confident that I can hit what I'm shooting at. I've got real sights, a real trigger, a metal frame that soaks up recoil, and controls I can use. Sometimes it's worth it carrying around a few extra ounces of weight.
  3. 06

    06 Active Member

    Jun 3, 2006
    Too close to Charlotte, NC
    Cannot help with the 238 but will say the 232 (380) is one fine shooting "hunk o steel". Accurate, slim, easy to handle, and double action. Only thing I find that I dislike is the "continental" mag release(on bottom of mag). The night sights are real and it hits where you aim it.
  4. gearchecker

    gearchecker Member

    Mar 13, 2009
    North Idaho
    I had failure to go into battery with a few rounds in my P-238. I ended up swapping out the guide rod springs with some heavier Wolffe springs, and I've never had any trouble since.
    The SIG springs don't last very long (Less than 250 rounds or so) but these Wolffe's have put me far in excess of 1,00 rounds and still no additional malfunctions.

    Tha SIG springs are simple wound wire, and the Wolffe springs are flat blue steel coil, and they just operate better in my pistol.

    I have no issues carrying it anywhere I go, now that I know it's not going to malfunction.

  5. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Mentor

    Oct 19, 2010
    East TN
    The current factory springs are flat wire springs. They are a must for reliable operation of the P238.

    It has been a few years since Sig replaced the round wire spring with a flat wire spring so if the pistol is used, check that out.

    New production P238s should already have the flat wire spring.

    The original round wire springs just did not work very well or last very long. In my opinion, the recoil spring would coil bind under recoil and damage the spring. The flat wire spring does not bind when the slide is fulling retracted. Once I replaced the recoil spring with the flat wire spring, life of the recoil spring has been "normal".

    Also, old production Colt Mustang magazines are not reliable in the P238. The magazine followers are different between the manufacturers. The P238 barrel and the Mustang barrel cam down differently which is part of the reason for the different followers. I do not know if Colt made any changes to the new Mustang but it is best to stick with current production Sig magazines.

    I put Hogue neoprene grips on my P238 and i can hold the pistol better than the original Sig grips. Mostly a preference thing.

    Hope this helps.
  6. hesitantly

    hesitantly New Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    Temple, TX
    I sold my P32, thinking I would get a .380, but discovered the Sig P938. I got it, because I'd rather have 9mm instead of .380. It is just slightly larger than the P238. It's still small enough to carry in the pocket in loose jeans.
  7. stogiegila

    stogiegila Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Got a new P238 that arrived with the rear night sights dead. I shipped the slide back to sig on their dime and am waiting for it to be returned.

    It feels great and should carry well but I haven't shot it yet but hope to soon. Mine is the newer serial number 27A which supposedly fixed any of the previous issues.

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  8. weblance

    weblance Active Member

    Sep 15, 2011
    I bought a P238 when my LGS had them on sale just before Christmas. I had always heard how great they were and wanted to see what all the hype was about. Mine has been perfect. I shot 400 rounds thru it the first time at the range. Its very accurate at 10-15 yards. Out at 25 yards, it takes some real work to get good groups, but this isnt what this pistol was designed for. I can get one ragged hole with it at 7 yards. The night sights are great, stainless magazines, last shot hold open. So much better than my LCP, but it doesnt pocket carry as well. Its a little squared off, and a bit heavy for my pocket, but its definitely in a class all its own, as far as small 380 autoloaders.


  9. Girodin

    Girodin Mentor

    Mar 22, 2008
    My only gripe is the trigger is much heavier than it needs to be. The mustang I had, had a MUCH better trigger. That said, I still greatly prefer the Sig P238 trigger to that of the LCP and the like.
  10. bannockburn

    bannockburn Elder

    Apr 24, 2007
    I bought one a couple of years ago and it has been fine in every aspect of its build quality and perfromance. I really wanted something in a SA pocket auto to work into the rotation with my Colt Mustang and the P-238 was the perfect choice.
  11. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Senior Member

    Sep 2, 2012
    WA State (NOT in Seattle)
    My smallest gun P238 carries just fine.
  12. GLI45

    GLI45 New Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    If you can find one, buy it! What a great little gun. I bought one for my wife for Xmas in my ongoing attempt to find a carry gun she would like. After about half a dozen attempts with both 9mm and .380 pistols we have success with the Sig P238. She loves it. For a small .380 it has comparatively low felt recoil, is amazingly accurate, has excellent sights, and is easy to rack. I got her the all black Nitron model and now she wants the Rainbow model with Titanium finish. I'll gladly get it, if I can find one, because I'll take the Nitron! As a 1911 junkie I like the 1911 style setup of the Sig P238.
  13. Nebuchadnezzar

    Nebuchadnezzar New Member

    Jun 14, 2010
    5 friends and family members were converted after shooting mine and bought one for themselves.

    My P238 does not see much use anymore since I upgraded to a P938 several months ago. Between the two, one of them has been in my pocket whenever I leave the house for the past two years. Get a good pocket holster and they disappear.

    The P238 was flawless out of the box and has about 1500 rounds through it.
    The P938 had a few feeding issues in the first 200 rounds but has been flawless for about 500 since.

    With all the cool variations, the problem isn't deciding to get one or not, it's deciding which one to get.
  14. kokapelli

    kokapelli Senior Member

    Jan 27, 2004
    The P238 is by far the best 380 pocket pistol available in every respect but size which in my case is not a problem.

    There will always be a lot of posts telling us that their LCP, or Bodyguard etc are the perfect pistol, but that is simply not the case and none of the other pocket 380's shoot as well as the P238.

    I did not replace my original recoil spring until I hit the thousand round mark and have never had a failure of any kind.

    So far I have only used the conventional recoil spring type that P238 came with, but have been very careful to not install the spring backwards.
  15. verdun59

    verdun59 Member

    Feb 16, 2009
    Virginia or South Carolina
    You keep saying this, but is it really that much better than the Kahr P380, or a Colt Pony Pocketlite ?
  16. kokapelli

    kokapelli Senior Member

    Jan 27, 2004
    To be honest I haven't shot the Colt, but I have shot the Kahr and yes the P238 is a better shooting pistol.
  17. frank c

    frank c Member

    Jan 20, 2003
    Southern Michigan
    I have the sig P238 in the HD model shot quite a few rounds down the pipe with ZERO issues.:D
  18. Trad Archer

    Trad Archer Member

    Dec 5, 2010
    Excellent gun.
  19. Bayou Redd

    Bayou Redd New Member

    Aug 11, 2011
    Gulf Coast
    P238 Equinox...

    P238 Equinox paired with Crossbreed Mini Tuck carries extremely well ALL DAY...

    Even in Florida in hot weather clothing, it hides quite well. I retired my Bersa Thunder for a couple reasons:

    1. The Sig is just smaller

    2. The night sights are second to none for a pocket size

    3. 1000+ rounds of at least 8 different types ammo to include, Critical Defense, Flat nose PMC and various round nose plus a couple different hp's without a hiccup (I had one type ammo that gave me a few ftf early on & have no longer used them)

    4. A 3x3 square at 10yards is very easy to hit single or two hands

    My confidence is very high with this little gem for self preservation.

    Don't get me wrong, I have a Springfield EMP that I am in love with, but for a CC quick grab to the pocket or extreme hot weather IWB, I will tell the P238 to get on her dancing shoes, we are going for a twirl...
  20. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Participating Member

    Feb 24, 2005
    My one complaint with my Colt Mustang is that my thumb would often press against the slide release level at random times, causing the slide to lock back. I've actually considered grinding the lever flat to prevent this.

    I suppose the 238 would be prone to this same issue, but of course it might just be me. You're supposed to keep your thumb atop the safety lever when shooting a 1911 but I always forget.

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