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Sig P238 Versus Sig P238 HD

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by trippstadt, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. trippstadt

    trippstadt Member

    Okay, thanks to your advice (both positive and negative), I have decided to go ahead with getting a P238 for my wife for Mother's Day. As unbelievable as it is that this former fanatical anti-gun person would like a gun, it's almost beyond imagination that she actually wants to CARRY it (this is sort of like Princess Leia coming home with a Death Star Tattoo on her forearm).

    After my research, I am satisfied that Sig has finally worked out the more onerous on-going issues with the P238.

    Any advice / comments on the stock 238 versus the HD would be greatly appreciated.
  2. hAkron

    hAkron Well-Known Member

    I heard this, or should I say I overheard this conversation between a sales person and a customer in my local gun store the other day. The difference between the HD and the non-HD is that the HD can shoot hotter loads. As far as I am aware those are the only differences. A quick google search would suggest that there are not too many ammo manufacturers making +p .380. The only one that I could find is buffalo bore. If there is much of a cost difference between the two models I would say get the non-HD. I've shot the P238 and I think it's a great little gun.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Only thing I can think off is the differance in weight.

    The alloy frame P238's weigh 15.2 oz empty.
    The all steel HD model weighs 20.1 oz empty.
    That would make it easier on the hand when shooting, but harder on the body to carry it all the time.

    My SIG P232-SL only weighs 17.6 oz, and it's a lot bigger gun then the P238.
    My KelTec P3AT .380 weighs a little over 10 oz.

    If I was going to CCW a gun weighing nearly 25 oz loaded all the time, it would be a 9mm, .40 S&W, or .38/.357 Mag, not a .380 ACP.

  4. trippstadt

    trippstadt Member

    Thanks, hAkron.

    rcmodel, you said, "If I was going to CCW a gun weighing nearly 25 oz loaded all the time, it would be a 9mm, .40 S&W, or .38/.357 Mag, not a .380 ACP."

    Why is that? Increased stopping power? Cheaper ammo?
  5. 2wheels

    2wheels Well-Known Member

    I have a normal Nitron finished P238, recoil isn't bad at all for such a small gun. It's controllable even when shooting one handed (which I do alot with this tiny gun).

    Great gun, I love mine. Not sure if the added weight will do your wife any good unless she's really recoil sensitive.
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam


    We just went through a two year period where you could hardly buy, beg, borrow, or steal .380 ACP ammo. Had I not been a reloader, both my .380's would have been gathering dust those two years.

    There was always 9mm, .40, & most other calibers on the store shelves.

    It appears the .380 ammo shortage is over now, but prices have more then doubled.
    9mm ammo is way cheaper then .380 now.

    Plus, yes, if I carry a heaver gun, it will be in a bigger caliber for better power to weight ratio.

  7. 2WheelsGood

    2WheelsGood Well-Known Member

    There appears to be a size difference between the HD and the non-HD. My dad just bought an HD and ordered a Comp-Tac holster for a P238. It didn't fit. He sent it back, and now when you go to the Comp-Tac site, the choices under "Sig" show "P238 (Not HD)". My dad thinks the slide is wider.
  8. rellascout

    rellascout member

    The one on the left is the HD. It is my understanding that now they are all coming with the HD slide. 9 change on the P238. IIRC



  9. Flint Ridge

    Flint Ridge Well-Known Member

    As rellascout noted, I wonder if there really is an HD or a Non-HD anymore? That is if you get one that has not been sitting around. I'd get the newest possible.
  10. 2wheels

    2wheels Well-Known Member

    It's a specific model on the Sig website that weighs 5 more ounces than my Nitron model, so yeah there is an HD and non-HD P238s.

    Whether or not Sig incorporated certain HD features into the rest of the P238 line? I don't know...
  11. NG VI

    NG VI Well-Known Member

    From what I heard, maybe not right, but I think that the HD slide either is or will be standard on them all now, and from what was posted up here the HD model has a steel frame as well.
  12. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Well-Known Member

    HD is all stainless, the others are not. My understanding is the HD slide is now on everything like was stated above.

    I bought the HD. The difference in weight is not significant to me.
  13. trippstadt

    trippstadt Member

    Yes, the salesman noted that the HD was "all" stainless steel. I asked him what benefit that was, and he indicated that it would reduce the recoil (nothing about being able to use "hotter" loads). Since my wife shoots my P220 Sport .45 just fine, I don't think the recoil is much of an issue.

    I'd love to get THIS gun for her, but in a 9mm.
  14. rellascout

    rellascout member

    The design and size of the P238 will be snappier than the 45 round out of a P220 sport. 45 is a push where 380 auto out of these little guns is much more of a snap IMHO.
  15. 2WheelsGood

    2WheelsGood Well-Known Member

    True, but the P238 is also extremely tame compared to the other small pocket .380s. I was shocked how mild it shoots compared to my LCP.
  16. trippstadt

    trippstadt Member

    UPDATE: Had a couple of questions, and just got off the phone with Sig support. He confirmed the following:
    1. ALL P238's being delivered to dealers now have incorporated ALL of the mods / fixes developed over time to deal with past issues.
    2. ALL P238's do indeed have the stainless steel slide, same as on the HD.
    3. As far as the HD goes, in his words, "some people just like an all-steel gun. That's pretty much it, though it's true that there would be a slight reduction in the recoil on the HD"
    4. He indicated that it was not true that the HD handles a "hotter load", and that the .380 +p ammo is considered a non-standard ammo for any model of the weapon, and they recommend against using it.
  17. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member


    I recently obtained a pair of Hogue rubber grips for my P238 and the gun does not move around in may hand as much as with the factory ribbed grips.

    Granted, it is a personal preference thing and the P238's recoil is not bad, but I feel I have better control of the pistol.

    Something to consider for your wife. I am sure others will disagree.
  18. richardKatts

    richardKatts Well-Known Member

    All this talk and no photos to amount to anything, shameful....


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