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Help me decide on a p238 or p938

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by AWZ1287, Dec 21, 2015.

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  1. AWZ1287

    AWZ1287 Member

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    I was all set on the p238 but I keep second guessing and going back to looking at the p938. I have had the chance to look at a p238 locally but I haven't seen a p938 in person. From the photos online they seem so close in size, but it is slightly larger. The ballistics are better for 9mm, but is the recoil difference from such a small gun worth it.

    9mm ammo is cheaper and plus I have a p226 and 92fs, so I could share ammo.

    Being it's a short barrel are the 9mm ballistics even that much better over the 380?

    How is the recoil from the p938 being such a small gun?

    What are some pros and cons of each?

    My Main question is, I plan on using it for Pocket carry, would the 938 fit in a standard front pocket of relaxed fit jeans?
     
  2. DeanV

    DeanV Member

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    I do not have a ton of different handgun experience (sr9c, pm9, and .22lr). But, recoil is manageable, especially with the extended magazine. Check out ammoquest on youtube. He tested a lot of 380 and 9 mm using the 938 for the 9mm tests. I would go with the 938, especially if you already stock 9mm ammo.
     
  3. Sergei Mosin

    Sergei Mosin Member

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    The 938 will fit just fine in your pocket.
     
  4. GoPappy

    GoPappy Member

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    The 938 might fit in relaxed fit jeans, but I can tell you that it won't fit in the front pocket of the regular fit jeans I wore when I tried it at the LGS. The butt stuck out of the pocket just a half inch or so. And that was with no holster. With a holster, it would have stuck out a little further.

    I did rent one at the range today. The little thing shoots well and accurately. It is definitely snappy - noticeably more than my PX4 (full size), PPQ and Bersa Thunder Pro 9 UC - but it was more manageable than I expected based on its diminutive size. The trigger is really nice.

    I came away feeling like it would be a perfect IWB deep concealment gun, especially for anyone who wants to carry cocked and locked with a great SA trigger pull. But if I was looking for pocket carry, I'd probably go with the P238 (which I haven't shot) or something much less expensive like the LCP (if I didn't want to carry cocked and locked).
     
  5. jame

    jame Member

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    I ended up with one in a trade and I love it. It's only 16 ounces, but handles like a traditional compact. Recoil is easily manageable, accuracy is pretty good, (only 50 rounds down the pipe so far.....I'll get better), and reliability is outstanding.

    While it may fit in some pockets, it's a little big to pocket carry for me. But carrying this little gem owb is a breeze. Carries like it's not even there, and it's easy to conceal. It's my new go to gun.
     
  6. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Absolutely.

    Frankly, I think the 238's trigger seems distinctly better than the 938's -- having shot several samples of each, and owning both a 238 Extreme (the wife's, actually) and a 938 Extreme (mine).

    But, while the 238 is smaller, I have much more confidence in most any 9mm load than the best .380 load.

    DSCN1101_zpshthyaxw0.jpg
     
  7. critter

    critter Member

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    938 all the way!
     
  8. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    My son had both, but because he shot the 238 so much better he eventually sold the 938.
     
  9. george burns

    george burns Member

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    938, you need to study Ballistics, rather than take other peoples opinion on what may save your life one day. I'll leave it at that, everyone is well intentioned, but this is serious stuff, not like which color do you like. There is a considerable difference in the end result of using one compared to the other.
    The 9mm is about twice as deadly as the 380 all things being equal. The 380 is marginal at best, and the differences in size are not worth the sacrifice in power and the ability to do the most damage if you hit a bad guy in the right spot, where the 380 may be enough "depending on too many variables to list", the chance of a stoppage with the 9 is just so much better, that it's not a comparison that is equal at all.
     
  10. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    And now the caliber war begins, so why not just carry a PM40? It's about the same size.
     
  11. george burns

    george burns Member

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    Any of these guns will fit in your pocket. I have had a PM9 in my pocket for 6 years with a spare +1 mag, with no problem, very common for me to put an XDS in there instead, "if I have a 45 as my main weapon that day". I get the Glock 19 in an IWB, and the 26 or PM9 in my pocket with no problem. The trick is a long cover shirt, like either a long tee shirt, or a Denim shirt, like Levi's makes that is worn not tucked in, and you can hide a cannon under it.
    If you are trying to wear a business suit and do this, then the PM9 will still work, but the others will print without a jacket on. That used to be seacamp time, now the PM works fine.I won't carry anything that is a compromise in order to avoid the 1 in 1000, trained eye that will see it. Especially now that the interpretation of printing has changed somewhat. You may see the outline, but unless you see the gun, no one is going to legally do much. I use a Remora any way so all you see is a full pocket on occasions where a suit is needed.
    I have gone 45 years without ever being "made" and asked for a license. So that is a good enough sign that what I do is working fine.
    You don't want to have to put 4 or 5 rounds in a big guy to stop him, unless you have no choice. 2 maybe 3 with a 9mm is going to do the trick, "I am talking about body hits", not many can hit a head shot in the heat of a gunfight. Over 50% of all shot's will be misses, closer to 70%, so with an 8 round handgun, assuming you practice and are a good shot, and hit 50% of your shots on target, you will have 4 hits. That should work with a 9mm, but it's a crap shoot with a 380 at any real distance past 10 yards. The further from the muzzle you get, the progressively the FPS are. And they are moving and shooting at you, "Generally assumed". Since you are not comparing apples to apples, you did bring the 9 vs 380 debate to bare on yourself.
    Any gun is better than no gun, you have picked 2 of the finest guns in their respective categories, I hate to say this, because it assumes too much, but here goes, Buy them both. You improve your odds dramatically with 2 guns, and you have many more "tries" at stopping the attack. Also watch what you use as bullets, as there are some really good 380 and crazy good plus P 9mm out there now. The corbon makes a 90 or 100 grain 380 round that I carried in mine when I still had an Lcp in the car. Up close it will probably do better than many 9mm straight up HP's will do, but it's a handful.
    Practice until you literally can't miss with both guns, "should you go that route", the controls and all else are the same, which is good, it's real easy to become confused or frozen during a real exchange of fire, when you aren't shooting you should be reloading, or moving, and good luck.
    I tried to give you some general perspective on the entire issue.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  12. 340PD

    340PD Member

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    Question for you 1911 style Sig guys that pocket carry.

    How do you do it? Cocked and locked?
    How does it draw?
    How do you prevent lint and such from getting into the internals? Even in a quality pocket holster my revolver and PM9 collect a lot of crud and they are pretty much snag free and sealed.
     
  13. Sergei Mosin

    Sergei Mosin Member

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    I carried my wife's P238 on occasion before I got my LCR. I carried it cocked & locked; I've carried various 1911s and guns with 1911-style safeties for years without ever having the safety knocked off. It draws slowly - just a fact of life with pocket carry. And lint happens with any mode of concealed carry, not just pocket carry; carry guns have to be cleaned from time to time whether or not they've been fired.
     
  14. GoldieMI
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    GoldieMI Contributing Member

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    I carry mine (both 238Equinox and 938SAS) in pocket carry - DeSantis Nemesis holsters
    Condition 1- Cocked and Locked
    238 has a better trigger and conceals nicer in jeans
    938 is more like a stuffed pocket even in Levi 550s.
    both are equally accurate but I have ~1000 more rounds down the lane with the 238. Never worry with either carry to be honest. CorBon 90grain in the 238 and Buffalo Bore 147grain in the 938.

    I'm a bigger Guy (6'1 and 250) but I think for pocket carry, the 238 just carries nicer. Just my two cents though.
     
  15. showmebob

    showmebob Member

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    For me, while both guns will fit into normal jeans, only the 238 will allow me to withdraw from the pocket with a normal grip on the gun. Anything bigger than the 238 won't allow me to get my hand with the gun out quickly.
    While the caliber wars will go on forever, I prefer the 380 with all copper bullets. They penetrate deeper than JHP and yes I've verified this with my testing. Recoil is about what a polymer 9mm feels like or slightly softer. I have not shot the 938 to compare.
    Good luck!
     
  16. jame

    jame Member

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    Screw the power rating difference.

    If you can draw your weapon and hit effectively, you're miles ahead of the guys that either left them at home because they were too big or carried a more powerful gun that they can't shoot as well.

    I carried a Ruger SP101 in .327 occasionally. It's bigger, it's harder to conceal, and it found itself staying at home. I switched to an LCP that I carried constantly. Any statistical guess how well armed I was over time?
     
  17. 25-5
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    25-5 Contributing Member

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    I have fired the P238 at 7yds. It has good sights for that distance and has manageable recoil even for my wife. I am a proponent of condition one carry, which the P238 allows. I was considering it for her and when I've got $800.00 to blow I may bite.
    For most encounters I think it's fine, but lately I have been concerned about barrel length. I have always carried a 1911. We have worked so well together for so long. I also like what the 5" barrel affords me in accuracy.
     
  18. toivo

    toivo Member

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    Caveat: I have shot three different P238s and only one P938. Having said that ...

    (a) The 238 trigger is better.
    (b) The 238 feels more balanced in the hand.
    (c) The felt recoil and muzzle flip on the 238 are WAY less than on the 938.
     
  19. labhound

    labhound Member

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    My wife has a P938 and loves it. She can shoot it fast, accurately, and recoil is a non issue.
     
  20. george burns

    george burns Member

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    As many of us have seen recoil is a very subjective thing. Some folks just don't feel it as much as others. I never really felt an uncomfortable recoil until my mid 60's when I developed arthritis in my hands. Up until then a 357 or 38 felt pretty much the same to me.
    Others are bothered by any recoil even a 38 or 32. So it's not surprising that the step between a 9 and a 380 affects people in different ways. I stopped 40's all together, mainly because the recoil annoyed me, where the 9mm and 45 don't because they tend to push straight back.
    The same is true for the 380 for me, they snap more than a 9 does in my hands, so the 9 is more comfortable to shoot in this case. In the 70's a 380 didn't bother me, I carried one for 20 yrs as a backup gun in NY. But shooting a friends PPK's hurt my hand, even though I still shot the snot out of it, as I should after all the years I carried one. It was not a good fit for me, and he who served in the MC, just didn't like it at all, and sold for a nano right after, so it's really hard to tell someone else what is good for them other than in a general sense or statistically by ballistics or FBI shootings, or some other such facts. If you can't shoot it well, it isn't for you, recoil or not.
    That's why I say line them up and shoot the same target with both guns and see which one is more suited for you.
     
  21. AWZ1287

    AWZ1287 Member

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    Thanks for the help. I'm leaning towards the 938. I'm hoping to find a range that has one to rent. I have a little time till I get my carry permit anyway.
     
  22. wild cat mccane

    wild cat mccane Member

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    2 P938s and I don't find the reset or trigger pull weight to be all that great.

    PPQ resets much faster (not a 1911 style gun) and about anything is lighter...
     
  23. drband

    drband Member

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    I pocket carry my p938 in a Alabamaholster.com front pocket holster in any kind of jeans or pants. I can't imagine an easier setup.
     
  24. Webmonkey

    Webmonkey Member

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    P938 is better

    The 938 is not just a bigger version of the 238, it is different in important ways. The extractor on the 238 is a joke, and I have many reliability issues even after coming back from the factory, and replacing the extractor. The extractor on the 938 is 3 times wider, I've had no extraction issues.

    The recoil spring on the 238 is weak and only has 2.75 inches to work with, causing it to only last 600 rounds because it crunches down against itself too easily. The 938 has a stronger spring, it is longer. And the guide rod has a little cup for the spring to back up into. It lasts longer.

    These differences tell me that sig knows about the problems, but refuses to redesign the 238. It's like the 938 was their opportunity to actually design something better, instead of making the old colt mustang shoot 9mm
     
  25. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    Interesting since I have over 1500 rounds through my P238 and am still on the original recoil spring and with only one failure to feed that I can remember.
     
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