“An elegant weapon…for a more civilized age” Well, maybe the 1970s and early ’80s were not more civilized, but they did give us some cool guns . I've posted quick overviews of my P7, P9S and Steyr GB and here's my last from that era. I saw this little pistol for sale earlier this summer used (but barely, and with original box) at a very good price and couldn’t resist picking it up—I’m sucker for classic pistols from back then. I’d never even seen a P230 before and, other than that they were well-made blowback .380s I didn’t know a whole lot about them. My youngest child (the other shooter in the family) said that it looked like "something a robot cop from the future would use in a movie made in the 1980s"…which was a pretty apt observation. It was a nice evening to take some pictures on the back deck so I thought I’d give you guys a run down on its features. My pistol is the “SL” model, which is all stainless-steel, compared with the P230 which has an aluminum frame. Even though it’s all steel it still feels light in the hand, due to its slim size. The sides of the slide are lightly polished while the top is matte—it’s an attractive look. The slide serrations are very sharp and grippy, not uncomfortably so, but enough to get a good grip—which is a good thing as the recoil spring is quite stout. Grips are black plastic, with a very light pebbly texture—I like them, they’re smooth enough to slide your hand easily into a good firing hold, but stay in place nicely when you grip down. There’s a red chamber loaded indicator on the extractor (this is the unloaded position). And the typical (for its time) European-style heel clip mag release. The hammer is quite small, with just a little spur on it. The pistol was supposedly modeled after the Walther PP but one difference is the front takedown lever, instead of the pull-down trigger guard on the PP. The traditional SIG decocking lever is in its usual place, although it’s also smaller than SIG’s full-size pistols. As with the Walther, there’s no slide stop lever. Disassembly is easy…just rotate the disassembly lever down, pull the slide back and pull up, then slide it off the front. The barrel is fixed to the frame. The sights are typical “dot on post” SIG…the rear sight is undercut like the larger pistols. and the smallish front has a red dot. I’m not super crazy about the red, but I’ll keep it for now. It’s not like I’ll be shooting any bullseye matches with it . Here’s the sight picture: The bore axis is super-low…almost too low. I’ve got small hands and it fits me fine, but the slide is very close to giving me a bit of a bite! So, how does it shoot? It’s the first .380 pistol I’ve ever owned so I’ve got nothing to compare it with, but I was surprised at the punchy recoil from the round. It’s not painful by any means but you certainly notice it—the low bore axis means the recoil is straight back…there’s almost no muzzle flip, despite the super-fast slide action. It’s quite fun to shoot!