Quantcast

What's unsound about the SIG P238 design?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Sergei Mosin, Apr 22, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Sergei Mosin

    Sergei Mosin Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,784
    Lifted from another thread...

    So my question: what is unsound about the design of the Colt Mustang/SIG P238/SIG P938? I ask because I'm contemplating the purchase of a P238 in the near future.
     
  2. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Messages:
    641
    Location:
    S. Florida
    I just recently sold one, but mine was great. No hiccups and very easy to shoot. The only reason I sold it was because the muscle memory of deactivating a thumb safety is different than what I've trained with.
     
  3. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    21,215
    Location:
    northern california
    The recoil spring tunnel is too short for the length of slide travel needed to insure reliable function in a wide range of conditions.

    It has a long history of spotty function through its evolution from the Excam 380 and FIE Titan
     
  4. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Messages:
    641
    Location:
    S. Florida
    How was the reliability on the Colt that it seems to copy?
     
  5. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    21,215
    Location:
    northern california
    The Colt Government seemed to work OK, the Mustang had the same problems as it's Italian predecessors.

    The problem of course is that the higher pressure 9x19mm cartridge has more energy to contain in the same envelope. It would be the same issue manufacturers ran into when they first tried to chamber 9x19mm pistols in .40 without accounting for the other changes required.
     
  6. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Messages:
    6,011
    Location:
    outback Kentucky
    I have 2 of the older Mustangs and mine work fine . I carry with Corbon DPX or Buffalo Bore . I like the Mustang .
    I did at first change the plastic guide rod. to a steel one. That turned my first mustang in to a jammer . I went back to the plastic and all is fine . Both my Mustangs from the early 1990's.
     
  7. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,857
    Location:
    Morgan County, Alabama
    The newer revision of the Sig P 238 is said to be better than the first.
    When I got my 238 it had the original recoil spring, a round coil spring. After several boxes of ammo I noticed that the end of the spring was getting .... "scrunched" for lack of a better term. There were no malfunctions but had the problem become worse, it's very possible there would have been. Then the newer "flat" coil spring came out, and I bought this to replace the scrunched spring.
    So far no problems.
    I don't know about the "recoil spring tunnel ...(being) too short for the length of slide travel needed to insure reliable function." That may be true. I think the Ruger LCP's tunnel may be shorter and they're well respected. Anyhow, with my new spring installed I am still waiting for the reliability to go south.
    To be fair there are people on this forum who have had problems with this gun. I recall a photo showing a failure to feed with the round jamming the slide open.
    Maybe I lucked out and got a good one .....:)
     
  8. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    21,215
    Location:
    northern california
    What does it tell you when something as simple as changing the material of the guide rod...and the attendant mass...causes a gun to start jamming?

    What it says to me is that the gun is right on the edge of functionality.

    We all make choices and balance features of our guns. I've just seen enough guns, of all types, fail, that I tend to lean a bit more toward reliability.
     
  9. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    21,215
    Location:
    northern california
    That is a sign that the coils of the spring had compressed so far that it had turned into a solid column. It was beating itself to death and was transmitting the recoil forces to it's seat in the frame. The flat springs give the column more room to compress without becoming solid.

    The 238 and the LCP are very different designs
     
  10. mingansr

    mingansr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2012
    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    S.E. Wisconsin
    p238 is a sweet shooter, as well as being SAO. if it wasn't for the new XDS, coming out eventually in .40sw, i'd probably get it for pocket carry. mini 1911, you might say.
     
  11. crracer_712

    crracer_712 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    Messages:
    439
    Location:
    Kansas
    Where is the P238 made? I just bought one and it only references the Exeter, NH USA. Both on the gun and in the manual, which is where I assume, the USA corporate HQ is.
     
  12. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,663
    Location:
    Arizona
    My P238 has been perfect from day one and I don't believe for a second that it is a flawed design. Maybe there were recoil spring problems early on, but if that were the case the problem has certainly been corrected.

    If you look through all the threads here you will see overwhelming satisfaction from P238 owners.

    If the P238 is a flawed design it would have shown up in most guns, which is clearly not the case.
     
  13. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    21,215
    Location:
    northern california
    It is the curse of hanging out with the country's foremost SIG gunsmith, who also happens to have been around when the original designs were new.

    I figure with the hundreds of SIGs he sees in the shop every year, plus his relationship with the SIG factory, he has a pretty creditable basis for his opinion
     
  14. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,663
    Location:
    Arizona
    I'm not impressed with titles, especially when it comes to the gun culture but I know what my experience with the P238 is and what I see in threads here and other boards are overwhelmingly very satisfied P238 owners.

    You said that the Kahr is a better design, but that's not what I'm seeing in threads here.

    I'm not knocking the Kahr, I even own two of them and I like them very much, but IMO the P238 is a better gun.
     
  15. JR47

    JR47 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,414
    Location:
    N. Georgia
    I own an older Colt Government Model .380, and it has been totally reliable. I replaced the recoil spring, and the plastic recoil spring rod. The rod is now metal. There were no signs of spring issues, just old, and about 3/8" shorter than the new one. The metal rod has likewise caused no issues.

    Hanging out with with the country's foremost SIG gunsmith, an opinion at best, will give you a perspective into the fact that Sig guns may have some issues, but little more. Then again, hanging out with the country's foremost Glock gunsmith will result in the same stilted view.

    The P238 guns that I've been shooting have functioned quite well. Something a basic design flaw should have prevented.

    FYI, changing a Kahr recoil spring to a 5% stronger version has affected the reliability of several friends Kahrs. Does that also mean that:

     
  16. Nakanokalronin

    Nakanokalronin Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    338
    Ummmm how does anyone know anything about the UNRELEASED 938?? :confused:

    The Shield was just released, everyone is spouting how awesome it is with most people not even shooting it or barely a few hundred rounds and they have something to say about a pistol that hasn't even hit the shelves yet? :rolleyes:

    The P238 had some hiccups in the beginning like 99% of firearms do today. I've had zero problems with mine and see numerous reports of the same thing. Next time you see a negative P238 report, ask what type of mags, recoil spring and how long ago they bought the P238 to know what's really going on.

    I'm looking forward to the 938 to hit the shelves but you can't base how it's going to be by someone who owned a first run P238 (if they owned one at all) and sold it without knowing what was going on.
     
  17. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,663
    Location:
    Arizona
    I have two regular Sig P238 mags, two stainless after market magazines (don't remember where I purchased them) and two colt magazines I purchased from Midway and they all work perfectly in the P238.

    So far I have only used the regular recoil springs and have not had a problem. I ordered six recoil springs from Sig when I got my P238 and when they are used up I will get the newer flat springs.
     
  18. Nakanokalronin

    Nakanokalronin Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    338
    Mine came with the 3rd Gen mags but 1st Gen recoil springs. I have a set of the 1st,2nd and 3rd gen(flat) recoil springs ready to go even though the originals haven't given me any problems so far.

    Rumors have it that all P238 slides are of the "HD" thickness but I'm not sure if that's true. Mine is the thinner slide and no problems so far with any ammo.
     
  19. LightningMan

    LightningMan Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,029
    I bought my P238 a couple years back, and it came with the older round coil spring. That spring went south soon after, under 300 rounds and it broke in two. Called SIG, and they sent me 2 more free of charge. This time I took measurements of the new springs OAL, then went to the range and shot a 100 rds. Then I measured that new spring again, and it was already shorter by 1/4 inch. Needless to say that spring didn't last either, then heard on a forum (maybe this one) that there was a new flat coil spring, so I give SIG another call, asking if I could get that new spring, which I got within a week. Sence then my P238 has been just fine with over 500 rds. through it and still going strong. LM
     
  20. Micro

    Micro Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Messages:
    155
    Location:
    Newport News, Virginia
    With all due respect, why mention whese guns? Comparing these to the P238 seems be a quintessential case of apples and oranges. The 238 wasn't directly derived from these guns, and any similarities seem to be anecdotal after all this time.

    I spend a lot of times on the sigforum. The P238, for several years now, seems to be a very highly regarded pistol. Mine has been 100% relaible with 90 and 95 grain FMJ, Hornady Zombie Defense, Gold Dots and Golden Sabres. I wouldn't call that on the edge of functionality.
     
  21. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    21,215
    Location:
    northern california
    Then you should be familiar with the linage of the 238...the information comes directly from a thread complaining about the lack of reliable function of the 238 on the Sigforum and the explanation posted by Bruce Gray.

    Did you believe it was a Colt design?
     
  22. Micro

    Micro Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Messages:
    155
    Location:
    Newport News, Virginia
    Would you not agree the P238 is closer to the Colt design than the FIE and Excam designs? I acknowledge there are similarities among them, but isn't the Colt design distinctly different enough to warrant not lumping it together with the FIE and Excam models? Weren't the FIE and Excams simple blowback designs like the Beretta, unlike the tilting barrel design of the Colt/Sig? Maybe I'm wrong, but the similarities between the FIE/Excam and the Colt/Sig seem limited.

    I respect Bruce Gray. But I suspect there is a bit of "he said it, it must be true" thing going on. Gray is one voice (albeit a talented and knowledgable one) in a sea of voices (many talented and knowledgeable). I've seen a lot of opinions on the P238 over the years and they are, by and large (and much more frequently) positive. My own experience has been positive.

    My opinion is that the P238, despite what it was when it was intially introduced, has evolved into a well made and reliable pistol. A huge number of people seem to agree. Maybe an opinion posted years ago when the pistol wasn't really what it is today no longer applies.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  23. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,663
    Location:
    Arizona
    Micro is exactly right. Despite what our resident P238 basher says every thread on the P238 pistol in this message board is overwhelmingly positive.
     
  24. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    21,215
    Location:
    northern california
    That is what I said nine post ago
     
  25. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,550
    Location:
    Hawkeye East
    According to Bud's Hi-Point enjoys a 4.7 out of 5.0 star rating. I choose to believe the crowd doesn't often distinguish between perception and reality.

    For those who own the Sig and are aware if its "so called" flaws, could any of you provide the spring tunnel dimensions and the compressed spring dimensions or did no one check? Always curious to see people using "Mine is defying the odds" as proof positive while branding a professional opinion as anecdotal.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice