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Sig P238

Discussion in 'Range reports' started by ghrit, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Lots of you will remember my wailing and gnashing of teeth with the Ruger LCP. If not, have a wink here ==
    Carry piece problem solved Maybe - Ruger LCP review | Survival Forums

    Recently, as in a couple weeks ago, the LCP went away, replaced by the subject Sig. So far, the shooting has been limited to break-in and general testing with a short range of ammo. (Fiocchi hardball, Federal JHP and a few of the very expensive Hornady Critical defense.) It choked on none of the above, even when I tried a deliberate limp wrist. For those that like 1911s like I do, this is as close to a mini 1911 as you can imagine, lacking only a grip safety to be essentially identical in form and function. No, it is NOT as small as the LCP, but small enough that it hides well on my slender frame. Moreover, these ancient bones and muscles have no problem racking, and the trigger travel is mercifully short in comparison to the LCP as well as smooth and nearly crisp right out of the box; I expect that will improve with more breaking in. The slightly heavier than the LCP weight aids tremendously with control and recovery as does the larger size. (Big meathooks will have problems with the size.)

    Accuracy testing will come later when I get a chance to bench it. For now, it looks to shoot a mite low when I was hammering falling plates at roughly 30 feet. White dot sights are easy to pick up, too, rather than the all black found on some.

    As of now, I'm using the supplied plastic paddle. That needed a mod to allow the tension screw to tighten up enough to hold the pistol in, and it loosens up in a matter of minutes in use, NFG. I'll be looking for an IWB holster in the not too distant future, and getting an extended mag for it simply for the extra round, it's not needed for my grip.

    Worth twice the price of the LCP? So far, an unqualified yes. Subject to the results of accuracy testing, I can't see a reason to change my alleged mind.
  2. john316

    john316 Monkey+

    i have had a sig238 for several years.............as for accuracy...it is great............the night sights are great
    1200 rounds with NO problems what so ever
    i plan on moving up to a Sig 938
    i also have a Sig 226............also great in every way...........2600 rounds later

    i lust after a Sig 227
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Following up- Took it to the range today for more breakin and see what it can hit. At 50 feet, I proved that it shoots low, very low. No pic of the target, it is embarrassingly poor, shots all over, some called some not; I don't want to show how bad. All the same, at 50 feet, all were torso and abdomen hits. Now, I have to add, that there are a couple things working against me. The barrel is not bushed like a 1911, and there is some very minor movement between the barrel and the slide. Not enough, I don't think, to affect torso hits, but Susan Anthony is safe. There is also a bit of inconsistency with the trigger, especially noticeable on the last round in the mag. The rest of the rounds feel all over the place, methinks more breakin will cure at least some of that. (And there's the old man tremor factor as well.)

    And the brass goes inconsistently everywhere; found only about 2/3 of the MTs in the grass. For the record, PPU JHP 94 gr. No functional problems at all.
    Tully Mars likes this.
  4. Bud

    Bud Monkey++

    Sigs are 'combat sighted' as opposed to most American made guns. That is, if you are holding the front sight at 6 o'clock of where you want your point of impact, you will hit low. Instead, make your point of aim to have the front sight literally cover where you want the point of impact.

    I carry a P938 every day. I traded up from a Sig P238 as soon as the 938 was introduced.
    Ganado likes this.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Understood. This one is LOWer than that. WAY lower. That said, it ain't a combat piece, but knowing how low makes it at least discouragement. I'll be going after closer range testing next trip out. Thanx for the tip, all the same.
  6. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Nice weapons, well shoot for the head and get the heart :)
    Tully Mars and ghrit like this.
  7. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    SIG Sauer P938
    By Walt Rauch - Last updated: Thursday, August 23, 2012 -

    [​IMG][​IMG]Editor’s Rating

    Users’ Rating (Click a star to rate this gun.)
    Rating: 7.1/10 (384 votes cast)
    Summary: Walt Rauch’s review of and rating for the SIG Sauer P938 pistol, including a range report, photos, MSRP, specs, user ratings and user comments. (Click here to see all of Rauch’s pistol reviews.)
    Editor’s Review
    The author’s sample P938 Nightmare, from the left.

    Early this year, SIG Sauer announced the P938, and updated/bigger version of it’s P238 pistol, which was introduced in 2009. I obtained a sample of the P938 Nightmare model and put it through its paces. My review follows below. The Details As noted above, the SIG P938 chambered in 9mm is an updated version of SIG’s P238 chambered in .380 ACP. With the P238 being a locked-breech, short-recoil-operated pistol, the action is more than sufficient to handle the more powerful 9mm round. In one sense, the original—the P238—is overbuilt for .380 ACP (many other pocket pistols in this caliber successfully work with a more simple and less-costly-to-produce direct blowback system). Mechanically, the only change applied to the P238 to turn it into the P938 involved slightly enlarging to accommodate the longer-in-length 9mm cartridge. If you want to get picky about it, you can also include the new standard ambidextrous manual thumb safety of the P938, which is an extra-cost option on the P238. The single-action-only P938 resembles a miniaturized version of a 1911 pistol, yet mechanically varies from this ancient (but still quite effective) ancestor. One quickly-visible change: There is no manual grip safety.

    The P938 is reportedly available in seven configurations:

    • Rosewood, which features a Nitron-coated stainless steel slide over a dark hard anodized alloy frame. Hogue Rosewood Grips round out this package.
    • Blackwood, which features a natural stainless steel slide and black hard coat anodized alloy frame paired with Hogue Blackwood grips.
    • Extreme, which features a Nitron-coated stainless slide and black anodized frame. Hogue G-10 Piranha grips in black and grey round out this package.
    • SAS, which undergoes the SIG anti-snag treatment to remove all sharp edges and corners on the slide and frame. A natural stainless steel slide contrasts with the black hard coat anodized alloy frame and the stippled walnut grips.
    • Equinox, which features a polished Nitron two-tone slide paired with a black hard coat anodized frame. Tru-Glo front and SIGLITE rear sights and Hogue black Diamondwood grips complete this package.
    • Nightmare, which features a Nitron-coated slide on a dark, hard-anodized alloy frame with Hogue Black Diamondwood grips.
    • AG, which features a natural stainless finish on the slide, a dark, hard-anodized finish on the frame with contrasting controls, and black, checkered aluminum grips.
    Barrel lock-up is straight SIG, with the chamber hood mating with the ejection port. There is no barrel bushing, but there is a full-length, non-captive recoil spring on a metal guide rod.

    The author’s sample P938 from the right.

    It has an exposed and rounded hammer, ambidextrous manual thumb safeties and an overall length of 5.9″. It measures 3.9″ high and 1.1″ wide, and SIG says the trigger pull weight is 7.5–8.5 lbs. The barrel length measures 3″, and the gun weighs 16 oz. (without a magazine). The grip panels are checkered except for the horizontal strip centered on both in which “SIG SAUER” is cut into the smooth surface. Four blued Allen screws—two to a side—hold them in place. The grips extend upward, partially shielding the slide stop, magazine catch and thumb safeties. These safety flanges or shelves then protrude just enough for manipulation, while still providing some protection against accidental movement. I encountered one problem with this protection: When shooting with a high grip, part of the flesh of my shooting hand was pinched when I disengaged the ambidextrous safety. If I were to own this sample, I would experiment at softening and/or lowering the sharp edges of the panel beneath the safety so that the safety movement would push away, not trap, the flesh of my hand. For me, though, this is but a small price to pay for the advantages of easily operating the safety with either hand and lessening accidental disengagement, which I often manage to do when carrying or using other 1911 pistols lacking this thoughtful consideration. (My usual solution is to either remove the off-side safety or file the flange down to such an extent that it takes effort to operate it at all.)

    The author’s hand was pinched here.

    The P938 Nightmare’s slide comes equipped with SIGLITE night sights, which are held in dovetails on the slide. While not specifically addressed in the accompanying instruction manual, the SIGLITE sights, as well as the standard sights, are adjustable for elevation. Six rear and five front sights allow approximately a 2″ point-of-impact change at 25 yards. You adjust windage by moving either or both sights in their retaining dovetail cuts. The ejection port is quite large. There are seven grasping grooves to its rear. The spring-powered extractor, retained by a hollow pin, is on the ejection port’s right side. The sides of the slide have the SIG look, which is a centered relief cut with the top portion narrower than the lower portion. This treatment runs from muzzle to the rear of the ejection port. Examining the bottom of the slide shows a feature first used on the cartridge pick- up rail of the P238. This is a dome-shaped projection on the bottom forward portion of the rail, and its function, according to a SIG engineer, is to help ensure the last round’s empty case fully clears the gun. As was explained to me, when the last shot is fired and an empty magazine is in the gun, the dome then presses against the magazine follower as the now-empty case extracts and ejects. Also, the forward lower edge of the pick-up rail is beveled to aid the cartridge’s movement into the barrel chamber. The alloy frame has a decent-sized beavertail, relieved at its top, allowing the exposed grooved and skeletonized hammer to move down into it when the gun cycles. The magazine well is slightly beveled. The front strap and the mainspring housing are finely checkered. The horizontally-grooved slide catch, magazine release and ambidextrous thumb safety are all on the left side and frame-mounted in 1911 locations. The slide catch is above the trigger guard, the magazine catch is at the guard’s lower left rear and the manual safety is at the top-rear of the slide (on both left and right sides, of course). Safety note:You can manipulate the slide for loading, unloading or chamber inspection with the safety in the up or on position.

    The mainspring housing is checked, too.

    The trigger is grooved and the front strap checked.

    SIG has also addressed a problem I found with my Colt Government .380, on which the thumb safety is too easily dislodged. On the P938, the thumb safeties move positively but with authority in and out of on-safe or off-safe mode. The pivoting polymer trigger is vertically grooved on its face. My measurements showed trigger weights of 7 or 7.5 lbs., depending on where I placed the trigger gauge arm on the curved trigger face. Also as mentioned earlier, there is no grip safety or barrel bushing, but a passive firing pin safety system is in the slide and is similar to that used in other semiautos. The single, flush-fit, all-metal magazine holds six rounds and features six inspection holes on each side. An optional seven-round magazine is in the pipeline (it will come standard with P938 Extreme). I was sent one of these optional seven-round mags for inclusion in this article. The protruding magazine has a polymer spacer that fills in the space created by its additional length, with the collar fitting nicely and adding to the grip length. I found the collar improved the gun’s feel because I could now get a full three-finger grip. It actually adds only .5″–.625″ to the length of the frame, but I’d go with this setup over the flush-fit magazine for everyday carry unless maximum concealment is absolutely necessary.

    Don’t depress the ejector too far when disassembling!

    When the recoil assembly is correctly installed (unlike here), the notched area won’t visible.

    Disassembly To disassemble the P938 (after ensuring the gun is unloaded and magazine removed), move the slide rearward until the slide disassembly notch is aligned with the slide-stop tab. With slide stop removed, the slide comes off to the front of the frame, but take care not to lose control of the non-captive recoil spring on its full-length, stainless steel guide rod. Remove this assembly with forward pressure and a lift. You can then drop the barrel down and out of the slide. For those familiar with the Colt Government .380, there was a problem of sear spring over-ride of its ejector, which was corrected by Colt with a user-installed metal clip. SIG addressed this by having the lower edge of the sear spring captured in a notch cut in the lower forward face of the mainspring housing. When you re-assemble the P938, there are a few musts. You must make sure the narrower end of the recoil spring faces the rear on the guide rod. Also, the notched side of the guide rod must face toward the barrel. (If done correctly, you can’t see the notched area when the assembly is installed.) If you don’t do either of these steps, the gun will malfunction. Also—and this is another biggy—you must depress the ejector only enough to allow the slide full rearward travel on the frame. Push the ejector down too far and your next step is shipping the gun back to SIG. Per the instruction manual, “This condition is not correctable at the operator level—the pistol must be returned to SIG Sauer for repair.” For those who might have done this with the Colt .380 and managed to correct it, I don’t see this happening here because the internal parts are not the same. Range Report

    Bill Beradelli fires the author’s sample SIG P938 Nightmare.

    At the range, three of us shot this sample gun with a limited amount of ammunition, which included Federal Hydra-Shok 147-grain JHP, Hornady 124-grain JHP/XTP and Winchester 115-grain FMJ. We shot at 15 yards, seated, over a gun bag rest, with a Master Gamma Chrony chronograph, 300 feet above sea level in an ambient temperature of 73 degrees F. The groups listed below represent a five-shot average:

    • Federal Hydra-Shok 147-grain JHP: 931 fps, 2.125″ group
    • Hornady 124-grain JHP/XTP: 1,020 fps, 1.875″ group
    • Winchester 115-grain FMJ: 1,051 fps, 3.75″ group
    All the ammunition worked without any failures. (Note: SIG recommends changing the recoil spring every 1,500 rounds for best functioning.) The only limitations I found were the same as what I had with the P238. Down-range accuracy depends on distance to target, but more important for me was how well or not I managed the trigger. Most important, however, was how well or not I maintained the same stiff arm hold while firing. The short sight radius didn’t help either. I did try the longer magazine and found the results to be the same, but I felt I was expending less effort to get there. That said, the P938 is not a bulls-eye pistol unless the “target” is a well-placed defensive shot or two, three or more fired in self defense. For this purpose, the P938 will dot an eye, so to speak. Final Thoughts With SIG introduction of the Model P938 semiauto pistol chambered in 9mm, we now have a quite viable miniaturized version of the 1911 handgun for personal defense. SIG has not re-invented anything, but certainly has improved on an existing design and has provided those devotees of the 1911 with a choice of caliber and operation well suited for personal defense in a highly-concealable package.

    The author’s target results from 15 yards, seated, using a table for a rest.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]Walt Rauch received a BS degree from Carnegie Tech and completed service as a Special Agent in U.S. Army Intelligence. Rauch was a U.S. Secret Service Special Agent and a Philadelphia, Pa., Warrant Unit Investigator. He now operates a consulting company for defense-weapon and tactical training. Rauch & Company services include expert witness testimony on firearms use and tactics. [​IMG] Rauch is also a writer and lecturer in the firearms field. He’s published in national and international publications including InterMedia’s Handguns, several Harris Publications specialty magazines, Police and Security News and Cibles (France). He is the author of a book on self-defense, Practically Speaking, a comprehensive guide to IDPA defensive pistol shooting. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The Specs
    Caliber Capacity OAL BBL Height Width Weight
    9mm 6+1, 7+1 5.9″ 3″ 3.9″ 1.1″ 16 oz. w/empty mag
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2015
  8. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey Site Supporter+

    Is it just the pictures or are the grips kinda wide? "Looks" like it might be kind of big for smaller hands?
  9. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Finally got to the range for a bit more formal accuracy testing, along with some more breakin. I had planned on 50 rounds, but rain ran me off at 20. So:

    Mid 70s, mild breeze over the left shoulder.
    At roughly 10 yards, bullseye centered on top of the front post, sandbags on the bench, two hand control grip.
    Same PPU ammo(*) as above, loaded 5 at a time in the supplied mag.
    Three flyers, all low. One called. I think, but do not know, that the other two were off the top of the mag.
    All other rounds within the 3 inch circle, all save 3 within the 2 inch, and of those, 4 within the one incher. Close enough for me, given old eyes and new glasses. By eyeball, they tended toward the left, so there will be an adjustment made with a drift to correct that a tad, and as suggested by @Bud the front dot will be placed at the aiming point going forward. The trigger might get a bit of dressing, too; that has yet to be decided.

    Henceforth and forevermore, PPU brass shall be known as evaporating brass. As soon as it hits grass, it vanishes. This trip, I managed to recover 1/3 of them that landed on the concrete under and slightly behind the bench. That's it folks!! I did NOT know that stuff could disappear so fast and effectively, so it had to evaporate.
  10. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    What you need is a "Brass Condenser"..... My Partner postulated (40 years ago) that these would save a lot of folks a pile of Money. You just plug it in, and it goes "Whump, whump, whump" and out comes a Tool you couldn't find for the last 10 Years... Must have vaporized..... AND if you leave it on for a couple of Hours, and it starts making all kinds of weird Noises, Watch out, because it likely is "condensing" that 30 Ton Hammer Punch Press, that disappeared from the old Factory down the Street.... "Blam" and it reappears in your Front Yard...... and the Cops, accuse you, of heisting it.....
    ghrit likes this.
  11. STANGF150

    STANGF150 Knowledge Seeker

    I've had my P238 for a couple years now. Its the SAS model. I didn't know it had night sights until three days later. I went to bed & wondered what was that glowing on my desk! It replaced a Diamondback DB380 that despite two trips back to the factory couldn't make it thru a full 6 rd mag without jamming, fte, or misfeeding. I broke it in hard with 100 rounds of FMJ, then 50 hollowpoints, then a 20rd box of Critical Defense. Only cooldown was the time it took to reload the one mag that came with it. That plastic Diamondback could never have managed that without a failure. As sumone mentioned its combat accuracy, it ain't no tackdriver. I carry it in a back pocket holster. When I'm carrying it the only way to know, is which pocket I pull my wallet from. sig-238-sas-07.
    Yard Dart, HK_User and Ganado like this.
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Mine is Plain Jane, black on black, so to say. Those white dot sights DO glow, and I didn't know that either until I was out on the deck one evening after dark and noticed it.

    I can't say I love the supplied paddle holster, I think I want an IWB, need to do some comparo shopping soon. Now, if only spare mags weren't near 50 bux, I'd get a couple more. Gotta save up a bit, then do the needed.
    HK_User likes this.
  13. STANGF150

    STANGF150 Knowledge Seeker

    I did manage to find ONE aftermarket mag for it. It was even a 7 rd Mag. Not found any since! I think the dinky lil holster that came with mine is around here sumwheres! Its prolly in my drawer full of unused, useless, worthless gun related junk. So far only actually Bad thing about my Sig P238, is for the high price, it should come with more than one dinky lil magazine!
    HK_User and ghrit like this.
  14. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    I understand this is a 238 thread so I'll just suggest, why not the Springfield XDs in 45 acp?

    I've carried mine in a cross draw IWB so long that my wife had to remind me to un-a$$ it before we hit the Hosp the other day.

    I just like the pistol and am an advocate of the size and punch. Cross Bred Holster, no spare Mag, ready to go to/or stop a fight any time. Neighbors and delivery folks no longer make note of seeing it when I'm without a shirt.
    oldawg likes this.
  15. STANGF150

    STANGF150 Knowledge Seeker

    HK, one word "Concealable" Sig P238 hides better in my back pocket than any other would in IWB. For IWB carry when its not so dang hot that I can wear a cover garment, I have my Glock 36 in .45acp.
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