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Old July 23, 2009, 01:32 AM   #1
Skan21
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My Review of the Sig Sauer P238.

I don't know how many people actually care about this pistol, but I recently had a chance to fire 100 rounds through a broken in Sig P238. Here's the thing though. I don't know how well this pistol is going to sell. The thing is, some people really dislike the .380. And some people that like the .380, don't like single action pistols. So this pistol, in my opinion, is going to be a niche gun. A cult favorite, like the Colt Mustang. Anyway:

When I first picked up this pistol, I was amazed at how light it is. I think it only weighs in at 14ozs or so. Loaded up with 6+1, it weighs maybe 18ozs or so. I was firing it at my local rental range, so I'm not sure how many rounds had been through it; possibly 1,500 aprx. And they probably haven't cleaned it since they got it! It was extremely fouled up with powder. The magazine was very worn also. I picked up the tiny pistol, and it immediately felt good in my hand. Very natural, and it points naturally, and as quick as a snake. My wife liked the feel also. It really was not what I expected, as I don't like the grips on normal Sigs (although I've never shot their 1911's, so I'm not sure how this pistol compares.).

I really liked it initially, but after I loaded it up, I found a fairly serious problem. The slide is well fitted, with no real play to it, but the same was not true for the ambi safety. It was badly fitted to say the least. On a decent 1911, the safety snaps on and off, with no take up. This safety had take up on the way up, with a positive snap, and it was the same way disengaging the safety. I can't really describe it any better than that. The trigger was very good, with only a very slight bit of creep. My wife had no difficulty chambering a round, which is sometimes the case for women with ultra compact .380's. She can't chamber a round in any of my semi's, but she had no problem here. I shot first, one handed (this pistol is really too small to need both) and found it to be very accurate. At 10 yds, combat distance, the Sig put up groups about the size of my palm. Recoil was very manageable. In fact, the palm sized groups were all rapid fire, one handed. My wife shot it even better, taking her time. She grouped into about 2". She liked this pistol a lot. I shot about 60 rounds, and she (doesn't really shoot more than 1 or 2 magazines normally) shot about 40! It was a miracle! She wants one of these, and once I explained what single action meant, she was more excited. She is all about safety, and I feel that with it being single action, and with a manual safety, she would actually shoot it a lot.

So that's what I think. Oh, and 3 magazine malfunctions. The Sig FTE 3 times, and I was extremely perplexed. All the rounds but the last one would extract and feed reliably. So finally, I inspected it after the last FTE, instead of dropping the magazine to inspect it. And found that the magazine follower was blocking the chamber! The feed lips were probably bent. A decent mag would certainly fix the problem. No failures to feed, and under normal conditions, no FTE. I will be buying one for my wife, probably for Xmas. With a very small bit of fitting, and cerainly sturdier magazines, It will be a fine CCW for my wife, or just fun to shoot, if she decides not to CCW. Recommended for wives everywhere. And I liked the little guy too!
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Old July 23, 2009, 01:57 AM   #2
IdahoG36
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I have been looking at getting a nice small .380 for summertime carry, and have narrowed my choices down to the Sig P238 and the new Kahr 380. I am leaning more towards the Kahr. I believe it weighs 9.9oz unloaded, 6+1 capacity, and I know that Kahrs have great triggers and are very accurate. I haven't had a chance to handle or shoot either of them, so I plan to try and do so before I make a decision.
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Old July 23, 2009, 02:30 AM   #3
Skan21
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Good luck getting a sample to shoot for the Sig. I've heard that they are a demon to find. I would lean towards the Sig only because it's single action. The Kahr might be cheaper though.

Last edited by Skan21; July 23, 2009 at 05:48 AM.
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Old July 23, 2009, 11:09 AM   #4
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I'd heard that the price was supposed to be something like $400?
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Old July 23, 2009, 04:18 PM   #5
Rex B
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They range from $400 - $500 or more, 4 models.
I just read there is a new premium model with wood grips and night sights.

I shot one at a range South of Fort Worth.
good shooter, but I had some jambs.
I did not look at the safety, but the whole pistol felt a bit loose, unlike my Colt Mustang. The safety on the Mustangs ( I have two) are very positive. Note that the Mustang was changed to add a circlip on the right end of the safety shaft. Did Sig miss that part when they copied it?
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Old July 23, 2009, 05:47 PM   #6
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Would Cylinder & Slide's Mustang ambi fit, or be an improvement if it were fit?
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Old July 23, 2009, 08:20 PM   #7
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Never shot one before myself. I'd assume alot of the malfunctioning was due to a lack of a "good" cleaning. Along with several inexperienced shooters doing god knows what to them. I'm very pleased that you actually got to spend your money wisely. (rent a gun you enjoyed) As you see I'm a SIG slappy, seems the SIG threads as of late have been relatively hostel. Nice to see a happy SIG user still exists here. LOL

But.... I actually was really waiting for an opportunity to get my hands on a PK380. When they start floating around. I've got a PPS and I love it. Thats kinda what got me rolling in that direction. But my mind changes quite frequently when it comes too weapons. For instance, I was gonna nab an XDm this coming week. But I just ran across a P229 chambered in .40 for 600 bucks. I had to jump on that one. Now the XDm must wait.
Quote:
but the whole pistol felt a bit loose
That is a very well known characteristic of a SIG pistol.
Quote:
Did Sig miss that part when they copied it?
I guess they did.
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Last edited by got_the_itch; July 23, 2009 at 08:29 PM.
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Old July 23, 2009, 10:36 PM   #8
Skan21
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The PK380 is overall a much better pistol than the P238. I just thought that the P238 was a lot of fun, and a novel experience. My wife loved it, I just liked it. However, if I got a .380, it would probably be the Beretta Cheetah, or PK380.
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Old July 23, 2009, 11:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
The PK380 is overall a much better pistol than the P238.
Huh? You need to help me out here with this one. What makes you say that?
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Old July 24, 2009, 12:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
I have been looking at getting a nice small .380 for summertime carry, and have narrowed my choices down to the Sig P238 and the new Kahr 380. I am leaning more towards the Kahr. I believe it weighs 9.9oz unloaded, 6+1 capacity, and I know that Kahrs have great triggers and are very accurate. I haven't had a chance to handle or shoot either of them, so I plan to try and do so before I make a decision.

But Idaho, you already have an awesome little Kahr PM9.

I have no problem at all carrying mine inside pants pockets, with a "Pocket Grabber" holster from High Noon Holsters:




This is one really slick holster for pocket carry. And they make it for a whole bunch of pistol models. The material on it is similar to the DeSantis Nemesis, and it has an additional "hook" in the design to further insure that the holster stays inside your pocket when you draw. It really works well.

-
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Old July 24, 2009, 12:31 AM   #11
Skan21
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Quote:
Huh? You need to help me out here with this one. What makes you say that?
I thought that I had shot the PK380, but it was The p99. My bad.
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Old July 24, 2009, 06:27 AM   #12
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SIG's Loose?

My P229 isn't loose. Guess I got a bad one.

No, the slide/frame fit isn't Les Baer tight, but it isn't rattling around on my hip either.
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Old August 11, 2009, 06:05 PM   #13
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Although I have not shot many 380's all I have to compare the 238 to is the Ruger LCP. We rwere recently able to finally get some of these (they are hard to find), the first 2 were gone immediatly and I went to the range with one of our customers and we put 50 rounds through it. The difference compared to the LCP is like night and day, the 238 was better in every aspect. The recoil was very manageable and it was extremely accurate, not to knock the LCP but they are made to carry and not shoot very often. My wife decided that she liked the feel of the 238 so much she shot one and will now make it her carry gun, more due to the size and the low recoil factor. We recently received 6 more and low and behold Sig announced a "mandatory upgrade" guess thats the new PC way of saying recall. Sig is claiming a 3 to 5 day turn around so I will just wait and see. For those looking for a small pocket or backup gun I would suggest checking these out, they will be $200 or so more than a LCP, from my perspective it is well worth it.......
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Old August 11, 2009, 06:21 PM   #14
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I love mine

I love mine it is the sweetest shooting small caliber pistol i have ever shot. and i think they r going for more than $400 to $500, these things are so hard to find right now.
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Old August 27, 2009, 09:36 AM   #15
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If you are willing to get something as big as the beretta cheetah or the PK380, you might as well get a 9mm. Better round and cheaper.

The advantage of the SIG and the Colt Mustang are their size, which is much smaller than the beretta or PK 380's. Many shooters who have chosen the Mustang also like the single action function. Its hard to be accurate with a long double action trigger like the kahr (even if its smooth). It takes a lot more practice than shooting a single action where every shot is the same and the pull is relatively short.

This is my experience anyway. I took a long time comparing guns, both 380's and 9's before buying. This was before the LCP came out, so I got a Mustang and later a Kahr MK9 when the Mustang became so collectible (valuable).

Last edited by kiov; August 27, 2009 at 09:42 AM.
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Old November 3, 2009, 03:43 PM   #16
Oleg Volk
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A recent snapshot ot P238.



I wonder about the logic of vertical grip serrations.
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Old November 3, 2009, 04:02 PM   #17
bakon
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Rich
Do you got a link to that amidexrious saftey? Got a mustang and southpaw with it is a little more work. Do you need to change grips for it?
Thanks
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Old November 3, 2009, 04:06 PM   #18
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Very nice photo as usual, Oleg. I'm not sold on the grips either; I'm probably going to get some custom grips for my wife's P238.

Quote:
Rich
Do you got a link to that amidexrious saftey? Got a mustang and southpaw with it is a little more work. Do you need to change grips for it?
Thanks
I'm not Rich, but Customized Creationz does an ambi safety for the P238. See post #20: http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...ig-p238-2.html
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Old November 4, 2009, 12:22 PM   #19
RickB
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The ambi is no longer in C&S's online catalog (it was, very recently). I wonder if that CC installation is the C&S part, as opposed to their making their own? The blurb in the linked forum calls it a "Mustang" ambi, which makes me think CC is/was installing the C&S part, and may not be actually making or buying them currently. Worth checking into.
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Old November 4, 2009, 01:29 PM   #20
bakon
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Thanks for info- sent email.
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Old November 4, 2009, 06:55 PM   #21
guns and more
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I have the "rosewood" edition and love it. Black finish, night sights, and rosewood grips.
Quote:
The slide is well fitted, with no real play to it, but the same was not true for the ambi safety.
The baby Sig does not have an ambi safety, just on the left side.
There was a recall on the early models over the safety and I believe they resolved it. Mine is very positive, on and off.
There was also some problems with the magazine followers.
By the time I got mine (august) I guess they resolved all that because mine has been flawless.

Would I trade for a Kahr PM-380? Not in a million years.
(and I have a PM-9 I love.)

Now if only .380 would start showing up again.
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Old November 5, 2009, 01:20 AM   #22
michael t
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I was wondering about the safety my self .I didn't think SIG offered a ambi safety. May be range fit a old C&S Mustang ambi safety since was a range gun.
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Old January 15, 2010, 08:06 PM   #23
T.Paine
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Sig Sauer P238

I have had nothing but problem with this gun. I bought it new and it would not fire. Then we got it to fire, but it miss fired every round and the slide needed to be manually pushed forward to lock. The gunsmith could not make it work until he did some work on the extractor and the chamber. He also said they had sold three others just like this and they all had the same problem. The p238 has already been recalled once, you think they would have worked out all the bugs. Doesn't sound like the quality control is very good. I regret ever buying this product.

I ordered two clips directly from Sig on December 12, 2009 and told them about my problem. Sig Sauer billed my credit card for the clips and didn't initially send the product and never said anything about the problem. On December 21, 2009 I sent them an email asking why and they said the items we not in stock. I told them to cancel the order and credit my charge card. On December 30, 2009 the product arrived and I emailed Sig Sauer to ask for an RMA number to return the product. I have not heard back and they have not credited my card. Around January 5, 2010 I called and left my contact information on the phone message service and again requested an RMA. The company has been completely unresponsive even after I told them I would file a complaint.

I ended up having to file a BBB complaint and one with the NH attorney General.

Last edited by T.Paine; January 15, 2010 at 08:55 PM.
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Old February 4, 2010, 06:00 AM   #24
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Quote:
Around January 5, 2010 I called and left my contact information on the phone message service and again requested an RMA.
I've only left information a few times to the various companies that I've needed to call for assistance in some way. I can't recall anyone ever calling me back in response to a message that I'd left...

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Old February 4, 2010, 08:36 AM   #25
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i got my wifes rainbow p238 for 520 out the door,its a great little gun.
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