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Old May 27, 2018, 09:54 AM   #1
Doug Ridley
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P238 safety

I am attempting to switch my carry from S&W .38 snubby to a p238 due to recoil and my arthritis and I'm having a VERY difficult time drawing and releasing the safety. Been practising a lot with empty chamber and mag. Feels very clumsy and strange. Almost dropped the pistol a few times. Any suggestions other than more practice? I only pocket carry due to the fact that I wear coveralls 90% of the time. I will also entertain a few suggestions for p238 holsters.
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Old May 27, 2018, 10:31 AM   #2
Doug Ridley
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Moved to where?
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Old May 27, 2018, 01:16 PM   #3
HighValleyRanch
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You might try flipping off the safety with your support hand as you come up to the two handed grasp. A little slower, but better than dropping the gun at. that point! That way you could ensure that you have a secure strong hand grip instead of fiddling around and then trying to get your grip back into correct position.
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Old May 27, 2018, 01:21 PM   #4
AL45
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My Wife and I both carry P238's and safeties seem to be about right. I have heard a couple of instances where people commented that they were too loose. Perhaps like HighValleyRanch said, you could try using your support hand. Great little guns by the way.
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Old May 27, 2018, 01:29 PM   #5
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Is your problem that your arthritis interferes with flipping the safety off, or is it that you are simply not accustomed to moving a safety lever as you raise the pistol? I mostly carry 1911s, so to me it's second nature to flip the safety as the gun comes up to eye level. I also have a Colt Mustang (which is what the P238 was copied from), and the safety is in the same place and moves in the same direction, so I have no problem with it.

If your problem is due to the arthritis, I second the idea of training to use the support hand thumb to flip the safety as you bring the pistol up to shooting position.
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Old May 27, 2018, 03:22 PM   #6
Mosin44az
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I owned a couple of P238s, and I recall the action of the thumb safety being a bit stiffer than a 1911’s. The support hand suggestion sounds good. Have also been reading about the new Smith EZ380, it sounds expressly designed for those shooters with reduced hand strength. Good review in the current American Rifleman.
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Old May 27, 2018, 03:39 PM   #7
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I just happen to carry one of these on a normal basis:
P 238 ( have two)
Kimber Micro 380
P 938
All of these and the Mustang were copied from the Star DK and all work the same, with the exception of the P 938, magazines interchange (Mustang, Sig, Kimber). The safety is very positive on each of the pistols, racking the slide easiest on the Kimber, each deadly accurate at personal protection distances and each easily concealed. I personally would not carry any of them without a holster.
The new Smith EZ 380 is quite a nice little pistol and super e z in all it’s operations, I have been using mine on pigs trapped in Texas this week.
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Old May 27, 2018, 04:21 PM   #8
Doug Ridley
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I still have pretty good hand strength, it's just that the recoil of my .38 begins to hurt if I shoot very much, so I want to switch to the .380. I like the possibility of flicking off the safety with my left hand. May work well. I may just need to practice the draw and thumbing off the safety until muscle memory kicks in. I just wonder what others think. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old May 27, 2018, 04:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
I have been using mine on pigs trapped in Texas this week.
.380 for dispatching hogs? I'd like to hear more about the effectiveness of that.
I don't have a .380 but because of the online ammo purchase ban in California this year, I bought a bunch of .380 in anticipation of future purchase on one.

I decided on this boutique ammo from "Precision One" company with 90 grain XTP bullets. A certain youtube penetration review showed that they consistenly drove to 14 inches in FBI gel tests with good expansion after testing many various types of .380
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Old May 27, 2018, 04:46 PM   #10
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Yeah, I think sweeping the safety off with your left thumb is the logical way to go too. It makes the most sense to me for most of what I can picture.
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Old May 27, 2018, 07:33 PM   #11
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High valley, I use whatever appeals to me each morning, a 9mm Hi Power, Sig 938 9mm, variety of .380’s, S&W Compact .22 or even my Marlin model 39 .22. All are quite effective as long as the pill is put in the brain which sometimes is quite a carnival act with a dozen hogs running in every direction. My buddy traps all year and I come down for a couple of months each Spring to work traps and hunt with night vision at 1 am.
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Old May 27, 2018, 10:38 PM   #12
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I find the safety on the P938 to be much less handy than that of a 1911, some of that due to the small size of the gun and safety, some due to the safety being designed more for the requirement that the slide can be racked with the safety engaged, than for fast disengagement.

After a year of practice, I'm comfortable using the safety, but would prefer that it ride higher and wider.
I'd recommend that you develop muscle memory with the strong-hand thumb, rather than a technique that requires both hands, as you might not have both hands available when you most need to put the gun into action.
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Old May 29, 2018, 05:18 PM   #13
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I don't use the safety on any of my pistols. As for the P238, I don't think it's a good choice for anyone with arthritis due to it being difficult to rack the slide unless it is cocked. Other than that...very nice carry. I have heard others confirm, and this is going to be my next purchase, that the Colt Mustang is very extremely easy to rack the slide. I've been told this by people who have arthritis too. You might look into it as a possibility. Of course Colt says don't carry it without the safety on or with a bullet in the chamber but that's par for the course.
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Old May 29, 2018, 05:59 PM   #14
HighValleyRanch
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FROM SIG'S WEBSITE:
Quote:
the sig p238, like the mustang, lacks the grip safety of the full-size 1911, so you carry it with the safety on or with the hammer down. That means you have to carry with a good holster, to keep the pistol safe and the controls undisturbed, or lower the hammer (over a live round) every time you load the pistol. Upon drawing, you either sweep off the safety or cock the hammer, just like the full-size gun. . Continue reading at: http://aliengearholsters.com/blog/sig-p238-vs-sig-p938/
Carrying without the safety on looks like an accident waiting to happen, even in a good holster with the SA. No grip safety, safety off ready to fire on a light single action? Maybe I'm just being overly cautious but I like to pocket carry or AIWB.

No decocker, so having to lower the hammer down on a live round seems equally dangerous. You have to pull the trigger to lower the hammer down? And is there a drop safety with the hammer down?

Third choice is on empty chamber and Isralli draw.

Looks like the best choice is safety on, using the off hand if dexterity in the strong hand to reach the safety is a problem.
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Old May 29, 2018, 07:55 PM   #15
Jazzgun
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Quote:
Carrying without the safety on looks like an accident waiting to happen, even in a good holster with the SA. No grip safety, safety off ready to fire on a light single action? Maybe I'm just being overly cautious but I like to pocket carry or AIWB.
Oh...right! I agree when it comes to SA you must be very careful. I don't have any little kids around to worry about. I don't like most holsters. And I'm talking about 'pocket carry' not carrying in my purse or storage etc.
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Last edited by Jazzgun; May 29, 2018 at 08:02 PM.
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Old May 29, 2018, 08:30 PM   #16
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High Valley Ranch
FROM SIG'S WEBSITE:

Quote:
the sig p238, like the mustang, lacks the grip safety of the full-size 1911, so you carry it with the safety on or with the hammer down. That means you have to carry with a good holster, to keep the pistol safe and the controls undisturbed, or lower the hammer (over a live round) every time you load the pistol. Upon drawing, you either sweep off the safety or cock the hammer, just like the full-size gun. . Continue reading at: http://aliengearholsters.com/blog/sig-p238-vs-sig-p938/
Carrying without the safety on looks like an accident waiting to happen, even in a good holster with the SA. No grip safety, safety off ready to fire on a light single action? Maybe I'm just being overly cautious but I like to pocket carry or AIWB.
That's why they said safety on, or hammer down.

Quote:
No decocker, so having to lower the hammer down on a live round seems equally dangerous. You have to pull the trigger to lower the hammer down? And is there a drop safety with the hammer down?
Yes, the P238 (and the Colt Mustang, and the Kimber Micro 380 -- which are all basically the same gun) has a firing pin block.

Quote:
Third choice is on empty chamber and Isralli draw.
Not a good choice for someone with arthritis, though.

Quote:
Looks like the best choice is safety on, using the off hand if dexterity in the strong hand to reach the safety is a problem.
Agreed.
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Old May 30, 2018, 02:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
As for the P238, I don't think it's a good choice for anyone with arthritis due to it being difficult to rack the slide unless it is cocked. Other than that...very nice carry. I have heard others confirm, and this is going to be my next purchase, that the Colt Mustang is very extremely easy to rack the slide.
My understanding is that those two pistols are extremely similar. I doubt that the difference in ease of racking the slide is substantial. If you object to the function of the P238, I would advise getting your mitts on a Mustang before buying.
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