Any Consensus on Sig P238?

Any Consensus on Sig P238?

This is a discussion on Any Consensus on Sig P238? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; After reading some owner's reviews of the P238, I decided to get one and all I have to do now is pick it up from ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array sedulous's Avatar
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    Any Consensus on Sig P238?

    After reading some owner's reviews of the P238, I decided to get one and all I have to do now is pick it up from the FFL. However, after doing more reading recently, I'm beginning to wonder if I made the right decision. It seems like some people have no problems with them and others have lots of problems. I read the initial problems with the magazine have been corrected. Is there any kind of positive consensus on the P238, or is it a wait and see? Thanks.


  2. #2
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    I have about 200 rounds through mine and have been very happy with it, much more pleasant to shoot than the P3AT and the sights are far better on the Sig.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    It is a marginal design. Some work well, some don't. Enough of them don't work to keep me from gambling on one as a defensive weapon. I might someday buy one as a range toy, if I have enough income to justify owing mere range toys that shoot .380 ACP; they really are fun to shoot, if my dimensionally identical Colt Mustangs were any indication.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array royal barnes's Avatar
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    I experienced several failures to extract during the first 50 rounds. Tuned the extractor and have had no difficulties in the last 650 rounds. Recoil is light, accuracy is excellent and it operates just like my Colt 1911's that I carry 98% of the time. I have been very pleased with mine.

  5. #5
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    My wife and I rented one a week or so ago and we both loved it. She perferred it over the LCP and as far as I was concerned it wasn't even a competition between the two. The only thing the ruger had a one up on was the size. (Which, its not that much smaller)

    She has decided on that for herself and I hope to get one shortly. We did not experience any problems with our rental. (it was however, a rental... plenty broke in!)

  6. #6
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    I'm sure that the P238 is a fine little firearm...I prefer to have the gun float the market for a year or two to 'prove itself' and get the kinks out.OMO
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  7. #7
    JD
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    My original 238 was one of the problem children, some specific models of 238 have had more issues than others. It's not a "design" issue, it's a quality issue. Sig screwed up in a couple of places and is getting things fixed. Having had a problem Sig 238 I would offer the following advice.

    1: Contact Sig and try and find the serial number ranges of the 238 line and try to find a more current Sig 238, as a hint, if it comes in a blue box, it's an older gun. The barcode stickers on the box should also have the date of manufacture if I'm not mistaken, I'll take a look at my box later this week.

    2: If/When you buy a 238, don't skimp on testing it out and take notes, inspect your spent brass for deformities and check your extractor for clocking every two or three mags.

    3: Inspect the gun after firing, don't just clean it, look it over. Inspect the area of the slide where the slide stop makes contact with the slide and check for peening.

    4: At the slightest hint of issue, contact Sig. While it took them a couple of tries to get my gun right, I ended up with a replacement gun that is so far OK, I still plan on doing much more testing prior to calling this one good. 100 trouble free rounds is not enough, once I get to 300-400 of FMJ and a box or two of JHP I'll probably replace the recoil spring, do another shorter test and call it good.

  8. #8
    Member Array sedulous's Avatar
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    Nice reply! Marginal design seems to about fit it. I hope we're on the right side of the margin. It was the largest caliber my wife has been comfortable shooting so far (its for her).

    Quote Originally Posted by royal barnes View Post
    I experienced several failures to extract during the first 50 rounds. Tuned the extractor and have had no difficulties in the last 650 rounds. Recoil is light, accuracy is excellent and it operates just like my Colt 1911's that I carry 98% of the time. I have been very pleased with mine.
    I'm a newbie -- what do you mean by tune the extractor. If I've got a finiky one and if one fix makes it reliable, I really want to know what to do! Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    My original 238 was one of the problem children, some specific models of 238 have had more issues than others. It's not a "design" issue, it's a quality issue. Sig screwed up in a couple of places and is getting things fixed. Having had a problem Sig 238 I would offer the following advice.

    1: Contact Sig and try and find the serial number ranges of the 238 line and try to find a more current Sig 238, as a hint, if it comes in a blue box, it's an older gun. The barcode stickers on the box should also have the date of manufacture if I'm not mistaken, I'll take a look at my box later this week.

    2: If/When you buy a 238, don't skimp on testing it out and take notes, inspect your spent brass for deformities and check your extractor for clocking every two or three mags.

    3: Inspect the gun after firing, don't just clean it, look it over. Inspect the area of the slide where the slide stop makes contact with the slide and check for peening.

    4: At the slightest hint of issue, contact Sig. While it took them a couple of tries to get my gun right, I ended up with a replacement gun that is so far OK, I still plan on doing much more testing prior to calling this one good. 100 trouble free rounds is not enough, once I get to 300-400 of FMJ and a box or two of JHP I'll probably replace the recoil spring, do another shorter test and call it good.
    Thanks very much for the detailed reply. When you say contact Sig, is that usually done directly or does the gun shop have to call them? I've bought a lot of ammo and at your suggestion I'll take plenty of notes. Now if I could find a source for extra magazines. I really like your testing routine also.

    I'd hate to shell out the money, but one of those Springfield EMPs in 9mm might also work, if the P238 was a flop. Feel free to flog me on that one if you want to. I've never shot one, but they sure look nice.
    Last edited by JD; October 27th, 2010 at 11:32 PM. Reason: merged posts.

  9. #9
    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by sedulous View Post
    Thanks very much for the detailed reply. When you say contact Sig, is that usually done directly or does the gun shop have to call them? I've bought a lot of ammo and at your suggestion I'll take plenty of notes. Now if I could find a source for extra magazines. I really like your testing routine also.
    You can contact them via phone, I don't know if they will have the data on hand or not, but it would be a start. Looking at the box will be better and immediate indicator of "newness"

    You can use Colt Mustang mags (Cot factory or Metalform mags, not the knock offs), CDNN has them at a good price. Generally speaking you don't need that many mags for a pocket gun, but I like to keep a good number of mags on hand. Make sure you number or otherwise mark your mags and track them in your note taking.

    In my notes I included magazine number, number of rounds loaded, +1 or just the mag, type of ammunition, slow fire, rapid fire, overall gun temp IE hot after firing three mags rapid etc. Try and recover your brass after every mag, on my last test I managed to find all 99 casings fired and was able to verify a lack of major deformities that could've indicated a problem.

    Note how much and what kind of oil is being used etc. Are you running wet, or just a little oil etc. Once your data indicates to you that the gun is a solid performer you should be good.7

    My wife has shot SA EMPs before and was impressed with them. It's in a different size class then a 238, but not by much, you might like the Kahr line of pistols as well if you're not dead set an a 238 or 1911 pattern pistol.

  10. #10
    Member Array bluemarlin's Avatar
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    Here is a source for mags I got off of a youtube video concerning problems with the P238 http://www.pistolsandparts.com/ , they are supposedly the 3rd gen mags too. I have had nothing but problems with mine fte, ftb with all sorts of different ammo. Mine came in a black box yet I got the 2nd generation mags. I will have to call sig and see if I can get a freebie mag from them and give it a try. Also, some are replacing their OEM recoil springs with
    12 lb wolf springs. Hope this helps.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    One of the ladies in our class last weekend had a brand new P238. She had shot a total of 6 rounds through it prior to the class, and was a new shooter herself.

    I handled the gun a bit, looked it over, but didn't shoot it. It seems like a well put together package. On the range qualifying the gun had no issues. Even as a new shooter she shot pretty well with it and it seemed accurate based on the shooter.

    Take JD's advice and do a bit of research, then go from there. I wouldn't let an internet story or two discourage you from going with what appears to be a good platform if they have the kinks worked out of it.

    Good luck.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    What is going on with Sig Sauer? I have heard about people having problems with the P250 and the P238!!!!
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    if it comes in a blue box, it's an older gun. The barcode stickers on the box should also have the date of manufacture if I'm not mistaken, I'll take a look at my box later this week.
    Yes, one of the stickers on the end of the box should contain the date of manufacture. SIG has bee doing this for the last couple years. (At least since 2008.)
    Rick

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  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    The P238, like its predecessor Colt Mustang, is very appealing to beginning shooters, particularly women and younger shooters. That is one reason why I wish I had kept my Mustangs, as intro centerfire handguns, especially for folks who will be moving up to a 1911, and why I may well someday buy a P238.

    To be clear, I am not saying the P238 is only for women and kids! Being a good intro to centerfires for small folks does not mean that is all that it is good for.

    Really, if Colt had given an indication they would continue to support the Mustang, I would likely have kept mine. That issue was the tipping point; I could not get spare parts, and mine had quite a bit of wear starting to show.

  15. #15
    Member Array sedulous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluemarlin View Post
    Here is a source for mags I got off of a youtube video concerning problems with the P238 http://www.pistolsandparts.com/ , they are supposedly the 3rd gen mags too. I have had nothing but problems with mine fte, ftb with all sorts of different ammo. Mine came in a black box yet I got the 2nd generation mags. I will have to call sig and see if I can get a freebie mag from them and give it a try. Also, some are replacing their OEM recoil springs with
    12 lb wolf springs. Hope this helps.
    Bluemarlin -- thanks alot! Great info and I'm sorry you've had problems with yours. We spend so much money on something that is purchased for security reasons and then it doesn't work reliably -- that's not good. And its a Sig -- supposed to be high quality. I'm going to check out the website you mentioned -- really need to have more than one magazine! How does one tell the difference between the 2nd and 3rd generation magazines? If you try the new springs and that helps, let me know!

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