Sig Sauer P238 Fail - again.

This is a discussion on Sig Sauer P238 Fail - again. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A few weeks ago I purchased a new Sig P238 Nitron .380. I was very happy with it, and found it to be extremely accurate. ...

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Thread: Sig Sauer P238 Fail - again.

  1. #1
    Member Array TomInJax's Avatar
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    Unhappy Sig Sauer P238 Fail - again.

    A few weeks ago I purchased a new Sig P238 Nitron .380. I was very happy with it, and found it to be extremely accurate. It is a pleasure to shoot, and small enough for a IWB holster.

    But I have a problem with the reliability of the weapon. After shooting about 100 rounds, I had a failure to eject with my new Sig P238. The empty shell would get stuck about 1/2 way out, stuck between the slide and barrel. It crushed the mouth of the empty shell and caused the pistol to malfunction until it was cleared. This seemed to happen about 2 or 3 times every 100 rounds.

    I called Sig and told my story to them and they had me send it in to them. I just got it back after only 10 days, and took it back to the range. Same problem. Nothing has changed. The tech said that he changed the recoil spring and ran 30 rounds of Speer Gold Dot through it with no problems.

    I have not been using reloads, since Sig says that will void the warranty. But I have run Winchester White box and Remington Golden Saber through it. I also shot some Speer Gold Dot, but I cannot afford to run 200 rounds to test it out. My price at a local sporting goods store is about $25 for 30, making 210 cost about $175 plus tax.

    Today, I ran about 60 rounds through it with no problems. Somewhere around 73 rounds it failed. Then again around 96 rounds it failed, and finally it failed again at about 112 rounds.

    I neglected to take a photo of the first fail, but I have photos of the other two:





    My question is, do I sell it? I can ask Sig to exchange it for a P232, but will they do that? I am definitely sending it back again. And I will post my results here when it is returned (each time!).

    Any other advice? Anyone else having this problem?

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  3. #2
    JD
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    Talk to the CSM, it was Scott Tatterin when I called in, tell him you've sent it in once all ready and they should be more than happy to help you out. Ask about the exchange with a manager, not anyone else.

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    Senior Member Array Chevyguy85's Avatar
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    hmm looks like what mine is doing. I've always figured it was my reloads not being made properly. Maybe it's not me...interesting

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    Ok, here is what I learned from my p238 before I sold it. When I first bought the gun I had problems right from the beginning. After doing a little research I realized that the issue was the magazine (see #2). After that the gun was very reliable through several hundred round until the recoil spring failed (see #3). I wish I had never sold that gun. I miss it!

    1) the gun does not perform reliably when dirty. That might explain why you have problems after 100 rounds. It needs to be kept very clean and well lubed. It's not a Glock and wasn't designed to be a range gun.

    2) Some of the early p238's came with magazines that had a poorly designed follower. They changed the follower which eliminated that problem IIRC.

    3) After several hundred rounds the recoil springs are toast. I think I was around 500-600 when I called Sig and they sent me a new spring. I was amazed when I pulled out the old one and compared it to the new one. The new spring was significantly longer. After installing the new spring the gun ran fine again.
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    Senior Member Array wormy's Avatar
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    I always wanted a P238, but you hear about these problems quite often. You would think for $600 and up they would be more reliable.
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    Member Array TomInJax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    Talk to the CSM, it was Scott Tatterin when I called in, tell him you've sent it in once all ready and they should be more than happy to help you out. Ask about the exchange with a manager, not anyone else.
    Thanks for the advice, that is exactly what I was hoping for.

    @GoBigOrange: It came back with a new recoil spring, and that didn't seem to help. I have two magazines, one that came with the 238 and one that I purchased after - the extra is also a genuine Sig. The clean thing seems a bit too much. After 60 rounds? That's not a good thing. Ugh!

    @wormy: Ya - more that $600. Probably closer to $800 with the extra magazine.


    I will let you know what I find out from Sig. I am hoping for an exchange to something more reliable.

    Tom

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    The gun looks filthy in the pictures. These little guns are tight, and not intended several magazines shot at one setting. I bet if you wipe her down after 50 or so, you'll be fine.
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    "Just blame Sixto"

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    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    The gun looks filthy in the pictures. These little guns are tight, and not intended several magazines shot at one setting. I bet if you wipe her down after 50 or so, you'll be fine.

    I don't know what it is about them but they get dirty really quick, but that being said I've managed to get 100+ rounds a range trip out of mine without failure...well with my replacement pistol at least. Although I think I managed to wear out my recoil spring just in testing, it's still functional but probably needs to get replaced sooner rather than later.

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    I treat my carry guns quite a bit different than a "combat gun".

    If my HK45C starts having difficulty after 200 rounds, I am seeking a solution.

    If my Diamondback .380 or Kahr PM40 has issues, I clean and see if that helps.

    Small guns tend to have tight tolerances, and are designed for the typical defensive situation (2 to 5 rounds). If I can get 7 50-round (problem free) sessions between cleanings, it is carry eligible.

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    Member Array TomInJax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    The gun looks filthy in the pictures. These little guns are tight, and not intended several magazines shot at one setting. I bet if you wipe her down after 50 or so, you'll be fine.
    If I could get a reliable 50 rounds through it, take it home and clean it. Then repeat it every time I go to the range without failure, I would be happy. Yes it is dirty, the photos are taken at the range at 96 and 112 rounds. I realize that these guns are tight, since it is so very accurate. But I didn't know that you had to stop after 50 rounds and clean it before putting another 50 rounds through it.

    I will ask Sig specifically about this tomorrow.

    Thanks for the info.

    Tom

  12. #11
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    Why ask? Just try it. Sig will never put a number on on when it needs to be cleaned.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Take your favorite gun oil/cleaning oil and a sandwich bag full of q tips to the range next time you go. After 50 rds, field strip it, oil up a q tip, clean the rails clean the chamber/ejector/mag well, then dry it off with clean q tips, then get a new q tip and lightly oil it up again like you would normally, and run 50 more through it.

    It shouldn't take more than 3 to 5 minutes to get a decent field cleaning done so you won't burn too much range time.

    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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    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    I run all my guns "wet" and clean. Not overlubed but wet rails even with the Glocks. For me this has vurtually eliminated any problems and the very few problems I have had over the years have been traced to the magazines. Just sayin.
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    Member Array TomInJax's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I will try Sixto's advice before I talk to Sig. I will clean it every 50 rounds. Whether I clean it - then go to the range and shoot 50 rounds and come home each time, or I might take a small cleaning kit with me and do a quick cleaning at the range and continue shooting more. Either way, it will help determine if the gun has a problem or if it is just dirt that is the issue.

    I appreciate your thoughts and suggestions!


    Tom

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    Member Array Flint Ridge's Avatar
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    I doubt Sig will replace it unless there is some major failure - structural.

    Back in the day I had all the same problems asked for replacement & denied - sent in - came back - fail - asked for replacement & denied - sent in - came back - fail - asked for replacement & denied - sent in - came back - fail - asked for replacement & denied - sent in - they said they were going to fix it and then it went ugly on my side and got the manager and wet around and around with her and around again - this was factually based in her face relentless recounting of failures over 1,400 rounds and I finally got a replacement.

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