Wife bought a P238. What a cool pistol it is.

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Thread: Wife bought a P238. What a cool pistol it is.

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    Distinguished Member Array Fitch's Avatar
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    Wife bought a P238. What a cool pistol it is.

    Woke up yesterday, came down to computer with a hot fresh cup of coffee to check mail. A few minutes later I looked up to find my wife up and dressed, bright eyed and bushy tailed, definitely looking excited. Her eyes were shining, she was glowing with enthsiasm, and asked me "Want to make a trip to Cabela's today?" Talk about rethorical questions! I replied something like "of course I wanna go to Cabela's (the one in Hamburg, PA, if it matters), what's the mission?" It could have been anything, we were at Gander Mt. yesterday looking for cold weather gloves and mittens. She says something like, "shop for my new gun. I want one of those little SIG's we looked at yesterday." (The "Little SIG" we looked at yesterday was a SIG P238 we saw at Gander Mountain). Worked for me!

    What she was referring to was the result of me looking in the display case at Gander for a CM9 or SIG P290 the day before when I saw a couple of SIG P238's on display. I asked to see one, and discovered it has the easiest slide to rack of any pistol I've ever held. So I brought my wife over to see if she could rack it. She could. She obviously liked it, but we left with out it. She likes to think about things.


    But I digress.

    So, after chores (we have two horses), breakfast, and other mundane things, off we went. Finally got to Cabela's, they were serving #71, we took #81 out of the number dispenser and went scouting the display case. She spotted several P238's on display and planted herself there right in front of them. She didn't move, even to pee. She didn't turn around, spread her arms on the counter and glare to keep others away, but it looked like she might any minute. It was pretty clear to me that until she had seperated "hers" from the collection on display, they were all hers.


    Eventually our number was up - we got a very pleasant knowledgable salesman. He did suggest a 5 shot revolver instead of a single action pistol, but when she told him a 5 shot revolver was what she was trading in, he dropped that subject and got with the program. He showed her the one she'd picked out first. Then he showed her the one she didn't - yet - know she wanted.

    Cabela's, unbeknownst to us, and not mentioned by the salesman until after she had chosen it, had comissioned a special package for this pistol from SIG. He showed it to us after she held one of the others because it was in the display case with the extended magazine in it. It is two tone (stainless slide, black anodized frame) with rosewood grips and, unlike any on the SIG webpage, it comes with two magazines, one of them with the extended finger grip - a huge plus. All the others come with one magazine though the extended pinky grip magazine is offered as an accessorie on the SIG WEB site for $46 bux, or something like that. Turns out the display model was the last one they had.

    And then there were none ... it followed us home.

    OK, so this is a micro sized single action .380 pistol (not approved in CA or MD, if it matters). It is designed to be carried cocked and locked with one in the chamber (AKA "Condition 1" which is cocked with one in the chamber and the safety on). That's the same as every 1911 and 1911 clone built in the last 100 years. The safety is located in essentially the same position as the safety on a conventional right handed 1911, easily operated by the right thumb, and makes a very satisfying "click" as the dent engages after moving it in either direction. The way the safety is configured, this pistol is pretty much only for right handed people though with some clumsiness it could be used left handed if necessary. And it has a 7 or 8 lb version of a crisp no creep 1911 trigger. I wouldn't like any less trigger pull for several reasons, but I wouldn't like any more either. It's essentially the perfect pull weight, almost zero creep, crisp break, and almost no overtravel. Doesn't get much better than that. Huge improvement of the loooooooooong pull light triggers on striker fired micro .380's we looked at, and much nicer than the trigger on my LCP. (Don't reach for my LCP with anything you're not willing to lose! I always get it back, sometimes with an arm attached. <G>)

    That is where the resemblance to a 1911 ends because while the P238 doesn't have a grip safety like a 1911, this pistol has a very nice feature to promote safety in handling that no 1911 has. It can be loaded, unloaded, and cleared with the safety on. This is huge because done this way there is no way the gun can go off while being loaded, unloaded, or cleared with the safety on.

    The key to this feature is the fact that the slide can be racked with the safety on if the hammer is already cocked.

    How to load it with the safety on:

    Since the safety can not be engaged with the hammer down, the pistol must be cocked. So with no clip in it, rack the slide to cock it. Put the safety on, insert magazine, tap, rack, check to be sure there is one in the chamber (you can see the brass from the side), holster, and you are good to go.

    To unload and clear with the safety on:

    Piece of cake. Unholster, with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, push the button to eject the magazine, rack to eject the live round in the chamber, rack again to double check, drop the hammer, and it's done.

    Pictures:



    With standard flush magazine.



    Showing the grip with the standard flush magazine.



    With the extended 7 round magazine.




    Showing the grip with the extended 7 round magazine.



    In the SIG holster that came with it.

    What she liked:
    1. Her hands are both not very strong and her skin is getting more fragile with age (we are both within a few months of 70). The P238 has the easiest to rack slide of any of the micro .380's we've looked at (all of them we could find). She had no problem doing it the first time she tried, and the slide serration's don't damage the skin on her hands.
    2. She loves the trigger pull because, though it's heavier it's more like her 686 fired single action than her DAO LCR. She could pull the trigger on the LCR but it wasn't easy for her. She hates the long trigger pull on my LCR, and really gets stung by the recoil of it - she fired it exactly once, put it down, and said, "not going to do that again" - she had no trouble with the LCR. Which brings me to her next like:
    3. The P238 about half again as heavy as my LCP because of it's all metal no polymer construction, which means it will have about 1/3 less recoil, in rough round numbers.
    4. The one we bought, a Cabela's special package, came with two magazines, one of which is extended to provide pinkie finger purchase, the other flush with the base of the grip. She did not like the two finger only grip (even with the magazine lip installed as shown on the LCP you have for size comparison in pictures) on my LCP.
    5. It came with a very practical clip on holster. In fact, she's been carrying it around in that holster under her sweatshirt since we got it home and out of the box. She hasn't loaded or fired it yet, but I had to wait till she took it off to go to bed to take pictures of it! I think this one (her third carry gun) will be a keeper. If she doesn't carry it, I will!
    What it doesn't have with it is a device to assist old hands in loading the magazines. I have no problem loading them but while she can do it, she struggles a bit, so I'll probably make her one or buy one.

    What I like: Just about everything about it, especially being able to load, unload, and clear it with the safety on and the trigger pull, and it continues to grow on me. When she went to bed and I finally got it to the basement I took pictures, field stripped it, looked it over, and cleaned it in anticipation of a range trip later in the week. I have some WWB .380 ammo to use for breakin. Using factory ammo eliminates any issues with handloads if there is a problem.

    I have to say this is an extremely high quality piece of machinery. The stainless recoil spring guide and beautifully finished machining are impressive. There are no rough edges, flashing, or other elements of unfinished about it. It's "done", not a work in progress. I love my G26 and LCP, but this little pistol shows some definite quality in design and manufacture that is getting really hard to find these days. There is a whole lot to like about this pistol. I think it is one of the best kept secrets on the market. The price is about 2X or more the cost of an LCP, in fact I think it's the most expensive micro .380 on the market, but well worth it in my opinion. When she decided she didn't like her LCR I told her I'd do about anything to get her a gun she'd carry, and so far, this one is "it" (she's been packing it all morning).

    High quality, superb features, definitely worth the price.

    Having something she'll carry. Priceless.

    More after we take it to the range. I loaded some dummy rounds for her to play with. She's a revolver and bolt action rifle person, this is her first semi-auto. She's practicing loading and unloading it, clearing stove pipes, clearing double feeds (I have to create them, the gun won't), etc. She wants handling it to feel as comfortable as her revolvers do. After that she wants to take it to the range. I reload for .380 (Dillon 550B) and lots of other cartridges, but I bought a box of 100 WWB for breakin.

    The gal that checked us out at Cabela's has one of these and just gushed about how much she likes it, and how nice it is to shoot compared to some of the others she's had. I'm expecting it to have less recoil than my LCP by at least a third so there is some basis for expecting what she said turns out to be true.

    Did I mention I love it when my bride of 43 years wants to go to a gun store?

    Fitch
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety), by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” by H. L. Mencken

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  3. #2
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    Congratulations, the more you use the little Sig the more you will like it.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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    Distinguished Member Array Diddle's Avatar
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    Very, very nice post. Oh, and nice firearm too!

    Best!
    Diddle
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I agree the slide is very easy to rack,it is also a great shooter and handles the recoil well,I have a friend that bought 2 from Academy sports and showed up at the range wearing both at 3 and 9 oclock,I loaded a buncha 380 and we put 100 rounds thru each pistol with no hiccups
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    Senior Member Array Inspector71's Avatar
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    What a cool wife you have! Congratulations on the wife and the new sig!!
    If you can read this, thank a teacher. Because it's in English, thank a vet

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    Distinguished Member Array Fitch's Avatar
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    OK, I'm grinning from ear to ear.

    As we were getting ready to go feed the horses this evening she said "I think I'm ready to fire a couple of rounds out of this thing - how about we go to the clay pile out behind the deer stand and fire a few?" I said "sure." So we did. The important info:

    After the first shot she said "That is Soooooooooooo Sweeeeeeeeeeeet! It has almost no recoil at all." When she was done - she fired 3 then let me fire 3, as we walked back to the barn she said, "that's fun to shoot! Can we go to the range and try it on some paper?" I said "you betcha." So we'll be heading for the range later this week.

    I haven't felt this good about a handgun purchase for her since she bought the 6" 686 and the 6" Model 17.

    Meanwhile, she's carrying it full time while she's home and at the barn with the dummy ammo to get used to having it on her. Practice with restroom stops and other normal activities to get used to it.

    We definitely have a winner here.

    Fitch
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety), by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” by H. L. Mencken

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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Pretty little gun! If she can use it well, it will serve her well. Sounds like she has made a real friend in this one!
    Hiram25
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    Senior Member Array Haystacker's Avatar
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    Wow. Cool thread. Congrats on the new pistol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitch View Post
    We definitely have a winner here.
    Sounds like you have a winner indeed and I'm not talking about the Sig. Congrats.
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    Member Array Rhcmlc's Avatar
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    Congrats on your new P238. I also went to Cabela's and fell in love with this Sig the moment I saw it. Very little recoil, strong thumb safety, and a solid feel makes this handgun a winner. I've gotta say, your wife has good taste in firearms! Enjoy
    "You cannot invade the mainland United States.
    There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass"
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    Sig P238/Sig 1911 Ultra/Beretta PX4 Storm/Kimber Ultra Carry II

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    Distinguished Member Array Fitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babarock View Post
    Sounds like you have a winner indeed and I'm not talking about the Sig. Congrats.
    Thanks. You're right, I do. I am truly blessed that she said "yes" 44 years ago.

    Fitch
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety), by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” by H. L. Mencken

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    Member Array cmycek's Avatar
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    I agree about the Sig, very high quality and mine has found a solid place in my carry rotation. Cool spouse, too!
    Exercise your 2nd amendment rights....not doing so jeopardizes that right for everyone.

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    Fitch --

    How much bulk does the 7 round mag add? I'll be mostly pocket carrying mine due to dress-code requirements. When not required to wear slacks and a tie, I wear an untucked polo or short sleeve button down and carry my XD40sc with a Super Tuck holster. When I do have to wear slacks and tie, the XD40 is not a viable option, hence my reason for buying the P238. Can it pocket carry well with the 7 round mag?

    Thanks dude :)

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    Distinguished Member Array Fitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MP9NewMexico View Post
    Fitch --

    How much bulk does the 7 round mag add? I'll be mostly pocket carrying mine due to dress-code requirements. When not required to wear slacks and a tie, I wear an untucked polo or short sleeve button down and carry my XD40sc with a Super Tuck holster. When I do have to wear slacks and tie, the XD40 is not a viable option, hence my reason for buying the P238. Can it pocket carry well with the 7 round mag?

    Thanks dude :)
    The 7 round magazine makes the grip about 3/8" taller. That's enough to be an issue in some of my front pockets. It pocket carries best for me with the 6 round flush magazine. I pack it 6+1 in a DeSantis nemessis with nothing else in the pocket. Hides nicely. When I'm wearing a suit or sport coat I carry it IWB just out of sight behind my hip with the 7 round magazine.

    Fitch
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety), by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” by H. L. Mencken

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    Member Array Bear67's Avatar
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    Great story Fitch. My bride of 44 years also carries a 238--I would not let her carry my Colt Mustang, so she bought herself a SIG. It is a quality piece and she is comfortable with it and shoots better than her old man. She carries with 6+1 and has a 7 in reserve. Hers shoots SIG and several Colt magazines without a hick-up.

    She has gone off to turn in her payroll this morning and we plan a range trip to the farm this afternoon. Congratulations to her on her new EDC and congratulations to you for holding on to her for 44 years.

    Winston Churchill once said "My most significant achievement was convincing my wife to marry me."

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