Sig P238 issue and resolution

This is a discussion on Sig P238 issue and resolution within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I think I may have fixed it. I contacted Sig and they said 300 to 400 rounds of 195-grain (or larger) hardball ammo to break ...

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Thread: Sig P238 issue and resolution

  1. #16
    nuz
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    I think I may have fixed it. I contacted Sig and they said 300 to 400 rounds of 195-grain (or larger) hardball ammo to break it in (same story as they gave Savage). Evidently their tolerances have become so tight that they now require a break in. I bet everyone who wants to buy a handgun for self defense wants to know that their $500+ gun that fails on almost every shot isn't reliable until broken in but magically becomes reliable after 3 or 4 hundred rounds. He also said that it may need to be cleaned and lubricated since I was shooting it new out-of-box with the factory oil bath, so now our dependable carry gun is dependant on the proper amount of quality gun oil to magically become reliable. Well after some troubleshooting and close inspection of what is going on, I believe the issue is with the extractor. There is a significant amount of side-to-side tension as the round is sliding up into battery. The round pushes the extractor out to the side as it slides into battery, and this tension seems to be enough to cause the slide and barrell to stop just short of battery. If you remove your slide and barrel, you can manually slide a round onto the breech face to see how much tension there is. I would like to have access to another P238 without this issue to compare the tension, but unfortunately I do not. I believe I have remedied this by relieving some of that tension. I removed the extractor and noticed there is a slight curve to the extractor, so I straightened it out ever-so-slightly. DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK. There is still tension between the rim of the round and the extractor, however it is noticably less than before and seems to cycle a lot easier now. I have not been able to duplicate the malfunction by manually cycling the weapon, which before the adjustment was very easy to do. Now I need to head to the range and try it out again. I am down to about 30 rounds and as everyone knows there is none to be found in local stores, so hopefully this has resolved the issue. I will post an update after my next range trip.
    Last edited by nuz; August 26th, 2009 at 03:43 PM. Reason: spelling/grammar

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  3. #17
    Member Array SC Tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by svgheartland View Post
    My apologies if this belongs in an existing thread.

    I got my hands on the new Sig a few weeks ago and immediately experienced problems. The gun would not return to battery from the first round chambered through the final round. Sig customer service was moderately helpful but the recommended "300-400 rounds" to break it in seemed an unreasonable suggestion. And they wanted to know my cleaning cycles and lube details. Since I couldn't fire a magazine of 6 without having 6 issues, I found their response.....less than helpful. Since the new mag's were in high demand they only ship one with each new gun. I ordered an extra the day I bought the gun. Here's how it played out.

    3-4 trips to the range. Each trip, each round I had to use my right thumb to press the slide the last 1/8" to battery. Each round would fire well enough but not fully chamber and return to battery. I had the same issue with 4 different types of ammo and I had 3 other experienced shooters give it a try.....all had the same problem.

    I was prepared to return it to Sig. About that time the extra magazine came in the mail so I thought....why not try it? The battery issue immediately improved. I put 50 rounds through it and broke it down for cleaning and lube. And ..... I found a few small bits of metal clinging to the interior of the slide. hmmmm. Good cleaning and lube, back together again and suddenly both magazines are performing at 90%. I noticed that when I put only one round in the magazines, the gun went to battery without fail. Okey dokey, I stacked both magazines to capacity and let them sit around for a week or so. As of yesterday, 50 rounds of lousy Blazer ammo and only one failure. Greatly improved. Not acceptable, but much better.

    So I believe the the gun was manufactured incredibly tight and I had a burr in there somewhere. It's on it's way to behaving as I would expect a Sig to behave. One final note, removing the barrel from the slide is very very tricky. Initially, I couldn't imagine that it had actually fit into the slide at the factory. I could not reasonably remove it without force. I found that there is a magical point in slide/barrel relationship where pulling the slide back and lifting it out of the slide with just the right cant to one side.....and out it comes. A bit of a Chinese puzzel box but I'm getting there.

    As a real final note: Accuracy with this gun is excellent. A very fine shooter now that it's shooting.
    This may sound strange, but have you tried shooting it dry (no oil)? It will probably function horribly but it could speed up the break-in process. Some premium 1911 manufacturers recommend this for the first 500 rounds.

    Anything mechanical has to break in.

  4. #18
    nuz
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuz View Post
    I think I may have fixed it...I will post an update after my next range trip.
    Went to the range today and fired about 30 rounds (all I had left and no 380 ammo to be found anywhere). The P238 performed flawlessly on every shot. I am very happy now. The extractor 'adjustment' I made worked. :hand10

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