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; 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. ...

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Thread: Sig P238 issue and resolution

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    Senior Member Array svgheartland's Avatar
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    Sig P238 issue and resolution

    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.
    Savage Heartland

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  3. #2
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    Thanks for the write-up. A P238 is on my short list, and I'm trying to get all the info I can from actual owner/users.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Distinguished Member Array PastorPack's Avatar
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    Whew! Glad you're working through the program. I hope that after the 300 rd break-in this problem is totally GONE!
    God is love (1 John 4:8)

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I would hand cycle the gun to help with the breakin period,if it is a tight gun the manual manipulation should help work a lot of the issues out without burning up a buncha ammo
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    VIP Member Array Guns and more's Avatar
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    Guess I'll have to order some snap caps in .380. I've got a 238 on order.

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    Thank god that gun is not an EDC! By the way, if it were my Sig it would be gone and sent back for fixing. I have never purchased a gun and had those issues and excuses from the manufacturer. Sounds like you got the Signess! Do yourself a favor and send it back, even an awesome manufacturer like Sig can squeeze out a lemon from time to time. They all can!
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    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    it kills me to think of how much you just spent on ammo for a mouse gun bug!!!!! I too would recommend that go back to the factory. Tight tolerances are one thing. a 110 rounds is one thing but 300 - 400

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    Senior Member Array svgheartland's Avatar
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    OK....it's going to the factory before I get really steamed. The issues improved but only to a point. Feeling better about things I dropped 30 bucks on some Corbon. It won't even begin to feed the Corbon. The first round doesn't make it half way out of the mag towards the chamber. I'll let you know how customer service handles all of this. I'm the only guy on the planet that can have issues with a Sig. ah me.......
    Savage Heartland

    What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about?

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    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    I know it's a hassle but it proves that any brand can have it's problem, even a SIG. But look on the bright side, when it comes back it's likely to be a LOT better pistol than it would have been even if it had worked for you right out of the box.

    I don't have much experience with returned guns but it seems they usually fix the problem and then do a bit extra.

    I once returned a Ruger SP101 that locked up tight on the first range trip. I mentioned that the trigger guard and trigger had some real sharp spots. They fixed the gun and broke down those edges nicely. I know it's disappointing but in the end I'm sure it'll be worth the wait.

    I don't have a niche in my CCW line up for the Sig but the Sig Nitro with rosewood grips sure looks beautiful, but for CCW I'm holding out for a Kahr P380 with blackened slide and night sights. It'll round out the collection of Kahr's I have.

    But besides all that i don't like .380 for CCW unless it's the only think I can possibly get away and that's rare.

    So, send it bad, try to forget about it and before you know it, you'll have it back the way it was supposed to be!

    But I do hope (and you should ask) they cover the shipping! It's getting very expensive to ship a handgun!!

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    That's got to be terribly frustrating for a new gun. I would have had the gun back 'pronto'. I've had lots of new guns and none of them have done that.... Just goes to show that ANY make, even Sigs, can have mechanical problems, and if it mechanical, it can be fixed. It is just so expensive to shoot .380's, too. Sorry for your problems.
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    Dang, your experience is very disappointing to read. I have one on order as well, and now I may cancel it! I will not own any firearm that requires hundreds of break-in rounds before it will function properly. I’ll stick to my HK P7 and J-Frame until I can afford a Wilson Sentinel.
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    When purchasing a new model sometimes it's best to wait a year or so to make sure the bugs are worked out. Most would probably be issue free but there's always that chance of a design flaw. I was persuing a P239 but after reading this thread I think I'm going to wait a bit. Besides, summer will be over before long and this one was intended for summer carry. Not to mention the current cost of getting your hands on one.
    To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them. – Richard Henry Lee 1788

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    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Saber, what did you expect A new gun in a mini-.380 platform? Common, not even HK can guarauntee that one.

    And it's VERY common among quality handguns for there to be a break in period unless the gun's design or loose fit makes it unnecessary. Haven't seen a 1911 yet that didn't need some kind of break in but of course I've never had the Wilson league 1911's!

    I wouldn't cancel it but you might want to be realistic about what you're getting...

    A new design
    A mini .380

    Get it and enjoy it. I think this is why for serious dedicated CCW we need to "prove" our weapons and stick to more tried and true formats.

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    I bought one for a very good price and promptly sold it with some ammo. Just couldn't bring myself to packing a .380 for SD due to the power factor.

    That pistol if it were mine would be on it's way back to the factory! My 228 once went 3k rounds WO a cleaning and was ready for more. It also did not require a break in period.

    Nothing worse than a weapon that malfunctions on you. Hard to trust it after that. My SA Champ made 5 trips back to the factory and finally ran after they worked it over and added a stuipid guide rod system to it which made it a PITA to break down and put back together for cleaning. Cost me an arm and a leg in ammo trying to break a broken pistol in. Never could trust it and sold it off at a loss.

    Like Saber I own and love my H&K P7 and trust it with my life. Also have a 36. Neither weapon has failed me in any way.
    Last edited by Sportsterguy; July 25th, 2009 at 05:38 PM.
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    nuz
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    I recently sold a Ruger LCP which worked flawlessly and purchased the Sig P238 because I liked it much better. Better grip, slide locks back on last round, better sights (night sights on mine :)), and pertier. I took it to the range today and shot about 20 rounds through it and had the exact same issue where it won't go completely back into battery. I think 300 to 400 rounds is a lot to ask by Sig as a resolution; especially as hard as 380 ammo is to find right now. I will be contacting them tomorrow and if they suggest that I will suggest they send me a box to ship it back in and they can break it in for me. They have to have a better answer than that.

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