SIG P238 – High Quality 380 ACP Single Action Pistol

SIG P238The SIG P238 pistol is a single-action, semi-automatic pistol chambered for the .380 ACP cartridge.  The pistol is considered to be very similar to the workings of a 1911 pistol and is said to have borrowed heavily from the design of the Colt Mustang pistol.  Most likely, SIG SAUER purchased the rights to manufacture the Mustang from Colt, though under their own label: the P238.

The P238 was introduced by SIG SAUER at the 2009 SHOT Show in Orlando, Florida.  At that time, there were few quality .380 ACP pistols on the market, but the 2008 introduction of the Ruger LCP proved there was an untapped market demand for them.  Unlike other manufacturers who were mostly bringing DAO polymer guns to the .308 ACP pocket gun market, SIG SAUER went with a high-quality gun on a metal frame.

The SIG P238 has an anodized aluminum frame and a stainless steel barrel and slide.  The pistols are single action guns that have a frame mounted safety.  P238 handguns also have a trigger bar disconnect safety, an automatic firing pin block and a  hammer safety intercept notch to enhance the pistol’s overall safety.

First P238 Pistols

In the first year of production, SIG only offered two variations of the P238:  a standard black finish and a two-tone finish.  The basic model was called the “Nitron,” which is the name of the special corrosion-resistant finish that gave the gun it’s black appearance.  The Nitron was available with standard SIG “contrast” sights or night sights.

SIG P238 Nitron

The two-tone model had a black frame with a stainless slide, slide stop, hammer and safety.  The P238 grips were a stainless steel (silver) color.  Both the original Nitron and the two tone models are still available from SIG SAUER.

SIG P238 Two Tone

P238 Models

The SIG P238 saw exceptional sales in it’s initial year, and sales of the gun have continued to be very positive.  Since being introduced, SIG SAUER added numerous variations to the P238 line including various finishes, different grips and a variety of custom etchings.

At the 2010 SHOT Show, SIG SAUER introduced five new models of P238:  the Rosewood, Blackwood, Rainbow Titanium, Equinox and the Tactical Laser.  All five of these models remain in the current line-up.

SIG P238 Rosewood

SIG P238 Rosewood

The Rosewood is essentially the same as the Nitron model, except that it has the far more attractive rosewood grips.  Likewise, the Blackwood model is the same as the two-tone model, except with blackwood grips.  The other models were more than just grip changes.

SIG P238 Blackwood

SIG P238 Blackwood

The Rainbow Titanium P238 has an amazing multi-hue finish applied to the slide and other external parts.  As the gun is turned, light reflects off of it in various colors, giving it a brilliance unlike any other in the SIG SAUER line.  The frame is black Nitron and night sights are standard.

SIG P238 Rainbow

SIG P238 Rainbow

The Rainbow was formerly introduced at the 2010 SHOT Show, which was in January of ’10.  However, the company had quietly released the gun in October of 2009.

SIG P238 Rainbow slide

SIG P238 Rainbow slide

The P238 Equinox was designed by the SIG SAUER Custom Shop, and features a number of things that make it unique in the line.  First off, the front sight is a TRUGLO sight that combines tritium (night sight) with a fiber optic pipe, which gives incredible brightness in daylight and reduced lighting conditions.  The slide and frame are finished in black Nitron, but the slide has a two-tone appearance as the high points have been brushed to a natural color.  The slide stop, magazine release and the safety are nickel.

SIG P238 Equinox

SIG P238 Equinox

In 2010, one model of P238 was released with red laser: the SIG P238 Tactical Laser.  The Tactical Laser model uses a unit that mounts to the front of the trigger guard, similar to the Crimson Trace Laserguard.  The activation button is on the side of the unit.  This pistol is otherwise almost identical to the two tone P238.  The only other change is the grips.  When originally released, the pistol had grip panels that were also two-toned.  Current versions of this P238 have simple, black grips.

Original SIG P238 Tactical Laser

Original SIG P238 Tactical Laser

Current SIG P238 Tactical Laser

Current SIG P238 Tactical Laser

Introduced in 2010, but after the SHOT Show, was the SIG P238 SAS.  The SAS has the same general design characteristics as other SIG SAUER handguns in the SAS line.  The idea behind the SAS series is to remove all sharp edges (aka dehorning) so that nothing interferes with a draw when being carried for self defense.

SIG P238 SAS

SIG P238 SAS

Also introduced in 2010 was the P238 HD.  HD stands for heavy duty.  This model is the only P238 that has a stainless steel frame.  All other P238 handguns have an aluminum frame.  The HD also has G10 grips.

SIG later introduced the P238 HDW.  This variation uses the same stainless steel frame as the HD, but features a set of rosewood grips instead of the G10 grips.

SIG P238 HD

SIG P238 HD

The SIG P238 Extreme was the only new pistol in this line announced at the 2011 SHOT Show.  The Extreme was Nitron-finished and added numerous features the the pistol.  The most obvious upgrade to the P238 Extreme was the addition of the Hogue Piranha grips made from G10.  The grips have a unique color pattern and a fairly aggressive texture, allowing a better grip on the small gun.

SIG P238 Extreme

SIG P238 Extreme

The P238 Extreme also comes with an extended magazine using an X-Grip extension.  This increased round capacity from six to seven rounds.  The X-grip extension also gives the shooter a little more pistol to hang on to when shooting.  A flush-fitting six round magazine also comes with the gun.

The final new feature to the Extreme was the addition of serrations on the front of the slide (forward of the ejection port).

SIG P238 Extreme

SIG P238 Extreme

At the 2012 SHOT Show, several new models were introduced, but the most significant change was the addition of ambidextrous safeties to a wide variety of the P238 models.  Prior to this, ambi safeties were purely custom work on the handguns.  Ambidextrous safeties are now offered as an option on many of the P238 pistols, while all of them can be retrofitted at the SIG SAUER Custom Shop.  A retrofit includes the replacement of the grips to accomodate the new hardware.

Three new models were introduced at the Show:  the Scorpion, the Black Diamond and the Desert.

SIG P238 Scorpion

SIG P238 Scorpion

The SIG P238 Scorpion follows the design cues from the company’s other pistols with the Scorpion finishing.  The P238 Scorpion has a custom flat dark earth (FDE) finish and Hogue Piranha grips.  The grips are made of G10 and have a unique, multi-colored pattern.  The safety, slide stop, trigger and hammer are all a flat black.  An ambidextrous safety is standard on the Scorpion.

The P238 Black Diamond is very similar to the original Nitron P238.  This pistol has a diamond plate  finish on the slide, giving the gun its name and distinctive appearance.  The gun also has plain black grips.  The Black Diamond can be purchased with the original manual safety or with the new ambidextrous safety.

SIG P238 Desert

SIG P238 Desert

The SIG SAUER P238 Desert pistol is a two-tone tan gun with a light tan frame and a darker brown slide.  SIG describes the coloration as a “…two-tone Flat Dark Earth finish…”  The pistol’s trigger, safety, hammer and slide stop are all finished in flat black.

The P238 Desert has a rubber Hogue grip that wraps around the front of the grip frame.  The Desert can be had with the ambidextrous or right-side-only manual safety.

SIG P238 Lady

SIG P238 Lady

Another change in 2012 was that SIG SAUER now makes night sights standard on all P238 pistols.

Not shown at the SHOT Show was the P238 Lady.  The Lady is definitely a different looking pistol than the others in the line.  The frame is finished in red Cerakote, while the black slide is emblazoned with gold scrollwork and a flower inlay.

At the 2013 SHOT Show, SIG Sauer showed several new P238 models including the P238 Tribal.  The new Tribal has a black frame and natural stainless steel slide.  The wood grips feature an engraved tribal symbol.  The same symbol is repeated on top of and on the sides of the slide.

SIG P238 Tribal factory

Limited Runs & Discontinued Models

In addition to the standard variations, there have been some limited production runs including models commemorating the US Marine Corps, the Liberty Bell and the Gadsden Flag.  Here is information on a few of these.

Sig P238 Liberty

The SIG P238 Liberty

The P238 Liberty is a Rosewood model with a 24k gold inlay of the Liberty Bell on the top of the slide.  The bell is between the rear sight and the ejection port.  On the right side of the slide, the words “We The People” is also printed in gold.

The Gambler is similar to the Liberty model above.  It is also a Rosewood model, but has a hand of playing cards on top of the slide where the Liberty Bell would be on the other model.  The cards?  The dead man’s hand of course:  a pair of aces and eights.  That is the same hand that “Wild Bill” Hickik supposedly had when he was killed in 1876.  On the right side of the frame are the words “The Gambler.”

The Gadsden model of P238 was shipped from SIG SAUER with the words “Don’t Tread On Me” printed on the slide.  On top of the frame was the famous coiled snake found on the Gadsden flag.  SIG also made a P226 with the same theme.

Sig P238 USMC

USMC commemorative edition of the SIG SAUER P238 pistol

SIG also produced a Copperhead version of the P238.  The Copperhead did not appear to have any relation to the Gadsden model, and the Copperhead trademark was licensed by SIG SAUER from Crosman, the airgun company.  The Copperhead did not last long on the market.  It featured a copperhead snake picture on the top of the slide and the word “Copperhead” in script on the right-hand side of the frame.

The US Marine Corps edition was another Rosewood model with gold inlay.  On this gun, the traditional USMC bulldog was on the slide with the words “Semper Fi” on the right side of the slide.  SIG sold this model alone or with a commemorative knife.

SIG P238 Videos

This video shows the folks from Guns and Ammo reviewing the P238 pistols from SIG SAUER:

From the Guns and Gear television show, Tom Gresham takes a look at a variety of the early SIG P238 pistols.

More Photos of the SIG P238

SIG SAUER P238

The SIG SAUER P238 Nitron from the 2009 SHOT Show.

SIG P238 HD

The SIG P238 HD “Heavy Duty” on display at the 2010 SHOT Show.

SIG P238 Tactical Laser

Also seen at the 2010 SHOT Show was the SIG SAUER P238 Tactical Laser. SIG staffers mis-labled the gun as the “Tactical Light.”

SIG P238 Rainbow

Introduced the prior year, this SIG P238 Rainbow was photographed at the 2011 SHOT Show.

SIG P238 Gambler

The Gambler, a special edition of the SIG SAUER P238, was first shown at the 2011 SHOT Show.

SIG P238 Gambler

From this side, the Gambler looks like the SIG P238 Rosewood.

SIG P238 Gambler

The Dead Man’s Hand, aces and eights, on The Gambler. Yes, that is 24k gold inlay.

SIG P238 Gambler

The SIG P238 Gambler

SIG P238 Lady

The P238 Lady definitely stands out in the SIG line with a red Cerakote frame and scrollwork.

SIG P238 Lady

The other side of the SIG P238 Lady. The photo was taken at the 2011 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, NV.

 

SIG P238 Desert

The P238 Desert was one of several new variations introduced by SIG SAUER into the pistol line at the 2012 SHOT Show.

SIG P238 Scorpion

Also released at the 2012 SHOT Show was the SIG P238 Scorpion.

SIG P238 Scorpion

Another view of the SIG P238 Scorpion pistol.

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About Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, police trainer and really bad joke teller. Check out his other writing in Combat Handguns, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, on The Firearm Blog and at BlueSheepdog.

Comments

  1. Wilshire Valley homes keller TX says:

    I love this weapon. Does anyone know when it will be available?

  2. where is it available in dbn hts MI area?

  3. Awesome gun!! I wonder if Crimson will have a lazer sighting unit that will mount to it as did to the Kel-Tec sub .380?

  4. Mike,

    I don’t know the local dealers in your area, so you may want to call around. I believe the P238 is due to be released soon, so you probably want to start calling soon to get on the waiting list.

    Alternatively, you can go over to Impact Guns and order the Sig P238 there. They are now taking orders on each of the different models (black, two tone, etc.)

  5. Sig just sent me an email…this gun will be out the first week of june 2009!!!

  6. Dale Bauer says:

    One year + after it was intoduced at the shot show the gun will show up at the dearler’s/That’s pretty poor don’t you think?How about getting your act together!!!!!!!

    • Dale,

      I could be wrong, and feel free to point it out if I am, but I believe the P238 was first introduced at the 2009 SHOT Show. Shipping to dealers 5-6 months after announcement is hardly “one year +,” and is not considered poor at all.

      You have to understand that the SHOT show is frequently the best chance a company has to see if there will be any demand for a new product before they go into production. Often, a company will develop a prototype and show it off at SHOT. Based on the numbers of orders they take from distributers and dealers, they can make a decision if it is an economically viable product.

      Other products, like the LCR, are introduced with little lead time because the company has a great deal of confidence in their ability to sell that specific item.

  7. Solar Dave says:

    Can someone please tell me what the advantage the 238 offers over the Sig 232, .380? I love it, light to carry and dosen’t make you sweat much. Low recoil. 1 hit is better than all misses!

  8. If its not a Colt, its a copy. I own a Colt mil-spec .380 and would not trade it for the Sig any day of the week. Too bad Colt does not get out of the woods and make their gun themselves.

  9. Just saw the 238 at a local store and loved the feel and design. Went in to look at the LCP which they didn’t have but surprised to find this as an alternate. Now considering the 238 but would love to see some reviews first.

  10. Charlie says:

    Saw the pistol in the display at the NRA convention. I own a Colt Government Model .380 and darned if this pistol doesn’t look and feel just like it. The Sig 232 is a lot like my Walther PP .380, if not exact. If the 238 is like the PP the 232 will be easier to carry. Bianchi makes a really nice holster, the model 100 IWB that works well with either of these fine pistols. Now if you can find affordable ammo for practice and carry.

  11. ADembek says:

    Re: laser
    You really don’t need it. I shot this last night at the range at my local gun store. 8″ target at 25 feet…first 3 shots in the 10 ring…next 12 on the paper. No, it doesn’t hold 15 rounds..I reloaded 3 times. I believe it’s a 6 shot magazine. Seriously, I wasn’t even trying hard and I need my laser to make the LCP work well.

  12. I bought one on Wednesday for 499.00.

  13. I bought mine on thurs. 6-4-09 for $497.& just love it it’s same size as my colt mustang & colt mustang mags. fit it also ” IT WILL BE MY CARRY GUN !!!! “

  14. Picked mine up yesterday, June 10 for $459.99 two-tone w/ Night Sights @ Gellensons in Salt Lake City. Shot it today. Sweet gun; grip, recoil, accuracy, and sights all work well. I’m glad to finally have a backup gun at work that I can actually carry.

  15. I was ripped of by a gun dealer at a gun show – I payed way to much. Anyway, the magazine wouldn’t let me load with 6 + 1 as advertised. It jammed a lot and it didn’t eject the last round so I had to take the magazine out before I could shake the last cartridge out.

  16. I was ripped of by a gun dealer at a gun show – I payed way to much. Anyway, the magazine wouldn’t let me load with 6 + 1 as advertised. It jammed a lot and it didn’t eject the last round so I had to take the magazine out before I could shake the last cartridge out.

  17. Picked my Sig P238 up for $515; two-tone, night sights, with black grips. I like this gun much better than my G26 or Sig P239 for summer carry. Not much bigger than an iphone, and its not even noticeable even in pocket. Mine is carried via a clip-on inside the waist holster.

  18. I’ve owned 3 Colt Mustangs and none of them functioned worth a flop. I have a Kel Tech now and am pretty satisfied. At $289 out the door, Im a little put off by the price tag on this. ( I owe 4 Sigs already and love them all)

  19. Just picked up one yesterday. Functions well. Love the sights compared to other mini-gun entries. Has a slide lock and fits reasonably well in an average sized hand.

    I carry a Springfield EMP primarily, so transition to this SA only pistol is not a challenge. However, I would caution all those DAO shooters to be careful how they plan to carry this shooter.

    Folks that want to use pocket carry may want to look at the Israeli style of deployment leaving the chamber empty and racking the slide in concert with presentation.

    I’ve practiced deployment of the pistol last night using Condition One, Two, and Three with a high degree of success for a little gun with not a lot of Safety or Hammer to purchase with my thumb.

    All in all it’s a good little shooter for what it was designed for and with lots of practice, it could ultimately be my Beach/Outdoor
    Activites Gun.

  20. Anyone know who has a conceal carry holster? Picked one up yesterday and it’s a great gun!

  21. this is a copy of the old colt mustang.

  22. I think the 232 is a compact while the 238 is a subcompact.Also there is a safety recall on some of them (p 238) they have a problem with the safety,check with sig sauer inc.

  23. I like my Bersa thunder .380 (made in Argentina)very reliable litle gun.

  24. Hey if it’s true that the Cold Mustans 380 mags will work in the Sig P238, I have good news for you. Midway has them for $16.99 or $22.099 for one with a base pad.

  25. I thought this was recalled??

    • Hi Will,

      Thanks for stopping by. Yes, certain P238′s have been recalled (as reported here.) As I’m sure you realize, this article was written in January 2009, before the gun was released, and certainly a long time before the recall.

      Richard

  26. Major David Holland says:

    For years, both in the military and police department I have carried a 1911 Colt 45 as my primary weapon. My choice of back ups change like the weather. At first I carried S&W .38 2 inch tube, then went to the 380 232 Sig, then to the Kel Tec .380, Beretta .380 and finally the .380 thunder by bersa. Don’t let the reduced price of the bersa fool you. Argentina makes a good little hand gun and this .380 thunder is the largest caliber the citizens of this country (Argentina) allows. Its a fine shooting weapon right out of the box. The trigger system is one of the best I’ve encountered, both DA/SA. About 5 pounds DA and 3 pounds SA. As usual our gun guru (s) will mess it up by making statements like its worth 3 times what it sells for and PPK should contract with Bersa for trigger release know how will eventually up the present cost factors. But at the present $300. plus cost you can’t go wrong. The little gun is a little heavy with all that steel but its pays at the firing line. As the oldline goes you never know when you are going to need a personnel protective weapon. I’ve got myself in the bad habitof carrying a .32 Kel Tec as a pocket weapon (easy carry) when I wear jeans and T shirts. However, I’ve been shooting carry weapons for over 50 years now and placement shots and a cool head counts for a lot. You put 7-8 rounds of .32 in the bad guys chest and gut, most of his aggression will go by the way side. I’m also a believer that an extra carry mag is important. When the Sig P-238 hits the money pit stores here I will probably get one. Love those 1911 designs. Not sure I want to carry a cocked and locked pistol, SA, in my front pant pocket or waist band though. The first 20 plus years in the military police would not allow the 1911 to be carried in the locked and cocked position. We carried 5 rounds of ball in the mag and 2 extra mags on our sam brown belts. Over the years I got pretty good at jacking a round into the chamber of the 1911 as I cleared leather. Those 45s had a heck of a knock down power. Guess that why I carry a Colt Commander 45 to this day. When I have to go thru those bad doors I want to know my weapon of choice will take care of whats waitine on the other side.

  27. I recently (9/19/09) purchased a Sig Saure P238. I put 50 rounds through it for my fimilurization. I have a Colt Government 380 pocketlite that i am retireing as a collectable. The Sig is based on the Colt Mustang and is an awsome conecelled firearem. A friend of mine that owned a PPKS .380 said the Sig was much smoother firing. If you are looking for a deep concelled firearem the Sig 238 will meet all your expectations.

  28. Major David Holland says:

    Picked up the P-238 at the local money pit store. Paid too much when I traded my Kel Tec .32 in for it. Has all the bells and whistles. Night sights and rosewood handles. Hard black in color. Saw in a concealed carry mag that a guy in Florida carried his Ruger LCP 380 in a Galco M5X paddle. Specs between the Ruger LCP 380 and the Sig P-238 is real close and since Galco doesn’t make holsters for the Sig P-238 yet opted on the Ruger LCP 380. Hope when it gets her it fits.Haven’t went to the range yet but fired a mag’s worth out of her to make sure she works. The weapon is well built but the slide safety lock seems a little flimsy. Sig already has a recall on this weapon, safety slide lock not functioning right. Gave them (Sig) a call and after checking the serial number of my weapon says its OK. Readers with this weapon needs to call Sig and make sure their weapon is OK. That little baby has no safety other than the slide safety. No mag safety nor safety if you drop the weapon and the slide safety is not on it can go off. You would think a $650. hand gun from Sig would have all the safeties built in like the l911 Colt now does. Still like her and I hope she does well as my back-up.

  29. Major David Holland says:

    Hi, my Galco M5X came in for a Ruger LCP as Galso nor other leater companies has not built a holster for the Sig P-238. Thank goodness the holster had an adjustable screw and after a few modifications my Sig P-238 fits in it for carry My M5X is a paddle holster and Sig P-238 rides well with it. Still not sure about carrying the P-238 single action in a locked and cocked carry mode. Old habits with the Colt 1911 (carry) is hard to break.Just don’t feel good with that cocked and locked mode with that less than ideal slide safety on the Sig. If it goes off you pay in so many ways you don’t want to think about. Yes I know “live on the wild side”.I ride a “Harly” and thats wild enough for me. The slide action on the Sig P-238 is very good and it takes very little time to jack a round as you clear the holster. Talked with Desantis and ordered a “Cozy Pardner” for the Sig P-238. They claim it fits well.$70.00 plus shipping is the price. Hasn’t arrived yet. It can go both ways.Inside the waist band or outside the pants on a belt. “loops” Hope it fits well without modification.Looked at the Ruger LCP 380 today. A clone of the Kel Tec 380 or vice versus. Write up on it reads well but its cheap looking. $300. out the door.

  30. Major David Holland says:

    Hi—My cozy pardner from Desantis came in and it fits the Sig P-238 perfect. What I like about it is you can use it 2 ways. Inside the waist band or out side the waist band on your belt. Its very comfortable both ways.

    I’ve read some comments from other readers about the safety on the P-238. It serves 2 purposes. It blocks the hammer from falling and also locks the slide into place. With the chamber empty you can put it on safe with the hammer down and this secures the weapon from an accidental racking a round into the chamber when using a tight holster. I do recommend that after the weapon is secure in the holster empty of chamber, you take the safety off as the slide is locked with the safety on and when you clear leather you can not rack a round unless the safety is off. This cuts down on loaing time.

  31. tailgunner says:

    I had a Colt Mustang that I shot so often I nearly wore it out.

    I never thought I’d see anything like it again (that I could actually carry and fire).

    With the right holster and an ambi safety (which I hope someone comes up with quick-McCormick made a great ambi safety for the Mustang) the P238 would be instinctively easy for me to draw and fire.

    Some people have problems with the highest end guns. I’m going to go with Sig’s reputation and work with my gun until I trust it.

  32. Juan Almaraz says:

    I had seen the P238 about a half a year ago. I loved it because it looked just like the Colt Mustang. The place I saw it at wanted about $600.00. I was shocked. I really did like the little gun. On the day after my birthday which was October the 24th. I purchased a Sig P-238 from McBride’s Guns in Austin Texas. I got it for $450.00 plus tax. I was very pleased. I did have a hard time finding one of this little guns. They are hard to find so please keep on checking at the guns stores if you want one. I really do love it. It is very compact and can fit any where. To bad ammo is so hard to find. I have not shot it yet due to the lack of .380 ammo. I have heard nothing but good things about the Sig .238. People who want to get one really should. You will not be disappointed. Juan

  33. Bought one yesterday and shot it today… VERY HAPPY!!! No issues at all (not a single feed, eject, or any other issue) and VERY accurate at 10yds as compared to my kel-tec. VERY HAPPY WITH THE PURCHASE!!!!

    (newSIGfan)

    one box at 10 yards… —> http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e64/devnull129/guns/IMG_0580.jpg

  34. I bought my P238 for $419, good price I thought. Love the sights and it is obviously a quality gun.

  35. EyeBallChief says:

    Jan,
    Where did you buy yours for that price?
    Paul

  36. Have had P238 for about a month.
    Well made, tightly built, comfortable to handle.
    Easy to aim and sights are functional.
    Almost no recoil when compared with P232 and Keltech,
    After 200 rounds it is still unreliable with many failures to load and occasional failures to eject the last round.
    It is finicky as to the ammo it likes prefering 90gr. to 102gr rounds and does best with low cost FMJ target ammo.
    I like it but don’t trust it yet and plan to shoot some more tomorrow.
    Others have reported mag problems.

  37. Mike (again) says:

    Ran 80 more rounds. As before it fired Remington FMJ without any problems. A few failures on HP ammo of varying manufacture and one stovepipe on hand loaded rounds. No pattern that I can figure out.
    I am waiting to be able to buy some Rem. HPs and/or some Hornady HPs but as we know 380 ammo is hard to come by. Until I find a consistent pattern I will not trust.

  38. Mike (again) says:

    Fired 50 rounds of Fiocchi 95gr FMJ. On rounds 40 and 43 the slide didn’t close and had to be given a nudge.
    When functional it is very accurate.
    This isn’t over yet.

  39. Just shot my P-238 for the first time. Put about 200 rounds through it. Very accurate, no misfires. I shot about 150 rounds of MFS 9mm Browning Short (Hungarian Ammunition) 95gr FMC (great target ammo), Cor Bon 90gr JHP and Federal Hydra-Shok 90gr JHP. No problems with any. I must say, the Cor-Bon packs a punch and you notice the recoil. This is a great self-defense round. This is one sweet little pistol. Can’t beat a Sig Sauer.

  40. ralph smith says:

    I bought the P238 yesterday and headed to the range right away. I fired 100 rounds, some critical defense and the rest were Remington ball. It performed flawlessly. I traded my Ruger LCP with Crimsom Trace laser for it.
    The main reason for my laser was that the sights on the Ruger LCP are too small and dark. The sights on the Sig are great. Accuracy is amazing. I shot 3″ group at 25 yards with my 66 year old eyes. It is also a lot easier shoot being a single action trigger and the grips are much better for my big hands. For concealment, I find it just as easy to carry in my back pocket as the Ruger LCP. This thing is a “winner”.

  41. Chuck Koehn says:

    I’m still looking for a P238. I shot 75 rds thru a friend’s the other day. Wow. Any ideas in Oregon?

  42. Should try your local gun show. I’m from Washington and couldn’t find it anywhere and I live 10 minutes from Oregon and when to the gun show and found around 6 of them there which they said were going like hot cakes. I picked up up and get it on Tuesday. Have to wait for the FFL dealer to open up to pick it up. Hahah i hate the wait. Even with a CLP i still had to wait to get this bad boy. :) Btw if you close to the Portland area try Keith’s Sporting goods. Other then that the gun is grate. Felt good, looks grate and it’s a Sig which I’ve always liked. Can’t wait to take it out and go through a few rounds. I looked at the kel-tec and the LCP which just felt like cap guns to me. Not saying they bad by any means i just like the solid feel the 238 had and it looks more like a gun to me. Guess I’m picky on that kind of thing.

  43. The best conceled carry / backup gun I have ever owned. over 30 years in law enforcement and two survived gun battles and you learn to cary only the best. The p238 is the best.

  44. Mike (again) says:

    Still at it. It is a finely made gun but…
    Fired 100 more rounds yesterday of various manufacture (it started raining and I could’nt record types) and grs. Two stove pipes and two failures to feed that required nudges.
    Very accurate when funtional.
    May send it back to Sig for fine tuning.
    Wish I could find some good quality ammo.

  45. I fell in love with this gun the first time I held it, bought it 5 minutes later. I’m a huge 1911 fan and up till I bought this gun I suffered through carrying my Kimber Pro carry everywhere, this is a joy to conceal and it functions the same as my 1911′s. Have put approx 500 rounds down range so far with zero issues. Love it and am thinking of getting another for my wife.

  46. I went in to the local gun shop here in Plano TX looking to purchase a Kahr P380 and the rep at the shop stopped me and asked if I had ever looked at the Sig P238. I said no and he asked if I owned a 1911 and I said sure. he said “then you will love this gun”. I have to admit I was taken back with it and liked the looks and feel of it much better than the KAHR p380. He told me that I would like it even more after shooting it. I went ahead and dropped the $530 for the two tone and went right to the range. After shooting 100 rounds I have nothing but praise for this gun. I could not belive how good the gun felt to shoot and how accurate it fired. The night sites were easy to frame and I put all 100 rounds within a 6 inch grouping from 20 feet. Best $530 bucks I have ever spent.

  47. I bought a Sig P238 HD all stainless with night sight for $719.99 from Discount gunsales in Seattle. Too expensive if you ask me;but, I can’t find one anywhere else. I choose the Sig P238 over the Kahr MK9 because I didn’t like Kahr’s slide release. The Kahr was around $679 at a gunshow-WAC (washington arms collector’s). This Sig will be my back-up weapon.

  48. I’ve had a P238 for about a month now. I finally got it out to the range a week ago and had many failure to load issues. I only fired about 72 rounds through it (12 magazines full), but the problem seemed to be on the second shot in every magazine. The first shot loaded fine, but the second wouldn’t fully seat in the chamber. This was with two types of ammo, one of which is Speer Gold Dot. When I contacted Sig Sauer, the rep told me they would send me a new recoil spring that should address the issue along with a full break in period of 300 rounds. So I’m waiting for that to develop. But I am pretty concerned about it, since it will be my wife’s carry weapon, and she needs it to work flawlessly. She’s not a gun nut, and can’t be counted on to keep a clear head under stress to clear a misfire (not sure about myself, for that matter!). If that doesn’t address the issue, I’m going to push Sig for a better resolution. I’ll try to remember to post a follow up once we attempt the repair.

    I can’t help comparing it to my Glock 39 (45 GAP), which works flawlessly and isn’t too bad for me to carry concealed (though a 16 oz loaded weight and a slimmer slide would be great. But what are you going to do with .45 caliber bullets?).

  49. Update to my May 11 post:

    Sig sent me a new recoil spring. I installed it and took it to the range and tried it out. The pistol now works flawlessly. My wife and I took a friend to the range to try out my Glocks, but after she shot the Sig P238, that’s what she is getting. So my view on it is that it is a great little carry pistol and I highly recommend it! (If you can find one, that is!)

  50. The New Sig P238 has some serious issues, During assembly; the operator needs to depress the ejector clear for the slide. which I understand and followed. But during clearing the pistol, I try to clean around the ejector and I was very careful;still;the ejector slide down lower than expected and won’t come up again. Sig knows about this problem because on their web site they mentioned it also. This condition is not repairable at the operator level and now I had to send it back to them for repair. For all the Sig P238 owners: be careful when clean it! The Sig P238 is not a true 1911. A 1911 won’t have this kind of problem.

  51. Shot some of the very first rounds through a brand new one today. What a tack driver for a subcompact…with Magtech hollow-points! Great sights, decent trigger, great controlability. Wish I could afford one.

  52. Hi, Turned 73 in Feb this year. Time came to finally pull the pin. 22 plus years as a Special Agent, Criminal Investigations, DOD; 20 plus years as a Police Major with APD; 15 plus years as Polygraph Examiner and internal affairs, GA State University PD. GA has a law whereby retired law enforcement officers, reired judges and retired DA attornies can carry concealed for the remainder of their lives. Good law. I still carry my Sig P238 and just purchased a Sig P250 compact, DAO 9mm. Just can’t beat sigs for reliability. The sig p250 cost me $500.00 out the door. Can’t figure why the good price. Came with stainless steel frame (nitron) and night sights. Easy to carry in a IWB Galco holster. 16 rd mag. As all sigs shoots well, no mis-fires. Carry Hornby Critical Defense in the 250 and Federal Premium low recoil in the 238. Recommend these weapons without reservations.

  53. Hi Major,

    Thanks for your service. Before moving the family to Florida, I worked just up the road from you as a sergeant at Kennesaw PD. Had several APD guys as neighbors. I really do miss Georgia some days!

    –Richard

  54. I just received this as a wedding gift 4 days ago from my new wife. It is not pictured here, but I did receive one of the limited editions with the wood like grip. I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  55. I recently purchased the Sig Sauer P238 HD from Merchant Firearms in Phoenix for $510!! with shipping ($25) and FFL fees ($35) it came out to total price of $570! I had the gun within 4 days….very happy with the purchase. I have been looking for about a month and this is by far the cheapest that I have been able to find both on the net and locally.

    It is heavier than I remember of the gun I borrowed at the firing range. With that said, it feels solid in my hand. The night sight is absolutely awesome. The only issue I have with this gun/Sig is that it does not come with a holster like the other models.

  56. I just got a new one in trade. I am having an issue where it likes to stay open with rounds still in the mag, the cheap target ammo may be the issue here (it seems to have a large bullet). It seems like the shells in the mag are just big enough to touch the inside of the slide stop, making it stick open. I am going to seek out some different ammo if this keeps up, but anyone else had this sort of problem?

    Other than that, its very very good. Fits behind my wallet totally invisible. One handed, I can stack all the shots shooting 1 handed in a 1.5-2 inch group at combat range (10-15 feet) and at longer ranges its quite accurate (using a 2h grip at 50 feet, I can keep it in a 3 inch group). The recoil is very, very light: I have shot a .25 that had 4 times the recoil in a similar sized gun.

    Anyone have a recommendation for a pinky grip? I was looking at a rubber foot made by kel-tec for their 380 pistol, (only $7), which I think I can make work, but suggestions are welcome. I would like to keep it small, so I am not looking for a 7-8 shot mag extension, just the grip so 1h shooting is a little easier, and better still would be not having to buy a $30 mag if there is a foot that I can add on to my current clip instead for $10 or so (its not the money: if the best option is a $50 mag, I will do that, but if $10 can get me the same result, saving money is always good!).

  57. Update: Sig claims that the shooter can cause this problem, the small grip leads to the shooter hitting the slide stop with their thumb, causing it to stay open.

    This is not my problem, as they asked me to shoot it left handed (so the thumb is on the other side, unable to hit the slide stop) and it still does it. I have also shot another one and it does not stay open — its not the shooter. I also swapped the clips and nothing changed, the other gun works, mine does not.

    Its at the gunsmith now, and if he cannot figure it out, back to sig it goes.

  58. Jon,

    Thanks for posting an update. I think we all benefit when we get follow ups from people who have run into problems like you have.

    I’ve seen the shooter-induced problem like Sig described to you, so they weren’t feeding you a line on that. But, it is obvious you have another problem that will have to be fixed at the factory.

    My experiences with Sig’s customer service have always exceeded my expectations, and I hope you get the same treatment.

    Let us know how it all works out.

    -Richard

  59. Mike (again) says:

    Generally excellent pocket gun built like a rock. Minimal recoil. Accurate.
    I have had some problems before and am beginning to think it is ammo related.
    Today using Winchester 95 gr FMJ there were 4 failures to feed and 2 failures to eject for 50 rounds.
    Using Lellier & Bellot 92gr. FMJ, 50 rounds went smooth as glass as did 7 Hornady HPs.
    I am pleased with the quality of construction and am beginning to trust.

  60. Update again:

    Gunsmith did something to mine, but was not clear what, and I did not get a chance to talk to him, he left it for pickup with a short note that he fixed it. It ate 25 rounds and only had 1 lock-open, and that was at the end (was something hot, slightly expanded??).

    Meanwhile the other sig ate the other 25 rounds in the box with my wife shooting it, and 4 times her hammer went to “half c0cked” when she tried to fire it. This is the gun that had performed flawlessly before. You can half-ck these guns by holding the hammer, hit the trigger, release trigger, and slowly lower the hammer with your thumb. I am not aware that this serves any useful purpose apart from changing the position of stuff during cleaning, but if you want to understand what I mean, this method will demonstrate where the hammer stopped when she tried to fire it. PRACTICE PROPER SAFETY IF YOU DO THIS, ONLY LOWER THE HAMMER MANUALLY AFTER FULL INSPECTION TO ENSURE UNLOADED AND EVEN THEN POINT IT IN A SAFE DIRECTION.

    Its still a great little gun, but they need to do some serious quality checks. My guess is that its small size makes it need more precise fit of the internal parts, and that slightly irregular parts are causing a number of odd things to happen for some buyers.

    I will keep at it for a bit longer, to see if these things are caused by break-in period or something, but I am starting to distrust it as a personal defense weapon — which is what it is designed for. It needs to shoot properly every single time, and so far, with 2 examples, it does not do that.

    More info as I have it.

  61. The stay open gun is fixed. After 2 more boxes of ammo and one last check by the smith, it has stopped doing it unless it gets hot. If I shoot it rapidly until it gets very hot it will still do it now and then. I can accept that.

    I am going to run another few boxes through it just to make sure and to get a little more wear on it, then phase it in as my pocket carry gun if it continues to be reliable.

    I may check back in on the half-cocked one, but if it keeps doing it I will have the smith do his thing to it and its not too useful to keep saying “he polished something or other”, which unfortunately is all the info I have about the fix for these problems.

    Its possible, even likely that these issues could just be “shot out” over time by running a lot of ammo thru them for an extended break in period. But the smith works at the place that sold them to me and does not charge for stuff we buy there (at least while it is still newish), and thats a lot cheaper than 1000 rounds of 380.

    Now that it works, its a very, very good gun and highly recommended. Just be sure if you get one to get it working reliably before you carry it(as you would hopefully do with any new gun that you trust your life to).

  62. marvin donnell says:

    I just purchased a p-238 Nitron (black on black) and this little pistol is phenomenal for accuracy and for overall operation. I highly recommend this for anyone searching for a good carry weapon.

  63. Mike (again) says:

    P238 has improved over time with shooting and cleaning. Only one FTF in 70 rounds.

    NOTICE: there is a modification in the *recoil spring*. I just spoke with SS and they are sending me a new spring free of charge. They will want to know the serial number. The nice lady said the new spring should be good for 1500 rounds.

  64. I just purchased a Nitron 2 weeks ago and ran my first 50 rounds of Remington FMJ through it last week. Had zero FTF or FTE. Everything went perfectly on all 50 rounds. Only moderate recoil and I was able to group within 6″ at 10ft and 20ft. Mine is the 3rd generation with the updated mag, spring etc. The feel and balance is prefect in my hand. While a bit on the expensive side and slightly over my intended budget, it’s working out to be my ideal carry.

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