SIG SAUER P232 Pistols: Updated for 2009

SIG P232

The SIG SAUER P232 pistol was updated for 2009.  The new P232 features a newly designed slide that reduces “slide bite” on larger hands and removable sights.

For those not familiar with the SIG SAUER P232, the gun is a .380 ACP pistol that is more substantial in size and weight than the recent crop of .380 pocket guns.  The P232 runs between 18.5 – 23.6 ounces, has a 3.6″ barrel, and an overall length of 6.6″.  The action is a DA/SA design and has a capacity of seven plus one.

The SIG P232 is available in three finishes: black Nitron, stainless, and a two-tone stainless slide with a black frame.  All models of P232 are available with standard or SIGLITE Night Sights.

SIG P232 Specifications

  • caliber:  .380 ACP
  • standard magazine capacity:  seven rounds
  • barrel length:  3.6″
  • overall length:  6.6″
  • action:  double-action/single-action (DA/SA)
  • trigger pull weight:  DA: 10 pounds, SA: 4.5 pounds
  • sight radius:  4.7″
  • MSRP:  $649 ($720 with factory night sights) for the Nitron version

While sleek and attractive, some people do not like the P232 pistols due to the lack of slide catch.  This means the shooter will not be able to lock the slide to the rear of the pistol for any reason.  While this does not negatively impact the reliability of the handgun, it does alter how some things are done.  For example, you can’t lock the slide back when handing another person the P232.  If this is important to you, this SIG pistol may not be your best choice.

Sootch00 on YouTube did a review of the updated pistol:

The P232 is easy to shoot, light recoiling pistol due to the size of it. Keep in mind that the trigger is a double-action/single-action design. These tend to be less accurate due to the lack of training most people will invest in learning the system. For the vast majority of people, having a double-action only pistol – like a Glock or Smith & Wesson M&P – is a superior choice.

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

20 replies on “SIG SAUER P232 Pistols: Updated for 2009”

J. Daniel,

I have a 230 – my hands are large, slide bite gets to be painful – wish I had a 232. My 230 has a very strong trigger pull (an SA/DA); before you buy, go to a gun store and dry fire it. Then, try to imagine firing a DAO for 50+ rounds. Good luck.

For Paul Chaunka (and anyone else who has an experienced opinion): I am about to purchase a P232, I am a woman (petite). I presently own two handguns (with carry permit) and want to replace my Det. Special with another semi-automatic (sold mine six years ago). Last .380 DID bite my hand, so you think the P232 is not a good choice?? Can you suggest anything else? It’s a big deal selling/buying a weapon (tons of paperwork lol), don’t want to make a mistake! THANKS.

Hi Mercy,

Thanks for posting! Do you have a range in your area that rents guns? It would definitely be worth the money to rent a few and shoot them prior to purchase. Another option is to find a friend or neighbor who has some different guns to go shoot.

The Sig P232 is a fine weapon, and if you like it, go for it. There are a lot of other quality firearms out there that you may like as well. The Smith & Wesson M&P9c is a compact 9mm pistol with interchangeable backstraps to custom fit your hand. If you are looking for a thin, single-stack pistol, take a look at the Kahr line, like the CW9.

Good luck!


I’m looking for a good, reliable defense weapon. My Colt .38 Det. Spec. is fine but far too heavy to carry. My .380 was a cheap gun, developed jamming issues at the range, NOT reliable, NOT a weapon I could trust, I scrapped it (actually surrendered it to local Sheriff office for destruction). Pistol might not be the weapon of choice given its intended use: if I have to chamber a cartridge, I lose time. At home, not a problem; where I live, highly unlikely I will ever need it for defense outdoors (HOPEFULLY!), BUT I will not carry a pistol with a cartridge already chambered. IMO, the revolver (even without safety) is far less likely to discharge unless it’s intended (or someone is negligent). Today I found an internet site that discussed defense weapons for women (specifically). This site recommended:
Hammerless S&W 432PD Magnum Airweight
S&W Centennial 442 Airweight or 642 CT

These both appear similar to what I already own. I’m wondering if you know what the difference might be (weight wise?? perhaps). THANKS.

Well, I’m not a fan of the 432 because it was chambered in .32 H&R Magnum, which I think is underpowered for self defense. But, any gun is better than no gun.

I own a 642 and really like it. I’ve carried it for more than 15 years both as a back-up as a police officer, and concealed as an armed citizen. For being a small, lightweight revolver, chambered in a decent (not great) caliber (.38 Special), it fills a specific purpose for me. Given a choice, it is never my primary carry gun, though. Both the 442 (functionally identical to the 642) and the 642 are good quality and are relatively lightweight.

Neither the 642 or the 442 are fun to shoot. Due to their light weight, both have fairly sharp recoil. I highly suggest trying one before buying one. The Colt you have now probably does not recoil nearly as much. If I recall correctly, the Detective Special was a steel framed gun, while these are aluminum. The weight helps absorb the recoil.

If you are looking for just something light, take a look at the Ruger LCP. It is a reliable little .380 ACP pistol. I don’t normally suggest .380 for self defense, but depending on your needs, it may fit the bill.

Carrying a semi-auto pistol without a round in the chamber is a bad idea. In a violent encounter, you will not have time to chamber a round. I’ve been in more than a few violent encounters and they happen very, very fast. You will be lucky to get your gun out. Chambering a round on top of that is virtually impossible.

Semi-auto handguns are designed to be carried with a round in the chamber, as are most revolvers.

If I may suggest, find a firearms trainer in your area, and pay for a few lessons. He or she should have several different firearms commonly used for concealed carry, and ask them to bring them along to the range. Feeling the different guns may give you a better idea on what feels good in your hand, and what they all weigh. If you have problems finding someone in your area, drop me a note ([email protected]) and I’ll see if there is anyone I can suggest.

Good luck!


i bought my first p232 in 2006,i have had a gun lic.since 1980,but of all the guns i have owned. the p232 has proven to be the best personal defense civilian handgun i have,s a straight shooter never has jammed,and is light for carry.the best thing about this gun is that one in the chamber in decock,is just like carrying a revolver cause you have to go through the double action phase for the first round,unless you cock the hammer manualy.sig p232 is more than enough power for civilian use from spring to fall seasons,winter time more clothes are added on to a persons body,then penetration becomes an issue then it,s time for 38+p or 9mm etc.i live on a tropical island so 380 is good for me year round.stay safe and out of harms way.but above all practice as much as time and cash will permit.

Comments are closed.