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Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Little Sig That Could

I have seen a fair amount of talk lately about the Sig P238. First on Packing Pretty, and then today on Typical Shooter. Both articles are worth reading. Shelley Rae at gunnuts.net also occasionally carries a P238 and has spoken highly of it.

My wife carries a P238 as her EDC gun because it is small, easy to shoot, and her other gun is a 1911 for IDPA, so it makes since to carry something similar. I personally don't have a lot of experience with "pocket" sized guns other than a S&W j-frame (if that counts) and a G27 (which doesn't count).

I have not seen enough rounds put through a P238 to make any statements about reliability, and I haven't carried one either (although I think that would be super easy). What I have done is shoot one...a little.


The video is from last year. That is the very first time I touched a P238 and the very first time I pulled the trigger one. I was immediately impressed. That is when I just started shooting at that distance (50 yards) with any pistol.

I wanted to see how different the P238 shoots compared to my normal fair of full-sized handguns. So I talked  my wife into letting me borrow her P238 for a day and take it to the range and get some trigger time on it. I didn't have a ton of ammo, but enough to get a feel for it.

I tried shooting the "300" and it proved difficult. The front sight on the P238 that my wife has is the night sight/fiber optic combo and it is FAT, or at least seemed that way. Getting a precise sight picture on a B8 replacement was problematic because it covered the whole target pretty much. It was a nice sunny day too, and the green fiber optic was nearly blinding me and seemed to make it difficult to get a really hard front sight focus. I don't have any other guns with fiber sights, so maybe if I were more accustomed to it that wouldn't be a problem.

I think there is plenty of potential for precision inherent in the P238 platform. It has real pistol sights, that really work, and while the trigger may not be a tuned 1911 trigger it really isn't that bad.

After a poor attempt at the "300", I decided to go to the other end of the spectrum and run some Bill Drills. This is where having a fiber optic front sight really pays off apparently. The sight really pops and with the minimal recoil of .380 it was easy to track through the drill. Pulling sub 0.20 splits was a piece of cake, and I almost never pull those kind of splits on my other guns unless it is a super close target.

After the Bill Drills I had exhausted my .380 ammo supply, so switched to shooting a real...I mean my normal gun. My general thoughts on the P238 are that it is a good gun, especially if you are looking for a small gun. I would be interested to see how it would run from a holster (I was running everything from a compressed ready position), and over a longer period of time. I doubt many people, if any, have put more than a few hundred rounds through one of these. If my memory serves me right, this one has between 300-500 rounds through it so far.

By virtue of the gun being small, it comes with some issues that have to be worked around too. I run a very high grip with both my shooting hand and my support hand. With the P238 I have to be careful about putting too much thumb pressure on the side of the slide or I will induce a malfunction. If I relied on the gun regularly, I would probably make some changes to how I grip handguns so I wouldn't have to worry about it.


After the gun has been run some more, I will post with additional thoughts. So far I think it is probably the best "pocket gun" from a shootability standpoint that I have messed around with.

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