The Sig Sauer P238 in .380 ACP was introduced at SHOT Show in 2009. Since its introduction it has only continued to excel and has easily become one of the Top 5 micro single stack pistols for concealed carry. Its size, capacity and ease of use make it hard to beat and should definitely be considered when determining what gun you should choose for your everyday carry pistol.
The Sig Sauer P238 comes in a myriad of options and colors. Buyers have the option of buying a 238 with either an aluminum or a steel frame along with your choice of polymer, G10, Hogue or wood grips. As of 2017 there are approximately 20 available models on Sig Sauer’s website and that doesn’t even take into account the models that are dealer exclusives or limited runs. (https://www.sigsauer.com/products/firearms/pistols/p238/) I was able to get my hands on the Sig Sauer P238 SAS for the purpose of the review.
The Sig Sauer P238 SAS (SIG ANTI-SNAG) model is one of the few P238s that has passed through the Sig Sauer Custom Shop before being shipped to retailers. The edges of the frame have been “melted” to give a more rounded appearance so the firearm is less prone to snagging when being pulled from or placed into a holster. The P238 SAS model has a stainless-steel slide with a hard coat anodized frame and is fitted with a pair of premium Sig Sauer wood grips. The pistol is then topped with a set of SIGLITE night sights. Adding night sights to the pistol gives the shooter the ability to transition from daytime to low or no light conditions without sacrificing accuracy.
Out of the box the Sig Sauer P238 comes with 1 six round magazine, an instruction manual, cable lock, and a sample tube of Lucas gun grease for lubricating the pistol. Earlier versions of the pistol were shipped with an outside the waistband Sig holster, however, the model used for this review did not ship with a holster. Sig Sauer does offer an extended magazine for purchase to increase the capacity to 7 rounds.
The Sig Sauer P238 operates as a Single Action firearm and, as such, requires that the firearm utilize a manual thumb safety. The average trigger pull is about 6 lbs. For those that do not understand the term single-action, it means that the firearm’s firing mechanism must be in a certain position to be able to fire. In this case, the hammer of the firearm must be pulled all the way back into the rearward position in order for it to fire.
When carrying the Sig Sauer P238 it is recommended that you carry the firearm with a round in the chamber, the thumb safety on, and the hammer rearward. This is often referred to as “Cocked & Locked.” The safety is sturdy enough that it should only move when you want it to. The P238 can very easily disappear into a waistband or pocket with minimal effort. With a total weight of only 16oz. you have no need to readjust your wardrobe to account for carrying this pistol.
The included 6 round magazine is easy to load and the slide is, in my opinion, one of the easiest slides to rack compared to other current production firearms. I can’t tell you how many times I have customers lament over how they can’t rack the slide on a pistol, but when handed the P238 they are able pull it back without any trouble at all.
Shooting the pistol is very pleasant as well. Many customers who have concerns of excess recoil or “trigger slap” will use the P238 for a day of shooting and walk away with a smile on their face. This in turn leads to more trips to the range and instills in them the confidence they need so that should they ever have to use their firearm defensively, they will know that they have what’s needed to protect themselves or their loved ones.
The Sig Sauer P238 is arguably one of the best micro compact pistols currently available on today’s market, or, as one of my fellow team members called it, “The Mercedes of 380s.”