Photograph of a disassembled Sig Sauer P238 handgun.

Disassembled Sig Sauer P238

to spend his Saturday afternoon cleaning his step-daughter’s handgun.

While Katie’s away for the Christmas break she has a friend cat sitting in her apartment. As a consequence of that I’ve been given her Sig Sauer P238 to keep safe. It’s a pretty little gun, what with the ‘pearl’ grips and fancy scroll-work on the slide. However, I was most surprised to find some rust around the rear sight, not good for a gun that’s only fired a few hundred rounds (if that). So I put it aside for some cleaning and TLC while she’s away. Today, with 20°F temps outside, it was just the sort of day to do some therapeutic cleaning and oiling.

I’ve stripped down the P238 a couple of times, and I’m not surprised that Katie hasn’t cleaned it. It’s a fiddly thing to strip, and fiddly to reassemble too. Of course now I’ve got it clean, I probably ought to take it down the range, check it’s working okay — and then clean it again. I bought Katie some less ‘girly’ wooden grips. I’ve no idea where she’s put them, or I would have fitted them while I was at it.

Cleaning and checking it, I’ve noticed that the slide lock spring is weak or compromised, and doesn’t always engage when the magazine is empty. Checking online this seems to be a common problem with these little pistols.


Overall, I like the size and weight of the Sig Sauer P238 — it makes my ‘compact’ Beretta look huge — the night sights are good, and it’s very well built. Apart from the slide lock issue, I’ve found that the safety is a bit stiff; possibly difficult to operate reliably. I realize the safety has to be stiff to prevent it from being accidentally disengaged, but that begs the question, at what point is it too stiff?

My only fundamental issue with this style of gun is that I prefer a Double / Single Action trigger mechanism, which lets you safely keep a round in the chamber with the hammer down.

Copyright © 2017 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
 
Note:1 tongue very much in cheek — for those who cannot detect humor and a play on words when it is intended.