What is the best concealed carry pistol? This is a question that every gun owner has asked themselves at one point. Below is a detailed review of my Sig P238. In this Sig P238 review you will find high-res photos, specifications, and a full text review. I’ll also discuss some of the upgrades that I’ve done to the pistol.
Sig P238 Photos
Sig P238 Specifications:
Make: Sig Sauer
Trigger: Single Action
Finish: Nitron Two-Tone (Stainless Slide)
Sights: Fixed Night Sights
Magazine Capacity: 6+1 (Single-Stack)
Retail Price: $599
Purchase Sig P238 Holster: Blackhawk 01
Purchase Sig P238 Grips: Hogue
My New Sig P238 Nitron
I just bought what is looking to be my favorite sub-compact pistol I have ever owned, and I have owned quite a few. View Sig P238 Review for complete details. Some of the sub-compact pistols in my arsenal include the Glock 26 Gen 4, Beretta Tomcat INOX, North American Arms (NAA) .380 & the NAA .32. The Sig Sauer P238 Nitron is the newest addition to my sub-compact collection. It fancies a stainless slide and a black nitron finish, which is much sharper looking that you’re typical blueing. It also sports night sights, which come standard on this pistol. It is chambered in .380, which isn’t the ideal self-defense round, but it allows for a higher carry percentage, which is far more important than the round you’re carrying. It is better to have a BB gun on you 100% of the time, than it is to have a shotgun on you 10% of the time.
Key Factors For Your Carry Pistol
People will argue all day long about what the best concealed carry pistol is, and what the most effective round might be. Some people swear by the .45, and some think that a 9mm is ideal, while others are fine with a .380 or .32. In my opinion, the caliber is one of the least important things to consider when choosing your carry pistol, and training for self-defense. Some of the more important factors are is the pistol easy to carry? If so, then you are more likely to have it on you in time of need (high carry percentage). Consider that you may be carrying it for many hours at a time, and weight and comfort will come into play. Also consider the type of clothing that you will be wearing, and which positions/locations to like to carry in.
Also consider how the pistol feels in your hand. Everyone’s hands are different, and especially when it comes to sub-compact pistols, the way a gun feels in your hand can make it or break it. People with larger hands tend to catch the slide “biting” them, in which case a beaver tail (like featured on the Sig P238) comes into hand.
Another more important factor than caliber is shot placement. Shooting an attacker in the eye with a .22 will be more effective than shooting an attacker in the hand with a .45. Because we know that small caliber typically are easier to control in sub-compact pistols, it’s easy to understand that shot placement will be better with a smaller caliber. Same goes for follow-up shots. Another important factor to consider is the type of ammo. Each gun is different, so make sure you train with what you’re going to carry to make sure that your gun likes it, eats it properly, and ejects it properly. More details on this list can be found in my article “Important Factors To Consider When Carrying A Concealed Weapon.”
Sig P238 & The Colt Mustang
The new Sig P238 is a licensed remake of the old Colt Mustang, which for unknown reasons, has been discontinued. The P238 is a 1911 style, single action sub-compact pistol that literally fits in your pocket. This is why it offers a higher carry percentage than larger carry pistols. You can have this on you and not even know it, and it fits comfortably in all carry positions.
Ergonomics & Dimensions
My favorite thing about this gun is that despite its small dimensions, it actually feels like a real gun. It is very comfortable, and there is nothing awkward about it. The NAA .380 was extremely uncomfortable to shoot, and the long pull on the double-action trigger made it a pain to produce well placed groups on the target. The Beretta Tomcat shot nice, but had a history of issues, and was chambered a the even smaller .32 caliber. The Glock 26 is too wide to carry in light, or summer clothing. Its bulkiness made it a gun more often left at home that carried. The Sig P238 has solved all of these problems.
Comfort is pointless in a concealed weapon if you can’t hit anything, right? Don’t worry. The Sig did not let us down when it came to accuracy, easy follow-up shots, reloading, or comfort. At 25 yards, it shot very nice groups with Winchester FMJ, and at 7 yards, we were able to consistently shoot 1″ groups. The trigger-pull on the Sig P238 is very smooth, and very short. The short trigger pull contributes to the accuracy and comfort found in the Sig P238.
In the first 100 rounds of shooting, there was only one problem. We had a round mis-fire, which we contributed to a bad primer. On inspection of the round, it was very obvious that the round had been struck by the firing pin, but the round did not fire.
Sig P238 Extended Magazine | Sig P238 X-Mag
I have been on the hunt high and low for additional magazines for my Sig P238. I have especially been looking for the Sig P238 extended magazine, also know as the P238 X-Mag. It has a capacity of holding 7 rounds, which gives you a total of 8 rounds (7+1). For a while, you could not purchase the Sig P238 extended X-Mags. They were only sold with the upgraded pistol model, so in order to get them… you had to buy a new gun.
Recently, I discovered that you could buy the Sig P238 extended magazine (X-Mag) for sale via phone only through Sig Sauer. Below is the promotion that Sig released. I just ordered on, so I will update this as soon as they come in to let you know how the experience went.
Sig P238 Disassembly & Cleaning
No tools required. One of the innovative loves found in the Glock was its simplicity in use, take-down, and clean-up. The Sig P238 offers a very easy, no-tools-required take-down. Simply unload and clear the pistol, remove the safety, cock the hammer, pull the slide back until the dent in the slide lines up the the slide release pin, remove the pin, and push the slide forward off the frame of the pistol.
Sig P238 Hogue Grips
I also just ordered the Sig P238 Hogue grips. These are the real deal, not the slide-on style grips that you typically get from Hogue. The Sig P238 Hogue grips replace the current grips and include the finger grooves. I will update my photos as soon as everything arrives.
Sig P238 Grips: The Factory Grips Needed Some Work | How To Properly Custom Paint Pistol Grips
The Sig P238 grips that came with the Sig P238 were not to my liking. They had a light blue tint to them, and just did not fit the elegance of the Sig P238. I searched high and low for some Sig P238 custom grips, but I did not want to spend the $60 to $100 on them. I decided to take a different route. I painted them… for $5.00.
Sig P238 Video: My First Time Shooting My Sig P238
The pictures below were taken in different light, and I will replace them as soon as I get time, but you should get a good idea of the upgrade.
They turned out perfect, and far better than I was expecting. I used Krylon Fusion Charcoal Hammered Finish paint. It is specifically designed to bond to plastics. It is a very durable finish, and guarantees a chip free, scratch free toughness after 7 days. To paint, simple remove the grips from the pistol, clean the surface of the factory Sig grips, then apply 2-3 extremely light coats of paint to the grips. Do not spray them directly. Spray over them, and let the paint fall to the grip’s surface. It only takes 15 minutes to dry, you can handle after 1 hour. For best results, let them sit for the recommended 7 day bonding process. For additional protection use a clear coat finish after paint 15 minutes.
The Best Concealed Carry Pistol
The Sig P238 is, in my opinion, the best concealed carry pistol currently on the market. I’m saying this considering ALL aspects of carrying, not just caliber choice, feel, concealing, price, etc. It’s biggest negative is the price. It is a bit pricey, but when it comes to saving your life, you should not settle. The factors I have considered in calling this the best concealed carry pistol are size, weight, reliability, resale value, ergonomics, and buying from a company that stands behind their products. With all of these factors considered, the Sig P238 wins hands down.
The Beretta Tomcat is a borderline recall pistol, with the frame on many of them cracking where the slide connects. Though it did seem that the INOX version fixed this problem, when a brand makes a negative name for itself regarding a specific product… it is hard to forget. It’s also only chambered in .32 auto.
North American Arms (NAA)
The NAA .32 and .380 are very reliable carry pistols, and very compact. The two biggest negatives to them are weight, and complete discomfort when shooting. Weight that leads to potentially leaving it home more often than not, and discomfort in shooting that leads to lower accuracy, and less ambition to practice with the pistol. The Sig P238 .380 chambered and loaded actually weighs less than my wife’s NAA .32 chambered and loaded.
Sig P238 Review By NutNFancy on YouTube
U.S. Justice Department surveys showed 57 percent of convicts were “more worried about their victims being armed than being caught by the police,” and 40 percent said they “decided at least once not to commit a crime because a victim might be armed.”