Choosing a Firearm and Concealed Carry with the Sig Sauer P238

by August 31, 2012 08/31/12
Sig Sauer P238

If you have a concealed handgun permit, or you just like to shoot, then you probably already know that selecting the right firearm is a very personal decision. Determining which pistol would work for best in my situation was no different.

I’ll admit right up front that most of my shooting experience has come from working with Sig Sauer pistols because that’s what Bryan carries and he’s the one who taught me to shoot. I’ve found Sigs to be very reliable and enjoyable to shoot. I’ve shot a few different 9mm options, but chose a Sig P232 a couple of years ago for my first handgun while at a local gun show. It’s a .380 caliber pistol that I thought at the time would work well for me, but once I got it home and started using it, I realized that it wasn’t a good match for me.

Beginner’s Regrets

Looking back, I didn’t do my research before buying my first pistol. All of the problems I had with the P232 (and still have with it) could’ve been avoided if I had handled it more before buying it, or testing it out at a gun range. It made me wonder how many people have bought a firearm at a gun show, sales counter, or online thinking they could make it work for them, or if I’m the minority with my impulse gun purchase.

When I saw the Sig P232 I thought it looked sleek, compact and the price was right. Regrettably, I only held it only for a few minutes before drawing the conclusion that it would be a good purchase for me. Bryan was trying to be supportive and let me pick out what I wanted, but I think we were both a little anxious for me to pick out a gun that I could call my own.

Sig Sauer P238

Once I was ready to actually use the gun, I found the slide was extremely hard for me to rack. How did I miss this major detail before I bought the gun? I recall Bryan and I talking about it at the gun show, but we thought the slide would get smoother once the gun was used. What actually happened as I tried to use the gun was that I was having to move the P232 from my right hand to my left, point the gun towards the ground then try to rack the slide with my right hand before I could begin shooting. Each time I took it to the range I would listen to suggestions from Bryan on different ways I could try to rack the slide. None of my efforts were graceful or easy and the slide hasn’t ever gotten easier for me to maneuver.

Additionally, my index finger can’t easily reach the trigger on the P232. I have to slide my right hand around towards the front of the pistol grip so that my index finger can rest where it needs to on the trigger. Since the P232 has a double-action trigger the first trigger pull is heavier than the subsequent pulls, so I have to make sure my finger is positioned well enough for me to fire the first round.

The P232 is still a great gun, its fun for me to shoot (once I’ve got a round chambered) and its very reliable, however its not one that I will ever be able to comfortably carry as a fast action self-defense firearm. It was a good deal at the gun show and I liked how it looked, but I made the mistake of selecting this gun by assuming it would work for me.

Thinking Harder Before Buying

When we were at the 2011 SHOT Show I wanted to see the Sig Sauer pistols that were on display. I spotted the P238 Copperhead and was immediately drawn to it. It was lightweight, the slide was super easy for me to rack with the appropriate hand and I loved the look of it. There wasn’t a sales person breathing down my neck, so I played with the P238 for awhile, put it down and walked away. I came back later during the show to handle it some more and see if I had any new ideas or discoveries. The more I handled it, the more I liked it.

Sig Sauer P238

It wasn’t until later in the year that I actually purchased the P238 and had a chance to fire it. I wasn’t overly concerned about test firing this particular gun before buying, because I didn’t plan to carry concealed at the time and I hadn’t come to all the realizations I’ve mentioned in this article. When I had the opportunity to finally hold the 238, I was reminded of handling it at SHOT Show and just how comfortable it was in my hands. The grip size was perfect for me, my index finger easily reached and gripped the trigger, the slide was easy to maneuver and it was light enough for me to want to carry it concealed when I was mentally ready for that next step.

Basic P238 Specs

  • 15.2 ounces (most models)
  • 5.5 inches long
  • 1.1 inches wide
  • 5.5 inches tall
  • 6 round capacity (+1 chambered or with extended magazine)
  • 7.5-8.5 lb trigger pull
  • SIGLITE night sights (glow in the dark)
  • Single action
  • Manual safety
  • Numerous colors/models to choose from

More Shooters Weigh In

My friend, neighbor and fellow pistol league member Jessica began acquiring an interest in shooting in recent years. We’re both new to being comfortable with firearms and concealed carry, so when I found out she had started carrying a Sig P238 Nitron I couldn’t wait to ask her what she thought about it.

Sig Sauer P238

I asked Jessica what led her to choose the P238. Coincidentally, we both had our first shooting experiences with other Sig 9mm pistols and naturally gravitated to other Sigs when looking for our first gun purchases. “I wanted something that was small enough that I could carry, plus at the time I was still afraid of guns and I thought with it being smaller it wouldn’t scare me as much. I thought if I could get comfortable with a little one then I could move to a bigger one. I like that it’s easy; I can [rack the slide] without help, I can load the gun by myself and I liked the way it shot.”

When Jessica mentioned she could load the P238 by herself it reminded me that this is a very easy gun to load. Some guns have magazines with stiff springs that make them difficult to reload and can require a magazine re-loading device to help.

Andrea, one of the facilitators in our pistol league, noted that she’s now in the market for a P238 after shooting Jessica’s a few times. ” I have a G[lock]19 supposedly for concealed carry, but it’s too big and bulky and doesn’t get carried. I believe I can realistically carry the Sig without having to drastically re-do my wardrobe and [carry] habits. It’s slim, it feels good and fits my hand well especially with the extended magazine. It has very manageable recoil and it comes in lots of pretty colors.”

It was a common point made by other members of our ladies gun club that the P238 is small, lightweight, shoots well and is easy to maneuver. One member even added that she has Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but has no trouble operating the P238. The manual safety is another feature that women in our group seem to prefer.

Sandra, another friend from our neighborhood and gun club, had this to say about shooting the P238. “The recoil is manageable. I like this trigger better than the double action trigger [on her Sig P229], which can be a safety feature for some people. [With the 238] you push your safety down and its ready to go.” When comparing the Sig 238 to other small, concealable .380 guns, Sandra also noted, “I didn’t like the Baby Glock because it’s too squared and my trigger finger was too small to fire the gun correctly. The Ruger LCP has a very long trigger pull and a very thin frame that I find difficult to handle.”

Different Shapes and Sizes

As you know, we all come in different shapes and sizes. What works for me might not work for you and vice versa. With that in mind, I thought it was important to share with you just how different my grip and hand size is from Jessica’s, but the Sig P238 works well for both of us.

Sig Sauer P238
Sig Sauer P238

I use the standard magazine with my P238, but Jessica opted for an extended magazine with a rounded base to fit her hand more comfortably. Even though my index finger is much shorter than hers I’m able to comfortably reach the trigger.

Caliber vs. Accuracy

There have been many people, both men and women, who’ve voiced concerns about a .380 not being a high enough caliber to provide adequate self protection. Fortunately, there are shooters on both sides of that fence.

Granted, smaller pistols regardless of caliber tend to have a smaller magazine capacity. That’s why one of my main goals in practicing with my carry pistol is to always improve when it comes to accuracy. I want to feel confident that I can put my limited number of rounds in just the right spot so I’m provided as much protection as possible.

Since that’s just my opinion, I wanted to see if Jessica and Sandra felt a .380 caliber pistol could offer them enough protection. They both agreed that their reasons for carrying concealed is to stop an attacker and that if they are proficient with operating the gun they carry, they feel they can stop an attacker with a .380 caliber pistol or a .22 caliber pistol. Jessica went on to say, “Personally, I don’t think its the size of the bullet that’s going to be the difference if I get out of a situation or not. I think if I had my .22 and I shot you enough times, you’re either going to stop coming after me or I’m going to kill you if I hit the right spot. To me, it’s more if I’m comfortable with [the gun] and proficient enough with it to shoot with it.”

Carrying the P238 Concealed

Jessica carries her P238 Nitron concealed by using the Astraea pocket holster or the Athena appendix holster, both made by Soteria Leather, depending on what type of garments she’s wearing. Both holsters have helped Jessica to confidently carry her P238 on her body. I’m currently testing out a few different concealed holster options to see what works best for me.

Sig Sauer P238
Sig Sauer P238

The P238 has an optional extended magazine so you can carry an additional round. For those who prefer to carry more than the six (or 6 +1) rounds a standard P238 magazine permits, you may want to consider carrying an additional magazine within reach of your pistol. Many custom holster manufacturers make their products with the ability to carry not only your firearm, but also an additional magazine.

Sig Sauer P238

When I first took my gun out of the case I noticed it came with a small, hard plastic mini-holster that can be clipped to a belt or waistband. I wasn’t impressed with the plastic holster at first because when drawing from this holster I’ve had to use my left hand to hold the holster while my right hand draws the gun out. The only use I’ve found for it is when I’ve carried my gun in my purse, I utilize this holster to keep the trigger covered and protected.

I’d also like to note that I personally think carrying concealed in a purse is not the best option, as the gun is not readily accessible as it should be when on your body. Also because the gun can get jostled around and create a safety hazard.

The Flip Side

As with most things you buy, there are both positives and negatives when it comes to a product. Fortunately with the P238, the down side is brief as far as I can tell. Below, I’ll share a few usage notes.

The cost to run the Sig P238 is higher than some larger caliber firearms due to ammunition for a .380 pistol being more expensive than ammunition for a 9mm handgun. There are other ways to save on ammo, like buying in bulk and limiting the number of rounds you go through each time you go to the range. As Jessica said, “with the 9mm its cheaper to go shoot and practice than with the .380.”

Another option to consider if the cost of ammo has you nixing the P238 as the concealed carry gun for you, is the new Sig Sauer P938. This gun is very similar in style, size and functionality to the P238, but comes in 9mm instead of .380.

When I took my P238 to the range for the first couple of times, I had difficulty getting the first round to fire. I found that I had to slam the magazine into the mag well when I loaded it to make sure the magazine was fully engaged. Those first visits to the range left me with a bit of soreness in my left hand since I wasn’t used to tapping the magazine so hard, but as I learned how to use my gun better this has become a non-issue.

There have been a handful of occasions where my first round in a magazine has not fired, but there is evidence of the firing pin hitting the back of the bullet. It hasn’t happened enough for me to think my Copperhead isn’t reliable, but I’ve learned I need to make sure I’m racking the slide hard enough to the rear before letting go; properly chambering the first round. Since the slide is so easy to rack on the P238 I think sometimes I’m not pulling and releasing it fast enough to fully chamber the round.

Anyone in the market for a personal defense firearm that’s easy to carry and conceal may seriously want to consider the Sig Sauer P238. This is a tough little gun that can help you put up a big fight should you need it to.


Are you getting more than 14¢ of value per day from ITS Tactical?

Please consider joining our Crew Leader Membership and our growing community of supporters.

At ITS Tactical we’re working hard every day to provide different methods, ideas and knowledge that could one day save your life. Instead of simply asking for your support with donations, we’ve developed a membership to allow our readers to support what we do and allow us to give you back something in return.

For less than 14¢ a day you can help contribute directly to our content, and join our growing community of supporters who have directly influenced what we’ve been able to accomplish and where we’re headed.

Click here to learn about all the benefits and Join!


WaspinatorPrime
WaspinatorPrime

I bought a p232 a while back and found it to be a GREAT pistol.

Matter of fact I now own two. One I sent back to Sig to be tuned - sweet.

kellyblack
kellyblack

@Angie S. Thanks so much for your comment, Angie! I've found that my grip and form need to be firm, too. Even though I've been shooting for a few years now I still have to tell myself to relax, breathe and focus. Maybe one of these days everything will be second nature for me, but until then I have to coach myself as I go. I like what you mentioned about how the P238 encourages you to improve your technique and not get sloppy. I agree! I was at the range one day last year and a few young males were firing some large caliber pistol and I heard them say, "This is one of those guns where you can hit anything!" My immediate thought was, "Dear God, why am I in the bay next to them" and then I hoped that I would be a better shooter by really developing better skill with my aim and not just relying on a single big bullet to cover more paper. I know when it comes to self defense either method will work fine, but I like the idea of nailing that bulls eye with my .380 round. Keep up the great practice and stay safe!

kellyblack
kellyblack

@Ron Brown Thanks for your feedback. You definitely bring up great points for any shooter who may have larger hands or a different way of gripping the firearm when drawing from a concealed position. Hopefully we'll get some comments with recommendations on what may work better for you.

kellyblack
kellyblack

@Jules Gollner Hi Jules, thanks so much for your feedback! I'm glad the article was helpful and appreciate you sharing it with friends and family. Keep up the training and stay safe and vigilant!

kellyblack
kellyblack

@C Hickman Thanks for your feedback! Having an extra magazine certainly gives me a feeling of being better prepared if I ever need to defend myself. And, I agree that you can wear the Sig in the heat of the summer with the right holster. It's such a versatile firearm!

kellyblack
kellyblack

@Gatorcop1 Thanks so much for the follow up! I'm glad to hear she likes her P238 and has taken advantage of some of the accessories. It's fun being able to customize a firearm to suit the carrier. Picking up some rubber bullets can help her practice at home, too. I'm glad to hear the article was helpful!

kellyblack
kellyblack

@Gatorcop1 Honestly, it took me awhile to get used to the idea of carrying concealed with a round chambered. No matter if the gun is parked in a holster in my bag or on my body I'm always conscious of the gun being jostled around. Part of what helped me to get past that is the ability to have the safety on when I carry the P238. The safety is easy for me to release after I draw the pistol and have it in position. With regards to the trigger, the double action is all I've really worked with consistently. It works for me. Keep us posted on what your wife chooses!

kellyblack
kellyblack

@Stalt Thank you for sharing your feedback and emphasizing the details of what works for you. That's so important for anyone to keep in mind as they investigate which firearm will work best for them. Excellent points to consider!

kellyblack
kellyblack

@Reverend Thanks so much for your feedback! It's always great to hear about the experience other shooters have had with their firearms. I also love hearing from shooters who are confident a .380 can defend them. Stay safe and be vigilant!

kellyblack
kellyblack

@SirDanMur Thanks for your feedback! Jessica loves the holsters she's purchased from Soteria Leather. I've only tried an appendix holster, which hasn't worked all that well for me. Maybe I'll give another style of holster from Soteria a shot at some point in the future. I'm definitely still pleased with my P238. If you have the chance to invest in one, I definitely recommend it!

SirDanMur
SirDanMur

Soteria Leather has some great holsters. I carry my Bersa Thunder .380 in a Soteria IWB strong side. http://soterialeather.com/shopping/page15/page15.html the (Notus) I definitely wish I had saved up more for the Sig P238 or 938. Every Time I look at that gun handle it I like it more. My Bersa works for me, but I wish I had something better and more concealable/lighter/smaller.

kellyblack
kellyblack

SirDanMur Thanks for your feedback! Jessica loves the holsters she's purchased from Soteria Leather. I've only tried an appendix holster, which hasn't worked all that well for me. Maybe I'll give another style of holster from Soteria a shot at some point in the future. I'm definitely still pleased with my P238. If you have the chance to invest in one, I definitely recommend it!

JasonD
JasonD

@Nikola  You seem pretty desperate to elevate yourself, which is the typical recourse of little baby-brains with inferiority complexes. Go learn some people skills before going on the internet and trying to interact with grown ups.

darkalley
darkalley

Just wanted to say I'm really glad to have come across this post. I'm 20, looking at buying my first handgun(with the express intent of getting a concealed carry license) in a couple months, and while I do have some experience with a moderately wide variety of guns, I don't have any female friends who shoot or carry regularly. While my male friends have been helpful, this article addressed some concerns I had and has been a huge help. Thanks!

kellyblack
kellyblack

@darkalley That's awesome to hear! Thanks for your feedback and for taking the time to comment. All the best to you as you acquire your CC license. Stay vigilant!

kellyblack
kellyblack

@darkalley That's awesome to hear! Thanks for your feedback and for taking the time to comment. All the best to you as you acquire your CC license. Stay vigilant!

Reverend
Reverend

I own a few weapons, handguns, pistols and rifles. For the longest time I was carrying a S&W Chief Special, 2" .38 Stainless. It was bulky and heavy to carry all-day and I got myself the Sig P232 Stainless. Experienced same as you indicated and was thrilled when I recently purchased a Nitron P238. It was a special run,uncatalogued P238 that came with the Sig Night Sight-Rear and Front Fiber Optic Sight, Hogue Rubber Finger Grooved Grips, 2 Magazines (6 and 7 round) and a holster of my choice. It was manufactured in May 2013 so all the issues with spring etc have been addressed by Sig. I have nothing negative to say about the P238. It is great for concealed carry, lightweight and is even a joy to play with while I'm at the range with my bigger toys. I carry it with Hornady Critical Defense loads and an extra magazine with same ammo. I am very confident that I can slow down any aggressor from 50' out, if needed. Closer then that, they will be stopped. Now, I am trading my P232 for a .45 Sig Sauer for range play.

Stalt
Stalt

I have a P238 and for me it is an intuitive handgun.... It feels good in hand, the trigger pull is perfect for me. the P238 slide is easy for me to rack. I found it to be a very accurate handgun for me to shoot from day one. I did not need to get used to firing it. It just works for me... I have Hogue Grips with Extended Magazine.. The factory Laser does not work for me. It interferes with my grip so I will not be using it. The key words are "for me" .. Please try various brands and also various Grips on the brand and model that "Feels Right to you" Then it is time to fire one..... A trip to Cabelas and Gander Mountain is worthwhile, they will have many brands and configurations... I bought mine online from an out of state gun shop and saved more than $200.00 from prices charged by local stores.

Gatorcop1
Gatorcop1

The wife bought the Sig P238. She loves it. This being her first handgun, ever, we are going over all of the safety rules. She's shot about 35 rounds out of it so far and continues to handle it while watching tv (unloaded of course) to get used to it even more. So far we haven't practiced drawing and firing it yet- that's coming down the line. I can honestly say both on her behalf and mine, that the single action for the first round is not a concern, now. Thanks for the input. BTW, she purchased the P238 with the optional formed grips, 7 round magazine and Sig laser. She's a bad-wamma-jamma now!

C Hickman
C Hickman

Bought two Sig P238s for Christmas--one for me and one for my Mom. I don't like carrying in Condition One. The P238's single action with one in the chamber gives me an easier feeling. I practice drawing and cocking for muscle memory as often as possible, and the split second more it takes to cock than to deactivate the safety seems to be a reasonable trade-off. My mom absolutely loves the weapon. I carry it everywhere, even if it is a .380. I alternate Buffalo Bore 100g standard pressure and Federal 95g JHP in the clip, carry an additional, identical seven-round clip, and am unafraid. My S&W 6906 was my primary carry, but I couldn't wear it with everything in the Summer. The Sig goes everywhere.

Gatorcop1
Gatorcop1

How do you like the single action on the P238? Do you carry it with the safety on and hammer cocked, or are you training yourself to cock the hammer as you draw it out of your holster/purse/etc.?

My wife is in love with the P238 and we are contemplating purchasing it, after she handled over a dozen other guns. I am a bit concerned about it being a single action. Comments? Thanks.

Gatorcop1
Gatorcop1

How do you like the single action on the P238? Do you carry it with the safety on and hammer cocked, or are you training yourself to cock the hammer as you draw it out of your holster/purse/etc.? My wife is in love with the P238 and we are contemplating purchasing it, after she handled over a dozen other guns. I am a bit concerned about it being a single action. Comments? Thanks.

Jules Gollner
Jules Gollner

Excellent article Kelly! I have come away with a lot of good info after reading this article & the

comments that were sent in.

With the exception of 'Mr.Negative' Nikola.

My gun trainer started me on the Sig380 last week & I love it. It will be my cc weapon of choice.

I have very small hands and the racking on other guns was too difficult for me.

I knew I needed something I could handle & re-load quickly; also that would be easy to carry often.

I will be sending this article on to my daughter & lady friends on the plus's of the Sig.

Also, I will point out how negative speech & behavior limits your outlook on life.

Jules

Jules Gollner
Jules Gollner

Excellent article Kelly! I have come away with a lot of good info after reading this article & the comments that were sent in. With the exception of 'Mr.Negative' Nikola. My gun trainer started me on the Sig380 last week & I love it. It will be my cc weapon of choice. I have very small hands and the racking on other guns was too difficult for me. I knew I needed something I could handle & re-load quickly; also that would be easy to carry often. I will be sending this article on to my daughter & lady friends on the plus's of the Sig. Also, I will point out how negative speech & behavior limits your outlook on life. Jules

Ron Brown
Ron Brown

I have a Sig P230, which I have had for some time. I purchased the Sig for Conceal Carry

but have never been able to use it as such. The one and only problem I have had is the Magazine

release. As you know you must push the release on the butt which pushes the main spring and should allow the magazine to be removed. I am a fairly big guy and it's all I can do to try an pull it out. If I were confronted with a dangerous situation and needed that second magazine I would be SOL dead. That is why I don't carry it concealed. It could be just a bad design ans most have the magazine button up near the trigger guard. I have tried to find a weaker mainspring so their would not be so much pressure but still cock the hammer but to no avail. If you or any of your readers have a solution that would be much appreciated.

Ron Brown
Ron Brown

I have a Sig P230, which I have had for some time. I purchased the Sig for Conceal Carry but have never been able to use it as such. The one and only problem I have had is the Magazine release. As you know you must push the release on the butt which pushes the main spring and should allow the magazine to be removed. I am a fairly big guy and it's all I can do to try an pull it out. If I were confronted with a dangerous situation and needed that second magazine I would be SOL dead. That is why I don't carry it concealed. It could be just a bad design ans most have the magazine button up near the trigger guard. I have tried to find a weaker mainspring so their would not be so much pressure but still cock the hammer but to no avail. If you or any of your readers have a solution that would be much appreciated.

Angie S.
Angie S.

As a new shooter, I was having a tough time deciding on my first pistol for concealed carry. A part of me wanted a 9mm for more stopping power, but I found the 9mm to be very fatiguing and difficult to control well for a newbie not used to all that recoil. So, in the end, my husband, who had been trying to convince me that I ought to consider a .380 as my first CW, won out. I do believe the P238 fits like a glove in my hand. Oh, and this past weekend, I believe I've figured out the root cause of some of the problems I was having with low impact on the target. It took me 30 minutes, but I finally noticed that my grip was TOO relaxed and loose --- in my attempt to mentally remind myself to relax, I relaxed my hold on the grip too much, leading to impact below my point of aim. Once I noticed and corrected that, the pistol was pretty spot on. My husband, a better, more experienced shooter, had very good accuracy from 25 ft to 45 ft.

Also, has anyone else noticed that the P238 is extremely accurate, but to achieve such accuracy, it necessarily has very tight tolerances. I noticed that it is very unforgiving of mistakes and/or bad technique/form. :-) I'm convinced it is the perfect choice for me, as it will encourage me to improve my technique and discourage me from getting sloppy.

Oh, and a tip from a policeman in the family --- SIGs are great guns...just make sure you keep them clean. :-)

Angie S.
Angie S.

As a new shooter, I was having a tough time deciding on my first pistol for concealed carry. A part of me wanted a 9mm for more stopping power, but I found the 9mm to be very fatiguing and difficult to control well for a newbie not used to all that recoil. So, in the end, my husband, who had been trying to convince me that I ought to consider a .380 as my first CW, won out. I do believe the P238 fits like a glove in my hand. Oh, and this past weekend, I believe I've figured out the root cause of some of the problems I was having with low impact on the target. It took me 30 minutes, but I finally noticed that my grip was TOO relaxed and loose --- in my attempt to mentally remind myself to relax, I relaxed my hold on the grip too much, leading to impact below my point of aim. Once I noticed and corrected that, the pistol was pretty spot on. My husband, a better, more experienced shooter, had very good accuracy from 25 ft to 45 ft. Also, has anyone else noticed that the P238 is extremely accurate, but to achieve such accuracy, it necessarily has very tight tolerances. I noticed that it is very unforgiving of mistakes and/or bad technique/form. :-) I'm convinced it is the perfect choice for me, as it will encourage me to improve my technique and discourage me from getting sloppy. Oh, and a tip from a policeman in the family --- SIGs are great guns...just make sure you keep them clean. :-)

Brav0Charlie
Brav0Charlie

Kelly,

The Mrs. shoots the P938 at the range during her lessons (rental is included in lesson). There's a popular compact 9, but it's double stacked and she has to use an assist device to load the magazine. She likes the ease of the Sig Sauer single stack magazine a lot better. Is the P238 easier or same to load?

And for holsters, girls bodies are more curvy. You find anything that accommodates that? Hope I'm explaining properly. If you were going to buy a holster for your Aunt or Mom, suggestions would be welcomed.

Thank you.

Brav0Charlie
Brav0Charlie

Kelly, The Mrs. shoots the P938 at the range during her lessons (rental is included in lesson). There's a popular compact 9, but it's double stacked and she has to use an assist device to load the magazine. She likes the ease of the Sig Sauer single stack magazine a lot better. Is the P238 easier or same to load? And for holsters, girls bodies are more curvy. You find anything that accommodates that? Hope I'm explaining properly. If you were going to buy a holster for your Aunt or Mom, suggestions would be welcomed. Thank you.

Nikola
Nikola

Mrs.Black The reason you have a problem not finding a weapon that suites you well is because no weapon manufacture creates a gun to make you look good at work or in front of all your neighbors. You see the weapon is not there to generate a self image of being a hard ass. It was designed with one purpose, to kill. It is very arrogant to assume that you or your neighbors think you are a good enough to take down or stop a threat with a .380 or even bolder, a .22 without any problems. Before posting inexperienced comments such as these I would suggest doing a little more research on how fast a threat can close on you within the time it takes you to draw that gun from your purse. You might be surprised to find out that getting off even two shots accurately is a real challenge when in an urban environment such as a parking lot. You might also seriously reconsider the skill it takes to kill someone with a .22 or .380 under these conditions. I realize the article was written to give advice on choosing a firearm for women but speaking about "Caliber vs Accuracy" should be left to someone with more experience than yourself. I will give you one thing, I am sure Sig is very happy that ITS is marketing all of their products so well.

Nikola
Nikola

Mrs.Black

The reason you have a problem not finding a weapon that suites you well is because no weapon manufacture creates a gun to make you look good at work or in front of all your neighbors. You see the weapon is not there to generate a self image of being a hard ass. It was designed with one purpose, to kill. It is very arrogant to assume that you or your neighbors think you are a good enough to take down or stop a threat with a .380 or even bolder, a .22 without any problems. Before posting inexperienced comments such as these I would suggest doing a little more research on how fast a threat can close on you within the time it takes you to draw that gun from your purse. You might be surprised to find out that getting off even two shots accurately is a real challenge when in an urban environment such as a parking lot. You might also seriously reconsider the skill it takes to kill someone with a .22 or .380 under these conditions. I realize the article was written to give advice on choosing a firearm for women but speaking about "Caliber vs Accuracy" should be left to someone with more experience than yourself. I will give you one thing, I am sure Sig is very happy that ITS is marketing all of their products so well.

Cassandra
Cassandra

Thanks for the holster suggestions and the write up on this gun Kelly! I also carry this weapon and have been looking for a better holster to use for conceal carry. I love this gun. Easy to hold, easy to shoot, easy to load and dependable. Haven't had it fail yet!

Marty
Marty

what excellent commentary on the 238 and sooooo good to see and article written by women that can not only help other women but also applies to men who might want to carry the small, 1911 Sig.

i am fortunate enough to have both the 238 (Marine) and the 938 (Nighmare).

i LOVE the 238 as my carry pistol but the 938 might soon replace it.

The 938 is 3/4" longer and the grip is wider and thicker to accomodate the 9mm in lieu of the .380.

i really like the grip, feel, and balance of the 238 but only with the extended mag. i don't like the feel of leaving my last 1 or 2 fingers off of the grip with the factory 6 rd mag.

yes, the factory Sig extended mag is expensive but please note that there are top quality aftermarket mags out there in the $20's that fit & function perfectly. Also, any mag the fits the Colt Mustang also fits the 238 perfectly. (Look @ CDNN)

i too was not completely thrilled with the factory grips and found a pair of Sau Paulo wood grips on Ebay for $28 that increase my grip AND make my 238 drop dead gorgeous!

Marty
Marty

what excellent commentary on the 238 and sooooo good to see and article written by women that can not only help other women but also applies to men who might want to carry the small, 1911 Sig. i am fortunate enough to have both the 238 (Marine) and the 938 (Nighmare). i LOVE the 238 as my carry pistol but the 938 might soon replace it. The 938 is 3/4" longer and the grip is wider and thicker to accomodate the 9mm in lieu of the .380. i really like the grip, feel, and balance of the 238 but only with the extended mag. i don't like the feel of leaving my last 1 or 2 fingers off of the grip with the factory 6 rd mag. yes, the factory Sig extended mag is expensive but please note that there are top quality aftermarket mags out there in the $20's that fit & function perfectly. Also, any mag the fits the Colt Mustang also fits the 238 perfectly. (Look @ CDNN) i too was not completely thrilled with the factory grips and found a pair of Sau Paulo wood grips on Ebay for $28 that increase my grip AND make my 238 drop dead gorgeous!

Gunny Doug
Gunny Doug

I have forwarded this article to my daughters, both in thier early 30's and looking for a CC pistol to fit thier small frames (5'1" and 5'4', both ~ 110 lbs). I have been searching with some dificulty for weapons from a lady's viewpoint, be they long guns or pistols. Your articel really fits the bill in regards to CC considerations for women.

While I do not forsee myself accepting anything smaller than a 40 as a good defense caliber, I understand that there are ways to compensate by bullet choice. Hornadys Critical Defense being one choice amoung a few. And I also understand that what works well for some, will not work for others. Daddy carries a Ruger New Model 357 Magnum, not the best of choices for his little girls.

A very fine article that I will be forwarding to other women. And perhaps a few Daddy's as well. ;-)

Semper Fidelis

Gunny Doug
Gunny Doug

I have forwarded this article to my daughters, both in thier early 30's and looking for a CC pistol to fit thier small frames (5'1" and 5'4', both ~ 110 lbs). I have been searching with some dificulty for weapons from a lady's viewpoint, be they long guns or pistols. Your articel really fits the bill in regards to CC considerations for women. While I do not forsee myself accepting anything smaller than a 40 as a good defense caliber, I understand that there are ways to compensate by bullet choice. Hornadys Critical Defense being one choice amoung a few. And I also understand that what works well for some, will not work for others. Daddy carries a Ruger New Model 357 Magnum, not the best of choices for his little girls. A very fine article that I will be forwarding to other women. And perhaps a few Daddy's as well. ;-) Semper Fidelis

Adonica Jones-Parks
Adonica Jones-Parks

I bought a Sig P238 for concealed carry and it is my first firearm. I absolutely love it! I have the extended magazine and laser attached. I have been to the range with it, and it is easy to handle and re-load. For recreational shooting and for distance, I am looking to purchase a full-size Sig, but for a compact, this model is it.

Xavier R Santoni
Xavier R Santoni

I wish Sig do a 10mm Gun...I hate the looks i get from my friends when they see my Glock 20 and i have to say WHAT?

Mossback
Mossback

I"ve had my CCW permit for 6 years, and have mainly carried a S&W .38 revolver in a IWB holster. About 2 yrs ago I made the impulse purchase of a Ruger LCP. I hated that thing. Pain the butt to load and rack. So much so that I felt it was a danger. Recently, my son was home from the army on leave - he's an infantry guy and a gun nut. He went with me to the gun store and directed me to this Sig P238. Love at first sight. Easy to load, a nice size, not much kick. I"ve been carrying regularly in a Flashbang bra holster ( LOVE!!) . Highly recommended. My LCP was traded in and I wasn't sorry to see it go.

Rusty Bunton
Rusty Bunton

What a great article.....my wife has the P238 and loves it. Easy to handle, easy to load, easy to conceal. The slide action and ease of operation were the major factors in purchasing this gun. She, like many women, doesn't have extreme forearm and hand strenght. When she worked with the P238, she loved it.....and a happy wife is a happy life!!! nuff said! Thanks for the article.

james
james

@Sean Depolo

It would probably be easier and less stressful from both a relationship and learning perspective if your girlfriend took individual shooting instruction (e.g. you aren't there watching her) from a professional firearms instructor that she has no personal relationship with. It will be much easier for her to concentrate on learning the basics and improving her skills if she's not worried about what you think of her every move.

There's nothing personal against you at all - it's just better mentally for her. Once she gets the basics down and has developed some confidence in her own abilities, then by all means, enjoy a session at the shooting range together to keep improving skills and confidence. Note: If she learns from a reputable professional instructor, then if a technique that works for her is a little different from the one you use, it doesn't mean either one of your techniques is "wrong". Just try not to be ragging on her constantly about always doing things "your way". It will cause more harm than good.

james
james

@Sean Depolo It would probably be easier and less stressful from both a relationship and learning perspective if your girlfriend took individual shooting instruction (e.g. you aren't there watching her) from a professional firearms instructor that she has no personal relationship with. It will be much easier for her to concentrate on learning the basics and improving her skills if she's not worried about what you think of her every move. There's nothing personal against you at all - it's just better mentally for her. Once she gets the basics down and has developed some confidence in her own abilities, then by all means, enjoy a session at the shooting range together to keep improving skills and confidence. Note: If she learns from a reputable professional instructor, then if a technique that works for her is a little different from the one you use, it doesn't mean either one of your techniques is "wrong". Just try not to be ragging on her constantly about always doing things "your way". It will cause more harm than good.

Sean Depolo
Sean Depolo

Thank you for the advice as well! I completely understand what you both are saying, I just never would have thought of it. I teach everyone I know how to shoot, they don't care what I think of them though haha. Great Idea. I'm trying to find her some kind of instruction right now. Actually, would it be bad if one of my friends taught her? Or is there something else bad about that.

Sean Depolo
Sean Depolo

Mrs. Black, I'm trying to teach my girlfriend how to shoot as well, because I think that it is important she be able to have every advantage over an attacker when I'm not around. But she seems to have a lot of the same feelings you did when you started shooting, she tells me "she's afraid of disappointing me". Is there any way I can make her feel more comfortable, or anything that worked for you I can try?

timothy gauthier
timothy gauthier

Psybain,

Milt Sparks makes excellent IWB leather holsters that are reinforced so that they remain open when empty. The general theme in the comments bears out the fact that what fit and functions well for one person may be completely wrong for another. Hand size, flexibility, grip strength, what you wear all affect which weapon is right for you. Although Glocks are great weapons, the XD more closely approximates the grip angle on my 1911 which I shoot the most. The SW Airweights are light and highly concealable but difficult to control, especially under stress. I find myself using different weapons depending on where I'm going and what I'm wearing but not everybody has that option. If you can have only one it its better that it fit you, be reasonably accurate, and utterly reliable. As the author suggested, get a high quality holster and spend the gun savings on practice ammo. Don't forget to practice with your self defense ammo so you know its capabilities... such as the change to point of impact and recoil. The P238 meets all of the requirements and is also enjoyable to shoot; which cannot be said for a lot of small pistols. Comfort and competence will encourage you to carry your weapon all the time, which is what having a CPL is all about. After all, if you could predict trouble you would just avoid it.

timothy gauthier
timothy gauthier

Psybain, Milt Sparks makes excellent IWB leather holsters that are reinforced so that they remain open when empty. The general theme in the comments bears out the fact that what fit and functions well for one person may be completely wrong for another. Hand size, flexibility, grip strength, what you wear all affect which weapon is right for you. Although Glocks are great weapons, the XD more closely approximates the grip angle on my 1911 which I shoot the most. The SW Airweights are light and highly concealable but difficult to control, especially under stress. I find myself using different weapons depending on where I'm going and what I'm wearing but not everybody has that option. If you can have only one it its better that it fit you, be reasonably accurate, and utterly reliable. As the author suggested, get a high quality holster and spend the gun savings on practice ammo. Don't forget to practice with your self defense ammo so you know its capabilities... such as the change to point of impact and recoil. The P238 meets all of the requirements and is also enjoyable to shoot; which cannot be said for a lot of small pistols. Comfort and competence will encourage you to carry your weapon all the time, which is what having a CPL is all about. After all, if you could predict trouble you would just avoid it.

Psybain
Psybain

Does your friend have trouble holstering her Sig in the leather IWB? From my experience, all-leather IWB holsters like to collapse once the gun has been removed. That is why I ended up choosing a Comp-Tac MTAC for my Glock 23 - it gives me the comfort of a leather backing against my body, with a kydex shell that allows me to holster my glock without having to lose situational awareness by looking down.

Mike Foster
Mike Foster

Great article! I just spent an hour yesterday at the gun shop I hang out with trying to explain to someone they need to at-least "feel" other guns. Don't by an XDM45 because your friend has one and you kinda liked it. Or go to a range and shoot other handguns. This experience is extremely personal. I love my XD9, my wife likes it... but she loves her G19. And that's the way it is... looks aren't everything. Even holster choice, I'm a huge fan of the Blackhawk Serpa (Thanks dad!) but I know quite a few people that don't. Everything in the firearm world is personal.

Tastes in guns, gear, and even bullets.

Your articles are awesome, the way your bring personal experience in really hits home.

Mike Foster
Mike Foster

Great article! I just spent an hour yesterday at the gun shop I hang out with trying to explain to someone they need to at-least "feel" other guns. Don't by an XDM45 because your friend has one and you kinda liked it. Or go to a range and shoot other handguns. This experience is extremely personal. I love my XD9, my wife likes it... but she loves her G19. And that's the way it is... looks aren't everything. Even holster choice, I'm a huge fan of the Blackhawk Serpa (Thanks dad!) but I know quite a few people that don't. Everything in the firearm world is personal. Tastes in guns, gear, and even bullets. Your articles are awesome, the way your bring personal experience in really hits home.

Eric
Eric

Mike's got a big chunk of it here. It's all personal. VERY personal. Do you like how the gun handles when you're shooting? Are you comfortable reloading it? Do you like carrying it? I'd add to the "it's personal" the comment one that I found out when I was buying a carry weapon. It's about trade-offs. I know a LOT of people who carry a 1911 for personal protection. Nice gun that fires a favorite round in the defensive shooting world, .45. But that's a very large firearm. It weighs a lot (relatively speaking). And it's not cheap to shoot. So by carrying something smaller (9mm or .380) you lose some of the penetration of a .45, but you gain something you may carry more often and practice with more often. Among the guns I'll carry is a Ruger LCP. It's a .380, so I've traded some of the penetration of a .45 or a 9mm for a VERY small size that I can carry ANYWHERE. I can wear it around the house and forget I have it on until I'm getting ready for bed. I also carry a Sig P-239 (9mm), but that's a bigger gun and it's a heavier gun. Not something I can conceal easily with shorts and a t-shirt in the summer time. Is the LCP the "best" for carry? That's the wrong question, because it differs for everyone, for the personal preferences and for the trade-offs you're going to make along the way. But I know I'm going to carry it more often because of the weight. Personal taste and trade-offs.

The Latest
Squawk Box