As I mentioned at the close of Pt.1 in this series, my search was on for smaller options… a gun that could easily be concealed under my tucked-in shirt or in my pocket. I began researching the .380 caliber.
There is a plethora (love that word) of “pocket carry” .380’s out there. The more I looked, the less I liked. Every .380 I looked at or actually had an opportunity to hold seemed more like a pop gun. In some cases, even a toy gun… until I laid my hands on the Sig Sauer P238.
Sig Sauer P238
The P238 is heavier than any of the other .380’s I’ve seen. That’s great, because it significantly lessens the recoil. The .380 may be a small caliber, but it can still kick pretty good in a lightweight gun. The P238 takes it without hardly a bounce.
It’s also the only single-action .380 pistol on the market (that I know of). All the other options in this line have double action-only triggers, and some of them have quite heavy pulls with a long draw. No fun for firing. Being single action, the P238 shoots like a dream.
On top of all that, this is Sig Sauer. Pretty much everything they put out is of extremely high quality. Even though the P238 is a small gun, it just feels right. It’s based on the Model 1911 and sits in your hand with that same substantial feel… even though it could disappear in a big hand pretty easily.
Needless to say, I was very impressed by the P238. Imagine how I felt when I found out there was a Sig in 9MM that was almost the same size?
Sig Sauer P938
Not much more can be said about the 938, as it is very similar to the 238. The frame has been increased in size to accommodate the larger 9mm round, but if the two guns sat side by side on a table, you’d be hard pressed to see the difference. Internally, the recoil spring is a flat coil, not wire, which allows for more coils and better energy handling. The only time you’ll see that is when you break it down for cleaning.
Otherwise, there’s not much difference. The 938 is slightly longer, but not noticeably so. Still, there is enough difference that a holster molded for the 238 will not work with the 938. The biggest difference comes once you pull the trigger. The 9mm packs a bit more punch than a .380, so your recoil is a bit more noticeable… but not overly so.
The P938 is almost the perfect marriage in pocket-size and power. You will pay for it though. This is Sig Sauer, after all.
At this point in my research, I realized I had made the circle back around to considering 9mm, so I looked at few more, including the Kahr CM9. It was October and time for the annual Lubbock Gun and Knife Show at the Civic Center. I thought that maybe I might be able to find a good deal.
And so I did. After considering all the options available, I went in looking for either a Springfield XD-S, a P238 or a P938. There were hundreds of booths and thousands of guns available. The deeper I walked back into the displays, the more willing the salespeople were to make you a good deal.
I ended up with a Sig Sauer P238 Desert model. Since I was at it, the same dealer gave my wife a good deal on her gun. She prefers revolvers, but that’s another post. I’ve been carrying the P238 for months now and I absolutely love it. It makes the rounds from my pocket to my ankle to my tuckable holster with ease.
If you are in the market for a small concealed carry weapon, I highly suggest getting your hands on a P238 or P938. It may make you a true believer, as it did me.