Monday, August 20, 2012

Sig P938 Review - My Final Update

I didn't think I would get out to the range this weekend, which was disappointing because my Sig P938 had arrived back from it's second service visit last Monday.  As I reviewed the service ticket included with the pistol, I got a surprise.  The service ticket mentions inspection, updated extractor, and test firing 75 rounds of Federal American Eagle 115 Grain FMJ.  There was no mention of the new barrel that came back in my P938.  I could tell it was new based on the lack of wear present on the original barrel when the pistol was returned to Sig in July.  Door to door service duration was 26 calendar days on this trip.

Hopeful that the new barrel and updated extractor would resolve my issues, I made it out to the range this afternoon with a goal to find out if the failure to extract issues had been resolved.  The video below contains the unboxing of the returned pistol and 150 rounds fired at the range today.

Range Recap
50 Federal 115 Grain FMJ - No Issues
50 Winchester 115 Grain FMJ - 1 Failure to Fire
25 Remington/UMC 115 Grain JHP - 1 Failure to Extract
25 American Eagle 124 Grain FMJ - 2 Failures to Extract

150 total rounds - 3 Failures to Extract and 1 Failure to Fire
My Final Thoughts on the P938
As you can see from the video, today was not a trouble-free day.  I continued to have intermittent problems with extraction and had one more failure to fire pop up.  My goal was to find one FMJ practice load that would work in the pistol over 50 rounds.  I found the Federal 115 Grain FMJ passed that test.  Three other tested ammunition varieties failed.  25% success isn't what I was looking for after the second service trip.  Also you may notice the wildly erratic ejection if you watch the video in large screen format with the resolution turned up.  I had at least 2 empties fly straight back into my head.  Some rounds ejected with gusto and others just dribbled out.  I found it very strange that Sig tested the repaired pistol with 75 American Eagle 115 grain FMJ, but I had a failure with American Eagle 124 grain FMJ.   

I'm invested in the pistol so I'm going to stick it out and see if a recall goes out on this model instead of forcing the issue and sending it back a 3rd time.  I will take it back out to the range and verify that the hotter defense loads still operate 100% in the pistol.  The pistol is really ammo fussy at this point, but with other carry options I can afford to keep this one out of the rotation while I continue to test different loads to find out what it likes.  If you are looking for a pistol you can pull out of the box that will eat anything you feed it, you should probably look elsewhere.  After 2 trips back to the factory for service, I'm actually skeptical that it will ever be that forgiving on ammo selection.

After my own 550 rounds though the pistol, I should be at the point testing carry loads for reliability.  Unfortunately, I'm all the way back at the beginning of the vetting process and trying to find a break-in/range load that will work in the pistol reliably.  If you are researching this pistol for your own purchase, I encourage you to look at the experiences of others that own the P938 Extreme.  From comments placed on my videos and blog, I'm not the only one experiencing issues with the 938.      

This has turned out to be the review that just won't die, but I need to bring this to closure and move on to other projects.  I had really high hopes for the pistol and was really excited about tracking one down during the early stages of release to the market.  I really thought it would be a good fit for me.  Unfortunately, it's been very problematic and will be relegated to a "project pistol" instead of the reliable carry option I hoped it would be.  If you've read my previous reviews, I don't consider myself to be a difficult person to please or biased "for" or "against" any manufacturer.  I praise Sig for the concept, but am generally unhappy with the execution of the concept as delivered in the P938. 


  1. That is most unfortunate, especially from Sig. I am curious if a handload could be tailor made to make this gun eat FMJ.

    1. If you are willing to invest in testing, I'm sure you can find factory ammo that will work. That's why I'm not giving up on it because I can invest the time and money to tinker with the pistol.

      The review is for folks that want to know if they can take it out of the box and have it work with any ammo they stick in it.

      Having been a re-loader in the past, with trial and error I'm also sure you could land on a reload that would always work in the pistol, but shooting reloaded ammo voids the Sig warranty.

  2. Wow I am bummed
    I will also keep trying different ammo to see if I can find a 100% fire every time load
    So far my extre P938 will eat nothing buy 124 grain and above likes Speer lawman and Federal Hornady

  3. I hope Sig works the kinks out of this pistol soon. I was excited to see a 9mm version of the 238 but all the issues I have read about have dampened my enthusiasm of possibly getting one. I hope you eventually work out the bugs from your 938.

  4. I will throw out my experience in brief.
    Currently my gun is reliable. It started out as a jam machine, nearly every magazine. Well over 500 rounds (my own reloads) later it is mostly cured. It still hates weak practice ammo, such as pmc and win white box, both of which are excellent ammo that has always been fine in my other guns and still is fine in my other guns (including cz rami, eaa witness, ruger 89, beretta 92, and more).

    My conclusion is that the springs are way too strong and it needs +P or at least stoutish ammo to break in.

    The second issue with the gun is the mags are awful. The springs under the follower can pop out of the mag walls, making it impossible to insert the first round until you push the spring back in place. Also, the poor feed lips on the mags allow rounds to easily pop out of your spare mag. Time I get home I often have 1 round out of my spare mag loose in my pocket.

    The last issue is the mag release is too easy to push. Just sitting down it can drop the mag, this is inside a remorra pocket holster and in my pocket. Any impact to the pocket such as bumping into someone can drop a mag.

    Noncritical issue: with a RHO mag release, the gun is still not left hand friendly.

    Other: You need a lot of grease on this gun and it gets dirty fast. 1 box of dirty ammo or 2 boxes of clean and you will see jams from the crud. I guess that means some of the parts are tightly fitted which can be good.

    I carry it now. I have managed the last 150+ rounds jam free and trust it to manage 20 or so shots trouble free, all I need from this type of weapon. I really like it as it has a great trigger, perfect size for me, and accurate. But for the money, it should have worked out of the box and the magazines are very poor for such an expensive product.

  5. My P938 should be in any day now. Sure hope I don't have any issues. I am replacing my LC9 because I hate the trigger on it and can not shoot very well with the LC9. Love my Sig 239!

  6. Brought my P938 home today. The immediate problem was in loading. The magazine springs are VERY strong and I, using only finger power, was unable to load to capacity. Sig customer service suggested that I buy a speed loader.
    Another issue that may be a major malfunction: with a round in the chamber, trying to remove the magazine loosens or totally frees the next round in the mag, leaving it rattling around in the housing, I have never seen this before.
    One more observation, reassembling the recoil spring will be easier on those of us with three arms and hands.


  7. Just got the 938 rose wood , multiple failure to extract and my slide release flew out of the pistol while shooting two times, 1st time after about 75 round. 2nd time after 250 rounds put through the gun. Failures to extract 115gr summit after the first 50 rounds was every 3 magazines. 124gr federal after about 30 rounds multiple failure to extract. 1 failure to extract for 115gr PMC. Call sig gun is going back.
    I hope they can get it fixed, I have a p238 and i love it thats why i rolled the dice on the p938, i have the p290rs and its not as nice and accurate as the p238 or the p938..
    The p938 should not be the 1st gun you purchase.

    Good luck to anybody that buys a SIG P938...You are Rolling The DICE

  8. I have had the sig p938 with rubber grips for a few weeks and after handling i noticed when you turn the gun sideways (left or take-down pin downward) and slowly pull the slide back, the take down pin comes loose? I did it to another in cabelas to so its not just mine, it may take a few min bit it will come loose and iv even gotten it to fall out. Anyone else?

  9. Got my P938 Rosewood back for SIG 5 days latter, with paper work stating they changed a broken extractor and the slide stop and put 40 rounds of Agulia 124 gr through it with no FTE and FTF, I do not believe them. I put 50 rounds of 124 gr Summit with 7 failures to feed, It looked like it was double feeding the round would get stuck and the slide would not close shut, Upon dropping the magazine the slide will close and the round in the magazine was half way out.. this happend 5 times with independence 124gr...3 times with 124gr +p speer gold dots..7 times with 115gr summit, Sent the pistol back for its second time....Keeping Fingers Crossed.....

  10. I bought my (first) new 938 from a reputable dealer in the box Nov. 2015. At the time, the build date wasn't something mentioned or even considered. (May 2013). Recently the hook on the ejector broke of while at the range, I called SIG C/S and got this reply. 'The gun was manufactured May 2013 and is out of warranty.' Me> I bought it about a year ago. Sig> 'Do you have the reciept?' Me> Why? I registered it with you, including the receipt, two days after my purchase. Sig> 'We don't keep that information on file.' Me> Then why did you require it in the warranty information? Sig> Has iit been more than a year? Me> Yes, by about a month. Sig> You can get an RA # and send it in for $50.00 + parts'. Me> How long will it take? Sig>' Part is back-ordered, maybe 2 to 4 wks. maybe longer? Me? Is this really what to expect from a company with top ratings? I'll place an order for the part and put it in myself. The End..