Friday, October 12, 2012

Sig P938 Update


After finishing up my review of the Sig P938, I had some grand plans to order a Crimson Trace laser for it and also try feeding the pistol a steady diet of defense loads to see if it made an improvement in reliable feeding and extraction.  You know how plans go, they are easy to make and often difficult to follow through on.  Between the unscheduled gun reviews and change over to the new clear gel ballistics testing media, I never got back to the 938.

Finally, last weekend was my chance to get the Sig back out to the range and see how it handled +P defense ammo.  I took some Gold Dot and HST 124 Grain +P loads with me with every intention of running through at least 50 rounds of each.   I also installed the Crimson Trace Laser Guard before heading out.  The Crimson Trace fits really well, but I immediately noticed the change in available grip length after the install.  There's not much real estate on the front strap to begin with and adding the laser made the available space even less.  Undaunted, it was off to the range.

I had a shooting buddy meeting me at the range so I did some shooting with the 938 and I also let him shoot a bit too.  I made a short video from the range session.  I went easy on the editing and left quite a few of the candid comments in place.


I picked up on a few things during the range visit that I will share with you.  Some of these you may have noticed in the video.  The first thing I learned is the 938 isn't much fun with +P ammo.  I was having some genuine discomfort shooting it that was not there during previous outings.  Some of the discomfort may be attributed to the reduced grip area on the front strap now that the laser is installed.  Some may be due to the additional recoil of the +P ammo.  Going forward, I'm sticking to standard pressure defense loads in this pistol. 

The other thing I learned is that I've developed a striker/double action trigger finger.  I'm really glad Jon was with me to show me that the pistol sights were fine and it was my issue with trigger control that caused my shots to hit left of point of aim.  Jon had no problem keeping his shots centered on the target.  We talked about it later and we think I may need to have a bit less finger on this single action trigger.  Jon shoots single action pistols about as much as I shoot striker/double action pistols so it's no wonder he got better results than I did

The last thing I learned is this pistol should be reliable if it's fed a steady diet of good quality defensive ammo.  All through the review and even after the review, I've never had a single failure of any kind when using Gold Dots or HSTs.  This includes the standard pressure and +P 115 grain and 124 grain varieties.

I was encouraged by the results from this last trip.  I may work on my trigger technique or I may just cheat and slide the rear sight over a bit to adjust the pistol to me vs. adjusting me to the pistol.  

25 comments:

  1. Overall, are you satisfied with you P938?

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    1. I think it will be fine with Gold Dot 115 grain standard pressure. Adding the Crimson Trace was just dumb on my part because it eats up too much front strap. I'll have to use the extended mag if I ever want to shoot +P's in it.

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  2. I have the Shield, but I mainly got that because I couldn't find a P938. Now that I'm starting to see more and more of them, I am thinking about trading/selling the Shield for a 938.

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  3. I finally picked up a P938 - did not much care for it personally. The trigger pinched the heck out of my finger, and tore off skin. The checkering on the front strap left blisters on my right middle finger. I had trouble shooting it accurately....surprisingly enough, I traded a buddy for a Kimber Solo, and it's been great: accurate, reliable, and fun to shoot.

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    1. You lucky dog. I'd do that trade in a heartbeat if it was offered to me. Isn't that trigger a real pain? When skin starts flying, it's time to review other options.

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    2. Reliable? I sent mine to kimber 4 times and the last time it came back they told me they shot 42 rounds through it and ONLY had 1 misfeed and that was acceptable. I sold it on gunbroker for 525$ lost 200$ just to not have to deal with it anymore.

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  4. Just bought one though I may have reconsidered if I had read your review first. Have you considered filing off a bit of the bottom of the trigger so that it can't pinch? I can live with restricting my loads to a single brand if that solves the feed and eject issue but I'd have trouble with the pinched finger problem. Removing the trigger to file it looks like it might be a problem however.

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    1. I may do a bit of smoothing on that trigger corner in the future. I want to try the pistol again in the Spring and if it's still not extracting FMJ Range Ammo at that time, I'll call Sig again and see where they are on updates for the pistol. I got and early one so they've been tinkering with the pistol over time to improve reliability and I may not have all the updates. Specifically, I've heard they went to a different length on the recoil spring assembly. I may not have that update. After it's back from service, I'll start my mods.

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    2. I'm the same guy who posted on 1-JAN above. My P938 is dated 17-OCT-2012. Its a black aluminum frame with stainless slide, night sights and black aluminum grips. I don't even see that combination on their website. I went to the target range and ran 50 rounds of 115G Federal through it with no feed or ejection problems. I stopped after one box however since my trigger finger was getting sore. The trigger is very uncomfortable and the darn thing kicks even with a light load. I switched to my Baretta 92FS compact Inox and enjoyed another box. The 92 is a joy to shoot. Admittedly, I didn't purchase the P938 for target shooting but it shouldn't hurt to shoot. What was Sig thinking when they tested it? A slightly different trigger would fix the problem. I think the guard should be notched and the trigger longer. I'm not sure what to do. I'm considering a stainless trigger refit. I'd have to do some minor machining to shave the bottom of the trigger and round the bottom edge. I hate to mess with it while its under warranty however.
      Rich

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    3. I have the 938 Scorpion, did a aluminimum trigger with 5.5 lb pull, absolutely love this firearm.

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  5. I've looked at the trigger some more now that my finger isn't sore anymore. I think the problem is not that the skin gets pinched when pressing the trigger but gets drawn under the trigger when the trigger is released. When the pistol fires, recoil forces the firearm back and the trigger releases forward. Shaving the bottom off the trigger won't help and may make the problem worse. I've rounded the trigger bottom edge a bit, but I think the fix is to use less finger when firing. Using just the finger tip should avoid the problem. I still think its a poor trigger design. If I'm correct and less finger cures the problem it will prove to be a nice pocket gun. I'll just have to remember to fire a bit differently with this handgun.
    Rich

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    1. Funny that you came to a similar conclusion as I did. From the post above. "The other thing I learned is that I've developed a striker/double action trigger finger. I'm really glad Jon was with me to show me that the pistol sights were fine and it was my issue with trigger control that caused my shots to hit left of point of aim. Jon had no problem keeping his shots centered on the target. We talked about it later and we think I may need to have a bit less finger on this single action trigger. Jon shoots single action pistols about as much as I shoot striker/double action pistols so it's no wonder he got better results than I did"

      I also identified the problem as too much trigger finger. Honestly can't see myself changing to accommodate the P938 when it's the odd-ball from all the others.

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  6. I've put 300+ rounds of S&B 115gr FMJ downrange through my P938. 3 sessions x 100rds each. Never had a single issue. Haven't pinched anything yet(?)

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  7. Enjoyed reading your blogs and videos. I EDC the Blackout model with the Hogue rubber grips. I shoot Speer Lawman 124gr & Speer 124gr GDHP +P Short Barrel loads and have had no fails whatsoever. Mfg. date May, 2013: seems like they fixed the feed & eject problems. Tips a Sig pro gave me for great accuracy and shooting comfort (ie: no finger bite) : trigger finger tip placed at top of trigger against frame & firm grip: 60%support hand & 40% trigger hand,

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  8. no big problems,shoot low, correct this point of aim, shooting 115 grn and 124 fed, on fail to extract....100-150 rnds, dry fried a lot, oiled once. nice shooting with buffalo 95 hp +p+..equinox pistol,hold on the upper green front sight.a little high. no problems with trigger,about 6.5 compared to prior non dry fireing..... d

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  9. How do you feel about the cocked and locked in the pocket. Makes me feel funny. Also don't like the thought of lint getting in the hammer area. Not really my favorite pocket sized 9.

    I'm with you on the Solo. I now have over 1400 rounds and never a failure with premium ammo of the proper gr until it needed a trip back to Kimber. The slapped a new barrel, extractor and several springs in it and it seems as good as new again.

    Love your site and ammo tests. Also like your comments on Rohrbaugh's forum.

    Thanks for the good work Bruce.

    ~JoshA

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    1. Cocked and locked is fine. There is a safety that, unless the trigger is pulled, the firing pin will not strike the cartridge's primer, even if for some reason the hammer strikes without the trigger being pulled.

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  10. This whole saga has been pretty interesting; thanks Bruce!

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    1. Thanks. Not my favorite ownership experience by any means.

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  11. I'm curious: Nearly a year later, do you still have this gun, or did you trade it off?

    My wife & I started out looking at the P238 but bought a P938 last month & have taken it to the range three or four times now. It has eaten every type of ammo we have fed it so far (Blazer Brass 115 gr. FMJ, Remington UMC 115 gr. FMJ, Federal 115 gr. FMJ, Hornady Critical Defense 115 gr., and Winchester White Box 115 gr. FMJ).

    Our only failure was today; I don't think my wife had the mag fully inserted when she tried to chamber a round, and it jammed. I had to fight with it for a bit to drop the mag & clear the jam.

    Our gripes about the P938: 1. I think the price is too high; 2. Ours came with only one magazine, which sucks considering the $750 price at the local store; 3. I find the trigger pull to be heavy for a single action gun; 4. my wife finds the safety difficult to engage & disengage; 5. I find it to be a little heavy & thick for "pocket carry".

    Having said all that, the P938 shoots well and is accurate for a small 9mm, and has been very reliable after a few hundred rounds. I would have no doubts about carrying it for self defense.

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    1. Actually, it's well over 3 years later. This was all published back in 2012. Yes, I do still have it and recently acquired a 22LR conversion kit for it. One of these days I'll get it back out to the range.

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    2. Your last comment was about a year ago, at which time you still had the gun.

      I failed to list Gripe #6: I hate stripping this gun down for cleaning, and my wife's hand size & grip strength make it nearly impossible for her to do it.

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  12. In reply to Anonymous - I experienced a jam as you described once and I believe it was caused by the top round in the mag not being fully seated to the rear and not positioned up against the feed lips. If the mag is seated and removed sometimes it will disturb proper position of the top round. As far as faults with this gun I have none. As to your gripes: 1. you must have paid list price not $600 as I did. 2. Mine is the BRG model (Black Rubber Grip) and it came new with both 6 rd flush and 7 rd extended grip mags and an OSB plastic holster. 3. & 4. No problem for me. 5. Heavy for pocket carry yes but with my IWB holsters I sometimes forget I'm carrying.
    After 2 yr daily carry I rate this pistol a 9 out 10.

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    1. That could have done it. She loaded that mag while I was shooting another pistol.

      I really do like shooting the P938 and give it high marks, overall. It's very accurate for its size and it does what it was designed to do.

      As to my gripes ... we did shop a few local, independent retailers before buying. None were budging on prices. Ours is the black rosewood edition, but I'm not sure how that makes a major impact on retail price or the provision of a second mag. (I did finally find spare mags on eBay for about half the price that the local shop wanted.)

      I can work with the trigger. I squeeze it and it goes BANG!. It's just that my Walther and Tanfoglio 9mm pistols have a much lighter trigger. I expected something in the 4-5 pound range for a SA pistol. The wife's gripe about the safety ... a non-issue for me. The P938's safety, although not as smooth as the Tanfoglio, is much easier than the S&W Bodyguard.

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    2. Another pistol I have acquired recently although is is not a "pocket pistol" is worth considering that meet your otherwise requirement is a Taurus 9mm PT111 Millennium G2.
      It is compact, easy double-single action trigger, accurate, 2 x 12 rd mags, easy to field strip and rack the slide, very good quality and best of all is selling for $200-250. I paid $250 and received $50 debit card rebate. I consider it an excellent alternative to a Glock 19 at less than half the price.

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