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  1. #1
    Lida is offline Junior Member
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    Talking Looking at a Sig Sauer P238

    I have some questions about a gun I am interested in, a Sig Sauer P238. It says it is 380 ACP and Single Action but the Sig Sauer site says .380 ACP (9mm short). Does this mean if you put a different bullet holder in it you can shoot different bullets? What does Single Action mean? Are there any standard questions should I ask before purchasing a gun over the internet? Thanks for any advice, I haven't ever owned a gun.

  2. #2
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
    TedDeBearFrmHell is offline Senior Member
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    .380 acp IS also known as 9mm Short, 9mm Browning, 9mm Corto, 9mm Kurz, , and 9x17mm

  3. #3
    jakeleinen1 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lida View Post
    I have some questions about a gun I am interested in, a Sig Sauer P238. It says it is 380 ACP and Single Action but the Sig Sauer site says .380 ACP (9mm short). Does this mean if you put a different bullet holder in it you can shoot different bullets? What does Single Action mean? Are there any standard questions should I ask before purchasing a gun over the internet? Thanks for any advice, I haven't ever owned a gun.

    First off the P380 by Sig is probably one of the better .380 handguns out there. Also a looker too. Although I haven't shot one and I have read initially that they had problems (what new gun doesn't) i believe theyve mostly been sorted out.

    The gun is single action, which means the hammer must be cocked after every shot, the trigger only drops the hammer. Your slide will go back and cock the hammer after your first initial slide rack. On a double action the trigger both cocks and drops the hammer at the same time. Kinda hard to understand until you actually see it or work it and other guns.

    You should know that if you haven't owned any guns before, this may not be a starter pistol as it is IMHO overpriced for what you get (although sig is a worthy brand and quality). You can easily get a weapon in 9mm or .38 or even a different .380 that is cheaper and a better starter pistol. I of course recommend glock (if you want a small gun go with 26 or 19) but there are others like M&P Xd etc.

    When you order online have an FFL dealer in mind now how the process works

  4. #4
    Lida is offline Junior Member
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    I plan to only buy one pistol (not like certain other hobbies), and I am pretty sure I want a Sig of some sort, and I have also narrowed it down to a 9mm for cheaper ammo. I don't want to pull back the hammer every shot, that sounds like a revolver. I did find a FFL nearby who only charges $12, but from what I am reading on here, I need to find a gun range that lets me handle and shoot them before I commit. Makes perfectly good sense.

  5. #5
    jakeleinen1 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lida View Post
    I plan to only buy one pistol (not like certain other hobbies), and I am pretty sure I want a Sig of some sort, and I have also narrowed it down to a 9mm for cheaper ammo. I don't want to pull back the hammer every shot, that sounds like a revolver. I did find a FFL nearby who only charges $12, but from what I am reading on here, I need to find a gun range that lets me handle and shoot them before I commit. Makes perfectly good sense.
    I think I was unclear about the single action explanation. You wont have to pull back the hammer every shot. The hammer has to be in the cocked position to fire, and it does this when you rack the slide. After every shot, your slide will go back and re-cock the hammer. The trigger ONLY drops the hammer. A double action does both.

    To truly understand you should watch some youtube videos on the subject as they can demonstrate the ideas Im trying to communicated
    SINGLE ACTION DOUBLE ACTION - YouTube <--- this one is from Armory channel, this guys great

    Sig is a great company especially if you are going to only have 1 gun. If you want to conceal carry though not always the best option unless you get the Sig P238... I reccommend the P226 or P229 in 9mm

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lida View Post
    . . . Sig Sauer P238. . . What does Single Action mean? . . .
    A ".380 ACP" shoots only that cartridge. Single-action is described above.
    The first major question is: Are you looking for a carry gun ? The SIG P238 is a "pocket sub-compact". But more often carried in a Inside WaistBand (IWB) holster.
    Or a general self-defense gun, like for night table security ?
    The answer leads to "different gun types". I'm going to assume "carry". But, this applies to bigger guns too. Fasten seat belts, here I go again !

    My opinion:
    The SIG is a fine gun. And as said above, expensive. But I COULD NOT recommend "cocked and locked" for a novice. In fact, I'd definitely advise DON'T DO IT !
    Disclaimer: I own the SIG P290 pocket sub-compact 9mm for EDC (Every Day Carry). It is double-action only. No safety, just a LONG double-action trigger stroke.

    "Everyone" including me is going advise you to go a gun store and handle guns with different trigger mechanisms.
    Asking for help as a "gun novice" will also clue you into their "service". Remember, you will be the recipient of the clerk's "gun type biases".
    This is not necessarily bad. This "searching phase" can be a really enjoyable learning experience.

    And hopefully you can find a range that rents guns and provides "help" for a novice. It will cost some $$$'s, but well worth it.
    Are you planning to get a CCW license ? Even if just for "night table security", get CCW training after you decide to buy. Hopefully before buying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lida View Post
    . . . Are there any standard questions should I ask before purchasing a gun over the internet? . . .
    There are several ways to get a gun over the Internet. Federal law requires you get the gun shipped to a local gun shop with their FFL (Federal Firearms License).
    Also be wary of the firearm "shipping cost". You need to set things up in advance, and the "shop" will charge you a fee. Varies, but you may find a place to do it for about $25.

    An easier way to start and check TOTAL price is to use Davidson's "Gallery of Guns". They are a wholesale only distributor that has "agreements" with a vast
    number of gun shops. Here's their site. Click on "Gun Genie".
    www.galleryofguns.com - Buy guns online, top brands, best price, best service, best warranty; all types of guns: revolvers, rifles, pistols and shotguns.

    You can get the specs on almost all the handguns currently sold. Including list price. Pay attention to "gun weight unloaded" in oz. It's important.
    To start, try "Ruger". And then "LCP". A VERY popular proven, low-priced, and excellent value "pocket .380". LCP = Lightweight Compact Pistol.

    Then use the "Instant Quote" to find dealers in your zip code area and their actual prices. Or expand to "within 50" or "within 100" miles.
    This will quickly establish who has the best price. This will include shipping to the dealer in the price. And add sales tax to show the total out the door.

    As you visit some dealers to "look at guns" say "I heard about the "Gun Genie" deal". "What do you think about that method ?".
    Ask about the Ruger LCP (you already know a "good" price from them via Gun Genie). And "a friend told me the SIG P238 was a great gun".
    You will get a very good idea of the shop's "service" and "general attitude".

    Good luck on embarking on the road to becoming a handgun expert !
    I did buy my SIG P290 on a whim at Cabela's when I went to buy a "first out" Ruger LC9 (9mm sub-compact). $670 instead of the $450 LC9.
    Then I found my "new to me" local dealer through "Gun Genie". He ALWAYS has the best prices. And the best service.
    I bought a .22LR Browning Buck Mark Plus semi-auto that way. What is not to like.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lida View Post
    I plan to only buy one pistol (not like certain other hobbies), and I am pretty sure I want a Sig of some sort, and I have also narrowed it down to a 9mm for cheaper ammo. . .
    New info while typing my long-winded reply.

    Nothing wrong with wanting a SIG. I really like my P290 9mm. But . . . it really is quite BIG and blocky compared to a "pocket .380 ACP" like the Ruger LCP.
    It doesn't look that much different from specs for the various brands. Like 20 oz versus 15 oz. Maybe an inch longer and an inch taller for the 9's vs. .380's.
    That's from my "memory", not actual data comparison. In real-life, this is quite a large difference. Plus I use the "extended grip" eight-round mag on my P290.

    You probably want to fondle a Kahr PM9 (and cheaper but good CM9) along with a Ruger LC9. BIG price differences, Kahr & SIG versus Ruger. And the Ruger is "good".

    Plus, 9mm in a 17-20 oz pistol is a real "barker" for recoil. But so are .380 pocket pistols because of a "design difference". They use a blowback system with
    a heavier recoil spring. Oops, sorry. Too much info for starters. If you get to "rent" some guns, you could experience the difference yourself. Some folks don't care.

    In my case, I just demanded a 9mm over the .380 ACP regardless of size/weight. But, the .380 ACP is now a reasonable round with "new technology bullets".
    And, ANY of these types of guns require QUITE a bit of practice to become reasonably proficient.

  8. #8
    Lida is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanP_from_AZ View Post
    The first major question is: Are you looking for a carry gun?
    I am mainly looking for the night table security, since Illinois doesn't allow concealed carry. Woman alone in the country and all. I wouldn't mind a gun small enough to tuck in my purse as a carry in case I leave state. I was initially looking at the P290 w/ laser, it's a cool looking little gun and has pretty good reviews, but I am a little worried about not having a safety for it. Also, I am dealing with a bit of carpal tunnel and I am worried about the recoil and trigger pull on the P290. I do like the rainbow finish on the P239 and P238. I will check out the Gun Genie, thanks!

  9. #9
    Lida is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanP_from_AZ View Post
    Plus, 9mm in a 17-20 oz pistol is a real "barker" for recoil. But so are .380 pocket pistols because of a "design difference". They use a blowback system with
    a heavier recoil spring. Oops, sorry. Too much info for starters. If you get to "rent" some guns, you could experience the difference yourself. Some folks don't care.
    Darn, I guess the P290 is probably out then. I do plan to find a range where I can rent out some guns to try. My son is coming home for Christmas leave from the service in a couple weeks and he says I have to take him with me to gun shop.

  10. #10
    recoilguy's Avatar
    recoilguy is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lida View Post
    I plan to only buy one pistol (not like certain other hobbies), and I am pretty sure I want a Sig of some sort, and I have also narrowed it down to a 9mm for cheaper ammo. The P238 is not a 9mm it is a .380. The .380 is called a 9mm short but is not a 9mm gun. It is confusing and would be very dangerous if you accidently used the incorrect ammo.

    I don't want to pull back the hammer every shot, that sounds like a revolver. You do not have to do that on a SA auto. You don't even have to do it on your first shot if you rack the first bullet into the chamber. I did find a FFL nearby who only charges $12, but from what I am reading on here, I need to find a gun range that lets me handle and shoot them before I commit. Makes perfectly good sense.It does make very good sense , however get what you lieke and are comfortable with. Do not let anyone tell you what is too much money for you or what the value of a gun is. In my experiance it is better to buy a good gun and spend a few extra bucks then a cheap POS that hurts to shoot and works on occasion.
    You have asked some good questions, take your time know what you are looking for, there is a gun out there just like you want. Hold as many as you can, shoot as many as you can. If you like one that cost more for your first choice.....save a little longer as opposed to getting your second choice or someone elses first choice. My first choice would be a CZ P-01. Look it up on the web, you may like it. It does cost a couple bucks and is hard to find, but it is a good weapon for hom,e protection light weight and can be carried if you leave the state. You will need a Utah or Florida CCW though. It will be good bonding time with your son when he is home, have fun enjoy the experiance and learn to shoot well and safely! Good luck, and remember there are a lot of opinions out there, yours is the most important one for you.

    RCG

  11. #11
    sonja is offline Junior Member
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    If this is your first gun, and mostly for in home self defense, I'd suggest something bigger than a 238. I'd also suggest a mid sized 9mm (like a Sig 229, a 239, or a Glock 19).

    Whatever you think you like, or think you want -- first go to a range that rents guns and shoot it. Familiarize yourself with pistols, basic nomenclature, and (at the very least) safety rules and procedures.

    We are talking about the possibility of deadly force. After all, a gun is useless unless you are willing to use it. It's not to "frighten" people -- it's to defend your life, but only in appropriate situations.

    I own a Sig 238. I think it the best 380 I've ever owned or shot. At the same time, it would not be my first choice for home defense -- that would be a 9mm, 40S&W, or a 45 ACP. -- or, a shotgun.

    Whatever you decide -- go PRACTICE.

    By the way, I had a short love affair with a CZ P-01. I found the slide difficult to rack, and I suffered "trigger bite", making it uncomfortable to shoot. Since you're dealing with a bit of "carpal tunnel", you really have to shoot your choices before you buy. The S&W MP series, the Springfield XDM's, and the Beretta PX4's are also worth looking at.

    Before you buy any firearm, make sure YOU are willing to use it, and willing to practice. Otherwise pepper spray or a taser type appliance might be your best bet.

    I happen to prefer a good firearm - but I've been shooting for a while, and feel comfortable with a pistol.

    By the way, the Sig 238 is not a blowback pistol. Oh, and PLEASE stay away from any of the little pocket pistols, or any of the blow back types as they are no fun to shoot. If you are not experienced, buying one of those little guns is a sure way to HATE shooting. Tiny might be cute, but it means more recoil -- think Newtons law. More mass -- less felt recoil.

    Have fun. Shooting is a great sport, even if all you ever do is put holes in paper.

  12. #12
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    chessail77 is offline Senior Member
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    By all means take a look at a Sig P239, a bit on the heavy side but very little recoil in 9mm and totally reliable.....a S&W M&P C in 9mm and they can be purchased with a safety as well if it makes you more comfortable, S&W also makes some excellent revolvers.....whatever you decide take some classes and practice, as others have stated stay away from the cute little ones ....JJ

  13. #13
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
    TedDeBearFrmHell is offline Senior Member
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    if you want the pistol, buy the pistol.... learn to use it effectively ...... avoiding a certain type of weapon makes no sense at all.... its like never driving a porche because its not like driving a dodge van or a geo metro..... learn. repetition makes for proficiency .....if you decide you want a different pistol later, buy it and start the process again.... then you will be proficient with 2 pistols.... we all started with a gun we had never shot before.

  14. #14
    Lida is offline Junior Member
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    I will look into all your suggestions and try as many out as possible, I sure appreciate all the advice! It's very helpful for a gun novice like myself. I don't want a big recoil at all, so I think you all are right that I should get a bigger gun than the P290. I think I am leaning towards the P239 9mm with the Rainbow Titanium finish, but only if it feels right holding it and doesn't hurt my hand to shoot it. I have heard good things about Sigs reliability and accuracy, and I plan to buy only one gun (famous last words).



    I know it's a bit asinine to concern myself with the guns appearance at all; but I know myself well enough to know that if I think the gun is ugly, I am not going to want to handle and shoot it as much as if I think it is a beautiful thing. I really like the iridescent finish, and add some rosewood grips, and that would be my idea of a sexy gun.

    I do plan on shooting the gun in the back part of my land often and getting comfortable and accurate with it. I hear the neighbors doing it occasionally. There is a gun range about 2 miles from me if I want more professional targets than the Dr Pepper cans I will probably be shooting. I have carried pepper spray in my purse for years, but I want something a little more persuasive. My sons are growing up and I will soon be here alone. I wouldn't have an issue shooting someone who posed a threat to me or mine as a last resort.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lida View Post
    . . . I know it's a bit asinine to concern myself with the guns appearance at all; but I know myself well enough to know that if I think the gun is ugly, I am not going to want to handle and shoot it as much as if I think it is a beautiful thing. . .
    Right on !
    I am SURE there is a SIG "rainbow" on a shelf somewhere that knows you are going to adopt it. It's patiently waiting on you.

    I'm a retired mechanical engineer. You know, "form follows function" and all that stuff.

    I REALLY shouldn't admit how many of my gun purchases follow this logic:
    1. I need a new gun to fill another "need".
    2. I fill the "need", but I select THE ONE that I really, really like the LOOKS and FEEL. From many "functional" candidates.

    Further off topic as I continue to hijack the thread.
    The last month I finally found the .22 LR semi-auto I "needed".
    The Ruger "Marks" are fine pistols. "Everyone" likes them. Always available everywhere.

    But NO, I LUSTED after a deluxe Browning Buck Mark with laminated rosewood grips.
    And waited months before I could score one. And gladly paid more for it than for a Ruger.

    What is not to like ? OK, what is not to LOVE !

  16. #16
    hideit's Avatar
    hideit is offline Senior Member
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    my wife likes the Rainbow Titanium finish also
    the sig 238 is the best 380 on the market but you pay extra dollars for it
    if you want just one gun then the 9mm is the way to go - there will always be ammo for it everywhere
    because militaries, law enforcement etc use 9mm
    and you won't go wrong with SIG

  17. #17
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    I find this all very interesting. When Sig came out with the 238 my understanding was that it licensed the design from Colt (previously called a "Colt Mustang"). I see that Colt is now advertising the "New Improved Colt Mustang". I've not read anything about it; the two weapons should be nearly identical. I'd be interested in hearing what quality/reliablity differences that would exist between the two of them.

    The old Colt Mustang had some reliability/feed issues. Sig ironed those out. Is Colt going to get a free ride on the backs of Sig's engineers? Hmmm.

  18. #18
    Lida is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanP_from_AZ View Post
    I am SURE there is a SIG "rainbow" on a shelf somewhere that knows you are going to adopt it. It's patiently waiting on you.
    It shouldn't have to wait too long as soon as I get the chance to shoot one and then find a 239 9mm in that finish.
    Quote Originally Posted by DanP_from_AZ View Post
    What is not to like ? OK, what is not to LOVE !
    That is a very nice looking gun too.

  19. #19
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    chessail77 is offline Senior Member
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    You might have good luck with the (rainbow) after you have decided for certain you want a P239...check with Bud's Gun shop online and have it sent to your local store or FFL if local store prices are too high or they can't get one for you.....My P239 is now my main carry weapon....other pistols are lighter, hold more rounds and on and on ....but it is so accurate and dependable, shoots flawlessly and I trust my life and that of my family to it and that is hard to replace with anything else, plus Sig customer service has been excellent.....Good Luck and keep us posted.....JJ

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