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SIG P238 vs P232

Discussion in 'The Sig Sauer Club' started by leeward419, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. leeward419


    Feb 7, 2010
    43.12 / 77.67
    I Am thinking about the sig p238. I have handled both the 232 and 238; I love the small size and robust construction of the 238,not much bigger heavier or wider than my Ruger LCP. I would likely carry in an inside the waistband holster.I like the feel of the 232 also, beautiful "classic" looking pistol, but not as small or as light as the 238.
    The 238 being a newer model, had some function issues at its introduction.The 232 being around much longer appears not to have any issues. Is the 238 reliable in its current production? Either would work for holster carry, I like the smaller one, but dont want to sacrifice reliability. My fall winter CCW is a G32, or a Springfield Armory 1911. I had a G27 which was more concealable than either the G32 or 1911 but are to big for work in the summer.( I work in an office in an urban environment) I need a highly concealable gun, so I can carry year round, every day w/o any one knowing I am carrying. The LCP fills the bill, but it is lightly built, and the "sights" are wanting. I practice incessantly so I want a robust gun, and accept the added weight.

    This would be my first SIG, long time Glock owner/enthusiast/die hard fan, please dont tell Gaston
    thanks for any info and guidance here
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
  2. .45MoonClip

    .45MoonClip NRA Life Member

    Nov 6, 2004
    Western Pennsylvania
    I've never owned a p232, but I recently found a p238 at a gunshow and it followed me home. I like double action only pistols for defensive carry, but the little Sig just attracted me. Mine was used but of recent vintage, built in October of2011. It seems to handle any and all ammo that I've fed through it. It can be carried in an inside the waist band or pocket holster without much drama. It's most entertaining feature is shootability. It is just a fun little pistol and my second .380. My other is a Ruger LCP. The P238 model I have is the HDW.
    Best of luck in your quest.

  3. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    I'm not a huge fan of the P238, but I think the P232 is one of the highest quality, best looking pistols Sig ever built.
  4. dsa1115


    Sep 22, 2010
    Suburban Chicago
    I own a P230, the predecessor to the P232. The P232 might be larger and certainly not a pocket pistol, but it's much more accurate than any P238. IMO, the P230/232 is the finest .380 available. The only negative is the location of the magazine release.
  5. Wetrudgeon


    Feb 10, 2001
    Beyond the beyond
    For inside the waistband carry, either the 232 or 238 should be OK, but if you ever consider pocket carry you will likely prefer the 238. Our 238 rides conveniently in a pocket but we think the 232 is too large for that.

    We trudge on.
  6. leeward419


    Feb 7, 2010
    43.12 / 77.67
    Thanks for the input guys,
    It is tough to make a decision,
    Problem is they are both great pistols.
    I am leaning towards the 238; but will still want the 232.
    Going shopping today to see if I can find a shop with both in stock for
    side by side comparison.
    thank You again!
  7. FTjoe


    Apr 3, 2009
    southern maryland
    i've shot both a friend's P230 and a range gun P238. the P230 hurt my trigger everytime i pulled the trigger. not sure what happening between the trigger and my finger, but it didn't feel right. however, it did feel great in my hand and no other pistol has come close.
    the P238 fired great!! it was smooth and small, but fit my hand. not as great as the P230, but it didnt hurt my hand in any way. seemed to have more of a 1911 trigger pull.
    if i had to pick, i'd go with the P238, but would also wait to fire a P938 to see how it compares for a 9mm round.
  8. DonGlock26


    Jan 18, 2001
    I have the blued P232. It has never jammed. It is very accurate as well. The P232 has a full grip, which I prefer. It is very thin and in the blued version, it only weights about 16ozs.

    I feel that it is a very underrated CCW. First, I feel that .380 Golddots or Hornady Critical Defense are nothing to sneeze at. I also feel that thin, light pistols equals never violating the first rule of gunfighting- having a gun ON YOUR PERSON AT ALL TIMES.

    I've carried pistols on duty and off duty for 23 years. I have come to appreciate the P232's heel magazine release as an extra assurance of pistol reliability. An unseated magazine can happen over the course of a day of activity especially with a close fitting CCW holster and vehicle seating. I have had Sig and Glock mags become partially unseated over the course of the day. For a dedicated CCW pistol, I find the heel release of the P232 to be a plus.

    The heavy double action pull and lack of a safety is also an advantage of the P232 over the P238-IMHO. The DA/SA trigger gives you the advantage of safety without the chance of a safety disengaging and contributing to a ND. It also eliminates the problem of a safety remaining in the on position as a person attempts to defend his life in an emergency. You may not be able to deactivate the safety, if you are surprised or physically attacked. This is another advantage of the P232.

    I have used my P232 as a back-up gun, station duty gun, and off duty gun for many years. It has never failed me in any way. Would I rather have a 9mm or .40? Sure, but I don't always dress in a manner to conceal them. I have pocket carried my P232 with cargo shorts. I have an ankle holster for it, but the grip is too long to conceal completely IMHO.

    I found some P230 plastic stock grips on E-Bay and put them on my P232 for maximum concealibilty. They haved worked better than expected.


    In short, I find the P232 to be an excellent all-around CCW pistol. I suggest the two-toned or blue versions for lighter weight.




    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
  9. Cobra64

    Cobra64 Deals in Facts

    Especially with Nill grips.


  10. DonGlock26


    Jan 18, 2001
    The SS P232 is a sexy beast. :wow:

  11. AWGD8

    AWGD8 Sr. Glocker29SF

    Mar 19, 2006
    Between the 2 , I will get the P238 HD (heavy duty) Stainless steel slide not aluminum like the rest of the P238 version.
  12. barth

    barth six barrels

    Oct 7, 2011
    The Free Zone
  13. modestglock26

    modestglock26 sleep w/ a gun

    Aug 2, 2006
    Love my new to me p232 with night sights. Have hogue g10 grips on the way.

  14. leeward419


    Feb 7, 2010
    43.12 / 77.67
    I went and saw, The only thing keeping me from the p238 or 938 is the safety, I carry a glock, dont like mixing and matching firearms with different manual of arms, I do love the 232.I have a really hard time thinking cocked and lock is ok for pocket carry, dont get me wrong, carry a 1911 in a shoulder or IWB no problem.P232 is not a pocket gun either, due to size. I found a p232 and held it, it is very slim. Only concern was length of grip, did not realize there were shorter grip options available, now in a quandry. Ultimately when this has been the case in the past, I bought both. Cant do that right now. will have to give this more thought, thank you for the input. Problem is I love both of these pistols.

    This is sounding worse than my wife and a couple of pairs of shoes.
    apologies for that
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
  15. CDR_Glock


    Apr 1, 2010
    I love my P238. It's accurate to 25 yards, sits well as a pocket carry and it's a pleasure to shoot.

    I've shot the P232. Great gun, too. Too thick for concealment when I can carry a 45 ACP or 40 SW, instead.
  16. ca survivor

    ca survivor

    Dec 25, 2011
    Sig's 232s are great guns, but now days like the PPKs are too big for a .380 when you can have a 9mm in not much bigger gun.
  17. uhlawpup

    uhlawpup Gentle Soul

    Nov 18, 2003
    I've owned both the 230 and the 238 is now my regular carry. It is far and away the easier to carry and conceal of the two platforms. The 238 is utterly reliable, and quite accurate for its size.

    Sure, the 230/232 is more accurate at distance, but self defense carry is not a target shoot. You need only be able to reliably place a round on your chosen target at distances usually encountered in self defense situations, and, if you do your practice like you should, the 238 will serve you well.

    Both are great guns, but the comparison is like comparing a full-sized sedan to a two-seater sportster. Choose the platform that suits you best.
  18. leeward419


    Feb 7, 2010
    43.12 / 77.67
    Dilemma resolved, I bought the P238 SAS model. Found local shop with both, compared several of the 238 models side by side with 232 . Really like both, but since this will be summer carry, I went with the 238.
    Thank you all for your input and photos. I am thinking I will get a p938 down the road to go with the 238. Some day, I will own a stainless 232. They are absolutely gorgeous!
    I filed the ammendment paperwork and should be able to pick it up sometime next week, it usally takes a week to 10 days here.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2012
  19. CDR_Glock


    Apr 1, 2010
    Excellent choice.

    Some times we must "bite the bullet" and just buy them all.

    Enjoy your gun.
  20. leeward419


    Feb 7, 2010
    43.12 / 77.67
    [quoteSome times we must "bite the bullet" and just buy them all.
    Yep, good advice!
    Love Sigs