Wife was firing her P238. She had just inserted her 4th mag and depressed the slide stop to chamber the 1st round. The round jammed. She tried to pull slide back to dislodge it but could not. I then tried to pull the slide back but it would not budge. I then used my finger to spin the bullet which moved up, the slide slammed forward and a round was chambered. The problem was that the slide kept moving forward, about 1/2 way off of the base. I examined the pistol and saw that the slide stop was missing (fortunately the spring was still seated). It was there when she depressed it to initially release the slide and chamber.
I very carefully continued to disassemble it with a live round chambered. After removing the round, we spent 10 minutes on our hands and knees looking for the slide stop. It was found, I reassembled and she fired 5-6 more mags with no issues.
The only explanation I can come up with is that the slide was in that exact spot necessary to remove the slide stop and while trying to dislodge the jam, I must have pressed on the opposite end causing it to come out.
I disassembled it about 5 times this morning and it is very difficult, as it should be, to push the stop out. I also tried to determine if the pistol can be fired with the stop not seated properly and I do not think that it can.
I fired 2 more mags and it runs fine.
Any opinions/comments/solutions appreciated.
Re: “I must have pressed on the opposite end causing it to come out.”
I’ve seen several reports from P238 owners saying that the slide stop of their pistol would drop free from gravity alone if the slide was exactly at the right position. Not so with my P238, however.
I use a 5/16 wooden dowel to push out the slide stop when disassembling my 238, but frequently it will just drop out on its own without a nudge from the dowel when I line things up perfectly.
The dowel also is useful to hold the recoil spring in place when reassembling.
Are you 100% certain that the slide stop was fully inserted and seated prior to the start of the session? It is possible for the pistol to function with the slide stop partially engaged.
Yes, we had been thru 3 mags....see next post.
I just got off of the phone with SIG. The rep I spoke with was very good and I agree with his assessment.....it was the "Perfect Storm". While removing the jam, the slide was in the perfect position, I was tilting it to the left and my finger must have pushed against the opposite end causing the stop to come out. He did state that this situation is indicative of 1911 style pistols and can happen with many of them. He suggested that I always chamber that first round using the slide stop rather than by racking the slide. Using the slide stop will cause the slide to advance rapidly eliminating any chance of the stop popping out. He also agreed that the pistol will not function unless the pin is properly seated.
He offered for SIG to inspect it but after cycling, stripping and firing it this morning I am comfortable with the assessment.
Very interesting that others have heard of or experienced the same thing!!!!
This is something that SIG is negligent in correcting and is a known problem.
The spring is way too weak to retain the slide stop due to preventing the spring activating the stop only with the aid of the follower when the mag is empty. Otherwise it would lock back after each round was fire.
The problem is that the spring is too weak to retain the slide stop when gravity or slight pressure pushes on the stop.
The slide stop needs a small indent or groove to accept the end of the spring to retain the stop and not allowing the stop to just slide out.
The idea of only using the slide stop or holding the gun so that the slide stop doesn't fall out is ridiculous for a any firearm, let alone one that is meant for defense.
That pretty much mirrors my thinking. To have the primary breakdown piece as part of the active system of the pistol creates a point of failure and is poor design/engineering IMO.
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I don't think much of that either. I always carry chamber loaded and don't use this method, but some folks like chamber-empty, aka the "'Israeli' draw." Turning the gun on its side (according to this method) so you can rack the slide, which faces the slide stop down, racking the slide and having the slide stop fall out would not be good.
The slide stops on my CZ pistols are so tight that I have to use a tool to get them started moving, but I know they'll never fall out while shooting the gun.
I'll chime in with others: It's a known issue. I have three P238s. Two of them don't do it, but one of them does -- or did, until I got a rep on the phone who knew the fix. (Apparently some reps know it and some don't.)
The rep I got on the phone sent me two new slide stop springs. Replacing the slide stop spring completely eliminated the problem.
A nice tight, well-seated spring should hold the stop in place even when the slide is off the gun. When you replace your spring, you can test it by doing exactly that: put the slide stop back in place with the slide still off. (Remember that it has to engage the spring from underneath, so that there's spring tension when you push up on the stop, not down.) The stop should be held solidly in place by the spring. Then you can pop the stop back out and reassemble normally.
Worked for me -- hope it works for you. I'm not sure it's exactly a design flaw as much as a miscalculation on how strong that spring needs to be.
Good post toivo. The slide stop spring of my P238 must be good, and properly seated, since I don’t have the problem reported in the OP.
As mentioned above... a known problem with these guns. The slide stop spring is easily bent during take down. Once that happens, the slide stop can easily fall out if the gun is rolled to port while the slide is being manipulated. The fix is to replace the slide stop spring and use care when disassembling the gun.
My wifes' first pistol was a Colt Mustang.
I would take her out once or twice a year to shoot. I really had trouble getting that done.
After about 5 years of owning it, we had about 85 rds or so through it. She fired it and the slide stop popped right out.
We had to send the gun to as it would not function unless it was taken down further and reassembled.
Colt charged me $180 to do that and would not warranty the gun. I would never trust my wife to use that gun again for protection at home.
We sold that gun and she now has a P238 Sig and has not had the first problem with it and we have now had that longer than the Colt and have put over 250 rds through it.
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