There is a local gun shop that has an older P238 for sale and I put it on layaway, as I wanted to pay cash instead of adding more to the credit card. It was a trade in and only came with x1 magazine. I disassembled it and the barrel shows wear but the slide rails show very little wear. I had some questions about it if anyone might know.
First, how many springs does recoil rod use? Is it one or is it like the Colt Mustang that has an inner and outer spring? It only has one on it now. I know it is missing the screw for the grip but I plan on getting a different set of grips and screws anyway.
Next, to engage the safety,it takes a little effort to move it upwards when the hammer is back. When the hammer is in it's "cocked" mode/position, I note the hammer goes back a little more to lock into position when I put the thumb safety on. Is that normal? The safety engages positively, releases without issue, maintains itself when "cocked and locked" and the hammer does not fall when the trigger is pressed.
Lastly, do these share the same grips as the Mustang?
They only wanted $350 OTD,which I thought was not bad and it has standard 3 dot white sights.
I don't know much of anything about the P238, but according to the Top Gun Supply site, there is just one flat wire recoil spring:
“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
— Thomas Paine
One spring. Its fine. Hogue makes P238 grips. Let us know how it shoots.
My other Sig is a Steyr...
Really good deal enjoy.
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They are a nice shooting little .380. For $350 you did VERY well!
$350 used (assuming very good and better condition) is a more than fair price considering what a P238 would normally sell for when discounting any impact on prices from the COVID craziness. Add in the profiteering context of the stupidity of these times...yeah, I'd say $350 would be a fantastic deal.
Another angle: when I bought my then NIB P238 about a decade ago, monetarily my price was $409 back then thanks to a promotion one LGS had going on at the time, or roughly $479ish today when accounting for inflation. This means that your current-day used price is at 73% of my gun's time-adjusted "new price" of $479. So even with my 'great deal' your used P238 has a current asking price that's still very much in line with my 'doorbuster' price from back in the day. And considering that the cheapest new production P238s today are usually well north of $500 even before any pandemic surcharge is added, it's not hard to come to the conclusion that your used P238 is certainly one hell of a deal.
However it should be pointed out that factory .380 ammo has been stupendously hard to find, at least for us. There's little to nothing for our shop to buy at nearly any price on the wholesale side. You may want to keep that in mind if you're not already sitting on a decent supply of the caliber or are not already loading .380 yourself (assuming that you can even find the components).
Yes, good price. I guess someone didn’t like the current ammo hustle.
I like my P238.
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I bought mine in 2009 and have deemed it unreliable for self defense.
Almost since new it either fails to eject or stove pipes the spent shell casings. I did try newer magazines and the flat spring and that helped for a little bit, but not enough to deem it reliable.
The serial number of my P238 starts with DA005xxx.
When it was new, I had to send it back to get the correct front sight installed as the one it came with was not correct. Both sights are #6.
My P238 has almost 1,000 rounds thru it and below is the wear pattern on the frame.
Don't get me wrong, its still a fun gun to shoot, I just will not carry it.
to your last question, the P238 is the same gun as the Mustang and and the Springfield 911. The parts are not totally interchangeable. I also the Springfield and the magazines for the Springfield will work in the P238, but not the other way around. The 911 has an ambidextrous safety where the P238 doe not so the grips are not interchangeable.
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I too found my p238 unreliable for carry for the stove pipe reason. Otherwise I found the gun very easy to control and shoot.
"They keep telling me Jesus walked on water, well he should have surfed." -Ben Harper
Except for a few cycling issues in the first 200 rounds, my P238 has been completely reliable. I’ve put 1K+ rounds of PMC ball and Federal HST through it.
Its feed ramp was nicely polished out of the box. A sweet little pistol IMO. I lube it with Slip2000 EWG.
Make me one with everything.
– Buddhist monk to a hot dog vendor
My 2016 (27B prefix) has also proven to be dead nuts reliable. It's my favorite BUG/pocket pistol.
For those who are interested, there have been several evolutionary design changes to the P238 since its introduction in 2009.
Redesigned sear/sear spring with corresponding MSH
Beefier 13/16" thick slide wall
Flat coil recoil spring
Heavier (red) mag catch spring
To date, I have been unsuccessful determining the approximate serial number range these changes first appeared or if they were introduced concurrently. My 2016 pictured below did however display all of the newer Gen 2 features.
patw - Great find! Enjoy your new P238!
2016 P238 Nitron w/ Grayguns trigger, VZ Grips G10's and Trijicon 'Bright & Tough' sights.
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I've got two, the Two Tone and the Scorpion.
Both have been 100% reliable since I bought them and both have quite a few rounds through them. The only thing I don't like about them comes from the viewpoint of a reloader: They eject into the next zip code at warp III. I carry one or the other from time to time as a BUG.
The two tone doesn't have an ambidextrous safety, but the Scorpion does, so there's at least one that does.
Normal. Unlike the 1911 safety which blocks the sear, the Mustang/P238 safety blocks the hammer with a very hard engagement. Any difficulty thumbing the hammer up may be improved somewhat by carefully smoothing the engagement surfaces, but won't go away entirely.
"Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." -Jeff Cooper
Thanks for the replies. I bought a set of black/grey patterned Cool Hand grip panels for it and am waiting for them to come in, as the Hogues were nice and comfy to hold but a little big.
Moving the safety lever to safe, as Chris says, it's normal to cam the hammer back. There's a safety notch on the rear of the hammer. The safety lever shaft cams into that notch, locking the hammer back while rotating the hammer back a little so the hammer full cock notch is no longer in contact with the sear. Taking it off safe will lower the hammer into engagement with the sear again.
I've run into examples of the similar P938 with safety levers that are difficult to engage. This can be remedied by slightly reprofiling the safety lever shaft. But one has to use care as it's important to preserve some cam back of the hammer. If this were not so, and the hammer was not back off the sear, wear might allow the hammer to drop all the way when the safety lever was moved to off safe. (Note that a properly functioning firing pin block plunger would still prevent a discharge so long as the trigger was not held back while taking it off safe.)
Thanks for all the replies. I was finally able to take it out today and she is a keeper. Got good groups and ran like a top.
The Springfield 911 magazine's will work, and cost half as much as the Sig magazine's. The only drawback is, they will say "Springfield" on them.
You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stop the assault.
^^^ Thanks, that's good to know. Never even thought about those.
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