OK, I saved the best for the last installment in our series of 9mm pocket pistols. The SIG P938 is "Best in Class"! Now, let me be clear; I am NOT saying that it is the best defensive pistol on the market. But in terms of a go anywhere, always with you, actually fit in your pocket, and greater than a .380 it is the best I have handled and I have handled most of them. There are pistols that are smaller but there is a point of diminishing returns on how small you can make a handgun. That point is crossed when:
- You cannot functionally grasp the pistol because the grip is too short or the pistol is too thin.
- The sights are too small to be usable.
So, let's talk about how the 938 stacks up against the other four we examined (the Colt New Agent, Smith & Wesson Shield, and Bersa BP9 CC):
With 7 + 1 rounds available she is on par or one round less than the other three reviewed. The 938 is the only one with night sights. She is also the smallest of the four pistols in terms of overall length, overall height, and overall weight (5.9", 3.9", and 16 oz. respectively). The MSRP on the P938 is $823.00 dollars but you should be able to pick one up for just under $700.00 if you shop around.
Let's talk about the other goodies that are on this pistol:
- Sights: We already talked about the night sights but I love the fact that they are there.
(Can you find the SIG P938 in the dark?)
- Safety: The 938 has ambidextrous safeties which normally I am not in love with but they make sense on this pistol since many LEO's will employ the 938 as a back-up pistol and place it in the weak-hand pocket. If they are serving in uniform their duty holster usually covers or obstructs access to the right hand pocket and many want it in the off hand pocket in case their strong hand sustains an injury. The safety set-up on the P938 also allows you to manipulate the slide when it is engaged and being able to unload the pistol with the safety on is a nice feature.
- Trigger Guard: is slightly undercut to allow you to get as high a hold on the grip as possible.
- Magazine: on this model the magazine has a finger extension on it to just slightly allow you to get three fingers on the grip instead of two.
- The grips are Hogue's Micarta "Extreme" pattern which provide a secure grip and are nearly indestructible.
- Grip Safety: None. However, the backstrap does sweep up into a nice spur that protects the hand from being abraded as the slide retracts.
- Trigger: OK, this is the one small fly in the ointment. Although the P938 looks like it is utilizing a standard sliding style 1911 trigger, it is actually hinged at the top. The trigger pull on my specimen breaks at a very consistent 7.8 pounds. This is a lot heavier than most any 1911 pistol. Hell, it's heavier than most pistols period! However it has not become bothersome or a detriment to accuracy as there is very little take-up, which only requires about 2 pounds of pressure to get through, before getting to the 7.8 pound release which breaks very cleanly.
The P938 breaks down into its six major components and is easier to disassemble than most 1911s. There is no barrel bushing to worry about and the guide rod is very easy to put back in place when reassembling the pistol.
In terms of accuracy this is not a target pistol nor is it a long range firearm. Between 0 to 45 feet you will have all the accuracy you will need for most self protection contingencies.
Here is the first 25 rounds out of the box at 21 feet:
Here's 50 rounds at 30 feet
And you can see the group open up at 50 feet
The trigger reset on the P938 is amazingly quick. I could empty 7 rounds in just over two seconds and at 21 feet it would be effective as shown by the 50 rounds fired below
In this photo the head shots were taken with Federal Guard Dog 105 grain ammunition while the torso was shot with 50 rounds of Federal white box 115 grain FMJ ammunition
More Defensive Ammo Fired at 21 Feet
The recoil of +P ammo is stout but not difficult at all to manage.
Here's Hornady TAP 124 grain + P JHP
Magtech Guardian Gold 124 grain +P JHP ammo--I only had four rounds left
Speer Gold Dot Hollowpoint 124 grain +P
If you need a concealed carry pistol the SIG P938 is one you can take with you just about anywhere you go. The micro .380s were a passing fad as the manufacturers can now provide you with the power of a 9mm in a .380 platform and, as I said earlier, the P938 from SIG is best in class.
Lastly...to the good people at SIG: could you make me one with a half inch longer barrel and in the grip? Please, please...just for me? I really want my 9mm Colt Model M Pocket Hammerless clone.
The SIG 938 is all snug in its Remora Holster and ready for a night on the town either in the front pocket or inside the waistband.