The name SIG SAUER has been synonymous with quality firearms for many years. Police agencies and elite military units carry a SIG handgun in their holsters. Even the US Navy SEALs picked the SIG pistol over all others as the teams’ primary handgun.
In recent years, the firearms industry has seen a trend toward light and inexpensive .380 ACP pistols for concealed carry. Popular models include the Ruger LCP, Kel-Tec P3AT and Smith & Wesson Bodyguard. These subcompact pistols are double action only pistols with polymer frames, and all retail for about $400 or less on the street.
SIG took a slightly different route with their subcompact 380. The P238 is a single action pistol that is significantly more expensive than its competitors. The result? Sales. Lots and lots of sales.
Looking to continue the success of the P-series pistols, SIG SAUER introduced two new guns for concealed carry this year: the P938 and the P224. Both guns are aimed directly at the personal protection market, but offer totally different experiences.
The SIG P938
The P938 has been described as the P238’s bigger brother. Chambered in 9mm, the gun does resemble the .380 gun. The two pistols also share many of the same features.
The P938 is a single action pistol that can be carried “cocked an locked” in a manner similar to the 1911 handguns. It has a crisp trigger that makes for a more pleasurable shooting experience than most of the double-action-only subcompact pistols I have shot.
Low profile, but still very useable, night sights are standard on the P938. If you’ve shot the P238, the sights on the P938 will be familiar to you.
The magazine is single-stack, allowing for a thinner profile than a double-stack pistol. The P938 is only 1.1” at the widest point. Reduced thickness comes at the cost in capacity, however, as the P938 mags only hold six rounds.
Keep the reduced capacity in perspective. Prior to the 1990’s, many licensed citizens and off-duty cops carried a five- or six-shot revolver from Smith & Wesson or Colt. Most often, these revolvers were chambered in .38 Special. The P938 gives you seven rounds (6+1) of 9mm on tap in a flatter package than the old wheelguns. Not bad in my estimation.
Unloaded, the P938 only weighs 16 ounces. Considering the SIG has an alloy frame, instead of a polymer frame, that is fairly impressive. The 9mm is a higher-pressure cartridge than the .380 ACP, so SIG had to make sure the frame would handle repeated abuse from the stouter round.
MSRP is listed as $795 – $835. I would expect to see street prices somewhere south of $700.
The SIG P224
The SIG P224 is a more traditional version of a SIG P-series handgun. The P224 is a double-stack pistol available in 9mm, .40 S&W and .357 SIG. Initial guns will come with the DAK (Double-Action-Kellerman) trigger, while follow on versions will have traditional double-action/single-action and double-action-only triggers as options.
The P224 uses a double stack magazine, meaning more rounds and a thicker grip when compared to the P938. Magazine capacity on the 9mm is 11 rounds, while the .40 S&W and .357 SIG will hold an even 10.
If you like the feel of the SIG P226/P228 type pistols, you will probably like the P224. The grip is shorter than the P228, so your pinky may be hanging off the bottom. However, when shooting the pistol I did not feel like my grip on the gun was significantly diminished.
Trigger pull on the pistol is smooth and consistent. The single-action pull on the P938 is nicer, but for a double-action gun, the DAK in the P224 is very nice indeed.
The sights appear to be the same as what comes on the other P226 type pistols with night sights standard. Good sights on subcompact guns are a relatively uncommon thing, and a feature I prefer.
MSRP on the P224 starts at $1,125. I strongly suspect that the street price will be closer to the $800 – 850 range.
So there you have it: two new P-series pistols from the folks in New Hampshire. Each offers a completely different shooting (and carrying) experience. Both pistols exhibit the high standards on which SIG SAUER built their reputation.
Yes, both of the pistols are more expensive than many of the competing polymer guns. However, these two pistols offer features that cannot be had in the latest striker-fired pistols. If one of these guns has the features, fit and feel you desire, then the price is very reasonable.