After four years working for a division of a major firearms manufacturer that has supplied the U.S. military with 9mm pistols for several years, I’m familiar with military and law enforcement sidearms. I frequently ask the opinions of law enforcement officers about the merits of various LE duty handguns, and the majority leans toward a Sig as the top of its class. That same reputation for quality and dependability carry forward into their line of small-framed pocket pistols, too.

P232

It’s good to know that even in situations that call for a smaller pistol, such as a backup for concealed carry and personal protection, there’s a perfectly-sized Sig for the job. When size matters, a compact Sig P232 classic measures up.

Reminiscent of the Walther PPK, the P232 is a small, lightweight pistol chambered in .380 ACP. It features a fixed-barrel blowback action with a proven design that balances well. Its smooth contours and snag-free edges make it ideal for personal protection. It’s the pistol’s small size that makes it easy to carry concealed, whether in a discreet holster, purse or on the ankle, and yet the outstanding ergonomics of the grip design allow for comfortable shooting even in large hands.

The trigger comes from the factory with a 5.5-pound single-action pull and is capable of both single-action and double-action. Pulling back the slide sets the hammer backwards and downwards to its single-action position, making for a very short and crisp trigger pull with minimal take-up. The double-action pull is longer and more stiff, but still very smooth. It has no external safeties, though it does have a decocking lever positioned just above the right-handed shooter’s thumb, on the left side of the grip. The lever provides for a safe method of lowering the hammer from its full-cocked, single-action position, to a half-cocked, double-action safe position where the hammer itself falls forward to a locking point about an eighth of an inch from the rear of the firing pin. Once decocked, it is physically impossible for the hammer to drop completely and contact the firing pin. In order for the round to discharge, the full double-action pull would have to be completed, which allows for the pistol to be carried reasonably safely with a round chambered.

The P232 weighs less than 19 ounces empty, and its single-stack magazine gives the grip a trim profile, making it a pleasure to carry throughout the day. Its overall length is 6.6 inches. The trigger pull for a first double-action shot is a safety-conscious 10 pounds, while the single-action let-off is 4.4 pounds. The P232’s magazine capacity is 7 rounds, and one more in the chamber puts enough .380 ammo in your hand to address most situations.

P238

Revealed in 2009, the P238 is a single-action pistol that hails back to the Colt Mustang pistol, with a classic Sig Sauer scalloped slide and finger relief under the triggerguard. Grip panels are fluted polymer, making this an all-metal-frame firearm in competition with plastic-framed pistols in the same class like the Ruger LCP and the Kel-Tec P-3AT.

Answering requests from shooters for a subcompact Sig pistol, engineers designed the new P238 as an attractive, small handgun built with the same accuracy and reliability as large-frame Sig pistols. The P238 comes in 15 versions, so it should be easy to find one to fit your tastes. One even comes fitted with a laser aiming device.

The P238 weighs less than 16 ounces. Its all-metal frame features an anodized alloy beavertail-style frame with fluted grips for comfort and a secure hold during rapid-fire usage. The stainless steel slide features popular Sig slide serrations and improves overall performance. Additionally, the SIGLITE night sights are removable and adjustable for windage. The P238 is shipped in a lockable hard case with one six-round magazine.

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