Sig Sauer P938 Nightmare 9mm

Covert-ops pocket defender streamlined to haunt any attacker!

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  • FRONT SIGHT_phatchfinal
    Sig Sauer’s P938 features steel, tritium night sights, an ambidextrous thumb safety and checkered, black G10 grip panels, making it a solid defensive pistol ready for concealed carry.
    Steve Woods Photo
  • GRIP_phatchfinal
    Sig Sauer’s P938 features steel, tritium night sights, an ambidextrous thumb safety and checkered, black G10 grip panels, making it a solid defensive pistol ready for concealed carry.
    Steve Woods Photo
  • REAR 1_phatchfinal
    Sig Sauer’s P938 features steel, tritium night sights, an ambidextrous thumb safety and checkered, black G10 grip panels, making it a solid defensive pistol ready for concealed carry.
    Steve Woods Photo
  • DISASSEMBLED_phatchfinal
    Field-stripping the Sig Sauer P938, an easy process, reveals its 3-inch, NItron-coated barrel; stainless steel, one-piece recoil spring guide rod; and slide-stop lever.
    Steve Woods Photo
  • EJECTION PORT_phatchfinal
    Sig Sauer crafted the P938 with a smooth profile for snag-free draws and a wide,external extractor for reliability. The slide features a black Nitron finish for durability.
    Steve Woods Photo
  • MAGS 2_phatchfinal
    Steve Woods Photo

Range Time

I tested the P938 Nightmare using four loads: Winchester 115-grain FMJs, Winchester Supreme 124-grain JHPs, Black Hills 115-grain JHPs and Hornady 124-grain JHPs. I used both the stock G10 grips and a more substantial wraparound Hogue rubber grip, which Sig supplies with another variant of the P938. I fired the Nightmare with both the flush-fitting, six-round magazine and the optional, extended seven-round mag.

The P938 is accurate and reliable. The best five-shot, benchrest group of 0.75 inches was with the Winchester Supreme 124-grain JHP load. I am sure that this pistol is capable of shooting four-shot cloverleaves at 7 yards—the distance at which defensive subcompacts of this type are typically used. There were no stoppages with all five loads tested.

Note that benchrest accuracy, especially for purely defensive pocket pistols, is only an indication of mechanical accuracy and ammunition consistency, not how a gun performs “when the shooting starts.” Practical accuracy is heavily influenced by three elements: gun fit, sights and trigger. Though this pistol is too small for a three-finger grip with the flush-fitting, six-round mag, using the seven-round version greatly improves handling and control and thus increases your effective engagement distance. Also, the pinky rest on the seven-round mag allows for easier thumb-cocking of the hammer for those who wish to carry the pistol with hammer down rather than cocked and locked.

The P938 Nightmare’s standard thin G10 grips offer an adequate grip, but the wraparound Hogue rubber grip, which has a pebble finish and is swelled at the base, significantly improved control and comfort. Shooting the P938 off-hand using aimed, rapid fire produced groups of 4 inches and under.

Final Notes

The P938 is a quality pistol with good ergonomics, accuracy and reliability. Its metal construction, single-action design and variety of models make it stand out in a market that is replete with polymer-framed, double-action pistols, many of which have a long trigger pull that can’t be readily tuned like the P938’s.

At some point this year, Sig Sauer will offer a steel-framed version, as is now offered in the P238 series. This “HD” variant of the P938 should increase the pistol’s longevity. But even the current lineup of six P938 variants offers strong contenders for anyone who desires a pocket pistol with 9mm punch. For more information, visit sigsauer.com or call 866-619-1128.