So, a few days ago, I promised a post-range report on my new Sig P238 mouse gun. I’ve now been to the range twice, put 200 rounds downrange and here are my initial thoughts.
I am NOT ready to give up my Kimber Ultracarry II just yet. I should note that I consider this Kimber the finest weapon I have EVER fired in this lifetime.
That said, let me say this. The P238 is a very nice carry gun. It conceals easily, it loads easily, it chambers…well…let me get to that.
I have one MAJOR concern about the weapon. I experienced several mis-feeds that involved the loading ramp on the weapon. I did not know at the time if it was a loading ramp malfunction, a magazine malfunction, or simply the ammo I was firing. The weapon doing this on the very first round I tried to chamber in it did not instill me with confidence.
HOWEVER, the first 100 rounds I fired from the weapon were Jacketed Hollow Point and not ball or FMJ like I normally like to use for initial firings. It was PPU; a Serbian made ammo, 94 grain JHP. Normally I wouldn’t buy PPU, but it was all the range had that day so I bought two boxes. I loaded the magazines, went to chamber a round and the round’s front lip jammed on the feed ramp. THAT was not a good sign. I cleared the weapon, reloaded it. Inspected my magazine and feed ramp, they seemed fine. I then inspected the ammo and it also seemed fine. I re-chambered the round and it loaded straight away. Further observation of this malfunction made it clear that the very top edge of the ammo was catching on the very bottom edge of the feed ramp. Sometimes just enough that a tap to the back of the slide loaded the round, sometimes enough that I had to re-rack the slide completely and firm taps with the palm of my hand did not clear it.
Overall the weapon was very accurate out to 15 yards. As this was a break-in shoot, I was less concerned with accuracy than I was with general performance. Of the 100 rounds I fired on the first trip, 7 of them experienced feeding issues. The more I got into it, the more I thought that the issue was the ammo.
I then went back a few days later, this time with two boxes of FMJ, Full Metal Jacket ammo. No hollow points. This trip out I was going to simulate the Texas Concealed Handgun test to see if one could pass the test with this weapon. I don’t place any valuation on this particular test; it’s just a practical example. Plus I have applied for my CHL instructor license and am waiting for a class date. So it was good practice.
First, I had no feed ramp issues. The weapon loaded perfectly every time. I did have one instance of the magazine coming unseated and the weapon did not load at all after ejecting a round. But I’m not sure if that wasn’t operator error. It happened only once.
I shot a 250 out of a possible 250 for the test. The accuracy of the weapon out to 15 yards is very good, at 7 and 3 yards it is excellent. Everything was inside the 8 ring on the target.
Overall, I’m please, and I’ll carry the weapon, just not with the PPU ammo. I will carry it with Hornady’s Critical Defense* ammo as it doesn’t seem to have the loading issues the PPU did.
Will I use this weapon for my CHL Instructors shooting test? Hmmm…doubtful. It’s good to know that I could use it, assuming it functions right, but I’ll be sticking with the Kimber for that.
Do I trust this gun with my life yet? Hmmm… I don’t think I can say that just yet. I think want to polish that feed ramp and then put a few hundred more rounds through it without any issues before I can go there. While I’m pretty certain that the crappy Serbian ammo was the issue, there were still just too many hiccups on that first trip.
I’ll keep everyone updated.
*and by extension, Hornady’s ZOMBIE MAX which is basically Crit Def with a GREEN insert instead of an orange insert.