The Sig P938: Tiny Take on a Classic

By: Tony Wurst

There are many great options available in the compact pistol market such as Smith & Wesson’s  M&P Shield, the Glock 43, and of course the Sig P365, all with their own pro’s and cons.

The P938 is best described as a 1911 inspired Micro-Compact pistol. Like a 1911, it is a single stack, semi-automatic, single action only pistol and while it does have a thumb safety, Sig has removed the grip safety that is commonly found on most 1911 style pistols.

The P938 SAS on the left and Stand edition on the right with extended magazines. The SAS has a much more rounded feel, meaning it is easier to carry and draw without getting caught.

One of the best things about the P938 is all the options available. Sig currently lists fourteen different models on their website, with options including G10 grips, different finishes, almost all with Sig’s SIGLITE Night Sights, and in the case of the one I opted for, their Sig Anti-Snag Treatment (SAS) on the slide and frame. The SAS treatment removes the sharp corners and hard edges, making it a much smoother gun all around and reducing the chance for it to catch on fabric or other objects that may also be in your pocket, making draws a breeze.

Being based on a 1911, the P938 does have a few quirks. While the grip safety has been removed, this is a gun you will want to carry hammer cocked and safety on, as the trigger is single-action only like a traditional 1911. The trigger on mine came out to a very crisp 6 lbs. and had a nice glass-like break with little to no take-up.

The wood panels on the SAS give the P938 a nice rough texture for a better grip, while also complimenting the colors on the gun nicely.

Breaking away from the more traditional 1911’s, the P938 does feature an external extractor, however, take down and maintenance will remain unchanged.

I recently added the P938 SAS to my carry lineup, and I’ve been very happy with how it’s fit into my carry rotation.

Height3.9 in
Width1.1 in
Barrel Length3 in
Overall Length5.9 in
Magazine Capacity6 flush, 7 extended.

I was looking for something that I could carry when work attire would make a normal inside the waistband option more difficult which narrowed my options down to some of the smaller pistols like the M&P Shield and Glock 43. While both great pistols in their own rights, I kept finding myself gravitating back towards the P938. It felt great in my hand having an almost perfect balance for me. When I took them to the range the Sig was the easiest for me to draw quickly, get on target, and make accurate follow up shots.

If you’ve ever field stripped a 1911, the P938 will feel very familiar.

Despite being roughly the same weight, I felt like the P938 was not as snappy as the others and while there are certainly other guns I enjoy shooting more at the range, I don’t dread putting a few magazines through this one at the end of each trip to the range. This is important because, in my mind, it’s vital to actually practice with your carry guns, not just leave them in a holster until it’s needed.

I like carrying mine in a Blackhawk TecGrip pocket holster. They are not expensive, fit nice and snug in my pocket, and most importantly covers the trigger on the P938. It’s really nice to be able to grab it on my way out the door and not have to fiddle with my belt or move it from a laptop bag to my pocket quickly and discretely.

P938 with flush six round magazine.

Unboxing your Sig P938 is going to be a little different depending on which version you decide to go with. Mine came in a nice hard Sig case with one flush six round magazine, as well as the usual gun lock and literature. The gun itself was covered in oil, but that’s to be expected. Right off the bat, I was impressed with how smooth the slide felt when racking it and how tight everything felt.

Other models may only have one flush six round magazine or some combination of the two. My brother’s P938 (the “Stand” model) came with a single seven round extended magazine.

P938 with the extended seven round magazine.

On the range, shooting the P938 has been a surprisingly pleasant experience. While I’m nowhere near as accurate with this gun as some of the others I’ve carried, I can still get acceptable groupings at 25 yards, and that’s more than sufficient for the role this pistol is trying to fill. I’ve also opted to carry with the extended magazine, not only for the extra round but also to have more surface area to work with on my grip.

Despite the smaller size of the P938, it’s still very easy to get a nice high grip.

I’ve been pretty rough on mine, feeding it everything from self-defense ammo to whatever was cheapest at the time and have not had an issue with reliability. Even going long periods without cleaning has not stopped this pistol from going “bang” every time I pulled the trigger.

If I had to be negative on this gun, it would have to be because Sig’s other offering, the P365, has changed what is considered “good” for capacity in this category of pistol. The shield may offer an extra round, but in my mind, that can be an acceptable tradeoff for something you may shoot better.  Once you start getting into the plus three or plus five range depending on which mag is used with the P365, that argument gets harder to make

Overall, this is a great contender in the micro compact category, and I can heartily recommend it for every day carry. Sig’s MSRP starts at $719 depending on the model, but some can be found as low as $599 on GunsAmerica.

Visit Sig to learn more about Sig’s P365 by clicking HERE.

***Shop GunsAmerica for your Sig P365***

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Wiz June 25, 2019, 6:11 pm

    I carry my 938 every day, the palm swell on the rubber grips fits my hand like a expensive pair of gloves. The fact that I can leave the safety on and still rack the slide to clear the weapon is a great safety feature. I have carried a series 80 Colt 1911 full size as well as the Officer’s model, but keep coming back to the 938. Fits into a nice Wright Brother’s IWB holster and a OWB stock holster both fit real comfortable on my side. Shooting is as great as carrying, I go to the range every week and the 938 comes with me even if I’m shooting another brand of shooter, as well the 938 gets it’s time on target plenty of times and is as much fun shooting as a Beretta 92G or any other model out there. All around this little shooter gets my vote for EDC every time. In the 9mm caliber there are plenty of self defense ammo to fit any need required.

  • Daryl Poe June 25, 2019, 2:33 am

    The Black Rubber version has been my most carried, with the hammer down in the first stop position. I use an IWB Versa-carry. This gun is shockingly accurate.

  • Will Drider June 24, 2019, 10:04 pm

    Sig full size 1911s also have an external extractor as do many other pistols from Sig and other manufactures. Supremely functional but not what JMB originally had on the 1911. However, His other famous handgun the FN Highpower changed to an external extractor around 1962. So an internal extractor would be desired by a 1911 “Purest ” so would a grip safety. The P938 doesn’t care and dutiully functions as advertised.

  • Imaokie June 24, 2019, 3:53 pm

    I’ve carried the P938 cocked and locked for almost 5 years and think it’s the best small imprint pistol available. If you’re worried about the cocked and clocked carry, you can leave the safety off and drop the hammer to its first stop. Very easy to draw and fully cock the hammer in the same movement!

  • wtsane June 24, 2019, 2:50 pm

    I have the good fortune of owning both the p365 and the p938. Each has its strong points: The 938 prints less in the pocket, the 365 is easier to draw from the pocket. The 938, more accurate for me, the 365 more rounds per trip. If I had to give one up, the 365 would go, but it would be a tough decision. As it is, the 938 is my dress wear, and the 365 is my daily slouch wear.

  • Jerry k June 24, 2019, 2:15 pm

    I’ve carried a Sig P938 as EDC for 5 years. I also have other EDC guns, including the P365. I keep going back to my 938. I practice with the safety on and locked and cocked. I wear it IAWB and OWB, depending upon season and weather. I highly recommend this gun.

  • MB June 24, 2019, 10:39 am

    Nice range gun, but not a carry gun. Any gun with a manual safety I do not consider a carry gun. Sig P365/P320, Glock42/43/26/19, S&W 626/629, Ruger SP101,LCP2/LCR are what I consider valid carry guns. Your mileage may vary.

  • DanaB June 24, 2019, 9:26 am

    I’ve carried the P938 (the rubber grip version) for five years and love it. With increasing difficulty seeing front sight and a target, I added a Crimson Trace green laser with grip finger switch. There was. It at that time a rubber grip option but a little trimming on my grip did the trick. This will improve your accuracy!

    • DanaB June 24, 2019, 9:28 am

      Please edit, “at the time there was no rubber grip “. Thank you

  • Matt B June 24, 2019, 8:48 am

    Not debating striker fired vs. 1911 style – simply stating that IN ITS CLASS, the P938 is the best on the market… After a lot of research about 6 or so year ago, the P938 was what I settled on for compact EDC. YES, there are other good options out there, but if you go into this knowing it has a safety, etc. you will not find a better version. – and the MSRP has NOTHING to do with the real world prices you can find these for… Love mine, but also own an XD, etc. The trigger on the P938 is about as good as it gets from a manufacturer… All my friends who have shot it, love the trigger – but for EDC, PLEASE train with the safety…!

  • John A June 24, 2019, 8:34 am

    Sadly this gun is NOT on the CALIFORNINA HANDGUIN ROSTER.
    I was planning to but it but I cannot
    It’s “”SISTER GUN” the P238 .380 is on the roster.
    It is almost the same gun in different calibers, but the
    Cal DOJ has not added it. Most frustrating
    I can buy one used if I can find one, but usually the cost 2x the price because they are
    off-roster. Hopefully the litigation in front of the Supreme Court will remove this stupid CA Handgun roster, which makes no sense, and is a slow-motion gun ban, as thousands of guns have been removed from the list, and only a few added.

    • Ranchdude June 24, 2019, 5:18 pm

      Move to a free state, CA is a lost cause. Now you’ll need a background check just to buy ammo, get out! The SCOTUS doesn’t review 2A cases anymore, so any lower court ruling stands. Is there really still a Constitution once the SCOTUS refuses to hear cases? If you refuse to bake a cake for a LGBT couple they’ll step in, but not for your 2A rights.

      • Mark N. June 25, 2019, 1:13 am

        SCOTUS currently has pending a “bear” case that threatens to overturn the apple cart by setting the standard for review of all 2A cases by abolishing the sliding scale/rational basis dressed up in “intermediate review” clothing that has typified cases from the 2d, 3d, 4th and 9th circuits since Heller/McDonald were decided. It is holding a number of other 2A cases that will likely be reversed for reconsideration in view of the Court’s decision n the cert granted case (NYPRA v. State). Oral arguments in the case will be set in the fall, with a decision probably at the end of the term a year from now.

    • Mark N. June 25, 2019, 1:18 am

      The reason the 238 is on the roster and the 938 is ot is because then Attorney General Kamala Harris “certified” that the technology necessary to microstamp cases existed and was generally available. The “microstamping mandate” has prevented any “new” guns being added to the California roster since May 2013. The 238 was introduced earlier, but the 938 didn’t make it in time. Yes it is quite a bit more expensive, the Springfield EMP 9 mm is on the roster, and is in fact an actual 1911, which the Sig is not.

  • Gary June 24, 2019, 8:23 am

    There is no way I could get comfortable carrying a 1911 locked and loaded, with no grip safety.
    The 1911 was designed to be carried with both safeties engaged when cocked with a round in the chamber. A simple thumb safety just wouldn’t cut it for me with a six pound short travel trigger.
    That from a guy that carries one version of the 1911 Colt, about 70% of the time for concealed carry.

    • Mark N. June 29, 2019, 12:36 am

      The original Browning design did not have a manual safety, just a grip safety. It was added at the insistence of the Army Cavalry Corps which was afraid that a soldier could accidentally discharge the firearm while trying to reholster while on horseback.

  • Bigatb June 23, 2019, 4:51 am

    The sig 938/238, Kimber micro, and Springfield 911 are not miniature 1911s, they’re copy’s of the Colt mustang. Saying it’s a 1911 is like calling a Ruger mk1 a “22 caliber Luger”.

    • Rick June 24, 2019, 8:42 am

      Is not the Mustang a little cousin to the 1911?

      • Mark N. June 25, 2019, 1:26 am

        No. Just look at the disconnector and the trigger. The 1911 sports a toggle disconnector, this does not. the 1911 trigger pushes straight back, this trigger hinges at the top. (As a result, a typical 1911 has a trigger pull of 4 lbs.) The 1911 manual safety locks the slide, and in the 80 series, blocks the sear as well. The 938 just blocks the sear. And of course the 1911 has a grip safety which the 938 does not. In short, the 938 looks like a 1911 but is significantly different in design.

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