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  #1  
Old 11-01-2019, 5:21 PM
tactical.pete tactical.pete is offline
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Default SIG P238 Issue

Hey everyone, I recently got my CCW and one of my firearms is the SIG P238 .380 AUTO. I like it because of its size and easily concealable, even in a pocket if needed. However, after carrying it now for about 2 weeks I've noticed a reoccurring problem that is a bit of a concern.

The back story, when I carry I do have a few clients whose businesses the do not want me to carry in. So I occasionally will have to leave my firearm in the car in my lock box. I take it back out when I leave, and re-holster it and then lock it up again when I pick my daughter up from school. So basically there are instances where I am un-holstering and re-holstering for different reasons throughout the day. Well when I get home at night and un-hoster the firearm I have noticed that if I drop the mag there is a "loose round" that falls out of the firearm! Additionally there is still one chambered, and in full battery! Which totally sketches me out because it makes me wonder if "Had I needed to use the firearm in a life/death situation....would it have jammed on me?

After a little testing I have discovered that if (while a round is in the chamber) the slide is pulled back (maybe 1/4"-1/2") a round comes loose from the mag. It's not enough to eject the round that was chambered....but its enough to cause a round to come out. Thus when I drop the mag...that round falls out and I still have the one in the chamber.

So my guess is that occasionally when re-holstering the slide goes back enough to start to bring up an new round, even though there is one in battery.

Any thoughts?

Follow up test.....so I decided to see if I can recreate this issue and I can. If I pull the slide back just enough that next round comes loose. I'm able to repeat this like 99.9% of the time. I then allow the slide to completely close with the original round in the chamber. Then I test ejection by cycling the firearm hard (trying to replicate actually firing the gun).....and it cycles fine with that round that was loose. SO it may be a non-issue and just a byproduct of the design, but its a little strange.

Last edited by tactical.pete; 11-01-2019 at 5:33 PM..
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  #2  
Old 11-01-2019, 8:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tactical.pete View Post
Hey everyone, I recently got my CCW and one of my firearms is the SIG P238 .380 AUTO. I like it because of its size and easily concealable, even in a pocket if needed. However, after carrying it now for about 2 weeks I've noticed a reoccurring problem that is a bit of a concern.

The back story, when I carry I do have a few clients whose businesses the do not want me to carry in. So I occasionally will have to leave my firearm in the car in my lock box. I take it back out when I leave, and re-holster it and then lock it up again when I pick my daughter up from school. So basically there are instances where I am un-holstering and re-holstering for different reasons throughout the day. Well when I get home at night and un-hoster the firearm I have noticed that if I drop the mag there is a "loose round" that falls out of the firearm! Additionally there is still one chambered, and in full battery! Which totally sketches me out because it makes me wonder if "Had I needed to use the firearm in a life/death situation....would it have jammed on me?

After a little testing I have discovered that if (while a round is in the chamber) the slide is pulled back (maybe 1/4"-1/2") a round comes loose from the mag. It's not enough to eject the round that was chambered....but its enough to cause a round to come out. Thus when I drop the mag...that round falls out and I still have the one in the chamber.

So my guess is that occasionally when re-holstering the slide goes back enough to start to bring up an new round, even though there is one in battery.

Any thoughts?

Follow up test.....so I decided to see if I can recreate this issue and I can. If I pull the slide back just enough that next round comes loose. I'm able to repeat this like 99.9% of the time. I then allow the slide to completely close with the original round in the chamber. Then I test ejection by cycling the firearm hard (trying to replicate actually firing the gun).....and it cycles fine with that round that was loose. SO it may be a non-issue and just a byproduct of the design, but its a little strange.


Sounds like more an issue with the holster, if it’s pushing the slide back that much. It’s generally safer to remove the entire holster from your belt rather than remove the gun. I almost always remove the holster. That way the trigger is always covered and I remove the possibility of an ND while re holstering.

What type of holster are you using? If it’s kydex or hard leather, then you can holster fairly safely. Soft holsters should always be removed to holster the weapon. If it is a hard material, it shouldn’t be pushing the slide back.


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  #3  
Old 11-01-2019, 8:49 PM
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I hope you are unloading and locking up the gun and ammo on school grounds. You cannot just lock away a loaded gun on school grounds. The gun must be unloaded, and both gun and ammo must be locked.
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Old 11-01-2019, 9:01 PM
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Have you tried to fire it with the loose round?
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Old 11-01-2019, 9:02 PM
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I tried replicating the issue on my P238 with snap caps. When I pull the slide back on a standard magazine as the OP has done, I see that the top round in the mag has come forward slightly, but nowhere to the point where it would come out of the mag.

When I do the same on an extended mag, the top round does not come forward. The fact that a round becomes that loose may indicate a defective magazine.

I agree that a holster that pushes the slide back while re-holstering may be problematic. Perhaps as a temporary solution until all the culprits have been found and fixed is to put your thumb on the back of the slide while re-holstering to prevent slide movement.

If the thumb safety operated like a true 1911 the issue would not occur, the slide can't be moved while the thumb safety is engaged on a 1911.
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Old 11-01-2019, 9:23 PM
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There’s nothing wrong with the gun. I still don’t understand what the problem is...do you shoot the gun? How many rounds have you fired with it? Does it cycle properly? If so, everything is fine.

I have a 238 and the top round that’s in the mag is always moved forward a bit. Usually happens when you chamber a round. When you’re taking the mag out, it can sometimes fall out of the top of the magazine. If the gun runs well on the range then it doesn’t matter.

Last edited by enegue; 11-01-2019 at 9:30 PM..
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  #7  
Old 11-02-2019, 8:47 PM
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The problem is it’s a 380acp lol
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  #8  
Old 11-02-2019, 8:57 PM
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My 938 does the exact same thing. Always a loose round when unloading. Never had a malfunction when firing.
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  #9  
Old 11-03-2019, 7:29 AM
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I have a free state early SSE P238 HD and the "loose round" syndrome has never happened to me.
To you folks who have experienced this, is yours a free state gun or a calif neutered gun?
Could this be P238 model specific problem as in HD stainless steel or alloy or both?
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Old 11-03-2019, 7:56 AM
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I have the alloy one and never had an issue.
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  #11  
Old 11-03-2019, 8:02 AM
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Mag issue?


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  #12  
Old 11-03-2019, 8:09 AM
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I've seen this in my P938 and P238HD. The only negative experience that I've had with either of these guns is that, rarely, they will eject the loose round during the firing cycle. This only happens with a full magazine. It's always the second round that gets ejected. This condition has never effected the ejection of the spent cartridge and the next round in the magazine has always chambered. Thus, the only negative I've experienced is the loss of one round of capacity.
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Old 11-04-2019, 6:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFTII View Post
I've seen this in my P938 and P238HD. The only negative experience that I've had with either of these guns is that, rarely, they will eject the loose round during the firing cycle. This only happens with a full magazine. It's always the second round that gets ejected. This condition has never effected the ejection of the spent cartridge and the next round in the magazine has always chambered. Thus, the only negative I've experienced is the loss of one round of capacity.
Sounds like a critical failure waiting to happen at the worst time
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:07 AM
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I've been carrying a free state p938 daily for around three years. Due to my nature, I press check my guns anytime they've been out of my immediate control (i.e. safe, lock box, drawer, etc).

By press checking, it causes the above described scenario; HOWEVER, that round is not free floating in there. What is actually happening, is that top round is pushed forward in the mag lips. The act of removing the magazine causes that round to fully come out, thus giving the illusion of it being loose in the gun
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFTII View Post
The only negative experience that I've had with either of these guns is that, rarely, they will eject the loose round during the firing cycle.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Packy14 View Post
Sounds like a critical failure waiting to happen at the worst time
Yes that is sort of sketchy.
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Packy14 View Post
Sounds like a critical failure waiting to happen at the worst time
Fanboi. Every mechanical device ever created has a "critical failure waiting to happen at the worst time." Only someone ignorant of the laws of entropy would believe otherwise.
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Old 11-04-2019, 12:54 PM
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It seems to be an idiosyncrasy of the P238 and P938 that the top round in the mag "creeps" forward a bit. But I haven't heard of one actually getting loose. Which raises the question - where does it go? Do you think its actually out of the mag in the gun (you might be able to hear it rattle around if you shake it). Or perhaps it's creeping forward a bit more than some and getting jarred loose when you drop the mag.

I'd do some test firing. The round creep doesn't seem to impact feeding or reliability. But your seems to go a bit further than that. I'm a bit puzzled where where the round is if its loose inside the gun - I wouldn't think there'd be room.
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Old 11-04-2019, 1:33 PM
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If you are happy with your gun and your holster then I suggest you simply place your thumb over the top of the hammer when holstering. This will prevent the slide from creeping back (and from having an ND) when re-holstering.
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFTII View Post
Fanboi. Every mechanical device ever created has a "critical failure waiting to happen at the worst time." Only someone ignorant of the laws of entropy would believe otherwise.
Hmm... interesting use of the word fanboy. What am I a fanboy of in your small monkey sized brain exactly?
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Old 11-05-2019, 5:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tactical.pete View Post
Any thoughts?
Hey, Pete.
I've had a couple small 9's that exhibited that symptom when they were new. Actually, it wasn't exactly as you describe. Both were with a full magazine, rack one into the chamber, then when dropping the magazine at a later time, the top round would drop out.

In my fanboy monkeybrain, it was a matter of super-stiff springs in the tiny magazines creating so much friction that the round being chambered "drags" the second round forward a bit. Then when you drop the mag, the nose of the top round catches, and pops the round completely out of the magazine.

In both my cases, the symptoms faded away after several hundred rounds. Bang some more ammo through your P238 and see if the symptom goes away. Also, see if the symptom negatively affects reliability.
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Old 11-05-2019, 6:36 PM
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OP,

I'm guessing what going on is when you load the gun from the magazine the top round is stripped and goes under the extractor and into the chamber like normal. As the slide travels forward the breech face bottom rail is dragging the top round forward. When you drop the magazine the round that got dragged forward now "pops" out of the magazine.

Use a permanent marker and mark the second round in the magazine. You'll see the "drag" marks on the brass.
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Old 11-08-2019, 1:18 AM
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Adding a bit to this, the top round in my P238 will creep forward a bit. I drop the mag now and then, while leaving the chamber loaded, and slip that round back into place and reload the mag. After a while, drop the mag, same thing.

So at least with mine it isn't the chambering of the top round from the mag that is dragging Round No. 2 along with it. However, never had a functionality issue with it and it seems to feed the "slightly creeping" rounds just fine.
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Old 11-08-2019, 5:33 AM
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I don’t think it’s unusual for the top round to creep forward throughout the day. Gravity is a SOB and when you chamber a round it can creep forward as well. The combination of the two could work one loose.

I was always taught to chamber a round from a loaded magazine, press check, drop the mag and top it off if the gun is empty. Press check, drop the mag and slap the back of the mag on you palm or manually reseat the top round if the gun is already loaded. I’m not sure if it’s necessary, but it makes sense to keep the rounds seated to the rear of the magazine, since that’s how they are designed to work.
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Old 11-08-2019, 5:48 AM
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Do your clients pat you down, wand you, or make you walk through a metal detector when you show up at their places of business? If you must continue to remove and replace your gun in its holster throughout the day, and you suspect that the slide moving back is causing the problem, then you might want to try pressing your thumb against the back of the slide to hold it in place when you reholster.
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Last edited by Mayor McRifle; 11-08-2019 at 5:51 AM..
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  #25  
Old 11-08-2019, 10:44 AM
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Ive had the same problem happen with a 1911 in 9mm when it was brand new unmolested. The main culprit was the magazine exacerbated by short than normal reloads.
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