Product Review - Random thoughts on the Sig Sauer P938-22
by Greg Ritchie
A year or so ago I decided I wanted a new 22 handgun. I researched several different models, narrowed my choices to three, and went to the local gun store to try them out side by side. I purchased one that was not even on my list, the Sig Sauer P938-22.
The P928-22 is a compact sized 1911 style handgun, having a 3.3 inch barrel and being 5.9 inches in length. It is 3.9 inches tall, 1.1 inches wide, weighs 16 ounces and has a 10 round magazine. It is equipped with night sights. It has a hard anodized nitron finish with rosewood grips and is equipped with an ambidextrous safety.
My first range trip was disappointing. I took a 100 round box of Winchester Super X. The first shot fired was a failure to extract. I cleared it, took another few shots and it failed to extract again. Cleared it and promptly had another fail to extract. I gave up and took it home. Cleaned it well, and tried again the next day, this time using Remington Golden Bullets. It worked well this time. Ok, it doesn't like Winchester. I tried other brands. All had failure to extract except the Remington Golden bullets. OK, I'm not liking this at all. I decided to trade it in. My brother asked to shoot it before I traded it. "I'll supply the bullets" he said. When I arrived at the farm, he met me with a 555 round bulk pack of Winchester. "We'll, this is not going to be a fun day" I thought. "Better bring a cleaning rod so we can punch out the empties" To my surprise it fired all 555 rounds with only one malfunction. A failure to fire. The round had a solid firing pin strike so I am calling this an ammunition problem. The P938-22 has run fine ever since. I guess it just needed a break in period.
Breakdown is simple. I hold it left side down and press on the slide catch pin as I rack the slide. The pin will pop out slightly where it is easily removed. Pull the slide off the front of the frame. Hold the slide upside down and push the barrel and recoil spring forward. Place the supplied tool, a small allen wrench looking wire in the hole in the guide rod. The recoil spring /guide rod assembly can now be removed and the barrel can be removed through the front of the slide. Takedown is very similar to a 1911 officers model. Reassembly, of course, is in reverse order.
I took the P9381-22 to the range this morning. Being familiar with it, I started out at 20 yards. Results were less than satisfying. Shooting at a silhouette style target, my first 10 shot group strung vertically, but all but one shot stayed in the 4 inch square aiming point. My second 10 shot group was even worse. Only 4 shots struck the round aiming point. The group was again string vertically, but this time it strung out over 7 inches! Settle down, I told myself. Aim small, miss small. My third group at a 4 inch target to the right of the silhouette put all 10 shots on the target. OK, 4 inches at 20 yards. I'll take that. The last 10 shots at another 4 inch target to the left of the silhouette resulted in 9 shots in the 4 inch circle and the 10th shot just over an inch above the target.
Moving up to a more reasonable 10 yards, resulted in five 10 shot 3 inch groups, with my 3td 10 shot group having one flier about 1/2 inch above the 8 ring.
The Sig Sauer P938-22, after a rocky start, has turned into one of my favorite plinkers. It's definitely a keeper. My one complaint is that while it does lock open on an empty magazine, it locks open on a catch on the magazine follower. You must pull the magazine to the rear and engage the slide catch to drop the magazine. I understand this is due to the 22 magazine spring not being strong enough to reliably operate the 9mm slide catch. Yes, this is a 9mm frame. The P938 can be purchased as a 9mm Luger, or a P938-22 22 long rifle. The 22 long rifle upper can also be purchased, enabling a conversion from 9mm to 22 long rifle. Unfortunately a 9mm upper to convert the 22 long rifle is not available.