Test: Sig Sauer 938 Rosewood (2023)

Hunting practice has already tested some very compact 9mm Luger pistols. With the P 938, Sig Sauer shows that it can be even more delicate.The hunting practice 3-2013.

With the P 938 one can no longer speak of a small car like this type of weapon, which is even smaller than a compact car; the microcompact is probably more accurate. The tiny one is 150 mm long, 99 mm high and very flat with a width of 28 mm.

The mini pistol disappears behind a man's hand and is significantly smaller than Walther's legendary German PPC pocket pistol. The weight is a whopping 454g compared to ours.Jagdpraxis Experimental Weapons 1/13it is still 100g lighter than our former test winner Walther PPS (549g).

But the Walther has a polymer grip and the SIG Sauer has a steel slide with an aluminum grip; Seen in this way, his weight is sensational.
The Jagdpraxis test team was very curious to see how such a micro pistol would handle and fire.

Test: Sig Sauer 938 Rosewood (1)

If you look at the small SIG Sauer, the question inevitably arises as to how small a pistol can be in order to be able to use it sensibly, because the main purpose of a pistol is still shooting and hitting ...

Made in the USA
Anyone who hears SIG Sauer inevitably thinks of Eckernförde. A large part of the automatic pistols of this brand are also manufactured there. But the P 938, like some other Sig Sauer service pistol models, is made in the USA.

Sig Sauer's US office is headquartered in Exeter, New Hampshire. This is how the test weapon is labeled, the American designation (9mm Para) and the European designation 9mm Luger are given for the caliber.

There are very practical considerations behind the production location: On the one hand, there is a huge demand for powerful and practical pistols in the USA, on the other hand, there are very restrictive import regulations in the Atlantic for precisely this type of weapon. It's much cheaper to manufacture directly in the United States.

Shrink optics from 1911
Boys from the USA should break their hearts at the sight of the P 938, because the SIG pistol is optically a 1:2 scaled down Colt 1911 A1, the legendary old service weapon of the US Army.

Colt already made a similar pistol (Mustang caliber 9mm short) but it is not built like this today. Colt's new Mustang has a polymer frame and still falls short in the weaker 9mm caliber. But this wheelie is even lighter at a good 300g.

Test: Sig Sauer 938 Rosewood (2)

As a sports pistol, however, the P 938 in the powerful 9 mm Luger caliber plays in a completely different league. The controls are also borrowed from 1911, with the safety on the back of the grip on either side, essential on today's modern pistols.

The magazine trigger, an old-style round push-button, sits as usual on the frame of the grip, just behind the trigger; with the small pistol grip, the thumb rests directly on this push button...

Test: Sig Sauer 938 Rosewood (3)

The P 938 is a classic single-action pistol with an external firing pin, rounded off in Commander style, suitable for pocket pistols. Although it's not as easy and effortless to squeeze as the protruding, curved shape, the risk of snagging in your pocket is significantly lower.

As the name suggests, pocket pistols are often simply stowed in a jacket pocket and not carried in a holster. Classic single-action pistols can be handled in three ways (related to the charge level):
■ no cartridge in the barrel
You need to charge after throwing,
■ with a cartridge in the barrel and the firing pin uncocked, you must do this before the first shot
pull back the tail with your hand,
■ With a cartridge in the barrel, cocked hammer and activated manual safety, all you have to do is release the safety.

The last variant is undoubtedly the most dangerous, and really only advisable when it comes to being able to shoot very quickly in an emergency, hardly imaginable for hunters who mainly use pistols for catching shots.

The P 938 is also equipped with an automatic firing pin safety, which provides the necessary drop safety when a cartridge is in the barrel. The slide stop lever, also in the typical 1911 style, is only available on the left hand side, which disadvantages left-handers.

When it comes to lock-up technology, Sauer departs from the well-trodden technological path of the 1911 and relies on a lock-up mechanism at the ejection port with a modified short-recoil Browning system.

The top edge of the rear barrel butt above the chamber rests on the slide ejection port. When retracting the slide, the barrel is only unlocked when it is pulled down.

After firing, the barrel and slide retract only a few millimeters together when locked, then the barrel pivots down, stops and unlocks while the slide continues to retract. He then pushes in a new cartridge from the magazine and cocks the firing pin. The barrel is not lowered by a chain link, but by a milled cam.

Test: Sig Sauer 938 Rosewood (4)

This modified Browning system is much easier to manufacture than the older 1911 with its elaborate milling on the inside of the breech and the locking lugs on the barrel.

A coil spring mounted under the barrel, guided on a non-oscillating steel rod, resets the bolt. The disassembly works in principle as with the 1911, only a liner does not have to be removed at the front of the breech to remove the barrel from the breech.

Pull the slide back a little into the "extraction position" until the round recess on the left side is above the axis of the slide release lever. This can then be pushed out from the opposite side, which sounds easier than it is in practice.

The slide catch on our test gun didn't depress as easily, our testers' nails gave way instead of the lever shaft moving... The lever only depressed with a proper chuck.

Then it just goes on: The slide, including the barrel and recoil spring inside, can now simply be pulled forward out of the grip. After removing the recoil spring with the guide rod, the barrel can be removed from the breech.

When reassembling, make sure the safety lever is in the down position. Inserting the disassembly lever is much easier than removing it; that can change after a few hundred shots.

In any case, the Jagdpraxis test team agreed that this Sig Sauer did not earn more than 6 out of 10 possible points in the evaluation criterion "Can be dismantled for cleaning".

visor and trigger
Really good sights are the exception with pocket pistols - the P 938 is one of them. Its huge rectangular rear sight and front sight are matte black with white twilight dots. The rear sight and front sight can be moved laterally in a dovetail shape, the front sight can be moved for height corrections.

Test: Sig Sauer 938 Rosewood (5)

The scope parts are nicely rounded, a three-dot sight that's almost luxurious for a pocket pistol. There are 9 out of 10 points for this. A small point deduction for missing height adjustment cannot be avoided. Since the front sight is exchangeable, there is only one point deduction, the hunting evaluation criteria are clear.

The trigger, on the other hand, is anything but luxurious - its equipment can only be described as spongy. After a short pull you have a clear path and the pull weight increases noticeably again shortly before the shot is fired.

A total of 3,300 g must be mastered before a shot shatters. Pocket pistols aren't sporting weapons and US product liability laws certainly play a role, but the fit could be a little better: single-action triggers in particular can stay dry.

Out of the maximum 10 points, the test gun only scores 5, which is generous considering thatour big pocket pistol comparison testThe Walther and Glock safe-action triggers weighed 2.6 and 2.8 kg, and the Heckler & Koch double-action trigger was preset at 1.8 kg.

The P 938's single-row sheet steel magazine holds six cartridges. It's cleanly constructed and automatically pops out of the grip when the trigger is pulled. Filling up to the last cartridge is also possible without much effort. Unfortunately, no replacement magazine is included.

rosewood version
Our P 938 owes its model name to its rosewood neck shells, which are provided with cross-hatching and bear the manufacturer's name in a medallion on both sides: optically very successful and also easy to grip.

Sig Sauer offers the P 938 in four versions depending on the grip and surface coating: The rosewood has a matt black surface coating on the slide and grip. The sled has a Black Nitron coating, a state-of-the-art PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coating.

To do this, the metal is vaporized: objects exposed to this vapor are coated with the vaporized material deposited on them. PVD layers are only a few microns thick, but have a very high surface hardness.

This results in a high wear protection. To avoid undesirable reactions with air, the coating process takes place in a vacuum chamber. Another advantage of the Black Nitron coating is the avoidance of reflections from artificial light or sunlight.

The light metal handle is matt hard-anodized. As a result, P 938 has very good surface protection against corrosion and is less sensitive to mechanical stress: scratches are less likely to occur.

There is nothing to complain about the workmanship of the small pistol and the American offshoot also offers very high quality. The slide play is hardly noticeable, the barrel is mirror-smooth on the inside and the cartridge chamber is highly polished.

The P 938 received a total of 10 points for surface protection and processing quality.

Gretchen asks: How does that thing shoot?
According to practical hunting test criteria, 100 cartridges were initially fired to demonstrate functional reliability, in this case 40 Geco all-metal jackets, 40 Fiocchi all-metal jackets and 20 Speer Gold Dots. As a reference cartridge in this caliber segment, we used the Speer as the winner of the 9 mm Luger (JP 2) catchshot cartridge comparison.

The P 938 did not have a single failure and worked with all three types without any problems. Apparently a very good job was done during construction. The wide ejection window and the almost horizontal feed angle of the magazine ensure a smooth and low-friction feed. The test weapon gets a full 10 points for this.

According to our test criteria, the accuracy at 15 m from the sandbag holder was determined with three types of cartridges and two samples of 5 shots each were fired with each type. Only high-yield hollow-point cartridges, such as those used for catching shots, were used for the accuracy test. We used the same cartridges as in the prospectus 2 comparison test.

The best result was a 5-shot 31mm grouping circle with the 124g Remington Golden Saber, which is enough for 9 out of 10 points according to the test criteria. The gun fired with an accuracy of 15 m, which speaks for a very good factory setting.

Of course, the cartridge used also plays a role, but it should be more or less correct. As part of the function and accuracy test, the handle design and the arrangement of the controls were also examined and evaluated.

Unsurprisingly, given the micro-compact dimensions, it gets pretty tight: the little finger no longer fits in the grip and has to go under the magazine floor.

Test: Sig Sauer 938 Rosewood (6)

The trigger freedom is good and the pronounced beavertail grip spur ensures a surprisingly good hand position. It also prevents you from accidentally holding the gun too high and the slide slipping back and hurting your hand.

In all of this, it must not be forgotten that with the P 938 as a "backup" weapon, discretion is more important than perfect ergonomics. The breech has gripping ridges that make it much easier to load the pistol without a load. The trigger is also vertically grooved.

This increases grip with sweaty fingers. The security wing is practically sealed. Operation requires enough force to prevent accidental unlocking, but is still quick and smooth.

The fuse clicks perfectly. However, you need really strong fingers to release the slide using the slide stop lever, pulling the slide backwards a little and then letting the slide spring work is much more comfortable.

When shooting, the small pistol has a very good character: it really takes off with powerful shells, but fast doublets are not a problem in terms of recoil. Instead, the too hard trigger prevents good hits much more clearly.

Test: Sig Sauer 938 Rosewood (7)

The handle is also well rounded and does not "bite" in the hand. What's missing is the ability to adjust the grip to the size of your hand, such as through interchangeable back straps. The testers therefore gave the P 938 12 out of a possible 15 points for grip.

Although performance with the test ammunition is not scored, we also measured how the barrel responded to the ammunition in this test. The muzzle velocity of the 76 mm gun was measured and the muzzle energy calculated from it.

The P 938 has an even shorter barrel than the JP 1 compact pistols (shorter barrel length 81 mm/Walther PPS). The still 5mm shorter barrel length of the P 938 is hardly noticeable, there is still plenty of power left.

Test: Sig Sauer 938 Rosewood (8)

final settlement
The main criteria have already been evaluated. The Sig Sauer scores in terms of processing and corrosion protection as well as functional reliability. 9 points each were achieved for marksmanship and target accuracy. The grip is not bad for such a small gun and scored 12 points.

The deduction, on the other hand, could not inspire and received only 5 points. The fact that it can be dismantled for cleaning is also not up to date for a modern pistol and only received 6 points.

The controls are well placed and easily accessible with normal sized hands. Bolt catch and magazine release are only available on one side. This deducts one point for each, leaving 8 points on the list.

Price-performance ratio
The little Sig Sauer costs 999 euros, which isn't exactly cheap, although the workmanship is top notch and its design will delight 1911 lovers. The accessories are also rather skimpy: plastic case, instruction manual (English only) and a padlock - definitive list. At least one replacement magazine would have been nice given the price.

You cannot get more than 6 points, so the end result is as follows
With 80 out of 100 points, the Sig Sauer P 938 received the overall grade good (two magnifying glasses). The fact that there weren't more is also due to the fact that the ultra-compact pocket pistol is an enthusiast classic: With a 1911-style grip, the interchangeable combs would be a break in style, but according to our criteria a uniform rating. , we have to deduct points for that.

On the plus side of this small pistol are excellent precision, first-class functional reliability and excellent workmanship. But Sig Sauer can also pay well for that.

Conclusion: The Sauer P 938 is a visually appealing pocket pistol in an effective caliber whose mini dimensions easily surpass the compact pistols in Jagdpraxis 1/2013.

Compact self-loading pistols: how we rate them
Weapons go through a fixed test plan, a maximum of 100 points can be achieved, which add up from the following individual tests:

Functional and handling safety(max. 15 points) Safe function and handling are of crucial importance when catching firearms and have a high priority. A maximum of 15 points can be achieved here, 10 of which can be attributed to the error-free shot sequence.

To do this, 100 cartridges of each weapon are fired with the maximum capacity of the magazine in rapid-fire mode. One point is deducted for each misfeed or ejection. In the event of an unusually large number of misfires, the ammunition is changed, but this is noted separately in the test report.

5 points are awarded for safety in handling, it depends on whether there is the possibility of an unintentional triggering and whether the safety device fulfills its function. However, there can also be a point deduction if the weapon is "over-safety", i.e. takes too many turns before it can be fired.

Test: Sig Sauer 938 Rosewood (9)

Precision (max. 10 points)With compact pistols, the accuracy test is only weighted with a maximum of 10 points, since these weapons are intended for close range and not for precise shooting at longer distances.

Shooting is at 15m as polymer grip models cannot be held in the bailout mount, the sandbag mount is used to compare all guns.

The distance from the middle of the outer draw holes of a group of five is measured. The total number of points depends on the caliber and is calculated from three times the caliber value for compact pistols. 9 mm caliber up to 27 mm, .40 up to 30 mm and .45 up to 36 mm.

Each 5mm more diameter of the widening circle costs 1 point deduction. Accuracy is determined using three different cartridge types, each type firing two shots. The best of the six shots is counted.

Test: Sig Sauer 938 Rosewood (10)

shot characteristics(max. 10 points) It is not only the measured trigger weight that influences it, but also the feel of the trigger: is the trigger dry, does it have a lead, does it jam or miss after the shot? ?

The evaluation is based on the deduction system. In terms of weight, a single trigger cannot compete with a safe action trigger. So a low trigger on a safe-action trigger or DAO trigger is weighted higher. The trigger is crucial for pistols to implement accuracy. Therefore, due importance is given to it.

Removable for cleaning(max. 10 points) The rating reflects the comfort that a weapon offers after use. Can it be disassembled easily and without tools, is assembly easy and possible without "finger exercises", are there small parts that can be lost, how long does disassembly take?

A pistol that can be quickly and easily disassembled and assembled without effort and without tools scores big.

MONUMENTS(max. 10 points) Do the rear sight and front sight allow quick target acquisition? Do you offer a high-contrast view image? Is the rifle scope adjustable in height and wind resistance? How sturdy is it? Does it offer a high-contrast visual image?

A fully adjustable, high contrast sight that is impact and impact resistant gets the full 10 points. 2 points deduction for lack of contrast, lack of windage and height adjustment (only 1 point with interchangeable front sight), too narrow or too wide rear sight, 3 points deduction for lack of stability.

Griffdesign(max. 15 points) When catching firearms, we attach great importance to grip. A pistol can only be fired quickly and precisely with the right hand position.

A pistol scores full marks if the grip adjusts to accommodate different hand sizes, has a non-slip surface, is constructed in such a way that the weapon does not rotate when fired, and has no protruding edges or corners that cause painful pressure Points when shooting - 3 points are deducted for each negative characteristic.

Control S(max. 10 points) All levers, such as the trigger, safety, disarming lever, slide catch lever and magazine release, should be within easy reach for normal-sized hands, but not too easy to operate.

They should be positioned in such a way that ergonomic operation is possible. With modern pistols, at least the most important operating elements (safety, slide catch, magazine release) must be present on both sides.

2 points are deducted for each non-optimal and easy-to-use control element. If an operating lever (exception: dismantling lever) is only available on one side, 1 point will be deducted.

Processing(max. 10 points) This rating refers to the quality of the materials used, the fit of the components and the workmanship. Corrosion protection is also included in the evaluation.

Price-performance ratio(max. 10 points) Here it is evaluated whether workmanship, equipment and performance correspond to the price. The accessories supplied, such as tools, replacement magazines or cleaning agents, also play a role.

Test: Sig Sauer 938 Rosewood (11)

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