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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Frequent mention of SIG SAUER® pistols on this Forum is a testimony to their presence in the market, versatility, quality, and performance. Sig enjoys a good reputation for a wide range of centerfire defense pistols, with this P239 fitting in the category of "compacts".

According to their website,
"The P239® was developed in response to demands from law enforcement and federal agents for a compact back-up pistol ideal for off duty concealed carry. The slim profile of this single-stack pistol provides easy concealment without sacrificing handling.… The P239 is available in three calibers - 9mm, .357SIG or .40S&W - offering you the choice that's right for you."

The subject of this post is a P239 that I bought used five years ago, prior to my discovery of the Glock. After my first range session with the P239, I noticed that it had a fairly pronounced slide rattle, something that I really dislike. A call to Sig confirmed that "All 239s do that", and that rattling was not something that Sig considered to be a problem. I'm not saying I like it, but I've learned to ignore the slide rattle on this gun.

This P239 is a Double-Action/Single-Action (DA/SA) recoil-operated 9mm semi-automatic handgun, with a magazine capacity of 8 rounds. It has an automatic firing pin safety block similar to the one found on Colt Series 80® 1911s, a decocking lever, a trigger bar disconnector, and a safety intercept notch. Of all of those features, I'm still not entirely certain what a "safety intercept notch" is, but I'm sure it has a purpose. The P239 weighs 28.2 ounces with an empty magazine, and is a little shorter than a G19.

This P239 has a black anodized aluminum alloy frame with a number of steel parts held in place by pins and the clever use of wire (not coil) springs. The slide is made of stainless steel with Sig's black "Nitron" coating, has an integral breechblock, and carries an external extractor and a firing pin that rides on a spring. The barrel has a locking surface that connects with a steel locking insert in the frame, similar in function to the Glock locking block. The familiar steel guide rod and recoil spring are used, but I must confess that the latter may be aftermarket parts. I seem to recall replacing the guide rod and spring, but I can't swear to it. All in all, a very nicely built pistol, showing careful design that doesn't need a huge number of parts: the drawing in the Owner's Manual lists 55 parts for the P239.

There is probably opportunity for improvement in the P239, but I have never even detail-stripped this gun. I have no plans to use it in competition, so I seen no need to tinker with it. I can clean everything with spray cleaner, a brush, and compressed air, so unless something breaks I'm not going to go inside this one.

The P239 is really not designed to be left-handed friendly, and since I'm left-handed that may explain why I haven't carried this pistol very often. The main controls on the frame (magazine catch, takedown lever, slide catch, decocking lever) are all on the left side of the frame so that the right thumb can operate them.

Takedown is simple, with no special technique required: place an empty magazine in the gun, retract the slide so that it is locked back by the slide catch. Then rotate the takedown lever clockwise 90º. Now, remove the magazine and holding the slide in one hand, release the slide catch and guide the slide and barrel forward off the frame.

Shooting the p239 is pleasant, the combination of weight and caliber making it fairly easy to handle. I particularly like the steel sights: aligning the two white dots at just the point that they merge in my vision makes it easy for me to hit steel plates at ten or fifteen yards with good accuracy, at least for me.

There is one drawback to the design of this and many other Sig Sauer pistols, that being the placement of the shooting hand on the frame. Because your hand cannot fit high on the frame, the center of the bore axis is higher, which should allow the gun to exert more leverage in recoil. Although I understand all of that, I have to say that I don't feel much more recoil on this than I do other 9mm metal-framed pistols.

Because it has a single-stack magazine, the grip on the P239 is narrow, almost a little small for my medium-sized hands. Both magazines have a floorplate with an extension to rest your little finger, and the frame has some horizontal gripping lines on the front strap. The plastic grips offer an adequate grip, but I think it could be improved with a more aggressive surface texture. Overall, I find the P239 comfortable to hold and shoot, and its size makes it useful as a carry gun.

The trigger on my P239 has a DA pull of well over 11 pounds, so much that I could not measure it on my RCBS trigger pull gauge, which has an 8-pound limit on the scale. The good news is that the SA pull is just about 4 ½ pounds, quite light. The difference between the two is the problem: your first shot will be a heavy pull and unless you train a lot, it will hit low, compared to your subsequent shots.

Having owned this P239 for about five years, I have probably only fired about 500 rounds through it, but I keep coming back to it. In spite of some shortcomings, it's a well made and capable defense pistol, one that has a permanent home in my safe. There is, after all, something about a Sig.

And now, the photos.

Trigger Air gun Gun barrel Gun accessory Airsoft gun

Vertebrate Air gun Trigger Mammal Grey

Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Metal

Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Metal

Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Metal

Office supplies Writing implement Office instrument Font Writing instrument accessory

Line Font Tool Metal Nickel

Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Metal

Chris
 

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As always, a pleasurable and informative read, even when the subject is not of direct interest.
Someday your posts should be compiled into a book of musings.

Please define "slide rattle". From the pics (well done, btw) it would appear that the barrel tilt would encourage good feeding.

I'm doing my best to resist the temptation of becoming a sigophile (fondled a few today)...you are not helping.

Oh, another thing....Colhand before Glocks?!?
Also, I do not recall a post when you said you "carried" a gun..??
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
..Please define "slide rattle". From the pics (well done, btw) it would appear that the barrel tilt would encourage good feeding.
If you pick up my P239 and shake it on a horizontal (yawing) and vertical (pitching) plane, you can hear the slide rattling on the frame. It's a loose fit, apparently, although I don't recall hearing it at the store. Sigs says it's not wear, at least it's not unusual wear. If you are looking at Sigs, check them for slide rattle, which may or may not be present, depending on the model. I think (guess) that it might be more prevalent on alloy-framed guns.

I think the barrel tilt does help feeding, but I'm not very knowledgeable about Sigs. We do have a Sig Armorer on the Forum, I hope he'll step forward with some comments on the subject.

Oh, another thing....Colhand before Glocks?!?
Ja! I got my first Glock in 2010. Until then I was lost, wandering in the wilderness. HK, Sig, CZ, Ruger, Beretta, then I finally discovered Glock.

Also, I do not recall a post when you said you "carried" a gun..??
It's not something I feel I need to do very often, but I do carry on occasion.

By the way, here are two more photos that I could not get into the original post:

Trigger Air gun Grey Gun barrel Gun accessory

Grey Audio equipment Gadget Font Circle

Chris
 

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Chris, I've never owned a SIG. I know that they're top shelf guns, but I'm not crazy about double/single actions. For me, the first shot's a waste. But about every friend I've known has owned one at some time or another. My question is this: a good bud of mine just got a new SIG Equinox. He brought it in to show me. My hands are small, compared to most men my size, but not "tiny" small. The Sig felt like I was holding an AR pistol or something. But seriously, I was at least a half inch short of being able to reach the de-cocker, and actually had to use both hands, and turn the gun to thumb it down. I remember another friends P226, and I believe it was rather large for my hands. Just wondering if they're all a tad big like that?

As an aside, my first Glock was a G21, and although there are no controls to have to deal with, it was large enough to cause me not to shoot it well. That was almost the end of my career with Glocks. My 19 and 23 fit like they were designed for me, but I'm off on a tangent. How are they, in general, size wize? I doubt, that I'll every actually purchase one, but I've said that before and had to eat my words.

Thanks,
FT:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
... My question is this: a good bud of mine just got a new SIG Equinox. He brought it in to show me. My hands are small, compared to most men my size, but not "tiny" small. The Sig felt like I was holding an AR pistol or something. But seriously, I was at least a half inch short of being able to reach the de-cocker, and actually had to use both hands, and turn the gun to thumb it down. I remember another friends P226, and I believe it was rather large for my hands. Just wondering if they're all a tad big like that?.. How are they, in general, size wize?...
The P239, with a single-stack magazine, is the only Sig I've held that fits my hands well. The combination of being a little too big across the grips and the inability to get my shooting hand high on the frame has kept me away from other Sigs.

That said, there are lots of people whose hands fit them well, and who are real Sig enthusiasts. Also, there may be other Sig models that have slimmer frames, I'm just not that aware of their product line.

Chris
 

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As always, nice review. For DA/SA pistols my preference is CZ, mainly because they fit me so well. But Sigs are fine guns, well made and reliable. They just don't fit me.
 

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I have medium size hands and my MK25 fits perfect and my P220 is a single stack 45 and is noticeably thinner in the grip. They are well balanced guns and and the SA trigger is quite nice. I do really like my sigs having said that there is one thing I just love about glocks for me is that when shoot on the move I really appreciate the short and CRISP reset!! I think glock does that so well.
 

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Very nice write up, thank you! The P239 is toward the top of my list of favorite handguns, Glock compacts (19, 32) and SIG P229 occupy the top positions.

The safety intercept notch is a feature of the sear on a SIG and is where the hammer rests after you decock the handgun. It is a safety device SIG uses to prevent the hammer striking the firing pin.

Regarding the size of the grips, I agree, some models have rather formidable grips. The P226 with SIG rosewood grips can be quite large. SIG has recently developed a new style grip, the E2 (pronounced E squared), which is considerably smaller and can be fit to most of the larger grip handguns. This does make the grip more comfortable and easier to hold. New models are set up from the factory to accept these grips, older models will require a new hammer strut, main spring and possibly a new main spring seat. I am also hearing that Hogue, a major OEM manufacturer for SIG, has developed a new G10 grip which is even smaller than the E2 grips, but I have yet to see these to confirm.

Another feature SIG offers to aid in this regard is the short trigger. This used to be called a thin trigger by SIG, but for some bewildering reason, they decided to rename it the short trigger. People often confuse this with the Short Reset Trigger (SRT), which I'll discuss shortly. The short trigger is merely a much thinner trigger with a little different shape, allowing the shooter to properly position their finger on the trigger, should smaller hands be a concern. I have the short trigger on a few of my larger frame SIG's and like it a lot.

The SRT is a relatively easy install, should you decide you would like to add this feature to your SIG. It is immensely popular with competition shooters, but for a defensive purposed firearm, I tend to shy away from this feature. The standard reset on a SIG trigger is a tad longer than that on a Glock. With the SRT installed, the bottom of the trigger, the portion with the longest travel, only has to go about 1/8" for reset. I've seen a few shooters use this for the first time and get an unexpected double tap. And in a high stress, fine motor skills limited, vaso-constricted defensive scenario, I see the SRT as a liability. YMMV.

While SIG seems synonymous with DA/SA firing modes, they also offer a few other alternatives. Single Action Only (SAO), Double Action Only (DAO), and Double Action Kellerman (DAK, similar to the H&K LEM system) are also available on several of their models, not including the P239. SAO incorporates the external thumb safety, similar in function to that on a 1911. DAO has the same long and heavier pull every round, similar to the Kahr triggers. DAK has been rather misunderstood and maligned, hopefully this will help clear some of those misconceptions up, unfortunately, I am unaware of the source to offer credit to:

Sig DAK Explained

Dear Friends I read some threads on the Sig Double Action Kellerman and saw misconceptions on what the DAK trigger system was developed for. I recently attended a CCP course up at the Sig Academy and it was explained to me as our department is thinking about switching from a Sig P229 DA/SA to a DAK system. This is part of a memo I sent to my people as some of them had this same misconception of what the intermediate short reset option of the system was for. Here is what I learned about Sig's DAK from the course instructor:

• The DAK (Double Action Kellerman) system has an intermediate reset which provides the ability of the user of being able to fire the pistol in the event the user short strokes the trigger during a critical incident. The trigger pull for the system is 6.5 lbs. in full DAO (Double Action Only) and increases to 8 lbs. if the trigger is pulled from the intermediate short reset position.
• Sig recommends and trains so that the system is to be used as DAO (Double Action Only). You will see that they only list the 6.5 lbs. trigger pull in DA on their DAK models specifications sheets. They recommend that users should be trained to fire the pistol by utilizing the full double action trigger stroke so that the trigger is a consistent 6.5 lbs.
• They have heard of some departments who do not understand what the system is suppose to be for and have been training their officers to use the short stroke after the initial full trigger pull. This is incorrect


You mention the slide rattle on the P239, mine has the same. I can minimize this by using Brian Enos Slide Glide on the rails. One major difference between Glocks and SIG's is the fact that SIG uses an alloy frame with either a folded steel or stainless slide. Without proper lubrication, the rails on the frame will wear rapidly. Looking at the rails in the pictures of your P239, Chris, I affectionately describe this condition as being drier than a camel fart in the middle of the Sahara desert. In the words of Bruce Gray, a prominent SIG armorer/aficionado in Spray, Oregon, "Get some damn grease"!

Another very compelling aspect of the P239 is the caliber versatility. Unfortunately, with your 9mm P239, you will be somewhat limited. But if you start with a 40 or 357 chambered P239, the factory SIG barrels in the other calibers will fit. So in one small package, using only factory parts, you can become quite diverse in your ammo selection. The 40/357 recoil spring will cycle the slide properly and the 40/357 mags will also feed the other calibers handily. I don't necessarily recommend this, but in a pinch, it will certainly work. In the past, I viewed ammo versatility as a downside, requiring extra investment in parts and ammo not really necessary. But with the ammo shortages of late, most likely not going away any time soon for many various reasons, I view the ability to shoot multiple calibers as a big plus.

I would be remiss if I didn't point out the Mastershop series of SIG handguns. While these are far to gaudy for my liking, I like my Glocks and SIG's bone factory stock, maybe a night sight here or a Talon grip there, many enjoy the ornate beauty of these firearms. On this linked page, there are several different models, gander through some of these for your enjoyment! SIG SAUER Sport

Thanks for the write up, Chris. Unfortunately, I have to agree, SIG's are typically not too friendly for the left handed shooter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
WOW!

Otis, you really knocked it out of the park with this reply, great work! Having someone with a lot more knowledge on the topic really fills in the blanks and adds value. I appreciate your effort!

...The safety intercept notch is a feature of the sear on a SIG and is where the hammer rests after you decock the handgun or after you fire it and it is in single action mode. It is a safety device SIG uses to prevent the hammer striking the firing pin.
Ok, it's starting to make sense now.

Regarding the size of the grips, I agree, some models have rather formidable grips. The P226 with SIG rosewood grips can be quite large. SIG has recently developed a new style grip, the E2 (pronounced E squared), which is considerably smaller and can be fit to most of the larger grip handguns. This does make the grip more comfortable and easier to hold. New models are set up from the factory to accept these grips, older models will require a new hammer strut, main spring and possibly a new main spring seat. I am also hearing that Hogue, a major OEM manufacturer for SIG, has developed a new G10 grip which is even smaller than the E2 grips, but I have yet to see these to confirm.
That's really helpful, I'm sure we have Sig owners who will start web-shopping as soon as they've read your post!

....You mention the slide rattle on the P239, mine has the same. I can minimize this by using Brian Enos Slide Glide on the rails. One major difference between Glocks and SIG's is the fact that SIG uses an alloy frame with either a folded steel or stainless slide. Without proper lubrication, the rails on the frame will wear rapidly. Looking at the rails in the pictures of your P239, Chris, I affectionately describe this condition as being drier than a camel fart in the middle of the Sahara desert. In the words of Bruce Gray, a prominent SIG armorer/aficionado in Spray, Oregon, "Get some damn grease"!
In order to make the photos more clear, I always wipe off any extra grease or oil on guns when I shoot the pictures, and this was the case with the P239, which always has Slide Glide on the rails. I completely agree with you and understand the need for lubrication of these guns. You did notice the pristine (albeit DRY) condition of the rails, didn't you?

Again, thanks for all of that material, it has improved the value of this thread very significantly!

Chris
 

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I have owned a few Sigs and they were all vey nice. The one I regret selling is the 220.
I have fondled a 239 with a threaded barrel and have thought about purchasing it, just haven't done it.
Nice write up Chris and Otis.
 

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Thank you for the kind words, Chris. It was absolutely my pleasure! I hope my input was helpful.

And, yes, your rails appear immaculate, evidence of proper lubrication. Here is a picture of a 30 year old German made, destroyed by improper maintenance:

 

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Dang you Chris.:p You put that 239 in my head and because the one I was looking at was produced ay the beginning of 2009, the LGS offered me the pistol at cost.
Needless to say after I got my year end bonus, it's mine now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dang you Chris.:p You put that 239 in my head and because the one I was looking at was produced ay the beginning of 2009, the LGS offered me the pistol at cost.
Needless to say after I got my year end bonus, it's mine now.
Hey, good deal! You've got to admit, the P239 is a nice compact little carry gun, and I do like the sight picture. I hope you enjoy it!

Chris
 

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Hey, good deal! You've got to admit, the P239 is a nice compact little carry gun, and I do like the sight picture. I hope you enjoy it!

Chris
I'm sure I will. Not to hijack your thread but it's the tactical model with the SRT(short reset trigger) and threaded barrel.
Poor thing was covered in dust and the lube that was on it was basically gone after sitting for over 4 years.
I gave her some love last night. Hahaha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm sure I will. Not to hijack your thread but it's the tactical model with the SRT(short reset trigger) and threaded barrel.
Poor thing was covered in dust and the lube that was on it was basically gone after sitting for over 4 years.
I gave her some love last night. Hahaha.
I'd sure like to see some pictures of that gun, they would add a lot to this thread. Will you do that?

Chris
 

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I'd sure like to see some pictures of that gun, they would add a lot to this thread. Will you do that?

Chris
I sure will. Probably be later as i'm trying to push everyone to get done today at my business.
 

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Dang you Chris.:p You put that 239 in my head and because the one I was looking at was produced ay the beginning of 2009, the LGS offered me the pistol at cost.
Needless to say after I got my year end bonus, it's mine now.
Wow, nice catch! Looking forward to the pix! Very nice alternative to the non-existent Glock single stack! I bet you're gonna like it!
 

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Here she is. Wish I could go to the range and test her out. Saturday is gonna be my best chance probably.
Feels good in my hand and the reset is unreal because it has the SRT. You'll notice I don't have the thread protector on. That was one of tje reasons I got it cheaper. They couldn't get it loose at the LGS even with some rubberized pliers they had there. Needless to say, the protector is a little scratched up. I used some PB Blaster and it came right off but damage had been done.
Pistol was manufactured 31-January-2009 and they wanted it gone. $682 OTD was my price and I doubt anyone would pass on that.
 

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Here's the carrying case. Unlike Chris' 239, this one has the Siglite night sights which I have always liked.
It has the SRT(short reset trigger) which is unreal. This is the shortest reset I have felt on any weapon even a few of the Sigs I owned before.
I have a Galco Check Six holster for the CZ and this fits good. I will be looking for a nice IWB holster in a while.
So there you have it. Another Sig in the stable. Still love my Glocks but I couldn't pass up this deal.
 
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