ScopedIn

A modern guide to guns and hunting

SIG SAUER P239

A Classic Made Even More Compact

Overview

I know, I know…ScopedIn is supposed to be a site dedicated to hunting, right? So, what’s a review of a 9mm pistol doing here? We did this review because:

  1. More of you are asking for information like this these days. Among hunters and non-hunters alike, the desire for personal protection has skyrocketed in recent years. Guns like the P239 are a natural choice for this.
  2. While the 9mm cartridge is probably inappropriate for hunting, it is a fine choice for a backup gun while hunting. A close-range shot to the head with a good 9mm load will promptly finish off most North American game. It will also afford you all the personal protection you might need, should you run into any aggressive two-legged varmints in the field.
  3. ScopedIn is, first and foremost, a resource for beginners, and in many ways, the P239 is an ideal first (or only) pistol to own.

The Basics

SIG SAUER of Exeter, New Hampshire, is a leading supplier of firearms for high-end, mission-critical applications. Their pistols are used by 1 in every 3 law enforcement officers in the USA, and are standard issue for several elite military forces such as the Navy SEALs. The P239 is essentially the P229 (SIG’s very popular service pistol) shrunk down, just a bit in all dimensions. A comparison table shows how subtle these dimensional changes are:

Dimension P229 P239
Length 7.1″ 6.6″
Height 5.4″ 5.1″
Width 1.5″ 1.2″
Weight 32.0 oz. 29.5 oz.


Not much difference, is it? But, it’s the difference between a gun to be carried on your hip in a duty rig, and a gun for concealment purposes. The 0.3″ difference in width is especially important here, as the reduced bulk goes a long way toward avoiding visual detection. And, while the weight of the P239 isn’t a huge reduction from that of the P229, it strikes a nice compromise: light enough to carry comfortably, but heavy enough to shoot comfortably.

The P239, like its big brother, is a double action/single action (DA/SA) pistol, and comes in three calibers: 9mm (including 9mm +P), .40 S&W and the exotic but potent .357 SIG. Its frame and slide are metal (something I like), which is part of the reason this isn’t a featherweight-class pistol. The slim grips fit well in most adults’ hands, and the gun overall has a solid, high quality feel to it.

The P239, like most SIG pistols, has a magazine release that can be reversed for left-handed shooters. Southpaws (like me) appreciate that SIG has taken efforts not to exclude us from their customer base. The P239 also has a decocker, but no trigger safety. This seems to be a common configuration in DA/SA pistols.

Field stripping the P239 for cleaning and lubrication is simple and requires no tools.

Shooting

Thanks to its 29.5 ounces of weight, the P239 is much more pleasant to shoot than the super-light alternatives out there. The importance of this is big: the more fun a gun is to shoot, the more likely people are to practice with it, which could come in handy if it ever needs to be drawn in a hostile situation.

In double action, the trigger pull is 10 pounds, which is admittedly heavy, but consistent with most DA pistols. More importantly is that it is smooth enough that I can shoot it offhand without significantly moving my point of aim. In single action, the trigger only requires a much nicer 4.4 pounds, and, after a bit of take-up, breaks very crisply.

Accuracy

When assessing the accuracy of a gun like this, it’s important to keep in mind the purpose of the gun. Short-barreled handguns are difficult to shoot with a high degree of accuracy, not because the gun isn’t capable of such accuracy, but because the distance between the front and rear sights (called the sight radius), is so short that mistakes are magnified.

While shooting the P239 in DA mode from a standing position, I was able to hold it on target at 25 yards and keep my shots within a 10″ circle. While this might not impress anyone at first glance, let me remind you that this gun is designed for shooting at much, much closer distances than 25 yards. And, even a 10″ circle of accuracy is, to adapt a phrase from the rifle shooters, within MOBG (Minute of Bad Guy). To put it another way, this gun will do its job, assuming, of course, that you do yours. Should you wish to shoot this gun from a resting position, you can of course expect much better accuracy.

Summary

People looking for a versatile, high-quality 9mm, one that they can take to the range or field as well as carry for self-defense, would be well advised to give the P239 a good look. This little SIG will give you an added sense of security wherever you decide to take it.

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  • crok

    Simply; One Gun to Rule them all…
    People love hobbies, it helps them forget about real life issues, it gives them something that makes them feel good to think about when they have idle moments. You can have hobbies like drag car racing (expensive) or buy a football team (really expensive) or have some cheaper hobbies like guns.
    It never ever makes sense to me that people say i need a self defense handgun to protect my home and loved ones and i cannot afford 900 dollars, after all seriously most people probably pay more than 900$ on yearly insurances. Simply if you are truly saying you need a gun to truly and honestly protect the most important things in your life, if you can find 450$ then you can find 900$. Its simply a matter of priorities !!!
    I love youtube some retard (i do not mean an inellectually challenged person nor physically handicapped person) i mean a retard is someone who should have more brains than the maker gave a squirrel showing off their latest self defense handgun they bought to protect their rights with a table of a dozen guns piled up behind the new gun on display.
    These are gun collectors and they are not serious about defending their things. Simply for self defense you need one pistol and you do everything with that one pistol. For fun you use different pistols as a collector you use different pistols, but for self defense you use the best that average guy money can buy. You buy the best compromise and that is the Sig Sauer p239, 9mm. One Gun to Rule them ALL !!! this gun can do anything a average person could ever ask and sorry if you cannot end a gunfight with 7 bullets, then you should not have been carrying a gun in the first place…
    Put another way, this gun is the best best best money can buy it does everything anyone could ask for and if you back it up with a ruger sp101 357/38 you have a spare and anyone who says you cannot end a threat with a 357 “is only playing with half a full deck”. Add in a shotty and a rifle long arm and if you simply must light conceal carry a NAA 22mag since no one will ever see it even in your swim trunks.
    So i prefer to spend my money widely instead of having an arsenal of guns and the Sig Sauer p239 with an extra mag will do anything i can ever ever imagine at under 25 yards, heck i could even use the p239 to open a tin of beans :)
    Life is expensive today and your dollar does nto go far, simply buy the best best best you can ever buy and use those spare dollars elsewhere on your lifestyle. In fact if you think about it; the Sig Sauer is actually a “martial aid” and makes for more ‘wedded bliss’. If you buy other guns you can always ‘invent’ a reason to surprise your spouse with “another” purchase; 99% of the time your loved one is not as thrilled with your new ‘boy-toy’.
    I understand it is “human nature” that the ‘grass is greener on the other side of the fence’ and to covet something we do not have, but simply if you have a Sig Sauer or similar quality firearm there is no way a “thinking” person can justify the gold for another purchase.
    Its false economy to buy what you think you can afford and then upgrade later so just buy the best of the best and never ever doubt the purchase. I do not care who you are in the real world of even who you think you are; you will never ever “out shoot” a Sig Sauer. There is simply no better gun dollar for dollar on the planet, well there are a very few but for simple variety of uses no gun probalby covers everything including reliablity like a Sig and for “mere” ‘mortals’ a p239 will do anything and everything. Sure you can carry bigger capacity but i am sure most thinking people realise that your not going to reasonably shoot more than 7 rounds in any encounter, i am not talking about security guards or LEO’s etc. i am talking about day to day ‘average’ people. And make no mistake if someone has put a price on your head then your probably gonna need more help than any hand gun can give you.
    And finally why 9mm , simply because it works; less recoil and more “bang of your buck” in practice. The ongoing debate about calibre is great, it keep diversity in the ammo market and helps keep the cost of 9mm cheaper; when people get onboard and realsie 9mm is the ‘perfect’ round the “silly” calibres will ‘fade’ away and 9mm manufactures will start price gouging, so i say let the calibre debate rage on!!!
    Stay safe !!! and practice often; (with cheap 9mm ammo) of course …

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