Sig Sauer P232, a gentleman’s concealed carry

The Sig Sauer P232 is not a popular handgun. Its not something that you find at the LGS (Local Gun Shop) unless by chance. When you do get to see one in person, especially the stainless model, it is striking.  All metal, well built, fits in the hand like it was made to be there.

To illustrate just how unpopular this firearm is, I checked GunBroker. At the time of this writing there were 6 of them on GunBroker as compared to 530 Sig p238, 68 Walther PPKs, and just over 200 S&W Bodyguards.

Sig Sauer P232 SL Stainless

The current .380 caliber handguns available include Double Action Only choices like the S&W Bodyguard, and the Ruger LCP. Both capable of being there when you need them, but both with their respective problems. The trigger on the Bodyguard is horrible. There are trigger replacement options, but it just makes the trigger pull slightly less horrible. Most reviews start comparing the DAO bodyguard trigger to the SAO Sig p238 at this point, but I find that to be disingenuous. SAO and DAO is apples and oranges. If you like the crisp SAO type trigger, then on DAO trigger will ever be good enough.

The P232 is marginally larger than the BodyGuard. But the extra size gets you one more round and a much more dignified look/feel.

380 pistols

This leads me to the Single Action Only options out there like the Sig P238 and Colt Mustang. Both fine choices but just not for me. My personal preference is not to carry “cocked and locked”. People do it every day with peace of mind, but I just cant do it. Just knowing that there is a spring that is actively pushing the hammer towards the firing pin at all times is scary to me. There are usually multiple safety devices in play to prevent the hammer from striking the firing pin but that just isn’t enough for me. Safety devices fail all the time, so I would rather not rely on them. In a DAO, or a de-cocked Single/Double there is no spring pushing the hammer towards the firing pin until you pull the trigger or cock the handgun. And that is where I find my preference.

I prefer de-cocked single/double trigger on my carry pieces, of which there are 3 main choices. The sig P232, the Walther PPKs, and the Bersa Thunder. The Bersa Thunder is not really comparable to the Sig and Walther so I will just ignore it for now. Both the Sig P232 and Walther PPKs are fine looking handguns. Both are available in stainless. For a while I wanted a PPK just because that is what Bond used. But the nostalgia passes and you reach a point where you want a small carry-able handgun that seems more refined, more stately. The Sig P232 certainly fits that bill.

I think I will consider the P232 as a black tie CCW piece. Perfect for a night at the opera, or just the occasional date night with the wife.



Additional Info:  Ammo Choices.

I have heard some concern about the available ammo being the reason why someone wouldn’t carry a 380. Its not powerful enough. I don’t want to get into caliber wars, please carry what you are comfortable with. A decade ago, 45 was the only choice people would consider, no 9MM is making a comeback because ballistics of the projectiles has advanced enough to close the gap between caliber sizes. But if 9mm has progressed, wouldnt the same be true for 380? I dont want to re-invent the wheel, so I will just link to a fabulous review that ShootingTheBull did testing various 380 ammo. You can find that review here

8 thoughts on “Sig Sauer P232, a gentleman’s concealed carry”

  1. You’re linking to a test of ammo through 2.5″ barrel guns. However the gun you’re reviewing; the Sig P232 has a 3.6″ barrel which makes all those tests meaningless. The change in velocity and penetration when the barrel is 44% longer would upset the whole apple cart when you’re determining the best cartridge.

  2. Only six on gun broker. Of course do your home work. Greater demand for the 232 and are now harder to get. The PPKs have had their problems. The sig has always held it’s own with fewer problems. Compare today’s prices to all Walther firearms against Sig Sauer’s.

  3. This is a great CCW – Sig improved on the Walther PPK design – mine is black (not a fan of stainless), Hogue grips, w/tritium night sights – loaded with Sig’s JHP defense rounds it packs a punch even though it’s .380

    Easy to conceal in summer under light clothes and it’s a light backup in winter when I carry an M9, APX, or PX4 (it’s Chicago, everyone’s wearing heavy clothes) – even fits easily in coat pocket so it’s possible to walk with hand on gun in questionable areas without notice

    1. They’re no longer in manufacturer so you’ll have to search for an FFL who has one and get it shipped to your local FFL for processing.

      I found mine (new in box – blued, Hogue grips, night sights, extra mags) several years ago at a dealer in southern Illinois at a deal of a price (currently online they’re going for a lot more, $550-600) and had him ship to the Chicago area – he shipped it for free and my local FFL charge $25 for processing

      The Sig is a huge improvement over its ancestral Walther PPK design – better design & build quality – the cheap Bersa clone is fine as a toy at the range, but not something I’d want to trust for EDC

  4. Minimal recoil, very good accuracy, and perfect for concealed carry. I’ve never experienced a misfire with mine, it’s an enjoyable gun to shoot.

  5. I just purchased a used one that was on consignment at the shooting range I go to. The staff love this gun, it is not easy to find. The one I purchased is stainless, very PPK looking. Your description of being a gentleman’s gun is quite accurate. Beautiful, great feel and nice weight, not too heavy. Similar look to my Bersa .380 FireStorm, but that’s where the comparison stops. You can tell this is high quality.

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