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P238 take-down lever

This is a discussion on P238 take-down lever within the P238, P938 Pistol forums, part of the SIG Sauer Pistols category; Some good posts . . . I only have P938's, three of 'um. After reading this thread, went and got the one I use for ...


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P238, P938 Pistol All variations P238, P938

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Old 12-17-2016, 05:07 PM   #31
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Some good posts . . .

I only have P938's, three of 'um. After reading this thread, went and got the one I use for a carry (when I'm not carrying a P229/40) from the safe. I've never had a problem with the slide stop lever walking out, but the gun isn't particularly high round count, a few hundred. So the Slide lock lever shaft holes are not enlarged due to wear.

Unloaded, held left side down, racked the slide a number of times, no problem. Aligned slide notch with take down lever catch, held left side down - nothing. Shook gun - take down lever falls out.

In normal operation the slide notch is zipping past the slide stop lever "inside slide catch" (for lack of a better term) at a furious rate, giving little opportunity to drop out from gravity alone. In fact, as I align the notch with the lever inside catch, there's a significant distance, about 3/16", where releasing pressure holding slide notch aligned will result in the SSL catch locking the slide in that "take down" position. Unless applying pressure to the right side of the SSL shaft, I'm not understand the mechanism by which this failure is occurring. Even applying pressure to the right side of the shaft end, one would think the slide would either push the SSL back in place or failing that, the SLL would lock the slide before falling out. I'm for sure not disputing the failure reports - I just don't understand it (note: my wife often reminds me there's much I don't understand, so any weight carried by my comment's should be adjusted accordingly).

My trigger finger is a good 3/16 to 1/4" away from the end of the SSL shaft, so there's no way I would push it . . . but then I've not had it come out when shooting either.

Field stripped (slide off), install SSL. The tab on the SSL is properly under the slide stop pin/spring. There's a few thousands of an inch vertical play in the lever, the the pin/spring is not pushing against the lever's tab. Turning gun on side, lever freely falls out.

The working end of my pin/spring has a slight upward tilt to it, not parallel to the bottom of the milled recess or frame rail. Whether frame on or off, there's a slight vertical movement before spring tension when pushing up on the SSL.

One way to modify the SSL to prevent the problem would be to mill off the rounded end of the shaft, leaving it a bit proud, center drill and tap the end for a 4-40 SS screw. The screw would need to be removed before take down.

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Old 12-17-2016, 06:11 PM   #32
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In normal operation the slide notch is zipping past the slide stop lever "inside slide catch" (for lack of a better term) at a furious rate, giving little opportunity to drop out from gravity alone. In fact, as I align the notch with the lever inside catch, there's a significant distance, about 3/16", where releasing pressure holding slide notch aligned will result in the SSL catch locking the slide in that "take down" position. Unless applying pressure to the right side of the SSL shaft, I'm not understand the mechanism by which this failure is occurring. Even applying pressure to the right side of the shaft end, one would think the slide would either push the SSL back in place or failing that, the SLL would lock the slide before falling out.
That's always been a puzzlement to me as well. I can see the SSL moving left enough in the frame to catch and jam the slide as some owners have reported. But to pass thru the fast moving notch and fall clear seems almost Houdini-esk. But the reports are there.
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Old 12-17-2016, 06:30 PM   #33
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That's always been a puzzlement to me as well. I can see the SSL moving left enough in the frame to catch and jam the slide as some owners have reported. But to pass thru the fast moving notch and fall clear seems almost Houdini-esk. But the reports are there.
Unless the bottom of the cutout in the side of the frame that acts as the stop for the SSL was cut too deep. That could allow the SSL to be sitting to low for it's tab to be captured behind the slide. That make sense?
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Old 12-17-2016, 06:38 PM   #34
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If someone has a gun that is reliably failing, slide stop walking out. It might be a useful experiment if they would carefully and methodically fire the gun, looking at the slide stop lever after every round fired and insuring they are not touching it.

Since functionally, there is no difference in a semi-auto between slow fire and rapid fire, this might shed some light on how it's occurring.


Edit: I just realized I said "reliably failing" - oxymoron for sure! I should have said "consistently".

Last edited by bumper; 12-17-2016 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 12-18-2016, 05:35 AM   #35
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[QUOTE=GunnyBlue;1579986]@ Steamer - Are you experiencing any issues with your Slide Stop? QUOTE]

I've had zero issues of any sort, slide stop included for my 1825 round total. I'm certain the slide stop spring is not holding my slide stop in place but I believe that's because my spring is bent up a bit and I'm believing that if the spring were to lay flat as it should that it would put a little down pressure on the contact tab of the slide stop and hold it in place.
My friend just a few days ago purchased a P238 and is waiting for me to go over a complete disassembly with him. This will be an opportunity to see a new untouched slide stop spring and compare. I'll take pics, notes and report back in the next day or two.
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Old 12-18-2016, 05:44 AM   #36
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I forgot to mention. I've been also testing and examining the slide stop and it's spring by inserting the slide stop into the frame with the slide removed. This allows you to get a better look and feel of how the stop and spring interact.
I insert the stop making sure the contact tab goes under the spring as it should and you can work the lever up & down against the spring pressure. The most telling test is to rotate the frame to left side down to see if the stop falls out. Mine does. I'd like to know how others react to this test.
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Old 12-18-2016, 06:48 AM   #37
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If my pin/spring is sitting flush in the bottom of the pocket in the frame, my slide lock will stay in the frame with the left side down as you describe until I shake the frame.

If my pin/spring is sitting up in the pocket where it usually is after operating the slide, the slide stop will fall out as soon as I tilt the left side of the frame down.

I used to think that the slide lock pin/spring helped hold the slide lock in the frame during pistol operation, but I don't believe that any longer. As loose as my slide lock is, I've never had an issue with it falling out during operation or even moving out enough to jam the slide.
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Old 12-18-2016, 11:01 AM   #38
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Hey guys - I agree with the questions/doubts you have raised. This business of the slide stop pin/spring "holding" the slide stop in hasn't made complete sense to me either.
The only thing I'm sure of is that the slide stop pin/spring is involved in some way.....
I believe this to be true because before I removed and reshaped the pin, the slide stop would consistently fall out/walk out. But, since I removed and reshaped the pin, the slide stop does not fall out/walk out no matter how many times I rack the slide, whereas before, it would fall out/walk out consistently after racking the slide 10-15 times.

Here's my current "working theory":
If the slide stop pin is misshaped such that it is slightly protruding outside the pocket it sits in, and beyond the side of the frame, it is exerting outward tension on the slide stop. This in effect, would be like pushing on the "release peg" on the right side of the frame with your finger.
When the slide cycles, and the half-round notch in the slide passes over the half-round tab on the slide, the constant tension being placed on the slide stop from the "bulging" slide stop pin causes the slide stop to fall out/walk out.
Thoughts and comments welcomed and appreciated.
(btw - This photo is NOT of my p238 - Internet photo)
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Old 12-18-2016, 12:07 PM   #39
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ThnkFrst, That's interesting. So your spring can change position. Mine can not. If I push it flat it won't stay and goes right back to it's upward slant like in my previous pic. I think mine is bent.

GB, I'd say that spring in your pic is bent for sure.

I'm now really wanting to see that new P238 my friend just bought. I'm also wanting to buy a new spring just so I can examine it. If they're cheap enough maybe several so I can compare consistency also.

I just found and viewed again, a vid on YouTube of a guy installing a new spring in a P938 (same spring) after accidently bending his out of shape. When he pops it in, you can see it laying flat on that ledge and the very end of the spring that hangs out over the ledge and contacts the slide stop, appears to be bent downward slightly. To get a good look at it you have to freeze frame right between 1:35 & 1:36. Hope this link works.

[/URL]
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:52 PM   #40
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I just got off the phone with Sig CS rep. I asked him to send me a replacement Slide Stop Pin (Number 18 in the parts diagram). He said it would be $8.00.
I explained that my P238 was only a couple of weeks old, and shouldn't it be covered under warranty? He stated that all firearm warranty repairs require that the firearm be sent in and asked what the problem was that I needed a new Slide Stop Pin.
(btw - He said that what I was referring to as the SS Pin, was actually called the SS "spring", and that what I was referring to as the Slide stop is actually called the slide stop pin. I told him the nomenclature I was using was from Sig's illustrated parts diagram...well, whatever)

When I described the problem being that the Slide Stop (lever) would walk out when racking the slide, he "assured" me that the slide stop spring/pin has "nothing to do with holding the Slide Stop in." I explained to him that, I agree - it doesn't "hold" the Slide Stop in, BUT, if the spring/pin is bent or not fully seated in its cavity such that it is exerting lateral tension on the Slide Stop, it is like pressing on the Slide Stop shaft on the right side of the gun, which causes the Slide Stop to walk out when the slide is racked.
I did notice that the spring/pin protruded a little when I cleaned and lubed the gun the first time before taking it to the range, but figured it must be "normal". When I cleaned the gun the first time (and second time), I did not use any bushes or rags, and did not do any cleaning in the area of the spring/pin, eliminating the possibility that I bent the spring while cleaning. I simply used RamRodz (big q-tips) with Ballistol to clean/lube the barrel and slide.

I suggested that he pass this information on to manufacturing since my gun came with the spring bulging slightly outside the cavity from the factory.
(I don't think he bought that, and blew it off, but I did tell him that there were several reports of people having similar issues with P238/938's)

Anyway, in the end, he agreed to send me a replacement spring/pin no charge.

Note: My P238 is still running flawlessly since I re-shaped the Slide Stop spring/pin!
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:18 AM   #41
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The loop end of the slide stop spring on my P938 protrudes slightly, but not beyond the surface of the frame.

Which part of the spring did you bend Gunny?
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:40 AM   #42
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Which part of the spring did you bend Gunny?
Kind of hard to describe, but basically I just kept making minor adjustments at various points of the spring until the "loop" part sat flat in the cavity in the frame. It took me 3 or 4 tries to get it right.

The only reason that I fiddled around with my bent spring was as an "experiment" to determine/prove that my misshaped spring was the issue causing my Slide Stop to walk out.

If yours is not causing any problem, I'd suggest leaving it alone.
If it is causing a problem, then I'd suggest replacing the spring.
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:03 PM   #43
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Kind of hard to describe, but basically I just kept making minor adjustments at various points of the spring until the "loop" part sat flat in the cavity in the frame. It took me 3 or 4 tries to get it right.

The only reason that I fiddled around with my bent spring was as an "experiment" to determine/prove that my misshaped spring was the issue causing my Slide Stop to walk out.

If yours is not causing any problem, I'd suggest leaving it alone.
If it is causing a problem, then I'd suggest replacing the spring.
That's good advice. My slide stop spring looks like the one in your picture, but it has not caused me any problems.
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Old 01-04-2017, 09:19 AM   #44
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I just had a look at my friends "new" P238 and his slide stop spring looks similar to Gunny Blue's pic with the bulge. Maybe not as much but it does protrude a tiny bit out beyond the frame and the straight part is angled up like mine. if you push the bulging part of the spring in it will stay and the straight part goes down laying flat on the ledge. But after inserting and levering the slide stop a few times the spring returns to bulging out and angling up.
What's interesting is just prior to that we were at the range side by side and after about a hundred rounds out of each of our P238s he had a FTE. His gun was jammed, empty casing half way out of the barrel and a fresh round jammed up to it The slide was jammed partially back. The notch in the slide happened to be lined up just right so when he turned the gun on it's side the slide stop just fell out.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:20 PM   #45
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I just had a look at my friends "new" P238 and his slide stop spring looks similar to Gunny Blue's pic with the bulge. Maybe not as much but it does protrude a tiny bit out beyond the frame and the straight part is angled up like mine. if you push the bulging part of the spring in it will stay and the straight part goes down laying flat on the ledge. But after inserting and levering the slide stop a few times the spring returns to bulging out and angling up.
What's interesting is just prior to that we were at the range side by side and after about a hundred rounds out of each of our P238s he had a FTE. His gun was jammed, empty casing half way out of the barrel and a fresh round jammed up to it The slide was jammed partially back. The notch in the slide happened to be lined up just right so when he turned the gun on it's side the slide stop just fell out.
Steamer - Thanks for taking the time and effort to explore this issue further.
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