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Lehigh Defense ammunition - P238

This is a discussion on Lehigh Defense ammunition - P238 within the P238, P938 Pistol forums, part of the SIG Sauer Pistols category; After researching self defense ammunition for use in .380 ACP, which needs all the punch you can get in such a minimal caliber, I decided ...


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Old 01-11-2017, 08:39 AM   #1
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Lehigh Defense ammunition - P238

After researching self defense ammunition for use in .380 ACP, which needs all the punch you can get in such a minimal caliber, I decided to use the Lehigh Extreme Defense ammunition, but was concerned about reliable cycling in my Sig P238 Trojan.
I purchased 50 bullets (56 Grain), and loaded them using Lehigh data which can be found on the their website.
I used:
-mixed cases
-5.1 grains of BE-86 gunpowder
-CCI 500 sp primers
- guestimated velocity; 1125 fps
I fired 25 rounds (admittedly a small sample) without any problems through different magazines, and the bullets grouped nicely 2" low at 6 O'Clock.
All in all, I think you can depend on reliable feeding in an actual self-defense situation, although more testing would be worthwhile.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:02 AM   #2
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Hi Nelson

Interesting approach you took to evaluating the Lehigh ammo. I think most folks recommend shooting at least a box of ammo to be comfortable with using it for defensive carry. I would ask why you didn't just buy a box of Lehigh ammo to test the commercial ammo? It sounds like you are planning on using their recipe to load your own defensive ammo. Please note that there's a general consensus that it's best to use commercially produced defensive ammo from a legal liability standpoint in the event the unfortunate may happen.

I also have a P238 that's in my carry rotation (mainly got it for the wife, but I like it too [geez, I sound like "Irish Spring"]). I researched defensive ammo for the 380, and the following were recommended based on FBI gelatin tests for expansion and penetration:
Precision One XTP, Fiocchi Extrema, Federal Hydroshock, HPR Hyperclean TMJ, and Hornady Custom XTP. Check out this excellent summary of defensive 380 testing: https://youtu.be/GNtPHYwcDts?t=5

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:26 PM   #3
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Ive run 100 rounds of their deep penetrator through mine with no issues. I had some initial concerns as well given the shape of the bullet but the 238 just eats it up.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geobob View Post
Hi Nelson

Please note that there's a general consensus that it's best to use commercially produced defensive ammo from a legal liability standpoint in the event the unfortunate may happen.

I also have a P238 that's in my carry rotation (mainly got it for the wife, but I like it too [geez, I sound like "Irish Spring"]). I researched defensive ammo for the 380, and the following were recommended based on FBI gelatin tests for expansion and penetration:
Precision One XTP, Fiocchi Extrema, Federal Hydroshock, HPR Hyperclean TMJ, and Hornady Custom XTP. Check out this excellent summary of defensive 380 testing: https://youtu.be/GNtPHYwcDts?t=5

Hope this helps!
Like Geobob I have kept to commercially produced defensive ammo. My wife carry's Precision One XTP's also. However looking at the Ammo Quest Lehigh review they look to be an interesting option. Another source of test results is Lucky Gunner:- http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/self...tic-tests/#9mm. Don't be put off by the 9mm in the link they cover most calibers.
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phlyers13 View Post
Ive run 100 rounds of their deep penetrator through mine with no issues. I had some initial concerns as well given the shape of the bullet but the 238 just eats it up.
Actually, this reply was what I was hoping to receive; additional data on reliability with the different Lehigh bullet shape.
My choice to purchase 50 bullets to reload instead of testing 20 factory loaded rounds was financial. They both cost about the same.
All results on reliability so far have been great from either reloads or factory loads.
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Old 01-13-2017, 12:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geobob View Post
Please note that there's a general consensus that it's best to use commercially produced defensive ammo from a legal liability standpoint in the event the unfortunate may happen.
Explain why? What liability?
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Old 01-13-2017, 12:48 PM   #7
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Just asking. Isn't 56 gr somewhat light??

I've been using the Federal HST JHP 90 gr without issue.

G.
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Old 01-13-2017, 12:50 PM   #8
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I've run no less than 100 rounds of the Lehigh 90gr Xtreme Penetrator through my p238. I've had zero feeding problems. Having said that I'm still not carrying it. Still carrying Precision One 90gr XTP based on the Ammo Quest video tests. As much as I like the concept of how the Lehigh bullet works, I've just not gotten comfortable enough with it yet to give up the XTP.
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Old 01-13-2017, 02:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yamadog35 View Post
I've run no less than 100 rounds of the Lehigh 90gr Xtreme Penetrator through my p238. I've had zero feeding problems. Having said that I'm still not carrying it. Still carrying Precision One 90gr XTP based on the Ammo Quest video tests. As much as I like the concept of how the Lehigh bullet works, I've just not gotten comfortable enough with it yet to give up the XTP.
Also the Lehigh's are around $28 for 20 and the Precision One's are around $28 for 50. Being cheap I am more likely to practice with the Precision One's to ensure functioning than the Lehigh's. $1.40 per trigger pull makes me cringe.
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Old 05-15-2017, 06:52 AM   #10
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I know this is somewhat old, but what about hard cast bullets and companies such as Underwood and Doubletap. Arent we looking for a bullet that expands well and is powerful..
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:16 AM   #11
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Opposite results here.

I bought a couple of boxes of Underwood .380 loaded with the Xtreme Penetrator bullet that Lehigh made. I doubt I had one full magazine run without rounds failing to load. The design of the tip of the bullet appeared to be the problem.

My P238 was clean, well lubed and has run anything else I have tried. Feed ramp was polished. I was sadly disappointed after trying the Underwood rounds. I would never trust them in my P238. If I remember correctly, I was not that happy with the accuracy either. I ran several magazines of SIG Elite JHP after that and there was never a failure and my accuracy came back. That was the only ammo that I had a failure with in my P238.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:07 AM   #12
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Opposite results here.

I bought a couple of boxes of Underwood .380 loaded with the Xtreme Penetrator bullet that Lehigh made. I doubt I had one full magazine run without rounds failing to load. The design of the tip of the bullet appeared to be the problem.

My P238 was clean, well lubed and has run anything else I have tried. Feed ramp was polished. I was sadly disappointed after trying the Underwood rounds. I would never trust them in my P238. If I remember correctly, I was not that happy with the accuracy either. I ran several magazines of SIG Elite JHP after that and there was never a failure and my accuracy came back. That was the only ammo that I had a failure with in my P238.
My 238 does not like anything that has a flat topped bullet. It tends to have FTF problems. I believe it will ease up, only have about 400 rounds through it, so it is just breaking in, maybe polish the feed ramp a tad......Never use Winchester target ammo lol...
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:01 PM   #13
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My 238 does not like anything that has a flat topped bullet. It tends to have FTF problems. I believe it will ease up, only have about 400 rounds through it, so it is just breaking in, maybe polish the feed ramp a tad......Never use Winchester target ammo lol...
Been trying to remember since this was last year. My P238 probably has several thousand rounds through it in the last 4 years. I do not count rounds but know I have purchased several full cases of .380 ammo.

The penetrator projectile has four corners or sides that resemble a typical JHP or FMJ curve with the flat tip. You then have the 4 flutes. I think all of the hang ups I had were when the flutes were trying to ride up the feed ramp. I do not remember any of the rounded sides trying to ride up the feed ramp in any of the failures. I assume those are the ones that loaded and fired correctly. I would not want to sit and try to line up the rounded sides so they were in line with the feed ramp in order to make them load. I moved on to other ammo.

I also had a 1911 Compact Ultra that never liked any JHP that looked like a hexagon from the front edge. They got hung up on the feed ramp also. Any JHP that looked rounded from the front edge worked fine.

I try different types of ammo and just standardize on what feeds properly and gives me the accuracy I think I can shoot. Your results may vary.......
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:36 PM   #14
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Funny. My p238 loves WWB FMJ FN. 350 rounds and no issues. When I purchased July 2016 it would not feed HP with 1 -3 FTF per mag. Now after 350 rounds of the WWB it will feed rocks.? The feed ramp is so polished. No problems with HP now. The gun loves to be lubed. I Trust it with my life. Now I want a p938. Yea I caught the Sig bug and I hear the only temporary cure is to get another one.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:41 PM   #15
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Funny. My p238 loves WWB FMJ FN. 350 rounds and no issues. When I purchased July 2016 it would not feed HP with 1 -3 FTF per mag. Now after 350 rounds of the WWB it will feed rocks.? The feed ramp is so polished. No problems with HP now. The gun loves to be lubed. I Trust it with my life. Now I want a p938. Yea I caught the Sig bug and I hear the only temporary cure is to get another one.
The flat topped target stuff? I bought a hundred round box at Walmart once, and it FTF about every 2 shots. I just avoid it.

I also have a P320, and that has never FTF with anything I throw in it, steel, aluminum brass, FMJ, HP, 115-147 gr. I think this is one of the reasons the Military chose it.

I tend to now just shoot 124 gr in that, since my Defense round are Hornady XTP +P's

Still looking for a reliable Defense round for the 238, because the last thing I want is FTF at a critical moment.

I carry the 320 most of the time, but now since it is warm out, it is harder to conceal the 320..wearing shorts does not cut it, unless they are jeans/dockers with real belt loops and a baggy shirt. There are just those days I do not want to wear that, and the 238 is easy to pocket, especially since it has a safety....not so with the 320, unless I pocket it without a round in chamber lol

I just want to find a reliable JHP for the 238, I have tried a few, but they like to FTF occasionally. I may just stick with normal FMJ, because I never had a FTF. I have never had any FTE problems.

That, and I actually shoot the 238 better then the 320
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