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P238 Slide Lock Falls Out

This is a discussion on P238 Slide Lock Falls Out within the P238, P938 Pistol forums, part of the SIG Sauer Pistols category; This is my wife's first gun and she loves it. When racking the slide she tends to turn it on it's left side and more ...


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Old 03-22-2015, 11:02 AM   #1
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P238 Slide Lock Falls Out

This is my wife's first gun and she loves it. When racking the slide she tends to turn it on it's left side and more than once the slide lock has fallen out. It pops right back in and operates flawlessly until she does that again. I'm trying to get her not to hold it that way, but I'm wondering if there is something wrong. Seems like it shouldn't fall out that easily.

Anyone had a similar experience? Any ideas?
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Old 03-22-2015, 11:16 AM   #2
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The slide stop spring/pin should hold the slide stop in position during such a maneuver. Check to see that the spring is engaging the stop properly.
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Old 03-22-2015, 11:47 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ThnkFrst View Post
The slide stop spring/pin should hold the slide stop in position during such a maneuver. Check to see that the spring is engaging the stop properly.
Seems like we're seeing a few more of these lately with the P238/938 pistols.

If your slide stop spring is walking out, you can push it back into place. If you're comfortable doing it, you can stake it back in so it won't come out again.

I use a 1/4" ***** punch for most of the staking I have to do.


Practice on a piece of scrap metal. All you want to do is move a little metal toward the spring base.

Dave
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Old 03-22-2015, 11:55 AM   #4
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Thanks.

It looks like it is positioned exactly the same as on my 938, but I slid the release in with the slide removed and on the 938 there is a slight click I don't get on the 238, and I think it may be the spring fitting just a bit tighter.

Thanks!

Last edited by autry154; 03-22-2015 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 03-22-2015, 01:51 PM   #5
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I just purchased a P238 yesterday and was practicing disassembly this morning before I took it to the range and the slide lock popped right out one time when I racked the slide. I racked it many times after that and didn't have any further problems. I took it to the range and shot 200 rounds with only one FTE and didn't have any problems with the slide lock.

I'm hoping it was just a fluke and maybe I had my finger on the opposite side pushing it out when I was racking it.
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Old 03-22-2015, 03:04 PM   #6
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Thanks.

It looks like it is positioned exactly the same as on my 938, but I slid the release in with the slide removed and on the 938 there is a slight click I don't get on the 238, and I think it may be the spring fitting just a bit tighter.

Thanks!
It sounds like the slide stop spring/pin (the 238 and 938 manuals refer to the same part differently) on your 938 is engaging the slide stop properly. There is a small squarish tab on the inboard side of the slide stop where the spring must rest. With the slide stop installed without the slide, there should be a slight resistance before the stop slips out from under the rear tail of the spring as you press it from the right side of the frame.

If the spring gets bent (even slightly) or gets out of position in the frame, it won't put enough down force on the slide lock to hold it in the frame. You can compare your 238 to the 938 and probably see the difference. If you have the old eyes like me, it'll take some strong light and magnification.

It's a delicate interface to say the least and every time the slide is removed and reinstalled, the slide lock tab has to slide under the spring. In my experience it is possible to catch the edge of that tab along side the spring and compress the spring inboard enough to install the stop. When the slide is racked, the slide stop can spring to the left and jam the slide.

I've learned to pay closer attention to installing the slide stop when reassembling the pistol; feeling for the slight click as the slide stop slips under the spring.
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Old 03-22-2015, 03:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Candor View Post
I just purchased a P238 yesterday and was practicing disassembly this morning before I took it to the range and the slide lock popped right out one time when I racked the slide. I racked it many times after that and didn't have any further problems. I took it to the range and shot 200 rounds with only one FTE and didn't have any problems with the slide lock.

I'm hoping it was just a fluke and maybe I had my finger on the opposite side pushing it out when I was racking it.
I would guess that when you reinstalled the slide stop just prior to that incident, the tab on the slide stop didn't get under the spring. It probably got along side the spring and compressed it which then launched the slide stop out as soon as the cutout in the slide lined up with the slide stop.

Fortunately, you were function checking and not firing.
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Old 03-22-2015, 04:13 PM   #8
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I would guess that when you reinstalled the slide stop just prior to that incident, the tab on the slide stop didn't get under the spring. It probably got along side the spring and compressed it which then launched the slide stop out as soon as the cutout in the slide lined up with the slide stop.

Fortunately, you were function checking and not firing.
Not to hijack the OP but I think you may be right and launch is the right word. I was kind of dumbfounded at first trying to figure out what just happened. I've read many of your insightful posts regarding the P238/P938 issues since joining 3 weeks ago so thank you.
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Old 03-22-2015, 04:56 PM   #9
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Welcome to the forum.

I'm having fun, hope you are too.
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Old 10-24-2015, 04:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autry154 View Post
This is my wife's first gun and she loves it. When racking the slide she tends to turn it on it's left side and more than once the slide lock has fallen out. It pops right back in and operates flawlessly until she does that again. I'm trying to get her not to hold it that way, but I'm wondering if there is something wrong. Seems like it shouldn't fall out that easily.

Anyone had a similar experience? Any ideas?
Have the exact same problem (different wife) with a P238 Equinox and the problem is frustrating as well as dangerous if she ever had to deploy the gun in an emergency. Its obvious that the loop in the slide stop spring is not seated flush and tends to push the stop out when she s l o w l y racks the slide back. She doesn't have the wrist strength to snap it back.

Sig sent me a replacement spring but I think I screwed it up trying to insert the tab that goes into the frame as the new one also sticks out, tending to put outward pressure on the slide stop.

But what is more disturbing, is that, when cleaning the gun, if I hold it to the left side, the stop just falls out of the frame onto the bench. It seems to wobble just a bit as if the diameter of the shaft is too small or the hole in the frame is too large by a few thousandths. This doesn't happen with my P938 - I have to get a fingernail under the slide stop to pull it out to remove the slide assembly.

I will call Sig customer service on Monday and ask to send it back for a complete checkup and repair. I do hope they have a reliable fix.
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:21 PM   #11
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Have the exact same problem (different wife) with a P238 Equinox and the problem is frustrating as well as dangerous if she ever had to deploy the gun in an emergency. Its obvious that the loop in the slide stop spring is not seated flush and tends to push the stop out when she s l o w l y racks the slide back. She doesn't have the wrist strength to snap it back.

Sig sent me a replacement spring but I think I screwed it up trying to insert the tab that goes into the frame as the new one also sticks out, tending to put outward pressure on the slide stop.

But what is more disturbing, is that, when cleaning the gun, if I hold it to the left side, the stop just falls out of the frame onto the bench. It seems to wobble just a bit as if the diameter of the shaft is too small or the hole in the frame is too large by a few thousandths. This doesn't happen with my P938 - I have to get a fingernail under the slide stop to pull it out to remove the slide assembly.

I will call Sig customer service on Monday and ask to send it back for a complete checkup and repair. I do hope they have a reliable fix.
The lock lever shaft is a slip fit in the frame, so unless the spring is in proper position and the lever is installed under the spring, it will fall out.

Installing the spring in the frame is a bit tricky. IMO, getting it to stay there requires get a good stake on the hole around it. I think you are right sending it back to SIG and having them do it.
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Old 11-03-2015, 11:30 AM   #12
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I'm happy to say that Sig quickly returned my wife's P238 Equinox. They replaced both the mag catch and the catch lever spring and test fired it with both ball and HP ammo. The lever no longer drops out. We'll take it to the range later this week but kudos to Sig Sauer for the quick service! It was under warranty so this was at no cost, including express shipping both ways!
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Old 11-03-2015, 01:44 PM   #13
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The "Slide Lock Falls Out" issue baffles me. The slide lock can come out only if the slide is positioned within a very narrow range of its travel. In recoil, the slide is at that position for a VERY short time interval, so it seems improbable to me that the slide lock would fall out even if the gun were held left-side-down, and the slide lock spring was totally missing.

From the reports, I accept the fact that it does happen, but I can't understand how.

Well, maybe if your ammo PF was such that the slide was driven back exactly to the magic point, and no further, the change of direction would let it linger at that magic spot long enough for fall out to occur… if the gun was held left-side-down.
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Last edited by Pipe Smoker; 11-03-2015 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 02-01-2016, 02:05 PM   #14
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I've had same problem. lever will fall out if gun frame is tilted with slide removed. replaced spring, still the same. had slide jam during first 20 rounds. any ideas?
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Old 02-02-2016, 03:19 AM   #15
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I've had same problem. lever will fall out if gun frame is tilted with slide removed. replaced spring, still the same. had slide jam during first 20 rounds. any ideas?
Do you recall where in the cycle stroke the slide jammed? Was the slide at the point where the notch in the slide lined up with the tab on the takedown lever?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pipe Smoker View Post
The "Slide Lock Falls Out" issue baffles me. The slide lock can come out only if the slide is positioned within a very narrow range of its travel. In recoil, the slide is at that position for a VERY short time interval, so it seems improbable to me that the slide lock would fall out even if the gun were held left-side-down, and the slide lock spring was totally missing.

From the reports, I accept the fact that it does happen, but I can't understand how.

Well, maybe if your ammo PF was such that the slide was driven back exactly to the magic point, and no further, the change of direction would let it linger at that magic spot long enough for fall out to occur… if the gun was held left-side-down.
In my experience, the lever falls out of the frame (with the slide removed) and the spring isn't in the proper position. The lever doesn't fall out when the slide is installed unless I'm racking the slide slowly with the left side down. When firing the pistol the slide will jam as the lever tab catches in the slide cutout, but the lever hasn't fallen out.

Whether the lever stays in the frame (with the slide removed) or falls out may not be an issue. What is an issue is when the lever moves enough during the firing cycle to jam the slide.

Alternate theories of the crime are always welcome.
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