938 grip screw stripping? - SIG Talk
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938 grip screw stripping?

This is a discussion on 938 grip screw stripping? within the P238, P938 Pistol forums, part of the SIG Sauer Pistols category; On my previous shooting episode before today, one of the right-side grip screws came loose and disappeared into the weeds, after about 10 rounds. I ...


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P238, P938 Pistol All variations P238, P938

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Old 10-01-2016, 06:36 PM   #1
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938 grip screw stripping?

On my previous shooting episode before today, one of the right-side grip screws came loose and disappeared into the weeds, after about 10 rounds. I shot some more and the other one came off in my hand. Went home, bought new OEM "short" Sig screws and installed. Today, the top screw came out after around 70 rounds fired, I snugged it back in (bottoms out nice, doesn't feel weird at all) and it (the screw) was back in my hand after 2 shots. Put it back again, it came out in one shot. Even I figured it was time to quit.

The screw has some shavings on it, I'm assuming my aluminum slide's threads are shot. Anybody have this happen and what did you do?

* the right grip panel had o-rings and the left side didn't. I did not put them back in but I did use locktite on all 4 screws, after degreasing. Other 3 screws nice and tight still..

** oh and while i had the panels off I looked over the old MSH and sure enough after around 1600-1800 rounds (I lost track this summer) I'm starting to see some erosion.
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:47 PM   #2
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I stripped one of the grip screw holes on my P220. I fixed it by installing the E2 grip...no screws needed.
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:18 PM   #3
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nail polish on the threads.
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Old 10-01-2016, 08:04 PM   #4
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Meh, I see the hole has lost significant entry threading; I eased in a new screw to chase it, and it aint purty...not totally gone yet, but looking sad...

I'll consider this HeliCoil route instead, from Major Tom's info, post #18 in attached, unless I learn another idea.
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Old 10-02-2016, 01:51 AM   #5
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The helicoil will let you rest at ease, you won't strip out the threads again. As to the E2 grips, . . .
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Old 10-02-2016, 06:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
The helicoil will let you rest at ease, you won't strip out the threads again. As to the E2 grips, . . .
Major Tom, I appreciate your prior posting. If you have the time I have some questions about this...sorry to be a pest...(and E2 on a P938, no thanks, even if it is available!)

I'm searching online but only find packs of 100 helicoil inserts in that size. Suggestions on where to find?

I will do all 4 screws to make life easier down the road, but for starters just the bad one. The M4-0.7 replacement screws - what do you do to install, just a touch of blue locktite? Nothing? Just curious.

And having never done a thread replacement in an open hole (as opposed to a blind hole), what keeps the threads from working too far in, or out, as I run the screw into them? Is it just friction?

Thanks!
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:44 AM   #7
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tagged , just IN CASE it happens....
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Old 10-03-2016, 04:35 AM   #8
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I have rosewood grips and the top grip screw on the left panel fell off my P938 while I was at the range one day. Needless to say I could not find it. I cut down the end of a Springfield Armory grip screw to use as an interim fix until I could order OEM parts. The SA screw head sticks above the grip panel a bit farther than Sig Sauer screws.

The OEM screws are a bit shorter than the Springfield Armory screws. I noticed the end of the screws are not flush with the inside of the frame after installation.

Does anyone have a source for longer grip screws that fit the wood grips properly?

Last edited by T2C; 10-03-2016 at 04:42 AM.
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Old 10-03-2016, 06:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsgates View Post
Major Tom, I appreciate your prior posting. If you have the time I have some questions about this...sorry to be a pest...(and E2 on a P938, no thanks, even if it is available!)

I'm searching online but only find packs of 100 helicoil inserts in that size. Suggestions on where to find?

I will do all 4 screws to make life easier down the road, but for starters just the bad one. The M4-0.7 replacement screws - what do you do to install, just a touch of blue locktite? Nothing? Just curious.

And having never done a thread replacement in an open hole (as opposed to a blind hole), what keeps the threads from working too far in, or out, as I run the screw into them? Is it just friction?

Thanks!
Glad to help.

No, the E2 grips are not available for the P938. lol

HERE is where I had the work done, you might contact Doug directly, he may be willing to ship you the helicoils and screws you need to complete the job. Of you might even consider shipping him your gun, he does great work. I am aware of a few P938's he has done this to, they are all holding on very well.

With the stainless spring steel of the helicoil, everything is held in place by friction. No loctite is needed, I merely torque the screw in, 15-20 in lbs should be adequate with no concern of stripping.

If I ever buy another P938/P238 (highly doubtful at this point), it will get the helicoil grip screw thread treatment. My 1911's all have the Challis Hex Drive Bushings for very similar reasons.
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:54 PM   #10
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My first 938 would shed grip screws every couple hundred rounds or less....even with blue loctite. It eventually stripped out and Sig sent me a new gun after I pointed out that the sear spring was walking up and the gun shot 6" high at 15 yards.

They sent me this for a new gun after wanting to charge me $250:



See anything wrong with that bottom screw? I sent it right back and get a work order that said all they did was wind it out and wind it back in.

Metal screw in aluminum frame. Threads compromised? Yeah.
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Old 10-04-2016, 04:38 AM   #11
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Yeah, but Sig gave you a NEW grip screw problem with a gun attached!

Here's the ingredients for the recipe I'm brewing (waiting on UPS):

1. Helicoil Thread Repair Kit:
Part No. 5403-4. Contains 6 each of 1, 1.5 and 2 diameter lengths of helicoil in the M4-0.7 thread pattern, plus a drill bit and tap, tang break off tool and the insertion tool. Prices varied wildly online, found it for about $48 but saw some other brands about half that.

NB: I will use the 1 diameter length helicoils in the kit (#1084), but I would prefer the locking style (#4184). They're only sold in batches of 100 as best as I can tell...

2. Grip screws. I guess these are called Round Button Head, or Socket Button Head. The P938 needs around 4mm in length for the short grip screw so as to not interfere with the magazine internally. The shortest screws I could find, after a lot of search, was 5mm. Many available options in >6mm. I'm planning to grind off the excess since I can't imagine cutting such a tiny screw without barking up the finish -- not much to hold on to!

This actually looks pretty straightforward to accomplish and I thank all of you that helped for directing me to a "better than OEM" solution. Sure, we shouldn't have this problem but we do.

PS: As I posted in #1, I see marks on the MSH (old style) button. So while this gun is down, should I call Sig? Will they charge me for that? I don't like their fee structure very much...
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Old 10-04-2016, 04:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsgates View Post
As I posted in #1, I see marks on the MSH (old style) button. So while this gun is down, should I call Sig? Will they charge me for that? I don't like their fee structure very much...
Yes, call SIG for a Gen 2 replacement MSH and sear spring. I have ordered about 10 sets at various times over the past year or so and received for no charge. I explained I was replacing failed units for friends and provided the serial number of the weapon.

By the way, this had nothing to do with being a factory certified armorer. My certification is for the classic P-series pistols, they will give this to anyone.

Last edited by Malicious Compliance; 10-04-2016 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 10-28-2016, 04:43 AM   #13
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Update -
sent pistol in ($55) to have them put on new MSH and check over gun. It came back with new MSH, new Mag release button (and presumably internals incl sear spring and mag release catch/spring), and the top right hand grip screw in a baggy. While there, they called me to say the frame had some cosmetic wear and damage and wanted to know if I would like it replaced...for $200. I declined and received the pistol as described above, no note of what was done other than "update internals"....(Well, plus now the mags don't drop out cleanly, they need to be pulled out manually, but that's another problem I'm working on)

Now the fun part, drilling into that soft aluminum frame to install the helicoil was a "you better do this right" moment. But all went well. Couple of tips:
1. the helicoils themselves come in different lengths, based on diameter. The 1 diameter long coil still needed to have about <edit> 1 to 1-1/3 of a turn of the coil cut off. That is a bit of a challenge with my tools, without bending the coil. But any slight bend will disappear into the new threads.

<1a> Double check that none of the helicoil is protruding past the inner frame surface. The little helicoil tab that gets knocked off may have a slight burr so if if you stopped short of flush it wont stick out and hang your magazine when ejecting. Ask me how I know....

2. the shortest replacement screws I could find were 5mm long, and the simplest way to shorten them is to get a corresponding nut, thread it down tight to the screw cap, and lock it up into a vice. The work it over with a sharp file. Wow, there are NOT many threads on one of these screws.

3. The new screw has a slightly different cap style than the original, so if you are nitpicker it's probably a good idea to at the least do this to both screws on a grip. But I just did the one to see how it went. Drilling the frame raised my BP a bit...now I'm pretty confident in it.

Took it to the range, ran 100+ rounds through it, and both screws on the right hand side loosened up a tad. I had only torqued them down easily w/o any thread locker. Was curious to see if the helicoil would hold w/o locker. I'm going to try a fine tooth lock washer under that screw next, just to see if that grabs the G10 grips and the screw head.
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Last edited by rsgates; 10-29-2016 at 05:43 AM.
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Old 11-24-2016, 12:39 PM   #14
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I was worried this would happen on my 238. I wonder if the HDs would hold up better since they are stainless.
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Old 12-23-2016, 03:14 PM   #15
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FYI,
There are two screw sizes for the 938's. If your 938 came with the wood grips the screws are a tad bit longer. I found this out when I bought some used rubber grips from a member either here or on another forum. If you go to Hogues website and go to the description for the rubber grips, there is a note that states the sizes of the screws. Below is the Quote:

Please note: SIG Sauer supplies 2 different screw lengths for the 938, depending on the factory grips sold with the gun. Laminate wood grips have 0.188" screws. Rubber, G10, and Polymer grips have 0.155" screws.

Hogue G10 and Rubber grips only work with the 0.155" grip screws. A new set will need to be purchased if your firearm came with the laminate wood grips.

I tried the screws that were used for my wood grips and they were to long. I tried to insert a mag and it would not go in. Looking into the mag well I can see the screws sticking out into the mag well. My OEM grip screws came with "RED" loctite on them and they never came loose since I had the gun. I have taken them off more than a dozen times to get into the magwell to clean inside and lube the spring in there. I ordered some OEM screws from Sig and when I got them , I compared them and yes the screws I had were to long and the ones from Sig were just a tad shorter.I hope this helps someone.
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