With Glock rising in the firearms market with a compact 9mm called the Glock 19, Sig needed a small, concealable pistol to compete. It was discontinued for a reason, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was a bad firearm. Did Sig make a mistake in discontinuing it or are we better off without it? Find out in my review of the Sig P239.
It should be no surprise that a Sig firearm shoots astoundingly well. I had relatively high expectations for the P239 and they were well met during my shooting tests. You can expect to be consistently hitting shots at twenty-five yards with ease; you can even land hits at over 100 yards, but not with much precision.
The bottom line is that the accuracy on the P239 is exceptional despite only having a 3.6-inch barrel, but you’ll likely be purchasing this gun for concealability. The P239’s accuracy is unrelentingly accurate at close ranges. At ten yards, this gun’s precision is only limited by the shooter.
Concealability is where the Sig P239 suffers the most. Despite the P239 being released a full eight years after the Glock 19, it ends up being a bit clunkier than it should be. Don’t get me wrong, you can definitely conceal this, but you’ll be losing nearly half your mag capacity even at a comparable size to most other compacts.
It’s not a big gun by any means, but it just doesn’t feel like the Sig brand name is worth concealing because of the size compared to its sub-compact magazine capacity. You’ll also find the P239 to be rather chunky a little over twenty-five ounces. The weight alone drove me away from this pistol as a viable option.
It may not seem like a significant amount of weight, but when you combine that with its large frame, and weak mag capacity, it’s just not really on the table as a contender for an everyday carry. It just doesn’t stack up to countless other competitors with all these factors taken into account.
After mag dumping 250 rounds and frequent long-term shooting, I can safely say that the Sig P239 won’t quit on you any time soon. Sig has never really had an issue with reliability, I wasn’t expecting any hitches and didn’t experience any. If your P239 somehow misfires, it’s likely to be a user error, instead of the actual weapon.
I did my absolute best to get this pistol to malfunction, but it just wasn’t happening, even while I was shredding through ammo. Even in the months following, it never jammed. Sig has reliability covered in both the long-term and short-term no problem.
While the weight makes this gun a little heavy, that weight redeems some of that with its recoil-reducing properties. While it’s heavy, it’s not very big and with small guns, you expect some snappy recoil but the Sig P239 has no such problems. In fact, the soft recoil makes up for the heftier weight. It’s easy to control and then snap right back on target for follow up shots.
The flat-shooting nature of the P239 even spoiled me a little bit because other compact 9mm’s didn’t even come close to the recoil control of the P239.
The price is another issue I have, but it’s a Sig. What else did I expect? This handgun had an MSRP of over one grand upon its release; now it’s a slightly less painful $799.99 which is still pretty pricey for a simple guy like me. This is a quality firearm and the price reflects that even if there’s a couple of issues I have with it.
Is the Sig P239 Worth It?
The P239 was great for its time, but I’m not convinced of its practicality in the modern era since I don’t have any nostalgia for its original release. It’s still a great firearm regardless of my quarrels with it. Here’s why:
- Reliability (zero malfunctions, even during stress testing)
- Accuracy (flawless accuracy limited only by the shooter’s ability)
- Recoil (a flat shooting dream with easy recoil management)
The Sig P239 is no slouch, it’s just been outpaced and it’s still worth your time if you like Sigs.
Richard Douglas is a long-time shooter, outdoor enthusiast and technologist. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, Cheaper Than Dirt, Daily Caller and other publications.