Gun Review: SIG SAUER P938 Legion Micro-Compact 9mm Pistol

Gun Review: SIG SAUER P938 Legion Micro-Compact 9mm Pistol

Josh Wayner for TTAG

SIG SAUER has been on a roll when it comes to releasing new designs and making improvements to their existing line-up. The Legion series was introduced not terribly long ago and it featured some of SIG’s finest work. Legion guns come with more than just bragging rights in that they are loaded with lots of upgrades for the price. Today we will be looking at their micro-compact Legion P938 chambered in 9mm.

I’ve been accused of being an unapologetic, snobbish Millennial when it comes to guns, and I certainly deserve the title. My generation has been bombarded with lots of cheap stuff for years thanks to our wasteful throwaway culture, which has even reached into the deepest corners of the gun industry.

I hate cheap guns and the race-to-the-bottom that has robbed us of true craftsmanship, especially in everyday guns. SIG is bringing back some of that old-world attention to detail with their Legion series.

The Legion series has garnered a great deal of attention in recent months. Many makers used to offer custom or upgraded models from the factory at an upcharge, but that practice has declined over the years as production volume has increased and unit cost dropped.

In today’s dollars, a $500 gun is cheap relative to the income of most shooters and it will usually last just about forever. That’s a good thing. But some people want that extra touch.

Gun Review: SIG SAUER P938 Legion Micro-Compact 9mm Pistol

Josh Wayner for TTAG

Back in the old days when craftsmanship was the order of the day, custom upgrades were often offered as a way to display prestige in the form of engraving or fine finishes. A Colt Single Action was a substantial investment in the 1870’s, costing about $20.00.

Factoring in inflation and some other odds and ends while ignoring the wildly different purchasing power of the dollar respective to time, that puts the same gun at about $1,500-2,000 today, but that still doesn’t account for custom options, which could raise the cost to over $4,000.

The fact that SIG is able to offer an almost custom-grade pistol for only a couple hundred more than their stock version is impressive, as the Legion guns could likely be sold for more. You will find other guns on the market that are more expensive, but hardly better than the Legion P938.

Gun Review: SIG SAUER P938 Legion Micro-Compact 9mm Pistol

Josh Wayner for TTAG

When it comes to the price and expense, realize that it’s all relative to personal preference. I know a number of gentlemen who have poured twice the value of their carry gun into new sights, barrels, triggers, and other accessories, but would have come out better just buying the Legion P938 to begin with.

The quality of the pistol is what we are looking at here, not the entry price. A $450 gun with $800 worth of tactical vomit on it is still a $450 gun at the end of the day. Earrings on a swine, in other words.

The prevailing idea surrounding many carry guns, especially compact nines, is that they must be relatively cheap and utilitarian, but this is somewhat silly. By the time you add those night sights, which usually run upwards of $100, get a couple more mags, and clean up the trigger (an important upgrade), you still won’t have as good a gun out of the box as you will the single action only Legion P938

It comes standard with excellent SIG X-Ray day/night sights, three magazines, ambidextrous thumb safety, a wonderfully crisp, clean trigger and the Legion gray Cerakote finish.

Gun Review: SIG SAUER P938 Legion Micro-Compact 9mm Pistol

Josh Wayner for TTAG

The upgrades over a stock P938 are substantial. But the most notable of the P938 features in my book, and one that I’ve never liked about the standard SIG micro pistols, is the magazine upgrades. The pistol features a 1911-style extended beveled magwell that makes this whole thing worth it.

Gone are the bulky, fat mag attachments that you had to use to make the gun fit in the hand if you wanted to get your pinky on the small grip. Not only are reloads faster, but the gun oozes class. I could see Bond skipping his Walther for this baby in the next movie.

Gun Review: SIG SAUER P938 Legion Micro-Compact 9mm Pistol

Josh Wayner for TTAG

The trigger is the other big improvement shooters will notice over the stock gun. It’s simply the best trigger I’ve tested on a micro-sized semi-auto pistol. The machined aluminum trigger breaks like a glass rod. The only one comparable I’ve tested is located in SIG’s Legion P238 (review coming soon).

The action of the pistol is remarkably smooth. SIG’s guns are typically of excellent quality, but this is a solid step above that. I’ve held brand new custom 1911 pistols from high-end shops that were put to shame by this little treasure. If you have the chance to handle one of these guns, I heartily recommend you do.

The difference is startling. Pulling the slide back on the SIG SAUER P938 Legion results in no wiggle or rattle. It’s so slick you’d think there was a gallon of grease packed in there. If we were talking bolt actions, the P938 Legion is like the Krag, where others are like Mosin Nagants.

Gun Review: SIG SAUER P938 Legion Micro-Compact 9mm Pistol

Josh Wayner for TTAG

I tested the pistol for accuracy at 15 yards using some great ammo. Groups are the average of three, five-shot strings from a rest. Velocity was recorded over my Oehler 35P chronograph at a distance of five feet from the muzzle.

SIG SAUER 115gr 365—————————1075fps, 1.25”
SIG SAUER 115gr V-Crown———————1100fps, 1.25”
SIG SAUER 124gr FMJ—————————1042fps, 1.5”
Hornady 135gr +P Critical Duty—————1056fps, 1.75”
Buffalo Bore 147gr JHP +P+ ——————-1073fps, 1.0”
HSM 115gr XTP———————————–1185fps, .75”
HSM 115gr JHP———————————–1179fps, .75”
HSM 115gr Plated——————————-1100fps, 1.75”

Overall I was very pleased with the accuracy of this pistol. For being such a small gun, it certainly handles like a bigger one. SIG did very well delivering a concealed carry pistol that shoots at well as it looks.

The velocity numbers here show that the gun is capable of launching powerful loads at great velocity, despite the short barrel length. As you’d expect, the recoil was pretty stiff on the 135gr Hornady Critical Duty and Buffalo Bore 147gr JHP +P+, but it wasn’t terrible. The most speed and accuracy came in from HSM’s loads, which were accurate well out to 25 yards and even 50 yards on plates.

SIG SAUER continues to innovate with their product lines. I am very pleased with the results I achieved with the Legion P938 and would recommend it to anyone who likes to carry something that isn’t the everyday standard. There are certainly cheaper guns (and there are more expensive guns), but this pistol hits the sweet spot in terms of looks, price, features, and class.

Specifications: SIG SAUER Legion P938 9mm pistol

Caliber: 9x19mm
Capacity: 7+1 rounds (3 mags included)
Barrel Length: 3”
Overall Length: 5.9”
Sights: SIG X-RAY3 Day/Night Tritium Sights
Weight: 17oz
MSRP: $904 (about $780 retail)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Accuracy * * * * *
SIG has demonstrated that they really know what they are doing when it comes to the Legion series. This gun was just dead-nuts at self-defense distances, and even further out, too.

Reliability * * * * *
I had no failures to feed or fire at all with this pistol with the exception of my large hands accidentally engaging the safety on occasion, but this was not an issue for others who handled it.

Ergonomics * * * * *
For being a sub-compact, this gun is easy to handle and shoots like a much larger gun. The extended magwell is a huge plus in reloading and the trigger is simply a joy.

Customize This * * * * * 
It may seem odd, but I am giving this gun five stars even though just about every upgrade imaginable for doesn’t measure up to what SIG has already put on it. I don’t see a thing that needs changing, but if you do, there are dozens of options including threaded barrels, aftermarket grips, and much more.

Aesthetics * * * * *
SIG’s makeover crew is a bit Hollywood and a bit hardcore. This gun looks the part in every single way. I really like the Legion gray finish with the black G-10 grips decked out with the Legion medallion.

Overall * * * * *
This isn’t a gun for everyone, but for the few who own it, there’s almost nothing to compare it to. There is certainly a place for inexpensive guns and I understand why people buy them, but there is just something so suave about this pistol.

 

comments

  1. avatar Cruzo1981 says:

    $780.00?!?!!?!?!? 😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂

    1. avatar little horn says:

      i guess you don’t shop for sigs much. i was surprised it was that low honestly.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        Yup… the 220 series Legions are north of $1k. Great guns, but definitely BBQ guns, not EDC guns. I’d hate to see what my 229 would look like after riding around in a Kydex holster for a couple of years and being used for 2gun matches at least once per month. Recently replaced a Glock slide because most of the finish was damaged and the slide was starting to see significant rust. (and it was only slightly more expensive than getting the slide sent out for refinishing and getting an RMR cut done.) Mind you, I don’t really mind. That gun has probably seen more use than some of the military C&R guns I own.

        If you want to get a shiny gun to put in your safe and occasionally bling around with, the Legions are a great choice while also being fantastic shooters. For a gun that will be used, abused, and carried daily, it’s a bit painful to see your cash being literally worn away from daily wear and tear. Same reason I drive a Wrangler instead of a Porsche. Don’t care if my wrangler comes home and sits in my garage covered in a quarter inch of dirt.

        If I was in the market for a sub-compact 9mm, I’d get the most reliable el-cheapo I could find. One that I wouldn’t mind stripping for parts after a few years as the inevitable corrosion and finish wear set in. Then again, I probably wouldn’t use it for literally everything like I do my current EDC.

        1. avatar MLee says:

          One mans BBQ is another mans snack.

        2. avatar full.tang.halo says:

          The legion finish will just rub itself off the slide rails from shooting it. Only gun I’ve ever made the factory buy back and only Sig I’ve never regretted getting rid of, only German made Sigs from then on. Although I do want to strip the parts off a 229 SAO to put on a frankensig P229S 9mm I’m working on.

        3. avatar SSgt Howard says:

          You said everything I ever need to hear. You chose a jeep. Next time try a Toyota or a Honda. PT Barnum said it well, ” there is a fool born every minute…… LOL! I will take my SIG’s each and every day forever. Semper Fi, less than…..?

    2. avatar Texheim says:

      Not a bad price, my wife’s Sig Ultra Compact 1911 45 was damn close to $1k.

    3. avatar Tex300BLK says:

      Add a set of Trijicon HD sights (closest aftermarket option to the X-rays) and an Apex trigger/action enhancement kit to a Glock and you’ll spend more than that… and still won’t be as nice as this.

  2. avatar mountaineer says:

    It is apparent Josh is a true millennial! He doesn’t like a cheap gun….no reasoning whatsoever!
    A cheap gun is just as good as an expensive gun as long as it does the job it was intended to do and is reliable! Therefor even a high point is an excellent choice!! Believing that only an expensive gun is good is the belief of a fool.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      It’s the same guys who buy a 911 GT3 or a GTR when they only use it to go to and from work. If it’s going to ride in a hand-tooled leather holster and rarely, if ever, fired? Sure, why not?

      1. avatar Kendahl says:

        If your route consists of interesting roads and you’re not bogged down in traffic, a GT3 or GTR would make commuting fun.

        Highpoints work but wouldn’t you rather carry something better?

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          There’s a lot of middle ground between a Hi Point and a Legion, just as there is a lot of middle ground between a SMART car and a GTR. I worked my way down from high end boutique guns as I started carrying on a regular basis. Just as I would cringe if I found a shopping car dent on my RX-8, I would feel bad to see the sorts of wear and tear my Glock has lived through on my more expensive 1911s and Sigs. I suppose it’s a difference in philosophy. I won’t dig people for carrying beautiful expensive guns, I just can’t stand the thought of a $1k gun getting reduced to bargain basement condition after a few years of hard use.

        2. avatar Kendahl says:

          My automotive toy in retirement is the Infiniti G37S coupe I bought new eleven years ago. It has a couple of scuff marks that are my fault and some stone chips despite a clear bra. I don’t drive it in the winter unless the roads are clean and dry. No door dings because I park far away from other vehicles. (Other drivers seem to respect it more than they do run-of-the mill stuff.) Nothing on the car has broken and, by some miracle, it’s still on its original battery.

  3. avatar Napresto says:

    “Tactical vomit” is my new favorite phrase.

    1. avatar Michael in AK says:

      me too!!!!

      1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

        Yep!

        Soo going to use that!

  4. avatar Connie says:

    This article is just a lot of words to say, “I’m okay with playing $800 for a single stack 9mm subcompact because it is cool.”

    To each their own, but pistols like these have almost no specific role in my gun safe. I would rather pay the price for a cheaper gun that checked all the same boxes and was just as reliable, because it won’t hurt my feelings when I start to see holster wear or dings and scratches on it.

    1. avatar Spooke says:

      Kind of like the guy that says, “I won’t buy once of those Porsche or Audi’s. Damn right he would not because he can’t even afford a Suzuki….

      Mindless, spineless comments.

  5. avatar Pmac says:

    Some of the comments (not all of them in this specific example) belittling expensive firearms smack of sour grapes.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      I own several pistols that are priced north of $1k so no sour grapes here. Wayner, who is one of the better writers left in TTAG, comes across as the AOC of the gun world. He doesn’t know enough to advise us on craftsmanship. I am sure that the P938 legion is everything he says it is but $900 for a pocket pistol is way out of line with its value. It is something a braggert would buy.

      1. avatar Josh Wayner says:

        Yes, all talk, no experience, just like AOC.

        https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2018/10/josh-wayner/vintage-gun-review-savage-enfield-no-4-mk1/
        https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2018/08/josh-wayner/are-guns-from-the-past-better-than-todays/
        https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2018/09/josh-wayner/living-history-duplicating-vintage-swedish-6-5x55mm-military-ammo/

        My tone doesn’t come from being young and inexperienced. It comes from disdain for subpar guns and the prevailing attitudes that drive quality down along with price. Some people don’t like how I write, but they keep on reading anyways, even if it is to tell me I’m somehow wrong. I’m not afraid to write what is on my mind and I always write from personal experience, unlike many writers that simply spout opinion. You’ll always get honesty from me, even if it is contrary to popular opinion.

        Thank you for being a reader Tdiinva. Take a look at those articles I wrote and perhaps your opinion of my idea of craftsmanship will change.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          Well Josh, I already acknowledged that you are one of the best writers on the site so spare me the indignation.

          Every hear of the hierarchy of knowledge? It goes like this.

          Data
          Information
          Knowledge
          Wisdom

          You confuse information and knowledge with wisdom. You get wisdom from experience which you are sorely lacking. Please tell me that you have to upgrade the P938 to make it worth buying at $900. If the P938 is a piece of junk than no amount of upgrading will make it something of value. From what I hear it’s a solid pistol so I can only conclude that this slick marketing to separate you from your dollars. It’s a picket pistol, not a work of art.

      2. avatar Phil Wilson says:

        Comparing anyone to that sorry ditz…fightin’ words.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          For a ditz she sure has gotten under the right’s skin. You need to reevalute.

      3. avatar Josh Wayner says:

        Wisdom, like art, is simply a point of view. Your wisdom is my folk-knowledge and my wisdom is your inexperience.

        1. avatar Michael in AK says:

          And you just proved you don’t understand wisdom. It’s ok, it isn’t something you acquire overnight.

        2. avatar Josh Wayner says:

          Subjective at best, Michael. Tell me, am I wiser than you at some things or just generally a fool in all respects to my age? Perhaps you, in your wisdom, should send me an article detailing just why it is that my generation has things so wrong when it comes to guns and I’ll edit it and forward it along here. I’d love to read it.

        3. avatar tdiinva says:

          Look kid, you are probably smarter, better looking and a better shot then me but I have about 40 years more knowledge and experience than you. Pro Tip: You can never catch up. Live with it.

      4. avatar RedFox says:

        I like the article. I like the gun. Got more experience than all these haters. I say that because nobody with any experience would disregard a Sig as a EDC. That any professional would call a difference in preference. Not opinion. Sig is top tier, fact!

        1. avatar JOHN P MCRAE says:

          I think the article is spot on. Written very well as are all his writings. I am 60 yo and have a lot of experience and don’t understand the contempt some seem to carry on here. I love Sig products and have several Legions. I don’t see the issue with carrying one daily. It shoots well, is extremely reliable, looks and feels good and is very concealable. So what if it wears on the finish, I pay for the quality and enjoy having it in my EDC kit. Leather wears also but takes on another quality with age. Just because you are chronologically older than someone doesn’t necessarily mean you are wiser. Sure there’s no substitute for experience but it is folly to imagine you are somehow wiser, smarter, or more knowledgeable than a person merely because you are older. I work with lots of younger people and respect many of them for their ability and intelligence. The Legion lineup is a great value in my opinion. And I’m sure the market supports that otherwise they wouldn’t continue to exist. I value this website and use them frequently when evaluating a new product I may buy. I know several savvy gun shop owners who do also.

  6. avatar possum says:

    I Hate 9 mm… I want one of those though. Yup

  7. avatar Spectre_USA says:

    Well, it is coming time to “freshen” my collection of P938’s, 2 is never enough, so this
    looks like a good candidate. The Rosewood starter was great, but the Scorpion was
    an aesthetic and functional upgrade. This sounds to be a step above that.

    Definitely a consideration. Thanks for the gouge!

    1. avatar Angry Dad says:

      Gouge? Ex-Navy man I presume?

  8. avatar 27 Words says:

    Wake me when Sig releases a stainless 6” p210…like the silver legend target that I’ve been waiting years for.

  9. avatar Yarbles says:

    Well, what kind of trigger is it?

    John Browning style SAO? Can I carry cocked-and-locked?

    The SIG DA/SA triggers are JUNK. Don’t take my word for it, the renown Pistol Smith Teddy Jacobson told me so and he has done THOUSANDS of trigger jobs on them for LEOS at most Federal and many local agencies. He says they are under-engineered and need regular maintenance as a result.

    Lately the author is correct. The SIG striker fired guns have excellent design and performance. Don’t know about the SAO triggers.

    Give me my Glocks and the Overwatch Precision Polymer DAT and the Lone Wolf UAT and a few other relatively cheap upgrades like springs and extractors.

    And thank God for the NRA.

  10. avatar Kman says:

    I don’t know if I want a Legion but I want a P938.

    1. avatar Jon says:

      I tried three different carry guns in two years before I tried the P938. It’s been seven years and I have yet to find a better micro carry gun. I’ve put maybe 2k rounds through it and have not had a failure. I have no desire to try anything else. Been super pleased with a stock two-tone P938. Conceals almost EVERYWHERE and its super light. I had one issue with the bluing coming off the frame. Sent it to Sig, they replaced the frame under lifetime warranty.

  11. avatar Michael in AK says:

    7 rounds of 9mm….meh

  12. avatar D_B_X says:

    For the record, I like Sig and I appreciate expensive guns too. I own 3 Sig pistols and was reading this to “convince” myself to buy a Legion, which has been on my mind for a while.

    I must say, with all due respect to the author, this is one of the “shallowest” reviews I have read. I saw nothing concrete to justify all the glowing words. (Except some solid, but not eye popping, range test stats.) Yes, I see a lot of words trying to justify the price tag. And that’s about it. When you say Bond trades this for his Walther, how? At least give us a concrete comparison now please. Ergonomics? Trigger?

    I finish reading this and decided to leave this Legion off my priority list, for now. I am not ruling it out. I just need to see something convincing.

  13. avatar Neik says:

    Oh… Almost tempts me from the shield.

    Let us see… Glock $550. People typically put in $100 sights and $150 trigger/polishing making it $20 more.
    Makes the performance center shield more tempting. 😉
    Oh, I love SIGs. Love the SA/DA. (This is SA).

    Comfort matters

    1. avatar Perry says:

      Some of us polish our own (Glock) triggers. It isn’t that complicated. Instructions available on “the innerwebs”. Find some 10,000-grit, again on “the innerwebs”. Smooth.

      And I agree about sights – do whatever it takes for you to put the most grains of lead on-target per second.

  14. avatar Josh says:

    So what exactly is the difference between the P938 Legion’s trigger and the regular P938’s trigger? Because when SIG first announced it, all they said about the trigger was that the shape is different. Nothing about changes to the mechanism, same pull weight. If it’s genuinely better, I might trade in my current 938, because that’s the only thing about it I find disappointing.

  15. avatar Docduracoat says:

    The Sig 938 is a great pistol and is my carry gun.
    Fits in a pocket, or waistband, is accurate and is fun to use for target practice as it has a great trigger.
    The Legion version of the 938 has the rounded edges melt treatment on the slide, the beveled magazine well, and the flat trigger. It comes with 2 extra 7 round mags which is a $70 value right there!
    The Sig 290 mags hold 8 rounds and fit and function perfectly in the 938 if you cut a new slot with a Dremel for the 938 catch.
    The only real choice is Sig 938 single action only or Sig 365 striker fire.
    Or both!

  16. avatar strych9 says:

    For years I’ve struggled to understand all the hoopla around triggers. I’ve only ever had one that I thought needed trigger work and that was on a Turkish M93 that was reworked to 7.92×57 in the 1930’s and so beat to shit that I paid $35 for it just to see if I could restore it.

    It’s also the only gun that I’ve gone to shoot for the first time and thought “Well, I hope this thing fires… and doesn’t blow up in my face…”.

    I haven’t even found a Nagant I think needs trigger work.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      I think competitive shooters drive the trigger debate where a smooth trigger and clear reset shave milliseconds aoff each shot and increase accuracy a bit which add up at the end. I don’t think it is particularly relevant for a self defense shooter. I have never gotten around to removing the magazine interlock on my BHP because it doesn’t seem to affect my accuracy

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        That’s a good theory.

  17. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Live like you wanna live.

    Lifes too short to carry a mundane gun if can afford a BBQ EDC.

    All the nicks and bumps will be yours.

    If FL had open carry, I’d carry a custom Vaquero….just because.

  18. avatar Mike H says:

    Been thinking abut a 938 for a looong time now…

  19. avatar The Rookie says:

    I’ve rented a 938 at my LGS a few times. Very nice little pistol, and manages recoil well for such a small gun.

  20. avatar Accur81 says:

    Nice little gun.

  21. avatar full.tang.halo says:

    Too bad this review didn’t point out you are boned if you had any finger rest mags for a normal P938 as the magwell on the Legion makes it so they wont fit.

  22. avatar Enuf says:

    Very expensive guns. Can’t afford them.

    That’s it.

  23. avatar john says:

    Its only money and considering the foolish ways most people waste money anyway, why not. Over time most wont even notice a few hundred extra bucks.

    1. avatar The Other Guy says:

      Hey John! If you’ve got a few hundred extra bucks sitting around I could use them. Disabled and on fixed income. Want to buy food not overly expensive handguns.

  24. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    been almost daily since what, ’13? a while for sure.
    squeezed another 100+ through it yesterday, accurate, feeds perfectly. still.
    didn’t understand the “too abrasive” comments i’d seen regarding the original nylon trigger ridged face. my concern was the (soft) trigger link pivot hole opening up; when new the replacement stainless job had a few reset issues that went away after a couple of boxes.
    i want the flat legion job from this one reviewed here, but aluminum wears quicker than steel (reckon it’s hard anodized and that gets in the hole?). legion stuff seems pretty exclusive so it probably won’t be available as a separate “upgrade.”

    the trigger on my ~new~ ’58 bearcat is glass hair fragile. almost seems delicate.

  25. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    i see the weight listed as 17oz.
    from what i’ve read, the legion version is three ounces heavier than pedestrian models.
    perhaps worth mentioning, maybe even where the extra mass is located.

  26. avatar Hoodlum says:

    I have a standard P938 with Rosewood grips. Does the job fine. I see no sense in buying the newest legion model.

    1. avatar raptor jesus says:

      I’ve owned Legion models. I don’t own anymore. I do own plenty of other Sigs (currently P220, P229, P320X5, P238 – have had lots more). Never found value in the Legion treatment, and none of the Legion guns could outshoot the regular Sigs.

  27. avatar Oliver says:

    But does it take Glock mags?

  28. avatar Ringo Lapua says:

    Just bought the Legion P938. I have owned a P938 for over five years and it had been my number one carry gun in terms of size and reliability. Worth every cent they are asking and will hold it’s value over time.

  29. avatar Ron says:

    I guess if you can’t afford the legion then the next best thing is to say it’s not worth the money. Lol. Get a high point and you’ll be happy.

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