Sig Sauer P938 Legion Micro-Compact 9mm Review

Sig Sauer P938 Legion Micro-Compact 9mm Review


There are some new Legion pistols just introduced in early 2019. Well, some readers have asked me what the “Legion” series of Sig Sauer pistols is. A little over three years ago Sig Sauer introduced the flagship Legion series for some of its selected gun models. The Legion name has roots reaching back to the great Roman armies. Sig says Legion “to this day designates elite membership among the world’s military and professional communities.” The Legion series offers some very nice premium, high-performance upgrades, enhancements, and high-quality modifications based on input from experienced professional, worldwide shooters and what they have said they need. For example, the newly-introduced hammer-fired Sig P938 and the Sig P238 micro-compacts join the Sig P226 SAO and Sig P229 as offerings in the Legion Series. These Legion pistols are built to meet and exceed the demands of the elite users. As it grows, the Legion series will also include rifles, optics, suppressors, and more, according to Sig Sauer.

What Are Some Legion Series Upgrades and Enhancements?

Examples of Legion upgrades and enhancements include such things as:

  • Proprietary Legion gray PVD coating
  • Cerakote Elite Finish
  • Custom G-10 grips
  • New Sig Sauer Electro-Optics X-RAY3 high-visibility day/night tritium sights
  • Shipped with three steel mags
  • Reduced and contoured Elite beavertail
  • Extended steel magwell
  • Flat all-metal enhanced trigger
  • More aggressive front-strap checkering
  • Checkering under the trigger guard
  • High undercut behind the trigger guard
  • Front and rear cocking serrations
  • Low profile slide catch levers
  • Short-reset trigger
  • Anti-snag treatments
  • +P ammo rated
  • Ambidextrous thumb safeties
  • A solid steel guide rod

Keep in mind that you do usually get what you pay for.

Another benefit of purchasing a Legion gun is that shooting folks can quickly get the “latest and greatest” custom upgrades and modifications for their Sig pistols direct from the factory. And you do get some included freebies. Sig offers several models in the Legion series, but not all models at this time. Probably more Legion pistols will follow. Sig Sauer’s Legion is an exclusive members-only access program available to owners of the Sig Sauer Legion Series of firearms, according to Sig Sauer. Upon registration of any Legion Series firearm, members receive a complimentary thermo-mold carrying case, a challenge coin matched to the firearm, exclusive access to Legion gear and merchandise, and receive exclusive communications from Sig Sauer and the Legion.

Comparing the New Sig 938 Legion with Original 938

So just recently, Sig introduced the new Sig Sauer P938 with the Legion upgrades and a lot of extras. It is a micro-compact 1911 single-action 9mm pistol for concealed carry. And with its 3-inch barrel falls within my “subcompact” category. Since I already had bought the Sig P938 a few years ago, recognizing its exceptional accuracy, and since it is in my carry rotation, I had to review the new, upgraded Sig P938 in the Legion series. Several readers and fellow shooters have told me that they really like their first 938 version for concealed carry, as do I, because of its small footprint, accuracy, nice trigger, and dimensions for concealed carry.

My goal was to learn firsthand about the new Legion modifications and upgrades for the new 938 and take it to the range to test and evaluate them. Following my own “Try Before You Buy” advice, I had to put hands on and test it for myself as well as for others. Is the trigger press really improved? Are the new day and night sights as fantastic as claimed? Are the upgrades and changes worth the extra price?

By my very rough calculations, these extras add to just over $1,000. The trigger upgrade, PVD coating, checkering, sights, grips, and more all add up before you know it. They don’t call me “Mr. Thrifty” without justification.

I also wondered if it would fit in my Top Sub-Compact 1911 9mms For Carry? Would shooters, including myself, find the additions worthwhile? I appreciate Sig Sauer sending the new Legion 938 to me to review. I include the original, non-Legion 938 in my Top 21 Concealed Carry guns in the second printing of my book “Concealed Carry & Handgun Essentials.” So now,  I want to analyze, compare, and rank this new 938 Legion among my top 1911 sub-compacts and determine if I recommend it or not for carry.

Sig Sauer 938 Legion Micro-Compact Review Plan

I want to start this review by giving the specifications and features of the Sig Sauer 938 Legion Micro-Compact 1911 single-action 9mm. Next, I’ll give you two high-quality leather holster options customized for the 938 Legion,  IWB and OWB holsters. Then, I will provide my criteria and range test results for it to help you analyze your handguns and make the best selection for yourself. You can add or subtract from my criteria to meet your needs and preferences.

I will shoot the 938 Legion and compare it factor by factor to my other quality micro-compact 1911 9mms, to see how it compares to my top concealed carry pistols. Know that I am not on the Sig Sauer payroll, have not been paid or compensated by them in any form for this review, and not given any gratuities nor influenced to say certain things about the gun. I want to be honest and straight-forward with my opinions and ideas the way I see the pistol to help folks sincerely. Based on my range test of the gun and my analysis, I want to honestly give you my opinions with pros and cons and issues (if any) and concerns that would prevent me from carrying this gun and would I recommend it for concealed carry. What are the upgrades and are they worth the price?               

Sig Sauer P938 Legion Micro-Compact Specifications

Model Number Model #938-9-LEGION
Caliber 9mm
Barrel Length / Type 3.00″; Hammer-Forged Carbon Steel
Sights / Radius X-Ray3 High-Visibility Day-Night Sights; Bright Green Front with Tritium Vial in Center; Black Rear with Tritium Vials; 4.0″ Sight Radius
Frame / Finish Aluminum Alloy; Contoured Beavertail; Cerakote Elite Legion Gray Finish; Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) Coating to Decrease Friction Wear on Metal Parts; Frontstrap and Backstrap Checkering; Anti-Snag Treatment
Slide / Finish Stainless Steel; Cerakote Elite Legion Gray Finish; PVD Coating; Anti-Snag Treatment; Front and Rear Cocking Serrations
Trigger / Type Single Action; Machined Solid Aluminum
Trigger Press 6 lbs (as measured over 10 trials with my Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull gauge); Factory Estimated 5-6 lb. Press
Magazines / Capacity 7 Rounds; 3 Mags; Steel; Single Stack
Height 4.30″
Width 1.10″
Length 5.90″ 
Weight 17 oz, Empty Mag
Safeties Ambidextrous Manual Thumb Safeties
Grips G-10; Black with Legion Medallion
Other Limited Lifetime Warranty
MSRP $904

Sig Sauer P938 Legion Micro-Compact Features

  • Bright X-Ray3 Day and Night Tritium Sights Front and Rear
  • Flat Metal Enhanced SAO Trigger
  • Cerakote Elite Legion Gray Finish- Slide and Frame
  • Undercut Trigger Guard for Higher Grip, Recoil Mitigation, and Reduces Muzzle Flip
  • Extended Steel Magwell for Faster Reloads and To Enhance Grip
  • Legion Black G-10 Grips
  • Low Profile Slide Catch Lever and Manual Thumb Safety Levers
  • Front Strap, Back Strap, and Under Trigger Guard Checkering
  • Front and Rear Slide Serrations to Enhance Grip
  • Ambidextrous Thumb Safeties
  • All-Steel Guide Rod
  • Uses +P Ammo
  • No Accessory Rail

Kramer Handgun Leather OWB Belt Scabbard Holster

Kramer Handgun Leather makes a beautiful, high-quality OWB Belt Vertical Scabbard holster for this 938 Legion. It is the first holster shown below. This holster carries the gun in a neutral vertical, straight up and down, position. The gun rides high on the strongside hip, and the gun butt tucks snugly into the side for maximum concealment. It has very nice reinforced throat band which makes it extremely durable under hard use.

Kramer Leather also makes a useful IWB Clip Holster which is made of a rich, supple cowhide. It is the second holster shown below. The leather is just the right thickness to protect your body from the contours of the gun, while still providing a trim profile. The clip is manufactured from extremely strong blue-spring steel and will hold securely to belts or heavy waistbands, like blue jeans.

Kramer Holsters wants to offer my readers a 20% Discount off all purchases through April 30, 2019 for their high-quality holsters. When ordering, mention Col Ben and use the Discount Code “ColBen-USAC20.”

Kramer Leather OWB Horsehide Leather Belt Vertical Scabbard Holster with Sig Sauer P938 Legion 9mm
Kramer Leather OWB Horsehide Leather Belt Vertical Scabbard Holster with Sig Sauer P938 Legion 9mm
Kramer Leather IWB Cowhide Leather Clip Holster- Below the Waistband with Sig Sauer P938 Legion 9mm
Kramer Leather IWB Cowhide Leather Clip Holster- Below the Waistband with Sig Sauer P938 Legion 9mm

My Criteria and Considerations for the Sig Sauer P938 Legion Micro-Compact Review

Here are just ten of my criteria and factors I use for evaluating any handgun, so I will use them for this Sig Sauer P938 Legion review. In addition to my criteria, there are other subjective features that may be appealing for some, like

  • smooth rounded corners
  • a certain style
  • mag release location
  • action
  • caliber
  • appearance
  • the number of mags included
  • type of sights/modifications
  • bore axis
  • rail
  • grip angle
  • non-porting or porting
  • included extras like a holster and pouch
  • customer service

So, I combined these into my last Miscellaneous criterion. I must admit that all gun-choice decisions involve tradeoffs, but I really want all of my criteria to be met. I assigned a total possible point score of ten points for each of my ten criteria for a total possible score of 100 points. You can certainly add your own additional criteria, preferences or subtract any of mine.

Recognize that there are several features, characteristics, pros and cons, and personal criteria to include and consider and you make your own tradeoffs according to your priorities, preferences, defined needs, and use.

I used my standard “Col Ben’s Concealed Carry Drill” to test and evaluate the 938 Legion, after I initially thoroughly cleaned it. You can use my Concealed Carry Drill to test and evaluate your handguns. I like the realistic 5-yard and 7-yard distances best to match common distances for personal defense. 

Download, Print, and Share My Concealed Carry Drill and Target

You can have my Concealed Carry Drill for Free for your practice. Permission to Download, Print, and share “Col Ben’s Concealed Carry Drill” is granted when my website address and copyright are included and kept on it.

You can Download and Print “Col Ben’s Concealed Carry Drill” and targets by clicking on the Link at my website’s Articles Page at www.FloridaHandgunsTraining.com

Also, you can Click Here on this website for a Free Download.

Range Results with “Col Ben’s Concealed Carry Drill” and Various Ammo

I used my above standard Concealed Carry Drill and easily and quickly landed 14 of 15 rounds (with a mag change) in the five various-sized circles at 5 yards, 7 yards, and then at 10 yards. I bypassed the 3-yard trial for more of a challenge and shot about 200 total rounds.

First, I fired rapid fire with the Sig V-Crown 124 grain JHP and 15 of 15 hit in their five circle targets at 5 yards and within the 20 seconds time limit with mag change. Then I shot the circles targets again at 7 yards and 14 of 15 hit within the circles. My lame excuse is aging eyes, not the fine Sig Sauer ammo or pistol. I did two iterations of this and couldn’t do better. Must practice more. Then, I fired the American Eagle 124 grain JHP few rounds I had on hand and repeated my 15 hits within the 20 seconds at 5 yards and got 14 of 15 again at 7 yards rapid fire. I did two iterations of this. I almost did not make my goal at 10 yards, but I did make it. So, I met my goals with both the Sig Sauer and American Eagle ammo at 5, 7, and 10 yards.  I fired about 250 rounds. See below Drill hits photo at 7 yards. I’ll shoot my Drill again later at 15 and 20 yards, after I practice more.

Use my Drill at various appropriate distances for yourself, e.g. 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 yards to challenge yourself and assess skill-level improvements, as you progress. At first, do not time yourself but safely practice, until you feel comfortable and safe with the Drill. Hope my Drill helps you.

Sig P938 Legion Target Hits 14 of 15 at 7 Yards with Sig Ammo
Sig P938 Legion Target Hits 14 of 15 at 7 Yards with Sig Ammo

Opinions and Evaluations for Each Criterion

Here are my opinions and evaluations for each of my ten criteria.

1. Accuracy and Reliability – Score: 10

The Legion 9mm’s accuracy was excellent and effortless for me at close and medium distances of 5, 7, 10, and 15 yards, typical self-defense distances. Given my declining eyesight, colorblindness, and average marksmanship, this senior guy was able to shoot decent groups with the gun right out of the box. My hits at 20 yards were close enough for personal protection. I like shooting the new enhanced trigger and like the G-10 grips. I had no problems with Sig V-Crown or American Eagle hollow points loading or ejecting. No malfunctions or stoppages whatsoever. No feeding, ejection, or extraction problems with any of the ammo. The gun functioned flawlessly and surprisingly to me the recoil was very minimal for a small profile gun. I was impressed with the Sig Sauer Legion’s inherent reliability. It was not at all finicky and digested every round. Accuracy and reliability were both excellent with the ammo used.

2. Trigger Press – Score: 9

The trigger press after shooting about 250 rounds averaged 6.00 pounds without modification for the 938 Legion, with ten readings with my Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge. I checked my original 938’s press, and it was 7.3 pounds, so there was an improvement. This slightly exceeded my goal and my desired maximum press range, but this pistol is not “broken in” yet. After more rounds downrange, I think it will smooth out more, and the press should lighten some. I really had no problem with the press weight.

3. Trigger – Score: 10

The machined, all metal, flat enhanced trigger was excellent. The presses were crisp and smooth, with minimal takeup, and a very consistent short reset, for quick follow-up shots. It was easy to feel the definite reset, and it was solid and very identifiable. This excellent single-action trigger had a similar press each time. I really enjoyed shooting this single-action smooth trigger. The 938 trigger was slightly curved, was serrated just right, and rested in an undercut trigger guard for easy carry. The trigger was not too aggressive serrated and did not irritate or cut my trigger finger. It was not like an original 1911 straight-back trigger in that the 938’s trigger is hinged at the top. You can see the pin on both sides just below the slide stop lever and takedown pin, similar to other modern triggers, like some striker-fired ones.

4. Barrel Length: Score: 9

The barrel is carbon steel, rather than stainless steel, and there are pros and cons about it. Carbon steel is very strong but may tend to rust, so regular maintenance and lubrication are necessary. There are other considerations, beyond this post. I could feel the stability, accuracy, reliability, and minimal recoil in the short run, partially attributed to this barrel. I had no problems whatsoever. The felt recoil is very manageable for both my wife and I. The slide is made of stainless steel, which helps with its rust resistance.

X-Ray3 High Visibility Day-Night Sights- with Tritium Vials in Front Center and Two in Rear Sight
X-Ray3 High Visibility Day-Night Sights- with Tritium Vials in Front Center and Two in Rear Sight

5. Sights – Score: 10

The front and rear X-Ray3 night (and DAY) sights are the biggest improvements for this 938 Legion 9mm, in my opinion. They are absolutely excellent. Really! Paired with the all black SIGLITE rear sight plate that has two tritium vials tucked into the rear sight, they have you covered in almost all light conditions. Since I am red color blind, the green front sight stood out clearly for me. The large front green circle with the tritium vial in the middle helped me quickly get my sight picture. The two small-sized tritium dots in the rear sight were small for me, but that helped me quickly focus and get to the large front sight. So, no problem for my old eyes. Night sights are important for concealed carry, and these work very fine.

Sig P938 original model on left; Sig P938 Legion on right
Sig P938 original model on left; Sig P938 Legion on right

6. Proper Gun Weight – Score: 9

The 938 Legion weighs 17 ounces empty, and that is slightly more than the original 938’s 16 ounces. This is an acceptable weight for concealed carry, especially for in the pocket. Loaded this metal gun weighs close to 20 ounces or so. The metal slide, frame, trigger, sights, mag, and mag well contributed to less felt recoil and stability for me for this solidly-made micro-compact. Slightly more weight, however, would help accuracy.

7. Caliber – Score: 10

The 938 Legion in 9mm caliber was easy and fun to shoot, and I managed the recoil well. Of course, shooting 9mm ammo is much less expensive than most others and modern ammo with improved ballistics like the kind I used here get the job done. I prefer the lessened recoil and reduced movement for improved accuracy with the 9mm caliber.

8. Capacity – Score: 9

The 7-round capacity of the Legion was acceptable, and there were three steel mags included as standard. But, given the likely need for more ammo to deal with multiple bad guys/gals and the trend toward magazine capacity restrictions, shooters need more capacity than seven rounds in a magazine even though the gun and mags are very well made and there are three available mags. Carrying three mags on your person is not practical for most folks. But, I do understand the design and manufacturing issues. I prefer at least two and rather three mags to be included as standard, but I like the mags to hold at least eight rounds. I keep thinking of the Sig P365 and its 10-round capacity. The mags have helpful round indicator holes.

Under the Trigger Guard Checkering and Front Strap Checkering Help
Under the Trigger Guard Checkering and Front Strap Checkering Help
G-10 Durable Grips with Medallion on Sig P938 Legion 9mm
G-10 Durable Grips with Medallion on Sig P938 Legion 9mm

9. Ergonomics – Score: 10

The ergonomics of the Legion are excellent, and I was easily and comfortably able to reach all controls like the thumb safety, slide lock lever, and magazine release, even for this small pistol. I could tell this is a custom and high-quality pistol and the craftsmanship details were apparent. This was an almost custom-fitted gun for my medium-sized hands and or for my wife’s small hands. Sadly, if I buy this pistol, my wife said she would commandeer it for her use. The slide, frame, barrel, and smaller parts are all nicely fit to enhance accuracy and reliability. I had no slide nor hammer bites, and it felt very good to hold this thin profile pistol. The twin thumb safeties worked when I tried the right-side safety. The extended beavertail and steel mag well were welcomed additions. The slide-to-frame fit was very solid, and it was easy for my wife and me to rack the slide.

Sig Sauer P938 Legion in Hard Case with Mag, Lock, Instruction Manual, Bore Flag & 3 Mags
Sig Sauer P938 Legion in Hard Case with Mag, Lock, Instruction Manual, Bore Flag & 3 Mags

10. Miscellaneous – Score: 10

I easily disassembled and re-assembled the Legion, but did have to remind myself not to push the ejector down too far when reassembling. Push it down ONLY far enough to provide clearance for the slide or else the ejector will bind in the frame. The nice hard plastic case included ARE YOU READY… 3 mags, a lock, bore flag, and Instruction Manual. The Legion has all the extras and is an accurate and reliable gun. It also looks beautiful. The little extras that you don’t often think about are included. The excellent sights and grips stand out in my mind. I like the quality and attention to manufacturing details. I probably will get my “Benjamins” together for this fine gun. Just wish it was going to be mine since her majesty will use it. She probably will let me use it once in a while.

Total Points = 96 out of 100 Possible.

Conclusions

I certainly recommend this high-quality Sig Sauer P938 Legion micro-compact 9mm pistol, for concealed carry, pocket carry, home defense, and fun plinking at the range. The attention to details and its precise, finely-built craftsmanship are very evident and are the marks of an excellent pistol. Also, I was very impressed with its accuracy, reliability, and its very controllable recoil for a micro-compact 9 mm. The X-Ray3 High Visibility green tritium sights were very excellent. Most of all this pistol met my Accuracy and Reliability standards and my criteria. After a total of 500 rounds down range demonstrating these same results and characteristics, I would bet my life on this excellent pistol.

As always, these are just my opinions, and you should try it for yourself. Be sure to use the Holster Discount Code mentioned above for fine Kramer Handgun Leather holsters, before it expires.  I hope this review of the Sig Sauer P938 Legion micro-compact 9 mm has helped you gain some information for your decision. Consider that this is just my point of view with limited live-range fire and using about 250 rounds of premium FMJ and JHP ammo. I recommend that you shoot any handgun yourself before you purchase it and have at least 500 rounds break-in range time through it for yourself. Try Before You Buy Any Pistol. Decide on your criteria, how you will primarily use the gun, and what’s important to you ahead of your range live-fire time. Then critically evaluate the gun yourself per your criteria and purpose, with various ammo types and brands, and over an extended break-in period.

Continued success!

Contacts

Sig Sauer
1-603-610-3000
Newington, NH 03801

Kramer Handgun Leather holsters
1-253-564-6652
Tacoma, WA 98411

Sig Sauer for Elite V-Crown 9mm JHP-FMJ ammo
1-603-610-3000
Newington, NH 03801

Photos by Author and Sig Sauer.

* This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney for legal advice and your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense and concealed carry. It should not be relied upon as accurate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever. 

© 2019 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at [email protected]



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