There are two types of guns in my gun safe: those I’ll play with for a little longer and then sell or trade in, and those I’ll probably keep forever. I cleverly refer to the latter as my “forever guns.”
The P230 SL from Sig is one of my all-time favorite forever guns.
The Walther-style look and stainless-steel frame are so sleek, and the exposed hammer and European mag release are gloriously old school and a fun change from my American handguns.
In other words, this is a damn sexy firearm.
Sig made the P230 from 1977 through 1996, so it’s not new by any means. However, classic and quality never get old, making this sexy sidearm as awesome today as it was in 1977.
P230 General Specs: chambered in .380, 6.6 inches long, 3.6-inch barrel, 1.2 inches wide, weighs 20 ounces unloaded, fixed barrel, fixed front sight, drift adjustable rear sight, and the magazine holds 7 rounds.
It can be fired in double or single action mode and also employs Sig’s classic de-cocking device to safely let the hammer down. Double action has a 10-pound trigger pull while single action is less than 4 pounds.
The 3.6-inch barrel keeps things compact but the molded grips (at least on my model) allow for a strong and comfortable grip position.
In other words, it’s not just sexy, it’s a practical carry gun too. True, the European magazine release doesn’t always allow for the quickest reload but hey – it’s not always about speed.
As for cleaning and maintenance, one great thing about the P230 in comparison to the Walther PPK is that it has the takedown lever instead of the trigger guard takedown system. Personally, I find this easier during both disassembly and reassembly.
It’s a fixed barrel but try to clean it breech to muzzle if possible. When putting the recoil spring back on the barrel, there’s a large and small end and the small end goes on first.
NOTE: there’s a slide lock on the left side that employs a small spring to keep it attached to the frame. Be careful not to dislodge that spring while cleaning. It’s very small so it could be easy to miss if you drop it. It’s an essential piece though, responsible for bringing the slide back and then releasing it forward again once a new round enters the chamber.
In summary, this is a fun, sexy, old-school handgun that could be a great carry gun, a fun range gun, and definitely a great gift gun if you’re shopping for somebody else. Once you try it out, it will quickly become one of your favorite “forever guns” too.
Full disclosure: it’s probably a little more expensive than other guns I’ve reviewed here, closer to $700 or $800, but worth every penny. Trust me, you won’t be sorry you spent the money.