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. 

Grace Boatright

Grace Boatright is a professional firearms safety instructor and second amendment advocate based in Alexandria, Virginia. A 7th-generation Texan, Grace has over 20 years of firearms experience and over 10 years of experience working in Washington D.C.’s government affairs community. She teaches firearms and range safety, concealed handgun permit, and skill improvement courses on a weekly basis to a diverse group of students, both adult and youth.

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eeee
9 days ago

i know i could look it up (and i will), but it would be handy if during this type of video where you are introducing your listeners to this firearm, if you mentioned the caliber of the p230. maybe you did and i just missed hearing it. overall, though, great video.

Bemused Berserker
Bemused Berserker
9 days ago
Reply to  eeee

The P230 was available in .32 ACP and .380 ACP, just like the PPK.

Bemused Berserker
Bemused Berserker
9 days ago

The Walther PPK was introduced in 1932/33, almost 50 years before the SIG P230. The Walther PPK/S, was introduced in 1968/69 in response to the 1968 GCA. The PPK did not meet the guidelines for size imposed on imported firearms. The PPK/ is slightly bigger (longer and taller) than the PPK, thus it holds 7 rounds of .380 in the magazine rather than 6 as the PPK did.

Walther’s PP series of pistols were the First successful, commercial DA/SA Handguns ever introduced. Released in 1929, the PP pistols are closing on 100 years of life.

I’ve owned my PPK/S for 35 years. For 25 years, it was my CCW. I only replaced it due to my aging eyes (I could no longer make out the sights in low light drills).
Now, it’s a Range Baby, it’s still one of the most accurate weapons in my modest collection. Across a rest, 1″ groups at 25 yards is an everyday event. In all it’s life, I had to replace the extractor spring once in 35 years. The old spring became fatigued.

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