Two conversations caught my eye earlier this week on a topic I’ve read about and dealt with before. When I first saw Tam’s article about the seniors she encounters and their difficulty with the baby 9s that are all the rage I didn’t think much of it. Then I saw Kevin’s article on the Sig P238 and it all clicked. However, I was disappointed that the only option being discussed was the Sig. My own feelings about the Sig are mixed due to the diminutive controls and 1911 style of carry.
A while back (probably a long while back) Massad Ayoob also wrote an article on this subject and he had a solution for a shooter in his class who had difficulty manipulating a firearm. The now discontinued Beretta 86. Like the P238 it is a .380 but it holds more rounds and while that is nice the real kicker is the tip up barrel for loading. Meaning slide manipulation isn’t necessary unless it has a (rare for Beretta) malfunction. Other options would be the similar sized 84 and 85. The 84 has a 13 round double column magazine to the 85’s 8 round single stack.
The downsides to these pistols is they are bigger than the P238. However, they are very close in weight and price is within $100. Not everyone makes a holster for the 80 series Beretta, but I was able to find some decent options with a quick search.
While I don’t feel the Beretta is the ONLY option to the P238 it does point out that there are other options available. So if you, or someone you know is looking for a defensive pistol take some time and search around. If you see one try a Beretta 80 series (also made under the name Browning BDA). For a little gun I found them very easy to shoot. However, if you really like the Sig P238, got for it.