I looked at a number of the sub-compact pistols today at the Annual Meeting. Patrick, a reader of this blog, was interested in a comparison of the Sig P938 and the Sig P238 in terms of the difficulty of pulling the slide. His mother is disabled, wants a pistol - not a revolver - and has difficulty pulling the slide on many smaller pistols.
To make the test somewhat objective, I had the Complementary Spouse do the testing of the slides. She is a health care professional and has some understanding of the challenges that those with weaker hand and arm strength might face.
First, we tested the Sig P938 which is their sub-compact single stack 9mm pistol. She didn't find it hard at all to rack the slide on the P938. It fit her hand well, had rear sights that allow the racking of the slide against a pocket, and decent 3-dot sights.
Next up was the Sig P238 Scorpion. It was easier than the P938 and was the easiest to rack the slide of all the guns tested today. It is a single-stack, single action pistol in .380 ACP. The single action trigger pull of both pistols seemed about the same though I didn't test it on a trigger scale.
You can see a size comparison of the P238 and the P938 below. They seem to be relatively the same size.
The third pistol tested was the Colt Mustang in .380 ACP. Many have said that the Sig P238 is merely a clone of the Mustang so it was an obvious choice for comparison. It seems to have a heavier spring than the P238 and is about equivalent to the P938. The sights are similar to a GI model 1911. To me, these sights were less user-friendly than those of the Sig P238 Scorpion.
Finally, given all the buzz about the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield, we thought we should add this to the mix. It is the single-stack sub-compact 9mm (and .40 S&W) version of the M&P. The Complementary Spouse found this the hardest to rack of all the pistols we tested and wouldn't recommend it to Patrick's mother. She had some difficulty racking slide. It fit my hand well but I did find the trigger pull to be mushy and not crisp.