It took just about a month, but my SIG P232 is finally back from the factory. It actually arrived last Thursday, but due to work and various other, uh, life events, I was unable to pick it up until Saturday, unable to shoot it until Monday, and unable to write this post until now.
Good news: the gun is fixed. According to the documentation that SIG sent back with the gun, in addition to the takedown lever, the hammer return spring was also broken. SIG fixed both, and did a detailed inspection of all of the pistol’s other components. The gun is now in perfect working order… sort of. More on that later.
Also, before any further, I want to give my sincere and utmost thanks to Targetmaster Indoor Firearm Range & Gun Shop of Chadds Ford, PA. The staff there was nothing but courteous and professional in their dealings with me throughout this whole drama. Even though the gun was used and clearly labeled “As-Is,” the shop not only made every effort to get the pistol repaired, but they also did so at no cost to me. They even covered the shipping costs to and from SIG-Sauer’s factory. If you are in the Southeast Pennsylvania/Northern Delaware area and are looking for a good gun store and/or indoor shooting range, I highly recommend Targetmaster. (NOTE: I am not affiliated with Targetmaster, nor have I been compensated for this plug.)
Anyway, back on topic. I tested the pistol on Monday, and though I only put 70 rounds through it, the gun ran almost perfectly. During the course of fire, I shot 50 rounds of 95-grain Remington FMJs and 20 rounds of Federal Premium 90-Grain Low Recoil Personal Defense Hydra-Shok hollowpoints (to be referred to henceforth as Hydra-Shoks). The gun ate all of the FMJs without issue. The problem arose when I switched to the Hydra-Shoks. When I loaded the pistol and tried to chamber a round, the first round in the magazine would fail to feed and the gun would jam. I couldn’t get a good view of the problem, but it looked like the lip of the hollowpoint was either hanging up on the edge of the feed ramp or else skipping off the same. I was able to clear the jam by removing the magazine, re-seating the troublesome round, and vigorously racking the slide. Once I was able to get a round chambered, the gun ran just fine. No jams whilst shooting; only when I loaded a fresh magazine and chambered a round. This occurred each time I loaded a fresh magazine, no matter how many rounds were in that magazine.
Initially, I thought that it was an ammunition related problem; that the gun just doesn’t like Hydra-Shoks, or possibly the feed ramp needs polishing. However, I ordered some magazines from CDNN Sports (again, neither affiliated nor compensated) right after I confirmed the gun worked, and they arrived today. Comparing the mag that came with the gun vs. the new magazines, the old magazine has a gouge in the front of the follower and two hairline cracks on the back of the magazine body, one at the base of each feed lips. This leads me to suspect that the magazine wasn’t presenting the rounds to the feed ramp at the right angle, and while the round-nosed FMJ rounds were able to ride up over the edge of the ramp, the flat lip of the Hydra-Shoks were not. The new magazines should solve this problem.
Granted, I won’t know this for a fact until I’m able to test the Hydra-Shoks with the new magazines, and that won’t happen until next week at the earliest, but regardless the old magazine is being immediately and permanently relegated to practice duty. And should the Hydra-Shoks continue to fail, well, I’ve got some Hornady Critical Defense coming soon from Midway USA (not affiliated or compensated). Those have a more rounded bullet profile then the Hydra-Shoks, so hopefully they’ll feed more reliably.
I’ll let you know how the continued testing goes, but honestly I’m not overly concerned. I do need to find ammunition that will work with a carry piece, of course, but in the meantime, I have a perfect excuse to keep going to the range. Not that I needed one before or anything…
Until next time, peace.