The Colt Mustang .380 was such a popular handgun and a top seller when it was in the market. Why they chose to discontinue this excellent, pocket-sized pistol after roughly 11 years on the market is beyond me. I never understood why and many hardcore gun enthusiasts will tell you that this pistol was one of the very best. In fact, after it was taken off the market, many would still look for it and in some cases, pay a premium for it. It simply became a collectors piece rather than a purchase primarily for personal protection.
The Colt Mustang was small and extremely well-designed for its time. It sported that 1911-style design that is clearly proven to be highly reliable. At the time, it was a pistol that many would only dream of having. There simply was no worthy competition and that’s exactly what made it so successful. So why choose to discontinue such a revolutionary pistol? Despite much research and comments from many, the answer, remains officially unclear.
Apparently, they have realized it was a mistake and have just re-introduced the Mustang to the market. But is it too late? Based on a highly successful clone released by another respected manufacturer, I personally think it is.
Colt Mustang vs. Sig Sauer P238
Pocket pistols are in very high demand and despite some recent 9mm micro compact releases that may entice many, the .380 still remains the most suitable option for many looking for ultimate firepower in the most compact form. They are true pocket pistols. Many manufacturers took advantage of this trend and have released models that do interest a high majority, regardless of experience.
While a majority of these options are all double action pistols with their own unique design to attempt to stand out from the rest, there is one company that wanted to keep things simple and only after a proven design most experienced gun owners know so well. That company is Sig Sauer and their P238 pistol is quite possibly one of the very best options in this class on the market today.
This is where things just don’t make sense when it comes to Colt. I love Colt, and if price was no option, I would choose them for a 1911 over all others any day. I have taken the plunge and have been an owner of one. I love them that much. Given such high respect and clearly having such a popular product on the market, the choice to eliminate this particular pistol from their extensive product line was a very poor and uneducated decision. That’s just my opinion and although they eventually had second thoughts and have just re-introduced it, I’m afraid they may be too late.
Sig Sauer was inspired by its design and their version of this popular pistol was simply brilliant from a marketing perspective. In fact, many still wanted the Mustang and when they found it was no longer available, they came across the P238, which I will say is one of, if not, the most researched and sought out .380 pocket pistol on the market today.
Colt claims their PocketLite Mustang is “new and improved”. Unfortunately, other than some clear details stating that the machining process changed and some new quality components are used, I can’t seem to find any significant differences in its overall design when compared to the original. In fact, the specs pretty much remain the same. Let’s take a look at the specs and even throw in the P238 for comparison…
Colt Mustang vs. Sig P238
|Colt Mustang||Sig Sauer P238|
Comparing specs, the Sig Sauer P238 is practically the same and with exception of its much more modern and appealing design, it is essentially the same gun and clearly inspired around Colt’s excellent approach to a mini 1911-style pocket pistol. Based on both the most official specs and also pictures I have found, the Sig Sauer appears to be slightly smaller overall when it comes to size. The only significance here is overall weight and while I have had the pleasure of briefly holding a Mustang a few years back and based on overall dimensions, I find it hard to believe it isn’t actually the other way around. Keep in mind though that Sig Sauer does have a growing line of P238 models and the one you choose will be lighter or heavier when compared to others. In addition, the trigger pull is quite different in comparison and Colt clearly takes the lead. Personally, I find the trigger pull on the Sig P238 too heavy and simply unacceptable for a single action pistol. While some put it as high at 9lbs, I find mine to be roughly 8.5lbs. A pistol like this should have a trigger pull no heavier than 5lbs.
Colt also has a few other things to worry about here. That happens to be the constantly growing line of P238 models being released. Normally, a gun manufacturer will release a new pistol to the market and work out all issues and fine tune it before even considering expanding the line. Sig Sauer, however, new they had a clear winner and took advantage of this by very quickly releasing new models to entice just about anyone, male or female. This not only includes some very nice models with a touch of gold inlays, but they have also taken things to extremes, releasing a few models with some extremely radical designs and finishes. In addition to being much more modern and appealing in design, they have released models that will certainly appeal to just about anyone.
It is certainly nice to know that Colt has brought back a pistol that was in such high demand and respected by many gun enthusiasts. However, it was not only a mistake to take it off the market to begin with, but also a mistake to take so long to decide to even bring it back. There is one company that simply took advantage of this with much success. Sig Sauer must take credit here for taking the time to research and eventually coming to the conclusion that such a pistol would still be of high interest to many. Not only have they released a pistol pretty much identical to the original Mustang, but they have also taken the effort to enhance it and design it with a much more modern feel that clearly does appeal to many. In addition, this decision to release it was so successful that they continue to expand the line with new models. I will honestly say that when compared to all other .380 pistols I have reviewed here on the site, the P238 takes the top spot in terms of site statistics and overall interest. It is clearly the most popular .380 pistol on the market today.
Colt does have some obstacles to face if they plan to attempt to re-gain the highest respect and interest for a pistol that is clearly in high demand. You simply cannot beat the quality of a Colt 1911, regardless of the deviation of its design. Their mini Mustang was a very clear indication and set to be designed unlike no other. However, Sig Sauer, a company also respected for overall quality, apparently noticed this and boldly took the risk to release a practically identical pistol with a much more modern design and finishing touches that still offers the high reliability both are known for. With that said, I do strongly feel Colt is too late in bringing this gem back. They just don’t seem to have a chance.