The P230 and P232 are remarkably similar in appearance. They have similar dimensions in grip, slide, hammer, decocker location and trigger-guard shape. The rear sight on the P232 is adjustable. The slide serrations are fewer and wider than on the P230; the sights go from two-dot to three and the grips are of a modern, SIG-Sauer style. Some models offer Hogue-style grips. Others feature a SIG-Sauer plastic grip with an embedded emblem.
Both the P230 and P232 are simple blowback, hammer-fired pistols with double-action triggers. Both have similar internal dimensions, though the P232 features an automated firing-pin-safety. This is the significant internal difference between the two guns. Both pistols are made with stainless steel or aluminum alloy frames; later models feature a slightly heavier frame with a polished steel finish. Both guns are designed for reliability and durability.
The P230 was manufactured to fire 9-by-18 mm Police, 9 mm Browning Short and 7.65 mm ammunition. SIG-Sauer dropped the 9-by-18 mm Police cartridge because of its unpopularity. If purchasing a used P230, avoid the 9-by-18 mm Police variant. No factories -- as of 2011 -- manufacture ammunition for this pistol.
The SIG-Sauer P230 and P232 displays an operative difference in the automated-pin assembly. For practical purchasing decisions, the P230 and P232 are essentially the same; both are reliable and durable designs. The P230 is the older version of the same design. Buying a used P230 requires careful examination of the weapon for normal wear.
"Regardless of whether justified of not, you will feel sad about killing another human being. It is better to be sad than to be room temperature." - Joe B Fricks.
01 FFL, GOFFA, NRA, GOA, IAVA, VFW, ABATE of Iowa D15.