Have you ever heard of a gun designed around a magazine? Well, now you have with the Sig Sauer P365. And, by the way, the 365 in the gun model’s title represents 365 days a year you can every day conceal carry the new handgun. Let’s take a closer look at it in this Sig P365 Review.
As the CEO and President of Sig Sauer Ron Cohen says about the Sig P365 9mm:
“We built this pistol around our new, proprietary magazine for maximum concealability, capacity, and shootability.”
Sig spent considerable time developing their new proprietary, patent-pending narrow-neck, modified-double-stack mag to easily hold ten rounds. They did this while developing a smaller and lighter gun than most other pistols in its sub-compact category, calling it a “micro-compact.”
Check out its specifications and features below. In comparison to the Glock 43 sub-compact, for example, the P365 has a shorter barrel by .29″; a smaller width by .02″, a shorter total length by .46″, and the P365 holds ten rounds versus six for the G43. Comparing it to the Springfield XD-S, the P365 is .10″ less in height, holds three more rounds in the mag, is .5″ less in total length, and weighs 5.2 ounces less. The P365 is slightly wider than the M&P Shield and the Ruger LC9S, and they each hold seven rounds. Sig has much to be proud of with their new hybrid mag design and its higher capacity. So, how does the Sig P365 9mm sub-compact compare to the existing Sig 938 9mm sub-compact?
Sig Sauer 9mm Sub-Compact Comparison – Sig P365 to Sig P938
|SPEC - FEATURE||Sig Sauer P365 - Striker-Fired||Sig Sauer P938 - Single Action|
|Weight Unloaded||17.8 oz.||16.0 oz.|
I was fortunate enough to receive one of the first P365s to review and shoot for my test and evaluation, so I want to give you my results and opinions. Thanks to Sig Sauer for the opportunity to thoroughly review it. I hope my opinions and results give you some details so that you can make your own decision about it. I will provide you with its specifications, special features, and then my in-depth analysis of it to help you.
As most know, Sig Sauer has a fine reputation for making quality handguns, but what about this new mag design and the other new features for this small, lightweight, and striker-fired double-action micro sub-compact 9?
Does it have a high-level of function, shootability, and performance?
And does this P365 live up to the high Sig Sauer standards?
My article comparing 14 other subcompact 9mms was published on this website earlier and, of course, this new P365 was not included. In my recent book, “Concealed Carry & Handgun Essentials,” I thoroughly analyze, compare, and rank my Top 21 Concealed Carry guns, including both compact and subcompact 9mm guns. Well, I want to give you some details about this new P365 here, so you can compare and evaluate it yourself among your top choices. Below I look at the P365’s basic specifications and some of its features, then compare them against my criteria. I compare it factor by factor to some of my criteria and features here to help you.
Sig Sauer has not paid me for this article, for my opinions, nor influenced to say certain things about this or any gun. I want to be honest and straight-forward with my opinions and ideas the way I see the pistol to help folks sincerely. In particular, I want to share with you my P365 test and evaluation opinions after I handle and shoot it. View the video below for a summary introduction to the Sig P365 by its Product Manager Phil Strader.
Sig P365 Specifications and Features
First, I want to list for you the pistol’s specifications and features in my Sig Sauer P365 Review. Then, I give the ten criteria that I use to evaluate all guns. When you are evaluating your carry guns, determine your goal, purpose, and your criteria up front. Then objectively compare each of your possible gun choices to each of your specific criteria individually, being sure to compare apples with apples and not with oranges honestly. Finally, I want to give you my analysis for each of my criteria with my opinions and present my final recommendation to purchase the P365 or not for what use. As always, set your criteria, identify your purpose or use for the gun, do your own research, and truthfully compare this gun’s attributes directly against your pre-determined criteria. Check my data and information with yours and shoot it yourself before you buy this or any gun.
Holsters for the Sig Sauer P365
I wondered if there were custom holsters and accessories available for the new Sig Sauer P365 at this time. Yes, Blackpoint Tactical has developed custom carry holsters for the P365 under a partnership with Sig Sauer. Blackpoint Tactical offers both an Inside the Waistband Appendix Carry Holster (AIWB) APX holster and a Standard Outside the Waistband (OWB) holster for it. The AIWB Kydex holster uses a Tuck Strut to create leverage against your body which draws the gun in closer and creates less printing. It sells for less than $80. The OWB Kydex holster has metal loops, cant options, tension screw for adjustment, and a thin profile. It also sells for less than $80. Both are custom-fitted holsters for the P365.
Clinger Holsters offers a Kydex and leather hybrid OWB holster, the V2 Ultra-Conceal holster. It converts to an IWB holster, has a wide opening for easy re-holstering, and pulls the gun in close to the body for less printing. Essentially, you get two holsters for the price of one. It sells for less than $60. Clinger Holsters also offers a custom V2 Stingray IWB holster with adjustable cant, a wide opening for easier re-holstering, and a large sight channel. These custom-fitted holsters sell for less than $40.
Criteria And Considerations for the Sig Sauer P365 Review
Here are just ten of my criteria and factors I use for evaluating any handgun. So I will use them for this Sig Sauer P365 review. In addition to my criteria, other subjective features may be appealing for some. For example, a particular style, mag release location, action, caliber, appearance, number of mags included, type of sights/modifications, bore axis, rail, grip angle, non-porting or porting, added extras like a holster and pouch, and customer service. So, I combined these into my last Miscellaneous criterion.
I must admit that all gun-choice decisions involve tradeoffs, but I want a gun to meet all of my criteria. I assigned a total possible point score of 10 points for each of my ten criteria for a total possible score of 100 points. You can certainly add additional criteria and preferences or subtract any of mine.
Recognize that there are several features, characteristics, pros and cons, and personal criteria to include and consider and you make your own tradeoffs according to your priorities, preferences, defined needs, and use.
Sig Sauer P365 9mm Range Test
I was anxious to shoot the P365 and shot about 250 rounds for the range field test. For this review I shot:
- Sig Sauer V-Crown 115-grain JHP (1185 fps Muzzle Velocity, 359 ft lbs Muzzle Energy)
- Sig Sauer Elite Performance 115-grain FMJ (1185 fps Muzzle Velocity, 359 fl lbs Muzzle Energy)
- Speer Lawman 115-grain TMJ (1200 fps Muzzle Velocity, 368 ft lbs Muzzle Energy)
Shooting this variety of ammo gave me a feel for how the P365 could handle different ammo grains and types. The P365 is rated for +P ammo, but I did not shoot any for this review. Usually, I shoot 500 rounds over a couple of days to decide if I want to carry the gun or not, but I had the information I needed after firing about 250 rounds. I will shoot more to confirm my initial evaluations. Below are my evaluations for each of my ten criteria for my concealed carry purpose. I put the gun through its paces and checked it thoroughly for malfunctions and performance with different types of JHP and FMJ ammo. Thanks to Sig Sauer for providing their rounds for testing and evaluating this Sig Sauer P365 Sub-Compact 9mm pistol. I bought the Speer Lawman ammo myself.
Quality and Feel of the P365
When I first picked up the P365, it was so very lightweight with its 17 ounces, and I could tell the usual quality Sig fit, finish, and tight machined parts were there. The slide racked very easily, it had rounded edges, and the small 1″ width and 4.3″ height made me realize that this would make an excellent concealed carry gun option.
Advantage of the Sig P365 Over Others in Its Class
Of course, the distinct advantage for the P365 is that its “modified” double stack, tapered mag holds ten rounds. Some label this innovative hybrid mag design a “semi-double-stack” mag. This mag has a tight, vertical staggering of rounds and it is narrower at the top to allow cartridges to stack in an offset manner. The top two rounds in the tapered mag form a single, vertical stack column with one on top of the other in vertical alignment, for reliable feeding. I was very impressed with this engineering feat. It works fine for more capacity; 10 rounds +1 in the chamber. There is also an optional 12-round mag sold separately for even more capacity.
How Was the Sig P365’s Recoil?
I was expecting heavy felt recoil from this light sub-compact, short 3-inch barreled handgun, and its micro-compact frame. But, the recoil while somewhat stout, was easily handled with a very tight grip and a locked wrist. My wife with her diminished hand strength was able to control it well. The heavier loads contributed to the snappy felt recoil, and we both liked the 115-grain FMJ rounds best for better control and accuracy in this small gun. But, this is a self-defense gun calling for Jacketed Hollow Point rounds. PRACTICE! The P365 felt good in my medium-sized hands, and it felt fine in my wife’s small (but beautiful) hands.
Sig P365 Design Features
Sig designed the p365 well with excellent ergonomics. It has a nice grip angle, a comfortable fully-textured grip, and shoots to the point of aim. There is a higher grip to bore axis which means there is more control and a somewhat lower bore axis than other Sig handguns. The trigger is closer to the slide which helps with a lower bore axis. The included as standard SIGLITE 3-Dot Combat X-Ray3 Day/Night Tritium night sights were a bonus on the latest February version, so you don’t have to spend another $100-$150 to change the sights. The front sight dot is large enough, but one minor concern for me was that the rear two dots were very small for my aging eyes. There is also no manual safety.
Sig P365 – What’s In the Box?
My review package included two steel 10-round mags: a flush-fitting and an extended mag. I like the ten rounders, and with the extended base, my pinky finger does not dangle. Yes, no dangle on this small gun. And I have a solid and comfortable 3-finger grip, along with the extra rounds. There is also an ample trigger guard undercut that allows a high hand position and better retention. There is a Loaded Chamber Viewport indicator.
Disassembling the Sig P365
This gun was easy to takedown. You are not required to press the trigger for disassembly, and you use a 3-point routine takedown process. The fire control unit is serialized and removable, similar to the Sig P320. Sig extensively testing this gun putting it through the standard drop-safety testing protocols and there is no trigger safety like many other striker guns have.
How did the Sig P365 Shoot?
The P365 was accurate for its sub-compactness, light weight, and short-length barrel. Understand that the P365 is not a precision target gun, nor duty gun, nor a competition gun. It is a small, very concealable, lightweight, short-barreled sub-compact (really a micro-compact) concealed carry gun for up-close personal protection. I did not expect it to perform like my other long-barreled, very heavy, compact and full-sized guns. But, I was surprised at its accuracy and performance, with its diminutive dimensions and specifications. I found the P365 to be accurate enough for closeup, combat tactical situations. It had a short and crisp audible and tactile reset, great ergonomics, and was for me a reliable (with only 250 rounds fired by me) self-defense gun. The trigger was a little longer and harder than I am used to, but smooth and certainly manageable and acceptable.
Reliability of the Sig P365
This gun appears to be very reliable. All the mags did drop freely for me, except my second and third mags, and several for my wife. I was getting accustomed to it in my hands at first. See below in my Ergonomics #9 criterion for my related suggestion. I did not experience any malfunction or stoppages with the 250 rounds fired. The felt recoil and muzzle rise of this sub-compact 9mm were just a little stout, but manageable for my wife and I. It did not have a magazine disconnect, and it fired even when the mag was out. Be careful – Safety First Always!
Running Drills with the Sig P365
My first 15 rounds fired with a mag change for the P365 were rapid fire at only three yards using my timed Concealed Carry Drill. For the first time recently, all 15 of my hits were in all five circles and done in less than 20 seconds, with draw and mag change (see target below.) In fact, I enjoyed shooting the gun so much, I fired two extra shots, and they hit in the bottom circle within the time limit. Amazing for me. I’ll take it! I keep telling myself that this is a sub-compact concealed carry gun with a short sight radius and is intended for very close, “bad breath” distance encounters. I like to shoot it. Here are my 15 (plus two extra) rapid-fire hits at three yards with the P365.
Sig P365 Range Test Results For Each Of My 10 Criteria:
1. Accuracy and Reliability – Score: 10
The accuracy of the P365 was excellent for me at distances of three, five, and seven yards, and acceptable at 10 and 15 yards, given my aging eyesight and average shooting skills. My groups at the closeup distances of three, five, and seven yards all averaged a respectable about 2.5 inches. At only three yards, my group sizes were two inches or less for all five circle targets. While at 10, 15, and 20 yards it averaged about 3 to 3.5 inches with this light, sub-compact pistol with a 3-inch barrel. But, it is not designed to be a tack driver at 20 yards and out.
The 6-pound trigger press was longer and harder than I am accustomed to with my full-size and compact 1911s and my other striker-fired guns (mostly single-action strikers.) I prefer the press to be in the ballpark of 4.5 to 6.0 pounds, so this was just over my acceptable upper limits for my preferred trigger press. I expected this heavier trigger press from a new, not-broken-in, double action, striker-fired lightweight pistol.
And this gun was lightweight at 17.8 ounces unloaded with a short sight radius, which affects felt recoil and accuracy. But, the trigger press was smooth and crisp with a decent, very identifiable reset. I liked shooting it, and the recoil was controllable for me. The stance I used was my Modified-Isosceles Stance, a two-handed grip, and the center-mass sight picture. For this Sig P365 review, I shot mostly premium Sig Sauer V-Crown JHP and FMJ ammo, with some Lawman 115 grain TMJ. The gun was not picky and digested it all. The gun seemed to handle the 115-grain FMJ-TMJ rounds best.
2. Trigger Press – Score: 9
The trigger press averaged 6.25 pounds with ten readings from my Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge, after shooting 200 rounds. This trigger press is acceptable for me, although I wanted it to be lower. Some prefer a little heavier trigger for added safety, but I believe this is a training issue for your particular gun. Again, I like my 1911 single-action and striker-fired single-action semis with a lighter press. I did notice near the 250 rounds-fired that the trigger was a little softer. So, it will probably improve some.
In addition to being a harder press than I prefer, the press was long. Not as long as my Kahrs, but longer than most of my other striker-fired guns. I think most folks will have to practice handling this small, lightweight, semi-auto to become comfortable and accurate with it. I know I’ll have to practice more with it. Of course, this is personal preference and a training issue. The trigger press, however, was smooth and crisp.
3. Trigger – Score: 9
The trigger had a definite audible click and a tactile feel with no creep and no stacking. It had a consistent audible and short reset. I liked the short and positive reset and the crisp trigger. There was no grit at all, and the reset was very recognizable. The trigger face was curved and after 100 rounds or so, my trigger finger was irritated and seemed to rub on the trigger curve. It may have been my rapid-fire of those rounds, my getting use to the trigger shape, and my grip. I do think a flatter-face trigger would help. I’ll have to further test & monitor this.
4. Barrel Length – Score: 9
The short 3.1-inch barrel with the sub-compact’s 17.8-ounce weight and 4.9″ sight radius were a challenge for me to control the somewhat snappy recoil and muzzle flip for accuracy. But, I keep reminding myself that this is a concealed carry gun which needs to be small and very concealable. There are tradeoffs among concealability, capacity, and controllability. The P365 dramatically surpasses the capacity criteria. This gun is not meant to be a precise medium-long-distance tack driver, but rather a close-up self-defense gun, and probably a pocket gun for some. The hammer-forged steel barrel will prove to be durable, had a tight fit, was of high quality, and performed well.
5. Sights – Score: 10
The Sig X-Ray3 Day/Night Tritium Sights were crisp, excellent, and included. I had no trouble seeing them at dusk or nighttime. I conducted my usual test of putting the gun in my completely dark closet and I could see the front, and rear sights very clearly, after brief light exposure. This was better than some other sights I have reviewed. These sights surpassed my expectations, and I was very pleased with their performance.
NOTE from a Sig Retailer: Due to supply issues, Sig has decided to replace all – BSS model P365’s with a new SKU that will include SIG X-RAY night sights. Important: Nothing is needed from you on this! All of your current orders will be converted by SIG. No need to re-submit PO’s, this is just an FYI, so you/your system is prepared to receive a new/updated SKU. PRICING DOES NOT CHANGE! New SKU: 365-9-BXR3
6. Proper Gun Weight – Score: 9
The overall 17.8-ounce unloaded weight was very light and contributed to some snappy recoil, but the ergonomics, Tritium sights, accuracy, and capacity advantages more than offset the lightweight and recoil. And the rounded corners and low profile make it a worthy consideration for concealed carry. I gripped the gun very tightly and concentrated on the front sight to get decent and quick hits up close. Overall it was not too light a gun for carrying and for accuracy, so I would probably carry it mostly as a pocket gun.
7. Caliber – Score: 9
I prefer the 9mm caliber, used with appropriate ammo with the right ballistics and grain weight. So, it was easy and natural for me to shoot the P365 and its 9mm caliber. I shot it best with 115-grain FMJ and 115-grain JHP ammo. The heavier grained hollow point rounds did not perform as well with this P365, compared to the lighter loads and FMJ rounds. I did not shoot +P rounds and do not believe I would until I practice more with it and get more rounds down range. My wife also did well with the FMJ and lighter loads and also prefers the 9mm.
8. Capacity – Score: 9
Sig included only two modified double-stack steel magazines, and this is always a concern for me. But, the two included were ten rounders, about three more rounds per mag than comparable sub-compact, small carry striker pistols. A great revolutionary tapered-mag design. An optional 12-round mag is available for purchase. The 10-round mag with a pinky extension worked well and was easy to carry. As always, I want three mags to be included, to save from having additional expenditures and as a minimal necessity. This extra P365 12-round mag costs about $55.
The standard capacity of ten rounds for the flush and extended mags was better than other smaller guns like this, several holding only 7. Wish a third magazine with ten rounds or the 12-round mag was included. The mags were high quality and made of steel with witness holes. My medium-sized hands were comfortable with the mags. But, for several (not all) rounds shot, I did have trouble with both mags not cleanly ejecting and quickly coming out.
9. Ergonomics – Score: 9
Overall, the ergonomics of the P365 sub-compact were excellent. I really like its grip and the way it feels in my hands. It did not slip in my hands and my grip was firm and very comfortable. The overall high quality build, smooth, rounded edges, and low profile was very fine for concealability. This is a reliable gun, and I did not have any malfunctions. The slide lock lever was quick to locate and operate. The mag release button seemed for me to be not far enough away from the back of the trigger guard, for my wife and I to quickly reach it and release mags. We both had to significantly adjust our grips (my medium-sized hands and fingers) to eject mags.
SUGGESTION: So, for me, I would like to see the mag release button be flat (rather than curved) and level with the grip’s side panel and moved back on the grip some. All mags did not drop freely and quickly. Overall, the ergonomic features of this fine gun helped minimize my felt recoil.
10. Miscellaneous – Score: 9
As always before shooting any new gun, I disassembled, lubed, cleaned, and re-assembled the P365 before I shot it. I did not have to press the trigger to disassemble it, and it was very easy and quick to take apart. (Remember, do your SAFETY check to ensure any gun is unloaded before disassembly.) This is a high quality and solidly-built gun which is fitted very tightly. The price of the gun is reasonable for the quality and features you get, especially the two 10-round mags and include tritium night sights.
It comes with a hard lockable case, owner’s manual, cable lock, and two mags. It does not include accessories like some have, e.g., a holster, mag pouch, loader or other accessories or the third mag. There are several excellent features for this very quality sub-compact, striker-fired, single action gun. There is not a magazine disconnect safety, so it will fire with the mag out. Sig added a rail, loaded chamber indicator, and front and rear slide serrations and it also comes with a Lifetime Limited warranty.
NOTE: From Phil Strader’s (P365 Product Manager) Facebook post in Sig Sauer P365 Owners Group- mid-February 2018:
We’re pleased to announce that the P365 has resumed shipping. Thanks to great customer feedback, we were able to make helpful tweaks to the platform. This includes shipping all new P365s with our X-Ray 3™ day/night sights. Owners who are experiencing any issues with their original P365 SIGLITE® sights can contact customer service to have X-Ray 3s shipped to them at no charge. We have also made minor spring adjustments to address isolated incidents of failure to battery (FTB) which are directly related to the off-center/light primer strikes. While we believe some of the FTBs could be the result of varying grip issues, everyone will benefit from this adjustment.
Finally, in order to curb the potential of barrel or slide wear in pistols with a tighter tolerance stack, we have made two relief cuts to the barrel. Though this wear is only cosmetic and has been determined by tireless R&D efforts to confirm that it has no relationship with some of the issues experienced, these cuts will minimize most show of wear. SIG SAUER appreciates the excitement around this game-changing pistol, and we look forward to your continued support and helpful feedback.
Sig P365 Review Conclusions
Total Points = 92 out of 100 Possible
I certainly RECOMMEND this handgun for consideration as a concealed carry gun, pocket pistol, or a backup gun (BUG.) Its reliability, light weight, narrow width of one inch, high-quality all-metal build and tight slide to frame fit, excellent tritium day/night sights, comfortable grip, nice trigger with short reset, and overall ergonomics are fine for me. The high capacity of ten rounds for this micro-compact pistol is fantastic! While the trigger press is a little harder and longer than I prefer in my striker-fired single-action triggers, it is certainly acceptable and practice with it will improve my learning curve. The felt recoil is somewhat stout, but manageable and expected for a short-barreled and lightweight concealed carry gun. Make your own tradeoffs among capacity, concealability, and accuracy. There are several holsters available for the gun.
I hope this review of the Sig Sauer P365 sub-compact 9mm pistol has helped you gain some information you did not previously have. Consider that these are just my opinions with limited live-range fire and shooting myself only about 250 rounds of ammo.
Like always, I recommend that you shoot any handgun yourself before you purchase it. Decide on your criteria, how you will primarily use the gun, and what features are important to you, and you are willing to pay for ahead of your range time. Then critically evaluate the gun yourself per your criteria and purpose, with standard drills (several mentioned in my book), with various ammo types and brands, over an extended break-in period of about 500 rounds. Remember, Safety First Always!
Newington, NH 03801
Sig Sauer Elite V-Crown & Performance Ammo
Newington, NH 03801
BlackPoint Tactical Holsters
Alpharetta, GA 30004
Clinger Holsters at American Concealment Solutions
Van Buren, AR 72956
Photos by Author.
* This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney for legal advice and your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense and concealed carry. It should not be relied upon as accurate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever.
© 2018 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at [email protected].