By Dan Kidder
It isn’t often that you hear the words micro-compact and high-capacity in the same description and the very few times that it has been tried, the result was dismal. That is, until Sig Sauer took a stab at it.
Blending the stealth, every day carry or tiny backup capability of a micro-compact with a full 10- or 12-round magazine full of ammunition, the P365 is large on capacity, but is barely noticeable tucked into an appendix carry inside the waistband holster.
The specs are impressive coming in with a 3.1-inch barrel to give it a maximum overall length of just 5.8 inches. It is also just 7/8 of an inch wide and only 4.3-inches tall. When I say micro, I mean it is so small that it vanishes into your favorite mode of concealment. At only 17.8 ounces unloaded, it doesn’t pull down your britches either.
The biggest hang up on carrying a micro-compact pistol has been the ability to control it and the limited capacity. Sig has addressed both issues by off-setting how the magazine stacks to create a hybrid between a single and a double stack magazine. This ups the round count without making the grip thicker.
To put it all in perspective, the nearest competitor to the Sig P365 is the Glock 43. While both are 9mm, the Sig is smaller and lighter than the Glock and has a capacity of 10+1 or 12+1 rounds if you get the optional extended magazine and the Glock is limited to only six in the grip and one in the pipe for a total of seven.
Prior to shooting the Sig P365, I had two major concerns. The first was a result of what I encountered reviewing the Glock 43. Because of the tiny size of the Glock 43 single stack magazine, it was difficult for a guy with giant mitts like mine to hold it steady while shooting and it tended to squirt around inside my hand, making accurate shots nearly impossible. I hit the target, but my group was pathetic. I didn’t have that problem with the Sig P365. Groups were excellent even when stretching the range and increasing the speed of the shots on target.
This greater accuracy was due in part to the better grip angle and design, but also to the lighter trigger. The Glock trigger came in at an average pull of 5-pounds and 6-ounces in testing. The Sig P365 was at a crisp and delightful 4-pounds and 8-ounces. The grip features an aggressive stippling out of the box without modifications and there is plenty of room in the trigger guard for use with even large-fingered dudes wearing gloves. There is also no trigger guard undercut to wear a boil on your finger. Slide serrations, both rear and at the muzzle, provide more versatility that is desired in a defensive handgun.
The P365 comes standard with XRAY3 steel-bodied tritium night sights, both front and rear, with a green sleeve around the front vial to provide faster acquisition in daylight. It comes standard with a single, flush-fit, 10-round magazine and a second extended grip, 10-rounder. Optional 12-round magazines with a longer pinky rest are also available from Sig Sauer.
The second issue that concerned me, as with any pistol this small in full sized 9mm that is also rated for +P ammo, was the controllability. Sig designers tackled that concern as well and came out with their own line of ammunition, optimized for the P365. The Sig Elite 365 ammunition has been topped with the impressive and proven capabilities of the V-Crown bullet, with a powder designed to minimize recoil while providing 282-foot-pounds of energy on target. With a muzzle velocity of 1,050-feet per second, this is an impressive fete, considering the 3.1-inch barrel. To even further improve accuracy, they also created their 365 FMJ/Elite ammunition, designed to give you identical recoil, velocity, energy transfer and point of impact as their carry ammo, but with a less expensive full metal jacket bullet. This way you can practice with ammo identical in performance as that which you carry.
All told, the P365 lives up to its name as a gun you will be willing to carry every day of the year. It provides excellent performance in a size and weight that makes it an easygoing companion. I liked it so much that I bought it and I am carrying it; sometimes as my primary and sometimes as my BUG. The P365 is a real winner in my book. Pick one up if you can find one.
My name is Dan Kidder, I am Managing Editor of Sportsman's News Magazine. I am a former Marine who served with the Fleet Anti Terrorism Security Team Company during Operation Desert Storm. Prior to moving to Utah, I served as communications director for Georgia Congressman Mac Collins in his Washington, DC office. I am the President and CEO of On Target Defensive Training, offering firearms and unarmed combat courses to civilians and law enforcement. My students have included federal agents of the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, Border Patrol, ICE, local and state law enforcement, national celebrities, and the general public. My beat at Sportsman's News includes tactical firearms, personal protection, survival, first aid, camping, and hiking.