According to Sig Sauer, the micro-compact Sig Sauer P365 is now America’s most popular handgun. By that they mean it is currently the best selling handgun in the country. It was recently chosen by the NRA’s Shooting Illustrated Magazine as their Golden Bullseye winner for 2019 Handgun of the Year. It has won a ton of other awards and it’s selling like hotcakes (whatever that means). Is there anything the Sig P365 can’t do? Well, let’s see.
It starts with the magazine.
Have you ever seen the Kohler commercial on television where the actor plunks down a faucet on the table and says to the architect “design a house around this”? That is how I view the evolution of the Sig Sauer P365. The magazine for the P365 is something of a marvel and it is the centerpiece of the Sig P365 design.
The compact double stack magazines, which Sig produces in ten, twelve and fifteen round capacities, leaves you wondering just how did they made that work. Yet it does, and the uber-efficient magazine design allows Sig to keep the overall width of this double stack to a paltry single inch. Yes, a one inch wide, double stack.
With a ten round magazine inserted this double stack 9mm is smaller than my Ruger SR-22! The single stack Ruger LC9s (my benchmark for compact carry size) is only 0.1” thinner than the P365 but is still a bit taller. And there’s no way you’re getting a 15 round mag in an LC9s. Sig has just set the bar very, very high.
The fit and finish of the pocket size Sig Sauer P365 is unremarkable. Unremarkable, in that it is pretty much perfect. The flawless Nitron matte finish slide is adorned with only the “P365” model designation cut into the surface and cocking serrations front and rear.
The slim grip is aggressively textured on the side, front and back. The P365 has a reversible, triangular shaped magazine release button. On our test gun, the Massachusetts approved model, the pistol is also equipped with an exceedingly low profile ambidextrous manual safety.
Our P365 came with two magazines, a flush mount ten round and another ten round with a pinky extension. They seat with a very positive click and drop free when released. If you have large hands, it’s likely you are not going to get three fingers on the grip even with the pinky extension on the magazine.
A very nice addition at this price point is Sig’s X-Ray 3 Day/Night Tritium sights. The dots don’t jump out at you but they do show well enough in bright light or near dark conditions where you pick up the Tritium glow. In twilight conditions they get a little bit lost. Maybe I’m just spoiled by the awesome Truglo TFX Pro sights on my EDC. However, Sig’s inclusion of the Tritium night sights on the P365 is a big plus and you can always add a tactical light.
The Sig Sauer P365s are flying off of gun store shelves, so you know there’s a lot of love for these micro-compact pistols. If you have one or are on your way to having one, know that you’re in for a little pain too. One of the downsides of getting 10 or 12 rounds in a super small magazine is you have to get 10 or 12 rounds in a super small magazine. Not so easy.
Now, as with most magazines, I expect the springs will break in to some degree over time. Until that time, get yourself a magazine loader. Your thumbs will thank me.
The recoil spring is stiff, but not unusually so. To give you a good grip on the slide Sig give you sharp cocking serrations front and rear. And by sharp, I mean no radius cuts you can peel vegetables with them sharp. Rack the slide with a tight overhand grip.
Last, there is the grip texture. With a grip circumference this small, having an aggressive grip texture is really a must to keep the pistol from moving around while shooting. Sig gave you that and more with a grip surface something like 60 grit sandpaper. This gun is all business. It’s small but it’s got attitude.
The striker fired Sig P365 has a pretty darn good trigger right out of the box. Our measurement shows a pretty consistent break at just over 5 pounds. You get about a 1/4 inch of free play then it starts to engage. There is a just a short creep then a nice break with a very tactile reset. One thing you won’t find on the P365 is an annoying trigger blade safety.
The P365 has a fairly wide, all metal stamped trigger. The trigger is curved, unlike it’s big brother the P365 XL, but if straight flat triggers are your thing there are several aftermarket options available.
And then there’s the shooting.
I loaded up for the range with six different kinds of 9mm to try out. I had a couple brands of 115 grain target ammo, some Sig 147 grain and a few varieties of Hornady self-defense ammunition. As the P365 was straight from the factory, at first I was looking for just basic functionality. After establishing everything operated well, I looked for results on target.
I loaded up the magazines with cheap target ammo first (and let me remind you again to buy a loader if you don’t have one) and just got used to the grip and the trigger. Because the grip is both thin and short front to back, you may find yourself having to adjust your normal grip somewhat.
I had to adjust a bit, repositioning my “thumbs forward” grip to both avoid the slide stop and the tip of my trigger finger as I pulled the trigger back. There’s a happy medium there but it felt a little off at first.
After working though some magazines I started focusing on target result more. I like the trigger a lot (almost as much as it’s big brother – the P320). It’s consistent and in the sweet spot of pull weight for a self-defense gun. Light enough to maintain accuracy but having enough resistance to insure that trigger pulls are very intentional.
Being a small gun, the P365 does have a bit of muzzle flip. At just about 18 oz. unloaded, that is really to be expected. Sig has done some great engineering but there is no getting around the laws of physics. Given a second, follow up shots are not difficult to keep on target, but expect rapid fire aim to walk around some.
I bounced back and forth between ammo varieties until I used up my stock and I was pleased with the overall results. Out of the 300 rounds of mixed ammo fired I had exactly zero failures of any kind. That’s fresh out of the box, no break in with a gun design that pretty much requires tight tolerances. Not bad.
The accuracy of this little pistol is no doubt much better than I am. Even when rapid firing it was not hard to keep all the shots inside the target at 10 yards. Slowing down my groups closed within the 8 ring and I’m sure with more time on the P365, could get even better. At the distances this pistol is designed for that looks like success to me.
I’m maybe another 1000 rounds away from deciding if the Sig Sauer P365 could be my “go to” carry pistol but everything I’ve seen so far says it’s a contender. It does everything my other small pistols do, just more of it in the same size package. That’s hard to beat.