Concealed carry pistol choices have been expanding for years now. However, a difficult decision always had to be made. Carry a thick, small double stack that had good round compacity but wasn’t quite comfortable; or carry a single stack pistol that was small and comfortable but limited compacity. It was always a tradeoff. Until two years ago when Sig Sauer came out with the P365.
The Sig P365 is extremely small. It touts an overall length of 5.8”, a width of 1”, height of 4.3” and weight of 17.8 oz empty. It is properly classified as a micro compact. Compare that to the closest in terms of compacity and function, and you compare it to the Glock 43x. The Glock has an overall length of 6.5”, a width of 1.1”, height of 5.04” and a weight of 16.64 oz. The Sig is smaller in virtually every way except for weight, and I’m betting that the metal magazine on the Sig versus the Glock’s polymer mag makes that difference. The incredible engineering feat is the fact that the Sig carries 10 + 1 (with an optional 12 round magazine available for about $40). In size, the truest comparison would be something like the Kahr CM 9.
The Kahr CM 9 has an overall length of 5.42”, a width of .9”, height of 4.0” and an empty weight of 15.9 oz. The downside to this gun is that it carries 6 + 1 of 9mm ammo. In the world of firearms, compacity rules. The extra 4 or 6 rounds could be the difference between winning and losing a fight. To put it in perspective the Sig with the 12 round magazine doubles the carrying compacity of the Kahr without having a spare mag. All in a size you can easily fit into your pocket. How does Sig fit these extra rounds in a size smaller than most single stacks on the market? That is a question answered by the engineers (to which I am not). I’m happy that they do and see this becoming the new norm in an ever-growing market. Glock’s new 43x in the next closest, by using a staggered stack magazine, but you still have a gun that fits and feels more considerable in hand.
So how does something so small compare to guns like the Glock, M&P or Kahr? Well after a friend invited me to shoot his, the short version is I bought one myself to become my new daily carry. For years I’ve carried a five shot S&W 642 Airweight. It is easy to conceal and has five shots, with the reliability of a revolver. I’ve always known that my shot count was meager and limited, but it was the decision I made. Now I don’t have to sacrifice compacity for convenience, which makes me very happy.
The Sig is a joy to shoot and does so accurately. From a standing free-handed position at 10 yards, I put 100 rounds downrange at a 9” paper plate (poor man’s target). My best grouping was roughly 1 ¾” group of 6 at 10 yards. This was within the first 50 rounds and did not stray much during the last 50 either. Now I will be the first to tell you that I am not a certified marksman with a pistol. (I’ve spent more time over the years focused on long guns.) I don’t tell you this to excuse the weapon but rather the shooter. In the hands of a better shot, I’m confident this gun can make tighter groups. Out of the box these groupings are better than I can hope for. One thing I will say against accuracy is that my gun tended to pull to the left (as did my buddy’s). I’ve found this is due to me compensating for the size by squeezing the grip at the moment of the trigger break. From the bench, I tested three different inexpensive loads with five shot groups. The chart below gives you the results.
|Winchester White Box||115||1.489”|
Surprisingly the Winchester had the best and most consistent grouping. With the other 2, one shot fliers opened the group up significantly, Blazer Brass being over an inch. I believe with more practice all of these groups will get even tighter. Out of a pistol, let alone a micro-compact, these numbers are excellent. Overall, I’d say the accuracy is top notch.
The specs given at the beginning of this piece says it all. This gun is small. It is listed on the Sig website as a micro-compact, and I believe that to be an accurate classification. As I said before, this gun is a joy to shoot. While my ideal size is not identical to all shooters, I find that what fits me fits the majority of the market. The gun’s grip is small and short but not to the point that you lose control. For me, the issue with double stacks is that they are generally wide and short. My pinky ends up hanging below the gun feeling like I’m not in complete control. The remedy has always been to add a mag extension to give that purchase area for the pinky, but then you have that longer grip which causes its own set of issues in concealment. I look for a gun that can be hidden entirely yet big enough to control. If you live in a state with printing laws you understand the dilemma. The most obvious fix would be either to dress in bigger clothes, to hide the bigger gun, or learn to shoot without a full grip. With the Sig, you get the best of both worlds. It’s that happy medium between length, concealment, and controllability. I can’t say enough about how well this gun feels in hand.
Recoil is a breeze. It is accomplished with the guide rod, spring, and slide rail length. The guide rod is an all in capped, 2-piece design with a heavy spring. This makes it easy to take down and clean but more importantly controls the recoil and function of the small gun. The slide rails traverse the entire length of the action, instead of the traditional sections by the trigger and hammer assemblies. This is a feature not found on a lot of guns but something I’ve always liked. It means the contact points between the slide and frame are strong and constant. While I cannot prove this, I’ve always felt this design aids in not only strength but recoil. This may be more mental than physical, as I have no engineering background and can only theorize, but the fact is no matter how they do it, this gun is smooth to shoot and easy to control. Shooting is believing. When my buddy first got his, he kept bragging to me how awesome the gun was. I listened and became interested but wasn’t indeed sold until I shot it. The first mag was all it took for me to decide, “Yep. I’m getting one of these.” If you haven’t done so yet, go out and shoot one. You won’t be disappointed.
One of the main reasons I chose a revolver for many years was reliability. After all, it’s a revolver. While they are not perfect, their main selling feature is that they function and require very little maintenance. Pistols are tremendous and nowadays can be extremely reliable as well, but they do require maintenance. They are functioning, simple machines and require at least some basic maintenance, cleaning, and lubrication. The Sig is no different. It is a pistol and will require the usual cleaning and lubrication. I’m a bit OCD when it comes to my guns. Before making the full commitment, I researched the Sig and was not disappointed. The only negatives I could find were failures after extremely high round counts without cleaning. Any gun at that stage can and will fail, so I discounted them for what they were, torture test. For me, this gun is a month old and has barely been broken-in, but I have no reason to suspect failure. From just a physical inspection and my experience, I have to say I’m impressed. Like I mentioned before the slide rail is longer than the norm and the rest of the gun seems to be just as over engineered. The slide and frame are a tight fit with all the parts being cut large and beefy, which is a surprise for such a small gun. Sig Sauer has always had a reputation for being well built, and this new P365 is no exception.
Sig Sauers reputation has always been excellent. Solid built and engineered to be accurate and reliable. However, in the past, they were made in Germany and imported here to the US. That translates to a higher price here in the States. Sig has since moved to the US for manufacturing which has helped a great deal in cost. I’ve always like shooting Sigs but could never bring myself to spend the higher dollar amount. This gun retails for about $500, which is right in line with comparable carry guns in the market. It makes this my first Sig, and I couldn’t be happier. For a weapon to come out and change the market perception, and from a company like Sig, I expected a high price tag. The price was the final straw that made my ultimate decision.
Almost all the reviews I’ve read or watch mentioned the trigger on this gun. About half say it in the con column, but I put it in the pro column. The trigger has no safety, and the gun itself has no external safety. The negatives state that the trigger is a bit light for a gun without an external safety. Before carrying a revolver, I carried the Kahr P9. This gun also had no external safety or trigger safety. It has a heavy, long trigger pull which was meant to keep the number of negligent discharges down. The Sig’s trigger has the same design. Without access to a Lyman Trigger gauge, I’m going to estimate the break to be somewhere in the 6 to 7-pound range, with long action. This put’s it in line with the weight of triggers like Glock or Smith and Wesson with a longer travel to the break. Without the trigger safety bar, common with these manufacturers, the fear is that the Sig will be more prone to accidents. I have never put much trust in those safety bars since they are centrally located on the trigger itself and have less weight to disengage than the triggers themselves.
For this reason, I don’t see the trigger to be an issue. On the pro side, I will say the trigger breaks very crisp and clean with a very short reset. The pressure is consistent all the way through. If anything would be a con in my eyes, it is that the reset is very short. I have more concern with a follow-up shot that’s too quick and not 100% on target that I do with the trigger inadvertently being pulled while holstering my gun. In my opinion, if you are following consistent trigger discipline with your gun there won’t be an issue.
While this gun has thoroughly impressed me, there were a few minor cons I feel need to be mentioned. After all, nothing is perfect, and it wouldn’t be a fair review if I didn’t completely describe my impressions.
As stated above this gun groups well, but seems to hold a little left. Take the necessary time to shoot from a bench and make sure the sights aren’t the issue or if you need to practice.
Out of the box, the small 10 round magazine is tight. It is over-engineering at it’s finest. I’ve kept my mags loaded over the last few weeks and put 300 rounds through it so far and have already noticed them getting looser and easier to load. This is my biggest complaint, so I’d say I’m still doing well.
One odd thing I found about this gun that takes some getting used to is the takedown and reassembly. Take down is simple enough. Lock the empty gun open, turn down the takedown lever, pull the slide forward and squeeze the trigger. However, putting it back together required reading the instructions. (Something us guys have trouble with.) To reassemble the pistol, the slide stop must be held up with your thumb, and the takedown lever pulled down. Without holding the slide stop up, the takedown lever will not go all the way down. At first, this feels like doing the hokey pokey with your fingers, but with practice, it begins to feel more natural. Like any gun, it has its quirks that require a little learning.
My overall impression is pretty apparent. I love this gun. Can’t wait to shoot it a whole lot more. I love seeing new technology come out in the industry that genuinely changes the way manufacturers think and how the market reacts. I’m keeping a close eye on other manufacturers as the popularity of this gun rises. In doing my research, I spoke to several local gun shops to see what their best-selling pistol was. Without giving them any other criteria, they all said, the Sig P365. With the Glock 43x being a close second. Glock has already answered the new market trend that Sig made, with a gun the same size as their single stack 9mm capable of holding 10. I’m excited to see who else answers this demand and how they do it. I highly recommend my purchase to anyone who asks, even some that don’t. You definitely won’t be disappointed.
Be sure to check out our previous Reviews.