Choosing a concealed carry handgun is an important decision, in that you will be living with this firearm on a daily basis, and you might have to use it to defend yourself or those that matter dearly to you. These days, there are many great options out there that can be gotten both affordably and without much hassle beyond the usual government paperwork.
With that said, even the best firearms in the world are manufactured goods made in factories and, thus, they can occasionally run into issues as well. Even the best pistols ever made are likely to run into the occasional design problem, lemon, or poorly thought out feature.
In this piece, we’ll be discussing the Sig Sauer P365, in both its short and XL variants. In so doing, we want to take some time to introduce the pistols themselves. From there, we’ll go through five issues that these pistols have had, and suggest five solutions to those issues. After having done that, this piece will end with our overall conclusion and recommendations surrounding the P365 series of pistols. To foreshadow a bit, these are competent pistols that had some growing pains but, with just a little bit of testing on your end, they can be exceptional concealed carry guns.
About the Sig P365 & P365 XL
The Sig P365 was designed from the ground up to be a fantastic concealed carry weapon. It’s a polymer-framed, striker-fired handgun that fires from a double-stacked 9mm magazine. The standard model comes with a 3.1-inch barrel, 10-round magazine, night sights, and the ability to attach optics as well as lights. It has, since its 2017 launch, grown a fast following among folks looking for a reliable, good-looking, and well-made firearm.
There are several variants that come with a wide variety of features. For instance, the SAS models forgo large sights for a gutter sight and smoothed-over look. There is also a model being offered .380ACP now. Clearly, Sig Sauer has committed to the P365 platform, and will likely continue to develop and refine it for years to come. The P365 brings concealed carry handguns into the modern era and gives more people the opportunity to modernize their concealed carry kit with lights and red dot sights, which we suspect will be more common in the coming years.
The standard P365 model is light, handy, and easy to conceal, which is why it’s become so popular over the last few years. With that said, a 3-inch barreled handgun is hard to handle even for experienced shooters, which is why Sig has introduced the XL model.
The P365XL with 3.7” barrel and 12 magazines as the standard. The extra half an inch on the barrel and two rounds may now sound like much on paper but, to many shooters with larger hands, it makes the P365 handle better, as well as providing a better grip for managing recoil. Overall, these additions make the pistol a little less easy to conceal, although this tradeoff comes with the benefit of being easier to shoot the pistol well.
Issue 1: Breaking Firing Pins
On some early production P365s, users found that their firing pins would break seemingly at random, even with low numbers of rounds having been fired through the gun. This is an issue that would immediately stop the gun from functioning, as without a complete firing pin, the primer cannot be ignited and thus the round cannot be detonated.
Fixing this on the fly is more or less impossible. The simplest solution would be to have a spare firing pin, as they can be installed in a matter of about a minute by an experienced P365 user, and they’re affordable enough that you should keep one around if you own a P365.
Additionally, this issue was one of metallurgy that has been fixed by Sig: if you buy a new P365 it will not likely be an issue that will affect your gun. This issue is contained to mostly older pistols, so if you have an older pistol or buy one used, it’s wise to email Sig’s excellent customer service department. With the serial number, they’ll be able to tell you if your pistol is potentially affected by the issue, and, if it is, offer replacement parts.
Issue 2: Night Sights Breaking
On the models of the P365 that come with night sights, some users have had issues with those sights breaking off. Usually, the stories that we read about those are light on the details, but since we also own Sig pistols with night sights, we think we can do some educated speculating here.
Sig’s night sights are pretty tough and tend to work well, but, like anything else, can be broken with abuse. While these pistols are made to last and work well, keep in mind that they are, at the end of the day, concealed carry pistols. If you find yourself smashing your sights against barricades at a match, I’d argue you’re not exactly using them as intended.
But, if you do manage to break your sights, a competent gunsmith should be able to remove the pieces and install new OEM Or aftermarket sights. Additionally, the P365 is cut for red dot optics from the factory, so if you need a more ruggedized optic, then installing a micro red dot might be the option for you. Stronger metal in the sights might help, but in this case, we recommend some user caution first and foremost.
Issue 3: Failure To Extract
A failure to extract occurs when a round is fired, but, for one reason or another, the spent casing is not extracted, meaning that another round cannot be loaded and the pistol, thus ceases to function.
Failures to extract can come from a variety of sources. One common one with cheap ammunition is a cracked casing, in which the casing expands too much and is stuck too tightly for the extractor to pull it out of the case. Additionally, extractors or firing ramps that are not geometrically sound can cause this issue. Lower-powered ammunition might also cause the issue if there is not enough energy to cycle the action.
In the case of the P365, it could be the case that some extractors are weak. If this occurs to your firearm, we first recommend trying different ammunition. If different ammunition does not solve the issue, then we recommend replacing the extractor, which you can do yourself with just a few minutes of time. Should this not fix it, then the next remedy would be to contact Sig, and likely send the gun in for them to diagnose the problem.
Issue 4: Failure to Go Into Battery
A failure to go into battery is when a round, for one reason or another, does not seat properly into the chamber, usually preventing the gun from firing. In fact, you want the gun prevented from firing when it is not completely into battery, as an out-of-battery detonation is extremely dangerous to the shooter.
These malfunctions can come from several sources. Firstly, it can come from magazines that have a weak spring that does not adequately push rounds up and into place. It can also come from the user not racking the slide all the way to the rear when chambering a round. Finally, damaged or incorrectly manufactured feed ramps can cause this issue.
With compact weapons like the P365, the most common cause of this failure are user induced: when racking the slide on an empty chamber, make sure to pull it back all the way and then let it go home: do not leave your hand on the slide as it moves forward. Also, give the magazine a good smack on the bottom once it is fully inserted. If neither of these solutions remedies the issue, consider new magazines.
Issue 5: 12 Round Magazines are Hard To Load
Some users find that the expanded 12-round magazines for their Sig P365 are hard to load completely. This is likely because the recoil springs in the magazine are stiff, especially when they’re new.
The solution to this one is simple: there are readily availably plastic magazine loading aids that are a few dollars and we recommend them to anyone who shoots a handgun with any frequency. Loading magazines by hand can be deeply unpleasant, and we like saving the muscles in our hands and fingers for the range rather than beating them into the feed lips of a magazine.
Despite these problems, do we still recommend the P365? In a word: yes. Many of the issues we described here are much more common in older guns as opposed to the new ones. Additionally, Sig is continually developing the platform and making improvements over time. We expect that as these iterations and eventual generations are likely to become more reliable over time. Of course, these issues are worth thinking about. Thus, we also recommend that, as soon as you get your P365, shoot several hundred rounds to make sure that it is reliable.
George has been an avid shooter for twenty years. He began shooting when he was gifted a Browning SA-22 for target practice. Now, as an academic, he combines his love of firearms and knowledge of history to write for firearms blogs and is still a frequent sight at the local range.