Today we’re doing an in-depth review of the Sig Sauer P365 9mm handgun.
In the past decade, some incredible advancements in firearms technology have been presented to the freedom-loving people who understand and appreciate the god-given right of firearm ownership.
One of the hottest topics has been that of concealed carry. After all, while shooting bottles and fruit is fun, the primary purpose of owning a firearm is to utilize it as a tool that you can use to defend yourself. Handguns have an exceptional niche, in which they can be carried with you in your day-to-day tasks so that you have a tool that can give you an advantage over a would-be attacker.
That being said, one of the biggest drawbacks to carrying a firearm is that they are often uncomfortable to carry and conceal on your person. So as more people have started to carry, those concerns have been noted by the engineers that pump these guns out to the public. As a result, firearms have been smaller and smaller so that they can easily be carried and concealed…while unfortunately sacrificing the amount of ammunition that you have at your disposal. Traditionally, most subcompact firearms have been limited to around 7-10 rounds capacity.
That all changed with the release of the Sig Sauer P365 9mm Micro Compact Pistol.
Background of the Sig Sauer P365
Sig released the Sig Sauer P365 handgun around 2017-2018. This handgun was smaller than most subcompact concealed carry handguns and was released with a 10-round magazine and a stunning 12-round magazine, something unheard of at that time.
Of course, there were extended-capacity magazines for other handguns like the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield. With that said the catch was that the P365’s magazines were Double Stack magazines, rather than Single Stack. It was an idea that should have been implemented by many firearms manufacturers much sooner.
The Sig Sauer P365 has been out for a while now, and multiple different versions have been manufactured and released to the civilian market providing plenty of options for different concealed carriers throughout the country.
|Capacity||10 -12 rounds|
|Overall Length||6 in|
|Overall Width||1.1 in|
|Weight (Unloaded)||17.8 oz|
|Weight (Loaded 12 rd)||23 oz|
This little handgun has a polymer frame and weighs about 17-18oz unloaded, and with the 12-round magazine loaded up with 9mm 115 gr ammunition, this gun weights roughly 23oz, compared to other compact and full-sized handguns this is a lightweight little gun that is easy to carry in a variety of ways.
Sig released a 15-round double-stack magazine that can be carried in the standard Sig P365 and is still easily concealable. That means that with an additional round of ammunition in the chamber, you can carry an astounding total of 16 rounds!
As far as the thickness or width of the gun, this is a very small pistol that is thinner than a very popular concealed carry pistol, the Glock 26, which also only carries 10 rounds. The width of this handgun is just under an inch, providing a very thin solution that will aid in reducing the signature of the weapon while it is concealed with clothing.
From the rear of the slide to the muzzle’s end, this gun comes in at a length of 5.8 inches, further demonstrating its strength of concealment. This firearm sports a 3.1-inch barrel, which to some is a concerning length, causing some to wonder if this firearm is going to be ballistically effective, regardless of its concealability. We’ll get into the accuracy later on in this review, but it’s something that doesn’t require excessive sweating.
One of the things that makes the Sig Sauer P365 stand out among concealed carry handguns or other firearm enthusiasts is not only the set of features but the price at which they come. While retail pricing for this firearm is around $599.99, this handgun can commonly be found new in stores for around $550.00 or very commonly found for around $450.00 in the used market.
Due to this firearm being around for around 5 years now, deals are PLENTIFUL and this firearm can be found in great condition for a great price. In this case, the prices I’ve listed refer to the pricing of the standard P365 model and are always subject to change like anything else.
The version that I bought over 5 years ago came with two 10-round magazines, one of which had a finger extension module. These days, many retailers sell the P365 in a “Tac-Pack” package coming with a plastic outside-the-waistband holster, and 3 12-round magazines.
While some may scoff at this type of deal, considering there are hundreds of thousands of new firearms owners out there wanting to carry a handgun, this is a great option for many to get started with their firearm ownership journey.
The Sig Sauer P365 is a striker-fired micro compact pistol that is chambered in 9mm, and now as of recently chambered in .380 ACP for those looking to carry a smaller round that is slightly easier to control during recoil. I only have experience shooting the P365 chambered in 9mm.
Like its cousin, the very popular P320 series handgun, the P365 has a fire control unit, meaning that the serial number is engraved into the trigger module. This means that like the P320 series, you can interchange the grip module.
So now with the addition of other models such as the P365 XL and P365 X-Macro, you don’t need to go and buy an entirely new P365 handgun, instead only need to swap out the grip modules. This gun has become more modular with the addition of aftermarket parts that are becoming increasingly plentiful as time passes on.
The grip module is very comfortable and allows the shooter to place their hand higher up on the frame to better control the recoil of this pistol. Subcompact guns are known to be a bit more “snappy” with the recoil, and controllability is crucial to get accurate follow-up shots.
Loaded Chamber Indicator
This firearm also has a loaded chamber indicator which is a feature unknown to many potential buyers and actual owners. Sig made a small cut into the barrel block that locks up with the slide that you can see into to see the beautiful brass sitting in your chamber.
While you should always assume that the gun is loaded by physically and visually inspecting the chamber, it’s a nice feature to have.
Magazine Capacity & Extensions
The Sig Sauer P365 12-round magazines have polymer grip extensions added to the bottom to help you get a better and more complete grip.
Obviously, with the idea of this handgun being a micro compact pistol and easily concealable firearm, the downside can be that this gun’s grip module is too small for certain hands. Thus Sig added the grip extensions on the 12-round magazines, to help those with larger hands get a full grip on the weapon system.
Tritium Iron Sights
Sig includes 3 dot iron sights that are made out of metal… not plastic… looking at you GLOCK!!
These iron sights are night sights that have tritium inserts, which are easily seen in low-light or no-light situations. The front sight has a high visibility green dot that aids in easily acquiring the sights in a high-stress situation, while not being distracted by the subtle rear sight.
At close-range shooting engagements from 5 yards to 25 yards, these sights can easily help provide consistent and accurate groups. The front sight and rear sight are non-adjustable and set from the factory, but can always be swapped out for after market parts if desired.
The gun has front and rear serrations on the slide that help you with racking the slide. The texture is aggressive enough to assist you without slicing your fingers open.
The grip module has a proprietary bottom rail attachment point to place weapon-mounted lights. Since I bought the gun, I’ve been sporting a Streamlight TLR-6 that helps me see in dark environments.
Trigger Pull Weight
Finally, the P365 comes with a crisp rounded trigger that breaks at around 5lbs. While this isn’t a match-grade trigger, it is consistent and very comfortable trigger pull. The trigger can be switched out for Sig’s own flat trigger, or a variety of aftermarket triggers.
It has a very positive click after pulling it and a very positive reset. Some shooters have reported the trigger to have a more “mushy” break as opposed to Glock’s “rubber-band” type trigger break. It’s hard for anyone to describe the trigger in an article such as this, but I can confidently say that the P365 trigger is a great trigger out of the box.
This handgun is very accurate for a subcompact handgun. Using remanufactured Freedom Munitions 115gr 9mm ammo at 15 yards I was able to shoot groups that were roughly 2 Inches wide from a benched position using a shooting bag. I then did my best to shoot this gun at 25 yards from a benched position with the same ammunition and was able to achieve consistent 3-inch to 3.5-inch groups.
The hardest part about shooting at distances past 25 yards and up to 50 yards with this pistol is that the sights almost cover the targets, making it difficult to be as precise with your shooting.
While there are handguns out there that are more accurate, it should be noted that this firearm was designed to be used as a handgun for personal defense in close encounters. Scenarios in which you are mugged for your belongings, or attacked due to road rage incidents are very likely in the world we live in.
This handgun is designed to be used in confined spaces and close engagements and anywhere from 3 yards to 25 yards, this handgun will produce acceptable accuracy that will help you survive any violent encounter.
This noisy cricket has been my daily carry gun every day for the past 4.5 years and has been carried in an appendix carry holster ever since its purchase. I’ve taken this handgun to multiple indoor, and outdoor ranges as well as outings on public lands and camping trips. It’s been carried in very hot 115-degree Arizona weather, as well as south Texas 20-degree humid-cold environments, and has worked regardless of the weather condition.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I sweat… A LOT. This gun has gotten very dirty, being covered in Arizona dirt and sand, my own sweat, and the lint accrued by the clothing concealing it. Not to mention I’m not extremely consistent in cleaning this gun after many range trips with over 5,000 rounds through it.
The point is that no matter what I’ve put it through, this gun has performed very reliably, always going bang when I pull the trigger with a round in the chamber.
Sig P365 Problems
Upon purchasing this handgun and without any lubrication, I had a few stovepipe malfunctions with this handgun that were caused by using underpowered reloaded ammunition. After tearing the gun down and cleaning it thoroughly providing a generous amount of lubrication, this gun has run like a sowing machine.
All other malfunctions caused have been user induced, which will be explained in an upcoming part of this article.
Missing Tritium Inserts
Initially, like many other Sig Sauer products, this handgun had its share of problems. Some of the P365 production guns were shipped with night sights that had the tritium insert missing or falling out. This issue was not very widespread and was remedied with Sig’s repair warranty process.
More notably, many early-generation Sig P365 handguns were plagued with something called Primer Drag. Many users noticed that upon inspecting ejected brass, they saw what looked like the primer strike dragging across the primer rather than having one clean indentation in the center of the primer. Sig was notified of the occurrence due to the various outcries from P365 owners across the country.
No official statement was made about the primer drag but Sig did make some changes to the design of the striker to make it more robust and prevent breakages, which had been reported by some.
While many people believe that this issue is exclusive to the Sig P365, many users that carried the S&W Shield 9mm reported the same occurrence. After performing a bit of research, I’ve seen some independent engineers explain that the primer drag is a result of the firearm being so small in comparison to other 9mm handguns.
Due to the size and the locking and unlocking timing of the handgun, somehow there’s a concoction of a physics mess that causes the striker to drag against the primer in the process of extraction. If this makes little sense, it’s because I dropped out of college and definitely have no business being a mechanical engineer or physics major.
Verdict on Reliability
Have I ever had any of these issues? I have not. But I won’t discount that others have had these problems. I’ve shot over 5,000 rounds through this handgun, have performed various parts inspections, and have not seen or experienced any mechanical damage or failures.
There’s obviously give and take with anything, especially with this handgun being as small as it is. But in my experience, I have had a great time with this handgun and trust it with my life.
As stated before, I have shot over 5,000 rounds through this gun and have carried it consistently for almost 5 years total. This gun has become one of my favorites to concealed carry due to its portability.
I am able to put this gun into an inside-the-waistband holster and carry it under my suit when I go to church and carry it in an appendix-carry holster with an additional 15-round magazine on a daily basis at all of my other activities. Due to the ease of handling and carrying, this gun has eliminated all excuses to not concealed carry a gun with me every single day.
Working as a police officer, I carry a full-size Glock 17 Gen 5 handgun in a duty holster. Officers are encouraged to carry a backup gun, and my backup gun of choice is… surprise… my P365 handgun. This gun is also carried on me during my patrol duties, and while I won’t tell you where I carry it on me, it is comfortably concealed on me in case my full-size handgun goes down when I need it most.
Aside from patrol use, I carry the P365 with me when I need to testify in court regarding the cases I’ve worked on. While in plain clothes, I don’t really want to carry my full-size Glock with me, and being able to switch out with the P365 makes sitting in court for hours much more comfortable.
Shooting the Sig Sauer P365
This gun is very comfortable to shoot, despite its small size. Smaller handguns have a reputation for being more “snappy” or harder to control due to not weighing as much and not having as much real estate to grab onto.
As stated earlier in the article Sig Sauer designed the grip module to place your hand a bit higher up closer to the bore to reduce muzzle flip. Sig’s laser texture of the grip is adequate in making the grip more comfortable, while I have stippled the grip myself to give myself a more aggressive texture.
I have found it easy to get follow-up shots with this gun and I am pleased with the accuracy I receive. I have practiced shooting this at 50 yards in the past few months and am able to get all of my rounds on a man-sized target with enough practice.
- Easily concealable
- Variety of magazines to choose from 10,12,15,17rd magazines
- High visibility sights
- Accurate for a subcompact firearm
- Lots of aftermarket accessories
- Variety of different models
- The small gun can be TOO small for some
- Sig Sauer’s reputation for QC issues upon release
I’ve gone into the pros of this gun, but I’ll need to expound a bit more on the cons listed above. One of the biggest drawbacks to having a gun this small is that obviously, the gun might be a bit too small for some users. I have medium to large-sized hands and at times with my high grip on the pistol, my left thumb or palm will rest on the slide release, causing the slide to not lock back when the gun is out of ammunition. This will lead me to press the trigger again thinking that there’s another round in the chamber, which in turn makes the gun go “Click”.
While I can easily then lock the slide back and reload, by definition the firearm is not performing as it should even though it’s a user-induced malfunction. Again, this is all a result of the gun’s small size in comparison to my hand size, but it’s an issue that gets pretty annoying when I’m training.
On top of that, the small size of the handgun will cause many to break their shooting grip to hit the magazine release. Reloading isn’t difficult but will require a bit more practice to reload efficiently. There isn’t a flared magazine well on the grip module so the reloads aren’t as forgiving to fumbles.
The last thing I listed is a common feeling among consumers that have considered buying a Sig product: Sig’s recent reputation when it comes to QC in products. It must be mentioned that Sig is one of the largest firearms manufacturers in the world, making MANY different firearm models. It should be no surprise with this information that with high amounts of production, it becomes harder to maintain consistent quality control.
That being said, far too many people seem to report issues with Sig Sauer products, especially upon the release of a new product. Many of their recent offerings have had immediate recalls, and with the proliferation of independent online firearms reviews, Sig has been hammered with a reputation for releasing products that don’t seem to be finished or fully tested.
While that last statement may or may not have merit to it, it is important to note that Sig has been in the spotlight for a while in regard to QC issues. Take it with a grain of salt, do your homework and make a purchasing decision accordingly.
Verdict & Conclusion
From my own experience, I have not been led astray by any Sig product. I have owned multiple Sig optics and Handguns and the P365 is by far my favorite carry handgun.
While there are so many options on the market today, including newer and more feature-rich variants of the P365, the original P365 will forever be my favorite handgun. If you’re skeptical, I’d say go to your local range and try one out. Chances are somebody has a rental gun that you can try before you buy.
Carrying a handgun these days is what I feel to be a “must”. Maybe the P365 will be the subcompact wonder gun that will get you hooked on daily carry. From my almost 5 years of hard use and daily carry, I can confidently say that the P365 is an option that is worth your hard-earned dollars. While there have been new subcompact firearms that carry around the same round capacity, the P365 is what started the whole revolution.
Bryton has a never-ending passion for firearms and has a great love for the 2nd amendment. He is frequently found in the AZ desert, training with his firearms and teaching his friends about them. Bryton has worked as a manufacturing technician for two firearms manufacturers, and is currently serving in a Law Enforcement role for a local Police Department.