Review: SIG Sauer’s New “SIG 365 Ammunition”

By Bob Campbell published on in Ammunition, Reviews

For those serious about safety, a good supply of personal defense and training ammunition is vital. I practice rapid, aimed fire, and do not aim for the whole target. Instead, I aim for a small area on the target. Precise fire is important, and getting the bullet to where it will do the most good is vital.

Personal defense ammunition doesn’t always have a valid understudy for training. A high velocity loading may strike to a different point of impact in relation to the point of aim compared to a standard velocity, training load. SIG Sauer has developed a line of ammunition that is well suited to personal defense and training. The line is called 365 after its successful compact 9mm handgun.

SIG V Crown 365 ammunition box

In a full-size handgun, such as the Glock 17 or Beretta 92, the full-power SIG V Crown 115-grain JHP generates over 1,250 fps.

These loads are manufactured on the same machinery and each has the same powder charge of fast burning powder and each load uses a 115-grain bullet. The training load uses an inexpensive full metal jacket bullet while the defense load uses a specially developed V Crown hollow point. The premise is to use the FMJ load for practice and the hollow point for carry use. Of course, a certain amount of the V Crown hollow point must be fired to proof the load for feed reliability. I doubt any modern 9mm pistol will fail to feed this well designed projectile. SIG stresses the need to train like you carry. A practice load with the same recoil and point of impact is an advantage. The SIG 365 load is designed specifically for short barrel handguns of any make. Standard loads lose velocity when fired in short barrel handguns. +P loads generate a lot of recoil in a compact pistol and are contra indicated for use in light pistols such as the very compact 365.

In a full-size handgun, such as the Glock 17 or Beretta 92, the full-power SIG V Crown 115-grain JHP generates over 1,250 fps. This is a good choice for personal defense with a bullet that penetrates optimally and expands well. On the other hand, with the popularity of ultra compact handguns, perhaps these pistols are not the place to be attempting to deploy a load that mimics the .357 Magnum. Besides wear and tear on the handgun, control is difficult, and the recoil may actually startle some shooters. Slide velocity may outstrip the ability of the magazine to feed properly.

SIG 365 full metal jacket ammunition box

This loading did strike to the same point of aim as the V Crown load when firing from a solid bench rest position with the Walther APX 9mm Compact.

SIG developed the 365 load for compact handguns. The bullet penetrates an optimal depth of 14 inches in water testing and expansion was good. This makes for an ideal personal defense load.

SIG rates the 365 hollowpoint at 1,050 fps from the SIG P365. I tested fired the load in a new Beretta APX 9mm handgun, Smith and Wesson Shield 9mm, and Beretta 92FS. Velocity was 1,049 fps, 1,060 and 1,090 fps, so SIG is dead on with their velocity figure.

A handgun with a longer barrel than a compact pistol will enjoy a modest increase in velocity. As you can see from the illustrations, expansion is ideal. This isn’t a service load for firing through bad guy’s car doors. Instead, it is a home and personal defense load that will do the business, if you place the load correctly. Recoil is mild and function ideal. I fired a 2.5-inch, 20-yard group with the Beretta APX Compact. This load is good enough to ride with.

I fired 100 rounds of the FMJ 365 in a brace of 9mm handguns both compact and full size. Function, accuracy, and a clean powder burn were all part of the package. This loading did strike to the same point of aim as the V Crown load when firing from a solid bench rest position with the Walther APX 9mm Compact. The combination of the two SIG 365 loads is a viable one for personal defense and personal defense training.

Have you tested SIG’s ammo? What were your results? Share your answer in the comment section.

SLRule

Bob Campbell is a former peace officer and published author with over 40 years combined shooting and police and security experience. Bob holds a degree in Criminal Justice. Bob is the author of the books, The Handgun in Personal Defense, Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry, The 1911 Automatic Pistol, The Gun Digest Book of Personal Protection and Home Defense, The Shooter’s Guide to the 1911, The Hunter and the Hunted, and The Complete Illustrated Manual of Handgun Skills. His latest book is Dealing with the Great Ammo Shortage. He is also a regular contributor to Gun Tests, American Gunsmith, Small Arms Review, Gun Digest, Concealed Carry Magazine, Knife World, Women and Guns, Handloader and other publications. Bob is well-known for his firearm testing.

View all articles by Bob Campbell

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Comments (18)

  • Chuck in MO

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    I have not tested the 365 V-Crown load, but I have tested the 124gr. and 115gr. loads in 9mm.

    My results were less than ideal with the 124gr. load. I feel that it would greatly benefit from the use of a softer core, as the jacket performed well in expansion but the core did not expand accordingly.

    The 115gr. V-Crown load performed superbly, putting the 124gr. to shame in every way; target damage, expansion, optimal penetration, etc. The 124’s overpenetrated to an uncomfortable degree.

    The 115gr. version was quoted at 1,185 fps., but averaged 1,276 fps. out of my Springfield Armory XD9 Mod. 2, 4.0. They expanded beautifully to .648″/183% and also performed well at .604″/170% in REAL heavy clothing (heavy duck canvas insulated coveralls backed by a heavy, insulated flannel shirt; not that “4 layers of denim” crap you see all of the time!). They also expanded to .684″/187% through drywall (two 1/2″ sheets spaced 3-1/2″ with the first water-filled milk jug 5″ behind.)

    Shoot me an email to see the results of my testing and other observations of (so far) 51 loads in .380, 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP done over the past 10 months. I’ve been doing this off and on for 30 years.

    I would happily accept donations of ammo/funds for same in loads not tested already that you would like to see done. I would be particularly interested in testing Barnes TAC-XPD, Liberty and Black Hills Honey Badger in these calibers.. I have already tested the ARX/Inceptor and DRT rounds.

    Thanks

    Reply

  • Tom Jamison

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    I had the same experience with the SIG 365 FMJ. Pow, Pow, pop…unburned powder, casing not ejected. Probably 15-20% of the box of 50. Cleaned the pistol, went back the next day with no less than four different ammo brands, not one problem. Fiochhi, Blazer, Speer Gold Dot (P and +P) and Winchester. The sig rounds were the first I put through the brand new P365. I was not happy.

    Reply

  • Martin

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    Wow, thats a lot of fail to fire issues, especially when it involves ammo that you rlife may depend on. Thanks for the feedback guys. I will stick with what I know is good and reliable.

    Reply

  • Tom Jamison

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    I tried the Sig 365 ammo in my brand new Sig 365. I only tried the FMJ’s and have not tried the hollow points yes. Bad first date. I had approximately 20 percent of the box fail to fire properly, not ejecting the casing and leaving unburned powder behind. Went home, cleaned the gun and went back to the range the next day. Shot 5 different makes of ammo, including Speer Gold Dot +P without a single problem. Love the pistol, don’t love the ammo. Sorry Sig!

    Reply

  • Vic vapor

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    .
    Hi Bob.
    Good review.
    Just a touch of confusion on the chronograph results.
    The Sig p365 barrel gave similar results as the Berretta 92.?
    .

    Reply

    • frijoli

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      Vic, that was a terrible review. No real value in testing ammo that way.

      Reply

    • RKC

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      Yes, velocity was similar.
      A load using a modest powder charge, standard pressure, often burns more completely in a short barrel.
      With +P loads you will see more of a deviation in velocity.

      Reply

    • wr

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      Water testing allows a shooter from one side of the country to the other to compare results without testing the load in gelatin. This means we may all get comparable results. There is no cavity to observe and neck to compare but water results are within 10 per cent of properly prepared gelatin and are used by many professionals as a quick reading.
      Gelatin certainly isn’t flesh blood and bone either but works OK for comparisons.

      Reply

  • frijoli

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    “The bullet penetrates an optimal depth of 14 inches in water testing and expansion was good. This makes for an ideal personal defense load.”
    What makes this optimal?? What a joke. No credible testing I have seen or done uses “depth of water” penetration. Very sad..

    Reply

    • Dr. Strangelove

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      Actually, Gun Tests magazine uses water jugs and they are a quite credible source of firearm and ammo reviews.

      Reply

    • frijoli

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      There is no science behind water jug testing.
      And honestly I hope you are joking gun mags, because unless you have your head in the sand there are no “testing” magazines any more. Only paid for reviews. A good portion of the online review tests are junk as well. the “ONLY” thing water testing does is display what expansion looks like. There is NO other value.

      Reply

  • Matt Witmer

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    Big fan of SIG! That being said I have had issues with 365 ammo in FMJ. 8 misfires out of 100 with my p365 pistol (with close to 1000 rounds). I say misfires as in the 8 random shots did exit pistol but at a lite recoil, low noise, and no shell extraction. The VCrown shot great as did the following 100 rounds of different ammo after incident. Those were the ONLY issues I’ve had with the p365 and carry it everyday. I’ve contacted SIG with info and they were VERY interested and were going to look into it. Happy shooting! Thank you

    Reply

  • Paul

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    Walther APX??? Maybe Walther PPX or Beretta APX?

    Reply

  • Mark Sherman

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    Water testing for penetration and expansion is hardly ideal. All testing I’ve seen in calibrated 10% ballistic gel have shown the VCrown projectile (124 gr. IIRC) to be a poor performer. While this load for defensive purposes would not be my absolute last choice it does not rate as a top choice, only something that would be used lacking any better alternatives, of which there are many.

    Reply

    • Chuck in MO

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      My experience with the 124gr. V-Crown as well. See my comment.]

      Thanks.

      Reply

  • mike

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    Too bad sig can’t make a p365 as reliable as their ammo

    Reply

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