The SIG P365 has been a popular handgun for SIG. The pistol is well designed for concealed carry, offers a 10-round magazine capacity, and has earned an enviable reputation for reliability. The P365 is more accurate than you would expect from a sub-compact pistol and has more than a little style. The newest SIG P365 is a variation on the popular XL series.
The XL types are SIG pistols with a longer slide and barrel, and special grip treatment and finish. With larger handguns, the pistols are easier to shoot well but end up primarily being range guns due to their size. The SIG P365XL is a larger, and slightly heavier, handgun but still a perfect size handgun for concealed carry. The P365XL Spectre is concealable but easier to shoot well than most pistols.
SIG P365XL Spectre Features
Among the most interesting features of the SIG P365XL Spectre is the battle-worn or distressed finish of the slide. With the frame treatment and overall quality, this is a distinctive pistol with a lot of eye appeal. There is a certain attraction to well-worn firearms. They are friendly, and like a pair of broken-in boots or worn jeans, they give folks like us a nice warm feeling.
But the finish isn’t something that will wear or corrode, because the finish isn’t actually worn. The texture is a result of tumbling after the slide is finished. After it exits the tumbling media, each slide is unique in appearance with no two being quite the same.
In common with other XL pistols, the P365XL is a product of the SIG custom works shop. The slide features a cut out that is a stylized X just behind the front post sight. The slide, incidentally, is stainless steel under the battle worn finish.
The cut is well done and an impressive piece of machining. The slide is relatively smooth with no sharp edges — as it should be for concealed carry. The pistol features both rear and forward cocking serrations.
This is an easy handgun to manipulate. Loading, racking the slide, unloading, or making the pistol ready isn’t a chore. The pistol is fitted with SIG X-RAY sights. X-RAY sights were familiar to me from long use with my first P365 9mm pistol.
These sights feature a fluorescent circle around the bright front sight and two dots in the rear sight. Radioactive tritium makes for true 24-hour sighting ability. If the need arises, you may rack the slide by using the wedge-type rear sight. I think releasing the slide after a reload by wedging the rear sight on a belt or boot heel is viable with this setup.
While the slide catches the eye, the polymer receiver holding the stainless-steel chassis has also received special treatment. The grip tang is extended for better feel and recoil control. Grip texture provides what most of us will find to be an ideal balance of adhesion and abrasion.
Once you have affirmed the grip, the pistol isn’t going anywhere whether the hand is wet, cold, or sweaty. The grip treatment includes recesses in the grip that give the shooter greater purchase than the standard P365 did. The trigger guard is slightly elongated compared to the SIG P365.
The trigger is an interesting development. The trigger is flat and promotes straight-to-the-rear trigger compression. Trigger break was clean. Riding the trigger to the break, and then catching the reset, results in very good fast shooting. Several subcompact pistols cramp my average-size hand and trigger finger. The P365XL Spectre treatment feels much better than most — in fact any other subcompact I have fired.
The pistol is supplied with two 12-round flush-fit magazines. This gives the shooter two more rounds than the 10-shot P365. A word of warning, the magazine springs are very strong, as they must be. It is asking a lot to feed 12 rounds in such a small magazine from full compression to almost no compression. It takes considerable effort and a magazine loader to load the magazines to full capacity. After the initial range session and break-in period, the magazines became slightly less difficult to load.
At the Range
Firing the pistol was a pleasure. Most of the ammunition used was Fiocchi FMJ in 124-grain, Federal American Eagle 124-grain, and Federal Syntech 9mm. The pistol never failed to feed, chamber, fire, or eject. Recoil was controllable. This is a 21-ounce pistol, so there is recoil energy.
The pistol isn’t as comfortable to fire as a SIG P320, but recoil wasn’t sharp or painful. The grip treatment and trigger combined to give the shooter excellent control in firing strings. The sights offer a good picture. Firing at man-sized targets at 5 and 7 yards, the Spectre proved effective in taking out the X-ring.
IN fact, most hits were in the X-ring with a few in the 8 and 9 rings. Aim, press the trigger, allow the pistol to reset in recoil, and fire again. For testing absolute accuracy, I included three loads. These were the Fiocchi 124-grain Extrema, Federal 124-grain HST, and Hornady 115-grain Critical Defense. I fired from a solid benchrest position at 15 yards.
Firing five-shot groups, I managed several five-shot 2.0-inch groups. The pistol is certainly accurate enough for defense use. The P365 is a reliable handgun and easy enough to use in combat drills. It is more accurate than I expected and has a certain eye appeal and pride of ownership that make the pistol enjoyable to own and fire.
Since the pistol is optics ready, I elected to add the SIG Romeo Zero red dot for the final leg of evaluation. This is a compact red dot with a footprint less than one-inch wide. The Romeo Zero features a dot with 8 brightness adjustments. It is a good match for the P365XL. The lines mesh well.
The housing is polymer making for light weight. Battery life is an astonishing 20,000 hours — red dots and batteries have come a long way. Windage and elevation adjustments are accessible and easily handled. The sight, despite its modest price and small profile, has proven durable on several pistols I have tested.
The lowest brightness setting was used in dim light in order not to overpower the target. The Romeo Zero is a valid addition to the SIG P365XL Spectre. Hit probability is excellent for those who practice. This is an excellent all-around set up for personal defense.
Specs: SIG P365XL Spectre
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Sights: SIG X-RAY
Capacity: Two 12-round magazines included
Length: 6.6 inches
Width: 1.1 inch
Barrel length: 3.7 inches
Weight: 21 ounces
Carrying the pistol concealed requires some research and shopping for the best holster. The Galco Quicktuk Cloud inside-the-waistband holster proved ideal. With a supple, breathable nylon backing over cell foam, the holster helps eliminate moisture. With this backing facing the body and a rigid Kydex holster holding the handgun, the Quicktuk Cloud is secured to the belt by a well-designed belt clip.
Once the Uni hook is placed over the belt, it locks back into the holster. This is an excellent design that solves many problems of the tuckable/IWB type. While it is designed for tuckable use, I never use a tuckable. The holster works just fine deployed as a conventional IWB holster.