SIG’s P365 9mm is an immensely popular handgun. The pocketable original and snag-free SAS are excellent deep concealment handguns. Quite a few of the theories on personal defense, and the handguns that are designed to match this criterion, neither sow nor reap.
The P365 is a counterpoint to small caliber and unreliable handguns. It is the ideal 9mm concealed carry handgun. The SIG P365 is a concealable, reliable, and powerful compact handgun. The pistol is modular, accepting aftermarket parts such as the Wilson Combat grip module.
The P365 has a wealth of application. A short time after the P365’s introduction, SIG introduced one of my favorite variations the P365XL. With a greater magazine capacity of 12 versus 10 rounds, and a 3.7-inch barrel compared to the original 3.1-inch tube, the XL is a credible belt gun.
The XL is concealable in a properly designed inside-the-waistband holster and in some pockets. The XL is also easier to shoot well than the original.
A few months ago, SIG introduced an XMACRO version of the P365. This pistol features a compensator and lengthened slide and grip frame. This is an easy gun to shoot well — by a markedly amount. I found I could fire splits, double taps, and all speed drills much faster and with less recoil than the XL.
The lengthened grip frame, with its 17-round capacity, makes for better control. This pistol is a winner on most counts. That being said, the ultra-reliable SIG P365 long slide/compensated pistol was not without criticism. The compensator certainly helps reduce recoil but also directs ejecta upwards. This prevents effective use from the retention position.
The 3.1-inch barrel develops the same velocity as the standard P365, but less than the P365XL. As a counterpoint, SIG developed the TACOPS version. It is basically a P365 XMACRO without the compensator.
The XMACRO is about two ounces heavier than the P365XL. The grip is larger and encloses a 16-round magazine. The magazine witness holes go to 17. However, even using the supplied magazine loader, 16 was the limit for this shooter.
The grip frame is slightly taller than the P365XL, which is taller than the P365, and this super-comfortable grip frame is supplied with additional grip inserts. The pistol is delivered with a total of four magazines. A speed loader and lock are included in the hard case. Let’s pause the narrative a few moments to look over the P365-XMACRO TACOPS specifications.
- Caliber: 9mm
- Capacity: 17+1 rounds
- Barrel length: 3.7 inches
- Overall length: 6.6 inches
- Height: 5.2 inches
- Maximum width: 1.4 inches
- Weight unloaded: 20.7 ounces
- Grip frame: Polymer
- Chassis: Stainless steel
- Slide: Nitride coated stainless
- Sights: SIG X-RAY 3 three-dot, tritium
- Optics: Romeo Zero/ RMS optic cut
- Trigger: Flat trigger shoe — five pounds, one ounce
- While definitions vary, the SIG P365-XMACRO TACOPS isn’t a subcompact perhaps, but it is a compact that is much smaller than the Glock 19 class of compacts.
I like the slight difference in the grip module of the TACOPS over the P365XL. My hand is average sized, and the TACOPS is a perfect fit. Smaller sizes, such as my wife’s hand, also fit and my friends with a large hand size are not unduly cramped. (One friend uses a Hogue grip sleeve on his Glock 21 10mm!)
The texture is ideal with the balance of adhesion and abrasion ideal for long shooting sessions. The TACOPS features a modest magazine well. A high-capacity, tapered magazine is usually a fast load in a generous magazine well.
The extended mag well makes speeds loads even more rapid. The trigger action with its flat trigger and smooth compression are excellent by any standard. My TACOPS trigger breaks at just over five pounds with a crisp and rapid reset. This is an ideal trigger for a concealed carry handgun.
The fire control unit is a consideration for some folks. I own several P365 pistols. It is nice to be able to update the grip module, say moving an original pistol to the XL standard. The FCU isn’t difficult to change and is simply a chassis with the rails and trigger included.
Accuracy and Handling
The primary difference between the TACOPS and standard XMACRO is that the XMACRO features a 3.1-inch barrel and compensator. This results in a very easy handgun to use well but with drawbacks. I like the TACOPS slightly better. After all, it isn’t like a .45 ACP or 10mm, where recoil becomes punishing. The 9mm simply isn’t a hard kicker.
Just the same, a sub-compact or compact kick more than a full-size gun. The compensated 9mm is a very pleasant firearm to use well. The TACOPS isn’t as soft shooting, but by no means is it a hard kicker either. If you find the Glock 43X pleasant enough, the SIG TACOPS 9mm kicks a little less, or at least the grip frame is more comfortable.
The pistol is not as comfortable to fire as a Glock 19 9mm, but then, what is? The pistol is easy to handle with both front and rear cocking serrations. The SIG XRAY sights make for an excellent sight picture in bright or dim light. Tritium night inserts are a good thing to have in a carry gun.
The pistol was lubricated along the slide rails, cocking block, and barrel hood. I loaded the magazines with full metal jacket loads. I used the supplied magazine loader to fill the magazines with 16 cartridges. During the course of several range trips, I used Federal American Eagle 124-grain, Winchester 147-grain FMJ, and Remington UMC 115-grain.
The TACOPS is fast from leather and gets on target quickly. I used the Galco Hornet crossdraw holster in most of my work. The Hornet is a great holster I often deploy when driving or hiking. I gave the SIG a good workout. There is no pistol in the size and weight class that shoots as well in combat drills as this pistol.
Firing for accuracy, I fired from a solid benchrest taking every advantage for accuracy. I fired five-shot groups at 15 yards using personal defense loads including the Winchester 124-grain Defender +P, Federal 124-grain HST, and Hornady 124-grain XPT. Top velocity was 1,190 fps with the Winchester load. The average for the three loads was about two inches, with the smallest group being 1.6 inches with the Hornady load.
This is a reliable, accurate, and exceptionally well-handling pistol. I like the SIG P365-XMACRO TACOPS. It was an unexpected addition to the P365 line and a most welcome one.