Review: SIG 365 — A Smashing Little 9mm

I don’t mind carrying a small handgun that is very efficient for its size. In fact, some handguns are a wonder of downsizing. However, small 9mm handguns have a set of problems that isn’t easily addressed. This includes lower magazine capacity and a lower hit probability.

SIG Sauer P365 pistol right profile
The P365 is a compact but reliable handgun.

A short sight radius doesn’t make for good accuracy. Some of these handguns are difficult to shoot accurately and handle quickly. The SIG P365 addresses these issues and does so surprisingly well. The pistol is light, compact, reliable, and features good combat accuracy. This is a true miniature handgun. The grips fit most hands well, and there are no sharp edges to speak of. The pistol is a double-action-only design with a minimum of complication. The double-stack magazine holds 10 cartridges. The pistol is only an inch wide. The piece is compact—in fact, it is downright small—but handled well in firing tests.

The pistol operates in a fashion similar to the Glock, Smith and Wesson Military and Police, and a few others. The pistol features a prepped, or partly cocked, striker that is loaded by racking the slide. The trigger is pressed and the striker is pulled fully to the rear until it breaks against the sear.

The trigger press is smooth and reset is rapid. The pistol is supplied with two magazines—one a flush fit and the other with an extended floor plate. The grip stippling is rough enough for good adhesion when firing but not rough enough to abrade the body when the pistol is carried close to the body.

Field striped SIG P365 pistol
Field strip is simple enough, simply turn the frame lever.

This is a small handgun that is teeny compared to my usual Commander .45. The piece weighs but 18 ounces. The P365 is an inch across the slide, 5.8 inches long, and only 4.3 inches high. The pistol is a 10 shooter; remember to remind yourself of that fact when looking over dimensions. It feels like a slim line with a slim magazine but it isn’t. The P365 9mm is small for its magazine capacity. The pistol, like the P320, features a steel chassis in the polymer frame. This may make the pistol a good choice for a modular capability if different size frames become available.

To begin the firing tests, I loaded the magazines with Winchester 115-grain FMJ, an affordable and clean burning loading. I obtained several 100-round boxes, and this loading was a mainstay of my 9mm testing. I had dry fired the piece and was prepared for the field test. I began firing the pistol at man-sized targets at 5, 7, and 10 yards. I was surprised at the pistols shooting capabilities.

The SIG P365 is supplied with night sights. The bright green front dot provides an excellent aiming surface. The pistol is accurate. I was able to put the rounds into the X-ring with a minimum of acclimation.

SIG P365 Dimensions and Specifications

  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel: 3.1 inches
  • OAL: 5.8 inches
  • Width: 1.0 inch
  • Height: 4.3 inches
  • Weight: 17.8 ounces unloaded
  • Sights: Fixed SigLite 3 dot tritium
  • Stocks: Plastic
  • Action: DA
  • Finish: Nitron
  • Capacity: 10+1; 12+1
  • MSRP: $599

The pistol is controllable. There were no failures to feed, chamber, fire, or eject. I had good help wringing the pistol out, and in short order, we had made a pile of brass. One drill that I perform with a new handgun is to fire a full magazine from retention position. A flex of the wrist or a less than ideal spring set up will result in a tie up.

The P365 sailed through without any type of malfunction. Results were good. Using only one type of ammunition isn’t much of a test, so I added the Winchester 147-grain Defender and Winchester 124-grain PDX +P. At 920 fps and 1,125 fps, these are loads are on opposite ends of the spectrum for bullet weight and velocity, with some favoring the penetration of 147-grain load. Others favor the expansion of the +P load.

These loads do 960 fps and 1,202 fps from the Glock 19, so there is some velocity loss in a short barrel. I also tested the SIG Elite Ammunition 124-grain V Crown. This load broke 1,115 fps from the SIG P365.

Firing the P365 with this range of ammunition provided interesting results. The Winchester 147-grain load exhibited light recoil and good control. Accuracy was excellent.

The SIG Sauer Elite load is more energetic and offered greater felt recoil. The PDX +P load offered greater recoil, and frankly recoil was startling when firing with the weak hand and using +P loads. When firing full-size 9mm handguns, the difference between standard pressure and +P loads isn’t very noticeable, at least not to experienced shooters.

SIG P365 pistol bottom silver snub nose revolver top
The P365 features twice the ammunition capacity of the typical hideout revolver.

With the P365, the +P load demonstrates the greater recoil by a considerable margin. I would carefully choose the duty load. While I am certain +P recoil could be managed—and the pistol is rated for +P loads—a good standard pressure load might be the better choice for most shooters. Just the same, I can see growing into the SIG P365 with +P loads.

I tested the pistol in a compressed time frame. The SIG V-Crown hollowpoint load would be a good carry load. The Winchester 115-grain Silvertip would be another. The pistol is reliable, accurate, fast handling, and easy to conceal with proper leather. It sounds like a winner to me.

Do you own a SIG P365? What is your review? If not, what is your favorite compact handgun? Share your answers in the comment section.


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Comments (23)

  1. I have the Glock 43 and just bought the Sig P365, I’ve put around 500 rounds through the Glock 43 and love it. I’ve only put 100 rounds through the Sig P365 and so far love it, they are so close when it comes to shooting I’m not sure yet which one I like the best. For now I’m carrying the Glock until I can get few more rounds through Sig to make sure it has the reliability of the Glock. My wife is leaning towards the Sig but hasn’t shot it enough to know for sure.

  2. Great size, stomachable pricing…but the reliability? This might be a solid option to “wait” for a year more. Perhaps worthy of a back up role now, but I’d be hesitant as a primary. For now.

  3. I’m curious about the trigger reach. Gun mfgs publish all kinds of numbers for their offerings –but for some unknown reason this is the one dimension they do not include. Almost like it’s classified.

    Little stubby fingers like mine need to know. 🙂

  4. I am interested in this pistol.

    I recently got my Keltec P11 back from my daughter. I was excited to go try this out again. It was this size and capacity 10 years ago, so the 10 or 12 plus one in this sized istol is not new.

    Hopefully now more gun makers will pursue this platform. I have always gravitated to smaller handguns. Currently we have the SCCX, or Keltec, and now the Sig that I’m aware of.

    The two cheaper guns are built cheaper I’m sure. After shooting the Keltec, I remembered the pros and cons of this thing. I don’t mind the long trigger so much. It’s just gritty and heavy. This affects my accuracy and follow up shots. I can get 13 rounds off fairly quickly, all on target at about 10 yards, but the grouping is not so good.

    On to my favorite carry piece, a Kahr CM9, I can pocket carry this thing as well as appendix carry with almost no printing. It is easy to carry 24/7/365. I love, love, love this trigger on the Kahr. It’s a little long for a lot of people, but smooth and fairly light.

    For comparison, I don’t really like the Glock trigger, I think it’s to short, for a round in the pipe. This Kahr is the 1st gun I have trusted with a round in the pipe. This is a pistol that has a very low felt recoil, can shoot anything I feed it, and is smaller than this Sig P365, it also can be had with night sites for about $350/$375.

    The one big con I see is 6 +1 vs a 10 or 12 +1. This makes me hope I like the Sig P365 as much, or that Kahr steps up to the plate and offers a model to compete with the Sig capacity wise.

    I will probably sell my Glock and get one of these Sig’s, I would definitely get the Kahr if the have a 10 +1 come out in the near future.

    1. Hey Matthew,

      You will see this is smaller than the P938, not by a lot, but is a little smaller with a higher capacity.

  5. I own a P365 and use it as my CC weapon. I love it. I have a small grip & it fits me perfectly. I will confess, I am a SIG fan already, but this handgun is fantastic! I love your review – as a person who has put several thousand rounds thru my P365 – you are spot on!

  6. How many rounds total were tested? I love the pistol reviews I have read and wish this were available 2 years ago!

    But have concerns over the breakdowns of the trigger and firing pins that have been recorded so far.

    Would love a follow up review after 1000 rounds

  7. I love my Kahr CM9 but even extended factory magazines only get up to 8 rounds and protrude. And I sold my Glock G26 because it’s so beefy. This pistol is truly a Unicorn. Plus, it’s a Sign. I might become a convert but I do love my Kel-Tec P32, my Seecamp LWS32, and my Kahr. The 365 is next on my shopping list.

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