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 love my Kahr CM9 but even extended factory magazines only get up to 8 rounds and protrude. And I sold my GET 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.

  2. Hey Bob,

    Is this a sponsored review? Just asking for transparency, no insult intended. I’ve been seriously looking at this gun, can you please address the hate fest on YouTube? Mostly striker drag and trigger problems. I’m curious how much, if any, you encountered these problems


  3. I have a P365 on order, I am drooling over being able to have a pistol about the same size as my Glock 42 but the extra capacity magazines especially the 12 round one has me thinking this might just become my EDC. Geez maybe that’s what they had in mind when they named it, ya think???

  4. I have one, and I love it. Perfectly sized for a CCW, it fits my hands very well. Very accurate, especially for a pistol this small. I have had no failures at all with mine, with about 300 rounds down the barrel.

  5. I own two P365 that I have fired over 1200 rounds. I love this little pistol. It is very accurate, a great trigger and feels good in my hand. I am a retired police officer and carry 24/7. I carry IWB in a StealthGear Ventcore mini. It also fits perfectly in my Karr PM40 OWB holster and it fits a little bit loose in Glock43 holster. I really like 13 round capacity with 12 rd. mag and the 10 rd. fits perfectly in the watch pocket of my jeans.

    1. Jay,

      I fired perhaps 400 rounds in the SIG. No problem at all. It was snatched off the shelf at a retail outlet. I paid for it, but did not keep it. Too many guns—if possible— I did not experience striker drag and the trigger is excellent. I think that perhaps striker drag is common to a lot of handguns— I can tell you about hand fit, accuracy, and quality of manufacture, which is excellent, and the sights as well, they are good. As for long term durability some of the guys that are hitting over 1000 rounds with the pistol would be a good source. The pistol runs and performs well, it should be a great EDC. But again- I test a lot of guns in a compressed time frame and this is a new pistol. I give it a clean bill of health.

  6. While I like the idea the P365 represents SIG’s ability to make a gun that requires the purchaser to essentially be beta tester will prevent me from ever buying anything SIG that is made outside of Germany. Too many documented failure reports across basically the entire made in the US product line.
    If I find that after several years and many thousands of pistols have been out in the real world that the issues associated with the P365 have been resolved I might consider giving one a chance. Until then, nope,

  7. I have two personal carry pistols that I switch out often. I live in FL so we are in shorts almost year round. More often I carry the Beretta Pico for the ability to conceal very easily in a pocket. The other is a Beretta Nano, which looks and sounds very similar to the Sig 365. I may rent one to see how it handles. I absolutely love the way the Nano handles. Great review!

  8. I am glad people are finally starting to try to compete with Kel Tec… and no, I’m not being snarky. This is the closest I know of someone coming to their P-11, but that is still slightly smaller and carries 12+1 (originally was 10+1, but they figured out how to cram 2 more rounds in).

    I realize a Kel Tec is not a Sig… but if the big names are going to enter the fray, I’d have expected better competition against a pistol that has been on the market for such a long time. Glock’s attempt had small capacity for the bulk and disappointed. Sig finally seems to be on the right track, and it is a tempting offer, but I really don’t want to pay a lot more to sacrifice capacity and gain size…

    1. SCCY had something like the P-11, but i think thats the only game in town till now with these kind of specs

    2. Hey Chris I just got my Keltec P11 back. I think I originally bought this thing somewhere around the early 2000’s and gave it to my daughter when she went off to college.

      I was surprised to see Keltec has a 12 rounder, that is a flush fit, now how do they do that?

      This is very similar in size to the Sig, almost exact, and slightly larger than my Kahr CM9.

      For now I am staying with these 2 even though I would love the Sig. reliability mechanically is my concern.

      Not real accurate with the Keltec, but am with the Kahr. Hopefully some trigger work will fix that on the Keltec. I can shoot it all day and love the 12 round mag, but my groups open up quite a bit when compared to the Kahr

  9. I’ve seen quite a lot of bad reviews about the Sig 365 and it’s reliability. Failure to fire, failure to eject etc. Not sure if the “positive” take sellers are giving this gun are completely honest. Thar being said, I have not shot one. But I wouldn’t buy one with all the stories I’ve heard. A gun need to work. If it doesn’t, what’s the point?

  10. I have two personel carry pistols; one being the Kahr P9 and the other the Sig 938, absolutely the most concealable 9 mm pistol that fits my hand and I carry it most of the time. I would certainly be open to looking at the new Sig 365.

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