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

SIG 365 cartridge with an upset bullet

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.


About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (18)

  1. Interesting the issues some are having with the 365 FMJ. IÔÇÖve put 100 rounds of that and 100 rounds of Fiochhi through my new Sig P365 with zero problems. Bought some of the Sig 365 hollow point the other day and once I test some of that, IÔÇÖll start carrying it in the P365.

  2. 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.


  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. .
    Hi Bob.
    Good review.
    Just a touch of confusion on the chronograph results.
    The Sig p365 barrel gave similar results as the Berretta 92.?

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  7. “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..

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

    2. 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.

  8. 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 IÔÇÖve had with the p365 and carry it everyday. IÔÇÖve contacted SIG with info and they were VERY interested and were going to look into it. Happy shooting! Thank you

  9. Water testing for penetration and expansion is hardly ideal. All testing IÔÇÖve 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.

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