The SIG P365 was introduced at SHOT Show 2018 to great applause and tons of love. The gun promised and delivered a subcompact gun that was the size of most single stack 9mms, with a 10 to 12 round capacity. Its dimensions were nearly the same as its closest competitor the Glock 43. It was the bell of the ball that was SHOT 2018.
The gun hit the market shortly after and admittedly stalled hard. It had numerous small issues, and production was halted temporarily. SIG was at an important crossroads, and the P365 and their next move was an important one. Luckily, they resolved to fix the issues instead of ignoring them.
I’ve had a P365 for over a year now and have fired over 1650 rounds through it, so I feel I’m capable of addressing this little guy. Out of the box, the P365 comes with two 10 round magazines. One has a pinky extension, and the other is flush fitting. Twelve round magazines are also available that increase the length slightly.
The P365 also comes stock with SIG night sights. The sights use tritium vials to glow in low light conditions, and a bright green fiber optic ring sits on the front sight to make daylight sight acquisition very quick. Like the P320 the firearm portion is a fire control unit that can be removed from the grip module easily.
This could potentially allow a future where different grip modules exist for different users, or even just different colors. It’s an impressive looking and a very stylish little gun. It’s won half a dozen awards already and remains one of the most in-demand guns on the market. Let’s check the specs.
- Caliber – 9mm
- Barrel Length – 3.1 inches
- Overall Length – 5.8 inches
- Weight – 17.8 ounces
- Height – 4.3 inches
- Width – 1 inch
- Capacity – 10 to 12 rounds.
Purpose and Role of the Gun
The SIG P365 is designed for concealed carry. On top of that, a few law enforcement departments have adopted it as a back-up weapon or approved it as a backup weapon.
The design allows it to be carried in nearly any way you choose. From traditional IWB to appendix, or even pocket carry. It’s small enough to do it all. Its substantial capacity makes it an excellent self-defense primary for concealed carriers.
As a defensive firearm, designed for concealment, we’ll be reviewing it as such.
With the primary market of this firearm being concealed carry it's important to discuss how the weapon conceals and carries. The lightweight and small dimensions make it a natural for deep concealment, including IWB, AIWB, and even belly band and ankle carry. We have an incredible article containing a variety of concealed carry drills if you want to get more in-depth.
The guns growing popularity has given it quite the holster market, and you can find a variety of options in the holster department. I’ve carried the gun both IWB and OWB, in my pocket, as well as in my Alien Gear ShapeShift shoulder holster and have a positive experience the entire time. I’ve tested the gun in a belly band as well, but have not dedicated to carrying it via belly band.
The small nature of the gun makes it very easy to conceal without printing. It takes zero effort in OWB or IWB carry configurations. It disappears under a shirt and in the pocket very easily. The gun is well suited for most people; even the most petite can easily conceal this little guy.
The rounded design of the gun prevents any pokes or prods when carried IWB and it can be forgotten about with the right holster. I’ve been using a Bravo Concealment 3.0 IWB holster for most days, and it works perfectly.
This is one of the most comfortable guns I've ever concealed and carried. It’s as easy to carry like a traditional single stack 9mm like the G43 or the Walther PPS, but it offers substantially more firepower.
Basic Range Time
Before we take this gun down a defensive pathway, we’ll go over the basics of the firearm and how it handles in a standard range environment.
As I mentioned above, I have over 1,600 rounds through this gun, and with this review, we added another 200 to that count for a total of 1,850 rounds approximately. In that 1,850 rounds, I’ve experienced two failures to fire with Freedom Munitions American Steel ammo, and this ammo is far from quality. It should be noted when these rounds were placed in a Glock one fired, and one did not. I also had a failure to eject once when shooting a one-handed portion of dot torture.
To me, this is very reliable, and a gun I’d trust to protect myself. Ammunition wise I’ve used the aforementioned Freedom Munitions, as well as Tula, Remington UMC, Winchester White Box, SIG Elite, SIG P365 ammo, Hornady Critical Defense, Speer Gold Dots, Zinc FMJs, SIG JHPs, and Independence FMJs through the gun.
In terms of firing impulse, the gun is pleasant to shoot. The rounded grip doesn’t smack your hand, and the overhand above the slide protects your hand from slide bite. Even with the highest grip, I remain unbitten.
Ergonomically the gun is extremely well thought out. They cram a lot into a very small package. The magazine release is triangular in shape, and you can easily reach and activate it. The two magazines come with a flush fitting magazine plate, as well as one with a pinky extension.
The 10 round magazine with the pinky extension is a great fit in my big hands. It fits in my hands perfectly, and I have a full grip on the gun. Part of the reason why is the excellent undercut on the trigger guard. It allows for a short grip but one that fills the hand.
The P365’s sights are very well made and work very well. The bright green front sight is very quick and easy to acquire. I can see it with hardly anything more than a glance. Once it's on target, I can start rocking that trigger and making hits. The rear sights are pushed back as far as possible, and this does increase the gun’s sight radius.
This aids slightly when it comes to hitting targets at distances, or small targets close up. The P365 is more than accurate enough for a concealed carry gun. Not just ‘combat accurate’ but exceptionally so. The trigger pull is slightly long but smooth and crisp. The reset is nice and short. The P365 is very easy to shoot and capable of easily hitting man-sized targets out to 25 yards.
Single Handed Shooting
We never know where the fight will start and what condition we will be in to fight. It’s important that we see how the gun handles shooting with both the weak hand and the dominant hand.
I fired approximately 14 rounds, 7 in each hand at ten yards. In my dominant hand, it was controllable, but you could certainly feel the snap of this little gun. The muzzle has much more rise and firing rapidly and accurately is difficult. At ten yards I landed all my shots, but it was a challenge.
With my weak hand only, I had more difficulty and threw shots. Even so, I landed near where I was aiming with minimal fliers.
Firing with one hand was a challenge, and the gun seems to want to jump and fight out of your hand with every shot. Reacquiring the sights is difficult, especially with the off hand. I just got the front sight where I wanted it and pulled the trigger. This is the downside of small guns.
Reloading the gun is a task that takes more practice than I expected. The small grip and my big hands work against the P365’s reload. My palm keeps the magazine pressed into the grip, and this prevents it from dropping free. I have to manually remove the empty magazine and insert the fresh mag. I typically do this in a modified tactical reload style, but I let the empty mag hit the ground.
Speed wise this was slow. Using my timer, I was hitting 5 seconds from a waist mounted spare magazine holder. After some practice, I got it down to 4 seconds, and eventually, 3.6 was my best time. Still very slow compared to my time with a full sized handgun.
The magazine release is positioned perfectly and very easy to reach. On the subject of reloading, this gun gives me the same issue all SIGs do, and it involves the slide lock. My thumbs sit right on top of the lock and prevent the lock from engaging the slide when I run dry. It’s plagued me with every SIG I’ve ever owned.
Drawing From Concealment
Utilizing my Bravo Concealment Torsion holster, I practiced drawing from concealment and firing one aimed shot. I wanted to see how the gun drew and how the shorter grip would affect performance. Happily, it did not. I was able to draw and put a well-aimed chest shot on target in 1.9 seconds on average. I had one slow goof where I failed to clear my cover garment, but that is on me.
The grip is quick and easy to get into the hand, and the short slide and barrel clear the holster cleanly. This amounts to a very easy to draw gun.
For the next three drills I ran the gun beside the famed Glock 17. The Glock 17 is a weapon that a lot of shooters are familiar with and is an excellent combat handgun. I timed two of the drills using a Pocket Pro Timer 2.
I started the drills ‘cold’ meaning no prior practice on the day I shot. This would give me a realistic time and expectation in a concealed carry environment.
The first was a very simple test, I practiced drawing from concealment and placing a double tap on a relatively small target. This was done at 5 yards on a 9 inch circle. Both the P365 and Glock 17 were carried IWB on the strong side.
The targets are quite small and do require some time to aim and ensure you have a proper sight picture. Remember a double tap is one sight picture and two shots so that sight picture is incredibly important. Keep in mind these times are based on that small target and you’ll be faster with a man-sized target.
The Glock felt easier and the times and group show that it was an easier gun to handle. I fired five rounds of this drill and my times were as follows:
- 2.38 seconds
- 2.5 seconds
- 2.2 seconds
- 2.02 seconds
- 2.00 seconds
Average Time: 2.22 seconds
- 2.65 seconds
- 2.40 seconds
- 2.48 seconds
- 2.3 seconds
- 2.47 seconds
Average Time: 2.46 seconds
The Glock was easier to grab due to the wider, and longer grip. The gun was easier to shoot due to its size. The P365 is still an easy gun to draw and fire. With practice and the right holster you’ll be quite fast after a short period of time.
Failure to Stop Drill (Aka the Mozambique)
At Tactical Hyve, we are refining the way we do reviews, and one thing we want to try is to integrate drills into gun reviews. For this review, I wanted to attempt a very simple combat drill in which I could draw and practice proper shot placement with a touch of speed added on. As always, we stress safety first and recommend you review the effective training triad before beginning drills.
The Failure to stop drill is very simple, and to complete it you fire two shots to the chest and a third to the head. The first two shots are intended to stop the momentum of an attacker, and the third shot is to end his life. The first two might kill, but the third is the insurance policy.
Again I ran the little P365 against the Glock 17, drawing from an IWB holster, strong side only. The drill was r
You fire these shots to stop an attacker, then you slow down and take that refined last shot into your target’s head.
Both guns performed well, and I did throw one shot with the P365 on a chest shot and it should be noted the Glock 17 fired tighter overall groups. The Glock 17 was also faster overall. I did find the P365 plenty easy to draw and fire accurately.
The Glock 17 Mozambique Times
- First Shot – 1.5 seconds
- Last Shot – 2.5 seconds
- First Shot – 1.89 seconds
- Last Shot – 2.75 seconds
- First Shot – 1.41 seconds
- Last Shot – 3.19 seconds
The SIG P365 Mozambique Times
- First Shot – 2.00 seconds
- Last Shot – 3.14 seconds
- First Shot – 1.68 seconds
- Last Shot – 3.07 seconds
- First Shot – 2.04 seconds
- Last Shot – 3.07 seconds
Both guns are easy to handle and control. Admittedly the Glock 17 was the easier gun to handle, but the P365 performed exceptionally well for such a small gun. It’s a potent little firearm that has more than proved itself as a combat capable gun.
The next test would be to take both guns and back off to 25 yards and fire a five shot group on a headshot profile target. Long range shooting on a small target is tricky, and much trickier with a smaller gun.
The Glock 17 is a bigger gun with a longer sight radius which makes longer range shooting much easier. Both guns are outfitted with excellent sights and both are impressive at longer distances.
With the SIG I did drop two rounds outside of the head of the target. However, both shots did reside on paper. Shooting at longer ranges is tricky with a handgun, very tricky, but I feel confident with each weapon at 25 yards.
Wrapping it All Up
The SIG P365 is an outstanding gun. From the factory, it’s made to be an excellent concealed carry weapon, and there is no need to change anything. The aftermarket is growing steadily, and I just received a combination TLR 6 laser and light from Streamlight to test and review. Already we see holsters, mag carriers, and more pop up in the market and the P365 is going to be around for a long time.
For what it's worth it has my stamp of approval, and it has become one of my most commonly carried guns. I found it to be reliable, accurate, well designed, and the perfect compromise of size and firepower.