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Sig Sauer P365 Review: A Gunfighter’s Pocket Pistol

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Sig P365 Review: A Gunfighter's Pocket Pistol

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. There are newer models like the Sig P365 XL and the Sig P365 X Macro, but the original is still a popular, capable gun.

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.

Sig P365 magazine

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 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
  • Capacity: 10+1, 12+1, and 15+1
  • Barrel Length: 3.1 inches
  • Threaded Barrel: No
  • Overall Length: 5.8 inches
  • Height: 4.3 inches
  • Weight: 17.8 ounces
  • Width: 1 inch
  • Trigger: ~ 6 pounds (Single-Action)
  • Sights: XRAY3 Day/Night Sights (3-dot)
  • Slide: Stainless Steel, Nitron Finish
  • MSRP: $599
9.6/10 Our Score



at Palmetto State Armory

(Price accurate at time of writing.)

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.

Sig P365 Defensive Firearm

Concealed Carry

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 gun’s 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.

Editor’s Note: My favorite concealed carry holster for the Sig P365 is Tenicor’s VELO Gen 4 AIWB Holster. It’s very comfortable and the gun just disappears.

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.

P365 with Bravo Concealment AIWB Holster

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.

Sig P365 mag release and mag 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.

Sig P365 size compared to hand size

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.

Sig P365 Night Sights
Sig P365 Night Sights

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.

Defensive Testing

In terms of use as a defensive firearm, we wanted to run the gun through a series of tests to evaluate its ability to be used as a defensive firearm. The next portion of testing will include a battery of tests to see how the gun handles in common defensive situations.

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.  

Reloading the Sig P365

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

Drawing the P365 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.

Stacking Up

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:

Glock 17

  1. 2.38 seconds
  2. 2.5 seconds
  3. 2.2 seconds
  4. 2.02 seconds
  5. 2.00 seconds

Average Time: 2.22 seconds

Glock 17 double tap comparison
Glock 17 Double Tap from 5 Yards

Sig P365

  1. 2.65 seconds
  2. 2.40 seconds
  3. 2.48 seconds
  4. 2.3 seconds
  5. 2.47 seconds

Average Time: 2.46 seconds

Sig P365 Double Tap
Sig Sauer P365 Double Tap from 5 Yards

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 run at 7 yards and we ran the drill 3 times. I timed each shot and it needs to be noted the first shot is the most important speed wise, with the second shot almost being just as important.

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

Round 1

  • First Shot – 1.5 seconds
  • Last Shot – 2.5 seconds

Round 2

  • First Shot – 1.89 seconds
  • Last Shot – 2.75 seconds

Round 3

  • First Shot – 1.41 seconds
  • Last Shot – 3.19 seconds
Single Head Shots with the Glock 17
Single Head Shots with the Glock 17
Double Taps with the Glock 17
Double Taps with the Glock 17

The SIG P365 Mozambique Times

Round 1

  • First Shot – 2.00 seconds
  • Last Shot – 3.14 seconds

Round 2

  • First Shot – 1.68 seconds
  • Last Shot – 3.07 seconds

Round 3

  • First Shot – 2.04 seconds
  • Last Shot – 3.07 seconds
Single Head Shots with the P365
Single Head Shots with the P365
Double Taps with the P365
Double Taps with the P365

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.

Stepping Back

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.

25 yard shot with sig p365

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.

25 Yard Shots with the Glock 17
25 Yard Shots with the Glock 17

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.

25 Yard Shots with the Sig P365
25 Yard Shots with the Sig P365

Editor’s Recommended Accessories

If you have a Sig P365 or plan to buy one, there are a lot of great accessories. Here are a few that the Tactical Hyve Cadre really like and use with their P365s.

Watch Myles’s Review: After 2+ Years and 50,000+ Rounds
9.6/10 Our Score



at Palmetto State Armory

(Price accurate at time of writing.)

Wrapping it All Up

Sig Sauer P365

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.

Photo of author
About the author

Travis Pike

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.

2 thoughts on “Sig Sauer P365 Review: A Gunfighter’s Pocket Pistol”

  1. SIG reports that of the initial production of 1,100 guns only 15 were returned when they halted production. What this compares to on the internet has become hundreds of reports – repeated over and over – from owners who claim issues exist. In this day and age of companies offering internet services for hire as influencers who post regularly in forums with advice on what firearm to buy, it’s become normal for any first generation firearm to have a much larger reported failure rate than actual.

    Don’t forget that Ruger recalled the LCP based on 6 Customer Service complaints, the most significant being a owner who shot his TV in the bedroom while holding a loaded gun. Both they and SIG have responded with more than adequate caution, what we now deal with is a serious increase in gun owners with no military background or training, and few with any civilian training at all, which has increased the number of unskilled and uneducated gun handlers who lack experience – and commonly, with divorce rates exceeding 60%, even a father in the home at the time they could have been learning about firearms. Our hunting license fall off for the last decade speaks to that.

    With all that in mind, hearing of first gen guns coming out of the chute lined up against an onslaught of haters who never seem to appear at the gates of other makers puts an unwelcome shade on internet comments overall. I appreciate your review, lets take the comments of others with a grain of salt.

  2. Please do remember that many who read these reviews are not enthusiasts, many are left handed and some would prefer pocket carry in civilian type combats.

    The model with the manual safety is which? Is this ambi?
    Can the mag release be changed for a L/H shooter?
    Are you able to recommend a pocket carry holster?

    Compared to the S&W J frame, how much larger is the 365?

    How much more effective in stopping power is the 9MM from the 365 barrel than the 38 +P from the 640 barrel?


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