While perusing the 800 plus exhibitors at the NRA Convention in Dallas in May of 2017, I was finally able to physically get my hands on the brand new Sig Sauer P365 chambered in 9mm after patiently waiting months for its arrival. The big draw for me, and many other concealed handgun owners, was being able to carry 13 rounds in a subcompact pistol which was a significant upgrade from the 7 round maximum capacity of my carry gun at the time. As I wrote in a previous article regarding the convention, I could not wait to try this pistol at the range.
To the surprise and chagrin of the consumers and maybe the manufacturer too, the P365 had a backlog of orders throughout the nation. In October, I had saved enough and hustled to my local firearms retailer to put my name on “the list.” (As a side note, I am a huge supporter of local gun retailers and the extra $25 I paid for the pistol over the national retail sporting goods store price was recouped several times over after the purchase of this gun.) I was informed to expect the pistol to arrive in December. I was extremely surprised to get a call from the shop the following Monday (Did I say I love my local gun store?) that the Sig rep had delivered an extra P365 and it was all mine. I actually took an extra hour during lunch that day to dash to the store to assure that this was no mistake and bring my new purchase home.
My pistol was packaged with a flat-based 10 round magazine for extra concealability and an extended 10 round magazine. I really appreciate the extra pinky room the extended magazine allows so that I can wrap my entire hand around the grip, but I did not buy this gun to carry 10 plus one. I wanted the 12 plus one capacity. Before I left the store, I asked to purchase two 12 round magazines – one to be loaded in the gun and the second to be carried as a spare. I shouldn’t have been surprised to hear that they were also on back order, but because I had purchased the pistol from their store, I was put on the top of “the list” to get them when the next order came in. A week later I had my 12 round magazines and the fun began. (I can’t stress enough that building relationships with the local gun dealers really pays off.)
With all the hype about the introduction of the P365, once I actually had the pistol there was not one area where I was disappointed. The first thing I noticed were the X-RAY3 Day/Night Sights. With the traditional, but minimal, two white dots on the rear sights and a huge green ball of sunshine of the front sight, focusing on the front sight with my aging eyes is a breeze. This adaption over the traditional white dots forced me to realize how much one simple change could affect how quickly I could acquire sight alignment and sight picture. Because of the forward thinking design in this self-defense pistol, it did not take me long to upgrade to fiber optic front sights for my home defense pistol and my competition pistol.
The next thing I noticed was the smooth, crisp trigger right out of the box, especially after having a double action/single action carry gun previously. Guns & Ammo estimated the trigger pull to be in the 5-pound range, but it feels deceptively lighter. Although Sig offers a flat trigger, with my smaller hands I have no issues with the length of pull of the original curved trigger. In my opinion, for my daily carry gun, there is no need to adjust or change the original trigger installed in the pistol.
Another feature I love is the textured grip that flows to the extended magazines. I do not appreciate the extremely aggressive textures that some manufactures put on their guns, but this sand-paper like grain fits my comfort level perfectly. It certainly helps me maintain a consistent grip during multiple shot strings when practicing in south Texas summer heat of 100 plus degree days where sweaty palms are the norm.
Although we all expect carry guns to be small, I would not do this article justice if I skipped over the size of the P365. Sig Sauer calls the P365 a micro-compact pistol. I am not sure I would categorize it as a micro pistol similar in size to the Ruger LCP, but certainly with its overall length of just under 6 inches and barrel length just over 3 inches, its small size makes it an exceptional pistol for concealed carry. Even with the 12 round extended magazine, the height of the P365 is right at 4.5 inches. The small barrel length does not lend itself to be snappy or have a sharp recoil. Controlling the recoil and getting the second shot on target in a timely manner does not take a lot of muscling, especially in comparison to the LCP.
Last weekend for the first time as part of a new year’s resolution to work on defensive shooting, I shot a marvelous local, IDPA-like, short course match entirely with my P365 from concealment with the appendix holster I carry every day. The P365 ran like a champ. (Me, not so much, but I learn at every match.) In these local matches, I normally fall middle of the pack with my Glock 34 with a Comp-Tac International competition holster. I was surprised to see that my scores did not drop dramatically even with the inconsistent draw times from my appendix holster. I was still middle of the pack. (I have now made improving my draw time from my concealed holster a priority in dry fire practice.) I did not miss one headshot either, including the 25 yard head shot in the 5 seconds or less bonus stage. I shot the course with Winchester “white box” 9 mm, 115 grain rounds – nothing fancy – and did not have one failure to fire.
While I’m talking ammo, I do carry the Sig V-Crown Elite Performance ammunition in 124 grain jacketed hollow point as my defensive round. I have to admit, I have not tried other defensive rounds, but this cartridge works in my pistol without exception.
Cleaning the P365 is a breeze. Field stripping the P365 is easy peasy (technical gunsmithing term). Originally I had difficulty reassembling the gun because during cleaning the take down lever slipped out of place and I could not rotate it back to the 6 o’clock position. After struggling for fifteen minutes, I went back to the owner’s manual, and sure ‘nuff, there was a fix for that. So in hindsight, I can effortlessly break down the gun or reassemble the gun provided I follow the manufacturer’s instruction.
Because of the popularity of this Sig pistol, accessories came out quickly. I had no problem finding a holster that let me continue my carry lifestyle. Even with the slim 1 inch, double stack profile and extended magazine, the pistol is easily concealable in my custom appendix holster. My next purchase will be the new Sig Sauer 15 round extended magazine. I am really interested to see if the additional extension is just as concealable as the 12 round mag.
I did recently purchase the Crimson Trace LG-422G green laser that fits over the trigger guard and is easily activated with a normal pistol grip. I am still trying to wrap my brain around shooting with the laser sight rather than iron sights and will write more about this adventure in a future article.
It is no wonder that Guns & Ammo named the Sig Sauer P365 their “2018 Handgun of the Year” and the “Innovation of the Year” and Shooting Illustrated chose the pistol as its “2019 Golden Bullseye Handgun of the Year.” Through the P365 revolution, Sig has provided the shooting community with an exceptional option for a concealed carry pistol. Even after being on the market for nearly two years with several manufacturers trying to match the magazine capacity and replicate the outstanding features of the P365, it continues to be one of the top selling subcompact pistols on the market and the pistol that I choose to defend my life and the lives of my family on a daily basis.