BEFORE You Buy the SIG P365, Read This REVIEW
Does the P365 Live Up to the Hype?!
No gun has received the attention that I’ve seen the SIG Sauer P365 receive since its announcement in January just before SHOT Show. It gets this attention in all fairness, though, because when a gun shakes up the current single-stack 9mm market, dominated by Glock 43’s and M&P Shields, it’s understandable.
For the last 6 years, gun owners have bought into the idea that a concealed carry gun needs to be slim, lightweight, single-stack, somewhere between 6-8 round capacity, and striker-fired. Concealed carriers have also bought into the idea that it MUST be single-stack for a gun to fit those requirements.
Enter the SIG P365. It is all of those things—slimmer than the Glock 43, lighter than the Shield. It has a phenomenal trigger not just for guns in this class but even for any modern defensive pistol. And then there’s the fact that it just happens to hold 10+1 rounds in its standard configuration. That’s four more rounds than the G43 and three more than the M&P Shield. Readily available 12-round magazines boost that to nearly double the capacity of the Glock.
And you wonder why people are going nuts over this pistol.
But they’re also freaking out over some other aspects of the pistol, and not necessarily in a positive way. But first, let’s talk about some of the features and specifications of the gun.
|P365 Feature||P365 Specification|
|Capacity||10+1 or 12+1|
|Overall Length||5.8 "|
|Barrel Length||3.10 "|
|Trigger Weight||6 lbs|
|Magazine Price||$49 (10-rd), $55 (12-rd)|
I first got my hands on the P365 just before SHOT Show at a special SIG SAUER Range Day Media event. My good friend, Kyle Lamb, was there as well doing some demonstrations for SIG. Besides being involved in the excitement surrounding the P365, Kyle also has a gun he designed in collaboration with the team at SIG based on the P320 platform, the SIG SAUER X-VTAC 9mm, which is a pretty nice piece of hardware itself.
Kyle did a little demonstration of the P365 on camera with me, and the shots you see me fire there are the first I sent downrange out of this little beast. I call it that because it is like the Little Engine That Could, small in size and stature, but big in performance!
Right away, I knew there was something pretty special about the little gun. Placing it in my hand, I was immediately surprised at how good the grip felt. The P365 takes some of its design cues from P320, X-Series pistols. Particularly in its stippling and smooth trigger guard undercut. The undercut allows the shooter to get an even higher grip on the gun for greater control and flatter shooting.
The P365 sit's nicely in the hand's webbing because of the grip's backstrap and beavertail design. I saw a graphic online with the outlines of 3 of the most popular single-stack 9mm handguns overlaid and compared to the P365.
Analyzing the graphic, I could see that the P365 has a bore axis height as low as anything out there. The low bore axis is surprising because SIG Sauer guns, especially in the Classic line of pistols, have established a reputation of having a bore axis that is relatively high compared to competing designs. Not that this has kept me from shooting them quickly and efficiently.
Bore axis height is an overrated factor, but regardless the SIG P365 performs exceptionally well in this regard.
Stippling on the grip is effective and comfortable. The gun sticks in the hand like it should without being too aggressive for more sensitive skin.
The next thing I noticed right away was the trigger. My first trigger press surprised me as I wasn’t expecting it to fire so quickly and easily. Sig says it has a 6- lb trigger.
I have not put a trigger scale on it to test, but I would say 6 lbs. seems about right. But the trigger FEELS lighter than that. It is deceptive. I’m not sure what sorcery (you will see similar references throughout this review) is going on there, but it is a very nice, light, crisp trigger for a striker-fired gun.
The trigger reset is fantastic as well. It is short and distinct. The initial take-up of the trigger is light and free. The travel of the trigger once you “hit the wall” (the point where you feel resistance in the stroke) is about a quarter-inch. Pressing the trigger through the stroke is smooth and even. Once it breaks, there is no perceptible overtravel.
Instead of having the trigger break near the rear of the trigger guard opening, it breaks with about 3/8” open space behind the trigger. The length of pull has an outstanding balance. Shooters with smaller hands will have no problem working the trigger, and larger-handed folk will use it comfortably.
The original P365 came with SIG-Lite Night Sights. I have owned several SIG pistols with these night sights. They are good, serviceable tritium-based sights, far better than what many firearm manufacturers put on their stock pistols.
However, early into the P365 launch, customer’s discovered their pistols were breaking the tritium vials due to the extreme recoil velocity of the slide. These early pistols were sent back in and replaced with SIG SAUER’s new XRAY3 Day/Night Sights. The XRAY3 sights are fantastic! They are bright in daylight or low-light conditions. The front sight is a tritium vial surrounded by a bright green circle that is very easy to pick up in rapid strings of fire.
The rear notch sight in use works more like a blacked-out rear sight in daytime use, but it also has two tritium dots that show up very nicely in low light. While you can see the two rear dots in the daytime, I don’t notice them. While shooting fast, you get a very bright front sight that is easy to find in the rear notch.
Recoil and Shootability
The next thing I discovered about the P365 is that it is easy and pleasant to shoot. I call it the “little gun that shoots like a big gun.” This is true of the felt recoil and muzzle rise that occurs when firing, but it is also true in how accurate the gun is and the ease with which confidence comes to hit your intended target.
While some smaller guns can be challenging to shoot at a distance or small targets, my experience with the P365 is that if you see that bright green front sight on the target and press the trigger smoothly, you WILL hit for what you aim.
With my Glock 43, it just seems I have to concentrate much more on the sight picture, and even then, it sometimes isn’t enough when shots go where I do not expect them to. My confidence with the P365 is very high, and I find myself shooting it in situations and challenging shots that I usually reserve for my larger, duty-sized guns.
Now back to the handgun's recoil. Recoil with the P365, like its trigger, is deceptive. It is a small gun, to be sure, so I expected it to be snappy. But it FEELS less snappy than similar guns in this category. Watch this video of me running a Bill Drill with the gun (done at 3.5 yards and shooting a 2.5” group in 1.94 seconds). Pay attention to HOW FLAT the gun is in my hand:
That is some serious voodoo magic. This thing seems to shoot flatter than some of my much bigger, heavier guns. Your mileage may vary depending on how effective and tight you grip your gun, but it is still impressive.
Capacity is where the P365 gets the most significant amount of attention, and rightfully so. I don’t know what kind of witchcraft the engineers in Exeter, NH are employing, but for the size and thickness of the P365 to be able to fit 10 or 12 rounds into a profile that doesn’t look any bigger than an S&W Shield, it is pure witchcraft I’m telling you, pure mysticism!
The reality is that then-new Pistol Product Manager Phil Strader instructed engineers at SIG SAUER to design a new micro-compact pistol. And to start first by developing a double-stack magazine capable of holding at least 10 rounds and making it as small as possible.
The result? Three new patents just based around the magazine made the rest of the design much more easily achieved.
The gun comes with two 10-round magazines, one with a flush base plate and another with a slight pinky finger extension. Oddly enough, after shooting several hundred rounds, I came almost to prefer the flush baseplate when using the 10-round mags.
Due to the trigger guard undercut and other grip design features, I can sneak about half of my pinky onto the gun's grip. But even if I couldn't get a full grip on it, I never once felt compromised in shooting the gun well, unlike other competitor's guns.
A 12-round magazine is also available, and while it extends the grip length, it is still just barely longer than some other guns with standard capacity magazines in them. The M&P Shield with a factory 8-round magazine is longer than the P365 with a 12-round magazine. Wizardry!! Harry Potter would be proud!
Even better than the capacity and the ability to remain a very concealable gun? The 12-round magazine makes the P365 feel and shoots like a different gun. It FILLS the hand, and it FEELS excellent!
The magazines are well-constructed metal-bodied, double-stack magazines. They are pretty much what to expect from SIG if you are familiar with their other mags. Excellent quality, great performing magazines, but they come at a cost. Currently, there are no aftermarket magazine options that I am aware of, so you’ll be getting your fill of extra mags direct from SIG.
The SIG SAUER P365 is accurate. Testing across many different loads, it exhibited outstanding groups. I am not the most skilled bullseye/target shooter (I prefer to go FAST), but the gun is accurate enough for a small defensive tool. Group sizes were consistently around 3 inches at 15 yards (I didn’t have a longer range to test with at the time).
My greatest challenge to shooting more accurately was the width of the front sight post, as it covered up much of the target from 15 yards and out. But I am confident that if you used a Ransom Rest to test inherent accuracy, I am sure the results would be excellent. One of the significant differences with this gun is the trigger. I don’t need to rehash the point, but it is a very shootable trigger; it lends itself to easy, accurate shooting.
Reliability is the big “elephant in the room” part of the review. Much has been said about the reliability of the P365 in the months since its release. Several people, including some respected reviewers, have indicated that the gun may not be quite ready for prime time. They believed it was released too early, almost like a “beta version” to be tested by the gun-buying masses.
I am not sure what to make of this because my experience with several different P365’s has been quite positive.
But let’s take a look at some of the noted issues that have come up:
Return-to-Battery (RTB) Failures—
In the first month or so of release, customers reported RTB failures. The issues seemed only to affect the very first guns that hit the streets. I shot a couple of different early models and didn’t have a single RTB issue, but many people did. Some of it could have been ammunition issues, but I think there were some legitimate concerns. SIG fixed this on a warranty basis for existing owners and all newly manufactured guns with a slightly stronger recoil spring assembly (RSA). To date, with the two different P365’s I have in my possession, I have not had a single RTB failure.
SIG-Lite Night Sight Failures—
Some early guns were affected by faulty night sights. Again, Sig fixed this issue within a few weeks. All guns had their sights replaced, and new models shipped with the new XRAY3 Day/Night Sights, which are fantastic! (See above.) Also, there were some reports of sights coming loose in their sight channels. I’m not entirely sure just how widespread these issues were, but it seems Sig addressed it, as I have heard no new reports in some time.
Barrel and Slide Peening—
Another “issue” that received quite a bit of attention was peening. The slide excessively banging into the corners of the barrel hood and its slamming between the barrel cam and locking lug caused the excessive peening. I never thought it was much of an issue. Even if peening occurred, I didn’t feel it would be a failure point several thousand rounds down the road. Apparently, SIG Sauer took some steps to address this, but either way, no one’s even talking about this issue anymore.
Trigger Return Spring Failures—
Shortly after that, it was reported (and Tim at the Military Arms Channel experienced this on camera) that some guns were developing a trigger return spring failure. I’ve seen it mentioned that some owner’s springs broke, but I’m willing to bet most of the failures were instances of the spring popping out of position. This issue seems rectified, with no new reports of it in some time.
There is much attention to so-called primer drag, where the striker remains in contact with the primer as the barrel begins unlocking from the slide. Some believe that this is the reason for several broken firing pins. I am a little unclear on this. The reason being that I have other guns that exhibit primer drag, and it is more common with small, striker-fired firearms. Part of the reason for this is that the slide/barrel takes on recoil before unlocking due to the shorter rearward travel. On larger guns, the slide and barrel stay locked together longer and provide more time for the striker to retract before unlocking. I have witnessed primer drag on many other smaller guns, including Glock, Smith & Wesson, and others. Although it does appear that drag marks on the P365 may be more pronounced. I presume this is why it garnered more attention.
Broken Firing Pins—
There were a fair number of reported broken firing pins. Many believe that the primer drag is the culprit for causing this. I suppose it is possible, but let's first establish that the firing pin itself is much harder than any primer. Regardless, there are plenty of documented instances of broken firing pins. According to SIG Sauer, it is unclear exactly how many of these occurred, but it is a limited number. Companies have developed and released hardened stainless steel replacement strikers as an aftermarket part for those highly concerned about this issue. However, as reports of broken firing pins have decreased substantially, it would seem that this is less and less of a problem affecting the product line. SIG Sauer has since redesigned the striker and reevaluated their manufacturing supplier due to some inconsistencies and out-of-spec hardness and tempering. Some firing pins were too brittle, and the primer drag likely did not help and instead exacerbated the problem.
I’ve seen this mentioned, and in the case of one serious “reviewer,” he has tracked this statistic with monotonous consistency. I personally don’t believe many of these FTL’s are legitimate in that something with either the slide stop or magazine follower failed to work, causing the FTL. I think 99% of these are shooter-induced. What do I mean? Many shooters ride the slide stop with their dominant hand thumb because of its location and the gun's small size. They may not notice it’s an issue just by looking at their grip, but I suspect due to the small, lightweight gun that the 365 is rotating, the slide stop up into their thumb. I have not experienced any FTL’s with either of my 2 guns. But I am confident when the shooter uses a properly-developed grip, they won't have this issue. The problem is that most shooters do not have a good grip, and their lack of this has not been an issue on other guns they’ve fired. But it is exacerbated on this platform for whatever reason.
Various ejection/extraction/feeding issues—
I think many of these are ammunition related especially in the case of steel and aluminum-cased cartridges. Most of the malfunctions I have seen in the P365 platform have occurred with steel/aluminum-cased ammo. People will counter with, “Well, my [X brand of gun] has no issue with shooting steel or aluminum-cased ammo!” That’s a fair point. But we cannot make the case that the gun will get us killed by not being reliable in a gunfight simply because it doesn’t like cheap ammo. We don’t carry (I hope) cheap ammo in our defensive guns anyway. I had one malfunction out of over 5K rounds fired with brass-cased ammunition, and it was a +P round (more on this in a moment). Everything else was either steel or aluminum.
A NOTE: M of the above problems appear resolved. However, even if a person were to have a problem with their gun, SIG Sauer has one of the best warranty and customer service programs in the industry. My interactions with SIG's customer service department have been nothing but positive and professional exchanges.
At this point, I should mention that I have been testing two different P365’s. SIG promised to send me one for review, but I couldn’t wait, so I purchased one myself made in mid-February. You’ll note that this is just a few weeks after they were officially released.
The other gun finally arrived from SIG in late May and was manufactured in the first week of May. I could have contacted SIG and said, “Never mind sending the gun; I have one already.” But I was interested in getting my hands on another one made at a different time for comparison. I heard all these bad things, and I figured the more guns I could experience, the better my test data.
By the time the demo gun from SIG arrived, I had already put almost 2,000 rounds through my personal gun. I fired an additional 3,000 rounds through the two guns throughout the remainder of the summer, about half-and-half. So I ended up with about 3,400 rounds fired through my personal gun and 1,600 rounds through the evaluation gun from SIG. Some fired in pure evaluation, and quite a few in different training courses.
I tested the guns with minimal cleaning. The somewhat loose standard followed was no cleaning, and fresh lubrication applied only once every 500 rounds. You will see from images in this article that my guns are still dirty. I believe that it is much more critical that firearms are well lubricated than being perfectly clean. I'm done evaluating them, so now I will give them an extensive cleaning.
I tested both guns with a variety of ammunition brands, types, and weights over the summer:
- Sig Sauer Elite Performance FMJ in 115, 124, and 147-grain varieties
- Sig Sauer Elite Performance JHP in 115 and 124-grain loads
- SIG Sauer 365 FMJ and V-Crown 115 grain
- Federal 115 gr FMJ Aluminum
- Federal 115 gr FMJ Brass
- Hornady XTP 124 gr
- G2 Research R.I.P.
- Winchester Ranger-T 124 gr +P
- Remington Golden Saber 124 gr +P
- Winchester 147 gr JHP (Whitebox)
- Federal Hydrashok 135 gr
- Federal Hydrashok Deep 135 gr
- Federal 150 gr HST Micro
- Winchester Train & Defend (FMJ and JHP both)
- Remington UMC 115 gr JHP
- Fiocchi 115 gr FMJ
- And a few others
The gun ran perfectly smoothly until I started shooting the Federal aluminum-cased ammo. This stoppage happened about 200 rounds after shooting a variety of SIG Sauer FMJ loads. On the 212th shot, the Federal aluminum 115-grain case failed to extract, and a double-feed occurred. 16 shots later, the same thing happened. I made it through the remainder of the aluminum-cased ammo (about 80 rounds) without further issues.
One failure-to-feed malfunction occurred at around 700 rounds with one load of 124 grain Winchester Ranger-T +P. Considering the other 4500+ rounds of brass-cased (including several hundred nickel-plated cases and dozens and dozens of +P rounds as well) ammunition fired without trouble, I considered this a fluke. The malfunction that occurred was actually the next round in the magazine, taking a nosedive into the magazine body.
At around 1500 rounds, I fired my first steel-cased rounds through the guns. Neither one would run reliably with them. I averaged about 3 rounds per 10 or 12-round magazine that would double-feed when shooting steel-cased ammo. Talking with other P365 owners, this seems to be a hit-or-miss issue. Some report having no problem shooting the stuff; others have similar issues like mine.
I also tested the new SIG Sauer 365 FMJ and V-Crown 115 grain loads, designed and loaded to shoot and feel identical.
The point is that a person can practice more with the cheaper FMJ rounds and get the same velocity, recoil impulse, and point-of-impact/point-of-aim as the V-Crown JHP defensive loads.
These rounds have also been optimized for the shorter-barreled P365. I liked how they shot very much. I tested the 365 V-Crowns extensively, including in ballistic gelatin, and the performance was excellent. A full review of this ammunition is forthcoming.
Finally, around 2,500 rounds on my personally purchased P365, I experienced my first, legitimate brass-cased round failure. This failure was with a Federal Premium 115 grain brass-cased cartridge. It was a failure-to-extract malfunction. I have since had no other malfunctions with either of the two guns.
Overall, when shooting even just decent quality brass-cased loads, the P365 exhibited a 99.96% reliability rating.
I have spoken with numerous P365 owners, and I have personally witnessed several P365 owners fire their guns. Some of these were in handgun courses I instructed this year. I estimate that I have seen approximately 5,000-6,000 rounds fired through about 10 other P365 pistols. While I have seen a few malfunctions occur, and some seemed to experience more malfunctions than I did, including brass-cased ammunition, I can still count the TOTAL number of malfunctions witnessed in all these other guns on less than two hands. Worst-case scenario, the P365 is still 99.85%+ reliable. This represents a little more than 1 malfunction every 1,000 rounds, and I estimate about 1 in every 750.
How does this compare to other well-established firearms? My Glock 43 has had the same number of malfunctions in fewer rounds fired. I regularly witness malfunctions from a variety of semi-automatic handguns, including Glocks, Smith & Wesson M&P’s, Rugers, etc.
All guns have issues. Sometimes they are ammunition-caused, and I personally feel many shooters rationalize the malfunctions they do experience and claim that their gun is “100% reliable.” I haven’t met a 100% reliable semi-auto yet. Shoot them enough, and you will experience failures.
I personally feel that a failure rate of no more than 1 in every 500 rounds is an excellent standard. These numbers represent a 0.2% failure rate or a 99.8% reliability rate. You will see that the P365 falls above this standard.
Do I consider this good enough for personal defense, including EDC (Everyday Carry)? Yes, I do. As with any gun, you should do testing with a minimum of 500 rounds of your carry ammo.
I am sure some will disagree with my findings, but I can only speak from my own experience and data. And the data does not lie. Everything I wrote above is true. But even with some of the negativity surrounding the P365, here is what I found:
It is a freaking excellent gun!
That doesn’t mean it is without its faults or hasn’t had some growing pains for some people. But for me (and I can only speak from my own experience), the SIG P365 has been a very solid and reliable platform. So let me begin wrapping up my thoughts on this innovative platform:
I think the grip is too “shallow.” It is a very small gun. The width of the grip is less than an inch wide which is fine. But I think Sig could have increased the distance between the front strap and the back strap of the grip. That said, I think it feels very nice in hand. I like the contouring, the stippling, the length—there are many great aspects of the grip. I understand that it is a balancing act of building a compact and concealable gun, but that is also shootable for various shooters and hand sizes. I think they did an excellent job. But if I were king for a day, I would have stretched it out just a bit.
In my experience, this malfunction is the most common one to occur with the P365 platform. Also known as a “double-feed,” this is where the fired case fails to extract fully. The slide continues rearward, picks up the next round, and shoves it into the rear of the still-chambered empty casing.
To clear this MOAM (Mother-Of-All-Malfunctions), it requires the shooter to lock the slide to the rear, strip the magazine from the gun, rack the slide multiple times, insert a loaded magazine, rack the slide, and chamber a fresh round. In contrast to FTF (Failure-to-Fire) and stovepipe malfunctions that generally only require a Tap-Rack to clear, you can see how this double-feed malfunction can cost a shooter some time to clear it when they might not have that much time in a fight.
Due to the nature of this, it is a little concerning that WHEN the P365 experiences a failure, the double-feed malfunction occurs at a higher rate when compared to most other handgun platforms. I believe this is because of the unique design and small, ultra-compact size. My personal belief is that the gun unlocks a tad early while gas pressure is still elevated, locking the empty casing in the chamber. This results in the extractor slipping off the case's rim, and we get our double-feed malfunction.
I only experienced this with steel and aluminum-cased ammunition, which are less “slick” than brass-cased ammunition. There may be something to it with the modulus of elasticity of steel and aluminum being substantially higher than brass which would result in steel and aluminum cases contracting after firing back down to an extractable size at a slower rate than brass. I don’t know; I’m just thinking here, which can be downright dangerous at times!
The Front Sight—
While the new XRAY3 Day/Night Sights are excellent and visible, I feel the front sight is a tad wider than it needs to be. Or the rear notch could be wider. The width of the sights is basically the same as what you’d find on SIG’s full-sized guns, which when you shorten the distance between the front and rear sights, the front sight starts to fill the notch more and more. Typically for most people, having a little more light on either side of the front post in the notch is a little quicker to center and send the next shot. But this is a minor complaint because I shoot the P365 just fine.
This is also a minor issue I have with the gun, and it may be specific to me, but I think the mag release could be different. The P365 has a raised mag release button which shape follows the contour of the grip. The P320’s have a flat raised button. I think a hybrid approach would have been better—flat, but have the rear of the button start flush with the grip. My issue is that because the grip is so small, occasionally, when I grip a little too firmly with my support hand, during recoil, my hand will accidentally depress the mag release. So I have had to relax my support hand grip slightly to avoid this.
In analyzing the instances where this occurred, I determined that my support hand palm makes contact with the rear portion of the button. Starting the button flush with the surface and manufacturing it to be flat would still enable positive activation when desired but would likely eliminate the accidental dropping of the mag. The grip is small enough that virtually any adult hand and thumb can reach the mag release even if designed as described above.
Things I Like About the P365
For its size, the SIG Sauer P365 is accurate.
Modular Chassis Construction—
While SIG Sauer does not advertise this fact, the reality is that the gun is built similarly to the P320. Both have a serialized “frame” or chassis that can easily be removed from the grip module. The potential exists for much future innovation and design improvements from both SIG and third-party aftermarket manufacturers. It is also convenient if a person wants to have two different grip modules with different accessories (such as one with a mounted FOXTROT365 weapon-mounted light) that would allow the owner to swap between other setups quickly. I recently picked up a FOXTROT365, and in my limited initial testing, I am quite impressed, and I look forward to putting it to use.
Feel of the Gun—
It just feels good in my hand. The contouring and texturing are excellent. The ergonomics are good. The slide serrations are effective.
There is no other small striker-fired handgun on the market with a trigger better than the one found on the P365. I also feel SIG was brilliant to have the trigger break at 90-degrees, in the “middle” of the stroke, instead of the rear of the trigger guard. Besides the trigger weight, smoothness, and break being good, the position at which it breaks is part of the secret as well, I think. It breaks before the finger can overwrap the trigger, causing any disturbance to the aim of the gun before it is fired.
Size and Capacity—
What’s not to love about 10+1 rounds (standard) and 12+1 rounds (extended) in a micro-compact size and form? This is the first micro-compact gun that tempts me to consider if I could replace my Glock 19 or SIG P320 Compact, both 15-round capacity guns. Packing the P365 around is a cinch. It disappears on my body in either the Tac-Lab M.T.R. or GrayGuns/PHLSTER Classic holsters, and there was tons of holster support for it from the get-go.
I come back to a statement I made earlier. It is the little gun that shoots like a much bigger gun. I LIKE shooting it!
I plan on sending a check to SIG Sauer in Exeter, New Hampshire, to pay them for the review gun they sent me. I like the P365 well enough that owning just one is not enough. Plus, I have plans for some fun upgrades and modifications I’d like to do to one of these guns, mainly because I want to. A tease?—think red dot and compensator as a start …
The P365 is a winner. 13 rounds in a tiny form that is easily concealed and is easy to shoot. Magic, I say.
Thanks Riley, for a thorough and honest review! I have been quite happy with my EDC for the last 18 months or so (FNS 9C), except for the mag release… a bit tight. But After reading your review, I am pretty anxious to wrap my hands around a P365!
Awesome! Thanks for checking out my review!!
Good review Riley – clear and detailed, thank you. Question: have you reviewed the Walther PPS and how would you compare them? Thanks.
Good review! I would like to add that on failure to eject and failure to lock back that it’s not always the user or a steel case…I purchased my P365 around August 2018…. I’ve fired several thousand rounds thru it… I’ve never had one issue with anything I’ve fed it… Until today….I had a total of 3 failure to eject and 3 failure to lock back on only 100 rounds of Winchester brass 115 grain ammunition… The first occurred on the first magazine about 4 rounds in… I’ve chatted with SIG and plan to call them next week to find a resolution… And as far as cleaned and lubricant…I clean it once a month and lubricant it… And always the same day I use it…I don’t over or under lube… And about once every few days I take apart to get the lint out of it because so much collects from conceal carry daily… Maybe someone else has experienced this… If so I’d love to hear what was wrong…I love my P365 and want to feel that I can safely relay on it… At the moment I don’t trust it to save my life…I need it to perform as it always had…
How would you get the Romeozero mini red dot on the newer P365 that has the safety? Would it have to be milled? Do you recommend any companies in the Denver area?
Riley- I just heard you on the Firearms Nation Podcast and was very impressed to say the least. I have a lot of catch up reading and podcasts to listen to now! Thanks. Quick question. I am seriously considering giving in and carrying something smaller than a full size pistol all the time. I try to know my limitations and try to master one gun rather than switching between full size, compact etc. Would you consider this gun (now as of Nov 2019) or the new Hellcat as a primary carry gun, including range time? I carry 100% of the time and live in a north texas where I dont have to worry about too much other than there is no really safe place these days. I’d value your opinion. Thanks (John)
Thank you, John! Where I am these days is actually the P320 X-Compact and the P365 XL when I need something a little smaller. But the P365 is also fine. I think I still prefer it over the Hellcat, although you should go with what you think is best for you. I have a Hellcat and am currently working on a review of it right now.
You can buy a slide with red dot in it, works on any 365, from Sig
Thanks Mr. Bowman, now I know where to start.
Great article, Riley! too plan on a red-dot site for my P365. Do you mind me asking where you plan on getting your P365 milled and what red-dot site you are going with?
It’s still a little early to answer some of that as far as the actual optic. Right now the obvious choice is the Shield RMSc, but it is not exactly the most durable optic. So I’m hoping somebody will come out with something new at SHOT Show 2019 that will be the size of the RMSc but with durability more on par with like a Trijicon RMR or Leupold Deltapoint Pro.
Milling would be done by Culper Precision in Provo, Utah. They’re good people.
Looks like a great concealed carry handgun for off duty or back up.
I just can’t wrap my mind around the many different types of failures.
I’m not worried about a simple jam that can be cleared. I worry about a catostroohic failure.
I have about 2,000 rounds through my G43 without a failure.
Thanks for a great review
Thank you! Please keep in mind, that in my experience through about 6,000 rounds now, there aren’t any issues. Again, as I stated in the article, my own personal Glock 43 has been less reliable than the P365. I think most of the problems were blown way out of proportion, and that is part of the point I tried to make with the article. I found it to be a very reliable gun. And I am certainly not worried in the slightest about a catastrophic failure. It might be a little more susceptible to a double-feed malfunction than most guns, but if you use quality ammo you minimize the risk of that greatly.
Great review, very thorough. Thanks for all the info! I spoke to SIG today and they are re-projecting the launch of the manual safety version of the P365 by the end of May (up from Feb/March, then March/April.).
As someone who’s probably fired this pistol as much or more than anyone else, what are your thoughts on that version? Do you think the ambi safety paddles would interfere with the top of the thumb of the right hand? (I have fairly large hands.)
I wouldn’t mind it but am just not a big fan of ambi safeties on carry guns, especially on striker fired guns. Seems like something else to drag on your clothes, although SIG has done a great design job.
Thanks for your thoughts on the manual safety version.
I can also confirm that after talking with SIG at the NRA Show this past weekend, the manual safety model is slated for shipping in about a month.
As for the ambi safety…I don’t see it being a problem for your thumb. If your hands are big, your right-hand thumb should be well above the safety lever.
As for snagging on clothes or something, I also don’t think that’ll be a problem. There just isn’t much there for to catch on anything.
Riley, Great article, very thorough.
I almost bought a P365 today, but decided to hold out for a version with the manual safety. I just feel better having that option because I grew up shooting 1911s.
I need something I can pocket carry when not wearing cargo pants or jeans (church for example, etc.) and my Glock 19 is produces a large print and is not very comfortable. I notice the P365 pretty much disappears in my pocket.
Any more thoughts on the manual safety feature, whether good or bad?
I was told to just keep checking the websites for Cabela’s and Pro Bass Shops for their availability.
While a manual safety is not my preference on a gun like this, as long as you train to subconsciously manipulate your safety, I see no problem with you going with the manual safety version of the P365.
They are shipping now, so you should be able to find one.
I have one on my side right now! I love this gun. Right out of the box I knew it was going to be a keeper. I carried a Kel-Tec PF9 for a couple of years and now that I have the P365, it has been relegated to the ‘class gun collection’! LOL! Thanks for sharing your input.
Thanks for reading and for sharing your comments! I know just what you mean when you say “class gun collection.” Kind of where my Glock 43 finds itself these days…
Great review with excellent detail. You show real dedication and knowledge. Personally, I have three. Winter carry 1911 and 365. Summer, 365 X 2. Never run steel, but half aluminum. Results in over 3000 rounds, no malfunctions at all. I hold them like I hold a 45ACP. Love the 365. Have never kept a Glock but had a dozen in assorted calibers to 10mm and .45. Never had a problem with them working.
Thanks again for all the work.
While I was initially interested in the P365, Sig’s handling of the P 320 fiasco and now multiple QC issues with P365 have made me shy away from purchase of any new production Sig guns. I would consider an
older P226 P229 but not new. It seems Sig rather let customers QC test. I don’t risk my life for their financial well being.
I don’t think the handling of the P320 fiasco was as “nefarious” as what some think. Talking with a few people over there, I think hindsight is 20/20 and they feel like it could have been handled better or differently, but I have seen many people accuse Sig of some pretty dark stuff. As for the QC thing…there is ZERO financial incentive for them to release any products that are not ready for market and will require any sort of major recall or repair program. I guarantee you it costs them WAY more money to go about it that way. The same is true of safety-related issues. It is far more costly for them to take a risk like that and end up in a major class-action lawsuit. I just don’t buy that companies like Sig would intentionally play Russian roulette with peoples’ lives for the sake of profits. I say it again, there is ZERO financial incentive to do so.
@Riley I bought one last week. 150 rounds thru it, no issues with feed,fire, or eject, what I did notice was mags impossible to load by hand after 3th round as the follower gets hung up. Not a gun issue but a engineering one, the second is more troubling, severe striker drag. None of my other guns do this, even LCP2. I hope Sig is using better materials for their firing pins for this generation, mine was built in Dec 2018. I bought this because none of the gun stores around could get a Ruger LC9sPro, seems they are all sold out. Hope I didn’t make a $500 mistake.
I don’t think you made a mistake. I can’t speak to the magazine issue. I haven’t experienced or seen that. If you are able to shoot a short video of you loading a magazine demonstrating what is going on there, that would be very helpful for me. I’m curious.
As for the striker/primer drag…I don’t see it as an issue. Also, a reminder, that as mentioned in the article, my gun with the most rounds on it is the one made in February of 2018. Still going strong. No issues.
I agree. I might wait a bit too. Check this out: Meprolight Micro RDS Red Dot Sight Kit for Sig Sauer P365
Cool, but I prefer milled slides for red dots on pistols. I don’t care as much for the kits that use the rear sight channel.
First I’d like to say thanks for taking the time and energy to do such a thorough review.
Next, awsome job! I enjoyed to read you findings and thoughts. I was on the edge on my seat the whole read. I have felt all alone in my love for this little gun.
I constantly get negative remarks from people that dont own or have even shot the p365. So when I say they are crazy for believing reviews and not trying one for themselves, they just dismiss me and go on there way (probably glock lovers).
In all I too have an early released model and am clearly thousands of round through it with no issues to speak of.
Again thank you for dispelling the many haters and rumors that float around about 2018s best gun or the year (my opinion).I think many people are just not yet ready to let go of the idea that their 43 or shield has been dethroned…
Thank you, Jayson!!
I bought a P365 and like it so much that I’ve ordered a second, and sold my three Kahrs. Awesome ergonomics, sights and trigger and a 50% capacity advantage over the competition. It disappears in an IWB holster – and you don’t have to wear MC Hammer pants – and it’s small enough to wear in an ankle holster. The only issue I’ve experienced is during reloads – the pistol is so tiny that if I don’t adjust my grip, the ejecting magazines hang up on my palm.
That’s awesome, Brad! I’m glad you like it so much!!
Recieved our rental 365 back in May. Less then 50 rounds and had trigger bar break. Sent in, was repaired and now has thousands thru it without a failure.
Trigger bar?? Or the trigger return spring? I’m not sure about the bar could break, but what do I know? Either way, it appears you were one of the unlucky few. Glad it’s working so much better for you since the repair!
I usually don’t read reviews because it’s either a bash fest or fan boy that paid to make it sound better than it is .. So I wanted to thank you for being honest and really putting in the work on this review!! I shelfed my Glock 43 & sold my p938 & purchased the p365 as my EDC & I love it.
My one issue is that the stippling is a little rough on my side but it’s not horrible I have gotten used to it!!
That’s the interesting thing about guns…different strokes for different folks! For you, the stippling is a little rough, but to me I think it is about right and could actually be a little more aggressive. There are also plenty of other guns out there with grip texturing that is more rough. But thanks for the kind compliment about the review!!
Did you notice wear on the followers in your mags? I’ve got about 500 rounds through mine, both 10 round mags and 3 12 rounds, and they all show what I’d consider excessive wear on the followers.
BTW, I had ZERO failures in those 500 rounds without even cleaning or oiling it when I first brought it home. Mine is a July or August 2018 model.
OBNXS1, you asked about something that I totally meant to mention in the write-up…the follower wear. I have seen numberous discussions about this “issue” but I don’t think it’s actually an issue. I posted on a Facebook group a few months ago of the followers on 5 or 6 different magazines I own from different manufacturers (Glock, Springfield Armory, and others). They ALL show follower wear. Some worse than others. But if it doesn’t cause any issues, then besides the OCD-like irritation of the aesthetics of the magazine followers, I don’t consider it an issue. Thanks for reading!!!
I have a P365 (October of 2018 production) and have had relatively little range time so far due to the weather and the season. I find it fits my hand wonderfully with the 12 round mags (I bought 3). So far, my biggest complaint is the mag release: it is awkwardly uncomfortable to access and depress. I find I have to shift my grip away from a “shooting grip” in order to release it. I’m hoping either SIG or the aftermarket will have an improvement soon.
I “shift” my grip slightly on almost every gun I own in order to depress the mag releases. With practice, it can be accomplished very quickly and consistently. But I agree with you on wanting to see a slightly different design on the mag release.
I would like to replace my Sig P232, 380ACP, so hard to rack,
how does the 365 compare in racking ease,
I like the decocker on the P232, so will I have an issue with striker fire?
Erica, good questions. Unfortunately, it’s been a while since I racked the slide on a P232, so I don’t recall well enough for a reliable comparison. But based on my experience of handling a lot of different guns, I would say that the P365 is a little on the “heavier” side of things as far as racking it goes. That said, with practice and proper application of technique, it should be easy to accomplish. Please let me know if I can help you any further in the matter.
As for decocker, as long as you have solid safety discipline and carry the gun in a quality holster, you should have no issues. But I would recommend spending an hour or two on the range with a qualified instructor to gain confidence and experience. Let me know where you are located, and I can see if we have any instructors in our network that would be a good resource for you to look into!
you mentioned failure to lock back issues, and mentioned having a proper grip so thumb doesn’t interfere with slide stop. What I need is a suggestion (preferably photo) of a good grip for this particular pistol so that doesn’t happen. Where should my hands be, in particular thumbs?
Is this fire arm Mass.compliant
Gene, I just checked the latest approved list on the State website, and I did not see it listed yet. Perhaps next year!
I love my P365. I have small hands and have had no issues or malfunctions after many thousand rounds fired. I believe most complaints, issues and probably many malfunctions are due bad technique, inappropriate grips or general rough handling. I have had orders of magnitude greater issues with my Glock 19 Gen 5. Thank you for your review.
Yet, I still carry a compact p320 with Romeo 1 every day, although I shoot the “iron” sights on the P365 nearly as well, because I feel more comfortable with the red dot for urgent situations.
Thanks for the feedback!
I was looking for a CC pistol to take the place of my Glock 27 which I find just a little too thick to grip with confidence for such a small frame weapon. Your review of the P-365 has whetted my curiosity enough to visit my local gun store. Thanks!
Right on! Glad I could help!!
I just bought one of these for daily carry. I’m usually with my Glock 43, but liked the Sig because of the increase in round capacity. I prefer to carry without a holster, using a Clip Draw. The problem I have with the P365 is the trigger pull. Its WAY too light for me to carry comfortably with a round in the chamber without a holster. To me having to take the 2-3 seconds to rack a firearm when needed could cost me my life. I should have checked this before purchasing. I was so excited over this thing, but now I’m not too sure. I ordered the Sig ITP holster for it so I’ll try carrying it that way to see if I like it. Great review you’ve got here though.
Check out the minimalist holster by Kuziak leather. This is the thinnest, smallest profile holster I have ever used. This is the only holster I will ever use for IWB carry. Very in expensive and always in stock, check them out you won’t be sorry
I always like learning about new holsters and manufacturers I didn’t know about before! Thanks for this tip even though I’m not the biggest fan of 100% leather holsters. But these ones look like good ones!
Thank you, Doug! I always recommend carrying in a good quality holster. If the holster you ordered is the same one I think it is, it is actually made by Blackpoint Tactical, and they make pretty good stuff, so good luck!!
Riley – to your issue with the mag release, I am a lefty and encounter the same problem hitting the release when I fire my p365 right handed. That’s the reason I did not swap the mag release to be a lefty setup like I do on my other guns. Unconventional, but it’s a carry gun, I’d rather have all 13 rounds than risk dropping a mag by accident in a gunfight.
Interesting…I hadn’t considered anything like that from the lefty side of things, but I can see that. I believe my recommended change mentioned in the article would also fix the issue for you as well. Of course, you can always reverse the mag release button as well…
One more addition – for the first time, my slide did not lock back yesterday at the range. You mention it above, but as a lefty there is no way I’m riding the slide. Only happened once, Just wanted to throw that out there.
Yes, I have seen a few reports of this from some shooters. I think it is most likely shooter interference with the slide stop. Of course, it is entirely possible there just happened to be a failure between the magazine follower and the slide stop. I’ve seen almost every type of semi-auto have this type of issue at least once. It’s just a fact of life when carrying a semi-auto.
I fell in love with this gun ever since I found it hidden on the bottom shelf back row sanwiched in with a bunch of ruger lc9’s , Remington 380’s and a few Taurus 9mm , picked it up and instantly thought wow !!!!
Cool! Well, I certainly think it beats the guns you mentioned. Carry on!
Great article and write up on this gun, thank you Riley. I have not owned a firearm in years and have been looking for something small and compact to carry. Still doing some research but the P365 is currently tops on my list.
Bill, I am glad it was helpful for you, and I am glad you are getting back into gun ownership again! Please feel free to ask if there’s anything else I can help you with!
What an EXCELLENT review….best I’ve read in a long time. I’m selling a gun to get me one. Thanks for a balanced fair descriptive overall right on the money review.
Thank you for the kind words, Gunny! Good luck with the new gun!
What an EXCELLENT review. I have read many reviews and some don’t give all the data like you did. I have two p938 that I carry without any problems. I have a Glock 43 and have shot 200 rounds and found the magazine release a problem as discussed. With the experience with the p938 I will get rid of my Glock 43 and purchase a p365 in six months to see if there are any new upgrades.
Glad you found the review helpful, Roger!
The Sig P365 is the BEST EDC weapon you can buy. I have had them all from Kahr to Ruger to shield to XDS. I bought mine First of October and it has been totally reliable. this weapon at 10 yards is so accurate you will not believe it . I bought 2 12rd magazines and carry it everyday in an IWB holster. Plus you do not have any thing extra to buy no sights no trigger job no magazine extensions. Just a holster and ammo
I just went to the range today and shot this for the first time. I am 4’11” and have arthritis in my hands. I loved this pistol. I can see many happy hours with it.
Thank you for your wonderful review. I just like to add a small woman’s experience because I don’t see many of those.
Thank you for sharing with the rest of us your experience. I am glad to hear you like the pistol!
Can you tell me about purchasing the Sig P365 with the Manual Safety on it? If not, is it a part that can be added on by a local gun builder? Lastly, will this weapon get on the California Approved List?
No idea if it will get on the approved California list. It may make it easier to get on the list by the new safety model being made available. You should be able to order the new model with the manual safety by going to your local dealer. I don’t think it is a part you can order and have installed.
Great, insightful and thorough review! Thank You.
Thank you, James!
Riley, overall a great review! Thanks for the effort and write-up.
One issue… you mentioned that you inadvertently activated the magazine release with your support hand while firing (during recoil). Did this not result in a malfunction during firing? If so, I didn’t see it mentioned.
Nope. It just release the mag slightly which was still held in place by my large-ish hands. The gun continued to run flawlessly until the mag was empty even though the mag was sitting 1/8” lower!
Excellent review. Using my wife’s computer. I just bought a P-365 last week. Haven’t bee able to get to the range yet. I was concerned over all the incidents reported. The dealer is a distributor and assured me that the one I have is all clear. Manufacture date is Sept. 14, 2018. We will see very soon. I chose it over the S&W M&P M2 only because of it’s smaller size. (not much) but some. The mag. capacity wasn’t an issue. It was only $50 more anyhow. Most people don’t realize that all the added updates takes up the cost of the lesser one. Thanks again for covering everything in question.
How many years did it takeyou to learn to shoot this as fast and as accurate as you did in this video? Simply amazing! Are you drawing from a holster? If i purchase this p365, will i be able to replicate this performance immediately? ?
Years? I don’t think of it in years, but more like hours and consistent ones at that. I can tell you that I have spent thousands of hours on the range and at home doing dryfire practice. Doing 15-20 minutes a day working on specific skills consistently for about 7 years is where the big gains have been achieved!
As for the P365…I cannot guarantee that buying the gun will turn you into a top shooter, but I will say that the reason I included the video in the review is to make the point that there is something special about the P365 in my opinion. It is a TINY gun but yet somehow I am still able to shoot it like a gun that’s twice its size?! Yeah, it’s a sweet gun. You should have one! 🙂
Wow, this is probably the best review of the P365 I have seen yet…..but… I am still on the fence as to buy one or not though your final summary gets me one step closer. I am retired law enforcement 32 yrs with lingering death threats so I am seeking the best conceal gun I can find and reliability is HUGE. My final hurdle to get over is the breaking firing pin issue as this totally shuts you down. Other FT… malfunctions can at least usually be worked out. I would love to own/carry this gun as I am sure it has the potential to be a better gun than the Ruger LC9s I currently carry but I have the LC9s currently “figured out” and it is being reliable now though not always (I did not like certain ammo nor the extended mag). I could carry my Glock 19 gen 5 which so far is perfect but it does not conceal as deep as I usually need. I hope they take the firing pin/striker issue serious and do something…. I am waiting to see.
Thank you for contacting Sig Sauer.
There are no ongoing, widespread, or design-based issues of any type related to the function of the P365. A common consumer concern is primer drag, but primer drag is a completely normal occurrence with this firearm (and other subcompacts) given its size and slide speed when cycling. It is nothing to be worried about. As with any product rolling changes are made in the manufacturing process to parts but there are no persistent issues with failures with any of these models. If you are experiencing a consistent and specific failure, we would be happy to bring the pistol in for evaluation under warranty as is the case with any SIG SAUER firearm.
I sure hope you’re correct Aaron Weeden, our lives depend on it. Phenomenal gun set up, we the consumer need to know we can rely on it like we could our Glocks for so many years. Reliability at the end of the day trumps all design. I’ve never trusted my life with ANYTHING but a Glock but I have to take you at your word. If you get this malfunction business behind you, sales are going to skyrocket yet again WELL beyond what you’ve ever seen before!
Purchased one in December which had a manufacture date of Nov 18. It seems most complaints and failures came from early models when the p365 first rolled out. Both my buddy and I have over 1000 rounds each through ours without a hiccup. Eats and shoots everything we’ve put through it including snake shot. We’re both retired LEO and have time to test weapons. Very hesitant to make this my primary carry at first, but at this point I am satisfied with it’s function and reliability. I spent 32 years as a police officer, 20+ years as a firearms instructor. Have seen my share of malfunctions. Carried a Glock for most of my career, love them, but hate their feel. P365 feels great, shoots great and carries 13 rounds,,,,,to bad Walther didn’t come up with this gun.
How is this gun for women? Do you have a link for a review from women?
Hmm…I don’t think I have a good link for a review “by women, for women.” But in talking with a number of women, the P365 seems to be a popular choice. It’s proportioned nicely for smaller hands. It’s compact and comfortable for concealed carry. The trigger is nice and doesn’t tire the finger out quickly. If you can, find someone that owns one or go to a range that rents firearms, and try it out for yourself. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Did you ever do this? “Plus I have plans for some fun upgrades and modifications I’d like to do to one of these guns, mainly because I want to. A tease?—think red dot and compensator as a start …”
Not yet…waiting on some things to be ready for official release from GrayGuns. Search: GrayGuns Rolatini and you’ll see!
I’m certainly not experiencing your good fortune! I purchased a November build P365 a couple of months ago. I had 12-15 failures to battery within the first 64 rounds. Called SIG, sent her back to the factory and received her back yesterday. Went to the range today and had battery failures on #s 74 and 96. Called my rep at SIG and his response was “ change ammunition”. (I was shooting 147 gr. Winchester Winclean Target.) Tomorrow morning I’ll try Winchester Ranger RA9T. If it fails, I’m probably through. And quite honestly, the attitude of my SIG rep didn’t help. FYI, repair sheet says SIG replaced recoil springs, polished barrel transition, lubricated and test fired 20 rounds each of two makes of ammo. I’m not happy, but still hopeful.
If possible, please send me video of you shooting it to riley (at) concealedcarry.com. I may be able to help diagnose the problem. Thanks!
Couldn’t get a video but I was able to fire 100 rounds of my self-defense ammo (Winchester Ranger 147 gr. RA9T) with no issues. There remain couple of issues: 1) I’m not an avid shooter so me firing 1000 rounds in the next month isn’t going to happen. I think I mentioned that the ammo that failed to battery was Winchester Winclean 147 gr. Yesterday, after SIGs work previously mentioned, only 2 failures in 100 rounds.(Before i sent the pistol to SIG there were approx. 15 failures to battery in 64 rounds.). Again, today, no failures in 100 rounds. I think I mentioned that when I called my assigned rep yesterday he immediately blamed the ammo. Well, maybe. But I’m not shooting junk!
So here’s the big question: can I be comfortable that if I have to use this particular P365 in a life and death situation that it will perform with the 147 gr. RA9T? I struggling with SIGs assessment that the ammo is the issue.
Thanks in advance for lending an ear. Your opinion much appreciated!
Are you married to the 147gr RA9T? There are other good rounds out there.
And sometimes, yes, some guns don’t like even high quality ammo. Some guns are just more picky. I talk about that somewhat in the article. I found that my guns seem to like everything just fine except for steel and aluminum-cased stuff.
Lol. Well, “Yes”, based on a variety of ballistic tests, and my specific use, which is specifically concealed carry, Winchester LE Ranger 147 gr. RA9T is absolutely my choice of cartridge. No doubt there are a plethora of great cartridges suitable for concealed carry. But the fact is that when I was doing my research, and I’m careful to say “in my opinion”, this was my cartridge of choice and I’m fully invested. I can change pistols more affordably than changing ammo. I just really like the 365 and am making a concentrated effort for it to work. Thanks for your input.
That’s cool. No doubt the 147gr Ranger is a good round. I have many in my stockpile as well. But I’m not married to it. If you really are serious about ballistics, then you should also know that there is no perfect round, but there are a number of them that are all “suitable.” I have not seen anything ballistics test-wise that would suggest the RA9T is substantially better than say Federal HST or Speer Gold Dot. But no worries, man, you carry what works for you.
For your information, I have run the 147gr Ranger rounds through my gun, and I had no problems. But there can be variances from gun-to-gun. Perhaps my gun is not picky with that particular round, and yours is slightly more so. Or maybe yours is still breaking in. Perhaps it will settle down in time, and soon you will have no problem shooting your preferred round choice.
Be safe. And carry on!
Thanks so much for a great in-depth review. I have pretty much targeted the p365 for my next handgun purchase. I don’t have a bunch of money but I would rather have a few great guns than just more guns. My current edc is a CZ pcr w/ tru-glo sights and G10 grips. I love this gun but sometimes, when you have to wear light clothing, I leave it at home. At any rate, your great review tips the scales for me to go ahead — a summer carry gun (in a decent holster) w/ 10 or 12 of 9mm? — yes
Thanks so much for a great in-depth review. I have pretty much targeted the p365 for my next handgun purchase. I don’t have a bunch of money but I would rather have a few great guns than just more guns. My current edc is a CZ pcr w/ tru-glo sights and G10 grips. I love this gun but sometimes, when you have to wear light clothing, I leave it at home. At any rate, your great review tips the scales for me to go ahead — a summer carry gun (in a decent holster) w/ 10 or 12 of 9mm? — yes.
Glad it was helpful for you—THANK YOU!!
By far the best article I’ve ever read on the Sig 365. Just traded my Glock 43 for a used, later gen 365.
That said, I have no idea what you mean by “modulus of elasticity of steel and aluminum being substantially higher than brass which would result in steel and aluminum cases contracting after firing back down to an extractable size at a slower rate than brass” when you were discussing FTEs.
Haven’t been able to find anything on the net that explains this. As an engineer, it’ll drive me crazy until I do.
If you’ve got a link handy, would you please send it to my email? If not, don’t worry about it; I’ll find the answer eventually.
Cedar Park, Texas
Totally pulling it out of my butt. I was just having fun with writing something super smart sounding while trying to explain the difference in reliability between the three different case materials.
In all seriousness, I think there may be something to the elastic stretching (due to pressure) of a cartridge case, and I wonder if steel and aluminum are slower to contract (slightly) after firing leading them to be slightly “stickier” in the chamber upon extraction.
I took an engineering class in college (Statics and Strengths of Materials), and I remembered the term “modulus of elasticity.” I suddenly felt super smart and Voila! I pulled it from my butt!! Lol
Wow. Thanks for the quick response and for answering my question.
And who would have thunk a class in ‘Statics and Strengths of Materials’ would have had any application at all.
Great article. One question though…I purchased a p365 a few days ago and have found the magazine to be very difficult to load. It’s tough to get more than three or four in the magazine, in fact, impossible for me. Is this amount spring tension normal, or is mine a fluke? Are there any aftermarket magazines that might be easier to load? I don’t really want to have to carry a speed loader with me whenever I carry the pistol.
Hmm…that’s strange for sure. I don’t have any issue hand feeding rounds in the mag. Perhaps a warranty issue?
Dave, I’ve noticed that P365 magazines get easier to load after the magazine spring has “taken set” after being loaded for a period of time. During my first outing with my P365XL, I found loading the 15-round magazine to be quite the chore and decided to fire off that magazine last as I didn’t want to load it anymore. At the end of the session, I reloaded that 15-round magazine with duty ammo and found it easier to load than the first time. Just my experience.
15 rd mag? I thought 12 was the max capacity mag sig offered in the 365XL.
There are 15-round mags that fit both the XL and the standard P365.
That is great news, had no idea. Sig made or after market mfg?
Awesome review! I just picked up a p365. Where can I find the detailed review on the Sig P365-V crown ammo you said was coming? What is your favorite range and carry around to date for this pistol?
I examined one of these pistols yesterday and was very impressed. I did a search this morning for “SIG 365 reviews” and yours was the first one I looked at. It seemed to be a very thorough and impartial review, addressing the things I hoped to see plus several things that I never thought about. One thing that I was looking for (and you had included) was a photo of the 12 round mag inserted into the gun. I have a 9mm Shield currently, but I think that a trade may need to happen now. Thank you for your excellent review,
The best review of ANY handgun I’ve ever read. Well done, sir. I went out and bought my P365 and a couple of extra mags based primarily on this review.
I am writing to thank you for your well written honest in depth review. It is rare to see such complete detailed reviews, there always seems to be something missing but not in this instance.
Great review !
Well covered article. There is one area not mentioned in the article. I am 74 yrs old with some reduced hand strength. I can only get 6 or 7 rounds in the magazines. I don’t have a problem with my Walther or Kahr magazines whether they be 6 round or i5 round mags. I am wondering if others have experienced this. If so, I would appreciate some suggestions on what loaders work well with these magazines. The 10 round advantage of this gun goes out the window if you can only load 6 or 7.
Interesting review. I think you should explore the FTE issue more. I own 3 sig pistols and love the way they shoot but my P229 Legion 9mm has the same double feed/FTE issue you explained and has had it since I purchased it new a year ago last Feb. I have sent it in to Sig 3 times to try and solve the problem; they changed springs, they replaced extractor, they even replaced the slide. I have used only quality ammo, ie. sig, winchester, etc. all with brass casings, same issue. My warrantee has expired as it has been over a year and sig says I can, once again, send it in and they will have it looked at for a forth time. I would really like it for my carry but absolutely no way I would trust it as FTE is not just a tap and rack issue as you accurately described. I also read that the NJ state police had an extraction issue with sig on an order for service pistols a few years ago which sig said was an ammo issue. I think it’s interesting that NJ State Police, myself and now you have experienced the same malfunction with Sig Sauer pistols. It makes me wonder if these are anomalies or an engineering issue that needs to be addressed. My other 2 sigs are P220 Legion and Equinox Carry in .45 ACP and they have never had any issue at all. The extractor on those pistols are very different than the P229. Just wondering your thoughts.
great review riley.mine has a early march date,which makes it one of the first releases.i ran about 3000 rds through it give or take and I did break a striker.sig paid for shipping both ways and replaced the striker and gave me a new slide.until that happened,i have had no problems except for running steel cases.the steel cases just seem to expand and get caught in the chamber sometimes.great little pistol.i hope from here on in it holds up.i plan on testing it hard………..
Are you aware of the reason(s) for the P365 not being on the Calif sales list, other than the BS we have to go thru on every issue?
Riley: just purchased a 365 with safety this week & was able to get to the range today to fire it. Put 150 rounds through it with no problems at all. Best concealed carry piece I’ve found yet and I have a few that I’ve tried over the years. A great review that I concur with wholeheartedly. Looking forward to shooting many more rounds thru this little beast!
Small hands. What is the distance from the rear of the back strap to the trigger
Riley, man… your review really free many of the (not concerns) negative issues that some earlier owners posted online. Anyways, I have bought several pistols (including a G43) in the past because of all the hype, but none like the P365. One day, I just so happened to walked into Cabela’s and saw the Sig P365 sits in the glass shield with the other pistols. When the sales rep put that P365 in hand… it was like Madonna says, “Like a virgin, touch for the very first time.” I fell in love with it because it felt so perfectly fit in my small hands.
Even with the anticipation, I waited, then passed the G43 to my son, sold my Savage 220 20 gauge bolt action shotgun, and finally bought the P365 with the manual safety on it. This may not be the latest version… the latest version is the Sig P365 SAS with the embedded front sight… Although, I don’t care much about all the bells/whistles. I am very happy with the one I’ve bought. I’ve only shot maybe a 100+ rounds thru it and I know it’s a keeper; at lease for several years until another storm comes along.
I appreciate your honest opinions on this little gun. Can you do some research to see if we can enter-change the slider as far as the P365 SAS version goes? Just curious…
Very thorough indeed but it was summed up nicely by someone you mentioned who stated that clearly the gun was released prematurely and the buying public used as the R&D team.
I’ve got a made May 2019 P365. I’ve put 1,200 rounds through it with none of the issues mentioned in the article. I dont’ discount that early buyers had issues, but I have had none.
BUT I absolutely do not agree that the new sights are great or even passable sights. Prior experience with other sig models’ great quality sights were part of the reason I picked the P365 over the Shield M2.0. The difference was about $200 but I felt it really was only a $100 difference given what I thought would be a $100 inherent value in sig night sights.
The sig x-ray sights, in my opinion: suck. and I strongly suggest anyone considering a p365 do some practice sight alignment/picture acquisition from a draw in a range of lighting conditions before buying. I can acquire alignment faster, considerably faster and easier with virtually any gun compared to the p365.
Finally someone that gets it! I am retired LE. I was a certified firearms instructor in Louisiana as well as through the NRA. I appreciate your lack of posturing I often see, or read, from other reviewers. I am eyeballing the P365 as my new concealed carry option. I have been carrying a Glock 27 since 1995. This gun, like an old friend, has been with me through thick and thin as backup while on patrol as well as off duty. So replacing it, at least part time, is not an easy decision.
Your review is well written and entertaining. I have read several reviews but yours has sealed the deal. Thanks for your honesty. Hold the line my brother.
Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the review!
Aw come on – the Sig P365 sights SUCK. This face reinforced my decision to never purchase another sig! I don’t want to spend another 25 – 30 percent of the pistol cost so I can aim the damn thing.
Unless you’re in a closet (no lights) you can’t see the sights. In daylight the dull green is very hard to see. I shoot better with the replacement Taurus G2c than with the sig – it’s what I can see to aim at!!
Aw come on – the Sig P365 sights SUCK. This fact reinforced my decision to never purchase another sig! I don’t want to spend another 25 – 30 percent of the pistol cost so I can aim the damn thing.
Besides, Sig is now American made which is not reassuring.
Unless you’re in a closet (no lights) you can’t see the sights. In daylight the dull green is very hard to see. I shoot better with the replacement Taurus G2c than with the sig – it’s what I can see to aim at!!
I absolutely disagree. I find the green to be very visible in a variety of situations. I’ve now spent about 2 years shooting the platform and thousands of rounds. I shoot the gun extremely well and very fast which would not be possible if the sights were that bad because I agree with you that you can only shoot as fast as you can see your sights.
have you experienced a hard time loading the magazines when new and if so, what was your break-in period. it was extremely hard to fill the 10 round mag without issue
They are stiff, no doubt about that. But they loosen up fairly quickly, probably after 10 cycles or so. But use the Maglula Uplula to assist, and it makes it substantially easier to load. We sell the Uplula in our online store.
You have provided an excellent review regarding this new sig 9mm. My comments will probably be viewed as not applicable to the subject at hand. Back story: I am a retired senior quality manager (36 years of experience) of the largest pentagon prime contractor in the US. Firstly, I am a Sig fan and carry the P220 daily. I know for sure that it will not fail should I have to pull the trigger in defense of my home and family. I may be way off track by stating that these “minor” issues are the result of rushing a product to market. My point is that everything you did to test the reliability of the product, with un biased observations and supporting data should have been done by Sig. Someone is going chime in about the great warranty and accept the product knowing that Sig will fix the problem(s). I take no comfort in a warranty offered with the purchase of a defensive product. Better stated; if our gun fails and prevented you from protecting your family, we will repair it for free. This does not make any sense. This strategy, from every perspective,is flawed. The Boeing 737 max debacle is a perfect example. In my view Sig (as other gun are doing)) heading down the same path. Sig should rethink their path forward and take the lead in providing high quality fire arms that are thoroughly ready to perform in a life or death situation. God bless America and our freedom to defend our freedom. Ir is big task and we are bigger than the challenge.
I disagree with your implication that SIG did not do enough due diligence in their design and development on this firearm. I really think that the problems with these guns were dramatically overstated. I know for a fact that SIG worked up dozens of test models and fired tens of thousands of test rounds through them before they released the gun. Their testing showed that the guns were good to go. But there are still points along the way with producing tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of production models where some problems can crop up.
Glock had some minor issues with the Gen 4 models and the 42 and 43 as well. Glock is now dealing with issues on the G44. S&W has had actual recalls on the M&P Shield EZ. Look at what’s going on with Colt’s re-release of the Colt Python and King Cobra. And now Springfield Armory’s new Hellcat is having some issues as well.
Guns are finicky things, and they have to be made with tight tolerances (relatively speaking) but yet still tolerant enough of all the crap thousands of gun owners are going to throw at them (various ammunition types and loads, junk ammo, dirty ammo, low maintenance, improper cleaning and or lubrication, etc). I think SIG has done all right with the P365 line of guns. Not perfect, but as I’ve shown SIG’s not alone in this challenging world of firearm product development.
Outstanding, comprehensive review. Thank you.
Thank you, Kevin. I appreciate it very much!
Thank you for your time and effort into this. I build and maintain the websites for our businesses so I know what is required to provide a professional and well-written blog.
My experience with firearms has mostly been with shotguns. The pistols I’ve mostly used have been 9mm and .22. Our family is looking to get a gun for concealed carry here in CO. My wife has had zero experience with a guy. When our children grow up, I want them to have access to a gun in case of an emergency. Hence, size and weight are critical.
We need something to protect us when we are camping, hiking, driving, walking around our city, and even traveling to reciprocity cc states. During my time in CO, I’ve encountered a big mountain lion, way-too many aggressive drivers, angry people while out and about, intoxicated/high people, aggressive dogs not leashed correctly, and people in the back country that have immediately put us into defensive behaviors.
We’re not a family that will be at the range weekly, or shooting competitive, and have zero desire to show off our weapons. First, foremost, and always will be the protection of my family. I need something that can be quickly presented with the assurance I have both the initial number of rounds and backup rounds. My family knows I will put myself between them and the danger.
From my initial research, the P365 is emerging as the winner. Two men I know with solid and extensive experience with the military and police, have HIGHLY recommended the Sig. If you want to know what shovel to use, ask the guy who does landscaping. If you want to know what gun to have, ask someone who’s handled them daily for a long time.
I’ve been in the business world and understand how liability works. In this age of overblown political correctness and the misstating of facts by the media about guns, there’s no way any US weapons manufacturer would invite unnecessary lawsuits by providing sub-par weapons. All it takes is one solid lawsuit to create a class-action lawsuit that will force a company to close its doors forever.
If you have any other info on the P365 you will provide, I’d love to read/see it when it’s ready. Are you going to do a follow-up blog/video?
Thank you for the very detailed review. I just received my CC. My 1st purchase was the Smith and Wesson 380EZ. I love it but it’s all I know so have been checking different reviews for one to carry on me. I appreciate your honesty and sharing your knowledge while breaking it down “Barney” style for “gun dummies” like me. Unfortunately our town is just about out of guns and ammo and the link on your page is out of stock so it looks like it may be a while before I will get the real life experience of the P365. Thanks again..I’m excited to try it out…whenever that may be.
Mr. Boman, you did the most thorough review I’ve ever seen! I know you said that the bullets
with aluminum and steel casings malfunctioned & that ones with brass casings were better. My question is: Were the brass casings pure brass or nickel plated?
Thank you! In my experience, plain brass or nickel-plated didn’t matter. If it was brass-cased ammo, it functioned very reliably.
Riley, what an awesome and thorough review! I just purchased my 1st CC piece and your review is what sold me on it! It’s the P365 for me and I’m very pleased with it!! I will definitely enjoy my piece and I’m grateful for folks like who who provide consumers the information they need to make well informed decisions concerning such things.
Awesome, thank you, Chancey!
How about testing the P365 with MagGuts magazine conversions. I just installed a 10 to 12 round conversion in a stock 10 round SIG. Nice to have 12 rounds in a package that used to be 10 with no size change. Please check it out and see if your observations are the same as mine. I won’t express them as I don’t want to sway your thoughts.
I have some MagGuts on the way in the next few weeks! I’ll try to let you know.
Great review Riley.
My wife has been looking for an EDC and is not a fan of how my Hellcat grip texture feels in the webbing of her thumb. She tried a P365XL at the gun shop and likes it. She put her name on the wait list for the smaller version. Your review sealed the deal. Thank You.
FYI love your podcast.
Awesome, thank you!
Riley, thanks for the excellent review. I currently carry a Sig P238 as EDC. However your write up has made me consider switching to the 365 for the larger 9mm. Do you have any opinion on staying with the 380 or going to the 9mm?
Thanks Jarhead! I would recommend staying with the 9mm just because terminal ballistics are a bit more consistent and there are more quality defensive loads available than .380 ones.
Nice gun but mine and others (from browsing the web) are turning out to have a persistent failure to extract problem. I’m going back to my G19. It never falters.
Wanted a p365 bitone with bright stainless slide finish for well over a year.
Local gun range/store had a sig day today with sig rep on site. 10% off on all sigs in stock.
Doubted they would have a bitone in stock.
Doubted it would be a reasonable price.
They “did” have it in stock and it “was” at the price I wanted to pay, under $500.
They also had one to rent so I shot it first and did like it.
Now I finally have one.
CT green laser is going on it soon.
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I’m thinking of getting an Amory Craft or Grey Guns compensator for my 9mm P365 which will also require a True Precision threaded barrel. Do you think this would handle Underwood Extreme Defender 90 gr., 1400 fps ammo?
Replace the grip module with the XL version. its basically the same as the original plus a 12 mag with extension.
I realize it’s a bit older but, very good review of the P 365 with one exception, in my case. While I love the little gun, the front sight on my brand new 365 is quite dim, and, the rear sights are only visible in bright lights and that is the actual metal part of the sight I’m talking about. The “bright” rear sights are invisible in lower light situations, and, at “night”?…no use at all as, unless I stare intently, I can’t see anything but a very, very, dim “pin hole” bit of the tritium green “glow”. While every review I’ve read on the internet says the sights are “great”, for me, looking for those sights takes real concentration making them not usuable in low light conditions, in my opinion. I sent the slide back to Sig, and their response was “meets specifications”. If that is true, they, in no way, can be described as “awesome”, “fantastic”, “very bright”, etc, as I’ve read in many reviews. In my opinion, Sig should rename them their “Ninja sights”…invisible in anything but broad day light. I’m better off with plain white paint, front and rear, ala my Glock 19.
The 365 is a wonderful weapon. I carry mine daily but I shoot good ammo in it. I am using the extended frame for the 365Xl which holds 12 rounds plus 1 so it is like the 365X
Very pleased with the P365. First 200 rounds of 124 gr , downrange at 25 feet , ran flawlessly and the firearm was very accurate. The big problem was I purchased this as a ‘TacPak’. Came with the most useless holster I’ve ever seen. Actually, it would be very dangerous to attempt to use this holster as it would fall apart on your hip. Secondly, it came with three 12 round extended magazines. Ummmmm NO ! There is absolutely NO WAY you can put 12 rounds in these magazines. 11 yes, 12 no. But I do appreciate the pinkie extension. So a paid a little premium for nothing. Bottom line : Great pistol, just forgo the crappy pak deal.
A VERY thorough article. Thanks for all the time invested to develop quantifiable results combined with estimates from witnessing others experiences during the process. Just because you can shoot this particular firearm well, doesn’t necessarily mean “most” could due to your level of experience va the average gun owner and I appreciate the observations made all round.
I have to admit that I have seen countless sites recommending this model, especially in recent times but until reading your article, had no idea a single model firearm would/could present so many different types of potential failures/concerns.
As a self taught shooter who’s now fired over 15,000 rounds through his gun with ZERO failures using a variety (only brass) loads from different mfgs….am second guessing my desire to fix what isn’t broken except my firearm is not as concealable as many newer models.
I am quickly learning these smaller frames firearms multiple mfgs) have a quirky nature not as prevalent on slightly larger frames and non existent with my experience.
For now, I’ll consider myself a lucky owner of a one-off unicorn mixed with a little dumb luck…..until this segment improves.
Keep up the great work, I’ll keep coming back.
I bought a P365 before covid. Resumed firing about a year and a half ago. when shooting, the 4th or 5th round consistently hangs up on the lip of the mag, meaning I’m done shooting till I unload and clear the round. I contacted Sig, and Amy Lord, Customer Service Team Leader for Sig Sauer, advised me that due to the mag design on the double stack mag, every 3rd or 4th round will hang up if you pressed on the front of the bullet when loading the mag; it should not hang up if you pressed on the middle or back of the bullets when loading. I kid you not! Here is what she wrote in her email: “I am sorry you are having trouble with your firearm. Because of the design of the P365 round magazine, as it transitions from single stack to double stack, at the 3-4th round, the follower can tilt forward and get stuck on the mag catch hole in the magazine body. This will happen when applying pressure to the front of the round while loading or unloading the magazine. In order to avoid tilting the follower, pressure must be applied to the middle or rear of the round when loading the round down into the magazine body.” Does this sound reasonable to you??? Did you experience this? Is this firearm only reliable for the first 2 shots, and then everything depends on where I pressed on the bullets when I loaded the ammo? Can you please reply to me, this was supposed to be my primary carry weapon based on all the glowing reviews. You can imagine my feelings about this pistol now.
I haven’t seen this be an issue even now several years after the publishing of my original review.
I think the reply you received from SIG Customer Support sounds ridiculous, but perhaps you have a bad mag/follower/spring.
Magazines are a consumable item, try replacing it, or the spring & follower, and see if that corrects your issue.
IS THERE ANYWAY TO ADJUST FRONT SIGHT ON THE SIG365
Yes, but we recommend having a gunsmith do the work.
Ken, the sights are what you would call “drift adjustable,” meaning that they can be drifted using a sight tool or punch either left or right. If elevation change is your desire, then a front (or rear) sight can be swapped out with one of a different height. You will see small numbers on the sights themselves, usually either a #6 or #8. 8’s are taller, 6’s a shorter.
While a shooter with the right knowledge and skill can certainly accomplish this, if you are unsure, as Jacob pointed out, having a gunsmith or certified armorer perform the work is probably a safer bet.
Excellent write-up. Finally getting around to thinking about buying one, and it sounds like some initial possible kinks have been corrected. Glad I stumbled across your superior review.
my names Johnny Benanti I owned a executive protection company in ny .and now living in florida let me tell you the pluses of the SIG Sauer 365.first its the lightest high capacity firearm since its been out. up against the hellcat which comes the closest of all of them out there but still no cigar its 17.8 ounces comes with the best sights in the business right out of the box. smooth slide to rack front and rear serrations its really less than a inch wide if you only count the slide width.if by chance yourmag release malfunctions there two places to pull it out with your fingers.trigger perfect grip perfect nice built in beaver tail . nice finish one button take down without pulling the trigger.And the best part nobody talks about serial number built in to the trigger firing mechanism so if gun gets damaged you buy a new slide or grip ola now you have a new recycled firearm .without buying a new one or filling out mile high paper work its still original.now I’ve owned 3 models of Glock 26.my pinky always dangled on that grip now it did not make it a bad gun but your sig 365 is smaller lighter in every way and yet all my fingers reach around the grip perfectly how the hell does that happen. and on a stock 10 round mag .voodoo or not its unbelievable.think I said enough read into it what you like but I just can’t figure out since 2019 4 other company made new micro 9s and yet they still can’t equal it Johnny b.