There is no doubt that the Sig P365 represents an advancement in concealed carry guns. It’s the first handgun on the market that offers 10 rounds in a subcompact, slimline frame size.
It’s an incredibly concealable pistol that packs a lot of punch. And, the slim grip offers a great option for shooters with really small hands who struggle to find a double-stack handgun that fits their hand well.
I’ve had the opportunity to fire quite a few rounds through the P365. And, I’ve observed students running this gun in defensive shooting classes.
There’s a lot to like about the P365. It’s not quite perfect. But, so far, I haven’t found the unicorn gun. So, maybe the P365 is as good as it can be.
For those who want this review in 140 characters or less, here’s the bulleted version of my experience with the Sig P365:
Sig Sauer P365 9MM
Now, for those who are here for a full review, here’s the full write up.
So, right out the gate, it’s important to note that Sig seems to have remedied these issues with the current production models of the P365.
There are still complaints about this gun. But, Sig claims that less than a quarter of one percent of the guns are experiencing issues right now, which is well within industry standards.
However, there were issues with the original production batch. All three of the P365 pistols we received at my range had to be returned because of a recall on the night sights.
That was fine. Recalls with new products happen.
The suspicious thing was that Sig replaced a whole bunch of parts on the guns. When we got the guns back, Sig had replaced the firing pin, the trigger bar, some springs, and, of course, the sights.
Our gunsmith suspected that the guns had shipped with more issues than Sig was willing to admit.
The newest pistols should come from the factory without any of these issues. But, if you’re looking to buy a P365, you may want to ensure that it’s not old stock.
The texture is secure without being abrasive. The grip shape is super comfortable. And, the gun points very naturally.
Also, since the grip is so slim, I can reach the magazine release without shifting the gun in my hand, even with my stubby little thumbs. Small-handed shooters rejoice!
All this is great. But, there is one issue.
The grip is short enough that the heel of my hand holds the magazine in place when I press the magazine release. The backstrap of the grip extends over the baseplate of the flush fit magazine. But, the meaty part of my palm actually clamps around the bottom of the magazine when I grip the gun.
It’s even worse with the extended magazine because I’m actually holding the magazine itself with my ring and pinky finger.
So, I have to release my ring and pinky finger to get the magazine to fall free. This isn’t a huge problem. The P365 isn’t the only gun that can have this issue. And, you can loosen your grip easily when you reload.
But, I did find that many students would fail to release their last two fingers during reloads under even minimal stress. This caused jumbled reloads.
So, if you plan on carrying this gun, dedicate plenty of training time to dial in your reloads.
You also need to take into account other factors like carrying positions to make it better concealed when going to public.
To serve its purpose of being a concealed carry, certain factors and criterias must be met that'll make it very reliable.
The shooting comfort is also a standout feature. In short, it shoots incredibly well for such a small gun.
Even if you use the flush fit magazine, which requires a three-finger grip for most people, it’s still very easy to control.
The trigger is also solid for a striker-fired gun. Actually, it’s near the top of the list for striker gun triggers. There’s surprisingly little slack, and the break is crisp.
And, the pull weight is pretty light. So light that some shooters have concerns about the light trigger combined with the lack of a trigger safety. But, there haven’t been any reports of safety issues with the trigger.
If there’s one criticism of the P365 trigger, it’s the reset. The reset is completely manageable. But, it is a bit weak.
This gun does it’s job of absorbing recoil energy really well. However, you still need a solid grip for the gun to function reliably. People with grip issues or poor grip technique may find that the P365 malfunctions a lot.
But, just like the magazine issue, this isn’t unique to the P365. Small guns require a strong grip to operate reliably. I recommend renting one before you buy, if you’re concerned about your grip strength.
In the end, it’s not as pleasant to shoot as a full-size gun. Sig hasn’t figured out how to beat physics. But, it’s incredibly comfortable and controllable for a subcompact gun.
Reliability is a huge factor for a gun like the P365. The primary purpose of this gun is concealed carry. So, it wouldn’t make sense if it was a malfunction machine.
Good news: the P365 is not a malfunction machine. So far, all of our P365 guns have run just fine, so long as the shooter has a decent shooting grip. Even the rental guns have held up, despite the long intervals between cleanings.
It’s not particularly picky about ammunition. All the standard ammunition that we’ve shot through our P365s has worked. Subsonic ammunition requires a really solid grip. But, it will run any ammo just fine if you have a firm hold.
Who’s the P365 For?
The P365 is a concealed carry gun for those who need something that’s very easy to conceal, even if you wear fitted clothing or have special concealment needs.
It’s a great alternative to guns like the Glock 43, Glock 26, and the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield. It holds as many of more rounds than these guns, and it’s about the same size.
The P365 fits very squarely into the subcompact, slimline category. And, it’s definitely one of the strongest contenders in that field. If your circumstances require a small, slim gun, the P365 very well could be the best option for you.
Now, many people have compared the P365 to the Glock 19, Smith & Wesson M&P Compact 2.0, and the Glock 48 and 48x. However, the P365 doesn’t compete that well in this category.
I found that the additional grip length on the Glock 48 and 48X made both guns much easier to control than the P365 with the flush fit magazine. Having a full, four-finger grip made much more difference than I anticipated. Others at the range also found this to be the case.
And, if you can conceal an M&P Compact 2.0 or a Glock 48, it doesn’t make much sense to switch to the P365. You’ll either lose magazine capacity or grip length. If you don’t need more concealability, it doesn’t make sense to sacrifice that performance to get it.
If you can conceal a larger gun, but really like the ergonomics and trigger on the P365, the Sig P320 is just about as good. And, the P320 comes in a compact carry profile.
So, if you don’t need a subcompact, slim gun to achieve concealment, the P365 won’t be a great fit for you.
Also, I’ve encountered some shooters who say they use the P365 as their home defense gun, which I wouldn’t recommend.
Now, obviously, the P365 is a better house gun than no gun at all. And, if you only have the budget to get one gun for both home defense and concealed carry, and you need deep concealment, then the P365 is actually the perfect gun.
But, if you have the resources for more than one gun or you only need a home defense gun because you don’t carry, you’ll be much better off with a full size or compact handgun.
So, again, the P365 is ideal for anyone who wants a dedicated carry gun that’s extremely concealable, and holds as many rounds as some double-stack subcompact handguns. But, it’s less competitive outside of that context.
All Things Considered
If you’re in the market for a super concealable gun, and magazine capacity is important to you, you should put the P365 at the top of your list. Even if you need a concealable gun and you don’t care about magazine capacity, you should still put the P365 at the top of your list.
Sig Sauer P365 9MM
It offers excellent performance specs, and Sig has definitely pushed the boundaries of what’s possible in a subcompact gun. So, if you haven’t looked at the P365 yet, you should definitely give it a test drive or at least ogle it on the internet.