Introducing The SIG SAUER P365
Written by Guest Article / Contributor , in Section Gun Reviews
In early December I was invited, along with several other writers, to New Hampshire’s SIG SAUER to check out a completely new pistol they planned to release in early 2018. Today, I get to share what I saw when they they sat us down for the big reveal. Meet the SIG P365.
The name explains the pistol’s intent, as a concealed, everyday carry sidearm. SIG refers to it as a High-Capacity Micro-Compact pistol.
The basic stats are impressive; the P365 measures 1″ wide, 5.8″ long, and 4.3″ tall with a barrel length of 3.1″. It also weighs just 17.8 oz with an empty magazine. Now comes, the beauty part; the standard magazine capacity is 10 rounds.
When they decided to develop this pistol, SIG looked at the three attributes of pistols intended for concealed carry; Concealability, Capability, and Capacity, evaluating what was already available in the market.
Here’s how the P365 stacks up compared to the footprint of other, similar pistols.
This graphic offers a size comparison between various compact pistols and the P365.
SIG engineers considered where they could make the biggest impact and decided capacity was key, so long as they could maintain in the other areas as well. Consequently, they started with the magazine. Essentially, designing the pistol around the magazine. It’s not a full double stack, nor a single stack, but rather something in between, a narrow neck. SIG has three patents pending for this new design which allows the P365 to be as narrow as it is.
The pistol comes with a 10 round flush magazine as well as a 10 round extended version. The 12 round extended magazine is available as an after market add-on accessory.
I want to be very clear that this is not a repackaged P320, although you can see that they are related. As you can imagine, the internals are very similar to the P320, with a fire control unit which is serialized.
The P365 frame offers a high grip to bore axis to reduce perceived recoil. The grip is fully-textured polymer with a slim-line rail. Additionally, the Nitron coated stainless-steel slide comes standard with front and rear serrations for slide manipulation, as well as SIGLITE night sights.
Based on their experience with the P320, SIG developed an entirely new, enhanced drop test protocol for duty handguns. They dropped the P365, 574 times in 26 orientations as well as five drops at 6 feet on concrete.
For those of you are wondering if this new test protocol is going to be retroactive to older pistol models, it isn’t. However, any new models will be subjected to this protocol during development.
Additionally, they’ve put over 40,000 rounds through a P365 with no frame cracks.
Ron Cohen’s Remarks
SIG CEO Ron Cohen is very proud of his company’s R&D investment. He stated that they spend four to fives times as much of their competitors and as time has gone on they’ve begun to rely more heavily on analytical and modeling work, citing a recent teaming agreement with nearby MIT. He went on to say, “We built this pistol around our new, proprietary magazine for maximum concealability, capacity and shootability. The P365 is a pistol for professionals and civilians alike who want a smaller, high-performance pistol that does it all. This is the ultimate, everyday concealed carry pistol.”
During his remarks, Ron Cohen also mentioned that the P365 could very well replace full size pistols in many agencies. The reason so many carry full sized, double stacked pistols, is so that they have access to more rounds. He might be on to something.
As an interesting aside, the SIG marketing team gave us a look at how they plan to market the P365.
But Does It Shoot?
Over the course of two days, I was able to fire about 1000 rounds through the pistol. On the first day, we fired outdoors, at SIG Academy’s famous Area 51. When they had initially planned on holding the event, the weather was much milder. However, on that day, conditions were extremely cold.
At one point, I checked the app on my phone and it said that it felt like 8 degrees.
Although it was cold, the pistol was comfortable to shoot. One of the things that has always bothered me about compact pistols is that I don’t feel like I’m getting a proper grip. One of the things SIG has done with the P365 is that it has a more pronounced trigger undercut bringing the grip higher and offering more contact with the pistol. Even though it’s not as concealable, the 12 round magazine allowed a full grip for me, especially with gloves on, while the 10 round flush magazine felt like my pinky finger didn’t quite get full purchase. I like the third option, the 10 round extended magazine, a great compromise between grip, concealability and capacity.
Unfortunately, with at least one round in every magazine on that first day, the pistol failed to completely go into battery. Initially, SIG employees told me I was limp wristing the pistol. As I was wearing gloves and it was very cold, I figured we’d see if that was actually the problem once we were inside on the second day. However, it turned out that all of the press, and a couple of SIG personnel shooting the pistol that day, experienced the same issue.
I really appreciated the front and rear slide serrations as I was wearing gloves and worked out how to best manipulate the slide while loading the pistol and reducing malfunctions.
That evening, they cleaned the weapons, stripped the lubricant and replaced it with Slip 2000. Although I asked which lubricant was used on that first day, oddly, no one seemed to know what was used.
The second day was indoors where the writers participated in an abbreviated concealed carry course presented by the great instructors of SIG Academy.
We began each scenario with dry fire and progressed to timed engagement of multiple targets, with new targets being revealed as the scenario progressed. In addition to restaurant situations, we also fired from and around a vehicle which was rolled into the range.
The failure to go into battery issues went away. In fact, I had zero malfunctions and I fired three times as many rounds in the second day as the first. Based on this, I’d say that the lubricant used the first day was not appropriate for the environment. It’s an important issue which few consider until they are in that situation.
Additionally, firing was all barehanded and the texturized grip felt great. It was aggressive enough that I wouldn’t want to change it, but not so much that it annoyingly chaffed. The controls were easy to manipulate except for the magazine release which required me to adjust my grip slightly.
As far as accessories go, the P365 has a slim-line rail. SIG has planned for a weapon light and laser which fit this rail, to be offered by SIG Optics. The light will be available sometime this Spring with the laser coming later in the year. SIG also has a Lima grip with its integrated laser, under development. Although the Lima grip is user swappable, SIG doesn’t want to refer to the P365 as modular. At least, not yet. It is however, user configurable. Interestingly, SIG informed me that they will offer a suppressor for the P365. Although they haven’t offered any additional details, I would imagine that it will require a threaded barrel.
As it’s intended as a concealable pistol, you’re going to need a holster. While the P365 will fit several generic holsters, SIG has worked with Black Point to offer a fully ambIdextrous holster which can be configured for Inside the Waist Band or belt carry. They also offer a magazine pouch.
Although there were hiccups on the first day, I consider the P365 reliable, at least based on my limited interaction. Unfortunately, due to the range scenarios we had access to, I can make no determination regarding accuracy. The concealed carry phase concentrated on exposing us to a range of scenarios, but based on those scenarios, I feel that the biggest advantage of the the P365 was the ability to engage multiple targets, with multiple rounds, without reloading. No other pistol of this size offers that.
I think the P365 is going to prove very popular. With the 12 round extended magazine, plus one up the pipe, you’ve got yourself a full capacity pistol in a package you can actually conceal. I plan on purchasing one, as my first SIG handgun, once they are available.
According to SIG, the P365 has been in production for several months and should be available very soon. Their concern is keeping up with demand for a pistol that has broken the mould for a carry pistol, combining concealability with capacity.
This Article Originally Appeared on: Soldier Systems