At long last I've able to get my hands on a test sample of what is arguably one of the most talked about and sought after new concealed carry handguns introduced in 2018-the SIG Sauer P365.
The name P365 name is not derived from a sequential numbering of a pistol series. Rather the number signifies the fact that this concealed carry pistol is designed to be carried comfortably every day-all day. Further, the P365 does this while providing a magazine capacity equal to much wider and fatter 9mm pistols. 10 plus one rounds to be exact with the standard magazines and get this-12 plus one with the slightly extended magazine!
It is really quite remarkable what SIG has done with the P-365. Their double stack magazine is fitted into a nicely stippled polymer grip that is truly the size of a single stack grip. While it does have a slightly bit bigger circumference than some of the single stacks out there, I find the circumference just about perfect in terms of comfort-some of the single stack grips out there are really too narrow for comfort, and their small size doesn't really add to concealability. The overall width of the P365 is consistent throughout from the frame to the slide-only one inch! What is also remarkable is that the P365 has an accessory rail molded into the polymer frame, which is somewhat unusual for pistols this size. This makes the P365 extremely well adapted to home defense as well.
The P365 weighs in at 17.8 ounces unloaded. While a 9mm semi-automatic pistol is never going to weigh as little as a lightweight snub revolver, the weight of the P365 goes a long way towards keeping it controllable during firing.
As noted by the name, this first edition of the P365 has black Nitride finish on the stainless steel slide and frame. This makes these parts about as impervious to rust as it gets-another important feature in a pistol that is designed to be carried extensively and close to the body. The magazines are matte black coated steel.
Controls on the P365 are as simple as it gets. There is no manual safety-at least in this first version, nor is there a trigger lever or articulating trigger type safety. There is an easily reached triangular magazine release on the left side, a single takedown lever that swings forward for disassembly, and a slide release lever with just enough prominence to provide the leverage needed for easy activation by the left hand thumb-a feature which I consider indispensable for rapid reloading.
The striker fired P365's trigger is really quite remarkable. It is smooth faced and extremely smooth in operation. There is about a third of an inch of takeup slack before the actual pull begins. There is another third of an inch or less of actual trigger pull before the striker is released. The SIG website doesn't say, and I don't have a trigger pull gauge, but it feels to me like the pull is in the range of four pounds of weight-although it is likely more. It just feels that light. Overall, this trigger pull is the smoothest, lightest, shortest, and most crisp trigger I have ever felt on a striker fired pistol of this size. One caution-due diligence needs to be maintained in terms of keeping your finger on the frame until you are ready to shoot. Everyone who has handled the sample P365 has been duly impressed with the trigger.
I took the P365 to the range with some of SIG's new 147 grain 9mm V-Crown Elite jacketed hollowpoint ammo, which was recently added to the 115 and 124 grain V-Crown loads already available. If you haven't tried SIG's ammo lineup yet, it is extensive, and the V-Crown is an excellent performer in the clay blocks I have fired it into during testing regardless of caliber.
The 147 grain SIG V-Crown load is a standard pressure-not +P-load. Its velocity is listed as being 985 FPS, which churns up 317 ft/lbs of muzzle energy. By way of comparison, the standard pressure 124 grain V-Crown delivers 1165 FPS of muzzle velocity with a corresponding 374 ft/lbs of energy. Both are good defensive loads, with the subsonic (1087 FPS being the general threshold for speed of sound travel) 147 grainer being the best to use out of suppressed pistols as it does not produce a supersonic "crack" as it travels through the air.
I ran several magazines of the V-Crowns through the P365 before shooting it over a chronograph. Reliability was flawless. When Subsonic ammo was introduced by Winchester back in the 1990's, the pistols of the time,including my GEN1 Glock 17, didn't like this new bullet weight. The slide wouldn't cycle reliably unless the wrist was held in an ABSOLUTELY rock solid position. This wasn't the case with the P365 and the SIG V-Crown ammo-every single round I fired it ran perfectly!
Accuracy of the P365 was excellent. Groups fired two handed at 25 feet were very tight, two inches or perhaps a little tighter. Recoil with the heavy 147 grain bullet was a bit more pronounced that what the 115 or 124 loads would have produced, but was certainly not uncomfortable. All rounds hit dead center to the point of aim.
The new XRAY3 day/nights sights are excellent, and representative of the new breed of combat sights used by a number of manufacturers. Both the fixed front and rear sights feature Tritium vials for low level light conditions, while the front sight features a green insert around the tritium vial to make the sights readily eye-catching during daylight hours. Very well done indeed!
SIG continues to add more product to its lineup. They include a SIG branded Kydex IWB holster with belt clips for inside the waistband carry made by Blackpoint Tactical in Georgia. It is nicely emblazoned with the SIG emblem and is of excellent quality. It is not a piece of cheap swag thrown in for promotional purposes, but rather a quality piece of concealed carry gear you can bet your life on.
I was curious to see what the velocity loss might be from the 3.1 inch barrel of the P365. When I ran the 147 V-Crowns over the chronograph, I was pleasantly surprised to see that velocity still averaged 948 FPS-a loss of only 37 FPS! In my experience SIG has always been spot on with their published ammunition velocities. Muzzle energy at that speed is still a quite respectable 293 FP of energy.
I can see why there was so much post-SHOT Show excitement over the P365. It was everything it was said to be and more. For more information go towww.sigsauer.com
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