First Look Video: Sig Sauer P365 9mm Pistol
The latest entry in the micro 9mm handgun race is Sig Sauer’s P365. While many competitors have chosen to go the single stack route, Sig brought us a small double stack with a ten round magazine capacity, a healthy increase over the usual six or seven rounds found in a single stack 9mm pistol magazine.
While this can’t quite be called revolutionary, it certainly shook up a lot of people’s notions of how many rounds they could carry in an ultra-concealable pistol. The debate between carrying a micro compact pistol and a compact or subcompact gun has been one of concealment versus firepower: consider a Glock 43 with six rounds in a magazine and one in the chamber versus a Glock 26 or Glock 19 with 10+1 or 15+1. While the latter two are quite concealable in their own right, they’re by no means as invisible under a t-shirt as a single stack pistol.
If the choice is going unarmed because you don’t want people to know you have a gun or having six rounds of 9mm, though, that choice is easy: pick the tiny pistol and live with its limitations.
That’s precisely why the P365 shakes things up. Now you can pick the tiny pistol and have nearly as many rounds as a compact carry handgun. The P228, fantastic as it is, had an original magazine capacity of 13 rounds. The P365 is positively midget-like next to the P228, and it’s within spitting distance of carrying the same number of rounds.
You get the point – it’s great that the P365 is not just another single stack. Some of the hype about it, though, isn’t quite true. I’ve seen quite a few people claim that it’s smaller than single stack guns. While it does have a shorter barrel and slide than, say, the Glock 43, thus giving the immediate visual impression of being smaller, it is slightly thicker, and that’s what counts for concealment – that and the length of the grip. Oh, there’s going to be an infinitesimal advantage to the P365 in terms of quickly drawing the gun and rotating it up to face the target, but you’ll be measuring that in milliseconds.
We don’t consider the circumference of the grip very often with 9mm pistols, especially small ones. The P365 is exceptionally small in this regard – perhaps too small. The walls of the grip – the thickness of the frame – are so thin here that it almost seems like they just wrapped some papier mache around a tiny double stack mag. Yes, it contributes to the thing being impressively small, but it ventures much farther into “difficult to hold” territory than your average short small single stack 9mm, and I’ve never heard anyone say those guns fit their hand perfectly, with the possible exception of people with tiny baby hands. Though women generally have serious hands than men, even the average female hand engulfs most tiny single stack guns.
My hands are entirely average in size for males, falling right in between medium and large gloves, and I do not find the P365 to fit my hand as well as other handguns. It’s a sacrifice to be made in making a ten round pistol be so small, but I quickly found myself wishing that they’d added just a little more meat on the back of the grip. It’s thin everywhere, which is fine for concealment, but hardly could it be considered ergonomic.
My initial impressions of the trigger were good – it’s certainly clean and it’s not too heavy. I did find myself wishing that it was somehow different after putting rounds through it. I’m more used to striker fired pistol triggers not continuing to move slightly to the rear after the initial take-up motion is complete.
At the range, I flinched a lot more than expected on followup shots – not that the P365 offers ferocious recoil, because it doesn’t, but I think a combination of the small grip and the trigger being different than I’m accustomed to were throwing me off. That made me throw shots off, and while I was perfectly happy with its capabilities at close range, I prefer to be able to shoot slightly longer distances with even my smallest guns. It doesn’t matter for the intended purpose of the gun – close quarters defensive use – but it was one element where I thought the P365 would be better if it had a few very minor changes.
One last change I’d make would be to the sights. While I’m pleased that night sights come standard, I didn’t find the bright green ring around the front sight, which appeared to be some sort of colored polymer, to be as effective as the painted green or orange rings around other, similarly designed front sights, especially in full daylight where the night sights are of little use. Were I Sig, I’d ditch the rear tritium sights and instead increase the visibility of the front sight for daytime use.
I’ve seen and read quite a few complaints about potential reliability issues with the P365, including parts breakages, primarily strikers. Immediately upon hearing that dry firing was a potential cause for broken strikers, I set out to dry fire the P365 for what seemed like hours. This had the side benefit of improving my finger’s relationship with the trigger, but it didn’t result in any broken parts. Nor can I find any fault with the pistol’s reliability when live firing as opposed to dry firing, as it’s functioned without a hiccup to date.
The video which accompanies this article was made after spending one day with the P365, and since it was filmed I’ve spent quite a lot more time with the gun. My initial impressions remain much the same – it is a tiny and easy to conceal pistol with a magazine capacity that handily beats anything else in its class. There are a few things I’d change about it, but until competitors choose to respond, the Sig P365 is essentially in a category of its own.
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