The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

Everyday Carry

We all relish cold weather because heavier cover garments mean we can carry a full-size, fully capable pistol. When it gets warmer we tuck little pistols into our shorts, accepting the loss of capacity and shootability as a fair tradeoff for concealability. SIG’s pistol product manager, Phil Strader, says of the SIG P365, “We designed something that you could carry every single day, 365 days a year, no compromise and no change in guns.”

Bullsh*t, right?
When New Hampshire’s SIG SAUER set its course to build the P365, an everyday subcompact, SIG’s CEO Ron Cohen tells us his engineers had one goal — to overcome the well-known shortcomings of subcompact pistols. And there are a lot. But the biggest reason to carry a full-size pistol is its shootability and its capacity. Tiny guns are tough to shoot well; whether it’s the ergos or just mechanical issues inherent in smaller guns, people shy away from subcompacts when they need to hit things past 5 yards. And the limited capacity of the most concealable pistols leaves us wanting.

Picking up the SIG P365, it doesn’t immediately feel a whole lot different than its competitors. But, once the mag pops out, SIG’s claims start gaining credibility. 10+1 rounds in a package smaller than a 6+1, single stack Glock 43. And while the rest of the world is comparing the P365 to its subcompact cousins, we see it as a threat to the compact market. The P365’s 12-round mag puts it within chin-rubbing distance of the 15-round Glock 19. We’ll bet plenty of people would pay a three-round tax for the concealability of the smaller gun — that is, as long as it shoots well and functions reliably. And that’s what we’re here to find out.

Don’t try this at home. While it’s clearly a chassis gun, SIG says there’s no reason to take the trigger module out of the grip. But, if you do, have a dental pick handy to lift the slide catch spring to reinstall the slide catch.

Don’t try this at home. While it’s clearly a chassis gun, SIG says there’s no reason to take the trigger module out of the grip. But, if you do, have a dental pick handy to lift the slide catch spring to reinstall the slide catch.

Looking at the feature list, you’d be forgiven if you thought it was a full-size gun. It has a textured grip, predictable trigger pull from a fully cocked, striker-fired action, striker channel safety block, front and rear slide serrations, a low-bore axis, a deep trigger guard undercut for improved grip and control, a proprietary accessory rail, a field stripping procedure that doesn’t require a trigger pull, and two mags and SIG’s excellent X-Ray3 night sights. The 12-round accessory mag that adds roughly a third of an inch to the grip is icing on the cake.

When SIG told us the accessory rail was proprietary, we moaned like everyone else. But after thinking about it, we understood the decision. There’s only 1.2 inches of rail length to work with, meaning Streamlight or SureFire Pic rail lights won’t fit on the rail. It has to be a custom interface. (SIG set the MSRP of its LIMA365 Red laser and FOXTROT365 light at $180, while the LIMA365 Green will MSRP for $240, all due out later this spring.)

 While everyone is comparing the P365 to other sub- compacts, we’re thinking the 13-round version competes against the 16-round Glock 19, shown here under the P365.


While everyone is comparing the P365 to other subcompacts, we’re thinking the 13-round version competes against the 16-round Glock 19, shown here under the P365.

Making Wormholes
The P365’s steel mag is basically a double stack at the bottom that necks up into a single stack. It gives the pistol two things: a thinner magazine at the top, where SIG could contour the grip profile at the thumb/trigger finger so it doesn’t feel like a beer can, and, second, enhanced reliability. Because the rounds are single stacked in the throat, they don’t have a tendency to rub against each other during feeding.

Next came the process of engineering the lockwork and the chassis module, reducing the space between the bottom of the slide and the top of the trigger chassis. While it is a chassis gun, it’s far from a shrunken P320. Parts were engineered to fit horizontally instead of vertically to close slide/frame gap.

Cohen and Strader didn’t explain all the secrets that allowed them to shrink the gun and create a wormhole-like magazine. But Cohen reiterated his belief that SIG is an engineering company that happens to make guns. As such, he explained the focus is on engineering and money gets poured into hiring talent.

“I see the financials of the public companies,” he said, “Smith & Wesson just published their financials, and I looked at their engineering [costs]. I thought it was like for three weeks, but it was for a whole quarter. We spend more on shooting ammo than they spend on engineering development.”

sig sauer p365 pistol

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