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P365XL: 15+1 Gym Shorts Gun

We Workout with the Sig Sauer P365XL

Photos by Dave Merrill

If you didn’t know anything about the Sig Sauer P365 when it was released other than from a picture of it, you’d probably wonder why someone might grab one of these instead of a Smith & Wesson Shield or Glock 43. Until you saw the capacity. Hell, 10+1 was standard on the P365, almost double everything else in the category. Later down the line, Sig released magazine extensions, one even offering a 15+1 capability.

You have the same ammo capacity as the ubiquitous Glock 19, the universal standard to which all conceal carry pistols should be judged, in a substantially thinner and shorter pistol. But there’s more than a simple dimensional increase going on here.


The P365XL comes with many added features and improvements over its little sibling, the P365. First, an increased barrel and slide length gives the shooter noticeably reduced muzzle flip, a common issue with tiny 9mm pistols such as a Glock 43. However, the biggest positive with the increased overall length, at least for those with human-sized fingers, is that you can now really stretch out your support hand thumb on the slide without ending up in front of the muzzle. The ability to get a much more aggressive purchase on the gun allows for greater control and a major improvement in overall shootability and performance.

The next improvement is a flat-faced trigger, similar to those in Sig X series pistols. According to Sig, it breaks at 9 pounds and at 90 degrees; however, since we’re talking about a flat trigger, the weight varies from 3 pounds 8 ounces (bottom of the trigger) to 10 pounds (top of the trigger) depending on where your finger lays. Overall, though, it’s essentially a flat P365 trigger with no internal enhancements. While the flat face is a nice addition, especially since you tend to get more finger on the trigger on one of these little pistols, there’s no difference in the trigger’s feel. The P365XL trigger feels like a four-day-old carrot stick. Applying rearward pressure to the trigger, it provides a smooth sensation for about two-thirds of the way, then its mushy resistance up until the trigger break.

Another feature of the P365XL is a flared magazine well, giving the pistol a slightly wider mouth for inserting a magazine. While flared magwells are useful in more substantially sized guns, it doesn’t necessarily do much for this particular model. Anyone reloading this pistol with even moderately sized hands needs to be cautious during a magazine change to avoid getting pinched between the grip and magazine during insertion. The 15-round magazines are much easier to load, though this is more to do with their size than the magwell itself.

However, the P365XL also has a longer beavertail than the normal P365, and when used in conjunction with the magwell flare it can really help lock your hand in place. Provided your hands aren’t too large, the magwell aids in keeping your grip hugging the beavertail, ensuring a high hold without reaching the point where the slide will eat some skin.
Where Sig really knocks it out of the park with the XL is by making it optic-ready. Yes, you read that right — a slim sub-compact, optic ready pistol with a 12+1 capacity.

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