CONCEALMENT 18 SIG P365 SAS Review: Like Training Wheels for Red Dot Sights Mike Searson 7 Comments, Join the Conversation Over the past 30 years, concealed carry has become a way of life for most firearms owners, and every year we see firearms manufacturers pushing the envelope by making carry pistols smaller, easier to conceal and lighter. SIG SAUER heeded the call with its SIG P365 SAS; SAS is an abbreviation for SIG Anti Snag. The SAS is based on the company’s popular P365 pistol. The P365 is a subcompact-sized polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol chambered in 9mm. It uses a novel double-stack mag design that holds between 10 and 15 rounds, model depending, with flush-fit and extended options available. The standard version has a proprietary rail and three-dot, fixed sights. It has one of the lowest bore axis found on any factory handgun. Many shooters settled on it as the pinnacle of concealed carry development, but SIG decided to push the envelope with the SIG P365 SAS. This pistol incorporates a number of enhancements such as the SIG Anti Snag treatment, where the entire pistol is contoured and dehorned in order to remove sharp edges or snag points. To further remove snag hazards, the size of the slide stop is reduced to a nub, and takedown lever is similarly neutered. Oh yeah, while we’re talking snag points, they eliminated the iron sights. Wait, what? No, they didn’t make a 9mm Seecamp LWS and give you a point-shooting pocket pistol, nor did they add a mounting plate system for a red-dot sight. Instead, the SAS is a compromise between the two. The sight on the SIG P365 SAS is what the company refers to as a flush-mounted FT bullseye fiber-tritium night sight that’s embedded into the top of the slide, taking up about 2 inches of real estate. Additionally, they ported the barrel and slide to tame recoil from such a short and lightweight pistol. THE BASICS The SIG P365 SAS is such a small, subcompact pistol that it’s hard not to call it a pocket pistol. We don’t advocate carrying it loose in a pocket, where it’ll keep company with your keys, loose change, cub scout knife, and decoder ring, but it’s small enough to carry in a good pocket holster like the DeSantis Nemesis. This is a striker-fired pistol with a crisp trigger that has a short reset, much like the original P365. Using an RCBS trigger scale, the trigger breaks at 5.5 pounds with no mush, grit, or creep. Reset was a bit on the long side, but acceptable. The pistol ships in a lockable hard case with two 10-rounders; one flush-fit and one with a pinkie extension for more grip. All other SIG P365 mags fit, including extended capacity versions. CARRY Over five months carrying the SIG P365 SAS, we used a Black Point Tactical AIWB holster and later shifted to a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster. The Nemesis is one of our favorite pocket holsters Its rough exterior helps hold it in place in a pants pocket and doesn’t come out while drawing the pistol. Most importantly, it has a foam lining between a canvas inner and outer that breaks up the shape of the pistol. We did try various draws from front and back pants pockets while wearing jeans, khakis, and “tactical pants” as well as from several jacket pockets both inside and out. The pistol is truly snag-free and comes out of the pocket like it’s on rails. Black Point’s holster is completely adjustable for ride height, cant, and retention level by loosening the screws on the IWB belt clip and sliding the clip in the channels to achieve the desired position. It incorporates a side-mounted strut loop that pushes the grip toward the body to reduce printing. THE PORTING Porting conjures visions of twin columns of flame erupting in your sight picture, threatening to ruin your night vision, melt your Oakleys, and burn your eyebrows off. The SIG P365 SAS probably recoils as much as the standard version, which really isn’t much at all considering its size. Yet, the handgun stays on target because the porting keeps the muzzle from rising. There’s no flash to wipe out your night vision, sight picture, etc. Nor will you lose critical amounts of your ammunition's velocity because of these ports. And no, there’s zero chance of fouling the front sight with carbon and the like because there isn't one to begin with. THE CONTROLS SIG says the “flush slide catch and takedown levers ensure absolute smoothness and zero snag risk.” This was our least favorite feature of the SIG P365 SAS. The ease of taking down a SIG pistol without tools is one of our favorite attributes. It’s not a deal-breaker since a coin or a screwdriver’s all that’s needed twist the takedown nub. The missing slide catch, on the other hand, was a lot tougher to deal with. Just forget about dropping the slide with a gloved hand; and it’s not much easier with a bare thumb. The most reliable way reset the slide is to slingshot the slide on a fresh mag when it’s locked back. For one-handed slide manipulation, you’ll need to get creative. We’re used to catching a sight on a pocket or the edge of a surface to rack or release the slide, but the SAS has nothing to catch. Catching the front face of the slide above the barrel is one way to work it, but it’s tough. Find something that works and practice it with dummy rounds until it can be performed correctly. THE SIGHTS, OR LACK THEREOF The flush-mounted, FT bull’s-eye fiber-tritium night sight gives the shooter about a 1.75-inch sight radius and is reminiscent of the old guttersnipe sights used by High Standard on their two-shot derringers and made famous by Paris Theodore on his ASP and Devel pistol builds of the 1970s and 1980s. The theory behind the guttersnipe is the way it gives a fast sight picture that gets you on target quickly. To take full advantage of the system, you need to grasp the Bindon Aiming Concept, which was developed by the late Glyn Bindon, the founder of Trijicon. Bindon advocated shooting with both eyes open. If there’s a bright enough light in the reticle field when the weapon is being moved, the primary eye will see the illuminated reticle inside the sight, while the other eye sees the target and the background. These are two separate images, but the brain receives the signal from both eyes, automatically merges the images, and then selects the magnified image received by the primary eye. Although he was speaking to rifle scopes, the principle applies to pistol shooting, as well. This is the key concept behind shooting with a holographic pistol sight. You keep your eyes on the target and allow the dot to appear — as opposed to chasing the reticle before target acquisition. A lot of shooters get this wrong, and this leads to the initial complaints you’ve heard from about the sight system on the SIG P365 SAS. Even though the concept is easy to grasp, in practice, it takes some getting used to. It’s like a physical fight. You focus on your assailant and, lo, the sight appears instantly as you bring the pistol into proper alignment. When you see it in action, you may never look at a pistol sight the same way again.It appears as a very usable dot for a quick sight picture, followed by the appearance of the outer ring of the rear sight a millisecond later. AT THE RANGE On the first trip to the range, we tried out SIG’s P365-branded 115gr FMJ 9mm ammunition. The pistol gave us a best five-shot group at 15 feet of 2.74 inches. Additionally, SIG sent us their defensive round in a JHP configuration and patterns were very similar at just under 3 inches at the same distance. We followed up this session a few weeks later at an indoor range where we could dim the lights to simulate low lighting conditions. Using Aguila 9mm 115-grain FMJ we came in at just over 3 inches at 15 feet. With the target at 10 feet, we were shooting smaller, 2-inch groups. We took the SIG P365 SAS outdoors and shot out to 50 feet and decided this is as far as we could shoot the P365 SAS accurately. We fired a 10-round magazine to slide lock and followed up with a reload, but the point of impact was low and right with two rounds missing the target completely. We adjusted our point of aim Kentucky-windage style and brought them back to center that way. Which brings us to an important limitation of the SAS sight: as far as we can tell, it’s not adjustable. For this reason, it’s important to shoot your SIG P365 SAS before you carry it. This is true for any defensive handgun, but probably more so with this one as you have a few novel features to get comfortable with, plus the fixed sight. RELIABILITY We experienced zero malfunctions with the pistol. No failures to feed, fire, or extract, and no evidence of primer drag, something early P365s exhibited. The SIG P365 SAS is a sub-compact pistol intended for self-defense. If you need to carry a target-grade handgun for self-defense, check out the SIG P210A or the X5 Legion. LOOSE ROUNDS All models of P365 mags have heavy springs, so consider picking up magazine loader to take advantage of the increased capacity if you have tender thumbs. Fears of the ported SIG P365 SAS blowing glasses off people’s faces, setting their clothes on fire, or other imagined calamities, have led to people hoping for a non-ported barrel from SIG. The concerns are completely unfounded and would only swap a barrel for to get one that’s threaded. Regarding the sights, they do require an investment in learning to use them, not unlike that same adjustment involved in learning how to shoot a red-dot sight on a handgun. They also limit the pistol’s range and precision. For close-range self-defense, they’re fine, but if you’re contemplating a shot with the SAS at an active shooter advancing on you and your family at 50 feet, you may find yourself outgunned. That may be an extraordinary circumstance, but life is made up of extraordinary circumstances. Shooters looking for something with the versatility to shoot more precisely and at greater distances will be better served with the SAS’s iron-sighted siblings. While the standard P365s are great carry guns, this wonderfully subcompact pocket pistol does best in the role of a backup, deep-concealment, close-quarters pistol. The SIG P365 SAS has some sexy features; it’s a specialized build, made for life and death inside 7 yards. Buy the Sig 365 SAS at Guns.com [You can visit Sig Sauer online here] More on Concealed Carry Pistols Did the SIG P365 SAS make the cut? Here's the Best 9mm Pistols in 2020. The Walther PPS has been a long-standing staple of Micro-Pistols, and how it gets Red-Dot-Ready. The Sig P365 got a long-form review, give it a read for a foundation. SIG P365 XL: for a 15+1 round, red dot ready version. [Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in CONCEALMENT #18] Explore RECOILweb:Camelbak's Arete 18 "Transformer"Adaptive Tactical Receiver Mounted Shell CarrierBatman vs Superman - Dawn of JusticeAfterSHOT: New Aimpoint Magnifiers NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOILFor years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included). Get your pack of 50 Print-at-Home targets when you subscribe to the RECOIL email newsletter. We'll send you weekly updates on guns, gear, industry news, and special offers from leading manufacturers - your guide to the firearms lifestyle.You want this. Trust Us.