Ammo Review: SIG SAUER 365 V-Crown 9mm 115gr JHP Personal Defense Ammunition

Ammo Review: SIG SAUER 9mm 115gr 365 JHP Personal Defense Ammunition

SIG SAUER recently released a line of ammunition to go with their fantastic new P365 9mm pistol, aptly called the 365 V-Crown. This load is consists of a jacketed hollowpoint that SIG describes as being ‘optimized for CCW. In this ammo review I test it in a couple different guns and see how it functions against gel, fabric, and barriers.

General Background:
Earlier this year SIG came out with a variety of options for their ever-expanding micro pistol line and this new personal defense ammo was among them. Having tested a huge number of 9mm loads over the course of my career, including SIG’s other V-Crown loads, I was eager to put this new one through its paces.

The load itself consists of a 115gr bullet and a nickel-plated case. This by itself isn’t new or original, but it’s a reliable combination that proved to be just that in the course of my testing.

SIG sells 365 V-Crown in a slick looking black box with metallic silver lettering. I dare say that it’s some of the most attractive and interesting packaging I’ve seen recently while also being the most simple. The list price for a 20-round box on the SIG website is $20.95.

Ammo Review: SIG SAUER 9mm 115gr 365 JHP Personal Defense Ammunition

Accuracy and Basic Performance:
I tested this new load in two pistols, a SIG P365 and a GLOCK 19X. The claimed velocity for the load from a 3.1” barrel is 1050fps. My testing showed that it was a bit faster at 1070fps out of the P365 and a marginally quicker 1091fps from the 19X.

These numbers aren’t to say the maker is incorrect. My testing was done on a fairly warm 85 degree day over my Oehler 35P chronograph, although it was much hotter than that in the direct sunlight. Pistol rounds easily vary by this much depending in gun and temperature. In total, I fired fifty rounds over the chrono and found that the load was pretty damn consistent.

The accuracy I was able to generate was very good with ten-shot groups. The P365 averaged groups of 1.5” at 15 yards and 2.75” at 25 yards. The 19X produced much better groups, those being 1” and 2” respectively.
In the course of testing I experienced no feeding issues in either host gun. Recoil was quite low in both and follow-up shots were very fast. I liked that it was both very accurate and very easy to shoot. Many types of ammo out there that are designed for short barrels are too powerful or not powerful enough, but this was a perfect middle ground.

Ballistic Performance:
I received a 10% FBI gel block from Clear Ballistics for this section of my testing. The load was fired out of the P365 at a range of ten feet to simulate a CCW encounter. The bullets fired into bare gel penetrated to an average depth of 14.5”. This penetration depth was very consistent and I had no overpenetration. The recovered bullets all achieved excellent expansion.

Ammo Review: SIG SAUER 9mm 115gr 365 JHP Personal Defense Ammunition

Shooting through fabric (middle bullet in photo) still allowed near-complete expansion and penetration. Added layers of fabric and light denim didn’t seem to do much to stop the bullets and I still had penetration to a depth of 13-14”.
Firing through medium barriers like a 2×4 and a small segment of drywall (bullet on left) allowed expansion, but significantly reduced penetration. Average penetration depth through barriers was only 9-10”.

Lastly, firing through heavier materials like leather and heavy denim resulted in mixed expansion (bullet on right). The Issues I experienced were typical of many hollowpoints in that they would not give me consistent expansion and penetration. I experienced my first complete exit after a bullet became clogged and went straight in and out. It was very rare to have a bullet that didn’t at open up at least a little bit.

Wounding Capacity:
The general wound channels displayed a permanent cavity that measured about 3” in length and about .65” wide. This wound channel was present at a general depth of four to eight inches. I think that this was great performance and was very, very consistent.

Ammo Review: SIG SAUER 9mm 115gr 365 JHP Personal Defense Ammunition

The bullets that passed through thick fabric and barriers showed a decrease I the size of permanent wound cavities. These bullets still showed expansion, but there was a significant reduction in the diameter of permanent wounds, to the tune of 1-2” and only about as wide as the bullet itself at around ½”. Temporary wounds from expansion showed very little explosive tearing. I would say that this bullet does the vast majority of damage as a result of rapid expansion.

Ammo Review: SIG SAUER 9mm 115gr 365 JHP Personal Defense Ammunition

Overall Impressions:
SIG has a winner with the P365 pistol and the 365 ammo. As a team, the gun (the P365) and ammo does exactly as it’s supposed to at the ranges it’s intended to be used. This is not a tough +P load designed to blast through windows and hard barriers, but is a reliably expanding self-defense round that functions just as it’s supposed to.

The 365 115gr V-Crown is a round that I’d be happy to carry. It’s reliable and accurate and has low recoil. The price per round is also reasonable and there is also a 365 practice round that nearly duplicates the JHP velocity and recoil for affordable practice.

Ratings (out of five stars):

Accuracy: * * * * *
This load produced excellent groups on paper at both range and combat distances.

Handling: * * * * *
Recoil was very low. Firing rapidly and with one hand was manageable. This round would be easily handled by almost any shooter.

Reliability: * * * * *
I experienced no problems of any kind while shooting this cartridge. The brass ejected clear of both guns and it locked back the slides without issue on the last shot.

Terminal Performance: * * * * *
This is a carry round and it does exactly what a carry round should do. It showed excellent results against common barriers and offered expansion even after passing through hard materials.

Overall: * * * * *
This is a very good personal defense round, and not just for the P365. V-Crown would be a great choice in any micro 9mm that you may carry. It’s not fancy to look at, but it gets the job done.

comments

  1. avatar Creedless No Moor says:

    Is using this ammo on a living being ethical? If so, up to what distance?

    I’m just wondering since you seemed like such an expert on the ethical choice of shots, cartridges, and distances in your last article.

    1. avatar bob says:

      Sitting in court having to explain why you chose such a devastating round knowing it would most likely be used on human targets.

      Now…. the 6.5 CM is the most humane as it removes souls painlessly.
      Unlike the searing hot burn of the lame duck 308Win.

    2. avatar Sich says:

      “LOR” (i.e. Load Out Room) in 31 January 2017, announced that the US Army was going back to using Jacketed Hollow Points for both their M17 and M18 Pistols…

    3. avatar Shwiggie says:

      Heh. “Did you have to kill that person so dead?”

  2. avatar Big Al says:

    Looks promising. However, I will stay with the Federal HST 124 & 147. Buy them from “outdoorlimiuted.com”. $.37/round is QUITE reasonable.

    1. avatar B says:

      Yup! And a good track record.

    2. avatar Jay in Florida says:

      I agree 110%. So far nothing out there will take the place of my HSTs in all my carry guns.

      1. avatar kevin says:

        My CCW instructor recommended HST, Gold Dot and Ranger because it’s the choice of local LEO departments- hard to argue with carrying what the cops carry.

        1. avatar B says:

          Exactly!👌

          Let’s not forget effective shot placement.😉

        2. avatar Stereodude says:

          Do you use that logic on your choice of car to drive also? If they cops drive a Charger you’ll drive one too?

        3. avatar B says:

          (Snicker)😉

          I think he means in “addition to” already proven types of ammunition. Since those brands and types are usually adopted by LE as effective on-duty rounds and not restricted by civilian purchase, it’s sound advice. Less stuff to deal in the aftermath. ✌

  3. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

    “My testing showed that it was a bit faster at 1070fps out of the P365 and a marginally quicker 1091fps from the 19X.”

    In all fairness, doesn’t most defensive ammo tend to run a bit on the hot side? Just as insurance against claims it’s underpowered?

    1. avatar Jeremy B. says:

      Nope, most ammo, JHP included, tend to perform a few % slower than advertised. Especially out of a 3″ barrel.

    2. avatar Accur81 says:

      My defensive ammo 9mm ammo is the Federal HST +P 124 grain at 1218 FPS from a stainless LWD 4″ conversion barrel from a Glock 23. That’s about 35% more energy than this Sig ammo from each and every shot. My Underwood .357 ammo and .45 ACP +P have good energy (for a handgun) also.

      If you are facing an armed bad guy, you won’t be wishing for less ammo and lower energy.

      1. avatar Connor H says:

        This is marketed for subcompact/micro pistols with ~3” barrels and small frames. It is deliberately not +P, or super hot. It’s intended to balance ballistic effectiveness with controllable recoil from a small handgun. A 4” barrel is not what this type of ammo is recommended for. Try Glock 43 size. So of course your HST +P from a 4” barrel is going to be more powerful…. many people might have difficulty controlling a subcompact for follow up shots with that load.

        1. avatar Thomas Jones says:

          Nailed it.

  4. avatar Chris says:

    Ballistics test looks the same as their other v-crown line, the one I’ve been using for about a year now. I had a glance at their new p365, they didn’t fix the problem with that horrible looking slide catch. It’s still big, still looks like a deformed paper clip. Oh well.

  5. avatar dlj95118 says:

    …anybody know what became of ShootingTheBull410?

    Every time I see a review on ammunition, I wonder about him. No updates to his channel, nor comments as to why he disappeared.

    1. avatar Jake says:

      I miss his reviews, too. What a resource!

    2. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      “…anybody know what became of ShootingTheBull410?”

      STB has been dealing with some health issues, last I heard.

      He still pops into TTAG on occasion to offer some insights, but I don’t recall seeing him recently…

      1. avatar dlj95118 says:

        …yeah, I heard that also – but no official statement of such on his channel.

        🙁

  6. avatar Docduracoat says:

    Everything Sig is good to go, if a little pricey.
    As others have said, there is excellent 147 grain hollowpoint 9 mm available for a lot less
    That still has excellent expansion
    I like the Winchester White Box 147 grain 9 mm hollowpoint.
    .36 cents a round at Walmart Supercenter and it is open all night!
    In case I need ammo at 3 am

    1. avatar S.Crock says:

      Everything sig is good to go… unless it is carried in a sig. Cough cough 320 and 365. But the ammo looks good.

    2. avatar Bob h says:

      I actually disagree on this one. In over 500 rounds of 357/ 38 the only bullet I ever had jump crimp so far it jammed my revolver’s cylinder was a Sig V crown 125 gr JHP. Literally the only bullet I wouldn’t recommend based on personal experience.

    3. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      “.36 cents a round at Walmart Supercenter and it is open all night!
      In case I need ammo at 3 am”

      My local Supercenter closes the ammo counter at 10 PM here in Florida.

      *mutter*…

  7. avatar former water walker says:

    124gr Sig is my carry ammo. Watch Paul Harrel for an alternate view of Sig vs HST. He thinks Sig is as good or better…YMMV

  8. avatar MIO says:

    They did nothing over what the HSTs and Gold Dots etc have done. Your buying a brand and nothing more.
    When a company says it is only or best as a tissue self defense round I’d be worried about it’s performance against other stuff and you can not rely on it until thoroughly tested. You don’t know even in your house if a bad guy will hide behind the fridge or solid door so……

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      “You don’t know even in your house if a bad guy will hide behind the fridge or solid door so……”

      There are no handguns available in 6.5 Creedmoore.

      Yet… 😉

      1. avatar Sich says:

        Not exactly true! Cody Weiser Firearms Refinishing’s offers a MDT LSS chassis 6.5 Bolt-Action Creedmoor Pistol, based on the Remington XP-100. But these are Special Order Only, so no MSRP is available…

      2. avatar Connor H says:

        I’m sure you could build an AR10 pistol with maybe a 12.5” barrel in 6.5CM. Horrendous muzzle flash, but I sure as hell wouldn’t want to get hit with one. Throw on an SBA3 brace for good measure.

  9. avatar Chris says:

    This is good to know…in March I bought ten boxes of this from Lucky Gunner for my Glock 19…plenty to practice with with plenty for my three (soon to be five) G19 mags.

  10. avatar Brian says:

    Potentially a very useful review (with a number of good photos), but almost hopelessly disorganized and with too much information missing. Too bad, really a shame, because it appears a lot of work was actually done. It could be saved . . . . .

    -The stats, such as Standard Deviation, were certainly recorded by the chronograph, so why didn’t the author report them? Then we can judge the consistency of the ammunition’s performance for ourselves. (Also, other conditions, such as humidity, are usually reported as a matter of course.)
    -At no point is the the range of bullet expansion recorded after penetrating various barriers and bare gelatin. In decimal inches, what was the bullet expansion? We are never told this critical information.
    -Nothing whatsoever is reported about bullet weight retention (and what were the percentages?). A $20 electronic scale or a reloader’s scale is all that is needed.
    -The author failed to summarize his results clearly and succinctly in a data table, giving the barrier (if any), depth of penetration, bullet expansion, and bullet weight retention.
    -Was the gelatin kept at the proper temperature? It was noted as a fairly warm day. We need to know.
    -Had the block been calibrated with a BB per SOP?
    -How was the pistol held when it was shot to determine accuracy potential? What were the sizes of the maximum and minimum groups?
    -Why weren’t a few rounds of well-known standard like Gold Dot or HST used for comparison?
    -Why wasn’t the ammunition kept cooler and at a standard, stated tempersture.

    Meanwhile, of this goes unnoticed while you guys are yammering over your beers. Sure, save one for me, but first let this guy know the article is lame and in great need of some strong-handed editing. As a professional scientist, writer and technical editor, I’d be fired for letting something like this slip by. So the valuable information is lost.

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