Did you know that John Browning once dreamed of a striker-fired, all-metal, Hi-Power? During the design process of the Hi-Power pistol, a striker-fired variant was produced as a prototype. It didn’t go far, of course, and now we’re all familiar with striker-fired guns being made with polymer frames.
But if part of you hankers for a metal-framed, striker-fired pistol, Icarus Precision has you covered. Their ACE (Accuracy, Control, Enhanced) 365 grip frames are designed to replace the standard polymer frame on your SIG Sauer P365.
It seems almost haram to toss a metal frame on the P365. Especially a frame that makes the micro-compact gun a bit wider and a bit longer. One of the big draws of the SIG P365 is its small size and relatively high capacity.
The Icarus ACE 365 grip frame adds some weight and a little size to the gun. The additional width, though, is due to the palm swell added at the bottom of the grip, so it’s not much of a concealment issue.
The SIG system of removable modular chassis systems allows you to purchase frames like this without going through an FFL. The internal chassis is the legal “gun” (the serialized part) that requires a 4473 and background check.
This modularity opens up a lot of different opportunities for the aftermarket and Icarus seems to be the first to take advantage of it for the P365.
ACE 365 Grip Frame vs. P365 OEM Grip Module
The ACE 365 grip frame offers a few advantages. The palm swell, for one, helps the gun better fill the hand. At least it does for my big hand. Icarus produces another model — the ACE 365 Grip V2.0 — without the palm swells if that isn’t your style.
The grip has an exaggerated finger bump that helps you keep a solid and comfortable grip on the gun. At the very rear, we get a noticeable beavertail to increase control over the weapon.
The ACE 365 keeps the standard grip geometry in terms of length and it has no issues accommodating 10, 12, and 15-round P365 magazines. The trigger undercut feels a bit deeper than the original, which gives me a better grip overall.
You also get a standard Picatinny rail system instead of SIG’s proprietary one.
To be clear the stock OEM P365 grip is already quite comfortable. It feels brilliant in the hand and is very well designed. It’s a small grip, but well thought out. However, everything that the original grip does, the ACE 365 does better. Well, almost everything.
The magazine release feels a hair short for the ACE 365 grip frame. It still releases the magazine without issue, but requires a little more force to do so. An extended magazine release would be a better option for this grip module.
On the Range
The ACE 365 frame excels on the range. It makes controlling the little 9mm P365 a treat. With my big hands, I have way more control and the gun seems to snap less. Best of all, my front sight gets back on target a bit quicker.
The original P365 grip does an excellent job at preventing real snappiness. The Ace 365 takes it a step further.
The improvement is most noticeable during rapid fire where the ACE 365 allows the gun to rise only a hair and settles right back on target. Dropping ten rounds into a target can be done without the gun shifting in the hand or getting away from you. Toss in some +P loads and you’ll notice a big difference in control as well.
The extra weight and beavertail certainly do their job at taming felt recoil. The ACE 365 made an already comfortable gun even more comfortable. It never created any reliability issues and over time the initial stiffness of the magazine release is starting to fade.
What About P365 Holsters?
Good question. How do you carry a gun with a “unique” frame? Well, you have a few options. First, it will work with hybrid holsters. I’ve tested models from both our friends at CrossBreed and Alien Gear and they work. Oh and so does the Comfort Cling from Clinger Holsters that works.
Better yet, I reached out to a company called Black Label Holsters who are already producing custom Kydex holsters for the ACE 365 grip module and got one in black Multicam. It’s a minimalist appendix design that lacks a claw, but molds a bumper into the trigger guard for better concealment.
The holster is quite comfortable and robust. I’ve been one wearing basically from sun-up to sundown and have yet to run into any issues. It remains comfortable all day long. It holds the weapon well and presents it for a very clean draw.
Yes, but how much?
At $279.99 I can see why many people might be turned off by the price of the ACE 365 Grip Frame. At that price, it’s certainly not for everyone.
However, for small batch machine work from a small company, I think it’s a fair price. And if you have big hands, it makes a big difference. I love my P365 and I love it a lot more in this grip. It gives me more control over the gun and is much more comfortable for my 2XL hands.
It’s a niche product that I can’t help but appreciate. Icarus Precision set out to make the P365 easier to control and accomplished their task. The ACE 365 is an awesome product and while I don’t shoot competitively, it might give someone an edge in the BUG divisions.
If you have P320, Icarus is currently working on a P320 metal frame, too. I can’t wait to see what they do there.