Gun Review: SIG SAUER P365 XL

Two years ago SIG SAUER shook up the concealed carry market with the release of the P365. By shoehorning 10+1 rounds into a pistol the size and weight of every other mainstream company’s 6+1 round offering, they turned heads and changed minds.

After carrying mine near daily since completing a straight-from-the-box 1,000 round test, I thought I’d take its big brother the P365 XL for a spin . . .

As the name implies, the P365 XL is larger than the P365. With a slightly extended beavertail and a longer slide, the XL is 0.8 inches longer overall and the barrel sports an extra 0.6 inches. An extended grip length increases the height by a cool half inch.

While a half inch certainly isn’t much, in the P365 it allows another two rounds of capacity to fit in its flush-fitting magazines. Capacity of the XL is 12+1 rounds.

You’ll also have room for a full firing grip, pinky finger included, with that flush-fit magazine base plate. It’s about the shortest a grip frame can possibly be while achieving an all-fingers-on, standard grip.

With the grip frame now extending below the base of your hand, SIG had room to flare the frame out a little and create a slight magazine well funnel. It isn’t huge, but it looks good, it aids magazine insertion a bit, and it’s a nice touch.

As you’ve likely already noticed, the P365 XL has one more trick up its sleeve: it’s optics-ready as standard! My Shield RMS bolted straight on. Better yet, the built-in rear sight notch on the RMS lines up perfectly with the front sight on the P365 XL, so you still have back-up irons should you want to go old school.

Image courtesy SIG SAUER

SIG’s truly excellent X-RAY3 tritium sights come standard on the P365 XL. The rear sight is easily removed along with the blanking plate for owners who won’t be mounting an optic.

Compared to the smaller original model, the XL’s sight radius is 0.7 inches longer.

Grip texture is the same as on the standard P365, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. It manages to be grippy and secure without shaving my love handles down. Which may or may not be good, now that I think about it.

Despite fitting a double stack magazine in there, the grip is slim and sculpted and highly ergonomic. I like the larger beavertail on the XL model but have never had an issue on the standard P365, so can’t say it actually brings much to the table for me.

One final change that SIG built into the XL is a flat trigger. Given how the trigger rotates during its travel, relatively short though it is, I’m not as “into” this flat trigger as I usually am.

While I typically gravitate toward and prefer a flat trigger, in this case all it does for me is look cooler and slightly increases the reach to the trigger, which I also didn’t find either better or worse than the standard gun’s curved trigger.

Out on the range, the P365 XL was understandably familiar. Eyes closed I’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between it and my P365 carry gun that I’m so very used to. Well, minus the straight trigger and more securely-perched pinky finger, of course. But they shoot the same.

Which, to be clear, is a really good thing. I love how the P365 shoots. It’s more controllable and shoots flatter than most other guns in this size category.

The mix of really nice sights, a crisp trigger, and controllable recoil is always a good one, and when combined with solid mechanical accuracy and reliability the P365 and P365 XL really shine on the range. Bottom line: they make me look like a better shooter than I really am.

With all that said, I’ll now underwhelm you with an average looking accuracy target. Actually, this is pretty much all I’m capable of at 25 yards shooting standing, off-hand. With a competition trigger I’d tighten that up a little bit, but the SIG’s definitely doing its job here and there are plenty of more expensive, full-size pistols that I wouldn’t shoot this well.

Though the XL is too large for pocket carry (at least for me now that I stopped wearing JNCOs) whereas the smaller flavor P365 just makes the cut, it otherwise conceals very nearly as well as the littler guy. An extra half inch in grip length just doesn’t make or break the concealment factor.

Like its little brother, I had zero reliability issues with the XL. Two brands of hollow points (in 115 grain and 124 grain) and two brands of FMJ (115 grain steel cased stuff and 147 grain Armscor) went downrange without a hitch. My own P365 has eaten every sort of ammo on the market over the course of 2,000-ish rounds and it has also never choked. I do trust these pistols.

SIG’s P365 has apparently been the #1 best selling handgun in the U.S. since shorty after it was introduced, and it’s easy to see why. As SIG continues to expand the P365 line with variants in different sizes, sight configurations, control options (i.e. manual safety models), and colors, it just keeps solidifying its place as first on my list of recommended concealed carry guns.

Specifications: SIG SAUER P365 XL

Caliber: 9mm
Capacity: 12+1 rounds
Operation: semi-automatic
Barrel Length: 3.7 inches
Overall Length: 6.6 inches
Width Across Controls: 1.1 inches
Height: 4.8 inches
Weight: 20.7 ounces
Sights: Optics-ready with X-RAY3 day/night sights
MSRP: $649.99 ($579.99 at Brownells)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style and Appearance  * * * * 
I prefer the somewhat refined, “executive” styling of the P365 to the looks of most other pistols in its size category.

Reliability  * * * * *
Never a hitch, glitch, or . . . wild pitch? Bitch? Twitch? Snitch? I dunno. A little help, please?

Ergonomics  * * * * *
Nailed it.

Customize This  * * * * 
From the factory there are multiple trigger options, multiple frame colors, multiple magazine lengths and different baseplates, lights, lasers, and more. Plus, of course, it’s optics-ready. Then, due to the popularity of the P365 there’s plenty of aftermarket support for things like threaded barrels, billet strikers, compensators, holsters, and other modifications and accessories (65+ listings at Brownells).

Accuracy  * * * * *
I shoot the P365 better than just about anything else of this size and better than many full-size pistols. It’s decently mechanically accurate, but more importantly it’s extremely accurate in practice. Everyone seems to shoot the P365 better than they shoot most other pistols (at least based on the 10 or so people who have shot mine back-to-back with other guns and from what I’ve seen in videos and other reviews, heard from various people, etc).

Overall  * * * * *
The SIG SAUER P365 has been my #1 CCW recommendation for a couple years now, and the continued expansion of the P365 line just further locks that in. It’s a fantastic handgun.

 

All images by Jeremy S. for TTAG unless otherwise indicated. 

comments

  1. avatar Matt says:

    Now just ditch the proprietary rail!

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Yeah even HK has abandoned it for the 1913…

    2. avatar Jeremy Boehmer says:

      A 1913 pic rail is wider than frame. This was done to keep the frame slim.

      At least it HAS a rail. I’m looking at you Shield/2.0 Glock 43/X/48, LC9S, and practically every other gun in this category.

      1. avatar Ben says:

        Also, if it was a 1913 rail it would have even less space to fit something, given the notch placement. Sucks but I see why they did it.

        They make adaptors for those that just must have it.

    3. avatar Billy says:

      Why does it even need a rail? So you can bulk it up? Stupid.

  2. avatar MB says:

    After it’s initial launch and subsequent 2 issues regarding reliability ( failure to return to battery and firing pin failures ) I hammered Sig, but after a year of missteps, Sig got their act together, and I bought one. So far the gun has been very reliable after about 1,000 rounds or so, not one failure of any type. It is now my daily carry and bedside companion. What confuses me about the P365XL is it is no longer a pocket gun and easily concealable. Why a larger version, especially with a red dot sight. Kinda defeats the purpose. since the P365XL is as almost large as many .40 S&W compacts. I’m sticking with the original.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      Every manufacturer or product maker – in pretty much every industry – has a Marketing Dept, with a team or Executive that needs to continually prove he/she is still worth the payroll. Once they strike gold with a product, they continue to excavate the entire spectrum of that item’s concept to see if they can win any additional fence sitting customers who say “yes it’s nice, but if it only had [insert option here] I’d buy it”. That’s what drives the automobile industry to modify proven designs every year and muck up the works with features the world didn’t really ask for.

      1. avatar MB says:

        Agree. Maybe 1 % respond “I love it, but make it less useful” and then they do. Probably how we got the stupid windshield wiper control on the steering wheel and “push to start/stop” ignition on cars.

        1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

          Push Start was becoming popular in foreign markets, USA made cars adopted it mainly due to GM’s ignition issues which caused deaths. A car shutting itself off in the middle of an interstate is not cool.

          I have the 365, I want the 365 xl slide for my 365. Waiting to see what gets released at shot 2021 before I modify anything.

    2. avatar Jeremy Boehmer says:

      XL is perfect size for me. I ALWAYS carry with the 12 round mag in, and .5″ longer barrel length won’t change concealability for me IWB.

    3. avatar Billy says:

      For me, the height is not a factor, I would use the pinky extension on the 365 anyway. Extra length of slide is a non factor, or I could put the 365 slide on the XL frame.

      1. avatar Allen says:

        I agree with you Billy. I (and I think many) always used the extended mag on my p365 because I just shot the full grip so much more confidently, and the xl grip is that same length and even more solid. I also agree that the extra.5 inch barrel doesn’t affect conceal ability and slightly improves recoil! Perfect size for my average size hands!

  3. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

    It would have been nice to see both pistols side by side from several different angles.

    1. avatar SuspiciousFisherman says:

      There’s tons of videos on YouTube about it. TFB.

    2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Hmm, yeah, that’s a glaring oversight haha. I’ll snap a few tomorrow and add them to the end of the review. Thanks 🙂

    3. avatar Joleolsen says:

      https://www.handgunhero.com/compare/sig-sauer-p365-vs-sig-sauer-p365-xl

      Great website. You can compare just about anything you would want to.

  4. avatar tdiinva says:

    It’s basically a slightly thinner version of the old XD/m compact. Not that it makes it bad; it makes it very good. I consider the XD/m the optimum trade-off among size, ballistic efficiency and capacity. .oThe thinner grip makes it better for IWB carry.

    Can the Hellcat XL be far behind?

    1. avatar SuspiciousFisherman says:

      Yes, it can and it is. Still ahead of many others though. I buy either of those before buying a Glock, and I don’t have anything against Glock. I actually like Glock

  5. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Let me think. The appeal of the original pistol is its small size. Like the Glock 43. But, they’re going to make it bigger. Like the 43 X. And add optics. ?

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      All Glock did with 43x is lengthen the grip. SiG took the design and scaled it up. It’s the reverse of what the industry does. Full size, followed by compact followed by subcompact like G17, G19, G26.

      Is there a 365/FS in the future to compete with G48?

      1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        tdiinva, I hear you, but didn’t lengthening the grip on the 43X make it bigger?

        1. avatar Specialist38 says:

          But in a good way….lol…..unless you have little, tiny baby hands.

        2. avatar tdiinva says:

          Only in one dimension.

    2. avatar LifeSavor says:

      Gadsden,

      Exactly. Concealability is why I chose a G43. That said, I have not been able to improve my accuracy with the G43 at longer distances (20 yards). Ferls like a grip issue. May be looking to make a change.

  6. avatar SuspiciousFisherman says:

    I just got mine. I love it. Haven’t even put 200 rounds there yet but I’m going to put it through the ringer this month. I agree with most reviewers, the proprietary rail is dumb, but I don’t plan on putting a wml on it. My new EDC.

    1. avatar SoCalJack says:

      If us CA folks didn’t have a handgun roster, this is the one I would choose to replace my S&W Shields and Glock 19. I’m assuming your WICN submission is in the queue?

      1. avatar SuspiciousFisherman says:

        Not in Ca. Have not been for almost 4 years. Sorry man. Not sure how it works, but would an FFL transfer bypass CA’s bullshit? Or… a drive to AZ?

  7. avatar Specialist38 says:

    I really liked the feel of this gun over the P365. The P365 is too short for me to release a mag so 8 stayed with the 43 witha plus 1 that I can eject easier.

    I got my 48 before this came out and considered switching but just dont car the trigger. A little vague and squishy for me. Plus the magazines are double the price of a Glock 48 mag. That changes if i go to a SA 15 rounder.

    Halcyon days for good carry pieces.

    Thanks for the review Germy S. Good as always.

    1. avatar CentralVirginian says:

      I agree on the vague and squishy trigger on the p365, that was my impression also. Those S15 mags are pricey, I prefer mags in the 15-30 dollar price range. I also like the weight of the 48 with 10rd mags in it.

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:

        Me as well. But i had to try one of the SA mags.

        The stock mags a great to carry and tough as nails.

        Extras were 20 bucks at CDNN until the Covid…now they’re 22. Still a great deal.

        Plus…Bianchi now notes they have a #3 pistol pocket to fit the 48. I’m happy.

  8. avatar Kendahl says:

    What’s long enough for a “full firing grip, pinky finger included” depends on the shooter. The 10-round magazine of the P365 is long enough for me with the extension. But I have small hands. Two and a quarter inches below the trigger guard is enough. The P365XL is what I would call a full size service pistol. Now that Sig has exterminated the bugs, either model is a fantastic gun.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      True.

      While I can get a full grip on the XL (Including pinky), my hand wraps down below the back strap. Makes it tough to drop mags. Another reason I’m staying with the 48.

    2. avatar tdiinva says:

      What would you call the G19?

  9. avatar somedudethathasanassloadofgreentip says:

    Sig is fanboy tier. glock 43x/48 is the true master race.

    1. avatar SuspiciousFisherman says:

      you forgot the /s

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:

        No he didnt.

        1. avatar SuspiciousFisherman says:

          Did you write that on an Apple device?

        2. avatar Specialist38 says:

          SF
          No.

    2. avatar Ron says:

      Master race would be HK and Walther. Glock just submits to Anschluss and goes along with the crowd. But that’s better then berretta who needs their help in Greece… Sig then sits by nervously, and hopes Enfield, Browning, and Papashaw can end this before they get absorbed into the greater Reich.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        You win the internet for the next month.

  10. avatar Hardhead says:

    How about a 365 or Hellcat in .40 S&W, 10+1. I know, and I love my Glock 27, but I want something smaller but with high capacity. If I were to ventured a guess, I bet someone is working on it. Hope it’s Glock.

    1. avatar SuspiciousFisherman says:

      I’d love to see .40 variants of these styles.

  11. avatar barbarajarp says:

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  12. avatar jakee308 says:

    Why do people who photograph firearms (and other stuff too) don’t include something of known size so that one can get an idea of how large the object targeted is?

    Since this is a concealed carry article about how this pistol crams so many more bullets compared to others, one would think they’d have something to compare it to in the photo.

    Just the dimensions doesn’t help visualizing how large or small something is.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      The 9mm rounds are there for scale. Enjoy 👍

  13. avatar BusyBeef says:

    Thank god you didn’t put a Romeo Zero on there. What a gigantic heap of trash that optic is.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      Not that I have anything against optics but it’s funny how many people say you can’t conceal a full size pistol slap and optic on their pistol and make it taller than many full sized pistols.

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        It’s the length of the grip that prints for 95% of concealed carriers. Barrel length doesn’t typically matter and adding height like where the dot is doesn’t usually either. Whether it’s strong side IWB/OWB or appendix, it’s almost always the heel of the gun that’s poking your cover garment and “printing.”

  14. avatar Mark says:

    I have them I got both 365s and I got both Glocks 43X&48 I have a Sig P320X carry and a Sig X5 Legion I have a Glock19 Gen 4&5 plus a Glock34 Gen 4&5 . I have a FNS 9C that my daddy bought him but he’s never shot a gun he’s afraid of them so he gave it to me and I still have not shot it yet. I also have 5 STI handguns that I love to death so you could say I love handguns plus all the AR type of rifle and I got a lot of those as well and long guns too plus shotguns so I have a gun problem you could say but that’s my thing I like in life !!!! There are days I carry my STI 2011 Staccato P under my shirt and my 365 for my backup gun on my ankle so I’m all the time changing it up day to day so you never know what I’m going to Caring white day that’s just me plus I could also be caring my Sig Copperhead in my truck or my MPX our anything else as a truck gun !!! I say it’s always to be prepared for the worst and hope for the least but this world is a lot different than it was 50 years ago I’m 54 years old now I see how the world has changed since I was a kid we used to go to bed At night with the windows up in the doors unlocked no problems whatsoever don’t do that nowadays or you could not wake up !!!!!

  15. avatar Docduracoat says:

    No mention of the Sig green laser that goes on the trigger guard and rail?
    It activates like crimson trace by gripping firmly.
    It is made to follow the lines of the gun and doesn’t make it any taller.
    Unlike a red dot, Lasers can keep you on target while shooting from the hip and from unorthodox positions.
    I love mine!

  16. avatar Jim Mason says:

    I purchased my p365 well after all of the initial launch issues were worked out, it has been a great everyday carry. So much so I consigned my shield and put that money towards a conversion kit for my p320sc to be a full size.

  17. avatar Accur81 says:

    This is one of the best carry guns ever made.

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