Gun Review: SIG SAUER P365XL 9mm Pistol (Plus New ROMEO Zero Red Dot)

Josh Wayner for TTAG

I recently spent a great deal of time getting to know SIG SAUER’s brand new P365 Manual Safety. I fired a lot of rounds through it, to the tune of 2,000, and it impressed me enough that it has become my new carry gun. Today we are going to take a look at another new P365 model, the just-released P365XL…and a first look at the SIG ROMEO Zero red dot.

The P365 series has surprised me. When I saw the first press release photos of the original model, I wasn’t immediately taken with it…that is until I noticed the magazine capacity and weight.

After my initial tests with the first model last year, I was impressed with what SIG had delivered. Apparently gun owners have been, too as the P365 is now one of the most popular EDC concealed carry guns on the market.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and, with the addition of a model with a manual safety, I can’t imagine carrying a gun that isn’t a P365 of some kind.

Josh Wayner for TTAG

The SIG P365XL is the latest version in the popular line, featuring a longer grip and a lengthier slide. This should be a popular option for shooters with larger hands or those looking for more standard capacity.

In short, with two rounds more of standard capacity in its standard 12 round magazine, more sight radius and an optics-ready slide, the P365XL combines virtually every feature most carriers could want in a carry gun.

The optics-ready P365XL as it ships from the factory (Josh Wayner for TTAG)

While slightly larger than the original P365, the subcompact P365XL is still relatively small. It is about a half-inch longer in the barrel than the standard P365 and only slightly longer in the grip. It still features good concealability and doesn’t feel much different in the holster or on the hip than the standard P365. It does stick out slightly more due to the grip, but that isn’t really noticeable for most concealed carriers.

Josh Wayner for TTAG

Since most of you will be looking for direct comparisons, this gun is thinner and lighter than a GLOCK 26, despite carrying two additional rounds standard. It has a much more ergonomic grip — especially for those with small to medium hands — than any other small pistols out there and is not in any way boxy or hard to hold onto.

The P365XL is actually much closer in size to a GLOCK 43 than it is to its own sibling, but carries twice the number of rounds as its Austrian competitor. This alone is a massive advantage. There are few concealed carry pistols that come close when capacity and ergonomics are concerned.

Josh Wayner for TTAG

The P365 has three major differences that distinguish it from the original micro-compact P365 models. First is the longer XSeries grip module. It has a slightly longer beavertail and accommodates a 12-round flush fit magazine (note: the 12-round extended magazines for the original P365 models won’t fit the XSeries P365XL as the baseplates are different).

The magazine well on the XSeries grip is beveled and, while on the thin side, it still has enough of a funnel to make reloads fast.

The modular grip is compatible with other P365 models, but is not yet available on its own in SIG’s online store. You’ll be able to swap out your existing module with this version eventually. It should be noted that the flat trigger will be available from SIG as well so you can upgrade your existing P365 if you wish.

Note that slides and grips can be swapped between the two P365 versions. That’s the longer P365XL slide on the smaller P365 frame above. Below is the standard P365 slide on the XSeries P365XL frame. (Josh Wayner for TTAG)

The second change is the slide length. The barrel of the P365XL is .6 inch longer than the standard P365. Combined with a longer slide (overall length is 6.6 inches), the sight radius is .7 inch longer on the P365XL. That makes for more accuracy at longer ranges.

Note that the longer P365XL slide can be mounted on P365 frames, which is a nice thing for the people who want a bit of extra barrel length without added frame length.

The last difference here is an optics-ready slide. The rear sight and mounting plate can be removed by means of two screws hidden in the slide. You need to remove the slide to locate those screws. Don’t attempt to alter the sights with the slide still attached to the gun.

In addition, the P365XL has a new flat-faced trigger. It has a distinct first stage pull. The break is a tad mushy, but it’s far crisper than most other polymer-framed guns. It’s very close in feel to the full-size P320 and M17. I really like the feel of the flat trigger shoe and will be switching my P365 Manual Safety variant over to it as soon as the parts are available.

This is where I’ve got some exciting news for you, dear reader. I am among the very first to get my hands on a prototype unit of the brand new ROMEO Zero red dot sight. The unit I have here is functionally the same, but will vary slightly from the production unit, which should begin shipping in the near future. I’m told that there will be some differences in the lens, but this is as much as I know at this point.

The P365XL with prototype ROMEO Zero red dot sight mounted (Josh Wayner for TTAG)

The ROMEO Zero is a mini red dot sight that has a durable polymer housing and is meant for use on thin pistols like the P365 series and even the 1911. The sight installs with two screws that come down from the top, not the bottom.

It should be noted that the sight is constantly on and is powered by a battery under the body of the optic, so changing the battery requires removing the sight.

I’m looking forward to seeing where SIG goes in this mini-red dot market. This is only a first look and a full review of the production version of the ROMEO Zero will follow.

Josh Wayner for TTAG

Shooting the P365XL and Romeo Zero was a very enjoyable experience. In fact it was so enjoyable I spent a large part of a sweltering, painfully humid day putting 1,500 rounds through it. My hands were so sweaty during testing that I had a hard time loading rounds into the magazines, but this is why gun reviewers are paid the really big bucks.

Josh Wayner for TTAG

I have a bad habit of ignoring specified break-in procedures, even on very high-end guns and barrels. I think that if it doesn’t work right out of the box, it’s not worth the cardboard it was shipped in.

I picked up the P365XL and went straight to the range with it, where I got the gun blazing hot and put a decent dent in my stock of 9mm ammo. I had not a single failure to feed or fire in the course of those 1,500 rounds. It should be noted that I have fired just shy of 4,000 rounds in P365 pistols in the last couple weeks with zero failures. This is a solid, accurate, and dependable design.

I tested the velocity and accuracy of the P365XL over my Oehler 35P chronograph.

Group sizes listed are the result of three five-shot groups at 25 yards. Note that I said 25 yards. I fired all groups with the ROMEO Zero attached.

SIG SAUER 365 115gr FMJ (500 rounds)———————–1186fps,  2.6”
SIG SAUER 365 115gr JHP (225 rounds)———————–1133fps,   3.1”
SIG SAUER 124gr V-Crown JHP (100 rounds)——————1167fps,   3.0”
SIG SAUER 115gr V-Crown JHP (100 rounds)——————1240fps,   2.0”
Black Hills 100gr HoneyBadger +P (50 rounds)—————-1200fps,  1.5”
Black Hills 115gr FMJ (500 Rounds)—————————-1065fps,  3.5”
Hornady 135gr Critical Duty +P (50 Rounds)——————-1062fps,  2.75”
Lehigh Defense 90gr Xtreme Defense +P (20 rounds)———1415fps,  2.3”

Overall I was extremely impressed with the P365XL’s accuracy. The gun is easy to shoot (especially with the mounted red dot) and recoil is very manageable. Chalk some of that up to the larger grip of the P365XL.

I loved how fast it was in the hand and how quick follow-up shots were. Like the original, smaller P365 and P365 Manual Safety models, accuracy (see results above) was excellent for such a small gun.

Velocity numbers were slightly higher than my test with the P365 Manual Safety, something you’d expect with a slightly longer barrel. I didn’t get to test the same number of different ammo types in the XL, but I was able to dive deeper with both the SIG 365 FMJ and Black Hills FMJ. These FMJ loads are what I would describe as high-quality bulk/practice. These aren’t typical cheap range rounds, but are instead affordable match-accurate loads.

No amount of ammo could stop the SIG P365XL (Josh Wayner for TTAG)

The 365 FMJ is a great, low-recoil offering made by SIG for the P365 pistols. It’s great in full-size guns like the M17 as well and is my favorite club match load due to how soft it shoots. The Black Hills 115gr FMJ is more powerful and is comparable to NATO loads as far as how it handles in most handguns. I have used it for a while now and know that it is probably the best training option available for military ammo.

Just as in my previous P365 MS review, the Black Hills HoneyBadger 100gr +P was the most accurate. I was able to extend my engagement ranges out to 50 yards with the ROMEO Zero on steel plates. It just wouldn’t miss and I wished I had brought more than two boxes to the range. The stuff just shoots so well that I consider it the baseline standard for accuracy in 9mm.

The P365XL’s XRAY3 day-night drift-adjustable front sight (Josh Wayner for TTAG)

I have to say that I am very happy with what SIG SAUER has accomplished with the slightly larger P365XL. They delivered everything you could want in a carry gun. I love how it feels in the hand and on the hip. I am sure that you will as well when you pick one up.

Specifications: SIG SAUER P365XL

Caliber: 9x19mm
Capacity: 12+1 standard
Barrel Length: 3.7”
Overall Length: 6.6”
Overall Height: 4.8″
Width: 1.1”
Sight Radius: 5.6″
Weight: 20.7oz
Sights: SIG XRAY Night Sights (Removable sight base allows alternative sights to be installed.)
Magazine: 12+1, 15+1
Price: $579 currently at Brownells

Specifications: SIG SAUER ROMEO Zero
Specs unknown at press time (it’s that new), but full details should be available soon.

Ratings (Out of Five Stars):

Accuracy * * * * *
The P365XL’s additional sight radius makes for easier shots at distance. The ROMEO Zero is a great, reliable red dot and, while only a prototype, it has great potential for increased accuracy. I was able to deliver rapid, easy hits on steel at ranges out to 50 yards.

Reliability * * * * *
Perfect. I went to my local FFL, got the P365XL, installed the ROMEO Zero while talking at the shop, and then went right to the range and fired 1,500 rounds without a single failure to speak of.

Ergonomics * * * * *
The XSeries P365XL is small enough for CCW use, but feels like a larger gun in the hand. It handles like a full-size pistol while concealing just about as well as the smaller P365 pistols.

Customize This * * * * *
The ability to use any modular P365 parts enables you to swap out slides, grip modules, and magazines to make a gun that truly fits you as an individual.

Aesthetics * * * * 
For such a small gun, the P365XL has excellent lines and nicely blends function with looks.

Overall * * * * *
I am extremely pleased with the new SIG SAUER P365XL. I have been impressed time and again with what SIG is turning out these days and the P365XL is a testament to the combination of engineering, flair, and function that SIG can deliver. The P365XL gives buyers still more great options in a line of very versatile concealed carry guns.

comments

  1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    “Note that the longer P365XL slide can be mounted on P365 frames, which is a nice thing for the people who want a bit of extra barrel length without added frame length.”, F- there goes my gun budget for Christmas!

  2. avatar D says:

    I have a P365 for pocket carry. For that its great, but prefer the S&W M&P2 for primary carry.

  3. avatar M-17 says:

    Not a glock…thumbs up!

  4. avatar James W Crawford says:

    Now you’re really, really tempting me to replace my S&W third generation pistol.

  5. avatar Neil says:

    Finally a serious contender taking on the G26, with more capacity. With Glock and S&W launching slightly longer single stack lines (G43X/G48 or longer slide shield) I wondered when SIG Would respond. I’m disappointed there isn’t a 15 round extended mag.

    Then it would also be a G19 killer.

    1. avatar NT says:

      There is.

    2. avatar SoCalJack says:

      This will give the glock 19 a run for its money. My Shields and Glock 19 are good guns, but i think the Sig P365s are great. Damn the California Handgun Roster!

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        Check out Calguns.

  6. avatar Kendahl says:

    I’m glad you can use the XL’s longer slide and barrel on your standard P365. If you want more than 10 rounds or need the longer grip because you have big hands, use the standard model’s extended magazine. In my opinion, there was no need to make a version that can’t use the 10-round mags.

    1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

      Is a bit inconvenient for my area but nice to see what improvements are made for when I can move. Also signed is looking better and better for the 10 round options.

  7. avatar Manse Jolly says:

    “….It should be noted that the sight is constantly on and is powered by a battery under the body of the optic, so changing the battery requires removing the sight.”

    “constantly on…..wait what did that say?

  8. avatar Jeremy says:

    “My hands were so sweaty during testing that I had a hard time loading rounds into the magazines”

    This is why a Maglula is my favorite shooting accessory

  9. avatar IG says:

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    1. avatar mrvco says:

      FYI: Instagram is still owned by Facebook.

  10. avatar Ric Allen says:

    Why does it look like the old S&W Sigma?

    1. avatar John says:

      Because you forgot your glasses apparently.

  11. avatar Gsr says:

    HK VP9Sk makes the 365 feel like a cheap toy.

    1. avatar Cory C. says:

      I respectfully disagree. I have both and strongly prefer the P365.

      1. avatar Rokurota says:

        I like the HK SK models, but my P365 feels solid as they come. Has the heft of a full-size gun.

      2. avatar GregBFL says:

        I have both as well and they each have their strengths and weaknesses. As far as build quality I think it’s a draw. I love both and carry both based upon my attire and mood of the day. Just be happy we live in a nation where we can have the choice on which handgun we can conceal carry…. Unless you live in NY, CA, etc.

  12. avatar Rokurota says:

    How is it wider than the original P365 and yet the slides and frames are interchangeable? Is it actually wider? (SIG lists the P365 width at 1.0″).

    1. avatar John says:

      It is not wider. It’s exactly the same gun just slightly longer in height and length.

      1. avatar Rokurota says:

        According to the specs on SIG’s site, the XL is 1/10″ wider. I know that’s not much, but that’s why I asked if it truly is wider in the slide or frame somewhere.

        1. avatar AJ says:

          Flared magwell

  13. avatar Cory C. says:

    Does the Romeo Zero have rear irons built into it? It looks like it in one pic but it’s hard to tell from the others.

  14. avatar rosignol says:

    How interchangeable are the parts? Can I combine an XL frame, a 365 slide, and a threaded barrel?

    …no, I’m not a operator operating operationally, I just have big hands and don’t want my tinnitus to get any worse. A can is cheaper than most hearing aids.

    1. avatar John says:

      The gripframe, slide, internals are all interchangeable. They are the same gun, just longer slide and longer grip frame.

  15. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Loose the optics.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      They won’t hold zero if they’re loose.

      1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Spell check. It nose better than me what I want to say.

        1. avatar daveinwyo says:

          Agree on both points.
          Are optics on EDC guns a fad? Or a way for older (me) shooters to compensate for failing eyes? Or a way for crappy shooters to feel empowered?
          Even a semi blind shooter (me) should be able to point shoot.

  16. avatar Anymouse says:

    The beaver tail is longer to accommodate the 12 round magazine? How does more material sticking out behind the slide increase capacity? Perhaps you meant backstrap?

    1. avatar that one guy says:

      Re-read the paragraph. The sentence you are referring to does not suggest that the beavertail and the capacity are related, only that they are both details of the XL’s grip module that differ from the original 365.

  17. avatar Stateisevil says:

    The P365 made me switch from a decade of carrying a full size gun. I waited a year though because the first runs were crapping the bed left and right after a few thousand rounds. SIG USA has QC issues.

  18. avatar Grumpster says:

    If I was considering a P365 I would probably go with the standard P365 and then get the XL grip module for flexibility of concealment sizes. For now I am sticking with my Walther PPS original with 7 round magazine for slim CCW and Glock 19 when I want 15 rounds on tap. I tried the P365 and trigger reach was too short for me and I am kind of doubting that will change with the P365XL. Maybe SIG will come out with a larger grip size module some day to increase trigger reach.

  19. avatar AndyHasky says:

    polymer body, always on, battery on bottom and no mentioned functionality to adjust brightness sounds like a TERRIBLE feature set for a modern RDS. Sig really missed the mark on paper with this one, unless the battery life is insane and there’s a way to change brightness it’d be a hard pass for me.

    1. avatar RocketScientist says:

      Based on snapshot reviews on other sites, the new sight DOES have multiple brightness settings (8, to be specific) and the battery life is estimated at 20,000+ hours (works out to about 2 yr and 3mo). I’m assuming that abttery life is at the lowest setting. But seems reasonable. I’ll trade having to unmount my sight 4 times a decade to change the battery in the name of a lower profile sight.

      1. avatar AndyHasky says:

        Yeah I would consider 20K hours of battery life “insane” if it is true. I think I just assumed the worst since it’s a sig (which I think is fair) I’ll be interested to see more on it now knowing that.

  20. avatar Rob says:

    I look forward to seeing this one in person…the regular 365 does not do anything for me, I keep fondling them in every shop I visit and I’m not impressed with the feel. I keep hoping it will grow on me.

  21. avatar OK Hitz says:

    PLEASE: Where and when can I buy the Romeo Zero?

  22. avatar Tony Z says:

    Well shoot (pun intended)
    I am a fan of the flat trigger and optic (like my P226 RX), and would like to see them on the standard P365.
    The XL is getting close in size to my other smaller 9s (and my Glock 23!). The hole in my gun line up is a under 6 inch overall length 9mm that is fun to shoot with an optic. I’ve been looking at the the Walther PPS with Shield RMS, while hoping Sig would make an optic ready (standard) P365.
    Oh well, I’ve got more time than money, and I already have options to carry. But, if they make an optics ready standard P365 (preferably with a flat trigger), I will buy it.
    Cheers

  23. avatar Robb says:

    Have an XL on layaway to join my standard 365.
    While the optic isn’t a driving factor for me, I do find it interesting and worth considering/checking out.
    Does the built in rear iron sight equal the standard sight as far as height POA/POI?

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