When it comes to smaller guns, two things are true: They’re excellent regarding concealment, however, typically they tend to sacrifice round count. SIG Sauer brought in a game changer when the manufacturer introduced the P365 pistol. It offered unprecedented concealment with a 10+1 round capacity — a few more if you opted for the P365 extended magazine. The P365 soon became an EDC favorite. Striking while the iron was hot, SIG Sauer has taken this design to the next level with its all-new sub-compact P365 XL, expanding to a 12+1 capacity.
First Impressions of the SIG P365 XL
Before I get to the P365XL, it’s worth noting that SIG also just released another variant in the family: The SIG P365 SAS. The SAS variant is concealed carry pistol with sights embedded into the slide. Be sure to check out Personal Defense World’s exclusive first look of the P365 SAS.
OK, back to the XL. I was thrilled to have the chance to run this new gun prior to its release. I’ve handled the P365 so I was anxious to hit the range with the P365 XL and find the distinct differences between the two. Here is where SIG’s innovation lies.
SIG didn’t take what is already a great gun and make it necessarily “better”; instead, they took what worked well and expanded on it. This gives SIG’s loyal fanbase what every shooter wants and needs: options.
Chambered in 9mm, the P365 XL has a longer barrel length of 3.7 inches, longer overall length of 6.6 inches, wider width of 1.1 inches, more height sitting at 4.8 inches. It’s also a bit heavier than the P365 at 20.7 ounces with a magazine. It boasts the same XRay 3 Day/Night sights as the P365 which lend to very quick sight acquisition. The differences of the P365 XL show that patented SIG Sauer ingenuity.
The XL’s stainless-steel slide holds a Nitron finish and is optic ready. Meanwhile, the slide is compatible with Shield RMSc optics and SIG’s unreleased ROMEOZero Red Dot. As previously mentioned, it boasts a larger magazine capacity of 12 rounds; 15 rounds with the extended magazine. That is a significant round count for a smaller, sub-compact gun. The XL is still prime for concealability, even with the larger capacity magazine. The trigger is flat with a 90-degree break, which in and of itself is quite unique.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when putting this new gun through its paces on the range. It felt good dry firing, but actually running a new gun with live-fire drills can sometimes be a different story. My first inclination was that given the smaller size it may end up being a snappy gun, holding a little more recoil than I typically care for; this assumption could not have been more wrong.
I was pleasantly surprised by the P365 XL, as it had very little recoil and proved to not be snappy whatsoever. I was actually bracing myself for mental recoil that didn’t exist, which caused my first shots to go low. Once I realized the XL produced minimal recoil, I relaxed and had zero issues getting back on target with my follow-up shots.
The design of the P365 XL, with the additional length and extended beavertail, balances this gun well. Add in the new trigger and now you have a comfortable and enjoyable shooting experience. I have nothing but accolades to give the P365 XL’s flat trigger. The 90-degree break was comfortable and crisp with a wonderfully short reset, which is what I love to have in a trigger. It isn’t heavy, loose or “clunky,” in contrast it was very smooth and easy to run.
Breaking It In
As far as functionality goes, the P365 XL performed well. I had zero malfunctions, zero failures to feed and no truly concerning issues. One area that initially concerned me was in the very first 15 shots. Here, the gun would not go to slide lock once the magazine emptied. Now, I don’t think this is an issue within the XL. This is a brand-new gun that I received for testing and evaluation purposes, so there is a break-in time required. Once I ran the first few rounds through the gun, the issue was no longer there; the gun went to slide-lock without an issue every time thereafter.
I ran a variety of ammunition with a total of 500 rounds. The XL ran well fo each brand and grain. The ammo flavors of the day were: SIG 365 9mm 115 gr. Elite V-Crown JHP; SIG 365 9mm 115 gr. Elite Ball FMJ; Federal 9mm 138 gr. Syntech Defense; Federal 9mm 124 gr. HSP JHP; Hornady 9mm 115 gr. XTP American Gunner; and Hornady 100 gr FTX Critical Defense Lite.
The SIG P365 XL is without question a great gun. My range time was nothing less than enjoyable and enlightening. This gun breaks the stereotypes of small guns being “snappy” and also sets the pace for other concealed carry guns in its league. The P365 XL is truly an optimal gun to consider when it comes to conceal carry.
Small, highly concealable, comfortable, easy to shoot and maintains a round count of 12 to 15; it’s a combination that assures this gun will be highly sought after amongst the concealed carry population. Be sure to watch my complete range test. For more information, please visit SIGsauer.com.
SIG P365 XL Specs
- Caliber: 9mm
- Frame Material: Stainless Steel
- Grip Material: P365 XSERIES Polymer
- Slide Material: Stainless Steel
- Slide Finish: Nitron
- Magazine Capacity: 12 Rounds
- Sights: Optic-Ready With XRay Day/Night Sights
- Trigger: Striker-Fired XSERIES Flat
- Over Length: 6.6 inches
- Barrel Length: 3.7 inches
- Overall Height: 4.8 inches
- Overall Width: 1.1 in
- Sight Radius: 5.6 in
- Weight (with magazine): 20.7 oz
- MSRP: $579.99