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P365 vs P365XL – First shot impressions

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P365 vs P365XL – First shot impressions

In this article, I am going to walk you through my first impressions of the P365.

As much as I am a big fan of the P320, it didn’t fill all of my needs for a pistol that I thought it would. I enjoy it as my everyday carry (EDC) in the fall and winter months, where it is easier to conceal. However, I find that I don’t care for it in the summer, even when configured as a subcompact. It is still just too heavy for warmer weather. I started to find myself carrying my Taurus 738 more to lighten the weight on my belt. This decision comes at the cost of a micro pistol that doesn’t fit my hands and a horrible double-action pull on the trigger.

I finally broke down and bought a P365 figuring that would be my fix. But, which one should I choose: Standard, XL or SAS? I eliminated the SAS since I like to use the slide release with my thumb and ended up buying both the standard and XL. 

P365 vs P365XL – Pedigree

The P365 pays homage to its big brother the P320 in looks, magazine release and a Fire Control Unit (FCU) chassis. However, the further you look into the pistol, you can see that it is a design all to itself and not just a smaller P320. One design feature that I like on the P365 is the full-length slide rail on the FCU. The full-length slide rail was a concept that Sig abandoned on the P320 and I am glad to see it make a comeback. 

The full-length slide rail on the P365 makes me think that this is what a striker-fired P226 or P229 might have looked like, minus the composite frame.

P365 vs P365XL – Grip Module

I have large hands and generally like larger grip patterns. However, I was surprised at the feel of the P365. I wouldn’t say that it is a perfect fit. However, it is close enough for me to be comfortable. The XL fits my hand better than the standard. However, the standard is not that bad either and is far superior to my Taurus 738. It will take some time for me to get used to a thinner grip of the P365 over the P320, but the weight tradeoff is going to be worth the learning curve.

P365 vs P365XL – Capacity

The magazine for the P365 is neither a single stack nor a double stack. I would call it more a stack and a half as the bullets are slightly staggered to get the capacity while keeping the grip thin. 

The standard comes with two 10 round magazines. One magazine is flush fit with the grip module while the other has a finger extension. 

The XL comes with two 12 round magazines that are flush fit to the grip module.

P365 vs P365XL – Comparison to my other carry options

There is no doubt that the P365 is thinner than my other carry options. But how does it measure up against my other carry options? I am going to compare this to other subcompact guns and my measurements are approximate. 

Weight of pistol

Glock 26 – 1lb 3.3oz

P365 standard – 1lb 0.4oz

P365 XL – 1lb 2.0oz

P320SC – 1lb 6.2oz

PT738 – 9.1oz

Glock 26 VS P365

The P365 as tall as my Glock 26, 1/2″ shorter in length, 1/4″ thinner and saves 2.9oz on weight.

Glock 26 VS P365 XL

The P365 XL is taller in height by 5/8″, 1/8″ longer in length, thinner by 1/4″ and saves 1.3oz on weight. 

Sig P320SC VS P365 Standard

The P365 is shorter in height by 1/2″, 1″ shorter in length, thinner by 1/4″ and 5.8oz lighter. 

Sig P320SC VS P365 XL

The P365 XL is just as tall, 1/4″ shorter in length, 1/4″ thinner and 4.2oz lighter.

Taurus PT738 VS P365 

The P365 is 1/2″ taller in height, 1/2″ longer in length, 1/8″ wider and 7.3oz heaver.

Taurus PT738 VS P365 XL

The P365 XL is 1″ taller in height, 1.25″ longer in length, 1/8″ wider and 8.9oz heaver.

P365 VS P365 XL

The P365 is 1/2″ shorter in height, 1/2″ shorter in length, same width and 1.6oz lighter.


P365 – Features

Both the standard and XL features Sigs X-RAY3 Day/Night sights.

Both pistols have a reversible mag release for left-handed shooters. However, it is slightly disappointing that the slide stop is not ambidextrous. Left-handed shooters are left with the slingshot method or using their trigger finger to bring the slide home on a reload. I wish that the P365 would have taken a lesson from the P320 on this and not followed the Sig Classic line. 

The XL slide has a removable plate for adding optics. However, it seems that optics was either an afterthought on the standard or SIG felt that the XL is in a larger class of pistol. There is undoubtedly enough real estate on the standard slide to have a removable plate for optics. 

The grip module of the XL has an extended beavertail and integrated magwell. This gives a slightly better ergonomics and ease of reloading over the standard model. Also, the XL features a flat trigger to aid with finger placement

The magazines for the XL are longer to fit into the bigger grip module. However, they are backward compatible with the standard model which gives standard users more options on capacity for carry if they don’t mind an extended magazine. 

Although not a documented feature, the slides are compatible with their pier grip module. For instance, you can run a standard slide on an XL frame and vice versa. 

P365 vs P365XL – Range time

Shooting both the standard and XL pistols went well. Two of us took the guns to the range to shoot them. All ammo we shot through the pistols were reloaded on my Dillon 650 from range brass. 

One thing that both of us agreed on was that the standard had more recoil than the XL. It seemed to us to be a little snappier in the standard. It is not significant, but you do notice it when you are shooting the pistols side by side. 

Both guns performed well for my buddy and he had no problems with failure to fire or failure to feed.

However, all the failures happened when I was shooting. However, the failures were isolated to the standard and not the XL. Although I had no failure to fire issues, I did have a few failures to feed problems. It didn’t seem to follow the magazine, which left me to either an ammunition or shooter problem. 

Since we were taking turns shooting the guns and using the same ammunition, I was confident that these failures were shooter error. After playing with my grip a little, the issues went away and the pistol was reliable. I do attribute this to the gun being small for my hands. For me to use this as a carry pistol, I will need to put more range time in and focus on my grip. 


It was fun to take these guns out and run a few hundred rounds through each of them. Except for some problems with the standard P365 that grip changes fixed, the guns ran reliability. 

I like both models, but I will need some time to get used to them since they are smaller and don’t fit my hands as a larger frame pistol does. However, I can see either of these taking over as my EDC.

I feel that if you are going to run the standard P365 with the pinky extension magazine, you might as well as step up to the XL. The pinky extension makes the standard just as tall as the XL but with a reduced capacity of two rounds.

I think that my ideal configuration of an EDC P365 would be with the XL frame but the standard slide (essentially a carry version which is not offered). This configuration will give me the length of grip I need for my bigger hands but the reduced slide length to help with concealment. As an added bonus, two additional rounds of capacity. 

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