SIG P365 XL 9mm – A Great Carry Gun

This is an attractively sized pistol that shoots like a big gun.

The SIG P365 has earned a reputation as a reliable and useful concealed carry handgun. It isn’t useful for competetion or service use but it is a purpose designed concealed carry and protection handgun. The P 365 has a small foot print and is easily concealed in a quality holster. If you enjoy firing the SIG P365 you will enjoy the P365 XL even more. The XL variant features a longer barrel and slide than the P365. The result is a pistol with more weight a better balance and a longer sight radius. In some situations you may really need the edge in concealment offered by the P365, but for most of us the P365XL is easily concealed. The pistol is optics ready and also has a taller grip that accommodates a 12 round magazine compared to the original ten round magazine. This long slide version of the popular P365 9mm isn’t a large handgun but per my testing it shoots like a big gun.

The gripping surface officers a good balance of adhesion and abrasion offering a solid gripping surface when the hands are cold, wet or sweaty. A good feature is that the pistol offers a rail for mounting combat lights, a big improvement over most small handgun. The pistol features a straight trigger an improved design over previous P 365 pistols. The slide features cocking serrations both forward and rear. The extractor is a robust design while the ejection port is generous. The magazine release is an unusual triangular design. A tapered magazine and generous magazine well makes for rapid speedloads. The slide release is easily reached. Takedown is simple enough and the pistol is easily maintained. The sights are SIG’s XRAY type three dot tritium night sights. Night sights or self luminous iron sights are essential to all around the clock defense. All in all this is a credible capable and nice looking package.

The pistol was lightly lubricated on the long bearing surfaces and barrel hood before firing. The magazines are well designed and reliable units. However they are very difficult to load to full capacity. Loading to ten rounds isn’t difficult. Stiff springs are essential to reliable function. The eleventh and twelfth round, however, were pressed in only with difficulty. I would recommend loading 12 rounds, locking the slide to the rear, and dropping the slide to give the shooter a total 12 round capacity. For most of the test I loaded ten rounds in the magazines for convenience. Most of the loads used were Winchester Ready 115 grain FMJ along with some Browning FMJ loads. The pistol was fired at 7, 10, and 15 yards. Most of the firing was accomplished in quick down and dirty drills. I drew quickly from concealment and quickly getting on target. I fired double taps, hammers, and controlled pairs depending on the range. The pistol gets on target quickly. Good accuracy is a result of the excellent trigger and sights. I did not explore the red dot option. For those who prefer optics the SIG P365XL will accommodate.  

The pistol never failed to feed, chamber, fire or eject. The SIG P365 gets on target quickly and good center of mass hits are easily obtained at 7 to 10 yards for those who practice. The pistol isn’t useless at 25 yards it simply demands attention to the sights and trigger and more time in affirming the sight picture. I fired the pistol with the Winchester 124 grain +P hollow point a modern loading with excellent wound potential. At nearly 1200 fps this is a hard hitting load. Recoil is there but the pistol isn’t difficult to control. I finally settled down to fire the pistol for absolute slow fire accuracy. Firing from the MTM Caseguard K Zone firing rest at 15 yards I fired the Winchester 124 grain +P and the Winchester 115 grain FMJ, firing five shot groups. The FMJ loading put five into two inches and the +P put five into just a little smaller group. The SIG P365 XL is among the most attractive concealed carry pistols. It is worth a hard look.

During the test I used a DeSantis Mini Belt Slide, using it for an original P365 fired for comparison and the P365XL as well.

SIG P365 XL 9mm

Length: 6.6 in.
Height: 4.8 in.
Width:  1.3 in.
Weight: 21 oz.
Barrel Length: 3.7 in.
Capacity: 12 rounds