SIG’s P365 Drone – Because They Can

(Jamie Hunt/The Drive)

I was an early adopter of the P365. In 2018, it was the gun to get, and since then, it’s grown into a family of firearms. I have the P365, the deep concealment SAS model, the larger P365XL, the even larger XMACRO, the Legion entry, the Rose model, and many more I’m missing. Is there anything the gun can’t do? Heck, according to The Drive’s Warzone section, it can even be attached to a drone. Yep, a P365 Drone exists. 

FILE — A member of a volunteer battalion practices the launch and retrieval of a DJI Mavic drone as the group trains outside Kyiv, Dec. 3, 2022. A Ukrainian unit is tinkering with tape, a scale, a 3-D printer and other items to turn a fragmentation grenade into a tank-killer. It’s a steep and risky challenge. (David Guttenfelder/The New York Times)

That’s right, a drone. The Association of the U.S. Army had its convention in Washington D.C. earlier this month with SIG Sauer in attendance. SIG is so hot right now with Army contracts. They captured the MHS contest and followed it up with the NGSW system contract to provide a rifle and machine gun to the U.S. Army and potentially all four branches. How could they not show up and show off their wares? 

They did, and we got to see how far the modular nature of the P365 could go when they strapped two of them to quadcopters. When writer Jame Hunter asked why, SIG replied with, “Why wouldn’t we?” 

The P365 Drone 

The rise of small aerial vehicles in warfare can’t be ignored. There are lots and lots of dead Russians because the Ukrainian military latched onto this technology. Prior to the war in Ukraine, commercial-grade mini quadcopters were in the skies of Iraq and Syria, being used by various forces against various other forces. Micro-sized drones are cheap, can carry a small explosive payload, and allow for what’s basically a flying IED. 

If you’ve cruised the combat footage of the Ukraine war, you’ve likely seen Ukrainian forces drop grenades quite accurately with their drones on infantry and armored forces. We know they work with explosives, but what about small arms? Taiwan made a large, rifle-equipped drone called the AR-1. 

What about a micro-sized, pistol-equipped drone or quadcopter, like the aforementioned P365 drone? Of the two drones on display, one is a standard XMACRO series, and another features a very interesting P365 that’s been trimmed and cut to reduce weight, and this allows it to be fit into a smaller drone. Both appear to be commercial off-the-shelf quadcopters equipped with P365s and servo moto-powered trigger pullers. 

(Jamie Hunt/The Drive)

According to the SIG rep at the show, the guns are aimed via the camera and a laser aiming device. It’s a neat combo, but I’d be curious what laser is capable of. What’s its ability during the day, and is it I.R. capable for nighttime use? That remains to be seen. 

Does the recoil generated from the gun firing affect the P365 drone’s ability to fly? It’s not super clear by how much, but according to SIG, it works. 

The Purpose of Such a Drone

I think it needs to be stated that this isn’t a commercial product being offered to anyone at this time. It seems to be just an experiment for SIG that they wanted to display. This seems to be more of a proof of concept. 

Let’s say it did work. They had a finished product for sale, with a P365 drone being a reality. What’s the purpose? Handguns aren’t great for range, but the P365 is small and ammo-efficient. Still, 17 rounds aren’t much in a military firefight. That’s two good SAW bursts. It’s also likely tough to aim if SIG can’t introduce a reticle system to make their drone more like a first-person shooter. 

(Jamie Hunt/The Drive)

If they do, it’s still a very close-range weapon. It could be a scouting tool for urban areas. Maybe nothing long-range, but let’s say you have a compound with a fence. You run the risk of getting shot if you poke your head over the fence, so toss the drone up and in. It can engage if need be. Or it can cover windows or similar spider holes and still put lead on target. The P365 drone certainly seems very niche, but I guess you can dream up a scenario where it’s useful easily enough. 

My main question is, is this legal? Does it run afoul of the NFA? What about the FAA? If I wanted one, what would stop me legally from having one? Or making one? There has to be a law against it, and I doubt SIG is lining up for civilian sales of this thing. As far as proof of concept goes, it’s wild, but hey, SIG promised us a modular pistol, and they are delivering. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.