The Sig Sauer P365 X Macro entered the market as a fairly radical departure from what the P365 was originally, a micro hi-cap 9mm.
In that small pistols place we have a new compact. It’s a medium frame pistol with higher than average capacity and a slimmer profile than we’re used to seeing. It’s approximately the size of a G19, P10C, or P320C, but then slimmed. It takes about the same space as the Springfield Armory 9mm EMP 1911.
The slimmest and most comfortably carriable 17 rounds on the market, along with the now standard ability to mount common lights and red dots.
Rethinking the mid-size pistol, the return of the “compact”
The X Macro is competing in the space of the pistols I mentioned above, the Glock 19, CZ P10C, and Sig’s own P320C. These traditional compacts have been the core of popular carry guns for years, decades in some instances.
In a ‘shocking’ bit of marketing, Sig is borrowing on their popular micro-9’s name to drive attention. This is a compact pistol, although they have several compacts already in their catalog. Even before we even talk about competing brands the P229, SP2022, and M11-A1 join the P320C models in occupying the space the X Macro looks to inhabit also.
It’s the only native slim 17 round frame at the moment in a modern striker pistol. The G48+Shield Mags and Hellcat Pro are 15rd guns. The Masada Slim can take a native 17rd magazine (Jericho) but its frame and grip are 13rd length.
This means that, for the moment, the P365 X Macro industry leads as the smallest/slimmest 17 round frame. Also one of a handful of 17 round capable pistols that have reduced dimensions. It is giving us duty pistol capacity while reimagining compact frames as more than just a slightly shorter grip and slide. Manufacturers have finally targeted width as a reduced dimension without resorting to single stack.
The most dramatic departure from the hi-cap micro-9’s the P365 X Macro exhibits is not in the capacity, it is in the frame design. Extending magazines isn’t new. We’ve taken that to its logically absurd extremes for awhile now.
Returning to a conventionally railed frame and making the frame thicker in a few spots, the trigger guard most notably, compared to slimmer legacy P365 frames steps it back into the mid-size/traditional compact pistol field. We are returning the expected features found on traditional compact pistols. The interchangeable backstrap inserts are another legacy feature from the full and mid-size category and they are back also.
The pistol can comfortably mount a TLR-7A (or any light that size) and work in compatible holsters. The large backstrap fills out the grip in the way smaller P365 and P365X grips couldn’t. I purchased the built up WC grip for my P365 for that reason, it is unnecessary on the X Macro.
There have been good ways to manage a full size or midsize pistol and a light, including an X300, but those options are still sizeable in IWB holsters. Those pistols and ancillaries take up substantial carry real estate, I would hesitate to call them truly comfortable as compared to manageable. The light and red dot sight do necessarily increase the gun’s footprint.
Even using smaller lights the large frames are… well… large. The P320 AXG is a large, smoothly actioned, heavy pistol and it shoots like it.
I’ve carried it in a Floodlight, it works. Exceptionally. But nothing makes the pistol itself smaller. It was manageable, not comfortable. We don’t need to rehash the old saw about a pistol being comforting and not comfortable either, its a silly argument as humans require comfort to optimize. Comfort lowers the chances of fatigue, injury, and distraction. Comfort is a component of safety.
Now slimmer pistols, slimmer lights, in complementingly svelte holsters are going to have their say on that space requirement moving forward. The reason pistols like the G43 and S&W Shield dominated the carry market upon their introduction and sold like mad was comfort and convenience, now the X Macro is offering those qualities at a 17rd capacity.
I don’t see this as changing the game, we are not inventing comfortably framed pistol sizes, lights, optics, or compensators here.
The P365 X Macro and its peers have nicely begun the full optimizing of the compact pistol and subcompact pistol by tackling that trickiest dimension of width. With that we will likely witness a shift as full size pistols maintain their popularity in their roles, but the traditional compacts and subcompacts, G19 and G26 as examples, will be ceding ground to the new compacts and new subcompacts.
The G26 hasn’t been spoken about with much seriousness in years, fading to an ‘ I already own it and it works well enough’ state of existence like an old small pickup truck you have no reason to sell.
The three dimensionally reduced pistols will overtake the older compacts as the dominate designs for carry. We will witness the legacy compact fade in popularity, we have already in many respects, the way we’ve seen older rifle styles fade to obsolescence. With pistols it will very likely be a quicker rate of turnover. Those physical dimensions directly influence how comfortably carriable a pistol is, therefore they impact someone’s daily carry habit.
A rifle is not a contact point for most of us everyday, to say nothing of continuous contact. Whether your rifle is wearing a rail designed last month or last decade, or a rail at all, whether it is free floated or not, none of those will greatly impact your daily comfort with the rifle. The new standards for pistol sizes can and will influence daily comfort, that comfort/performance equation has driven the dimensional and capacity race over the last several years.
We saw the market go down to the mini-380’s, then the micro-9’s, and now swinging back into the “hi-cap” micro-9 or slim-9 category. The .30 Super Carry may also get its say in the space. People who carry daily are more likely to adopt a change for their daily comfort. People who are getting into carry are more likely to pick these newer comfort centric options initially. It will be the long list of people who occasionally carry, or have settled comfortably onto a pistol, that are least likely to be moved to adopt a newer gun at this point in time.
This is where the P365 X Macro is ‘changing the game’ as it were, though I think that is too much the buzzword, it is continuing our transition to the new three dimensional era of compact pistols and I believe it has set the standard to match for the new mid-size on most things.
Getting it right
I’m not going to wax hyperbolic here about the P365 X Macro, it shoots.
I pull the trigger, the round does down range, the pistol recoils and gets ready to do it again. And again… and again. The P365 X Macro has continued that trend every time I ask it too and I’ve been carrying it since mid-August.
The longer recoil spring assembly and the compensated slide make this a pleasant pistol to shoot, especially compared to the legacy P365. Splits were notably faster and the recoil transfer is notably less. The littler P365X with its shorter recoil assembly is snappier, a trade for the size savings. The P365 X Macro exhibits very comfortable recoil characteristics, inhabiting that middle ground of recoil impulse where only a significant increase in mass of the frame and slide are going to tame it by any further noticeable degree.
I carry and shoot alloy framed guns because of the smoothness in operation and the recoil characteristics. I carry small frames and polymer frames for size and weight savings. Features that push the feel of small polymer frame guns back toward their larger alloy framed family members make me happy. The X Macro makes me happy.
Optic mounting comes standard, pick any slim profile dot. The light rail handles a smaller frame light well and makes deciding to forego a light to save on weight and space a much less pressing concern for the carry gun. You can ask of the P365 X Macro almost anything its larger sibling or competitors can do and it will do it.
That is all very well done.
To do better – The critique list
A new pistol with issues? Perish the thought, right?
No, the P365 X Macro isn’t perfect. My model has perhaps the most looney toons feeling trigger I have ever pulled through. It isn’t heavy, but it feels like pulling on a lever labeled ACME and watching the catapult launch Wile E. into orbit rather than the predictable sear release that my P320 has. This might just need breaking in. This might need me swapping a few bits. It isn’t a great trigger, it is a functional one.
But even with that the gun is flat and accurate. Your trigger experience may vary or it may match.
The second issue is magazine finish, I have never met a pair of mags who so desperately wanted to be Autumn basic and deck out in orange. I know they’re new and it was a rush to get them going, but the regular 12 rounders seem much move averse to surface rusting than these new 17’s that shipped with mine. This could be an issue specific to when my magazines got their finish finished. I’m ordering half a dozen more when they come available.
Magazine finish didn’t seem to fight rust and wore though rather quickly and trigger press kinesthetics are, at best, functional. No issues on function. The Holosun EPS Carry is working superbly with it.
This is my EDC gun, it will remain my EDC gun for the foreseeable future. I recently dropped the TLR-7A and went with a reduced profile holster from PHLster, however carrying with the light was not cumbersome either and remains a good option for those wanting or needing it.
One final point of note for this, and noted for other pistols wearing a comp or with a comp. Specifically on shooting from close retention, you have gas being redirected up and out on a short barrel and slide. This means shooting next to your body is going to gas you, no getting around it. You’re going to catch some of the burning powder and hot gas if the muzzle is near your body. This point of note for a specific shooting condition set needs to be accounted for so a buyer can plan accordingly. Some folks like comps. Some folks do not on “fighting” pistols. This one is comped and shoots very pleasantly because of that.
Final final note, wait for a decent price on the P365 X Macro. PSA gets them and sells them for $799.99, this isn’t worth paying double that on an auction just to have right now. It isn’t.
Unless it is because its your money, you can’t take it with you. Do what you want.
The P365 X Macro is a perfect carry pistol, if you want a mid-sized 17+1 pistol with a compensator, optic, and capable of adding a light or laser right out of the box. It isn’t the only carry pistol. It won’t be the carry pistol of choice if any feature on it doesn’t fit your use case. There are other excellent options from other excellent manufacturers. There are cheaper options, smaller options, larger options, heavier and lighter options.
But after all those considerations were considered and the options optioned, I stuck with this one.