Is the Sig P365 Still the Best Handgun For Concealed Carry in 2023?
That’s a big question to ask and we’ve got a long answer. The P365 premiered in 2018 and was unlike any gun we’d ever seen before. It was the size of a single stack 9mm with the capacity of a subcompact double stack. SIG designed a unique magazine that maximized the gun’s size efficiently. The P365 got it’s namesake because its a firearm you can carry every day of the year.
The P365 ships with two 10 round magazines, but upon release, a slightly extended 12 rounder was available. Shortly after, SIG released a monstrous 15 round magazine as well. The P365 came out of the box, ready to be carried. It sported night sights, came with a pinky extension and proved to be a very easy shooting gun.
Does the P365 still stand up, though? It’s been almost two years, and it’s a fair question. The gun industry is one that moves fast, and competition is stiff. Has the P365 been outdone? Is it a one-trick pony? Well, let’s talk about it.
Sig P365’s Shaky Start
The P365 premiered at SHOT to critical acclaim. The gun was absolutely genius. Its design had never been seen before, and it was a genuinely innovative gun in a stale market. Upon launch, the firearm sold like hotcakes until SIG stopped shipping them. It was immediately added to our best concealed carry gun.
SIG found out the sights they were shipping with the guns were failing to glow in the dark. Also, the initial batch of weapons had weak strikers and broke very early into their round counts. SIG wisely stopped production and offered fixes to customers who already purchased the guns.
They fixed the problems and began producing the weapons once more. This could have been disastrous, but SIG seemed to maintain their momentum, and the guns can now achieve high round counts without issues. My P365 is sitting at more than 3K rounds at this point and still ticking.
Same Sig P365, Different Models
The P365 sports the same modular frame mechanic the P320 does. The serialized portion legally considered a firearm is a chassis that can be removed and swapped between different frames, opening up the potential for one gun to easily change the size and fit into different configurations. SIG has also been quite quick to release new arrangements.
Having different configurations and options most certainly keeps a gun relevant. It also helps the gun appeal to a broader crowd. A lot of P365 owners may be happy with the first model, but some may desire something a little different.
It started with the XL model. A slightly larger gun that used a longer barrel and grip with 12 round magazines stock and could use the 15 rounders to add a little more firepower to the overall package. The XL model also brought with a flat-faced trigger and was optic ready. The optic plate used the Shield RSM/c or SIG’s new Romeo Zero micro red dot.
Following that, SIG released the SAS model. SAS stands for SIG Anti Snag, and its been a configuration they’ve done before with other guns. Anti Snag means they reduced all possible snag points to make the weapon easy to draw from deep concealment. This includes popping the sights off entirely and installing a unique sighting system. Known as the FT Bullseye tritium night sight, you get a sighting system that sits flush with the slide and is virtually only a rear sight.
However, the sight works by featuring three dots that you have to line up to accurately shoot. This ensures the gun is plenty precise at concealed carry ranges. It’s tricky to get accustomed to, but not impossible. It takes a little retraining, but at 15 yards, you can make headshots. Beyond 15 to 20 yards and things get a little harder accuracy wise. The SAS Model also made the slide lock and takedown lever flush fitting to the frame.
The SAS version is also ported to reduce muzzle rise, and this works surprisingly well. It creates some flash, but not enough to blind you. The SAS P365 has proven to be quite popular and is flying off shelves.
Next, Sig wised up to public demand and added the P365X to their lineup. The P365X uses the same frame as the P365XL but with the shorter barrel and slide of the original P365. Oh yeah, here comes the “listening to public demand” part: the Sig P365X has a red dot cutout.
In my opinion, the P365X is the best version. It offers the shorter barrel with a 12 round mag and a red dot sight. This is truly concealed carry perfection.
If you like the idea of the longer barrel then you’d probably pick the P365XL as your favorite.
Here’s a deeper analysis of the Sig P365XL vs the Sig P365.
What About the Aftermarket for the Sig P365?
The aftermarket is another reason guns succeed. The more they are supported, the more appealing they become. Glock is an excellent example of this. You can buy a base model Glock and turn it into just about anything you want. The P365 has been met by the industry wholeheartedly. Clinger Holsters had Sig P365 Holsters for sale just days after the pistol’s release.
From holsters to new triggers, sights, baseplates, magazine releases, and more, the P365 has a healthy aftermarket. Heck, you can even install your P365 into a new frame. I used an all-metal Icarus Precision ACE Grip for my P365. This completely changed how the gun handles and feels.
You have light options from Streamlight and SIG Sauer, as well as various laser options. It goes on and on. The aftermarket supports the SIG P365 rather well, and the gun’s popularity tends to help the aftermarket grow.
SIG has released grip modules, slides, and other features that allow you to change your P365 around. Part of the gun’s staying power is people’s ability to modify, carry, and enjoy it.
Does the Sig P365 Have Competition?
I might as well mention the gun’s competition. It is really starting to stack up.
Many gun companies are swarming this new category that Sig created. Sig calls this new category a “High-Capacity Micro-Compact”.
A gun company can claim their product is in whatever category they want. This is the understood rule though: it’s a gun that’s the size of a single stack with a double stack magazine and a short barrel.
Single stack guns are typically one inch or less in width rather than a more typical 1&1/2 inch width of a double stack. A double stack magazine should carry 10 or more rounds rather than the 6 or 7 that a traditional single stack mag would carry.
Here’s a list of competitors: Glock 43X MOS, Hellcat OSP, Ruger Max-9, Taurus GX4, S&W Shield Plus, and Kimber R7. All of these guns are an inch or less in width and carry 10 or more rounds. Don’t you just love today’s technology!
The first gun to truly challenge the P365 was the Springfield Hellcat. In fact, there’s a great Sig P365 vs Springfield Hellcat article on our Gun Blog.
The Glock 43X and 48 offer the same capacity but are just a bit larger than the P365.
The Hellcat is made by HS out of Croatia and imported by Springfield. The Hellcat offers 11 to 13 rounds in the same size package as the P365. This 11 round magazine edges out the P365 by a single round. The Hellcat does come ready to carry with an excellent set of night sights, two magazines, and an optional pinky extension.
The Springfield Hellcat also comes in an optic’s ready model. Sig now offers optics options in the P365X and the P365XL models. Shorter guns get more benefit from mini red dots because their sight radius doesn’t matter with a mini red dot. I would say the smaller, optics ready Hellcat is a brilliant idea and it’s nice that Sig followed suit with the P365X. Now you can have your cake and eat it too. You get a small gun with large capacity and a red dot!
Who’s Issuing the Sig P365?
When police or military forces adopt a gun, you can see it’s lifespan increase significantly. The P365 isn’t going to be approved by any military anytime soon, but police forces have taken a look at it. As the law enforcement market is going back to 9mm, the P365 is getting some attention.
While it’s too small for use as a duty gun, it has been approved as a backup gun by two police departments. Sumter Police in South Carolina was the first to adopt the P365 as a backup gun. Following the South Carolina adoption, we saw the Indiana State Police choose the P365 as their backup gun of choice.
The P365 will likely see an excellent career as a backup gun in the hands of many more police officers. The P320 is quickly becoming a favorite, and this helps open the doors for the smaller P365. As more police forces adopt it, you’ll see more and more attention given to it by casual shooters.
Casual Shooters and Mass Appeal
Most people reading this blog are likely more informed than your average casual shooter. We may be pickier and more knowledgeable, but the majority of shooters are not. You see, the casual concealed carrier rules the market. The P365 most certainly appeals to them.
Weight and size are one reason why. Add on the features, the capacity, and the price, and you’ve captured the casual shooting market. Factor in the reputable and somewhat legendary name SIG and you’ll attract more of it. People have heard of SIG, and their guns are popular in military and police forces.
On top of that, the P365 has won numerous awards. Shooting Illustrated, an NRA publication, has named it the Handgun of the Year. The SAS model was named Best New Handgun at the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers-Professional Outdoor Media Association’s awards. The P365 also won handgun of the year from Guns and Ammo magazine.
If someone were googling and searching for a small gun that’s proven popular, the P365 would prove to be a very popular gun. It has instant mass appeal to new shooters. If a casual shooter went as far as to go to a gun range and rent a gun, the P365 would be on the shelf due to its popularity.
It’s also a soft shooting gun that’s easy to rack, accurate, and has a great trigger. All features any shooter could appreciate. My friend owns a gun store and says the P365 sells itself. People like the way it feels, it’s capacity and its size. He can hardly keep them on the shelves. I mean it was in John Wick 3 guys, it’s popular.
The Sig P365 In 2023: Still the Best Concealed Carry Handgun
The P365 is most certainly a blockbuster pistol. That has brought competition to bear.
That competition still needs to prove itself against the P365’s King status. They’ll also need to get holsters, accessories, magazines, and excellent logistics to compete. The competitors still need to build public trust too. Sig has a multi-year head start on them.
That takes time, effort, and a lot of marketing. The P365 was so successful so fast because it was the first gun of its type. Another company won’t have that same opportunity that SIG had. They have to fight their way uphill.
Long Live the King of Concealed Carry
I don’t think the SIG P365 will be unseated as the best concealed carry gun (or best selling gun) for quite some time. I think it will remain the king and the competition will have to fight hard to unseat the SIG P365. For now, the P365 remains the champ of concealed carry guns. SIG did a great job designing the weapon and was fast to fix the small issues they ran into. The gun will be around for a long time, folks.
For now, all we can say is long live the king.