The SIG Sauer P365XL 9mm is no longer “breaking news” since it has been out on the market for roughly 3 months now. It has had an impressive rise to fame though as the original P365 broke the mold for what people believed a carry gun could hold and achieve. The P365XL 9mm looks to even improve upon that. In this TFB Review, we take an extended look at this new-to-market, but already incredibly popular SIG Sauer P365XL 9mm in which I spent the better part of this last summer carrying and shooting to get a better idea of what this pistol is all about.
specifications: sig Sauer p365xl 9mm
I had the good fortune of being able to see the SIG Sauer P365XL 9mm back at the NRA Annual Meetings (NRAAM) in Indianapolis this past April before it was to debut to the public in early July this summer. While at that point in time I did not have the opportunity to shoot the pistol I could already tell SIG had constructed something that would crush people’s perception of what is possible with a carry gun (again). All of the specifications of their new hit wonder can be read below as presented by SIG Sauer:
- Black Polymer Grip w/ a Stainless Steel Frame
- Nitron Finish on a Stainless Steel Slide
- 3.7” Carbon Steel Barrel
- Striker-Fire, Semi-Auto Action
- Flat Face Trigger w/ a 90° Break
- X-Series P365 Grip Module w/ Integrated Carry Magwell & Extended Beavertail
- Optic Ready Slide Compatible w/ Romeo Zero & RMSc Optics
- X-RAY3 Day/Night Sights
- (2) 12 Round Steel Magazines
- Overall Length: 6.6” | 168 mm
- Overall Width: 1.1” | 28 mm
- Overall Height: 4.8” | 122 mm
- Overall Weight: 20.7 Oz | 588 g
- Overall Sight Radius: 5.6” | 142 mm
It is difficult to grasp what a firearm is completely about by only reading a spec sheet, but there are some key differences to note from the P365XL 9mm and the original P365. For one, you are gaining an optics cut-out for the also brand new Romeo Zero, or an RMSc red dot. You also get the signature X-RAY3 Day/Night Sights while the P365 has a simple 3-dot, white dot sight set. SIG Sauer goes on to detail many of the important differences shooters may need to mull over if they are contemplating getting the P365XL 9mm in their arsenal:
The P365 redefined what a concealed-carry pistol should be, now the new P365 XL is doing it again. The perfect balance of micro-compact concealability with full-size shootability the P365 XL packs 12+1 or available 15+1 capacity in a micro-compact, highly concealable size yet maintains the comfort and shootability of a full-size pistol.
The first P365 offered in the X-Series family, the XL comes standard with an extended slide, 3.7” barrel, and the brand new 365 X-Series grip module with extended beavertail and integrated magwell. The new slide and grip module only add about 1/2″ to the overall length and height of the micro-compact P365, while increasing the capacity to 12+1 rounds of 9mm.
It still maintains the crisp, clean P365 trigger pull, but with the “X” signature flat profile trigger that breaks at 90 degrees. Also standard are the signature X-Ray3 Day/Night sights with a rear sight plate assembly that allows direct mounting of the new SIG SAUER RomeoZero or the RMSc reflex optics. Never has so much versatility and capability been squeezed into such a perfectly concealable size.
unboxing: sig Sauer p365xl 9mm
When I officially peeled the wrapper off my test pistol several months ago to begin this review it was my second encounter with the P365XL 9mm. So I had forgotten some features of it and quickly got refreshed on what it was all about. The obvious differences are the increase in size. The dimensions of the pistol are extended in the barrel and slide as well as the frame and its magazine. This gives you the feel of a full-size pistol, but with its petite width, it simultaneously is easily concealable.
While the original P365 felt a bit nose heavy in my hands, the P365XL is extremely well balanced. With a 12 Round or extended 15 Round magazine the pistol not only affords you a complete grip, but it also has a natural balance to it that not many carry guns are able to achieve. I appreciated this a lot because it just adds to your ability to confidently shoot it when it is more well balanced.
range time: sig Sauer p365xl 9mm
When I took this pistol to the range it was not just a one-and-done field trip. I brought this pistol out for play multiple times over the summer. I did most everything a seasoned shooter could think to try for practice from banging steel, shooting silhouette targets, practicing magazine exchanges, and working on drawing from a holster.
My greatest overwhelming impression was that this firearm shoots like a full-size range pistol. It might have been spawned from carry pistol origins, but frankly, it handles, manipulates, carries, and hits like a full-size range pistol. The fact that it is easily concealable to boot is an ancillary benefit we are all going to benefit from.
I believe I have moderate-size hands, and I was able to easily get a complete purchase on the frame of this pistol. This made handling the pistol easier and I had a lot more confidence. The transfer of recoil was easier to mitigate and control as well. All of these things culminated in making this pistol very enjoyable to shoot.
As far as some of the aesthetic points of the P365XL 9mm, I appreciated the stippling on the frame of the pistol as well as the extended 15 round magazine. It was like a fine sandpaper grit that assured a secure hold without being abrasive to the point that you are losing skin. The beavertail built into the rear of the frame and the shallow undercut beneath the trigger allow you to hold slightly higher than comparably sized pistols. This achieves the feel of a sleek low bore axis which aids in quick follow-up shots and mitigating recoil.
The one thing I had difficulty with is quickly catching sight of the ROMEOZero Micro Red Dot I had mounted on top. It may have been my own fault for not having a lot of experience with SIG Sauer firearms, but it took a solid 10 mags or more before I could shoot fast with the red dot. So for people who are new to SIG Sauer pistols, there might be a slight learning curve in getting comfortable with ‘pointing’ them.
concealed carry: sig Sauer p365xl 9mm
Although all I wanted to do with this gun is burn it down at the range shooting steel, paper targets, bowling pins, or anything I could get my hands on I know that the origins of the P365XL 9mm is a carry gun. Albeit slightly longer in the handle and slide than the original P365, this is still a tremendous contender to be anyone’s everyday carry (EDC) gun. So with that being said, I carried it on and off over the course of the last 2 months in rotation with my normal EDC.
I used the ever so popular Galco KingTuk holster which worked great for my mundane days of working behind a gun counter and light work of unloading product off semi-trucks into our store. On the days when I would wear a shop polo (not tucked in) I chose to go the KingTuk route. The longer polo easily covered this pairing while carrying what I call far-of-back; basically on my right butt cheek since I am right-handed. The neat thing about the P365XL 9mm is it will fit most normal P365 holsters. I do not want to make the profound blanket statement that it will work in all, but the 3 or 4 I tried it fit just fine even with the ROMEOZero Micro Red Dot and the longer 15-Round Magazine. All in all, comfortable to carry this way, decently easy to draw (not lickety-split fast, but decent), and much easier than my mainstay EDC which is a full-frame polymer gun.
The 2nd way that I carried the P365XL 9mm is with an appendix IWB holster also from Galco because I had them readily available to use at work. While the far-of-back IWB carry is more comfortable for the general bending, moving, and working of everyday life I prefer the appendix IWB because of its secure feeling and faster draw.
With the appendix IWB carry, I never have heightened Spidey-sense feelings that the gun is going to ever tip out. With far-of-back IWB, if I am crouched down stocking and straightening shelves I feel like my shirt may unfurl and GASP!… Be exposed! I understand a lot of this is in my own head, but for that reason, the appendix IWB always feels closer-at-hand and more secure to me. Conversely, if you do a lot of car commuting or work in a seated position for long periods of time the scrunch of a gun under your belly and poking your groin can be uncomfortable. Its a give-and-take of positives and negatives which are not necessarily the SIG P365XL’s fault. These are gripes I have with most any gun in those positions so it is simply food for thought for those considering carry there.
My closing thoughts on carry for the P365XL 9mm are that it was very easy to conceal. As easy, if not more so, than all of its direct competitors like the Smith & Wesson Shield, Glock G43, insert “X,Y,Z” brand name, but with this you are getting more capacity and a better purchase on the frame to control it. Also, it feels like you are concealing something smaller than those competitors because of the thinness of the frame. It is truly an enigma in the shooting industry right now; the best kind of enigma.
If I end up buying one of these which has a high likelihood, I would search out a better appendix IWB holster because the draw would be faster for me from that position of carry, and it would be just as easy to go about my day. The brand I had in mind is actually from one of our very own writers, Alex, who is the owner of ANR Design: Thermoplastic Solutions and Holsters. Give his company a look when you have the chance.
conclusion: sig Sauer p365xl 9mm
With the duration I spent using, carrying, and shooting the SIG Sauer P365XL 9mm, I had more than enough time to reaffirm my thoughts and feelings about this pistol. For one, it is truly an oddity. What I mean by this is it can run beside your best or favorite carry guns and then crossover to the range to perform equally well there, too.
Being as the original P365 paved the way for holsters and accessories, the P365XL 9mm can share all of those aftermarket tools and essentials so you are not hunting down components that are not on the market yet. For carry, I grabbed multiple P365 holsters off a store shelf and the P365XL 9mm dropped right in. I loved that simplicity.
The other thing I truly appreciated is this pistol being optics ready with the slide cut from the factory. While I wholly believe everyone should have a foundation of shooting and proficiency with iron sights before adding in optics to anything… Holy Cow does shooting with a red dot make life easier! There is a learning curve of knowing how to point quickly and catch the dot in the window, but once you attain those skills you can quickly be burning down steel at the range in no time.
My only complaint about the P365XL 9mm in 2+ months of shooting it was that it ‘points’ at a different angle than some other brands I am familiar with. This is not so much a strike against SIG Sauer that they are doing anything wrong, but more so something of note that there is a slight learning curve to get used to and that I personally have do not have a lot of experience with SIG Sauer firearms.
In closing, I want to say THANK YOU to SIG Sauer for allowing TFB and myself the opportunity to try out their New SIG Sauer P365XL 9mm as well as their equally New ROMEOZero Micro Red Dot! That is greatly appreciated. Also, we would like to know what all of you guys and gals think? Do you believe that this SIG Sauer P365XL 9mm is something worthy of you adding into your EDC rotation? Would you carry it with a Micro Red Dot like I did? Let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.
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