Sig Sauer P365 vs FN Reflex: A Comparison Review

Today, we’ll compare the Sig P365 and FN Reflex, two of the most popular micro-9mm pistols currently on the market. We’ll discuss their pros and cons, and I’ll share my thoughts on which of the two I prefer for concealed carry. But before we get into that, there’s a little backstory.

The Sig Sauer P365 made its splash in 2018, while the Fabrique Nationale (FN) Reflex more recently debuted in 2023. My intuition tells me that since FN had five more years to work on the Reflex after the P365 was released, the Reflex would be superior in every respect. I’m not going to tell you just now if that’s true; you’ll have to read the article to see if that’s the case.

I’ll disclose early on, however, that neither pistol reviewed here was given to me by the manufacturers; I purchased each of them at my local gun shop. I have no affiliation with either company and no dog in this fight whatsoever. Another disclosure: two FN Reflexes were used in this review. The reason I mention that will become relevant later on.

First, let’s look at the technical specifications.

A side-by-side comparison of the Sig P365 and FN Reflex [Credit: Carl Staas]

Slide

The Sig’s slide has a black Nitron finish, which is actually a treatment that impregnates the metal. Each of the FN Pistols we tested had a Flat Dark Earth PVD finish.

Both pistols have rear and forward slide serrations. Both work well, and I wouldn’t say the serrations on either pistol are superior. I like the slides on both equally.

Sights

The sights on the FN Reflex are a very nice 3-dot system. The rear dots are white, set into a metal rear sight. The front metal sight features a tritium white dot set inside an orange ring. That orange ring stands out against most backgrounds and drew the attention of my eyes reliably. However, there was an issue with the tritium insert on my pistol — it did not glow at all. I mean, it was absolutely, positively dead. Not even a glimmer. I verified this with several other people to double-check that my eyes weren’t simply going bad (I am middle-aged, after all), and all confirmed that there was zero luminescence emanating from the sight. I know that mistakes happen, but this sight should not have left the factory.

FN Reflex sights.
Sights on the Reflex were highly visible, especially the orange circle on the front sight post. The front sight features tritium for low light use. Photo: Jim Davis.

The sights on my friend’s Reflex, however, were fine and illuminated as it was intended.

The P365’s sights are good. Not spectacular, but good. The rear sights are two dots with tritium, and they glow softly. There are also serrations on the rear sight to cut down on glare. The front sight is brighter, which makes sense because that’s the one you’re supposed to focus on. The front tritium dot is surrounded by a bright green circle, which does a good job of drawing the attention of the eyes.

Overall, I like the sights on the Reflex a little better than the Sig.

Sig P365 sights.
The 3-dot sights on the Sig P365 work well, with the green circle on the front post being very visible. All three sights have tritium for low-light use. Photo: Jim Davis.

Trigger

The Reflex’s trigger is a Single-Action-Only, hammer-fired affair. Naturally, the hammer is inside the pistol rather than external. It’s a great trigger with a crisp, light break. The take-up is very light and easy, followed by the wall that has a light break. The break is very crisp and satisfying. For a defensive pistol, I wouldn’t want the break to be any lighter, and I estimate mine broke at around 3-4 pounds. Out of all the striker-fired micro-9 pistols I’ve fired, this is the trigger to beat.

Sig’s P365 trigger did not impress me. Don’t get me wrong, it does its job well. However, after the very easy and smooth take-up, it arrives at a wall. The break is not at all crisp; rather, it moves through a period of creep before breaking. And when I say it’s creepy, I mean creepier than a villain in a Scooby Doo episode. All that said, the P365’s trigger didn’t seem to impede my ability to accurately shoot the pistol, and I love the pistol enough that I can live with it.

Controls

Both pistols have good controls that work just fine.

The P365’s magazine release is triangular in shape and jettisons magazines effectively. However, because my hand contacts the rear of the magazines, that prevents them from falling free most of the time. I’m not going to fault the pistol for that, as it’s an operator issue.

Sig P365 in hand.
The controls on the Sig are easy to reach and work well. The magazine release is triangular, and the slide release protrudes enough to actually be useful. The grip has stippling all around, giving the hand a solid purchase. The 12-round magazine is seen here with the extension, giving a perfect grip length and nice capacity. Photo: Jim Davis.

The slide release is one of the better ones out there in that it protrudes far enough away from the pistol’s frame that my thumb catches it when I want to use it. I most often chamber rounds by racking the slide with my hand, but it’s nice to know that I can use the slide release if I choose to.

FN Reflex in hand. Note the 15-round extended magazine.
The Reflex is seen here with the 15-round magazine in place. While it gives a satisfyingly long grip, it is a bit much for concealment. The controls were easy to reach and worked well. The magazine release is elongated and features serrations, which give the thumb traction. Photo: Jim Davis.

The Reflex’s magazine release is nicely done and elongated, so the thumb has an easy time finding it. Checkered serrations on it also help the thumb gain traction.

The slide release is very close to the frame, making it a bit more difficult for my thumb to use.

Magazines

The FN Reflex has two very simple options: an 11-round magazine and a 15-rounder. The 11-round magazine has an extended floor plate option that gives space for the little finger to park. This does nothing to support the rear of the pistol against the shooter’s palm, but it works well for concealed carry.

The 15-round magazine gives a satisfyingly full grip for the entire hand. However, it adds appreciably to the length of the grip. Many people may find it challenging for concealed carry because it makes the grip more difficult to conceal. FN needs to do what Sig did and introduce an in-between magazine.

Speaking of Sig, they got this one right, and their variety is so satisfying. You have 10, 12, 15, and 17-round magazines. The pistol comes standard with two 10-round magazines; one has a flush-fit base plate, which I don’t really use because there is nowhere for my little finger to rest. The other has an extension for that little finger, which is better.

Beyond that, I’ve really taken to loving the 12-round magazine, as it offers great concealability but also lengthens the grip just enough for me to get that perfect grip. Plus, it gives a respectable 12+1 capacity to a very concealable, small pistol, which is excellent. As a note, these 12-round magazines are standard in the P365XL, which does not need a grip extension to use them. If you’re using them with the regular P365 (they are interchangeable), you can use the grip extension for maximum comfort.

It’s also nice to be able to use a 15- and 17-round magazine on this little pistol, though I don’t foresee using either of those two much myself.

Reliability

Here is where the whole shooting match with the FN Reflex went askew. As luck had it, we had two FN Reflex pistols available for this test (mine and a friend’s). This became significant because my Reflex had major feeding issues. I tried a few different brands of ammunition, reasoning that maybe the pistol didn’t like a certain brand, but that didn’t do the trick. The rounds weren’t hanging up on the feed ramp; rather, they simply did not want to fully chamber. A quick tap on the back of the slide would seat them, but this is completely unacceptable.

My friend’s Reflex experienced this once during the first magazine that he fired through it, but the problem did not replicate. To be clear, though, we did not run a ton of rounds through his pistol, so the jury is still out on whether his gun will repeat the problem as mine did. All in all, though, it seems that FN’s quality control might be lacking. On a pistol with this pedigree, this is shocking and disappointing.

The P365’s performance was simpler: it worked with everything we fed it, having no complaints. The little Sig is 100% boringly reliable, as it should be.

Grip

The grips on both pistols are excellent.

The Reflex’s grip has two different textures: on the front and rear, small squares protrude and stick in the hand when the grip is squeezed, and on the sides, there is stippling. Overall, it’s a very functional grip that works well and looks interesting and sophisticated. I have to say, I do like the grip of the Reflex; it feels good and works well.

The P365’s grip has stippling all around. It’s definitely rough enough to give a solid purchase on the pistol that won’t easily slip. However, it’s not like sandpaper and won’t abrade the skin or clothing when worn. I have two pistols from a manufacturer that actually destroys shirts because the grips are so abrasive. The P365’s grip is not like that.

Overall, the P365’s grip wins the grip contest in my book. I’ll admit that the first time I held the P365, I hated the grip. It just didn’t feel proportional to the rest of the pistol to me. Over the course of a couple of years, something eventually clicked in my mind – it just felt good! I can’t account for why it took me so long to warm up to it, but that’s how it went. Now, I adore the grip. Go figure – I’ve always been a slow learner!

At The Range

At the range, we ran the pistols through their paces to get acquainted with them. As with most of the “Micro-9s”, there was some muzzle flip with both pistols. I’d say the P365 exhibited slightly less recoil than the Reflex. However, it was close, and I can’t say one pistol bested the other in this category.

Both of these pistols are more accurate than I’d imagined. At ten yards, groups were impressively tight, which was surprising. At 20 yards, they were still more than accurate enough for defense. And I have no worries that they’ll deliver the goods at even longer ranges.

As mentioned, the feeding issues of the Reflex really rained on the parade at the range for that platform.

Final Thoughts

We live in amazing times. We have a huge selection of small 9mm handguns that hold a lot of rounds. Competition is fierce among manufacturers, which is great for consumers.

The P365 (top) and Reflex (bottom).
Both pistols are similar in size, weight, and price. Recoil was also similar at the range. Photo: Jim Davis.

Both pistols are very close in price, being slightly under the $500 mark at my local gun shop. The Sig was $495, while the FN was $469.

All things considered, my recommendation goes strongly for the Sig P365. It’s light, very concealable, boringly reliable, and amazingly accurate, which is why it has become my new carry gun.

To be completely honest, I really wanted to like the Reflex more. In fact, I tried hard to like it, but the reliability issues just killed the deal for me. If I could trust it to function, this review would have been a lot tougher to write because it would have come close to being a tie. I acknowledge that any manufacturer can put out a lemon, and it’s happened to me before with other manufacturers. Taking this into account, I imagine that’s exactly what happened to me here: I got a lemon. With that said, it was enough to sour me toward the Reflex.

As it is, Sig will get my hard-earned dollars.

Jim Davis served in the PA Dept. of Corrections for 16 ½ years as a corrections officer in the State Correctional Institute at Graterford and later at SCI Phoenix. He served on the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), several of those years as a sniper, and also the Fire Emergency Response Team (FERT). For 25 years, he was a professional instructor, teaching topics including Defensive Tactics, Riot Control and Tactical Operations, Immediate Responder, and cognitive programs as an adjunct instructor at the DOC Training Academy. He was then promoted to the title of corrections counselor, where he ran a caseload and facilitated cognitive therapy classes to inmates. His total service time was close to 29 years. He was involved in many violent encounters on duty, including incidents of fatalities. He is a dedicated Christian and attributes any skills that he has to the glory of God.

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