Sig Sauer P365XL: A Range Review

In 2018, Sig’s P365 pistol made a gigantic splash in the concealed carry market. Momentum built quickly, and it hasn’t seemed to have waned one bit since the release.

Yes, shooters love the P365. Some have asked whether or not the design could be improved upon, though many seem to be quite satisfied with the original version. However, like most other manufacturers who have introduced a micro-9mm pistol, Sig has also engineered a few slightly larger, improved pistols to follow the tiny guns.

Sig’s P365XL

It didn’t take long for Sig Sauer to realize that people wanted a slightly larger version of the P365, and in 2019, the P365XL model was released. When I heard the phrase “XL,” I was picturing something pretty large, but I was mistaken. It’s not a huge pistol by any stretch of the imagination.

Some have asked why Sig would up-size a very compact, concealable pistol (the P365) to a larger size (the XL). Wouldn’t that take away the ease of concealment? Springfield Armory made a similar move when they upsized their Hellcat into the Hellcat Pro. Again, why are we seeing this trend?

It has everything to do with the tiny micro-9s being wonderfully concealable and easy to carry but not being so pleasant to actually shoot on the range. Mind you, the little pistols aren’t painful to fire, but they do tend to be a little snappy in the hand. That makes sense, considering that they fire a full-power cartridge (the 9mm), and they’re a very small pistol. That small size seems to amplify the felt recoil.

The P365XL in the hand.
The P365XL feels superb in the hand! A lot of work evidently went into this grip. Also, note the forward serrations on the slide and the straight trigger. All controls were easy to reach without having to shift the pistol too much in the hand. Photo: Jim Davis.

Out of all the micro-9s, the P365 seems to be among those with the least felt recoil. It might even be the most pleasant Micro-9 when it comes to the snappiness. It is also a surprisingly accurate pistol.

And then I beheld Sig’s P365XL. As is often my downfall, I was at my local gun shop and spied a P365XL in the case. I asked to check it out. When I got it into my hand, it felt good—really, really good! The grip is a little longer and just felt right in my hand.

Let’s have a look at the technical specifications of the 365XL.

Tech Specs

  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Capacity: 12 rounds (15 and 17 rounds optional)
  • Sights: 3-dot XRAY3 day/night sights with the ability to accept optics
  • Overall Length: 6.6 inches (Sig lists it as a Micro-Compact)
  • Overall width: 1.1 inches
  • Height: 4.8 inches
  • Barrel length: 3.7 inches
  • Weight: 20.7 ounces
  • Accessory rail: Yes, Sig’s proprietary rail
  • Trigger Action: Striker
  • Trigger type: Xseries straight trigger
  • Slide finish: Nitron
  • Slide material: Stainless
P365XL with two spare mags and lots of spent brass on the range.
Sig’s P365XL ships with two 12-round magazines. Additional magazines in 15- and 17-round capacities are available. The author is a fan of the straight trigger. The 12-round magazines are robustly made and work well. The stippling all around the grip allows the hand to make an excellent purchase, and slipping was not an issue. Photo: Jim Davis.

The rear of the slide has an extended beavertail, allowing a nice, high grip. The magazine well is slightly flared at the base, which helps to funnel the magazines into the well.

The slightly longer barrel and grip add approximately 1/2-inch to the length and height of the P365XL when compared to the P365.


One might think that such tiny increases in size wouldn’t really make a dramatic difference in how the pistol shoots. I certainly didn’t think it would be a big deal.

As far as recoil is concerned, the P365XL does seem to handle the 9mm better than its little brother. Not dramatically, but the difference is there. It’s fairly easy to run the P365XL pistol quickly, landing rapid hits on the target.

The overall feel in the hand is that it’s longer and feels thinner (it’s really not thinner). To me, it feels sleeker and lighter than the standard P365. I appreciate the 12+1 capacity. It dawned on me that this little pistol carries nearly as many rounds as Sig’s old P228, which is a much larger pistol than the little P365XL.


As I mentioned, the grip is super comfortable and locks into my grip so well. The stippling all around the grip is rough enough that the hand gets an excellent purchase on the pistol, but it’s not so rough that it will destroy clothing when carried concealed. The grip is just long enough as to be perfect for my medium hands. There’s no grip extending below my hand, and yet it’s not too short. The flared mag well helps to get the magazines in quickly and easily during speed loads.


Sig’s XRAY3 3-dot night/day sights are just okay. For the rear sights, the white dots could be brighter so I could see them better during the day. At night, they glow nicely, allowing them to be seen more easily since they use tritium.

The front sight also has a white tritium insert, which glows at night a little more brightly than the rear sights, so it’s easy to pick up. There is a light green circle surrounding the tritium on the front sight post, which isn’t bad for acquiring during the day. I’d like to see it a little brighter color, though.


Sig used a straight trigger on the P365XL, and I admit to liking the feel of it quite a bit. It seems to create better leverage than the P365’s curved trigger. The XL’s straight trigger may have turned me as far as straight triggers are concerned.

As for the trigger pull…come on, Sig, you’re killin’ me! The takeup is smooth and light, so no issues there. We hit the wall, and then there’s creep. A long, spongy creep precedes the break. It’s creepier than a van with “Free Candy” spray painted on the side of it parked next to a playground. And it’s not just the XL version; the P365 also has a similar trigger.

Despite the trigger creep, I was able to get some outstanding accuracy from the P365XL.


As the accompanying photo shows, I was able to get some impressive accuracy from the P365XL while rapid firing. In fact, I was pleasantly startled by the level of accuracy that this pistol is capable of (and I don’t consider myself to be a great shot). It actually surpasses that of some full-sized pistols I have. Most of the rounds went into one ragged hole, with some fliers that were my fault.

A group fired by the P365XL.
The little Sig’s accuracy is phenomenal! With the exception of a few fliers (the author’s fault), the rounds created one ragged hole during rapid fire from 10 yards. We shot the pistol out to 20 yards, and it was still very accurate at that range. Photo: Jim Davis.


All edges of the slide are melted, so there are no sharp edges, including on the front of the slide, so it’s easier to holster the pistol. There are both front and rear cocking serrations that are deep enough to be useful.

There is a loaded chamber indicator in the form of a window cut into the hood of the locking block.

The Nitron finish is matte black and has been holding up well. A removable plate on the top rear of the slide allows for easy mounting of an optic.


The magazine release is triangular in shape, is easy to reach with the thumb, and works well. The other main control is the slide stop/release. It’s large enough and protrudes far enough out to actually be useful, but it doesn’t get in the way.

Fire Control Unit

Each pistol in the P365 lineup has a stainless steel Fire Control Unit that can actually be switched between each pistol. If you owned one FCU, you could move it from one grip module to another. That’s useful because you could conceivably buy one FCU and have several different pistols by moving it from frame to frame.

The FCU is considered to be the firearm, not the grip frame, as with many other pistols. It is truly modular.

At The Range

When firing the P365XL at the range, the sights seemed to rebound right back down onto the target naturally. It was as if I did not have to reacquire the target between shots; the pistol did it for me. Overall, this made the pistol a lot of fun to shoot and set it apart from the majority of other pistols on the market that I’m familiar with.

A stoppage with the P365XL.
We experienced one stoppage with CCI Brass FMJ ammunition, the round did not chamber. The rest of the test went without a hitch. Photo: Jim Davis.

There was one slight bobble on the range: in the first magazine or so, the pistol suffered one stoppage. No, it was not a jam (jam is what you spread on toast). The round went up the feed ramp, and then it did not want to chamber. After that, it ran perfectly for every single other round we put through it. We tried a variety of ammunition with the XL, from cheap to high quality, and it ate everything reliably. The single stoppage did not shake my faith in the little Sig; I just think it needed a couple of rounds to break it in. In fact, I suspect that perhaps the round of ammunition might not have been properly sized or somehow out of spec, although I have no way to confirm that. At any rate, no more stoppages have occurred since.

We also ran some Nosler ASP 9mm 124-grain hollow point ammo through it, as well as Nosler Bonded Tip 124-grain defensive ammunition. The Sig ate it up and asked for more. This is great ammo, by the way.

Closing Thoughts

Sig really has something here with their P365XL. The accuracy capability far exceeds the size and weight ratio of this pistol. It feels super in the hand. The slight addition of size and weight really makes this pistol easy to control, especially during rapid fire, and adds to the overall feel.

Zombie target, P365XL.
The author fired as rapidly as he could return the sights to the target. Nosler’s ASP ammunition held up its end of the deal, as did the P365XL. That’s one dead zombie! Photo: Jim Davis.

In full disclosure, Sig did not send this pistol to me or support this review in any way. I bought it at my local gun shop for $579, which is competitive with most other comparable pistols on the market.

For carrying the P365XL, I have selected the Inside Heat holster from DeSantis Gunhide, a maker that has never let me down. I’ve been consistently impressed with all of the holsters that I’ve received from that company. The Inside Heat is a leather IWB holster that has proven to be very comfortable and secure.

I’m also satisfied with the 12+1 round capacity. At some point, I’ll grab a 15-round magazine or two, probably to carry as an emergency backup, just in case.

The P365XL is like shooting a full-sized pistol but in a very compact, light, concealable package. I believe this is going to become my primary carry pistol, as it’s knocked the others out of that coveted spot.

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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