SIG P365 Nitron Micro-Compact 365-9-BXR3 9mm Luger

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GUN TESTS GRADE: B

$465

The P365 is the priciest pistol tested. Yet we routinely see these pistols at shops marked up over $500, and used pistols with an asking price well over $400. The pistol is popular and seems to hold its value. Our job is to determine what that value may be in a practical sense. The pistol features the standard for modern times, a prepped or partly cocked striker, when the pistol is at ready. The striker is loaded or prepped by racking the slide. The trigger is pressed to move the striker to the rear, breaking the striker against spring pressure. The striker runs forward and the pistol fires. We found the trigger action smooth enough. There is no spongy reset; this pistol features a sharp reset. The trigger action broke cleanly at 6.3 pounds originally, settling into 6.0 pounds by the end of the test period.

Action Type

Semi-auto striker fired, short recoil-operated locked breech, double action only

Overall Length

5.8 in.

Overall Height

4.4 in.

Maximum Width

1.0 in.

Weight Unloaded

17.8 oz.

Weight Loaded

20.9 oz.

Slide

Stainless steel, black Nitron finish

Slide Retraction Effort

17.5 lbs.

Receiver Material

Black polymer

Front Strap Height

1.8 in.

Back Strap Height

2.5 in.

Barrel

3.1 in. long, carbon steel

Grip Thickness Maximum

0.9 in.

Grip Circumference

4.9 in.

Magazines

(2) 10-round stainless

Rear Sight

Drift adjustable, X-RAY3 Day/Night

Front Sight

Dovetail post

Sight Radius

5.0 in.

Trigger Pull Weight

6.0 lbs.

Trigger Span

2.5 in.

Safety

No manual safety

Made In

USA

Warranty

Limited lifetime

Telephone

(603) 610-3000

Website

SIGSauer.com

 

The slide is Nitron coated and should be resistant to corrosion. The slide features a good set of combat sights that we found worked well in both rapid fire and in firing for maximum accuracy. The pistol also features forward cocking serrations. The frame is comfortable for most hand sizes and properly pebbled. The grip frame is designed, according to SIG, around the 10-round magazine. The magazine is surprisingly slim for a 10-round magazine, but if you look at the whole picture, it is understandable. Most of the slimline 9mm magazines are not exactly vertically aligned, but rather staggered, which allows the designers to fit 7 rounds into a 6-round platform. SIG was able to fit the 10-round magazine into the P365 with a modest 0.45-inch magazine extension. The resulting design is 0.1 inch thinner than most any double-column magazine.

The result is a remarkably slim grip frame for the capacity. We understand why engineers were tasked to design the magazine first. The category of handguns that is most popular in America for concealed carry is the slimline 9mm. The single stacks will be threatened by the 10-round-magazine SIG P365, we believe.

The pistol features but three controls, the takedown lever, slide lock, and magazine release. The pistol is as small as possible. This is good for concealed carry but not ideal for handling. The pistol demands a different set of skills than handling a full-size pistol. Considerable adjustment, as an example, is demanded when moving from the Rex Delta to the SIG P365. The thumbs-forward grip many of us use isn’t possible with the slim P365. The controls are tight, and one of the raters let his thumb drift into the slide during his firing strings. This was not counted against the pistol, this is shooter error. Another rater allowed his thumb to press against the slide of the SIG P365 during firing and slowed the slide down enough to cause a short cycle. No fault of the gun, but a serious consideration for anyone adopting the P365 for personal defense. That said, the pistol gave good results on the firing range. During combat firing, the pistol was the equal of the Ruger, perhaps slightly superior overall. We felt the trigger action of the SIG was superior to the Ruger 9mm handgun. Recoil, however, was considerably stiffer than the Ruger’s, we thought.

When we fired the P365 from a solid benchrest, the SIG turned in smaller groups than the Ruger, but not by a huge margin. The SIG features good sights and also features a good trigger action. A drawback is that while the P365 features a light rail, it will only accept certain SIG lights.

When firing the pistol, we used it in several drills, including retention drills and weak-hand drills. This is a test of function that will expose a propensity toward short cycles. The pistol functioned fine and never stuttered during this test. Recoil with the +P load, however, as one rater stated, was startling. When firing the Winchester PDX +P load in the Stoeger and Arex pistols, there was little discernible difference in recoil. The 9mm simply isn’t a hard kicker. In the Ruger, we noticed the difference, and in the SIG, recoil was stout.

This is another consideration when choosing a personal-defense handgun, and the tolerance for recoil will differ from person to person.

The SIG P365 gave a credible showing in the personal defense drills, clearly equal to the Ruger. In firing for maximum accuracy, neither the Ruger Security-9 Compact or the SIG P365 was a tackdriver, but each was accurate enough for personal defense. The SIG had the edge in absolute accuracy. We feel that this edge was primarily a result of the SIG’s superior trigger action. We rated the pistol down a half grade on cramped hand fit for some raters, which is part of the game for such a compact pistol, and another on the expense. Just the same, this is a credible handgun that should serve many shooters well.


Our Team Said

  • We would buy the Ruger Security-9 Compact and use it with confidence. We would also purchase the SIG P365 Micro-Compact. The Ruger is the better buy, in our opinion, but we recognize the SIG offers good performance, and we especially liked the SIG trigger.
  • In the case of the service-size pistols, the race was not as close. The Stoeger STR-9 is comparable to a Glock 17 in many ways and performed with reliability using full-power loads. But there were nagging concerns with the STR-9 that Glock fixed a long time ago. The STR-9’s magazines do not drop free, so you will not run a combat course in record time with this gun. The rear sight coming loose isn’t worth nagging about, and while it could have happened to any handgun, it hasn’t happened to many we’ve tested. The magazines were very difficult to load, going past an inconvenience to a genuine deal breaker. They were simply too stiff and never lightened enough for the raters to comfortably load the magazines to full capacity. In most ways, the STR-9 is a reliable half-price Glock, but we wouldn’t buy it.
  • The Rex Delta is smaller than the Stoeger in most dimensions, equally reliable, and exhibited no problems with the trigger, magazine, slide lock, or accuracy. The bottom line is the Rex Delta is well worth a few more dollars than the STR-9.
  • When we began these tests, we were looking for economical handguns that will serve well for personal defense. One of the raters pointed out that most of us need a larger gun and a smaller gun — one for home defense and carry under a jacket, the other for concealed carry under a polo shirt. The Rex Delta is a compromise that would do well in either role.

Written and photographed by Gun Tests Staff, using evaluations from Gun Tests team testers.

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