Back in 2018, SIG Sauer dropped the initial P365 at SHOT Show and took the concealed carry market by storm. They were the first to come out with a micro-sized double-stack striker-fired 9mm handgun that was accessible to the masses. I can still remember the excitement buzzing around the booth when they were giving interviews to the various publications about their all-new handgun. Fast forward three years and now the SIG P365 family has grown with multiple variants and sizes to accommodate shooters in today’s market. Let’s take a deeper dive into the P365 family history and current variants.
SIG P365 Family of Pistols @ TFB:
The Original P365
The first original variation of the P365 line was the one handgun to change the market. In today’s market, we have guns like the Springfield Hellcat and Smith & Wesson Shield Plus who all came after SIG’s P365 offering back in 2018. This small compact handgun packs 10+1 capacity with a total length measuring just under six inches. The P365 weighs in just under 18oz making it an easy gun to carry all day even if it’s a hot summer day. I bought my original P365 in February of 2018 and it has worked flawlessly even after roughly 4,000 rounds. Mine is a very early edition with the SIGLite night sights instead of the X-Ray tritium night sights that come standard on all models now.
Back in 2018, the P365 really did make waves in the gun world with such a compact gun that has the capacity it does. Even after a few years, the P365 remains a very popular choice with a range of aftermarket features and different magazine choices. Shortly after the original release of the P365, SIG decided to drop its 12 round extended magazine. This new extended magazine helped larger handed shooters have a full grip on the gun. Having the extra grip length made it much easier to shoot comfortably at the range as well as gave you a few more rounds to shoot when target shooting. The extended 12 round magazine would eventually lead to a new route for SIG to go down ultimately expanding the P365 lineage.
The P365 XL
About 18 months after the original P365 was released, we were introduced to the P365 XL in June of 2019. This updated variant still uses the original P365 fire control unit but gains a few different aspects than the compact original. The biggest difference from the original is the larger grip module that held a 12 round flush-fitting magazine. At that time, SIG was starting to switch their upgraded P320 models from round triggers to a flat face trigger shoe which made its debut on the P365 XL as well. The slide and barrel length are roughly a half inch longer than the original P365 but these small changes make a big difference in the overall shootability for people with larger hands.
All those little changes transformed the regular P365 into a completely different feeling handgun. The longer sight picture made it feel a tad bit more accurate and the longer frame let the shooter have all of his fingers on the handgun. It really made the gun feel more controllable and overall easier to shoot both in a self-defense situation as well as recreationally at the range. This was the first model which came with a removable rear sight. This plate can be taken off to install one of SIG’s RomeoZero red dots. Having the option straight from the factory to either use iron sights or a red dot was definitely an added plus when it came to customization.
Combine that with the ability to use the smaller P365 frames for easier concealability, and you have a very modular package. One of my favorite configurations is having the longer XL slide with the shorter P365 frame. You can mix and match the frames and slides from both the XL variant and regular version to create the exact setup you would like. Additionally, you can pick from a number of aftermarket frame offerings that vary from stippled polymer frames to alternative metal frames. Couple the customizable frames with aftermarket parts as well as the optics cut and you have an extremely customizable carry gun.
The P365 SAS
A few months after the P365XL debuted, the SAS variant dropped in October of 2019. The main purpose of the SAS variant (SIG Anti Snag) is to have a slick handgun with little to no snag points. This means the front and rear sights were taken off the handgun and replaced with the FT Bullseye fiber optic sight system. This fiber optic system is embedded into the SAS’s slide which substitutes the need for exposed sights. The slide release is also shrunk and recessed to make it less of a snag point as well from the larger original version. The takedown lever was taken off and replaced with a recessed flat head point to turn in an effort to keep it as snag-free as possible.
SIG was really going for a low-profile handgun that was extremely easy to conceal inside a pocket or jacket where you can pull and shoot without struggling. The fiber optic FT Bullseye sights are an interesting concept of having both fiber optic as well as Tritium sights so you’ll always have a clear easily visible sight picture. The SAS was designed for up close situations where you need something fast to defend yourself. This won’t be the gun to shoot at a distance but it’s a purpose-built handgun and it excels at what it was designed to do.
One of the newest kids on the block, the P365X is like a great hits mashup of other models to create an extremely comfortable yet compact package. SIG decided to incorporate an optics cut on the slide of a regular P365 slide which hasn’t been done from SIG on a factory firearm. In addition to the optics cut, SIG also included the flat-faced trigger from the P365 XL to the new X variant as a factory upgrade. All these upgrades are modular with other models and frames which means you can make a regular optics-ready P365 if you want a super small package. I will have a separate review of the P365X out in the next few weeks but so far I’m really impressed with the overall performance when carrying it concealed and at the range as well.
The P365X is the next step to incorporate a longer frame with an optic on the shorter slide profile really rounding out all the models to create a setup for everyone. Whether you want a shorter slide with a larger grip area or the opposite with a longer slide and shorter frame, it’s possible to customize your P365 to make it exactly what you want.
Over the last few years, SIG has continued to develop various models to fill the needs of shooters in the concealed carry market. They took the ideas and concepts of the P320 and compacted them to build a small yet extremely modular carry pistol that can fit a variety of hands and preferences from concealed carriers. I get questions all the time about various models and this is the simplest way to explain the various models of the P365 family of pistols to show exactly what model will work best for you.
Let me know what your favorite model is in the comments below. Do you guys have one of these models or are you looking to purchase one soon? Let me know down below because I love hearing different perspectives when it comes to carry guns. If you have any questions about the P365s or just firearm questions in general, don’t hesitate to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!
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SIG’s P365 Family History and Current Variants -The Firearm Blog is written by Matt E for www.thefirearmblog.com