The Sig Sauer P365 series has been one of the most popular concealed carry handguns on the market for the last 3+ years. Since the P365XL came out, Sig has kept up with the ever growing market trend of having the smallest gun to largest ammo capacity ratio. With the P365XL being the bigger brother to the original that started the high capacity micro-compact craze, is the XL worth the extra size? In this article we will be taking a closer look at the Sig P365XL to see if it’s the right firearm for you.

Getting Into The Details Of The P365XL

Sig chose to keep a lot of the features the same when creating the XL version. Like the grip texture, slide serrations, magazine release, the undercut to the trigger guard, and proprietary accessories rail. The biggest difference for the P365XL is its capacity, optics compatibility, trigger shape, and of course its size. So how much larger is the XL over the original? Overall the P365XL is still a small handgun comparatively to other handguns on the market, however in comparison to the P365, the extra 0.6” to the barrel length and the 0.5” for the height makes this handgun feel more stable in the hands.

The ability to carry as much ammo in the smallest possible size is what gave the original P365 the edge amongst other brands within the concealed carry market at the time of its release. Fast forward to today and it’s easy to argue that having more ammunition in a concealable handgun is indeed wise. With that being said the P365XL does continue that trend with its two steel 12 round magazines, instead of two 10 round magazines that come with the original P365. Also, extended 15 round magazines are available from Sig.

The P365XL comes out of the box optics compatible and is also sold with Sig’s Romeo Zero series of micro red dot optics. For our review of the P365XL we chose to mount the Holosun HS407k X2. It has been my experience that not every Micro Red Dot Optic that shares an RMSc footprint will work for the Sig P365XL. Given the compatibility of micro red dots with the P365XL, when installed you do lose your rear sight completely. However, red dots on handguns are the future and I believe it's a small price to lose your rear sight for the obvious benefits of a well made pistol mounted optic.

The shape of the trigger is also a small but noticeable change from the original. Instead of a classic curved shaped trigger, the P365XL comes standard with a flat faced trigger. A flat faced trigger is typically enjoyed by more shooters since it allows for even pressure and leverage onto the trigger, which can help dramatically when shooting rapidly.

Given the extra grip length, drawing and acquiring a high firm grip onto the handgun is much easier and repeatable with the P365XL. One special thing that Sig did really well was keeping the undercut of the trigger guard smooth. The grip texture is smooth enough to carry next to the skin but grippy enough for when your hands are wet. Per usual from Sig, the P365XL has amazing ergonomics. 

How Does The P365XL Hold Up At The Range?

When shooting the P365XL I also shot the P365 as a comparison. I believe if you were interested in purchasing the P365XL and have had experience shooting the P365 then shooting and dry firing them both would be advantageous. Both shot phenomenally well and both have pretty decent triggers but I will give the slight edge to the P365XL.

Due to the longer grip and length of the P365XL I was able to mitigate the recoil better comparatively to the P365. Many have said that the P365 is a snappy 9mm and I would agree to that general consensus. Although, I would say the P365XL is snappy as well, but less so than the P365. I shot both back to back and I found myself picking up the front sight and getting back on target much faster with the P365XL. Even with the pinky extension on the mag of the P365, while shooting Remington green/white box 115 grain FMJ, the smaller grip of the P365 had me adjusting my grip more frequently between shots. With the P365XL I did not find this to be the case.

Our range time with the Sig P365 and the P365XL was centered around shooting  each handgun as if you had newly purchased it and wanted to get an overall feel for what made each handgun unique. After 2 mags each of slow and methodical shooting, I found myself picking up the speed and easily shooting cadence drills like the BAER Solutions Standard Target. 

When working from the holster during our range time I focused more on the P365XL. After shooting the cadence drills I felt like I wanted to continue to push the speed some more. With the P365XL while using our Total Eclipse 2.0 Holster for OWB carry I was able to reliably get a single hit on steel at 15 yards in 1.5 seconds. Also doing the same drill when running our Nano Holster carrying AIWB (Appendix Inside the Waistband) concealed I was able to get a hit in 1.4 seconds. With some dry fire practice I know those times can be reduced. My colleagues found they were faster from the Total Eclipse 2.0 for OWB and were able to get a hit on steel in a range of time from 1.6 - 2.1 seconds. Needless to say, with a little practice even our most novice shooter on our team was able to make hits in a decent amount of time.

Where I was blown away was with the accuracy of both the P365 and the P365XL.  Now it must be said that I am not a grand master shooter, but I still found myself making hits on the head portion of a C-Zone A-Dap Steel Target from TA Targets at 20 yards. Needless to say that old adage of the gun outshooting the shooter, is very true with both the P365 and P365XL.

Is The P365XL A Viable Every Day Carry Option?

It should come to no surprise that carrying the Sig P365XL is not much different from its predecessor, however the slight benefits are enough for me to prefer the P365XL over the P365. Throughout our time carrying the P365XL we used our Total Eclipse 2.0 Modular Holster and our Nano Holster. I predominantly appendix carry so I mainly used the Nano Holster for AIWB (appendix inside the waistband), while my colleagues mainly carried the P365XL OWB (outside the waistband) with our Total Eclipse 2.0 Holster.

Our Nano Holster is what I used the majority of the time when carrying concealed with the P365XL. I chose the Nano because of its simple but secure easy on and off single clip, plus it took up less beltline real estate which aided with the comfort of appendix carry. Concealing the P365XL was easier for me while carrying appendix versus carrying the Total Eclipse 2.0 OWB on my right hip. For our range trips we all used our Total Eclipse 2.0 for an OWB holster.

Is The P365XL The One For You?

If I had any apprehensions about the P365XL it would be about the trigger. For a handgun that is primarily designed for concealed carry the trigger offers a suitable 5.5-6lbs pull. Where it falls short in my mind is the stacking/course pull. The flat faced trigger helps but once you get past the initial wall the trigger seems to have two layers of grit with the farther you pull. This is only evident if you were to be deliberate and slow while pulling the trigger. If you simply pull through the trigger faster you do not notice it as much. The stacking/course-ness can definitely be a hindering factor when trying to be precise and slow with your shots. Keep in mind most triggers will “break in” and lose some of their sloppy characteristics after you shoot a fair number of rounds through it. So be diligent and learn the characteristics of this trigger if you carry the P365XL. Also get out and train. 

Another minor assessment that I have about the P365XL is the grip, specifically in regards to its size. I have medium to large sized hands and the grip seems to be on the narrow side in regards to the width. If you have larger hands you may struggle with this smaller grip. Where I find the P365XL really shines is with folks that have medium to smaller hands.

During our time shooting the P365XL I found the narrow width of the grip to be a hindrance whenever I was shooting cadence drills. The ergonomics are exceptional but I never felt like I could fully lock the grip down unless I was squeezing the grip extremely tight on the P365XL. With this being the case I was still able to work through it with some adjustment to my grip. Another viable option that has a larger grip is the P320-M18 model from Sig.  We did a blog for this handgun as well which you can check out here. 

So What Do We Think About The P365XL?

If you are still not sure which of these handguns is right for you then there is a middle ground option, the P365X. The P365X has the same slide length as the original P365 but has the same capacity and grip length as the P365XL. So if you want to prioritize capacity/grip length and optic compatibility without the extra barrel length of the P365XL then pick up the P365X.

Sig Sauer has undoubtedly pushed the envelope of what the standard is for smaller handguns with high ammo capacity. The original P365 and the P365XL are both outstanding conceal carry handguns. Backed with the high pedigree of Sig Sauer you will be hard pressed to find an alternative option that matches the craftsmanship of the P365 family.

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