August 11, 2022
Without a doubt, more people than ever are thinking about self-protection and looking to obtain both a pistol and a permit to carry. The question I’ve heard from many, especially those entirely new to firearms is: which pistol is best? Unfortunately, there is no blanket answer to this question. There is only one pistol that best meets your particular needs and requirements. One model that really shook up the concealed carry market though is SIG Sauer’s P365. This was due to the amount of performance squeezed into such a small package. Now, SIG Sauer is shaking things up again with their new P365-XMACRO!
So, what is so special about SIG Sauer’s new P365-XMACRO? I suppose the easiest way to describe it is they gave a 9mm P365 the “Roland Special” treatment, but in reality they did much more. At first glance you will notice it is Red Dot Ready, has an integral compensator, M1913 Picatinny rail for accessories and an entirely new and longer grip frame. Magazine capacity now is an impressive 17+1 and it even has changeable back-straps. Before I dive into the new P365-XMACRO though, let’s take a quick look at where it came from.
SIG Sauer’s original 9mm P365 became hugely popular due to a few factors: its compact size, caliber, capacity and how easy it is to shoot well. It is small and fairly narrow making it very easy to conceal. Plus, it is fairly light so you can carry it all day without noticing it. Better still, it is chambered for the readily available 9mm cartridge, so it has the performance of a service pistol, but in a smaller package. For peace of mind, it has a capacity of 10+1, 12+1 or 15+1 depending upon which size magazine you select. What I like best though, is it puts all of these features into a pistol which is very easy to shoot well. The end result is a pistol well-suited for concealed carry and personal protection.
The impact SIG Sauer had on the concealed carry handgun market with their P365 should not be downplayed. Here was a 9mm pistol that carried as easy as a compact five-shot J-frame revolver but could match the capacity of a Glock 19. Once its teething problems were addressed it went on to reshape the market. Suddenly designs like the single-stack 9mm Glock 43 looked outdated. Why carry a five-shot .38 Special snubby or a six-shot single-stack 9mm when you could carry a P365? Other companies quickly rushed to bring more competitive designs to market, such a Springfield Armory’s Hellcat, as your average armed citizen re-evaluated what they were looking for in a handgun slated for concealed carry.
Then, something interesting happened. Owners of SIG Sauer’s little P365 began to realize the potential of the design and began thinking about if it had a big brother. Many began to desire a new model that kept the best features of the P365, but allowed it to perform like a full-size duty gun. Not as a replacement for their P365, but as an additional model to complement it. Something narrow like the P365, light and compact, but which cranked the performance up even further. Basically, to use old-fashioned car lingo, a factory hot-rodded P365.
Evidently, SIG Sauer agreed and we now have their new P365-XMACRO to consider. The engineers at SIG Sauer carefully examined the original design and laid out a path to give it “duty gun” performance. Keep in mind, there are some basic points that must be taken into consideration when considering a handgun for personal protection:
1. It must be 100% reliable.
2. It must be small and light enough so you will have it when you need it.
3. It must be accurate and ergonomic enough for you to be able to make rapid multiple hits at realistic distances with it.
4. It must be of heavy enough caliber to be effective in a life-and-death struggle.
5. It must have sufficient capacity to engage multiple threats multiple times.
6. It must accept modern accessories which provide an advantage to the user.
This all sounds relatively straightforward. So, what did SIG Sauer do to make the new P365-XMACRO and how do their changes align with my list above? The new grip module is a big change. The longer design fits larger hands better and allows for clean magazine ejection. Even with my medium size hands, cleanly ejecting the mag on the P365 is something I have to be conscious of due to its very short grip. The new grip frame also facilitates the introduction of a new 17-round magazine. This boosts capacity to 17+1 rounds, that’s duty-size Glock 17 capacity! It even bests Smith & Wesson’s new Shield Plus’s 16+1 in 30 Super Carry. Two magazines come with the pistol for 34+1 out of the box. For peace of mind on the street or recreation on the range, many will love the increased capacity.
But wait, there’s more. While the P365 has some weird proprietary rail on the front of its dustcover the new P365-XMACRO has a 1913 Picatinny rail. This opens the door for it to use all of the readily available tactical white lights and lasers using this system. Plus, the design now features different size backstaps so you can fit the pistol to your hand. It comes with Small, Medium and Large sizes.
While this model features a compact 3.1-inch long barrel like the original P365, the slide is longer than normal as it incorporates an integral compensator. The two-port design is intended to decrease muzzle movement and recovery time to allow you to put shots on target faster. The effectiveness of compensators varies by design and ammunition, but one is incorporated to make this small gun shoot less like a compact gun and more like a duty gun. Faster rounds on target with less work is definitely a plus. The increased blast and flash though from a compensator, especially in lowlight situations and if the pistol is fired in close proximity to your body does need to be considered though. Muzzle flash can be partially addressed through ammunition selection.
You will also note the slide is cut for a Red Dot sight and is compatible with SIG Sauer’s ROMEOZero. So, if you prefer a modern Red Dot not only is the SIG Sauer P365-XMACRO ready to go out of the box, but it retains its rear sight with the dot mounted. This is another plus in my book. If you prefer iron sights, the SIG comes with their popular X-RAY3 Day/Night sights.
OK, so the new SIG Sauer P365-XMACRO has a number of nice features, but the question is, what purpose does it serve? Why would you want a “big” P365? Doesn’t that defeat the entire purpose of a sub-compact? If you want a “big” compact 9mm SIG, why not just get a P320? Is this new model really needed?
While larger, the new P365-XMACRO remains a relatively small and thin design. It is 1.1 inches in width compared to 1.06 for the P365. It is 6.6 inches long compared to the P365’s 5.8 inches and height is 5.2 inches compared to 4.3 inches. Weight has increased slightly from 17.8 ounces to 21.5 ounces. So, the P365-XMACRO is still compact and light for concealed carry. But, it is a step-up in size from the original. That said, it is not in the same class as the P320 or say a Glock 19. Yet it can compete with these larger/wider designs.
My thoughts, if you love the original P365 design and think it’s perfect the way it is, you probably are not going to want to replace it with a P365-XMACRO. The P365 is a great piece. However, you may wish to add a P365-XMACRO to your collection for the times you do want to step up in size or go to a duty-size gun. If you prefer a larger gun, such as a P320 or Glock 19, the P365-XMACRO may be exactly what you are looking for to reduce the size/width and weight of your carry gun to make it easier to conceal and more comfortable to carry day in and day out. If you want only one handgun, that can do it all, then you definitely should look into SIG Sauer’s new P365-XMACRO.
Not everyone is going to like the P365-XMACRO. That’s life. Some will balk at the compensator. Others will say it is too big or just a response to Glock’s 43X and 48 when teamed with aftermarket magazines. Everyone has an opinion. Mine is SIG Sauer is providing the modern features many armed citizens are asking for: Red Dot Ready, a lot of rounds in the magazine, ability to take common accessories, chambered in a common cartridge, easy to hit with, fast to put rounds on target. Basically, the P365-XMACRO is designed to handle any personal protection scenario that can be solved with a handgun. Price? MSRP is a bit steep at $956.99. That is something else to keep in mind. For more information visit www.SIGSauer.com.
If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, we’d love to hear them. Email us at FirearmsNews@Outdoorsg.com.
SIG Sauer P365-XMACRO Specifications
- Caliber: 9x19mm Parabellum
- Operation: Self-loading with tilting barrel
- Barrel Length: 3.1 inches
- Rifling: 6-groove, 1-10 inch twist
- Trigger: Striker, 6-pounds
- Capacity: 17+1
- Weight: 21.5 ounces
- Height: 5.2 inches
- Length: 6.6 inches
- Width: 1.1 inches
- Sights: X-RAY3 Day/Night sights
- Finish: Nitron-finished stainless steel
- MSRP: $956.99
- Manufacturer: SIG Sauer, www.SIGSauer.com
About the Author:
David M. Fortier has been covering firearms, ammunition and optics since 1998. He is a recipient of the Carl Zeiss Outdoor Writer of the Year award and his writing has been recognized by the Civil Rights organization JPFO. In 2007 he covered the war in Iraq as an embedded journalist.