While some might argue that the old saw that carrying should be “comforting, not comfortable” is outdated, it nonetheless remains a driving force in deciding what and how to carry. It certainly guided my decision-making. I was steadfast in my opinion that I’d abide by the challenge of toting a full-size handgun that I can shoot effectively and efficiently, rather than opting for an easier-to-carry model that I didn’t think could compare on those fronts.
Such was my thinking before SIG Sauer unveiled its P365, which is said to offer the best of both worlds—the size of a micro-compact that packs a full-size, full-power punch. And, even better from a brand loyalist’s point of view, this up-and-comer could even be described as my preferred gun’s “little brother.” Thus, I decided it was time to challenge the “comforting, not comfortable” notion.
For those who don’t know, the folks at SIG built this gun from the magazine up. Their mission was to come up with a design that would allow the gun to hold more than the six or seven cartridges common to guns in the micro-compact class. The result was a proprietary stacking system that allows for 10 rounds to fit into a magazine that requires no increase in width. That number goes up to 12 with an extended magazine. Couple that with the energy measure (a colleague at American Rifleman reported 355 foot-pounds of energy with SIG V-Crown 124-grain ammunition), and this gun brings a power that’s comparable to that of its big brothers in the Legion Series (362 ft.-lbs. with SIG Sauer Elite Performance 124-grain rounds).
I carried the P365 in a BlackPoint Tactical Mini WING IWB holster and, yes, it’s far more comfortable to carry than a full-size 9 mm SIG model. Apparently, size does matter when you’re talking about cutting more than 2 inches off the length of the gun. (I finally found a way around that conundrum when carrying my full-size handgun, but when it comes to wearing the two guns in the same manner, the P365 is less of an obtrusion, to be sure.)
Of course, comfort isn’t everything when it comes to self-defense. Effectiveness and efficiency matter, too. And, no surprise, the gun performed well on the range.
That’s not to say it wasn’t an adjustment. I’ve never considered myself to have big hands, but I had to adjust to the loss of real estate that comes with losing more than an inch in height (4.3 inches, as opposed to 5.5 for my full-size P320),
SIG makes a concerted effort to help you through this. The P365 comes with two 10-round magazines, one of which offers a flush fit and the other with a grip extension. That makes enough of a difference for most people, but if you want even more, the 12-round optional magazine beckons.
As for performance, I registered consistently good groupings at 3 and 5 yards, so it lives up to expectations on the accuracy front. There were occasional glitches where the slide didn’t return to full battery. I couldn’t pinpoint whether the gun didn’t like the ammunition or whether my grip was nudging up the slide lock just enough to interfere with slide reciprocation.
All in all, though, the glitches are minor and not insurmountable, making the P365 a good choice for someone who is willing to rethink the concept of carry having to be uncomfortable.