Last year on the set of “Handguns & Defensive Weapons” I got to shoot the then-new SIG P365. I came away so impressed with it that I bought one, and it became my daily carry gun. It’s an impressive subcompact—or, as SIG’s marketing folks describe it, a “micro compact.” Now the company is offering it with an ambidextrous manual safety.
First, the base pistol if you’re not familiar with it. It’s a +P-rated 9mm with a 10+1 capacity, with 12- and now even 15-round magazines available. It measures 5.8 inches overall, with a width of just an inch and height of 4.3 inches. It weighs in at a mere 17.8 ounces. So you’ve got a lot of 9mm at your disposal in an incredibly light and compact package. But what I really love about it is it doesn’t shoot like a little gun, and that’s why I bought it: I shoot it nearly as well as I do a full-size 9mm.
Part of the reason for this is the trigger. It’s super nice for a striker-fired gun, the pull coming in at around seven pounds on the samples I’ve tried. It has about a quarter-inch of take-up, and there’s a bit of creep, but overall it has a great feel and it’s easy to break good shots. And if you’re a person who pays attention to reset, this one is short and resets with a definite click.
The grip is well designed, with a subtle groove underneath the trigger guard for your middle finger and a slightly rounded backstrap. The stippling is nicely aggressive but not so much so it chews up your hands. With the flush magazine in place, my little finger can just contact the pistol, enhancing control.
The P365 has SIG’s excellent X-Ray3 day/night sights. There are two tritium lamps on the rear notch, and the front sports a tritium dot surrounding by a ring of bright green. I love the front sight. Between the overall size and the green ring I can really pick it up quickly for fast follow-up shots.
The Nitron-finished stainless steel slide features shallow but sharply cut serrations front and back. There’s a slight bevel at the front to aid holstering. Last but not least, the triangular magazine release is easy to operate, although as is common with pistols of this size, it takes practice to drop magazines cleanly because the little finger can often trap the mag in place. The gun comes with one flush-fit mag and one with an extension.
Now, about that safety. SIG recognized that a significant portion of the defensive pistol market wants a manual safety because some people simply feel better having a manual safety.
This is a good one. As I mentioned, it’s ambidextrous, and befitting a carry pistol the levers aren’t very large. But they are perfectly shaped for positive function, and the safety snicks on and off with just the right amount of tension.
It seems to me the P365 has become the gold standard of 9mm carry guns: small, light, lots of capacity and with a good trigger and great sights. With the addition of the manual safety I predict it will become even more popular overall.
SIG Sauer P365 MS
Type: striker-fired semiauto
Capacity: 10+1, with optional higher-capacity magazines
Barrel: 3.1 in.
Overall length: 5.8 in.
Height: 4.3 in.
Width: 1.0 in.
Weight: 17.8 oz.
Construction: Nitron-finished stainless steel slide, polymer frame
Sights: SIG X-Ray3 day/night
Safety: ambidextrous thumb
Manufacturer: SIG Sauer, SIGsauer.com