April 28, 2023
In 2018, SIG Sauer hit a homerun with the introduction of its micro compact 9mm-chambered P365 pistol. With its previously unheard-of capacity-to-size ratio, it’s no exaggeration to say this little pistol revolutionized the firearms industry.
For comparison, the similarly sized Glock 43, which preceded the P365 by about three years, featured a flush-fit, six-round magazine. The P365’s flush-fit magazine held 10 rounds. The extended magazine held 12 rounds and provided just enough room to establish a full firing grip. Thanks to the P365, you no longer had to carry a bigger gun to have a double-digit round count.
Glock answered with its 43X and 48 models, which upped the capacity to 10 rounds. Springfield entered the micro-compact 9mm capacity competition with its Hellcat, which trumped them all with an extended magazine that held 13 rounds.
But the P365 had more going for it than just capacity. The P365’s X-Ray3 day/night sights were certainly an upgrade over stock Glock sights, and I preferred the P365’s trigger to both offerings from Glock and Springfield, which is why the P365 has been my primary carry gun ever since I got my hands on it.
Known for innovation, especially in recent years, SIG has continued to grow the P365 family. The P365-XMacro, its latest iteration, is what you might call “full grown.” Since the appeal of the P365 seemed to be its just-right size, many wonder if its progressively bigger variants make sense.
That seems to be a fair question, one I was excited to answer for myself. First, let’s consider just how much bigger the XMacro is than the P365. SIG is calling this all-new frame size a “macro-compact,” as opposed to a “micro-compact” like the P365. The XMacro has an overall length of 6.6 inches, a little less than an inch longer than the P365. It’s also just shy of an inch taller than the P365.
The longer grip accommodates a 17-round magazine, despite the pistol’s being virtually the same width. At 21.5 ounces, the XMacro is 3.7 ounces heavier than the P365.
In addition to being bigger, the XMacro boasts several upgrades. First, it has a three-slot standard 1913 rail, as opposed to the P365’s proprietary rail.
No doubt, this was no in response to customers complaining that the P365 wasn’t compatible with their favorite weapon light. With the XMacro, the 1913 rail gives the user the option of mounting virtually any weapon light and not just those specifically designed for the P365 or P365XL.
The XMacro’s stainless steel slide is integrally compensated. It extends well beyond the 3.1-inch carbon steel barrel and features two horizontal ports designed to direct gases upward, thus mitigating muzzle flip associated with recoil. Less muzzle flip translates to faster shot-to-shot recovery and increased accuracy, as the sights are more likely to align quickly and properly when settling from reduced muzzle flip.
The nitride-finished slide sports the familiar front and rear slide serrations for easy manipulation, and like the P365, the XMacro wears SIG’s X-Ray3 day/night sights for 24/7 aiming (Ed. note: See Nance’s column on this topic elsewhere in this issue). The XMacro’s slide is optic ready, cut to accept red dot sights of the popular Shield RMSc mounting footprint.
A pronounced beavertail and an undercut trigger guard ensure you get a high hold on the P365-XMacro for optimal recoil management. This is incredibly important because the closer your hand is to the bore of the pistol, the more recoil forces will drive the muzzle rearward as opposed to upward—with the former being much easier to manage.
The grip texture is consistent with the P365s that came before the XMacro. It’s just enough to facilitate a solid shooting grip but not enough to cause discomfort or snag a cover garment, which could potentially snag your draw.
I found the XMacro’s controls to be properly sized and within easy reach without altering my grip. The magazine release is identical to the P365’s except that it’s serrated to prevent slippage when you’re trying to eject a magazine. The slide stop and takedown lever are the same as the P365’s.
The XMacro features the XSeries trigger, meaning it’s flat faced rather than curved. It also breaks at 90 degrees, which I like.
However, while serviceable, the XMacro’s trigger is nothing to write home about. There was considerable take-up in the test gun’s pull, and with each press of the trigger, I could feel a bit of grittiness as I waited for the shot to break.
However, t rigger reset was relatively short and well defined by a perceptible snap and an audible click. Subsequent shots were easier to manage because there was no take-up to contend with. I suspect the trigger will smooth out over time as I put more rounds through the pistol, but out of the box it wasn’t stellar.
The trigger pull weight measured about five pounds, which isn’t bad. I prefer the trigger on my P365, but that may be a familiarity bias coupled with the fact that the latter has been well broken in. Of course, if the trigger just doesn’t do it for you, there are aftermarket trigger options for the XMacro.
Interchangeable backstraps further distinguish the XMacro from the rest of the P365 family. The medium backstrap comes installed, but you can swap it out for the small or the large backstrap to better fit the grip to your hand. Interchangeable backstraps are rapidly becoming the norm with polymer pistols, and SIG was smart to design this into the XMacro.
The XMacro ships with two 17-round steel magazines with high-visibility orange followers. The steel magazines not only are more durable than polymer, but also seem to slide better into the magazine well. The XMacro’s beveled magazine well also helps in that regard. The baseplates have just enough of a lip to grab onto should the magazine need to be pulled from the pistol.
As far as night sights go, the X-Ray3s are about the best I’ve used. But having recently turned 50, I’m having a harder time getting that crystal-clear front sight focus I once took for granted. That’s one reason I’m a big proponent of red dot sights.
My test gun shipped with SIG’s Romeo Zero Elite micro reflex sight, which features a two-m.o.a. red dot with the option of a 32-m.o.a. circle around it. (SIG also offers a version with a three-m.o.a. red dot but no circle option). Aspherical glass guarantees a distortion-free view. A steel shroud protects the Romeo Zero Elite’s carbon-infused polymer body. The Romeo Zero Elite weighs just a half-ounce.
TAP (Touch Activated Programming) enables you to switch reticles and to adjust between eight daytime brightness settings by depressing the brightness button, which is located just on the shooter’s side of the glass, then lightly tapping anywhere on the housing. The Romeo Zero Elite is powered for up to 20,000 hours by a single CR1632 battery.
The backup rear sight notch is marked with Grade A Swiss Super-LumiNova pigment, which can be used to help aim the pistol in a darkened environment should the dot go out. Made by SIG and priced at just $220, the Romeo Zero Elite is a viable option for those looking to upgrade their XMacro with a red dot.
Testing this pistol also gave me the opportunity to work with SIG’s aluminum-housed SIG Foxtrot2 weapon light, which generates a 580-lumen output with 13,000 candela. It is well suited for the new P365-XMacro thanks to its standard 1913 accessory rail. A four-position sliding rail allows users to adjust the position of the light on the firearm.
This combined with four interchangeable ambidextrous paddle designs enable users to customize the light to their preferences. Powered by a CR123 battery, the Foxtrot2 has a runtime of one hour. At $161, it’s a great weapon-light option for the XMacro.
Back to the pistol itself. The XMacro performed flawlessly and incurred zero malfunctions during my testing. The gun seemed to be the perfect size to shoot, albeit slightly more difficult to conceal than the P365, its older but smaller brother. The combination of its longer grip, compensated slide and weight made the 9mm’s recoil even less of an issue than usual.
Average size for a five-shot group at 15 yards ranged from two to 2.3 inches, and as you can see in the accompanying accuracy chart, all three loads I tested shot about the same.
While accuracy results from a sandbag rest are part of the evaluation process, I place more stock in how a defensive handgun functions, how it feels to shoot, and whether I can achieve rapid, combat accurate hits with it. The XMacro unequivocally checked all the boxes.
Admittedly, I was hampered by the rules on the public range where I tested the gun, which included no more than one round per second and a prohibition against drawing from the holster. I plan to get some holster work in with the XMacro before I start carrying it because I’m buying this one.
SIG touts that Macro means “more”—as in more capacity (17+1), more shootability (integrated comp) and more concealability (a one-inch width). The XMacro shot like a thinner, more ergonomically designed Glock 19, which is quite a compliment considering I’ve carried a Glock on duty throughout my 26-year law enforcement career, and it was the gun I learned to shoot with.
There will be some who think the XMacro is too big, and maybe for them, it is. There is no doubt SIG modified the recipe that made its P365 the hottest-selling micro-compact pistol on the planet. That said, I found the XMacro to be in a class by itself: micro-compact concealability, compact handling and ergonomics, and full-size capacity. I guess that’s why SIG is calling it a “macro compact.”
Sig Sauer P365-XMacro Specifications
- Type: Striker-fired semiauto centerfire
- Caliber: 9mm Luger
- Capacity: 17+1
- Barrel: 3.1 in.
- OAL/Height/Width: 6.6/5.2/1.1 in.
- Weight: 21.5 oz.
- Construction: Nitron-finished stainless steel slide, black polymer frame
- Sights: X-Ray 3 day/night; red dot ready
- Safeties: Internal
- Trigger: Flat, 5 lb. pull (measured)
- Price: $800 (MAP)
- Manufacturer: SIG Sauer, SIGsauer.com