I have been a fan of the SIG P365 for some time. I like the original and gravitated to the SIG P365 XL 9mm as my favorite version. SIG has an unparalleled reputation for reliability in many institutional tests for police and military. This reputation has transferred to its compact pistols as well.
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The micro-compact 9mm is America’s most popular concealed carry handgun. The shooter who trains and practices is well-armed for most difficulties with a lightweight 9mm. It is a big move from the P365 to larger and easier-to-shoot pistols such as the SIG P320 XCompact or the Glock 19. Yet these larger handguns are recognized as easier to shoot well, with lighter recoil and greater magazine capacity. However, they are more difficult to conceal and heavier.
P365 XMACRO Features
A pistol with less compromise in capacity and ease of shooting has been developed. SIG introduced a pistol that is somewhat thinner and easier to conceal than most compact handguns but offers practically the same performance as a larger handgun. Let’s look at the pros and cons of the SIG P365 XMACRO.
A question may be, “Is the P365 XMACRO likely to offer service-grade reliability in the long term?” At 380 rounds through my pistol, it is difficult to predict. The original P365 has proven reliable. Larger guns are fired more often, and users tend to practice with them more. If anything, the P365 XMACRO should be longer lived than the original — all things equal.
Guns don’t usually crack frames, slides, or barrels. The small parts take a beating from recoil, and this is more common in smaller guns with a high round count. The shooter will give up before the pistol, not to mention tapping out the credit card on ammunition.
The appeal of the 365 XMACRO is that it is easier to shoot well than most sub-compact pistols. Practical accuracy is excellent. The pistol features low recoil and a 17-round magazine. Fortunately, the magazines fit older P365 pistols. They simply extend from the magazine well.
After the evaluation period, I found I could carry the XMACRO and the older P365XL. With the two guns onboard, I can add a single high-capacity magazine as a spare gun load. This makes the backup more viable and useful.
The P365 XMACRO is about a half-inch taller than my long-serving XL. The pistol is thin, very thin, and the longer grip remains thin enough for all adult sizes I consulted. The new handle design includes interchangeable grip inserts, which the previous SIG P365 variants did not.
This handle goes a long way in making recoil more comfortable. I never found the P365 a hard kicker, but the difference in control during speed drills is demonstrable. If you have a larger hand, the new grip frame will fit the hand well. My good friend Elgin has heavyweight boxer-sized hands and finds the XMACRO a good fit.
Moving to the slide, things get interesting. The pistol features SIG X-RAY night sights — among the finest factory-installed sights on the market. The pistol is optics-ready. Remove the mounting plate, and you can easily mount a SIG Romeo. A caution, the screws holding the slide cover in place come in from below the slide. They sometimes work loose. Tighten them well and check periodically. Loctite isn’t a bad idea.
The end of the slide is modified to include a dual-port compensator. Unlike the 3.7-inch barrel of the SIG P365 XL, the SIG P365 XMACRO uses a 3.1-inch barrel. The rest of the slide length is taken up with the compensator. A compensator bleeds gas off from the muzzle and redirects this gas upward, resulting in lessened felt recoil.
How does the compensator affect recoil? While the increased handle size makes for greater comfort, the difference is noticeable after firing side-by-side with the original P365 XL. The P365 XL recoils more than the larger heavier Glock 19 while the P365 XMARCO exhibits less recoil. I must rate the compensator as very effective.
The XL’s straight trigger is carried on in the XMACRO. The trigger is a good design with plenty of leverage and a straight-to-the-rear press. The trigger breaks cleanly at just under 5.6 pounds. Don’t neglect to clean the pistol, including the trigger, before firing — spraying a bit of crud remover into the frame.
Another improvement in the SIG P365 XMACRO is a new light rail. This rail accepts all the popular lights. I used a SIG combat light with good results. The magazines are advertised at 17 rounds. I was only able to load 15 cartridges. Perhaps they will break in with use. My weightlifting friend, Elgin, managed 16 cartridges. He was able to top them off to full capacity by the end of the test period but only with a speed loader and with considerable effort. I was happy enough with 15 rounds. Use the magazine loader.
Accuracy and Reliability
I have fired nearly 400 cartridges without a single failure to feed, chamber, fire, or eject. The pistol is pleasant to fire. I fired fast combat groups at 5, 7, and 10 yards. Most of the ammunition used was Federal American FMJ and Federal Syntech.
The pistol gets on target quickly and offers a good natural point. The sights are excellent for personal defense offering a good sight picture. The bright front sight is particularly useful in fast shooting.
I extended firing to 15 yards as the test went on. The pistol is very easy to use well. Once on target, the pistol and a trained shooter will rip out the X-ring of the target. As for absolute accuracy, I test-fired the pistol from a solid benchrest at a long 15 yards using a mix of service-grade loads. The results follow, with five-shot groups fired for average.
5-Shot Group (Inches)
|Federal 124-grain HST||1,050||2.1|
|Speer 124-grain Gold Dot||1,089||2.4|
|Hornady 115-grain Critical Defense||1,101||2.25|
This is an accurate handgun useful far past normal personal defense ranges. A drawback is that the compensator robs the pistol of some velocity. Compared to the 3.7-inch barrel SIG P365 XL the SIG P365 XMACRO loses 38 fps in velocity (on average). This is about average for a 3.1-inch barrel compact pistol. With modern defense loads, this isn’t a significant drawback but something to be aware of. The handling, control during rapid fire, reliability, and absolute accuracy of the pistol leave nothing to be desired.
Caliber: 9mmCapacity: 17 + 1 roundsHeight: 5.2 inchesWidth: 1 inchLength: 6.6 inchesWeight: 21 3/8 ouncesSights: SIG X-Ray
The light rail makes holsters for the original P365 problematic. I had on hand a Wilson Combat appendix design for the Glock 43X. This is among the sturdiest and best designed Kydex holsters I have used. The SIG fit well.
It also fits a Crossbreed Reckoning for the Glock 43X. The Reckoning is a superior concealment holster with an uncommon combination of comfort, speed, and security. I don’t like mismatching holster fit, but in this case, the results were good. The SIG P365 XL will not be difficult to holster in the short term.
The P365 XMACRO gets a clean bill of health. The pistol has proven reliable which is more important than any other consideration. It is fast handling and offers impressive combat accuracy. It is also impressively accurate in benchrest accuracy testing. This is a handgun worth its price.
Whether you are a SIG fanboy or SIG hater, what is your opinion of the SIG P365 XMACRO? How does it compare to the other models in the P365 series or your favorite daily carry gun? Share your answers in the comment section.