When I think of those firearm platforms that have earned the label of “workhorse,” 1911 pistols and Remington 700 bolt actions come to mind. These firearms are inherently functional thanks to superior designs, have lasted for decades, and have spawned many variations that almost always work as well as the original.
Though a relative newcomer, the SIG Sauer P365 series of semi-automatic pistols have taken on workhorse status, too—in all the best ways. Extremely functional, accurate, and reliable, with model variations appearing regularly, the P365 was launched at SHOT Show 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The striker-fired, semi-automatic 9MM very quickly gained impressive sales and many advocates. Though it was a diminutive micro-compact, the P365 featured a double-stack, 10-round magazine versus the many eight-round compacts then on the market. With its 3.1-inch barrel and weighing just 18 ounces (unloaded), the P365 soon became a favorite for concealed carry practitioners.
Then, SIG began rolling out variations on the original P365, once and sometimes twice a year. And now we have the P365-XMACRO, clearly the best of the four P365 series I’ve had the chance to review.
What the SIG P365 XMACRO adds to the P365 mix: a very impressive 17+1 round standard capacity with a minimal one-inch slim profile; a polymer frame featuring the all-new Macro-Compact Grip Module with a standard 1913 accessory rail; an integral compensator; and an P365 XSERIES optics-ready slide with XRAY3 day/night sights.
Additionally, Sig specifically designed the XMACRO to pair well with the company’s ROMEOZero Elite Micro Red Dot sight; the pistol I was sent came with the optic already mounted (which is not standard. The optic runs an additional $219.99).
The Elite Micro featured a circle and dot reticle, and my first shots with the P365 XMACRO were low and to the left. And soon adjusted, using the tiny Allen wrench provided on the elevation and windage controls.
Usually, I begin shooting a concealed carry handgun up close and then back up as I get the gun sighted in. Here, I reversed the process and zeroed the XMACRO and the Elite Micro at 10 yards from a rest.
Accuracy was phenomenal, especially considering the handgun’s 3.1-inch barrel. My best five-shot group came in at just .60 inches using Sig Sauer Elite Performance Ammunition with a 115-grain full-metal jacket (FMJ) bullet. That ammo also scored a .80-inch group. Federal Premium’s HST self-defense round and its 124-grain jacketed-hollow-point projectile made a nice 1.0-inch group, while Remington UMC, loaded with a 115-grain FMJ bullet, made a 1.5-inch grouping, with four of those shots at .80 inches.
At five yards and offhand, all three of the ammunition brands drilled groups of under 1.0 inches, though I pulled my share of rounds and shot larger groups too.
One feature unique to the XMACRO is the compensator integrated into the top end of the pistol’s slide. The two horizontal cuts are engineered to reduce muzzle flip, and they did exactly that.
To test muzzle flip, I first loaded a magazine with 12 rounds. Then, aiming at a three-inch orange bullseye from seven yards, offhand, I unloaded the mag only pausing between shots just enough to get the reticle’s red circle back onto the bullseye. Over half those rounds hit below the bullseye. I realized I had done my own over-compensating, holding a bit low in anticipation of the muzzle flip.
So, I loaded up 14 rounds and shot a new target not worrying about adjusting for muzzle flip. This time, 12 of the rounds were in or touching the edge of the bullseye. Those compensator cuts really tamed what can be snappy 9MM muzzle flip especially with a short barrel.
In hand, the P365-XMACRO felt solid, the sandpaper-like stippling on the front- and backstraps as well as the grips which grab and hold the skin.
Given its conceal-ability, accuracy, and 17+1 ammunition capacity, the SIG P356-XMACRO will make real inroads into the concealed carry market, and rightly so.
SPECS: SIG P365-XMACRO
ACTION: Semi-Auto, Single Action
SLIDE: Stainless Steel, Nitron Finish
FRAME: Polymer, Stippled, with Molded 1913 Rail
BARREL: Carbon Steel, 1:10 Twist
BARREL LENGTH: 3.1”
MAGAZINES: Two, 17-round, Steel
SIGHTS: XRAY3 Day/Night Sights
TRIGGER: Flat, Striker Fired, 2 lbs., 5 oz. Average Pull
WEIGHT: 21.5 oz. w/unloaded magazine
ACCESORRIES: Ships with interchangeable small, medium, and large backstraps
Check out the Sig XFIVE Legion, click here.