Sig P365XL Hands-On Review [2021 + Video]

by Ryan Cleckner

January 1, 2021



GunUniversity was invited up to Sig for a special day just for us to check out the Sig p365XL a couple of months before it was released!

In this Sig p365 XL review, we’ll be covering what we thought of the p365 XL, how it compares to the earlier model, and the pros/cons and specifications of the Sig p365 XL.

Sig 365XL Specs

  • Capacity 12+1
  • Caliber 9mm
  • Weight 1.29 lbs
  • Length 6.6″
  • Height 4.8″
  • Width 1.1″


When the Sig P365 came out, it took the CCW world by storm. The standard p365 was reliable, accurate, comfortable to hold/shoot, and (perhaps most important) it had the ability to accept a 12 round magazine in a gun that was no bigger than competitor’s guns that only held half as many rounds of 9mm.

One of the major features of the Sig p365 over its competitors is its capacity, most people we know that carry them (ourselves included), choose to carry their p365 with the extended 12 round magazine.

Sig’s extended 12 round magazine for the P365 is nice in that it really improves the grip – it isn’t just an afterthought. However, there are two potential issues with it for some shooters:

The 12 round extended magazine is part of the grip. Therefore, when conducting a magazine change, the shooter’s hand must release part of the grip.

The extended 12 round P365 magazine is an additional purchase on top of the cost of the P365.

Sure, having part of the grip be the magazine can be a benefit when the shooter wants the option to use the smaller magazines for a smaller pistol. However, as we mentioned above, most shooters use only the 12 round magazines.

The accuracy of the p365 is phenomenal. Check out our Sig p365 review for some proof. However, for some shooters, the short sight radius made it difficult for them to achieve the accuracy potential of the platform.

Sig’s answer? The Sig P365 XL.

The P365XL offers a full length grip that accepts flush-fit 12 round magazines that come with the pistol and a long slide for an improved sight radius (and an increase in velocity). It also can accept extended 15 round magazines and comes standard with a flat x-series trigger. Also, with new micro red dots for these smaller ccw pistols, Sig sends the P365XL already milled for an optic!

More on this below.


1 Longer Slide

An increased sight radius makes it easier to aim and a longer pistol barrel increases velocity.

2 Longer Grip

Full length grip accepts 12 round magazines as a flush-fit standard option. 15 round extended magazines available.

3 Improved Trigger

The Sig P365XL comes with the upgraded flat x-series trigger.

4 Optic Ready

Milled from the factory to accept new micro red dots.

Sig P365 XL Review – Our Take

Gun University was invited up to the Sig Academy to try out some of their newest products – it was awesome and we’re really excited about these two new pistols from Sig (as well as other products we got to play with that haven’t been announced yet).

Range days with a manufacturer to try out their new products are always fun but they are almost always part of a “media day” where there’s a lot of other folks there lining up to shoot the products too. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to really get some time with a gun in this format.

We were insanely lucky in that Sig hosted the day at the range with their product managers and crew just for us! This gave us a TON of time with each product to really put them through their paces and get a solid feel for what each one offered.

Our hands-on experience with the P365XL a couple of months ago gives us this review. If you’re not already familiar with the P365, you might want to start with our p365 review as the p365XL is a variation of the p365.

Sig P365XL Grip: We absolutely LOVE the grip of the P365XL!!! 

We thought we liked the P365’s grip until we tried the P365XL’s grip. Seriously, if we could have taken the grip module from the P365XL that we were testing and taken it home to put on our P365, we would have.

The grip is just the right size to give you a great purchase on the pistol while still being small enough to carry concealed. It is equivalent to the Glock 43X in length.

One potential downside for some shooters: If you like the ability to have the smallest pistol possible, then you may not like the P365XL because it forces you to have the same grip length as the extended standard P365 – you can’t go shorter. If this is you, you might want the standard P365 instead.

However, if you’re like us, we only run with the extended 12 round magazine on our P365s so it just makes sense to have a full grip that doesn’t go away during magazine changes. Also, the grip length requires the P365XL to come with 12 round magazines as standard – no needed to buy extra mags.

Even better news? The P365XL has extended 15 round magazines!

Sig P365XL Slide: The longer slide of the P365XL doesn’t really do it for us but we realize that it is desirable for many shooters.

The idea of a longer slide is to provide a longer sight radius (distance between the sights) and a bit more bullet velocity for more energy.

We get it – both of those are things we’d like too! However, they come at a cost (albeit a small one)…. the longer pistol is harder (slightly) to conceal… especially when carrying in the appendix position.

Is it a deal breaker? Absolutely not! In fact, if this pistol came out first and we didn’t know that another model had a shorter slide, we’d still love the P365XL. All we’re saying is that the longer slide isn’t a benefit for us (it’s not really a detriment either).

P365XL Trigger: The trigger on the P365 is great… the trigger on the P365XL is greater.

The triggers on our P365 are so great (especially when compared to any competitors) that we’ve never really needed to upgrade them. However, now that we’ve tried the x-series flat trigger on the p365XL we kinda’ wish our standard P365s has this trigger too.

P365XL Optic Cut: WAY TO GO SIG!!!

Red dot optics are the way of the future – we are happy to see manufacturers adopting them.

The Shield RMSc is made for compact pistols and many people have already been sending their P365s off to get milled for the micro red dots. Thankfully, the P365XL comes milled from the factory!!!

One minor criticism? The rear iron sights are part of the plate that must be removed to install a red dot. If you’re using a Shield RMSc, this isn’t a problem because it has a built-in rear sight. However, other manufacturers do not have built in iron sights – if your red dot goes down, you could be missing back up sights if needed.

P365XL Summary: If you’re looking for the smallest pistol to have the option to hold up to 12 rounds, get the standard P365. However, if you want a pistol that is slightly larger, you’d like an optic cut from the factory, has a 12 round capacity standard, and is a bit more shootable/useable, the Sig P365XL might just be for you! We’d be happy with either one.

Also, the Sig P365XL is a really nice fit between a sub compact and a compact pistol – it is big enough (especially with the 15 round extended magazines) to handle full size jobs but it is small enough to be easily concealed.

What would we do different? We’d keep everything except the longer slide. The new grip, the optic cut, and upgraded trigger are all obvious upgrades for us. The longer slide is merely a feature change – it’s up to you whether it is a benefit to you.

If you can only afford, or you see the benefit in training with, only one handgun, the Sig P365XL should be it! It is big enough (especially with the 15 round magazines) to be a range/duty pistol and it is small enough (and so much better than the competition on ergonomics, capacity, etc.) to be the best CCW pistol.

Sig P365 XL Pros and Cons

  • 12 round capacity standard
  • Longer grip makes shooting (and reloading) easier
  • Increased sight radius (and velocity)
  • Extended 15 round magazines
  • Milled for a red-dot
  • Incredible trigger
  • Slightly larger (not as concealable)
  • Rear sight is removed with optic plate
  • 12 round is minimum length

Report Card


Runs like a top


We’re more accurate with P365 model pistols than anything else


Ability to add red dot and full size grip makes grip mounted switches easier to use


Ergonomics are improved over the standard P365


Seriously, with the P365XL, you may not need one gun for carry and one for the range – this thing can do both!


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Reviewed by Ryan Cleckner

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If you already have the p365 XL or are looking to get one, there are a couple of things I recommend you get with your gun. Some of which you might already have, but if you don’t then you should seriously look at picking up.

Also, there are some options to upgrade your P365XL. Here is a quick list of standard upgrades you should think about:

Best Holster for the Sig P365XL

Most likely your going to need a holster, if your getting a CCW. Here’s a few tips to keep in mind when your choosing a holster. The first is, you don’t need anything fancy. Just get something that is going to be comfortable and won’t cause any snags when drawing your firearm. Second, get one that actually will conceal your firearm. There’s nothing I hate more than when I see someone trying to “conceal” and it looks like they have a huge boulder under their shirt. Seriously? If your going to conceal, get a holster that will help you do just that! .

EDITORS CHOICE: This was designed by Sig specifically for the P365XL. First, I am a fan of appendix holsters ,and second it evenly distributes the weight of the gun using the belt and pants. I’m not a fan of holsters that use only the pants to hold the weight of a firearm.

This IWB holster would be my choice if you were on a budget for your SIG p365XL. This one is pretty basic, but it gets the job done fully concealing and holding your firearm.

See Latest Price

If you want leather and still want to conceal, the 1971 Gunleather is a great option. It’s affordable and dependable.

See Latest Price

Other Sub-Compact Pistols to Check Out

Still not convinced on the P365XL? Below is another similar CCW gun option that we’ve reviewed and also recommend.

#1 Springfield Hellcat – 9MM


Check Latest Price

  • Reliability A+
  • Accuracy A
  • Ergonomics A
  • Shooting Experience B
  • Value A-

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Reviewed by Ryan Cleckner

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The Hellcat is a major contender with the P365XL. Along with the fact that is comes with TWO magazines, it also has models with optics-ready available. If you want to see our take, you can read more HERE

How to Care for Your Sig P365XL

The most important thing we can do for our firearm is to keep it clean and maintain it. The P365XL is a stellar firearm, so it’s important to take care of it and keep it operational. Keeping up with the maintenance will make it last a lifetime! To help you do this, here is a video on field stripping and cleaning the Sig p365.

If you’d like to get started cleaning your gun, here is the recommended cleaning kit for the p365 XL:

Important Links and Manuals for Your Sig P365XL


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About Ryan Cleckner

Ryan is a former special operations sniper (1/75 Ranger) and current firearms attorney, firearms industry executive, university lecturer, and bestselling author of the Long Range Shooting Handbook.

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