This past summer, as the mercury rose and the sweat started to pour, I went from carrying a compactWalther PDP to a slimmer Sig P365. While I mainly did this for reasons of comfort, tank tops don’t usually lend themselves well to full-size carry guns. Still, I found that I enjoyed the P365 for its shooting ability. Recently, I got the P365X with a Romeo Zero optic on top and wanted to compare this with the original P365 for concealed carry.
The Original Micro Compact Still Delivers
When Sig changed everything in 2019 with their original P365, no one doubted that the imitators would be quick on their heels. While many companies, from Kimber to Taurus, are now making very capable micro-compact pistols, the original P365 design still holds its own. With a 10+1 capacity, you’re bound to find something you like about this pistol.
One thing I really enjoy about the original is the very capable and appreciated night sights. This makes getting on target easier, especially in low-light situations. Many of the competitors to the P365 lineup offer standard white-dot setups. So, to have the original come out of the box with night sights, makes anything less seem like just a bit of a letdown.
One thing I find admirable about both of these pistols is that they have both been 100-percent reliable with a variety of ammo I’ve thrown at them, and I would expect nothing less from Sig. We’ve fed them a mixture of Federal, Winchester, and some Wolf, and they’ve eaten it all up with pleasure.
Keep in mind that both of these are also coming in used from the Certified Used Collection, so the prior round count is unknown.
Feel in the Hand, How They Differ, How They are the Same
Both guns feel great in the hand, especially for how small of a profile the pistol has. I attribute that to a nice grip texture, which covers the entirety of the grip, sans the undercut, and friendly ergonomics that mold naturally to the hand. I appreciate the subtle thumb swell that they place above the mag release that really allows me to get a good crushing grip on the firearm.
Another feature that you’ll find on every P365 is a nice undercut on the trigger guard. This allows you to get a firm, high, crushing grip on the gun. I like that the undercut area lacks grip texture. I think this plays into the comfortability in shooting the gun, and it’s a rather comfortable gun to shoot. The biggest difference between the guns is in the frame.
Where the original P365 has a true micro-compact grip and frame, the P365X “bulks up” the frame. This gives the gun the same frame size as the P365XL, while keeping the slide length the same as the OG P365. This adds half an inch to the frame height of the P365X. So, if you’re a sucker for a carry gun being as short as possible, then stick to the original.
The two other big noticeable differences are that the P365X comes red-dot ready and has the X-series trigger.
Range Time, Putting Them Through the Paces
I found that the biggest difference, minus the fact that the P365X has the Romeo Zero attached up top, is in the trigger. I think this, paired with the advantage of having a nice red-dot optic up top, played into the P365X being more accurate for me. While there is nothing wrong with the original P365 trigger, it’s certainly more than capable for concealed carry work, I didn’t find it nearly as enjoyable as the P365X.
I’ve said before that I enjoy flat triggers more, and the same rings true here. The X-series trigger on the P365X had less felt take-up, less mush, and a more tactile break with a shorter reset. All of that added up to a more enjoyable shooting experience and tighter groups when compared to the original.
The larger grip on the P365X may also be playing a factor into its shootability, though I almost always carried the original with the 12-round extended magazine, which put its grip length at the same as the X-series. I will say that without that 12-round magazine the original P365 gets a little short, leaving the pinky finger kinda hanging out at the bottom of the grip looking for a home. I was still able to shoot it with plenty of accuracy, but I prefer the longer grip.
That said, I’ve had more time with the original and have shot probably north of several hundred rounds at this point – compared to only 100 or so with the P365X. Even so, I was shooting the P365X better almost immediately. I credit much of this to the improved trigger, but the Romeo Zero red dot didn’t hurt either.
Shooting with the Romeo Zero
The Romeo Zero has quickly become one of the leading red dots for micro compacts in the industry and, after shooting and carrying it for a short time, it’s easy to see why. Keep in mind, when I first started carrying the Walther PDP earlier this year, that was my first foray into shooting with a red dot. So, I’m no pistol optics expert, but the Romeo Zero made a difference for me.
I found the lens diameter was big enough to get on target quickly and accurately. Another feature I appreciated was the Motac motion-activated system that this optic uses. This is a big advantage when compared to the U.S. Optics DRS red dot I was using with the PDP. The Romeo Zero has proven to be bright enough and was on target right out of the box without having to re-zero it.
All in all, I’m impressed. Since I’m already adding a half an inch in grip length, adding another half an inch above the holster for the optic doesn’t bother me much either.
Carrying the P365 in a Blade-Tech and Galco Holster
The original P365 I got in April came with a Blade-Tech Kydex holster. Blade-Tech has established itself as a reliable and affordable holster for concealed carry. I’ve also gotten to carry it in a Galco KingTuk Cloud holster as well for longer car trips when the preferred AIWB position wasn’t ideal. I really like that I can swap the guns between holsters and nothing much changes. There were only a few occasions where I felt the need to carry the original P365 with a 10-round magazine instead of opting for the 12-round extended magazine.
The new height difference when carrying the P365X wasn’t really noticeable either. The small amount of added height from the optic was hardly noticeable when it’s all said and done. Both guns are extremely easy to carry and disappear under a garment. It’s one of the main reasons this gun started flying off the shelf when it first came out.
It’s one of the only guns I’ve ever carried where you can almost “forget” you have the gun on. Especially when paired with the KingTuk Cloud on longer road trips, it’s so incredibly comfortable, yet easily accessible, that it truly does disappear.
Which version of the P365 is right for you when you want to conceal carry? I can’t answer that for you, but I can say either gun will do just fine in that capacity. I’ll easily suggest either model to anyone asking to test a gun for concealed carry.
For me personally, if I had to choose one, I would choose the P365X because I shoot it better and I like the Romeo Zero optic. On the other hand, though, I lack a nice FDE gun in the safe right now. Seeing as the original fills that need, and this is still America, I might just keep both.