Why Are the Glock 19 & Sig P365 XL Concealed Carry Favorites?
Walk into any gun store in the nation, ask for the best concealed carry firearms, and you will get a myriad of answers ranging from long-popular Glocks to the newest Sig Sauers. Undoubtedly, a highly suggested option will be the venerable Glock 19, and for good reason. It’s a dependable option trusted by countless militaries and law enforcement organizations.
But when Sig released the P365 in 2018, it turned heads and made many reconsider their favorite carry pistol. While I love my G19, it was the even newer P365 XL that finally became the first serious contender as my concealed carry replacement. If you’re considering either of these pistols for concealed carry, then keep reading. I’ll break down the pros and cons of each for you, and reveal what I finally picked.
Glock 19: Ergonomics Vs. Reliability
Many see the G19 as a staple firearm that every enthusiast should own, and I would tend to agree. We’ve even purposed that it might be the best first handgun for you. When it comes to reliability, there is no question the G19 performs. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t common gripes about Glocks in general. Most revolve around its ergonomics, which is why you see so much aftermarket support for the platform.
Two of the biggest complaints I’ve heard about Glock pistols that I can relate to are that they feel like you’re “gripping a 2x4” and have a shallow grip angle. Due to these two details, I tried to avoid Glocks when I started my own firearms journey. However, I’ve actually bought and sold multiple G19s in the time since.
I kept coming back to the gun for multiple reasons: capacity, reliability, and the availability of accessories to make it exactly what I wanted. I tinker, and I’m rarely satisfied with leaving something stock, so the ease of customizing a firearm is important to me.
How to Improve on a Proven Design
Despite these advantages, I was looking for improvements. I could get something smaller, but then I would lose capacity. Certainly, there were other brands on the market as well. But when choosing a gun to defend your life or your family’s lives, I think it’s wise to stay with companies whose pistols are being fielded by police and the military due to the reliability standards they require.
With those two requirements narrowing the field down, I looked at what was popular online because that meant more companies wanted to provide aftermarket support for those options. Enter the Sig Sauer P365 series of pistols.
Sig Sauer had an undeniable hit when they revealed the P365. Their first entry into the striker-fired, micro-compact world shook things up with 10- and 12-round capacities in roughly the same footprint as a six-round Glock 43 magazine.
Additionally, the serialized Fire Control Unit (FCU) can be easily pulled from the grip module, similar to the modularity introduced with the P250 and popularized by the P320. As the market saw the potential of this pistol, many converted, and the market for accessories grew.
Enter the P365 XL
When Sig quickly followed up the P365 with the slightly larger P365 XL, it drew an even larger following. The XL has a barrel length of 3.7 inches, compared to the 3.1 inches on the P365. Perhaps more importantly, at its widest point, the XL is a mere 1.1 inches, a quarter of an inch thinner than the G19. Along with the slim dimensions, Sig increased the magazine capacity and offered an extended 15-round magazine.
What you got was a smaller, more concealable, and arguably more comfortable to carry pistol with some of the same attributes of the renowned G19 and a removable FCU.
Finding the Right Accessories
My Glock was equipped with a Trijicon RMR red-dot optic and an Inforce APLc light. So, if I was going to retire it, I wanted to make sure its replacement had both an optic and light. Opinions vary here, but I feel both are essentials on a pistol intended for defensive use.
Fortunately, Streamlight recently released their new light for single-stack pistols, the TLR-7 Sub, and Holosun has their relatively new 507k/407k optics which, again, are designed for slim pistols. With these features checked off and two of Sig’s 15-round mags, the only question left that I saw was, “Which do I shoot better?”
RANGE TIME FACEOFF
My first trip to the range to compare these pistols was eye-opening. The stark difference in grip size and angle made the Sig feel much more natural to me. As for the grip angle, it greatly affected my presentation and speed of sight acquisition when getting the first shot off from a draw. The G19, with its shallow grip angle, caused me to create a cant in my wrist. I really had to train through this, and it forced me to bring the nose of the pistol up.
On the other hand, the Sig has a steeper grip angle, which simply feels more naturally correct and allows my gun to stay more level with less effort. Glock has long been known for being somewhat lacking in the ergonomics department, with many even calling it a block. The Sig grip module is much smaller from front to back and side to side, so it is much easier for me to get a full hand wrapped around it with a high purchase.
The Sig is small enough, however, that it could be too small for a shooter with large or extra-large hands. It’s rare for a carry gun to shoot as well as large-framed pistols, but the Sig really performed well above its weight class.
The G19 is a great gun, but in the time since its release, other companies have had the chance to catch up and make improvements. I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of my G19, but with the capabilities of the Sig P365 XL, it has been relegated to a backup position in the safe.