SIG’s P365XL is a sub-compact that performs like a full-size pistol. Big enough to handle serious self-defense but small enough to carry concealed. The optics ready XL model features an enhanced frame, flat trigger and increased barrel length while retaining the concealability of the original P365.
Integration is what makes the XL so special. There is a specifically designed red dot optic, a fifteen round magazine, a conformal minimalist light/laser combo, custom ANR holsters, a training academy and even special 365 ammunition optimized for the P365. SIG doesn’t make all of this but it is the fruit of SIG’s push for product integration and nobody does it better.
Comparisons have been made to other guns, but the XL is really in a class by itself for size and performance.
I have never been a fan of little guns. There are people who carry guns and people who shoot guns. People who carry guns like small. People who shoot like big. People who carry and shoot struggle to find a small gun that they can shoot well. Small guns are hard to hold and usually have small sights with a short sight radius. You have to work hard to get practical accuracy.
Sub-compact 9mm’s have pretty much eliminated the caliber argument. If you can carry a sub-compact 9mm, why would you go with a smaller caliber which is more expensive and less available? When the Glock 43 came out, I tried it and found that I could manipulate and shoot it. I started to carry my first sub-compact. The major drawback was low magazine capacity, but I planned for that.
When the Glock 43X was introduced, I didn’t see a reason to dump my carry gun for four more rounds. When the P365 appeared, the reasons were more compelling, but I held on to what was familiar. Then SIG released the P365XL.
I am not a gun of the month club guy. It takes a lot of time, ammo and effort to get comfortable with a carry gun. I want to know where it hits and how it works so that I can perform with unconscious competence under stress. It takes a significant improvement to change my gun.
I recently attended the Ultimate Concealed Carry class at the SIG Academy. It was an extensive 2-Day course covering practical considerations for concealed carry. There was a balance of classroom and range training. Some of the topics covered are legal considerations, methods of carrying, selecting a concealed carry firearm and holster. Range training focused on the safe presentation of the firearm from concealment and defensive pistol marksmanship fundamentals with close proximity shooting techniques and utilization of cover.
You can bring your own gun or use SIG’s guns. I got to shoot the XL in an ANR holster. The instructor had an XL set up with a red dot and a TLR-6 light/laser. It was a very impressive combination of capabilities.
What made the P365XL stand out? Most importantly, the P365XL was optic ready and Streamlight had a compact light that fit it perfectly. Once I got my P365XL kitted out with a ROMEOZero and a TLR-6, there was no going back. It is a tremendous advance for sub-compact handguns. The red dot makes sight radius irrelevant.
The slightly longer grip and longer slide give me more room for my hands. The flush magazine well lets me load smoothly and drop magazines free without shifting my grip. Twelve and fifteen round magazines more than doubled capacity.
Fit, trigger, and sights are the essentials of shootability for any gun. The P365XL frame fits my hands (and many other’s) better than other small guns. It is a striker-fired pistol with the clean trigger pull. The ROMEOZero red dot sight is easy to install and integrates perfectly by design.
The P365XL is my best option for personal defense and concealed carry. With 12+1 rounds of optimized 365 defensive ammo, a ROMEOZero, and TLR-6. I don’t have to compromise performance for size. It is not the smallest pistol in its class but it is small and light enough to carry each day.
I have put over one thousand rounds through my XL over the last six months. It has performed very well and I have had no issues. Shooting is surprisingly accurate from such a small gun. Adding the ROMEOZero made things even better, facilitating shots at 50 yards and beyond.
I love simplicity, but the capability of the red dot sight makes it worth the risk. It allows target focus and intuitive sighting. I have heard people say they have difficulty finding the dot. With co-witnessed sights, the red dot magically appears with the same presentation used for iron sights. If you aren’t picking up the dot, your sight is probably mounted too high.
There is a great deal of redundancy built into my gun. The ROMEOZero is rugged and has a 20,000-hour battery life. The rear of the sight has a sight notch which lines up perfectly with the XRay3 tritium front sight for co-witnessed backup irons (well, half-iron and half weapons grade polymer). If I can’t see my sights, the TLR-6 has a red laser I have co-witnessed at seven yards. I have options.
SIG claims that their ROMEOZero is “The fastest, most accurate, ultra-compact micro reflex sight… optimized for everyday concealed carry.” While it fits other sub-compact pistols and guns with thinner slides like single-stack 1911s and High Powers, it is literally made for the XL. The XL slide is also compatible with RMSc Optics which have the same footprint.
SIG specifically designed the ROMEOZero for the P365 XL. The stippling pattern incorporated on the optics housing is made to precisely match the P365 and P365XL to give a cohesive and integrated look.
No other handgun company makes its own optics and this makes for a perfect match with warranties covering the whole system. The ROMEOZero is 100% assembled, collimated, inspected and packaged in Wilsonville, Oregon.
Installation is as simple as four screws. The XL comes with an optics-ready slide cover, two screws remove it and two others attach the ROMEOZero. I co-witnessed the dot to the iron sights and headed for the range. The whole event took less than 15 minutes counting reading the directions.
While not designed for police and military duty use, SIG made the ROMEOZero strong enough to survive everyday carry. The Weapons Grade Ultralite Polymer housing is light so it doesn’t slow the slide down and it carries easily. The weapons-grade polymer can absorb punishment that would crack and bend other materials. SIG claims that their Spectra Coat HD Polymer Lens system offers 10 times the resistance to impact over other traditional glass lenses.
To understand the durability of a polymer lens, think of impact-resistant plastic safety glasses. The plastic may not be as crystal clear or as scratch resistant as glass, but it is more durable and shatter-resistant. The polymer lens and polymer housing can withstand the sharp recoil impulses generated from snappy guns like a micro 9mm, much better than glass.
Specifications for Sig Sauer Romeo Zero Red Dot Sight:
- Sight Window: .72″ x .61″
- Reticle: 3 MOA or 6 MOA
- Dimensions: .93″ Tall | 1.6″ Long | .93″ Wide
- Weight: .4 oz.
- Battery Type: CR1632
- Windage: 120 MOA / Elevation: 120 MOA
- MSRP $249.
The ROMEOZero was not designed to be a drop-proof optic. It was designed to be a micro-compact, lightweight and value-oriented red dot to mount directly to a P365XL slide and survive the violent recoil associated with it. If you drop your gun a lot, you need a rugged pistol mounted red dot meant to drop onto concrete; get a ROMEO2.
SIG claims a 10-year battery life for extended use. Motion Activated Illumination System (MOTAC) technology powers up the dot immediately when it senses motion and will power down when the optic is still. It also saves the last setting the optic was on when it powers down so that it powers back up at the same setting.
Accuracy was exceptional for a sub-compact. Rapid headshots at seven yards and fast upper center of mass at 25 yards were simple and intuitive. The more you work with red dots, the less you think about aiming, it just happens.
Shooting steel at 50 and even 100 yards is doable. It takes great attention to the trigger, but the great XL trigger makes it easier. Good sights won’t pull the trigger, but they do add precision, especially for folks with less than perfect vision.
Some shooters are distracted by the movement in the dot as they aim. It is best to focus on the target and smoothly press the trigger. If you concentrate on the dot, it is much harder.
I don’t have anything interesting to say about reliability. I have fired seven different brands of ammunition with different bullet shapes and everything feeds and cycles with tedious regularity in both 12 and 15 round magazines.
Streamlight’s TLR-6 weapon light has a model specifically designed to conform to the rail and trigger guard of P365 subcompact handguns. This makes for the best utilization of space for concealed carry.
The tiny TLR-6 was a real challenge because size and weight were at a premium, but performance was required. Designed to maximize visibility and targeting capability, it mounts an ultra-bright power LED and an integrated red aiming laser. It shines in a variety of concealed carry, home defense, and tactical applications.
Like other TLR-6 models, the new TLR-6 for P365 handguns delivers 100 lumens and 2,000 candles over a beam distance of 89 meters. Its parabolic reflector produces a balance of beam and peripheral illumination along with an integrated 640-660 nm red laser.
The control buttons in the front are well placed and intuitive. With a trigger finger or support hand thumb, I can easily pulse the light or set it for constant on. The light has three lighting modes (changeable by pushing both side buttons simultaneously): LED Only, LED/Laser, and Laser Only.
Operating run times are one hour for the LED Only and LED/Laser modes, and 11 hours for the Laser Only mode. All modes automatically shut off after ten minutes to conserve batteries.
The TLR-6 is powered by two 3 Volt CR-1/3N lithium coin batteries. The integrated battery door permits batteries to be replaced with the light mounted on the gun, eliminating the need to re-sight the laser after a battery change.
The TLR-6 for SIG SAUER P365 weapons has an MSRP of $187.43. It comes with Streamlight’s Limited Lifetime Warranty.
One of the concerns about small guns is that a short barrel produces lower muzzle velocities and less energy. This can result in hollow points which do not expand and reduced terminal effect. SIG specially crafted 365 V-Crown Handgun Ammo to provide superior terminal performance in short-barreled concealed carry handguns.
The innovative V-Crown bullet features a stacked hollow-point with a wide opening along with a V-shaped jacket scored to expand at all effective distances and velocities. A locking grove around the bullet holds the jacket to the core ensuring maximum weight retention for optimum penetration.Performance ammunition is expensive.
To reduce the cost of training, SIG ballistically matched its cost-effective 365 Elite Performance FMJ ammunition to the 365 V-Crown. The FMJ load uses bullets of the same weight and shape, as well as the same powder charges to ensure an identical point of impact, recoil, and cycling as the V-Crown personal defense load.
There are many legitimate concerns for concealed carry. Many people fear that adding an optic and a light to their carry gun will make it bulky and difficult to draw. The XL with a ROMEOZero and TLR-6 is thin and light. These are not random add-ons but specifically designed enhancements.
The combination of this optic and TLR-6 with the P365XL is easy to conceal and comfortable to carry. I did not notice a difference in concealability or presentation with this configuration, but my capabilities in accuracy, speed, and low light engagement were dramatically improved. A fifteen round extended magazine as a reload makes it even better.
The SIG P365XL has some unique features and the integration of accessories and support is unmatched. Design compromises produced a carry gun that shoots well. The difference is dramatic.