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P365X vs. XL: A Breakdown

P365X vs. XL: A Breakdown

Posted by XS Sights on Jul 28th 2023

The Sig P365 rocked the firearms world when it was introduced in 2018. Comparably sized pistols up until that time held single-digit magazine capacities. The P365’s tiny little magazine with its 10+1 capacity was completely unrivaled at the time. Not only did the P365 have prodigious capacity, but it was also an objectively good gun: accurate, reliable (after a few initial teething problems), and ergonomic. It became one of the best-selling pistols in America.

And its manufacturer, Sig Sauer, didn’t rest on its laurels. New versions and variations of the P365 keep coming from New Hampshire. Today we are going to compare two of them, the Sig P365X and the Sig P365XL. It is important to understand the difference between these two pistols before you buy because there are small differences that make a big impact. This article will cover the differences and similarities between these two excellent handguns.

This article will cover each of these very popular pistols individually. We will then compare and contrast each pistol, and finally come to something like a conclusion. Let’s get into it beginning with the oldest of the two: the P365 XL.

Exploring the Sig P365XL

Introduced in 2019, the Sig P365 XL was the first spinoff the original P365. It was largest of the 365-series guns until the X-Macro was released in 2022. The P365 XL was truly an “extra-large” (or maybe extra-long?) version of the P365, boasting both a longer grip module and a longer slide and added barrel length. It also came with a little extra capacity with a 12 round magazine rather than 10+1 of the standard P365.

All of these changes added up to a much more capable pistol. The P365XL’s longer barrel yielded slightly higher muzzle velocities. The longer slide lent a longer sight radius, 5.6 inches versus just 4.9. The extra slide mass also gave a bit more surface area to hold onto while manipulating the gun, and the longer grip provided more purchase, especially for those with bigger hands. Combined this made the gun slightly more accurate and gives it just a bit less recoil than other P365 models.

The P365 XL comes with some outstanding standard features. First, it is optic-ready using the Shield RMSC footprint. Like it’s little brother, the XL is available with or without the manual safety. As mentioned, it also shipped with a larger magazine. Maybe the most noticeable difference about the P365XL was the flat trigger, the “X-Series Straight” trigger. Not only does this trigger feel better to many users, it also looks really sharp.

The P365XL is definitely a contender for a “do it all” pistol. It’s narrow width (1.1 inch) and light weight (20.7 ounces) combine to make this a wonderful concealed carry package. In a high quality holster, it is truly a gun you can “forget about” because it is just so comfortable. It is also much larger in size that the pistol it descended from. With the added grip length, it approaches “compact” pistol dimensions and can do 90% of what a full size gun can do.

It’s capacity also doesn’t lag very far behind duty pistols. The standard magazine of 12 rounds can be swapped out for factory 15- and even 17-rounders. A light can be added to the rail, making it an excellent home defense platform. Quite a few police departments around the country have authorized the P365XL as a duty weapon for concealed carry or non-uniformed personnel. This is a really versatile pistol that can fill the bill in a lot of different roles.

Deep-Dive into Sig P365X

In 2021 the P365X was introduced. This model almost perfectly splits the difference between the P365 and the P365XL, making it a “Goldilocks gun” for some shooters. The P356X shared the standard, 3.1-inch barrel of the P365, but partnered it up with the XL grip module. This gave it a larger grip surface than the P365's short grip, and a 12+1 capacity, while keeping the slide length the same as the original P365.

Admittedly the shorter slide gives up a few benefits. Some muzzle velocity is lost, though it is debatable how much or, if it’s enough to make a real difference. Maybe more importantly some sight radius is lost. Sight radius is the distance between the front and rear sight; the longer the sight radius, the more accurate the pistol is, all other things being equal. When talking about guns this small, the extra 7/10ths of an inch of sight radius makes a real difference.

The shorter slide also contributes to snappier recoil. Some of this can be tamed by the larger grip surface. So, what is the purpose of this gun? It’s more concealed-carry oriented than the P365XL. Its longer grip also makes it a better candidate for shooters who desire a small gun, but who have large hands (or just want a larger XL grip). The two additional rounds of magazine capacity don’t hurt anything either.

Coming with all the same features of the P365XL, this is a very nice concealed carry package. The ability to mount an optic is an outstanding feature. You can also get it with or without the manual safety depending on personal preference. Being a P365 variant, the X-model is also guaranteed to be robust, reliable, and accurate.

Comparing & Contrasting: Sig P365X vs P365XL

Right up front: these two models are very, very similar. The differences are subtle but real, and choosing the right one requires a deep dive into the details. First, there are a lot of similarities. Both have the same grip and the same 12+1 magazine capacity. Both pistols are available with or without a manual safety. Both the P365X and P365XL are available with an optic cut for red dot sights (and now all pistols in the P365 line support a separate sight dovetail for co-witnessed sights!). These two pistols are really, really similar, with the slide/barrel length being the biggest difference.

First is sight radius. Sight radius is probably the single, biggest, tangible difference between these two pistols. The extra sight radius of the P365XL doubtlessly makes it easier to shoot accurately. This added accuracy doubtlessly comes at the cost of increased difficulty of carry for at least some owners, especially those carrying in a pocket holster where the difference is certainly noticeable. The shorter slide of the X-model also makes it recoil slightly more, but again this difference is fairly small.

Finally, either pistol – the P365X or P365XL – are well supported by the OEM and aftermarket. Holsters and magazine pouches, lights and lasers like the TLR-7 Sub, and of course, sights, are widely available. A plethora of Sig parts is also directly available from Sig Sauer. Again, additional grip modules, barrels, and slides can allow you to adapt your P365 to any configuration you desire from base-model compact up to X-Macro size. Sig also provides a selection of magazines for these models including capacity-limited 10-rounders, the standard-capacity 12 round flush fit magazine, and 15 and 17 round extended magazines. The latter two will obviously protrude from the grip and make the gun a bit bigger.

Making Your Choice + The XS Sights Advantage

Not to beat a dead horse, but both of these pistols are very similar to each other. Either would make an excellent carry gun. The biggest difference is the longer slide, barrel, and sight radius of the P365XL. Choosing the right one for you is a matter of deciding what is more important: the additional sight radius or the shorter barrel and added concealability. And it’s hard to go wrong when the platform is completely modular, and you can transform it into a completely different gun with the swap of a few parts.

Regardless of which model you choose, XS Sights can outfit you with the best sights on the market. Three of our most popular options are the R3D Night Sights, the DXT2 Big Dot Night Sights, and the F8 Night Sights. All offer a high-visibility tritium front sight. The R3D pairs it with a two-dot rear sight for a traditional sight picture. The DXT2 has a shallow-V rear with a vertical tritium line for a “dot-the-i” sight picture. The F8? It puts a single, small dot in the bottom of a traditional rear-sight notch. All will serve you well and speed your target acquisition.

We live, eat, and breathe guns. We offer easy DIY install instructions. If you have color vision issues and can't see the front dot, call us. (Over 5% of the population has color blindness to a degree!) Either way, our products are built to take a beating.