I Carry: SIG Sauer P365XL Pistol in a PHLster Classic Holster

posted on December 18, 2020

Firearm: SIG Sauer P365XL (MSRP: $649.99) 

SIG Sauer made waves with the introduction of its tiny P365 in 2018. Ten rounds of 9 mm in a pistol smaller than most single-stack subcompacts? What is this sorcery, you ask? Well, it’s clever engineering mixed with technological advances, mainly, although there is the distinct possibility Jobu was involved (Kids, ask your parents). In any case, the P365 brought larger gun capacity to the tiny gun world. 

So, SIG made it… Bigger? 

At first glance, the P365XL might appear to be a step back; it’s longer, taller and heavier than the gun it shares a letter and three numbers with. At first glance, this might leave you scratching your head; if you wanted a pistol larger than the P365, there’s the eminently good P320X Compact, right? Well, kinda. This is where we have to run the numbers a bit. The P365 is 5.8 inches long, 4.3 inches tall and weighs 17.8 ounces; the P320X Compact is 7 inches long, 5.3 inches tall and weighs 25.3 ounces, while the P365XL is 6.6 inches long, 4.8 inches tall and weighs 20.7 ounces. Clearly, the P365XL is intended for the middle ground, between the tiny P365 and the Compact. 

What does this get you? Well, for starters, the XL is just big enough to be milled for powered optics. The regular P365 just didn’t have enough real estate to get even a micro-red-dot up top. The extra half-inch in height allows two more rounds with a flush-fit magazine, and the extra overall length adds a half-inch to the barrel, meaning extra velocity and sight radius. That extra .8 inch in overall length is the part that’s easier to conceal, anyways, right? Lastly, the XL has the X series flat-face trigger, giving it a trigger pull slightly smoother and improved. This is also important if you carry a P320X series with the flat-face trigger, as the trigger feel on the XL will be quite familiar. 

In the end, it’s the same P365, kinda, but bigger. If you want a red-dot optic, you can add one to the XL; if you felt the P365 was just a little too small, but still wanted something easy to conceal, well, you have an option in the bigger brother. SIG’s P365XL brings another solid choice to the carry market, and that’s a good thing.  

Holster: PHLster Classic holster (MSRP: $79.99) 

The slightly larger size of the P365XL really doesn’t present significant difference in how the gun is concealed, mainly because the majority of the extra bulk is in the slide, which is hidden for the most part. This works well with appendix carry, as the longer length gives the rig more substance below the belt line, making it less top-heavy and more secure. PHLster’s Classic holster is designed to maximize the appendix carry experience while keeping everything simple. 

Custom molding keeps the pistol firmly in place, while still allowing for a smooth, rapid draw. A single pull-the-dot soft loop anchors the Classic on the belt, while a tuck strut keeps the rig pulled in tight to the body for optimum concealment. A slight, molded area at the muzzle keeps the Classic oriented properly through a variety of positions, seated and moving, while a sweat guard keeps moisture off the gun without impinging on an optic. It is, however, right hand only – sorry southpaws. 

Accessory: Galco Ankle Trauma Medical Kit (MSRP: $73) 

Obviously, the kit we’ve put together today is geared toward discretion and keeping a minimalist profile. If medical gear is part of your daily carry – and it’s worth considering – one method of keeping critical components with you without looking like you’ve got your Batman utility belt on is keeping your med kit in an alternate location. Enter the Galco Ankle Trauma Medical kit. With neoprene construction and five molded pockets and retention straps, it has room for a tourniquet, bandages and most everything you might want to have in an emergency. 

The Ankle Trauma Medical Kit does not come with supplies; what you stock in your own kit is entirely up to you. Tourniquets, wound bandages, compression seals and other critical items should be considered, as should standard first aid gear like gloves and antiseptic wipes. For ideas on items, visit shootingillustrated.com for articles on what to pack and carry for medical gear.


Rock River Arms Operator
Rock River Arms Operator

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