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Before we get into a specific head-to-head comparison of the P320 Compact vs. the P365 Micro-Compact, know this: SIG Sauer makes some of the finest firearms on the planet. Trusted by military, police and civilians for decades, their pistol and rifle product lines are known for their meticulous engineering and unquestionable accuracy.
But that doesn’t mean they’re immune from the occasional controversy.
Or, when it specifically comes to the P320, lawsuits.
For the latest updates on that, keep reading.
Table of Contents
- 1 Sig Sauer P365 & Sig P320: Key Differences
- 2 Comprehensive Comparison
- 3 The SIG P320 Compact vs. The Sig P365 Micro-Compact—Which One Is Right For You?
Sig Sauer P365 & Sig P320: Key Differences
First let’s talk about the similarities of the P320 and P365. For starters, both were designed to be modular platforms. That means it is easy to change calibers and sizes to best fit the shooter’s needs. This is achieved by removing the slide, barrel, guide rod and Fire Control Unit (basically the “guts” of the pistol). The process is relatively quick, safe and easy enough you can do it yourself at home.
In fact, that modularity is a key reason why the U.S. military selected the P320 as its standard-issue pistol in 2017. The full-sized military model is known as the M17 and the compact carry-size military model is the M18.
In terms of differences between the P320 and P365, two things stand out: size and caliber choice.
The P320 Compact, introduced in 2014, is eight ounces heavier, almost two inches longer and a half-inch thicker than the P356 Micro-Compact (introduced in 2017).
The P320 is also available in 9mm, .357 SIG, .40 S&W and .45 ACP while the smaller P365 is available in 9mm and .380 (known as the P365-380). For the sake of this summary, we’ll limit our review of the pistols to the two-chambered in 9mm.
P320 Nitron Compact
- Brand: SIG Sauer
- Height: 5.3 inches
- Weight: 25.8 oz
- Length: 7.2 inches
- Width: 1.3 inches
- Trigger: Striker-fired
- Barrel: 3.9 inches
- Caliber: 9mm
- Capacity: 15 rounds / 10 rounds for capacity-restricted states
P365 Nitron Micro-Compact
- Brand: SIG Sauer
- Height: 4.3 inches
- Weight: 17.8oz
- Length: 5.8 inches
- Width: 1.06 inches
- Trigger: Striker-fired
- Barrel: 3.1 inches
- Calibers: 9mm
- Capacity: 10 rounds
Sig Sauer P365 & P320 Design and Ergonomics
SIG engineers know a thing or two about ergonomics and they prove it with these two pistols. The P320 Compact balances well in the hand and there are slight cuts in the grip above the magazine release giving your thumb a place to rest. The grip texture, while somewhat abrasive, doesn’t chew your hand up nearly as much as expected.
The P365 Micro-Compact also feels great in the hand, even with its small size and thin width. The curve of the backstrap, texturing and general contour just works. Then again, your mileage may vary based on the size of your hands.
See another 9mm pistol comparison in this Glock 34 vs Glock 17 article here.
Size & Weight
It’s not so much that the P320 Compact is an overall larger pistol as much as it’s the surprisingly small size/weight of the P365 Micro-Compact. The P365 is one of the smallest sub-compact choices on the market today. Tipping the scales at 17.8 oz (just over a one pound!) with a width under an inch, it presents itself as a very thin solution that will significantly reduce printing for anyone looking for a true concealed carry firearm, especially when paired with a great SIG P365 pocket holster and gun belt.
But make no mistake, the compact frame of the P320 is ideal for target shooting, home defense and many concealed carry scenarios as well. While it’s too big to be a true pocket carry, it’s great for inside-the-waistband carry (IWB) or any outside carry purpose.
More on concealed carry handguns in this Ruger SR22 and M&P 22 comparison.
Tell any knowledgeable gun lover that you purchased a new pistol and one of the first questions you’ll be asked is about the trigger. Why? Because a quality trigger is often the difference between shots that hit and shots that miss. A good trigger glides back and fourth without a sensation of being impeded by anything. And that translates into more effectively executed consistent and accurate shots.
The factory triggers on the P320 and P365 are, for the most part, solid. Both display very little creep when your finger “hits the wall” and, once it hits, the triggers almost immediately break. That said, there’s been a considerable amount of controversy around the P320 triggers in particular that actually triggered several lawsuits (get it?). We’ll get to that in a minute.
Getting triggered? Check out SAO pistols in this Ruger LCP 2 and Glock 42 comparison.
Often overlooked, a pistol’s sights are actually a key variable that shouldn’t be overlooked. Although compact and micro-compact pistols are designed to be accurate at great distances, good sights will help you quickly establish the correct sight alignment before pulling the trigger.
The P320 Compact comes with the typical steel 3-dot contrast sights, whereas the P365 Micro-Compact comes with upgraded X-Ray3 Day/Night Sights designed to make target acquisition fast and easy in any light condition. It’s a 3-dot tritium system that has superior glowing illumination in low light and remains bright in daylight conditions.
The debate over the effectiveness of the 9mm bullet in self-defense uses has been all but settled. The technical advancements in cartridge design, plus its proven track record in real-world self-defense situations (and even military conflict) have secured its place in history. It’s a fantastic carry caliber.
Both the P320 Compact and P365 Micro-Compact are available in 9mm. In fact, both are built to handle hotter 9mm +P ammunition. Overpressure ammo, also known as +P, is ammo that’s loaded to generate more chamber pressure when fired. This, in turn, gives the bullet faster muzzle velocity and that translates into not only a flatter bullet trajectory but also more kinetic energy hitting the target.
That said, standard 9mm ammunition will do everything you need it to do.
For years, both the P320 and P365 were only available with internal safeties to prevent accidental discharges. The primary internal safety is designed to catch the striker in case of a malfunction. A secondary mechanism prevents the weapon from discharging when the slide is drawn back. Pretty standard stuff for your typical striker-fired handgun, really.
However, the P320 in particular isn’t your typical striker-fired gun. Sure, it works in generally the same way as many others; every time you pull the trigger, the spring-loaded striker is pushed forward to hit the cartridge’s primer and send the bullet out the barrel.
But what makes the P320 unique is that it’s effectively fully cocked at rest. That means when you pull the trigger, the striker doesn’t really move backward at all. It just releases it to spring forward. And some in the gun community don’t feel that’s necessarily a safe design.
That’s why SIG now offers both the P320 Compact and P365 Micro-Compact with manual thumb safeties. These optional ambidextrous safeties mechanically block the movement of the sear, preventing the release of the striker. In other words, it’s an extra level of security that means the gun won’t shoot until you tell it to with the sweep of a thumb and a squeeze of a finger.
The first hint of trouble regarding the SIG P320 showed up in 2017. Early models were found to have a “drop safety” issue; if the loaded firearm was dropped at a specific angle, it would accidentally discharge a round. That forced SIG to halt production until they developed a new “enhanced” trigger in all new P320 models.
So what about the P320 pistols that were already in the hands of an estimated 500,000 customers? Well, SIG offered a “voluntary upgrade” to replace those potentially dangerous triggers with enhanced (some would say “safer”) ones. Why this was positioned as a voluntary upgrade by the company and not an outright recall is still a mystery.
But since the voluntary upgrade, things have turned even worse for SIG and the P320.
In December 2022, a lawsuit was filed in U.S. federal court in Concord, New Hampshire claiming over 100 people —including federal agents, local police and civilians—believe their P320 pistols discharged when they didn’t pull the trigger. As a result, at lease 80 people have been wounded dating back to 2016. Attorneys claim the victims were highly trained officers, military veterans and responsible gun owners.
In many cases, according to court records, the guns discharged while still in the users’ holsters. In fact, bodycam video footage introduced into evidence allegedly shows a Michigan Sheriff’s Deputy exiting his cruiser when suddenly his holstered P320 fires.
SIG Sauer has steadfastly denied the claims , stating the “P320 is designed to fire when the trigger is pulled.” They also say the P320 line provides customers the opportunity to choose if their P320 should include a manual safety or not based on individual preference. Some customers, they rightfully claim, include many law enforcement agencies who believe a manual safety is a detriment to the safe and reliable use of a pistol given their intended use.
SIG has also denied allegations made in similar lawsuits, including one involving a military veteran in Philadelphia and a federal agent from Pennsylvania. SIG settled at least one federal class action lawsuit involving P320 pistols made before 2017, offering refunds or replacement guns to purchasers.
How this latest series of lawsuits involving the P320 turns out will be anyone’s guess.
Gun prices continued to rise across the board in 2022 (just like almost everything else). The increased costs of raw materials, shipping, warehousing and distribution are often being passed along to customers. And given that more Americans than ever are buying rifles, shotguns and pistols, demand is often driving up prices, too.
As of May 2023, a new Sig P320 Compact will typically cost between $500—$549. The P365 Micro-Compact? Those prices are all over the map right now. We’ve seen New In The Box prices range from $499 to over $600. That’s why we always recommend shopping around for the best deal available.
Read next: Single-stage trigger vs two-stage trigger
Well, in terms of size and weight, the P-365 pistol gets the full market advantage. It has an overall length of 5.85in, a height of 4.3in, and a barrel length of 3.1in. Compare that to the 6.7in overall length, 4.7in height, and 3.6in barrel length of P-320. Meanwhile, Sig Sauer P365 weights 17.8 oz while P320 is at 24.9oz. Regardless, both aren’t full-size guns, so their build makes them popular for concealed carry.
SIG P320 Nitron Compact Pros & Cons
SIG P365 Nitron Micro-Compact Pros & Cons
The SIG P320 Compact vs. The Sig P365 Micro-Compact—Which One Is Right For You?
Sig Sauer makes some of the finest pistols to ever grace a holster. That’s proven, in part, by the fact that the P320 line is one of the most popular handgun lines in America (according to the Washington Post ).
Looking for something small yet versatile, with a comfortable grip that’s relatively easy to use? The SIG P320 Compact is something you should ask for the next time you’re at the gun dealer. Need something that’s perfect for deep carry with more ammo capacity than the competition? It’s hard to beat the Sig P365 Micro-Compact.
Bottom line—both are great handguns that will provide plenty of entertainment at the range and plenty of confidence when carried concealed.