SIG Sauer 365 SAS

SIG’s “Sightless” carry gun
4

“Watch your front sight! Watch your front sight!”

How many times have I heard this statement in my 72 years of shooting handguns? It certainly did not begin with me as I recall reading older books as a teenager that emphasized the same thing. The first firearms had no front sight, no rear sight — it was just point and shoot. With the arrival of the first successful revolvers, sights were very crude and it took some real effort to watch the front sight.

Sights can become a problem for concealed carry, especially with pocket pistols. SIG SAUER realizes this and has come up with their “Sightless” Model 365 SAS (SIG Anti-Snag). It is a true pocket pistol chambered in 9mm with no front sight and no visible conventional rear sight. However, it is not sightless — it simply has a different sighting system. With the P365 SAS, SIG SAUER has done just about everything possible to provide a pistol that can be drawn without any problem between pistol and pocket material.

The SIG SAUER P365 SAS (right) compared to the slightly larger P365XL.

Pedigree

Before we look at the P365 SAS, let’s take a quick look at its ancestry. First came the P365, which was then upgraded to the SIG SAUER P365XL. I had this to say about the 365XL: “This little pistol is definitely in the running for the coveted title of PPPP, or Perfect Packin’ Pocket Pistol.”

It combines a black Nitron coated stainless steel slide with a black polymer grip. The P365XL incorporates XRay3 Day/Night sights — a green-dot front sight set in a post and mated with a square-notch rear sight with a white dot on each side of the notch. Both sights are set in dovetails to allow correcting windage, while different-height front sights are available to adjust elevation for a particular load. I found the sights very easy to acquire and especially appealing in low-light situations. The P365XL is optic ready and removal of the rear sight assembly allows the installation of Romeo Zero and RMSc optics. There is also an integral accessory rail on the glass reinforced grip module in front of the trigger guard.

Cocking serrations are found behind the front sight and under and to the front of the rear sight for easy slide manipulation. The trigger is an “X Signature” flat profile which I found much easier to work than safety triggers. There are no external safeties and operation of the P365XL is much like a double-action-only revolver — there are no decisions to make as it is simply ready to go when the trigger is pulled.

Controls found on the left side of the frame are the slide lock lever and takedown lever. The magazine release is also on the left side behind the trigger guard and can be changed to the right side for left hand operation. For comfortable shooting there is a compact beavertail matched with the grip frame textured all the way around. There is a cutout under the grip frame where it meets the trigger guard and this cutout is enough for me to be able to get all three fingers on the grip.

Weight is just under 21 oz., barrel length is 3.7″ and the P365XL came with two 12-round 9mm magazines. The original P365 had a magazine capacity of 10 rounds and the XL grip module is only ½” longer to accommodate the two extra rounds. Both 10-round and 15-round magazines are available from SIG SAUER.

The 10+1 SIG SAUER P365 SAS (middle) compared to two Classic Pocket Pistols,
the six-shot Colt Detective Special (top) and the five-shot S&W Chiefs Special (bottom).
John says the SIG is the easiest to shoot.

SAS Arrives

The P365 SAS goes back to the 10-round capacity of the original P365 and comes with two magazines, one of which is flush-fitting and the other with a small finger-riding extension on the front of the base. Life is full of trade-offs and while the flush-fitting mag may be slightly better for concealment, the extended version is definitely easier for shooting.

There are two other assets aiding easy shooting. The non-safety trigger is so much kinder to my trigger finger and measures 7# on my Brownells Trigger Pull Gauge, much less than found on most double-action revolvers. To aid in the control of 9mm loads, both the slide and barrel are ported at the location where there would be a front sight on any other pistol. The porting definitely helps, however with +P loads the back of my hand definitely feels the extra recoil and is slightly irritated on the left side when shooting. Nothing painful, however I do know when I fire the heavier-recoiling hot loads. In a serious situation I doubt very much it would even be noticed.

The Flush-Mounted FT Bullseye Fiber-Tritium Night Sight as found on the SIG SAUER P365 SAS.

Note there is no front sight, but the system uses non-snag fiber optics
to give precise sight picture on a target.

Specs

SIG SAUER classifies the P365 SAS as a Micro-Compact. The striker-fired 9mm pistol has a black polymer grip frame with a Nitride-finished stainless steel slide and a carbon steel barrel. There is an accessory rail molded into the frame in front of the trigger guard however I cannot see adding anything to go against the natural smoothness of this little pistol. “Little” is a barrel length of just slightly over 3" with an overall length of just under 6", height of just barely 4" and an overall width of 1". At 17.8 oz., it’s over 3 oz. lighter than the P365XL.

The SIG Anti-Snag Slide Treatment means there is nothing — and I do mean nothing — on the slide to catch on clothing or the interior of a pocket. Both the slide stop and takedown lever are flush fitted into the frame while the front of the slide and the frame are tapered to prevent any problem holstering or placing the SAS in the pocket. Both sides of the grip frame as well as the front and back straps are finely textured to aid in control. Even the sides and front of the extended magazine are textured in the same way.

What’s Missing?

This brings us to the main feature which initially caught my eye. Actually, my eye could not see what is not there — there is no front sight or a conventional rear sight. Instead the front top of the slide is totally smooth and on the back of the slide we find what SIG SAUER calls a Flush-Mounted FT Bullseye Fiber-Tritium Night Sight. Flush-fitting means exactly what it says and the sight sits in the frame, not on top of it. The sight picture is not found by lining up a front sight in a rear sight but rather by looking at a solid green dot inside of a green circle, hence the Bullseye name. The “front sight” is inlaid in the top of the slide. This is totally different than any other sighting system I have ever encountered.

I expected the learning curve for this system to be quite steep but it wasn’t. With very little practice I am able to bring the pistol up and the green dot inside of the green circle is right there. It only took one shot for me to discover how to use this Fiber-Tritium Night Sight. Whatever is my intended target, and for most of my test-firing I went with 4″ orange circles at 7 yards, I found very quickly having about 1/3 of the target above the top of the slide works just about perfectly for me.

With this sighting system I have no problem keeping my shots within 2″. I test-fired the SAS with a complete line of SIG SAUER 9mm ammunition as well as the Black Hills HoneyBadger, all of which grouped far better than would ever be needed in a self-defense situation. Of the SIG SAUER ammunition I had excellent results with the 115-, 124- and 147-gr. Elite V-Crown JHPs as well as the slightly-less-recoiling “365” 115-gr. V-Crowns which are specially designed for concealed carry. With a little practice I was able to group the 147-gr. JHPs in 1″, which is again more than would ever be needed in a situation for which this little pistol is designed.

I believe it was Clint Smith who said a carry pistol should be, “Comforting not Comfortable.” I find this little pistol is both.

www.sigsauer.com

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