Sig Sauer P365 air pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig P365
Sig Sauer P365 BB pistol.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Gun returned in February
  • Oiled the gun
  • Installed the cartridge
  • Sig BBs
  • Blowback
  • Daisy Premium Grade BBs
  • Dust Devil Mark 2 BBs
  • Shot count
  • Average for the first string of Dust Devils
  • Fresh CO2 cartridge
  • Trigger pull
  • Realism
  • Summary

A lot of time has passed since Part 2 of this report. The Sig P365 BB pistol I was testing back in early September of 2019 failed after the velocity test, so I never got to perform the accuracy test. I sent it back to Sig at their request. I then had several conversations with Ed Schultz, who was still working at Sig at that time, and I learned a few things. Most significantly, the valve in this pistol is very small because of the pistol’s overall small size. That makes this valve more sensitive than most CO2 pistol valves. There isn’t as much room for the gas to flow so it tends to flow directly out of the cartridge and through the gun, rather than through a longer gas channel inside the valve. There is a channel but it is very short. That means things either have to work right or perhaps not at all.

Sig dived into the pistol I sent back right away. I got the impression that mine wasn’t the only one that was returned. Sales were suspended for several months.

This pistol is extremely small, yet offers full blowback. There have been other CO2 pistols that were even smaller than this one, but they didn’t have blowback. The P365 is something of an engineering triumph. But that triumph came at the cost of some initial hiccups.

Gun returned in February

Sig sent me another P365 last month and that is the one I’m testing today. I will do the velocity test again, because this is a different airgun.

Oiled the gun

In Part 2 I told you that Ed Schultz advised me to oil the slide of the pistol. The owner’s manual that came with this new pistol says nothing about this oiling, but I know my Sig P365 firearm needs to be oiled, too, so I went ahead and oiled the slide of this BB pistol. I used Crosman Pellgunoil.

P365 oil
This is the photo Ed Schultz sent me, showing where to oil the slide.

Installed the cartridge

I first installed a fresh CO2 cartridge. I remembered that the Allen wrench that’s used to pierce the cartridge has to be turned far to seal the cartridge as it pierces, so I put both hands in a position to be able to turn it far very quickly. Because I did that it sealed immediately.

Sig BBs

Sig doesn’t have their own brand of BBs yet, but they do send a small package of BBs with the pistol, so they were the first I tried. They loaded easily into the stick magazine, whose spring-loaded follower stays down under a slot that’s on the side of the BB column to hold it. Just don’t let that follower slam up when you release it or BBs will fly out the top of the mag.

Ten Sig BBs averaged 277 f.p.s. The low was 255 and the high was 314 f.p.s. That’s a spread of 59 f.p.s. That’s a large spread for a CO2 pistol and probably has something to do with the smallness of the gun and valve. I will also note that the 314 f.p.s. velocity that I saw on the first shot was the only time the pistol got over 300 f.p.s. with this BB. The next-fastest shot went 285 f.p.s. which was a spread of just 30 f.p.s.

Blowback

The P365 has full blowback, meaning the slide travels all the way to the rear on every shot. The gun does not bounce in your hand because the line of the P365 bore is so close to the web of your shooting hand. In other words the pistol sits low in the hand. The P365 firearm also does not bounce when shooting 9mm cartridges for the same reason! The BB pistol just fires with a strong pulse in your shooting hand. You definitely feel it, but the gun remains level and stable. 

Daisy Premium Grade BBs

Next to be tried were Daisy Premium Grade BBs. Ten of them averaged 272 f.p.s. The low was 265 f.p.s. and the high was 280 f.p.s. That’s a spread of just 15 f.p.s. It could be that when the CO2 cartridge is fresh some liquid CO2 escapes through the valve to expand in the barrel, which results in those higher velocities. Maybe the next BB test will tell us.

Dust Devil Mark 2 BBs

I purposely did not test the old Dust Devils for velocity. I may test them for accuracy, but since they are no longer available and they are lighter than conventional steel BBs I thought there was no benefit in seeing how fast they go.

The new Dust Devils are a different story. We know that, at 4.6-grains, they are a little heavier than the old Dust Devils (4.3 to 4.4-grains) but still a little lighter than conventional steel BBs that are about 5.1-grains. It will be very interesting to see how they do. This time I will show you the entire shot string so I can talk about it.

Shot……Vel.
1……….278
2……….296
3……….275
4……….did not register
5……….DNR
6……….279
7……….DNR
8……….275
9……….274
10………DNR
11………276
12………268
13………261
14………253

Okay, that is the 10 shots that were recorded, plus four more that didn’t register. The average for those 10 shots was 273 f.p.s., but I have a problem with that average. Looking at this string, I believe the CO2 ran out at shot 12, which was the 41st shot fired since the cartridge was fresh. There were also several times in the previous two shot strings when the shot did not register through the chronograph, which is why the total shot count is so high at this point.

To show you what I mean about the CO2 being exhausted, I continued shooting with the same Dust Devil 2 BB. For this string I will show the actual shot count since the cartridge was new.

Shot……Vel.
44………DNR
45………245
46………243
47………DNR
48………226
49………224

Shot count

Shot 49 is where I stopped shooting. It should be pretty clear that the gas is running out. You would not have to stop at that point but the end would come within 5-6 more shots. That’s because all the liquid CO2 has evaporated into gas and that gas pressure is falling with every shot. So let’s say the P365 gets 50 good shots per CO2 cartridge. That is a reasonable number for a pistol that has full blowback, and this one was still cocking itself each time until the end. This is another good reason to own a chronograph!

Average for the first string of Dust Devils

If we take the last string of 10 Dust Devils, which are shots 30 through 43 on the first CO2 cartridge, the average velocity is 273 f.p.s. The low was 253 on the last shot (shot number 43) and the high was 296 f.p.s. which was shot 2 (shot 31 since the cartridge was installed). That’s a spread of 43 f.p.s., but as I said, it is not representative.

Fresh CO2 cartridge

To get a velocity that is representative for the Dust Devil 2 BBs I installed a fresh cartridge. I will show the whole string, since this one begins with the first shot on the cartridge.

Shot……Vel.
1……….305
2……….285
3……….292
4……….297
5……….294
6……….288
7……….295
8……….DNR
9……….DNR
10………DNR
11………281
12………280
13………DNR
14………284

This string is more representative for the new Dust Devil. The average is 290. That first shot is the only one over 300 f.p.s., which is also what I wanted you to see. This string allows you to see not only how the P365 BB pistol does with Dust Devils but also how all BBs do when the cartridge is new. The spread for this string runs from a low of 280 to a high of 305, which is 25 f.p.s. Throw that first shot out and the high becomes 297, making the spread 17 f.p.s. — which is close to what we saw with the Daisy BBs, above. That spread of 15 – 17 f.p.s. is probably representative of what the gun gets and the average velocity with Dust Devil 2 BBs is probably 2 or 3 f.p.s. slower than the 290 f.p.s. shown here. They are somewhat faster than standard steel BBs, but still close.

Sig rates the P365 at 295 f.p.s. and that seems to be a maximum velocity. I believe the numbers I have obtained in this test are representative.

Trigger pull

The trigger pull measured 5 lbs. 12 oz. on my electronic scale, but there is more to tell. Several times the trigger seemed much lighter than that and the gun fired before I was ready. And two times in the 63 total shots in this test the trigger was impossible to pull. At first I thought the gun was not cocked, but it was. I guess the trigger linkage has some slop and you have to allow for it from time to time. What you do when this happens is squeeze and relax the trigger blade several times until the gun fires. That may smooth out as the gun breaks in. If I see signs of that happening I will report it.

Realism

This is the most realistic airgun replica I have ever seen! Here is why I say that. At one point in my testing I picked up the P365 and pulled the slide back to get it ready for the next velocity test and, what to my wondering eyes should appear — a 9mm cartridge! Earlier in the morning I had taken a photo of both pistols for this report and had not holstered my firearm again. It is always loaded and cocked, since it is my carry pistol that I use for security duty at church twice each week and any other time I carry. I had picked it up by mistake! That mistake was corrected on the spot by putting that gun back into the holster.

P365 two pistols
You are looking at the most realistic BB pistol replica I have every seen. This one is so good it’s scary! I have to handle the P365 with extra care because I cannot afford to make mistakes! The one at the bottom is the BB gun. The BB gun has a safety the firearm doesn’t have.

Summary

If you fully appreciate what I am saying today you will recognize that the Sig P365 BB pistol is a landmark in realistic airgun replicas. Maybe the sofa engineers will wave their hands at the technical difficulties I have mentioned and wonder why Sig didn’t just get them all right the first time, but I am amazed they have been able to do what they have done! Designing a breakthrough pistol like this is not the same as re-skinning a proven design and calling it something else. Sig has stepped into an airgun design realm that has never before been explored. And Sig is a firearm company! Firearms are not the same as airguns, yet with both the ASP20 rifle and this P365 pistol they have innovated in a big way.

We still have to test accuracy and I have some concerns there, as well. Can BB Pelletier hold this small pistol steady enough to keep all his shots on the target at 5 meters? Because what I want is what the rest of the shooting world wants — a realistic BB pistol that can be used as a trainer for my carry pistol — for $80!!! If this airgun can do that, it is a world-beater!

45 thoughts on “Sig Sauer P365 air pistol: Part 3

  1. B.B.,

    Those are pretty anemic velocity numbers even for a short barrel blowback CO2 pistol. On the other hand the small valve that probably is the cause of the low velocity numbers also makes it’s shot-per-Powerlet count more than respectable for a blowback pistol. I wonder, does the short distance the liquid CO2 travels make the gun cool unusually quickly? Velocity spread might tighten up more with this one than with most if extra time is taken between shots.

    The inconsistent trigger pull would bother me no end regardless of anything else.

    Michael


  2. B.B.,

    On the subject of tiny gas air pistols, there is an unlicensed Baby Colt airsoft green gas pistol sold on the internet for typically $25 that has a good reputation among those who do not expect it to perform like a CO2 airsoft sniper rifle. It is 4.5 inches long.

    There is a truism that applies to comedy, still photography and cinema that miniature versions of everyday objects are appealing and captivating, while extremely large versions of everyday objects prompt giggles.

    Michael


  3. B.B.,

    Could moving a little further from the chronograph minimized the amount of DNRs that occurred? Has Ed Schultz retired from Sig or moved to greener pastures? You are right in that this is a dangerous thing to have mixed among firearms. Maybe the safety ought to have a spot of red to make it prominent.

    Siraniko


    • Siraniko,

      I thought about that and was as far from the chrono as I could be. The problem was a combination of a very short sight radius and the fact that I was shooting BBs.

      Ed Schultz is now at Crosman.

      The safety does have a spot of red. You can see it in the first picture. But I am red/green colorblind, so it’s not very helpful. The bottom line is to move more slowly and to always check the gun to see if it is loaded.

      B.B.


  4. BB
    I think this is a prime example of a small air pistol that would benefit from an extended barrel inside a slim fake silencer. Just thread the inside of the outer barrel, add a removable thread protector, and offer it as an option.
    The JBU ‘Airsoft’ GBB pistol 5’9″ FPS Increaser Kit, only made for a ‘BB’ pistol is what I’m talking about. And I know some BB barrels will slide right into an airsoft barrel to make it so.
    With this pistol I would epoxy a thread adapter in like I did with my Sig M17 (See customer pic section P/A)
    Bob M


  5. BB,

    Glad you are so impressed with this. That says a lot coming from you. Perhaps SIG will have another go at it on design. Trigger binding being the first thing I would look at. It could be as simple as removing burrs/polishing and/or lube issues.

    I am surprised that your church is still open. Most here have voluntarily closed,.. if not already required to do so. NY Gov. Cuomo seems to be setting the standards that other states are picking up on,.. if/as needed. In Ohio, the latest has been beauty shops, barber shops, tattoo shops and other similar shops. I do not get my hair/nails done, my ponytail is belt length and have no desire to get a tattoos,…. so all good on those fronts. 😉

    Be safe you and be safe all,………. Chris



    • Chris
      I been meaning to comment but at work we went into maximum overdrive. By that I mean all machines running all shift. Even parts that weren’t scheduled. Running those parts out then setting up other parts in the machine. When machines go down for repair they ain’t wasting time getring parts.

      So for us at work we have been going crazy busy. Why. They very strongly anticipate the government shut down.

      They are even rescheduling work hours. We don’t have the 1/2 hour overlap in shifts for tie in. We use to work 8-1/2 hours and get paid for 8 hrs. Now we work 8 hrs and get paid 8 hrs. Basically a paid 1/2 hr. lunch.

      The reason they did that was so we don’t have that 1/2 hr. overlap to lessen the person to person contact so to speak. We have 50 production machines so I guess you add it up and it helps.

      Next is our steel supply is not going to ship anymore and we have only so much stock left in house. So they want it machined and out the door so they get paid.

      Didn’t really want to bring the subject up on the blog. But it’s just reality going on right now. I could go into more detail but I’m not. Kind of crazy what’s going on at work with other situations too. I think it will get worse than better I’m afraid.


      • GF1,

        Thanks for the update. That is a bit of a different take on matters. Sounds like you have the demand for product, but the supply issue is a bit puzzling. It may not be an actual supply thing, but rather your company does not want to do the outlay of capitol for materials right now,.. if they anticipate being down for awhile. Then also,… what is happening/will happen on your demand/customer end? Either way,…. who knows for sure. Not sure anyone does right now.

        Take care and be safe,…… Chris


        • Chris
          That’s the more detail thing I was talking about.

          Where we get the material from and where the finished parts go.

          It’s more about running out of material. And when I say material. I mean the bar stock we machine the parts from. Basically round stock from 3/8″ to 1″ or better diameter by 12 to 16 foot long. Who we make the parts for specifies where the material comes from. It’s a quality thing on that aspect of why only certain material. And where that material comes from is not shipping anymore because of the cor virus. It’s all like a domino effect.

          It’s got the good and bad about it.


      • GunFun1,

        I hope you have a good savings fund. Things are going to get worse I’m afraid before they get any better. Work over here is at a standstill already and it’s just the fifth day. Only essential personnel are allowed on the streets after the 8pm curfew. If you do go out you will be questioned by roving neighborhood patrols as to the reason why you went out. Have to have an ID and legitimate reason to go out. That’s the price we are paying right now to control the spread of the disease. Still at double digits but I hope the trend will go down soon.

        Siraniko


        • Siraniko
          Not a big savings fund. But I can make it for a while. If it gets to the point of me eating or paying the bill’s I’ll be eating. Probably more like only certain bills will get paid. As bad as that sounds it is what it is. There are things starting to go on now that I remember my dad telling me about when he was young happened when he was growing up. Got to be smart right now is all I can say. The sooner smart the better.

          And alot of people at work know I shoot. All I can say is they are asking alot more questions about what i shoot and why. And then if the type of guns can be got still. I tell them sure. But you better figure out what you want soon because people will start getting smart and buying up what they want.

          About the craziest thing I have experienced in life on the home front. I do remember the gas shortages in the 70’s very well though.


          • Gunfun1,

            In WWII it was Victory Gardens, fishing, and squirrels and rabbits for meat for a lot of folks. Both pairs of my grandparents had a huge gardens during the Great Depression, too. And my dad’s folks also had two apple trees, and my grandpa was quite the fisherman. Pan fried bluegills are about as good as it gets, but you have to eat a half dozen of ’em.

            Michael


            • Michael
              That’s pretty much what I remember when I was a kid growing up.

              And what is funny is I didn’t even know it was bad times. We always had what we needed. We survived. I remember cutting wood with my dad and other things that needed done on the farm. It’s just what it was. And we had our fun times everyday when the work was done. I never went hungry and we always had stuff to wear or what was needed.


            • Michael,

              How do you stop at a half dozen? Best tasting fish in the water and we have a policy at my house and among my fishin’ buddies….eat ’em ’til they’re ALL gone !! 🙂

              Half



              • Half,

                We grew up with a 1 acre-ish +/- pond (neighbors) behind the house. It got fished a lot by the kids (mostly me) and any fish (Bluegill, several variety, Large and Small Mouth bass, Crappie and yellow belly catfish) were put directly into saved bread bags and put in the freezer,… as is.

                When there was about 6-10 bread bags filled to the top,… we had a big fish fry. Thawed in a big wash tub, scaled and filleted, battered and fried. There is hardly anything better!

                One time,… we carried the carcasses down to the pond area and tossed them out over a hill,… as usual. The neighbor’s dog (3 legged Shepard) decided he loved to roll around in all of the fish guts. Rest assured we heard about from the neighbor! 😉 We were required to give the owner advance notice of future fish fries from then on.

                Chris



                  • Gunfun1,

                    When I was a little boy my paternal grandparents had a summer cottage on a 40 acre (but DEEP, as it was glacier-formed) lake in southern Wisconsin. It was absolutely teeming with bluegills and these little tiny, similar sized, fresh lake perch. No other kinds of fish because the bluegills ate everything up, I suppose. When I was about 13, my grandpa had died and my grandma sold the place.

                    Years later I read the Wisconsin DNR (Dept. of Natural Resources, nicknamed Do Not Resuscitate) decided to put a de-oxygenating chemical in the lake to kill off everything, all animals and plants. Then it was dredged out to the clay and rock bottom, making it even deeper. Finally, they stocked it with Walleye and Northerns. Perhaps some bass as well, but Wisconsin is really Walleye and Northern country. Still, nothing beats bluegills for eating (although all the cleaning is a pain).

                    I still have my grandpa’s fishing gear, half of it dating to the 1800s and none of it more recent than 1940.

                    Michael




      • Michael
        Don’t feel lonely. Mines getting thin on top. The sides and back grow fine. I just cut my hair yesterday actually. It was down to the bottom of my shoulder blades. Now it’s at the top of my shoulders.

        But heck you never know the difference when I got my hat on. 🙂


        • Gunfun1,

          In school I had hair down to my last rib. It was great for dating. When I had to cut it to get a teaching job (Ugh, the early 1980s), it was like turning a faucet off when it came to my social life.

          Michael


          • Michael
            Amazing isn’t when you think about it. We all had hair half way down our backs back then. And some of us for some time longer. 🙂

            You don’t know how many girls use to tell me they only wish their hair was as nice as mine. And I didn’t really grow it that long for that reason. We just did back then.

            I was definitely a long hair country boy back then. That listened to rock. 😉




  6. BB,

    I have one that I purchased from PA in Early September last year – don’t know if it is original “problem” stock or not, but I have not had issues with it – other than the difficulty actually firing it every once in a while that you describe. No amount of reasonable trigger pull will fire the gun. I have usually resorted to dropping the magazine, firing the gun, and then re-inserting the mag and cocking the gun, and then it seems to fire fine. I have probably fired about 300 shots with it. I do have two mags, and the issue occurs with both of them.

    I had been thinking that the issue might be with the BBs – I only have Crosman copperhead and first gen Dust Devils, and I have not tried the ones Sig provided as there are so few – but I will probably test them at some point. Anyways, it would be interesting to see if the problem still occurs with better BBs.

    I too really like this pistol. I would have preferred if it shot pellets instead of BBs, as they don’t ricochet as much, but we have what we have . . .

    Alan


  7. Siraniko
    Not a big savings fund. But I can make it for a while. If it gets to the point of me eating or paying the bill’s I’ll be eating. Probably more like only certain bills will get paid. As bad as that sounds it is what it is. There are things starting to go on now that I remember my dad telling me about when he was young happened when he was growing up. Got to be smart right now is all I can say. The sooner smart the better.

    And alot of people at work know I shoot. All I can say is they are asking alot more questions about what i shoot and why. And then if the type of guns can be got still. I tell them sure. But you better figure out what you want soon because people will start getting smart and buying up what they want.

    About the craziest thing I have experienced in life on the home front. I do remember the gas shortages in the 70’s very well though.


  8. BB,

    I also have a Sig P365 CO2 pistol that I bought from PA a couple of months back. I shot it informally less than a hundred times and my experience is similar to yours. It works quite well most of the time and will stay-on-paper at five meters. I didn’t chrono it but the time of flight confirms that it is weak. Not a surprise really, this is what I expected given the diminutive size.

    Overall, congratulations to the SIG people, making this small pistol work with full blowback must have been a serious engineering challenge. That was a good job, almost.

    The trigger is another thing, it has serious issues. Its pull is inconsistent and it occasionally binds. The only way I found to recover from this is by removing the magazine and cycling the slide. This happened with three brands of BBs. It may improve with use or just break – time will tell.

    As a side note, the reason I got this pistol is opposite from yours. I do not have the real thing but I was thinking about buying one. What better way to compare the ergonomics and portability in relation to my G43 than using its BB mirror image! I can say that I like this design.

    Henry


  9. Hey Siraniko – Whereabouts are you located – It sounds like you are already under marshal law. I have not heard of any such restrictions on movement anywhere else.

    I am thinking of wild turkey and Canada geese if food gets short. Soon as I can get the new Eagle Claw dialed in…

    regards,

    Jane


    • Jane
      Some turkey came through the yard this morning. Thought hard about doing it. But it’s not spring turkey season yet. And not desperate for food just yet.

      I wonder if the time will come when I have to think less to keep the family fed if you know what I mean.


    • Jane,

      I have some Wild Turkey in the cupboard in case sheltering in place gets really bad. ;^)

      Down in the Caribbean during hurricane season they make sure to have at least six liters of rum in the house. That way if they end up being fine during a big one, it won’t seem they were hunkered down for very long. And if everything doesn’t do fine, they won’t care!

      Michael


    • Jane,

      I am sure Siraniko will reply eventually, but he is in the Philippines and from what I gather,… he is a Doctor. He gives us a very nice look at airguns from parts other than the US and is BB’s editor/”corrector” in chief,…… 😉

      Chris


    • Jane,

      I’m in the Philippines. It is like Martial Law but the silver lining is that there is a good reason for it. We had it back in 1972 and if for some unreasonable reason it is declared we are very resistive to such. We are fortunate that we have kept the daily number of cases down. 217 as of yesterday with 17 dead so far. Just maybe, the number would be lower if it was declared earlier.

      Siraniko


  10. ” It is always loaded and cocked, since it is my carry pistol that I use for security duty at church…”
    *the church board member who worded the document to allow carry at his church gives you two thumbs up* =>



    • Jane,

      Are you subject to immediate national emergency recall?

      Do you have access to nuclear missle launch codes?

      If you are still “on the job”,… I would at least hold off till the end of your “at home” work day. Well,… at least until 2 PM anyways,…………

      😉 Chris


  11. Another similar group at 35 yards with the Winchester round noses. I don’t know if the flyers are the pellets or me? Has anybody weighed the new version of the roundnoses made in Spain (the old ones were made in China)? I am curious.

    Brent


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