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SIG Sauer P365-AXG Legion: Full Review

SIG Sauer gives its P365 XMACRO Comp the Legion treatment and an aluminum frame. Here's a full review.

SIG Sauer P365-AXG Legion: Full Review

(Photo by Mark Fingar)

If you had to pick the single greatest success in the firearms world in the last decade, the choice for a lot of people would be the SIG Sauer P365. Introduced in Guns & Ammo’s May 2018 issue, the pistol’s combination of size, weight, caliber, capacity, features, and $600 price quickly shot it to the forefront of most gun owners’ minds. In hindsight, I believe the P365 dethroned the Glock 19 as the carry gun that all others are judged against, and it accelerated a subcompact arms race that continues to this day.

Success breeds competition, which is good for all of us. It also means that a popular design will inevitably be followed by additional models. Hollywood calls them “sequels.” The first P365 — discontinued in 2023 — was just a basic compact gun. It wasn’t capable of accepting an optic, and it was fed by a flush-fit 10-­round magazine. (The 12-rounder was optional.) Subsequent models increased its size, weight and features, but the latest is both bigger and bolder than all of them: P365-AXG Legion. There’s a lot to unpack with this gun, so allow me to hit the high notes first, then the details. 

The P365-AXG Legion features an aluminum-alloy frame, stainless-steel slide and a Legion Gray finish with G10 grips also wearing the Legion chevron logo. Guns & Ammo’s test pistol arrived with optional accessories including a Romeo-X reflex sight ($450) and 700-lumen Foxtrot2R pistol light. MSRP $150. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

The P365-AXG Legion is a larger version of the P365 with an aluminum grip module secured to an internal stainless-steel chassis assembly called the “fire control unit,” or “FCU.” It is fed by 17-­round magazines with a serrated aluminum basepad featuring the Legion chevron. Despite the XL slide length, the stainless-steel slide sports a pair of compensating cuts forward of the 3.1-inch carbon-steel barrel. These are advertised to reduce muzzle rise, but the sight radius is extended to 5.1 inches versus the standard 4.9 inches. All P365 pistols are now optics ready, and Guns & Ammo’s test sample arrived with the new Romeo-X reflex sight with a 2 MOA red dot. A 700-lumen Foxtrot2R was also included for testing, but the optic and light are optional accessories. The standalone pistol is easily concealable.

Overall, this pistol measured 6.6 inches long, 5.2 inches tall, and 1.4 inches wide at the controls. The gun isn’t much thicker than an inch, though, so it’s very flat. With an empty magazine in place, it weighed 26 ounces.

The P365-AXG Legion maintains the design’s external extractor and angled bevel to ensure problem-free ejection. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

Like the P365 X-Macro Comp ($998), the P365 AXG Legion uses the same 3.1-­inch barrel as the original P365; it ends inside the slide. Forward of the barrel is an expansion chamber topped by a two-­port compensator that’s machined into the longer XL slide. SIG Sauer first offered this arrangement on the P365 X-­Macro, and I like the outside-­the-­box thinking. The two-­port expansion chamber in front of the barrel does work as a compensator, and it is a simpler manufacturing approach than a barrel-­mounted comp. So, the P365-AXG Legion is basically an aluminum-­framed special edition of the X-­Macro Comp. 

Founded in 2015, the Legion series program afforded access, training and product exclusives to those willing to pay an upcharge to become a member. A few select guns were unveiled each year in limited numbers and all received the Legion treatment. SIG Sauer’s Legion pistols introduced a new signature Cerakote color called “Legion Gray,” which all Legion pistols are finished with. Legion models sometimes introduce new or experimental features that sometimes make it to production. Working with Avient, the heavy tungsten-infused polymer grip module for the P320 platform is one example. The P365-AXG is a continuation of that spirit, and members of this club have been patiently waiting for SIG Sauer to announce this P365 Legion model. 

The P365XL-length slide features a pair of compensating ports that reduces muzzle flip. The front X-Ray3 day/night sight is dovetailed just behind the comp. The rear sight co-witnessed in the lower third with the low-mount Romeo-X reflex sight. (Photo by Mark Fingar)


Beyond the integral compensator, there are forward and rear flat-­bottom cocking serrations. The P365-AXG Legion features a great set of sights, which is one thing that always got the P365 attention. SIG Sauer’s X-­RAY3 day/night metal sights feature tritium inserts that glow in the dark. These sights are capable of duty use, but small enough that it doesn’t prohibit sticking this pistol in a pocket. The rear sight is black and serrated with tritium capsules to either side of the notch. At the front, the tritium is surrounded by a lime green circle, which I found was nicely visible in any light. These aren’t the best day/night sights on the market, but they’re still better than most on factory guns of any size. On the P365-AXG Legion,  the front sight is set back behind the compensator. The original P365 had a sight radius of 4.9 inches. The P365 XL has a sight radius of 5.6 inches. With the compensated slide, the P365-AXG Legion has a sight radius in between at 5.1 inches, closer to the original P365.

The slide catch is an extended version of the standard P365 unit. To the left is the takedown lever. With the slide locked back, the takedown lever can be rotated 90 degrees down for disassembly. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

If you’re running a red dot, sight radius doesn’t matter. The P365-AGX Legion has the slide cut for direct mounting of optics using the compact Shield RMSc footprint, and there are a lot of options. Leave the coverplate on and you’ll see another logo reminding you it’s a Legion model.

SIG Sauer refers to the lever on the left side of this pistol as a “slide catch.” When I compared it to the lever on a standard P365, I noted that this version was extended. The reason why it’s called a slide catch? The original didn’t have a great reputation for working so well as a “slide release.” This extended lever worked better when dropping the slide, but it’s still a small piece that you might miss with your thumb. In contrast, the triangular magazine release is checkered, steel and easier to be consistent with.

Rather than the proprietary SIG rail, a conventional three-slot Picatinny rail was machined to the aluminum-alloy frame. Though a Foxtrot2R was tested, other makes of lights can be installed. (Photo by Mark Fingar)


The P365 has always had some form of accessory rail. The original featured a single-slot, proprietary rail that wasn’t very useful or popular with the aftermarket. That’s changed. The P365-AXG Legion sports a three-slot M1913 Picatinny rail, accommodating other brands besides its own Foxtrot series of lights.

If you haven’t been paying attention, SIG Sauer has been working to take over every market segment that’s even tangentially related to firearms. Not only does SIG Sauer make its own ammunition and electro-optics, it makes lights. The Foxtrot series is a good fit for the P365, especially if you want to employ this pistol in home defense. Costing around $150, its 700-lumen LED runs on a single CR123A battery.

It’s hard to shoot small pistols well, and even harder when they are saddled with gritty, heavy triggers. In weight and quality of pull, the trigger on the P365 has always been better than average for a pistol its size. This has contributed to its popularity. The FCU in the P365-AXG is the same as any P365 model. At 51/2 pounds, it provided the same quality trigger pull, which is fine for a carry gun.


The P365-AXG grip module features cross-hatched texture on the front- and backstrap of the frame, as well as under the triggerguard. The G10 grip panels feature simple square-scallop texture with the subdued double-chevron Legion logo. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

The P365 is a striker-­fired 9mm. Like its big brother, the P320, the serialized part isn’t the outward frame. Rather, its the stainless steel chassis that the FCU is built on. Also referred to as the “trigger group,” it is not the grip module. The grip module of the P365 isn’t as easy to change as that of the P320, but it still only requires the shooter to punch out one pin. I own an original P365, but I never really liked the grip angle. As soon as Wilson Combat introduced its grip module, I swapped it out. I’m bringing this up because the (A)luminum module is like the XMacro and follows the X-­grip profile (X). The X-grip is more ergonomic and fits most hands better. It also has a modest beavertail. It looks good and reduces the chance of slide bite.

Since the grip module is aluminum and not polymer, the P365-AXG has grip panels; a pair of black G10 grips with the Legion logo. They have a good texture, and are not too aggressive.

Both the front-­ and backstrap of the pistol have checkering, too. Checkering is also underneath the triggerguard. I didn’t understand the purpose, but it was explained to me that the checkering there presses against the finger of your support hand and helps to keep the pistol from moving left and right. It may be a small improvement, but it’s just the kind of little “extra” you get on a Legion gun.

If you look closely, you see raised ridges on either side of the grip module, just above the front of the triggerguard. This is where the thumb of the support hand presses when shooting with a two-­handed grip. It provides just a bit more control. That’s the reason for the flat trigger as well. It breaks at a near 90-­degree angle, which keeps the muzzle from moving left or right as you’re shooting.

The aluminum magwell supports a postive grip and has a flare underneath to assist smooth reloads. Held on by a screw, it is removable for those wanting a more flush and concealable profile. Magazines carry 17 rounds and have the Legion basepad. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

As to why you might want an aluminum frame in your hand rather than polymer? There is a difference. In weight, and in feel. Some people simply prefer the feel of one versus the other. Aluminum adds weight, but polymer flexes when shooting. The recoil impulse is slightly different.

This P365-AXG Legion includes three 17-­round magazines, all with aluminum basepads. They stick out just enough from the bottom of the gun, past the magazine well, to ensure proper seating. The aluminum magazine well is modest in size, and it doesn’t compromise concealability. If you don’t like it, it is easily removable.

The original P365 shipped with two magazines, a flat 10-rounder and one with an extended basepad. Even with the extended basepad setup, most shooters could barely get all fingers on the gun. Here, the P365-AXG Legion is a full inch longer than that. The incredible ammunition arrangement means that the 1 inch takes it from a 10-plus-one shot handgun to a 17-plus-one shot pistol, one that is now comp’d, optics ready, and capable of wearing most lights.

The muzzle of the 3.1-inch barrel is recessed within the slide. Note the angular bevels at the front of the slide and dustcover. These angles aid in reholstering, especially with tight IWB rigs. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

Depending on your grip and shooting style — and what ammunition you’re using — I think that you should see a 20- to 33-percent reduction in muzzle rise thanks to the integral compensator. When combined with the longer grip and weight of the aluminum frame module, the P365-AXG Legion has the felt recoil of a full-­size gun while being smaller, lighter, and more concealable.

I shot this pistol in Iowa while filming segments for Guns & Ammo TV at Brownells. It was a joy to shoot. It felt great in my hands, looked great — at least to me — and was flat shooting. When I got home, I rang steel and punched paper at the range before settling down for the accuracy tests.

I carry a full-­size handgun because my philosophy is this: If all I’ve got is a handgun, I want it to be one that can solve any problem a handgun is capable of solving. This means good sights, controllability, and sufficient power and capacity to keep me on the right side of the dirt. The P365-AXG Macro offers all of this and more in a gun that’s more concealable than a full-­size gun. 

(Photo by Mark Fingar)

SIG Sauer P365-AXG Legion

  • Type: Recoil operated, striker fired, semiautomatic
  • Cartridge: 9mm
  • Capacity: 17+1 rds.
  • Barrel: 3.1 in., carbon steel
  • Overall Length: 6.6 in.
  • Width: 1.4 in.
  • Height: 5.2 in.
  • Weight: 1 lb., 10 oz.
  • Materials: Carbon steel (barrel), stainless steel (slide, FCU);  aluminum alloy (module)
  • Finish: Cerakote, Legion Gray
  • Sights: SIG Sauer X-­Ray3 day/night sights; optics ready
  • Trigger pull: 5 lbs., 8 oz. (tested)
  • Safety: Internal drop safety
  • MSRP: $1,199
  • Manufacturer: SIG Sauer, 603-610-3000,
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