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SIG Sauer Rose: Firearms, Training, and Community for Women

SIG Sauer has created the Rose lifestyle program for women — led by eight-­time World Champion Lena Miculek. Beyond the selection of special-edition pistols, she'll find training, encouragement, confidence and community.

SIG Sauer Rose: Firearms, Training, and Community for Women

The Rose program by SIG Sauer is a comprehensive instructional and community-based initiative. Of course, it had to include some signature P365 pistols, too. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

Sports have many disciplines. I’ve done some shooting since I was a kid, but my deep-­water plunge into it — and hunting — started actively about 22 years ago with a rifle. If you are a subscriber to Guns & Ammo, you are already familiar with Craig, my husband. It was him, my boyfriend at the time, who encouraged me to explore these endeavors. Though I shot occasionally, I had little overall experience with firearms. To my amazement, I enjoyed the challenge, not to mention the travel that went along with the hunts that Craig pursues. Today, I would say I am proficient with a rifle and competent with a shotgun. When it comes to handguns, on the other hand, I must concede that I am a novice. “Why,” you ask? To be honest, I felt intimidated by semiautomatic pistols, as well as the mechanics. There is also the issue of a female’s hand strength. To be fair, though, I have never applied myself seriously when it came to pistol shooting.

The Rose, labeled “ROSE” in all capital letters by SIG Sauer, is a program led by Lena Miculek, daughter of legendary shooter Jerry Miculek, and an eight-­time World Champion in her own right. This program aims to create a community platform that engages each woman’s journey through firearm ownership. To me, semiautomatic pistols often seem too rigid to rack, and revolvers always appeared less complicated. Semiautos made me think I was too old or weak to be proficient. That said, I have always admired the professional ladies in pistol competitions. I watch their videos a lot, and I’m always impressed by their speed, accuracy and strength. Many times, I’ve thought that I’d like to develop this area of my shooting skills. That’s where “The Rose” with Lena Miculek comes in.

SIG Sauer 365-380 ROSE Pistol
A tasteful signature and soft-­colored accents adorn the Rose models. The theme continues, including rose imagery in the texturing. Pictured here is the P365-380 Rose model. (Photos by Mark Fingar)
Performance Chart SIG Sauer P365-380 Rose

SIG Sauer 365-­380-­ROSE-­MS

  • Type: Recoil operated, striker fired, semiautomatic
  • Cartridge: .380 ACP
  • Capacity: 10+1 rds.
  • Barrel: 3.1 in., carbon steel
  • Overall Length: 5.8 in.
  • Width: 1.1 in.
  • Height: 4.2 in.
  • Weight: 15.7 oz.
  • Grip: Black, laser engraved texture
  • Finish: Nitron (steel); anodized Rose gold (aluminum)
  • Trigger: 5 lbs. (tested)
  • Sights: SIG Sauer X-­Ray3; optic ready
  • Safety: Lever, manual; striker block
  • MSRP: $750
  • Manufacturer: SIG Sauer, 603-­610-­3000, sigsauer.com

The Rose isn’t just a marketing ploy to sell P365 pistols to women. Though SIG Sauer has created two special-edition models — the P365-­380 Rose and P365-­XL Comp Rose — these are not just small .380 and 9mm handguns given a soft-­Rose Gold-­colored controls and flower-­pattern stippling on the grip. Other companies have simply offered pistols that were superficially colored pink, blue or made to look cute. Yes, SIG Sauer’s Rose pistols are touched with a subtle feminine design, but they include support from a female community that includes real training. This is an industry first. Since they were launched at the 2023 SHOT Show, I’ve found that there’s a lot to appreciate about these kits, and the online video training series is indispensable.

When my journey began, the training series consisted of 14 videos, all essential for the neophyte. They included crystal-­clear, extremely helpful instructions for anyone who wants to boost their pistol-­shooting competence. If you’re ready to accept the responsibility of gun ownership, the videos are a good place to start. Watching them was as if Lena was standing in the room with me. She covered hand placement in the “Basics of Firearms Handling” segment several times, for example. Following her directions, I practiced gripping my Rose and dryfired, which helped me to gain muscle memory. This wasn’t something that’s second nature to me. Lena is very articulate and easy to understand. I wasn’t bored and looked forward to putting it all together at the range.

SIG Sauer Rose P365XL
Colored “rose gold,” the trigger on the P365XL Comp 9mm is the X-­series straight profile. (Photos by Mark Fingar)
Performance Chart SIG Sauer P365XL Rose

SIG Sauer 365XL-­9-­ROSE-­MS

  • Type: Recoil operated, striker fired, semiautomatic
  • Cartridge: 9mm
  • Capacity: 12+1 rds.
  • Barrel: 3.1 in., carbon steel
  • Overall Length: 6.6 in.
  • Width: 1.1 in.
  • Height: 4.8 in.
  • Weight: 1 lb., 4.7 oz.
  • Grip: Black, laser engraved
  • Finish: Nitron (steel); anodized Rose gold (aluminum)
  • Trigger: 3.1 lbs. (tested)
  • Sights: SIG Sauer X-­Ray3; optic ready
  • Safety: Lever, manual; striker block
  • MSRP: $900
  • Manufacturer: SIG Sauer, 603-­610-­3000, sigsauer.com

The videos cover a wide berth of subjects that are essential for anyone considering owning a firearm. These included a discussion of the firearm safety rules, how to store a pistol, how to clear malfunctions, how to shoot a handgun for the first time and how to solve accuracy issues, to name just a few. They made a world of difference for me when I was ready for the range. Most of the videos are short, ranging from seven to 35 minutes; the two longest cover live-­fire shooting practice. All were time well-­spent. As an additional (and invaluable) resource, if you’re interested, I recommend checking out the fast-­growing Rose Community on Facebook. It appears that most of the followers are female and include all skill levels, so it’s a great place to share experiences and ask questions.

Craig shoots a handgun better than he should. His training was old school. Even with his help, though, I never understood things like stance or why it was so hard for me to rack a pistol before I watched Lena’s instructional videos. Even as I write this, I find myself revisiting them when I have issues with improving accuracy. Her videos were like having a great coach making house calls.

The Package

SIG Sauer Rose Complete Package
The Rose is a complete package. The box included the pistol and two magazines; a Vaultek LifePod 2.0 safe; five polymer dummy rounds and a magazine loader. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

SIG Sauer’s Rose kit consists of either the P365-­XL Comp Rose in 9mm or the more compact P365-­380 Rose. These come with two magazines; a signature Rose Vaultek Lifepod pistol safe (TSA approved with built-­in lock system), five polymer dummy rounds to safely practice dryfiring and loading magazines; and a magazine loader. The magazine loader was a real asset when it was time to save my thumbs and the all-­important fingernails!

Finally, the Quick Start guide. Along with the online training video series, this isn’t an element I would skip. And one more thing I want to mention: The custom “Rose by SIG Sauer” printable targets used for practice are available for download at sigsauer.com/rose.

SIG Sauer Rose Dummy Rounds
IMI Defense dummy rounds are included with the Rose for safe practice while loading and getting used to handling firearms. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

When it comes to the understated elegance of the package, we must start by mentioning the custom-­fitted box, which contains laser­cut foam compartments for every inclusion mentioned. Then, the Rose accents. There is a subdued image of a rose in the polymer grip’s texture, matte rose-gold-­colored controls. (These are not really a shade of “pink,” but is “rose” actually a specific color?) Every Rose pistol wears a set of easy-­to-­see X-­RAY3 day/night sights, but both pistols are optic-­ready, too.

The Champ

Lena Miculek is a one of the world’s best 3-­Gun shooters. She started competing at age 8 and won her first World Championship title in 2013 at 17. She holds eight world titles as of 2021. She became a member of Team SIG in 2016 and is a shooting instructor at the SIG Sauer Academy (sigsaueracademy.com). She often instructs females, but her excellent training videos are part of the Rose experience.

Recommended


Why the P365?

SIG Sauer Rose P356 Barrel and Comp
Both the P365-­380-­Rose-­MS and 365XL-­9-­Rose-­MS utilize a 3.1-­inch barrel. The XL Comp has an extended, ported slide. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

Designed in 2017, SIG Sauer first introduced the P365 in Guns & Ammo’s May 2018 issue. Intended for everyday carry, the P365 is a compact striker-­fired, short recoil pistol that has become one of America’s best-­selling handguns.

As mentioned, the Rose variations include the P365-­380 Rose in .380 ACP, and the P365-XL Comp Rose in 9mm. The slide of the 9mm features the XL Comp dual-­port slide married to a standard-­length 3.1-­inch barrel. The barrel is not ported. Likewise, the smaller .380 model is not ported. As a newer handgun shooter, it can take me a while to know what pistol feels right. Most potential Rose owners will make a caliber choice between 9mm or .380 ACP. For this review, I shot both. Not surprisingly, the 9mm felt as though it has more power, and, in the beginning, it seemed bouncier in my hands. As I got more comfortable, it, as well as my hand placement, became more solid and the gun steadier. More frequently than not, I heard the welcome ping of my shots striking steel plates downrange. That just made me want to keep going.

SIG Sauer Rose Pistol Grips
Rose iconography has been added to the P365 grip texture. The slim grip feels similar and it’s easy to reach the ambi safety lever. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

Personally, I didn’t feel as though there was a lot of difference in recoil between the 9mm and .380 version. It could be due to the ported slide on P365-­XL Comp Rose. Although both are small pistols, the 9mm is a bit larger in length and height, offering more grip to hang on to. Also, the 9mm model feeds from a 12-­round magazine. The extended mag of the 9mm provides a little extra length to the grip. I found this helpful in keeping my hand placement intact while shooting, and there’s a slight weight difference of 5 ounces, too. This means that there is a trade-­off in choosing the 9mm versus the .380: The 9mm isn’t as compact. If you are a smaller person (like me), that may be an issue for concealed carry. Both Rose handguns are light though. The 9mm weighed 1 pound, 4.7 ounces, with 12 rounds of 9mm. The .380 is similar in proportions, but weighed 1 pound, 1.7 ounces, with 10 ­rounds.

Another difference that I could feel was the flat trigger of the P365-­XL Comp. The P365-­380 has a curved trigger. From what I have researched regarding flat triggers compared to curved, it appears to be an ongoing debate. I’ll have to chalk it up to preference, but I felt little difference.

SIG Sauer Rose P365 Beavertail
All P365 pistols feature a swept-­up arch to the beavertail, which protects the hand from slide bite and supports a high grip. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

The P365-­380 has a 10-­round magazine, making it more of a micro-­compact. The grip is smaller, which offers less surface area to handle. Just from looking at it initially, I thought that the smaller .380 would be easier to shoot and more comfortable due to less recoil. That’s not necessarily the case; it goes to show you that you can’t always judge how a pistol is going to feel when shooting it by appearance.

To be clear, I shot the P365-­380 first. I was not happy, and the plates downrange were pretty safe. Once I calmed down (with Craig’s help), I got my grip down and I missed some, but I started ring steel. It was a sweet, confidence-­inspiring sound. I revisited some of Lena’s instructional videos, changed my footwork, hand placement and improved significantly. I am a work in progress!

SIG Sauer P365XL Rose Flat Trigger
The P365-­XL Comp has the X-­Series straight trigger that worked reliably, with a 5-­ish-pound pull that maintained its consistency! (Photo by Mark Fingar)

The P365-­380 was introduced in February 2022 and reviewed by Jeremy Stafford in his December ’22 Handgunning column. The P365-­380 replaced the P290RS. The trigger pulls on both 9mm and .380 ROSE pistols were smooth and light, averaging 5 pounds with a Lyman digital gauge.

While handling both pistols, I found both models to have easier-­to-­rack slides than on pistols I’ve shot in the past. After watching Lena’s training videos, I realized that I wasn’t holding the pistol correctly when trying to rack the slide, which made it more difficult. I am left-­handed, so it’s also worth mentioning that the manual ambidextrous safety was a plus for me and the magazine-­release button, installed on the right, can be changed for a lefty. It’s not complicated. I love the light and smooth trigger pulls, and I don’t feel like I jerk when pressing them. Elsewhere, the sights are remarkably straightforward, easy to see and simple to use, and the Rose-­pattern stippling offers a secure feel when gripping the handgun.

SIG Sauer Rose Vaultek LifePod 2.0
Vaultek’s LifePod 2.0 pistol safe is TSA approved to fly with, and can easily store the P365 and an additional magazine. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

The Vaultek LifePod 2.0 safe, typically $160 at vaulteksafe.com, was easy to set up and lightweight. It comes with a tether, set of keys, and a cable lock. It’s ready for travel or bedside use, too, and is accessible with a four-­digit code.

At The Range

SIG Sauer Rose P365XL Range
The ported slide and larger grip made the P365-­XL Comp preferable, despite the increased recoil of the 9mm versus the .380. (Author Photo)

I took both Roses to the range and shot them after studying Lena’s videos more than once. Realizing I needed to raise where I held the sights on target, along with improving my stance and grip, I shot much better. Today, I prefer the 9mm. Yes, it has more power and felt recoil, but it offers me more pistol to hang onto. I now shoot it well and can ring steel through an entire magazine (almost).

Rested groups at 15 yards were much the same for me between the .380 and 9mm. Ammo availability was all over the map, so Craig and I shot what we could get. In shorter supply was the .380, so I had to reduce its test from G&A’s protocol of five, five-­shot groups to just three, five-­shot groups. I was able to shoot five, five-­shot groups with the 9mm. I doubt the results would have varied much if more .380 was available; these are sub-compact, short-­barreled, self-­defense pistols with bold sights. That said, and having not chronographed 9mm ammo for some time, we were amazed at the consistency. All 9mm loads checked were good, and the .380 were not bad. The 9mm was better. Good Lord, Hornady’s 115-­grain Critical Defense load for 9mm produced an extreme spread (ES) of 7 feet per second (fps) with a standard deviation (SD) of 3.1. In 50 years of gunwriting, that was the lowest SD Craig had ever seen!

SIG Sauer Rose Magazine Loader
The Rose package includes a SIG magazine loader. Use it like a sleeve to press the follower down while loading. It took a few minutes to master, but it made loading magazines easier on fingers and fingernails. (Author Photo)

SIG Sauer’s Rose program was made for women, but it shouldn’t be just for women. It could help anyone starting out. At some point, you will realize the empowerment of accurate shooting.

I vow to continue my journey, to get better and to practice once a week. My new goal, thanks to Rose, is to be comfortable and proficient, and to obtain a concealed carry permit.

I attribute a lot of the self-improvement I experienced to the videos. Thanks to Lena Miculek and SIG Sauer, the Rose offers an opportunity for anyone who wishes to not only be safe and reasonably competent, but confidently proficient with a handgun.

SIG Sauer Rose 15 yard target
This 15-­yard target was fired using a two-­hand grip around the P365-­380 Rose. This group was representative for both .380 ACP and 9mm models. (Author Photo)



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