The SIG P365 Air Pistol is the latest addition to the precision air pistol lineup, which now totals 11 SIG replicas. If you’re not familiar with this product line, you should be warned: These aren’t your daddy’s BB guns.
A Bit of History of Air Pistols
When I was growing up, Daisy was the major air gun manufacturer, and it is still making some of the popular models from that time, including the Model 25 and the Red Ryder. BB guns back then were marketed for (gasp!) kids and did not need the attention to exacting detail that modern air guns use to appeal to adults. SIG’s lineup is appealing to adults and is also useful. (It can be appealing and useful for young shooters as well.)
About the P365 Air Pistol
The P365 Air Pistol is a replica of the 365-9-BXR3-MS — the 9mm P365 with ambidextrous manual safety levers. Features of the P365 Air Pistol include an all-metal slide and polymer frame, three-dot fixed sights, accessory rail, and functional slide and magazine release. The magazine is fully removable and houses two components: the 12-shot, spring-powered BB magazine and space for the 12-gram CO2 power cylinder. SIG makes CO2 cylinders but not BBs.
P365 Air Pistol Specifications
Caliber: 4.5mm Steel BB
Muzzle Velocity: Up to 295 feet per second
Overall Length: 5.75 inches
Overall Weight: 0.8 pounds
The barrel is smoothbore, and only precision-grade BBs should be used in any of the SIG air guns. SIG’s attention to detail is so great that it would be hard for the uninitiated to tell the difference between the 9mm P365 and the air pistol simply by hefting them. Keep the realism of SIG’s air-powered guns in mind if you make them visible to the public eye.
My 5-year-old and I tested the P365 Air Pistol the same day he learned to shoot his Daisy Model 25 BB rifle. SIG provided a box of CO2 cartridges with the P365, and I had two tubes of Daisy Precision BBs on-hand for the Model 25. SIG advertises the velocity of BBs from the P365 at up to 295 feet per second (with a full CO2 cartridge).
Loading the magazine works best if you place the base on a flat surface, facing you. Lock the magazine follower into the side notch holder by pulling it down with a finger or thumbnail. Then push down and hold the loading port tab so that BBs can drop in. Do NOT release the follower before you let the loading port tab snap back into place, or you will end up spraying BBs all over the place. (Take it from someone who knows.) Subsequent reloads went much smoother.
Packaging includes a large Allen wrench for removing the large, threaded plug in the base of the magazine. Insert a CO2 cartridge and then replace the plug. Gradually tightening the plug punctures the CO2 cartridge. Keep tightening until the hissing of CO2 stops.
I moved back to 21 feet for testing and inserted the magazine until it clicked into place. I placed the manual safety into the “On” position and pulled back on the slide as far as it would go (it moves while the safety is applied). Then, I let it slide forward to chamber the first BB.
I released the safety, sighted in on an 8-inch-diameter bullseye ring and pulled the trigger. I noticed that the trigger pull was a bit harder to pull than that of the 9mm P365 due to the CO2 operating system. But I was soon rewarded with the “pop” of the CO2 being discharged and the BB whacking the target.
Final Thoughts on the SIG P365 Air Pistol
The slide of the P365 Air Pistol cycles similarly to that of the real-deal 9mm. Of course it doesn’t eject anything or travel the full distance though. I fired a 4-inch group from my first six shots. Then my son wanted to jump in and try it. He fired from 15 feet, pulling the trigger when I aligned the gun. We fired six shots this way, all of which were on the paper, and he wanted to do more! There were no malfunctions.
I was highly satisfied with the performance of the SIG P365 Air Pistol. It is not only a great understudy gun for indoor or backyard (where legal) but also a great BB gun trainer for a youngster who will eventually graduate to a larger SIG BB or pellet pistol before moving on to a real handgun. MSRP is $79.99.
SIG Sauer: SIGSauer.com
About Scott W. Wagner
Scott W. Wagner has been a law enforcement officer since 1980, working undercover in liquor and narcotics investigations and as a member, sniper and assistant team leader of a SWAT team. He currently works as a patrol sergeant. He is a police firearms instructor, certified to train revolver, semi-automatic pistol, shotgun, semi- and fully automatic patrol rifle, and submachine gun. Scott also works as a criminal justice professor and police academy commander.