About two months ago, I published my initial review of the Sig Sauer P365 XL. I ended that review indicating that I thought the pistol was less than perfect, but an excellent foundation for a small light-weight defensive pistol. Regardless of that I think about, it is an extremely popular and successful defensive pistol and I understand the allure. Frankly I could see myself carrying this little pistol. I probably won’t but I can see it. Nevertheless I’m curious enough to continue exploring it and tinkering with it.
Two complaints I had to do with the recoil profile and the grip. I’m not sure complaint is the right word here, but let’s go with that for now.
While the pistol shoots better than it should, the recoil profile is snappy, as one would expect from a small-profile light-weight pistol, and lends itself to muzzle rise. That rise translates into more time between shots to allow the sights, or in this case the dot, to settle enough for a follow up shot. From a technique perspective, a solid grip is essential to managing the recoil. Firmer grips generally lead to shorter recovery times between shots. However, even perfect grip technique is limited by the pistol’s grip. The factory grip is good, but it could be better. Thankfully the design of the P365 XL (or really any P365 for that matter) allows us to change the modular grip on a whim and there are some good aftermarket grip modules available for us to choose from.
Another thing we could do to change the recoil profile is to add weight to the pistol. There is a fine line to walk with this potential modification. Adding too much weight eventually negates the light-weight characteristic of this pistol which is an aspect that makes this pistol so popular for concealed carry. Not adding enough weight doesn’t alter the recoil profile.
After a little research and many suggestions from various folks, I ended up ordering a WCP365 XL grip module directly from Wilson Combat along with their tungsten grip weight kit.
The modules retail for about $65. They are available in XL and the standard compact sizes with your option of black or tan at this time. I suspect a Macro sized module is in the works but is entirely based on a gut feeling. There are specific modules available that are manual safety compatible. The package includes a factory magazine release, spring, and lock.
I will note that the magazine release spring that came in the package was damaged. While I had expected better quality control from Wilson Combat, their customer service was outstanding. We exchanged a couple of emails and they sent me a replacement spring without any hassle. Kudos to Wilson Combat.
Installation was pretty straight forward and there are plenty of videos on the internet that can be used as a reference. As such, I won’t bore y’all with all the details. At a high level, it goes something like this:
- Install the magazine release in the WC grip module.
- Clear the pistol and field strip it.
- Remove the FCU from the factory grip module
- Install the FCU into the WC grip module
- Reassemble the pistol
In my opinion, the WC grip module is a big improvement over the factory module. The texture is noticeably more aggressive, but not so aggressive that it becomes uncomfortable to carry in an inside the waistband holster or makes shooting uncomfortable. The shape of the grip is also improved with a small palm swell that fills out my hands a little better when I’m gripping the pistol. I know it’s subjective and specific to my hand morphology, but I feel like I can get a bit more grip and it seemed like it was easier for me to manage recoil. The shape of the backstrap is also slightly different. According to Wilson Combat, this is for a better natural pointing which I didn’t really notice. Overall, I’d say the $65 investment made the P365 XL “more better” with zero change in the overall weight of the pistol.
Inside the grip on the back side the WC grip module has three internal slots where the $19 tungsten rod weights can be installed. The rods increase the weight of the pistol by 1.5 ounces. While this may not seem like a lot, it increased the unloaded weight of the pistol from 20.7 ounces to 22.5. That’s roughly an 8% increase in weight which is enough to make a subtle, but yet noticeable, difference.
Installation is quite simple. Field strip the pistol, remove the FCU from the grip module, slide the rods into the slots (using a silicon sealant/adhesive like J-B Weld for a more permanent installation), reattach the FCU, and reassemble the pistol.
The combination of the WC grip module and the tungsten rods is a nice upgrade that makes the recoil profile from the pistol more controllable. While it still has a small pistol recoil profile, the recoil is easier to manage and it makes shooting the gun a bit more enjoyable. Is it worth $85? I believe so. If nothing else, then it’s worth strong consideration.
Now, what to do about that trigger?