VP9SK vs P365
If considering a compact double-stack, VP9SK vs P365 might be two guns that you might be eyeing if you don't necessarily want to go the single-stack route. Both are good choices, to be sure.
These days, the P365 is definitely the uber-popular new boy. Let us assure you. We have sold A LOT of Sig P365 holsters since we started offering them. In fact, it became one of our Top 10 sellers almost overnight.
But ask people who own or have shot them, and they'll tell you the VP9SK is seriously overlooked for how good it is. A lot of people think it's one of the easiest pistols of its size to shoot and the most accurate, and being able to run the gun is what counts more than mere specifications.
Which is better? It kind of depends on what you're after. Let's go ahead and dive into that.
Sig Sauer P365: A New Standard?
With the number of people buying the Sig P365, it's pretty clear that it has become one of THE standard concealed carry pistols of today. It's up there with the S&W Shield, the Glock 19 and 43, and a few other pistols we could mention as far as popularity.
And why wouldn't it be? It's compact, it's light, and holds 10+1 with the standard magazine; 12+1 in factory extended magazines despite being no bigger or heavier than single-stack pistols that hold fewer rounds.
Dimensions for the Sig P365 are 5.8 inches long, 1.1 inches wide and 4.3 inches tall. Barrel length is 3.1 inches, and unloaded weight is 17.8 ounces - just over 1 lb. Night sights are standard, and it even has an accessory rail if you want a light. It's +P rated and ships with two magazines, one with a flat baseplate and one with a pinkie rest.
It has Sig Sauer's internal safety system and non-tabbed trigger. While early editions had some teething problems (which isn't unheard of) Sig Sauer got them ironed out. By all accounts, it's an excellent pistol. Accurate, reliable and easy to shoot.
It's a little light on features - it's a pretty basic gun, but there's nothing wrong with that - but you don't really need much for a carry gun. Sig has stopped publishing MSRP, but you can expect to snag one for somewhere between $500 and $550 from most gun stores.
HK VP9SK Lavishes Goodies On The User
While the HK VP9SK is a bit bigger, putting up with a bit more bulk yields rewards in terms of features.
Like it's bigger brother the H&K VP9, the VP9SK has a lot of features. It has the same charging assist handles on the rear of the slide. It has a Walther-esque loaded striker indicator on the rear of the slide, an actual Picatinny rail instead of a proprietary one, and ambidextrous magazine release paddles and slide release levers.
Night sights are also standard, as are swappable palm swell panels and side panels. It has finger grooves, but they're very moderate; not quite as pronounced as Glock Gen 3 pistols.
That said, if sheer size is your only consideration, you're likely to swing more towards the latter if weighing the VP9SK vs P365. The VP9SK is bigger.
Barrel length is 3.39 inches, and overall dimensions are 6.61 inches long, 1.31 inches wide and 4.57 inches tall with the flush-fit magazine. Unloaded weight is 23.07 ounces. The gun ships with a flat flush-fit magazine and one with a pinkie rest but the same 10+1 capacity.
With that said, the VP9SK also has some party pieces. It can be had with a few different colors of frame (black, OD green, FDE and grey) and you can opt to get two magazines with pinkie rests. HK also has 13+1 magazines available for this pistol AND it happens to be compatible with the 15+1 round magazines of the full-size VP9 and P30.
Another aspect of the VP series is the striker system, which is actually single-action. The slide fully cocks the striker, which contributes to the quality of the trigger pull.
Base MSRP is $719, but you can expect to find them in-store for about $550 to $600, maybe up to $650. A bit more, sure...but you get more stuff. Some might argue stuff you don't need, but that's up to the individual.
VP9SK vs P365 Comes Down To What You Want
To really sum up a comparison of VP9SK vs P365, it's a contrast of a pistol that's incredibly easy to shoot and operate that's been cut down so it's easy to carry on the one hand and a pistol that's easy to carry that's also pretty darn decent to shoot.
The P365 was created as a response to market demand. Namely, the concealed carry market really, really likes small single-stack subcompact 9mm pistols like the Glock 43 or M&P Shield, but a lot of people wish they held more bullets. That's also why Glock created the Glock 43X. Sig created a real winner, in that it has greater capacity in the same size of gun.
The VP9SK follows the classic formula of taking a great gun and taking a bit off the barrel/slide and the grip to make it better to carry every day. Plenty of great carry guns were cooked up in this method. Officer frame 1911 pistols, the CZ 75 Compact or PCR, the Sig P320 Compact and so on, so forth, ad infinitum.
The P365 is a minimalist pistol that has a couple of bonus features (rail, night sights) whereas the VP9SK actually has a good number of features (that stuff and more) to it. If you just want a small gun that holds a few more bullets and don't really need much more than that, the P365 is one of the best. If you think a carry pistol doesn't have to be Plain Jane and don't mind a bit more bulk, the VP9SK is - full stop - as good as it gets.
The VP9SK has swappable panels, so you can dial in the fit. As to the go-pedal, the P365 has a decent trigger, but the VP9SK's is way better. Recoil is softer, though that's to be expected. Additionally, the rear filet of the grip is a bit more eccentric with the VP9SK; this matters, because you can get a higher, tighter grip.
The P365 is also cheaper; you'll probably pay anywhere from $50 to $100 less for it. If there's anything the P365 lacks, it's in the features list; build quality is just as good.
But Wait! VP9SK vs P365 And Further Variants
In the fullness of time, VP9SK vs P365 has gotten more complicated with the addition of new models of Sig Sauer P365 and other accessories for it. The Sig P365 has been joined by the P365 SAS, P365XL, and there are 15-round extended magazines.
Not much has been added to the VP9SK. In fact, nothing has changed. About the only real option you can choose from the factory is with or without night sights.
The P365XL adds a longer barrel, slide and grip housing, so standard capacity is 12+1 of 9mm. The slide comes with a red dot mounting plate, in case you want to add an optic, and a flat trigger. The P365 SAS (Sig Anti Snag) removes the standard sights in lieu of a Meprolight FT Bullseye sight mounted almost flush to the top of the slide. Sig Sauer also, if this is important to you, offers the P365 (all models) with manual safety levers.
So...which P365 can you compare the VP9SK to? Would anyone's opinion change?!
Again, that's really up to you. The P365 is a little smaller, and definitely slimmer than the VP9SK. You, the person reading this, might prefer that. Me, the guy writing this, would still opt for the VP9SK over the standard P365 if arbitrarily limited to that choice.
I find the ergonomics, grip and trigger of the VP9SK preferable to the P365, not that I think the P365 is a bad gun. It's an excellent gun, and certainly the best among the slim subcompacts currently on the market; I just prefer the VP9SK on that basis.
Other folks here in the AGH offices have voiced different opinions. Some prefer the P365, some prefer the VP9SK (some folks carry one or the other here) and some people don't care for either of them.
Add the P365 variants to the mix, and I'd probably opt for the P365XL over the VP9SK. The slightly longer grip and longer beavertail of the frame fits my hand better than the standard P365, and I like the flat trigger more. It's also lighter and slimmer. Night sights are standard, rather than optional, and the mounting plate is there if I want to add an optic. If, of course, that was the only choice I could make.
With that said, get out and handle both. Shoot both. The one you like more is the better for you.