Gun Review: Smith & Wesson SD9 VE

Based on the TTAG reader survey, it looks like our readers want to read more about budget minded guns. As your loyal scribe, I aim to please (pun intended). So before you today, we have the Smith & Wesson SD9 VE. This fine piece is the lowest priced pistola de plastico in the S&W lineup. You might remember some similar looks from their Sigma range of inexpensively priced pistols. Having stripped both guns, I can tell you that the guts look mostly the same between the two. And having shot both of them, I can tell you that the trigger woes the Sigma suffered continue with the SD9 VE. Be not afraid though, as the SD9 VE has many redeeming qualities, too . . .

Appearance, Fit & Finish

Comparing an off the rack M&P to the SD9 VE, it’s plain to see that the VE is the “budget” option. You’ll notice things like the stamped sheet metal slide release and plastic guide rod. But you’ll also notice nicely textured grips and very well finished metal surfaces. The SD ships in a cardboard box, but you get two — yes two — chrome-finished magazines that glide smoothly in the magazine well. Not bad for a low-priced heater.

This is a budget firearm with the “budget” in all the right places. I was hard pressed to find any machine marks, mismatched castings, or any other signs of poor assembly. Yes, it has some budget minded parts, but it’s a very functional, solid firearm.

Ease of Use

The VE has all the bare essentials. There’s the magazine release right where it oughta be. Slide release is there on the driver’s side, and it has two wee little takedown tabs for cleaning. This gun doesn’t have a manual safety or a grip safety. Although you can get it in a MA legal (10.5 lb trigger!!) or low capacity version if you should so choose. Either way, the VE is the literal definition of point and shoot.

Ease of Disassembly

Takedown is extraordinarily easy. Move the slide back a little bit, wiggle the take down tabs, and slip the slide forward. Remove the recoil rod and barrel, and clean as necessary. I received the gun completely dry, and shot it that way. I also shot it dirty and very lubricated. It shoots fine, so if you’re afraid of disassembly, just keep shooting. Or clean it. The VE just doesn’t seem to care.

Handling Characteristics

Truth be told, I still had that bad Sigma taste in my mouth when I found out S&W was shipping the VE to me. So imagine my surprise when I took it out of the box and found it feels good in the hand. Not only is it comfortable, but it points like an Irish Setter. The front sight has a bright, white dot that makes target acquisition a snap. And the grip angle just seemed to suit me perfectly.

The mag release is easy enough to reach as is the slide release. And unlike the M&P 45C I tested a few months back, the slide release actually works. What about those grips? Well I have smaller hands and they’re just fine. Those with huge meat hooks might overwhelm it, and if you have tiny hands you might find it too big. No changeable backstraps here, though, so try before you buy.

Now about that trigger. It’s problematic for two reasons. First, there’s its enormously long travel. Second, it finally breaks at around 8.5 lbs. It’s a long way to go, and weaker shooters will be shaking by the time they get it to go bang. I put about 50 rounds downrange before my forearms started aching. That’s when I called Apex and had them send a spring replacement kit. Factor an extra $20 plus shipping into the cost of the gun and you can rock on down the road with a still long, but very manageable six pound trigger pull.


The SD9 VE is intrinsically accurate, but not practically so. I managed group sizes of just a few inches at 7 yards that really started to open up as the firing rate increased. That little quirk is naturally, thanks to the craptastic trigger. Again, fix the trigger and this is a very capable gun for the entry level pistolero.


This gun has been satisfyingly boring on the reliability front. Like Oprah, it doesn’t matter what I feed it, she eats everything. I really wish I had a cool story to tell y’all about double feeds or stovepipes, but I don’t. Dead nuts reliable. I might do an extended test and soak it in motor oil or salt water or pack it with sand to see if I can get it to jam. If so, I’ll let you know.


The VE is just a good all around gun. Happy as a range toy, concealed carry piece, or “extra” gun around the house/vehicle. In fact, this is probably going to be my recommendation for someone who wants to get their feet wet with gun ownership. It may be a tad large for summertime carry, but for winter carry with a jacket, you’d be good to go. Or, keep it in your vehicle or nightstand. Hell, for the money you’d spend on a quality 1911, you can keep one in your vehicle and one in your nightstand.

Available Aftermarket Options

From what I’ve read, it appears that Galco, Fobus, and DeSantis are making hoslters for the SD9 VE. Extra mags will cost you $41.82 from S&W. Ouch. It also has a picatinny rail for lasers, lights, and all manner of tacticool doodads. I should also mention that Apex makes a spring kit to fix that nasty trigger issue. Have I mentioned it? Okay, perfect.

Favorite Feature

The VE is a well made budget firearm. Its cheap to buy and cheap to run.

Least Favorite Feature

That nasty-ass trigger. Get if fixed before you fire the first shot.

Specifications: Smith and Wesson SD9 VE
Caliber: 9mm
Capacity: 16+1
Action: Striker Fired Action
Barrel Length: 4″ / 10.2 cm
Front Sight: White Dot
Rear Sight: Fixed 2-Dot
Overall Length: 7.2″ / 18.3 cm
Width: 1.29″ / 3.3 cm
Weight: 22.7 oz. / 643 g
Frame Material: Polymer
Slide Material: Stainless Steel
Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
MSRP $379. (Local Shop: $330)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Appearance, Fit and Finish:  * * * * 
I’m dinging a star for stamped sheet metal parts and the plastic guide rod. At this price point, though, you can’t have all the things you want, and I get that. But you still can’t bring pieces like that to the table and hope for a five star rating. Otherwise, fit and finish was superb.

Ease of Use: * * * * *
All the control are where they are supposed to be and function they way they should.

Ease of Disassembly: * * * *
You have to do a little sleight of hand to rock the slide back and disengage the takedown tabs. I’d prefer the same system the M&P uses, but again, cost wins out.

Handling: * * * * *
Five stars through and through. The VE is a natural pointer, and feels very comfortable in my mitts.

Accuracy: * * *
Bench rest accuracy is superb, but overall “combat” accuracy sucks thanks to the terrible trigger.

Reliability: * * * * *
I can’t seem to make it fail

Customize This: * * * 
$40+ for magazines! Yeesh. Otherwise, your standard fare applies. A couple holsters out there and a rail to mount stuff on. Some internet forums claim that you can mount M&P sights if you want glow in the dark or high viz additions.

Overall Rating: * * * *
Writing for TTAG has made me kind of a snob when it comes to firearms. I wouldn’t be caught dead with a Freedom Group Marlin, and I damn sure won’t be hoisting a Hi Point anytime soon. But the SD9 VE brought me down a notch. Here’s a dead nuts reliable gun that’s a pleasure to shoot for a touch over three bones. It has one glaring flaw in the trigger — but that’s easily remedied for $20. At that price, you really can’t afford not to buy one. Or four. I’m impressed and I hope the SD9 VE is a big seller for Smith & Wesson.


  1. Kvjavs

    Good review. My only gripe is they got rid of the all black model and slapped VE on the end… but at about $80 cheaper locally, I can live with two tone. Just not my bag of jerky is all.

    1. Brice

      The $80 difference is the loss of the tritium from night sight. I owned this pistol for about 3 months. Just long enough to realize that I’m not fond of plastic guns at all. The bonus is, that the slide uses the same dovetails as an M&P, so you can put whatever sights on it you want.

  2. JoshinGA

    While I dont dispute that the SD9 is probably a fine budget pistol, if you can wait until you save another $100 or so the M&P is (IMHO) a huge step up from the SD9. But if you’re only willing to spend ~$300, then the SD series is a great option. And, S&W customer service is top notch.

    1. Dukester

      There’s one of you “save another $100 or so” guys in every crowd. Budget means budget. Not everyone can afford a $500-$600 M&P otherwise the SD’s wouldn’t exist.

      1. JoshinGA

        As I said, if you only want a $300 pistol, SD9 is a fine choice. If you just dont know anything about firearms, Im saying spending an extra $100 will get you a pistol with less downsides. Also, I got my M&P for ~$450 total in my LGS. SD9 is ~$389 at my LGS. Its worth the upgrade IMHO, and worth the wait if you have to save up for it.

        So its a tradeoff: If you’re buying the gun to sit in a bedside table, maybe its not worth $100 to you to upgrade to an M&P. If you want a gun that is enjoyable to shoot at the range on a monthly basis, then maybe consider saving up that extra $100.

        1. Jim

          That adds nothing here. The review was of an SD9. Do you really think you’re enlightening us all about the existence of the M&P’s? There is always some FLAME DELETED suggesting people save up for the next level of whatever is being discussed. Sounds to me that you just want people to know you have an M&P.

        2. JoshinGA

          Well, the SD9 is the step below the M&P, so applicable to compare the two? I think so.

        3. Duke

          stop saying IMHO. Of course it is your opinion. That is why you said it. Also the “honest” part is ridiculous as well. Are you implying that some of your opinions are dishonest? How is that if they are your own opinion.

        4. Carl

          I’m surprised by the prices you quote on the 2 guns. Where I live, I can get the SD for 299.00 easy but the M&P will run me just over $500.00 ($519.00 is the cheapest I’ve seen it). Would I prefer the M&P? You damn betcha I would. Can I justify the $200 difference in price? That I’m going to have to think about.

      2. Jim R

        Not everyone WANTS to spend $500 to $600 on a S&W M&P. I want a reliable, striker fired pistol for a very reasonable price and I’m willing to give up some features to attain that goal. I believe I got just what I was looking for in the SP9 VE. I like this pistol, and it’s price so much that I’m planning on buying another in .40 caliber; but, if the price ever goes over $320 then I’ll likely look for something else.
        In addition, when spending $500 to $600 on a pistol I’m not looking at S&W, but that’s another topic for another day!

        1. John Hope

          Yup! I totally agree. If i get in the 600-700 range im getting a Sig, FN or a H&K if i can find a steal on one. All are just flat out better quality guns than a Glock or an M&P!!!

      3. Phillip Lamb

        So, I dumped my HiPoint and got a SD9VE just so somebody can tell me I should have spent another 100.00?

        1. Jim R.

          Hey Phillip Lamb,

          I know what you mean! Some days you can’t win!

          JR (Still lovin’ my SD9 VE)

    2. Chris

      I’ll 2nd that. The MP is a lot more gun per buck, even for $100 more. I get to shoot my brother’s MP40 once in a while, and love it.

      1. Jim

        While the M&P’ are nice, I have no doubt that the SD9 can match the M&P9 round for round in both reliability and accuracy. A lot of The “more gun” you refer to is superficial.

        1. JoshinGA

          For $100 you get better looks (superficially better, but hey, Im a slut for a good looking gun), a better factory trigger, interchangeable backstraps to help better fit the gun to you, I prefer the sig-style takedown of the M&P over the Glock-style of the SD9, better trigger reset, and 1 more round (in 9mm).

  3. jwm

    My sigma has been great. You pointed out the fault with these budget smiths. The mags ain’t budget friendly.

    Are the mags interchangeable between the sigma and the sd?

    1. jlottmc

      Why yes, yes they are. I have the all black, with the tritium front sight (forget the model) SD40, and most of the Sigma parts interchange just fine. By the way, after several hundred rounds the trigger does get a little lighter, and less gritty. I may look into the spring kit for mine, however.

      1. Jay W.

        I installed the APEX spring kit in my all black SD9 at the beginning of the year and the kit is worth every penny.

    2. John

      yes they are, i sold my sigma and still had two mags and when i bought the new sd9 they fit and worked perfect.

  4. Jon R.

    Good review, love to hear about great budget guns. Can we get a review of the SIG SP2022 next? I hear its the best budget gun EVER! I’d like to get TTAG’s version of it.

    1. Alex

      My first handgun was a 9mm Sigma. Traded that for a CZ75, then GP100; now I have a Sig 2022. In my opinion the 2022 trigger blows every other similar-priced SA/DA trigger out of the water. I’ve shot quite a few handguns and the Sig is in general one of the best feeling, best shooting of them all. This past weekend I was checking out a 226 (just handled, never shot) at a FFL; and price difference aside, I can’t decide which I like better. To me there is no question about it, I bought my 2022 new for about $440 and it’s the best handgun I’ve used.

      1. Duke

        Gross ass hammer fired guns. Get yourself an M&P and quit clowning around. SIG is an overpriced boat anchor.

        1. Stew Pidasso

          Whats your problem Duke. You leave $hitty comments, and run your mouth to everyone who posts…

    2. John

      I have the sigma and love them for the price, but im a 1911 guy myself and its also my duty weapon of choice, the sig 2022 is hard to shoot in my opinion, but my Sgt. loves it so its really a case by case and shooter to shooter, everyone can handle different guns better it just comes down to what you are proficient with. I would recommend going to a range where you can try out different guns and see what you like and are good with before investing.

  5. mlk18

    I have both the old SD9 and the new SD9VE and BOTH have Apex spring kits installed (Hey S&W, if you’re reading this just make it like that from the factory!). But I also took the time to highly polish all internal moving parts. What I ended up with was a fairly long but VERY smooth trigger. After a few thousand rounds through my SD9, my pull gauge says it breaks at approx. 5.25lbs (avg of 3 pulls). For the price nothing else compares.

    1. Jim

      What did you use to polishe the internal parts? Did it make a noticeable difference?

  6. WildWest

    I made my entry into handgun ownership this weekend. And the SD9 was my purchase. I’ve been a novice but interested (if not regretfully irregular) shooting enthusiast for years now. I could simply not justify the purchase of a Glock, M&P, Sig; as great as those guns may be. I don’t shoot enough to justify the expense. I did want a defensive handgun for my home.

    Today I put my new gun through its paces and did the practice drills the local range would allow me to do (no quick firing allowed). The controls are nice, I like the way it feels in the hand, It was very comfortable to shoot. At 15 meters my groupings were 7 inches on 50 rounds. I didn’t think this was poor for a brand new handgun straight out of the box. At 7.5 meters my groupings are a ragged 4 inch hole on 50 rounds. I actually PREFER the 7.8 pound trigger over the lighter triggers. Mine is a bit gritty, I plan to polish that up a bit, but I desire the heavier trigger pull. If I ever pull that trigger because I need to, rather than want to, I want to be darned certain that it is only when I mean to.

    In all, I shot 500 rounds today. Everything from Winchester white box to some cheep walmart fmj. I did shoot 50 rounds of Corbon JHP and Hornady Critical Defense.

    Even in the one handed and left handed drills I shot straight, had zero malfunctions, and the only reason I am not still at the range is I did eventually need to go to work.

    The gun works flawlessly, and it may not be as fancy, or as pretty or have the wing dings the other more expensive guns do. And, I can afford hundreds of rounds of FMJ to practice and train myself with that had I spent more money on a more expensive handgun I would not be doing. (one reason I chose 9mm over .40 SW)

    **Also, look around for magazines, they can be found for the $32.00 neighborhood. I picked up extras at the gun show.**

    1. Pascal

      Congrats on your new ownership. If you are new to this, then the groupings may be just from lack of practice. Being a new to you gun should not matter if you where not rapid firing.

      You have a very legit reason for your purchase and it all makes sense. That gun can do better. But, just to contrast, I took a new Glock 21 Gen 4 out on Sunday and did sub 3″ groups at the same distance. Paying more “sometimes” gives you more but NOT always.

      That said, enjoy your purchase make sure you keep practicing. if you have never dissabled a firearm and worked on before, I suggest you have a local gunsmith polish up the action for you. As an armorer I have seen a lot of problem guns because someone over did what they were trying to do.

      1. WildWest

        My groupings were entirely from shooting error. I fully know that. Because I either have had to borrow, or rent (usually rent) to shoot, I have only been shooting a few hundred handgun rounds a year or so. And 15 meters is a long pistol shot for a defensive training. In a month, I’ll have put hundreds of more rounds of experience in and I’ll be a better user.

        As for the handgun. It worked perfectly for my needs. It handled even poor left handed technique quite nicely.

    2. Peter

      And your finger is still attached to your hand, and you can bend it?

      Were you wearing gloves?

      It’s not the weight of the trigger pull that’s the killer. It’s the l-o-o-ong take-up and l-o-o-ong over travel.

  7. gimlet

    Nice review Tyler. I especially like the tactile “pad” they put on the SD9’s frame for the index finger. Went with the M&P9c for my first handgun (still carry it regularly), but having more well-built and economical options available benefits everyone.

  8. Ralph

    It’s a gen-u-wine made in the USA Smith & Wesson for the price of a made in Brazil Taurus, and with an Apex kit it will shoot rings around the Sigma. What’s not to like. Nice choice, Tyler, and a nice write-up.

  9. Jim

    I have the all Black SD9. Who can tell me what they did different with the SD9 VE aside from the stainless slide?

    1. WildWest

      They eliminated the front night sight. And now it comes in a cardboard box. Mechanically it functions with all of the same parts.

      1. Jim

        Mine came in a cardboard box too. I can’t believe that front night sight is the $70.00 difference. I wonder where else they went cheap.

        1. Paul

          Cheaper front sight
          Plastic rear sight
          Cardboard box
          No mellonite on slide

  10. Gyufygy

    I’m going to pull on a Nomex firesuit as soon as I finish this, but I’m not trying to be a troll. What differences does a Glock 17 or 19 bring to cost $200-250 more? Nicer trigger is obvious, but what else? Actually curious to find out what the differences in price mean.

    For the record, I own a Glock 19 Gen 4.

    1. JoshinGA

      The name “Glock”?

    2. jwm

      Gyufygy. I’m an ofwg that’s retired. my house is paid for and I have no debt. I tell you this to illustrate a point. I can afford top end firearms. But I’m also a practical man. I look at 2 guns for the same job and one is near double the price of the other, guess which one I’m buying.

      In my case the Sigma actually fits my hand better than a glock and has been just as reliable, the most important atrribute of a self defense gun, so I can’t justify the 250 more for a glock.

      The only reason I didn’t buy the .380 Bersa was I didn’t want to add another more expensive round to my logistics. I already have the 9×18 Makarov.

    3. Not much. The original SIGMA was almost a dead nuts copy of the Glock machine. There is little difference if any as to field performance between the two The SD9VE is an upgraded SIGMA compare to a Gen 3 Glock.
      They even use the same holsters.

    4. Comparing an SD40VE to an M&P Pro, the two biggest things that jump out at me are the type of polymer used in the frame (the SD is shinier and slicker), and the slide has no finish (the SD is straight up stainless). M&P slides have a super hard nitride type finish, same type as the Glock. Trigger pull is much different, as already noted. The back strap on the SD is fixed, as opposed to the M&P/Glock Gen 4’s removable back straps.

      You definitely get more gun for your money with a Glock or M&P, but I do like the SD’s. As long as the reliability holds, I’m hoping they are a great seller for S&W.

  11. jfoster

    I decided to purchase my first handgun last November and being the first had no idea what I wanted. I chose the Sigma for 3 reasons. Price, comfort and I not wanting to make a mistake on a $600 plus investment. I polished up the trigger mechanism with a dremel and have had zero issues. Now, I’d really like a P226.

  12. VT Patriot

    Had my 9VE for a few years now, and when I got it, it came with a hard case and 2 mags. The trigger was awful, felt like raw sandpaper inside. After finally tracking where it was rough, (in the back of the receiver) it was a short job to find and polish the affected parts. Much improved. Next, the spring kit and it’ll be perfect. One happy owner.

  13. Leon

    Great review!
    Thanks for listening to our requests for reviews of guns priced for regular guys.

  14. Bad Matt

    One of TTAG best reviews. Who wants another review of a Sig or a Glock? There’s no point. But this review looked at an inexpensive off-beat gun, identified its flaws and pointed out an inexpensive fix. That was interesting. Keep it up and maybe Sig and Glock will cut the fat out if their prices. Great review!

    1. Joseph Bradfield


  15. Moe Meatpickle

    I just got the SD9 and my friend has the previous model Sig. The guns eat everything put through them except something called S&B Luger, it has red stuff around the primer. Both of our issues is the clips are nearly impossible to load the 16th round and if we do, it does’nt want to go up into the gun and lock the clip in. Does anyone have an idea what’s up? Oh! Has anyone tried a forward mount grip on the rail?

    1. Chris Dumm

      If you’re thinking of putting a vertical foregrip on the Pic-rail, don’t do it. It will convert your handgun into an NFA-regulated ‘Any Other Weapon’ which requires a tax stamp. If you really want to do it, have an SOT manufacturer attach it for you, so you won’t have to pay the manufacturing tax yourself.

      But just don’t do it (even if you’re discreetly shooting with your buddies on the back 40 of someone’s private property) because it’s also really unsafe. A typical polymer handgun’s pic-rails aren’t strong enough to handle the stress of a vertical foregrip. They tend to snap off at the most inconvenient moments, and you don’t want your hand or fingers near the muzzle when that happens. One of the hidden dangers of *really* short SBRs is that it’s way too easy to get your support hand forward of the muzzle. One of my buddies was a half-second away from shooting off his left index finger that way.

      If you absolutely must have an AOW, build it on an H&K SP-89 or Ingram/Masterpiece Arms platform, or anything else with a fore-end strong enough to securely mount that vertical grip. And mount it far enough back that you can’t extend your fingers past the muzzle.

    2. The “red stuff” is waterproof sealant.

  16. AntiG

    Thanks for the review. I’ve had mine for about a month. Love the feel, hate the trigger, loved the price (which I could have saved more if I had gone to that consumer horror show called Cabela’s. Only time I’ve seen it jam was when Da Wife shot it with her little paws. Working on that problem (maybe slower ammo will help), but ordered the trigger spring kit (thanks again) to see how things work out. Oh..I polished things in mine before even firing it, so the trigger is hard, but smooth. Also only get 15 rounds in the mags. No friggin way they’ll take 16 and still work.

  17. Bob Clark

    I often read, but rarely comment, on these sites, however I couldn’t resist this time after reading the other comments. For the sake of establishing my sense of reality I’ll start with my credentials – I’m a Viet Nam era (old) Ranger/LRRP (8 1/2 years) – retired State Trooper – and own more handguns and long-guns than I can count. For years I’ve been listening to the tired discussions about the benefits of owning expensive, boutique handguns. Folks, to each their own, but when someone extols the virtues of a well made handgun that didn’t mean the owner hand to mortgage the farm, I get a warm fuzzy feeling! I’ve watched the cost climb on some of these weapons for no apparent reason other than the name scratched on the slide – and yet people keep shelling it out. I had the chance to try out the SD9 and I WAS IMPRESSED! Sure the trigger pull is a bit rank, but, as Tyler pointed out, there’s a cheap fix. I can speak from experience that when I’ve had to resort to my sidearm in the heat of battle (albeit a GI 1911) trigger pull just don’t matter – you won’t even think about it gang. What really matters when used in self-defense is that it’s gonna go bang – repeatedly! In my opinion the SD9 fits the need very well, and you “still own the farm”. Kudos to S&W for a very serviceable sidearm. Now I’m gonna go back to my AARP Magazine.

    1. WildBillCody

      very well said and thanks for your service brother

  18. John Pickett

    Well said SIR!! Thanks for everything you have done for me and OUR country.

  19. John Bryan

    Is the Freedom Group Marlin comment supposed to be about the rumor that George Soros is connected to Cerberus/Freedom Group? That’s been debunked by various groups – NRA & for example. Unless TTAG has additional information saying otherwise…

  20. WildBillCody

    Just got this gun about 10 days ago. Took it straight outta the box, setup my target on a tree behind the pasture, loaded 5 rounds – and from 20 yards had 3 of 5 bullseyes, one-handed, rapid fire 5 rounds. I dig it. (Note: I have not fired a handgun since we shot the .45’s back in the Navy – I think the last year I did that was 2005 so I am pretty happy with 3 bull’s)

    I needed something to keep in my truck that was not a boatload of money, but i could rely on – and so far all i can say is i dig it. I did 15 years Navy and was used to the .45, but I like the 9mm because it is lighter, more compact and easier to conceal & carry. I am going to the range this Saturday and will update, but for what i am looking for, this is exactly that – low cost, quality made 9mm peace-keeper.

  21. Ensitu

    So you think that “packing it in motor oil” causes jamming issues with semi-autos?
    You sir are indeed an expert!

    1. Rob W.

      You people that pick apart peoples comments…like was done to Joshinga’s are like a bunch of old ladies.

  22. I love mine. It compares well with higher priced guns and is more reliable than most of the right out of the box. 16 rds of firepower is nothing to sneeze at. As to the trigger. You get used to it. Sure it could be smoother but in a combat pistol you won’t know the difference if the Goblins come.
    I also find that it conceals really really well in the right holster. I use a Bulldog Leather belt slide [$26 on Amazon] and i don’t even know it is there and no one else does either.
    It is a great pistol and a fine bargain all things considered. Accurate and reliable in the extreme. I had a SIGMA 40 and liked it too. Never a jam or failure to fire. Accurate as you are. What more can you ask of any pistol.

  23. Moe Meatpickle

    Am I the only person in the USA that can’t get the sixteenth round in the mag? I’ve left two clips loaded for 6mnths hoping in one hand and wishing in the other, that it may take some tension out of the spring. Even when I get the 16 in the mag, it will not go up into the gun and lock.

    1. Ian

      Mine were very difficult too – the 16th round – but after a while it freed up. After keeping a mags fully loaded (16 rounds) and having them sit there if eventually got smoother. The pistol is very tight when new. After having mine for over a year with no issues, I still prefer to keep only 14 or 15 rounds in the mag because it simply makes racking the slide easier. And hey, if you ever need to, trust me, 14 should be enough to get out of a rough situation.

      1. Ruger357man

        It’s a little tight but will go in should loosen up a little as you use it. As far as the trigger goes. I don’t have a problem with it . You get use to it.

  24. craig

    Why doesn’t S&W just ship these guns with the above mentioned trigger job rather than have less than favorable reviews? Who wouldn’t gladly spend an extra 20 bucks and be good to go. Don’t get it!

    1. don

      to just ask that question shows me your not going to know even if we tell you

  25. Tim Diesel

    Wanted to thank you, Tyler, and Bob Clark for your reviews on this gun. Travel for a living and am new to guns. Been visiting several gun shops throughout the U.S. over the last several months and had it narrowed down to this gun and a couple of others. Being that I am new to guns I was not wanting to break the bank, however, get the best gun for the money at the same time. You don’t know how much this review helped me finalize my decision and put it on layway at my local gun shop today. Before the evening is out I plan on buying the aftermarket trigger and will have that installed along with the recommended parts polished before I leave the store with the gun in the next few months. Wanted to tell you both that although in this world there are people that feel they must be negative in every aspect of life, this was exactly what I’ve been looking for and wanted you guys to have some positive feedback. Looking forward to shooting it soon and taking a concealed permit class in future. Thanks again!

  26. AryanAssassin

    let me add some profound perspective: bang, bang, bang…and still banging!

  27. Tim Diesel

    Wanted to let everyone know how my first time out with my purchase went. After purchasing I immediately brought the gun to our local gun smith and had the Apex aftermarket trigger kit installed and parts polished as suggested in the comments. My first time out today, the third round jammed, off of that put about 75 rounds thru it with no issues. Trigger was very nice and gun’s accuracy was very impressive for the buck! Very happy with my purchase. Would recommend gun with trigger job to anyone wanting to be in a gun at a reasonable price. Feel I have a lot of value for the money!

    1. Charles solomon

      who needs the $110.00 apex trigger job done??? with a couple of squirts from my CRC150 Power Lube for Break In, My SD9VE works Perfectly…Lovin’ It.I am hoping S&W will put a manual safety on it.

  28. Blameitonthetrigger

    “That little quirk is naturally, thanks to the craptastic trigger. Again, fix the trigger and this is a very capable gun for the entry level pistolero.”

    Interesting, I have the 1st gen SD9 and have no problems maintaining decent groups nor any issues with the trigger. It’s a self-defense gun, not a match 1911. Perhaps you’re the “entry level pistolero” that you just so happen to be recommending the gun for, or your delicate little index finger can’t handle it…possibly both.

  29. We have had several of these through our shop in the last few months. I haven’t had a chance to actually shoot one, but I have certainly handled them endlessly. You can really see the difference in the frame polymer compared to an M&P, But they seem pretty good for a $350 handgun, and with a spring kit to make the trigger better, they definitely seem like a fine purchase.

    Thanks for the review, Tyler!

  30. Nelson Martinez

    Hi Tyler:
    I appreciate your review. As an owner of a recently purchased SD9VE, I can agree with you except on one thing: You (and many other writers) make too much of an issue on trigger pull. You’re an expert in the gun category and have had the opportunity to use guns with lighter triggers. So you do have a basis for comparison. Remember that this (SD9VE) is a basic, personal defense weapon without a safety. It is design for protection, but also it’s a great weapon for those individuals with limited gun experience. The trigger pull is a safety consideration, especially in a situation where adrenalin may cause the owner with a twitchy finger to accidentally discharge the weapon. There is no need to spend money trigger pull modification as it voids the gun’s intent: premature firing! Yes, it does have a somewhat lengthy pull, but it’s nothing that detracts from the gun or a concern the shooter can’t deal with by shooting a box out on the range. It takes time to learn the “quirks and personality” of any gun. After practicing with it, I don’t even take the trigger pull into consideration at all. Again, by changing the trigger pull you defeat the gun’s original purpose. If a person wants a lighter trigger pull, then consideration to another gun is the better option. As it is, the SD9VE is quite a value. Like you, I have shot every type of ammo with no misfeeds or jams, accurate, and dependable. Indeed, although a bit too big for carry, it’s the type of gun for the vehicle, boat, woods, and especially for the home. Economically priced ($319 at The Academy) you won’t shed tears if it’s lost. It would be a shame to change the gun as it is. In its stock condition, trigger pull and all, it’s the best bang for the buck. What’s that they say: “If it ain’t broke…”
    PS: I’m 82ABN/Special Forces Vet

    1. mikey @

      thank you sir for your service first. and you insight second ! I have this weapon in my home for my wife. I know handguns well. I also own many high end firearms. but because of the trigger I bought this firearm! I’m not in a hurry to shoot anyone ,nor is she.everone seems to want faster these day, phones,cars,internet speed,extra…on and on I think that’s how the nation got so far from god! speed reading the bible! it’s good to know there is guys like you out there that took the time to study the gun and safety came to your mind . not how fast I can shoot. my hats off to you sir. thanks mikey

  31. Tony Burnett

    I too am a Vietnam era veteran and there are two things that the negative posts bother me with. When your adrenaline is pumping you will not notice the long trigger pull. In fact a short light trigger pull causes you to fire prematurely. Many cops complain of the Glocks doing this. Also, if you can’t get the 16th round in, you are a weakling. Finally, I would be willing to bet the only experience the people that dog this gun have had, is in video games and they have never been in a true gunfight. In a gunfight only two things matter and this gun has both. Accuracy and the ability to go bang bang bang without fail.

  32. Mike Stone

    What Tony said +1.

  33. sd9ve out performs my glock 19 getting rid of my glock sd9ve much better

  34. I have a Taurus 9mm its ok .recently bought an sd9ve .fired 400 rounds without any sd9ve is a much superior weapon than my Taurus trigger pull is not as bad as a lot of comments that I have read I will keep my sd9ve I don’t know about my taurus


  36. Austin

    What about this pistol in a .40 cal? Good idea? Bad idea? Not necessary?

  37. Kevin

    Great review. Irish setters do not point, they “set”…just to be accurate – and since pointing was your point, maybe German Shorthair or English POINTER would have worked a little better. Keep on blogging.


  38. Bill

    I have the sd9 and it a great gun my best friend it goes where I go sleeps with me I get wet play in mud ride quads dirty dusty rain an it has never failed me not one time it gets wet I take a rag wipe the water goes back on my side ready to go it jammed one time and that was in the second timed I pulled the trigger show me anyother gun that will stand up to me and I will buy it but you’ll never find me a gun that will even a six shooter won’t stand up to this gun you al have a great day buy this gun you’ll llve it I do

  39. John Hope

    I have owned pistols from $150-$200 range all the way up to $2500. Wide array, you name it. At $319 at Academy Sports I was expecting a gun that was a C grade gun at best. Just something to knock around with at the range and beat the shit out of so I dont have to get my nice revolvers and higher priced Sig’s or 1911’s scratched up. Well to my suprize I got a steal!!! This gun is not all that bad AT ALL. Trigger job made it fantastic, which I was not expecting. Its one thing to expect quality and be let down, and another to expect a decent gun and get a really good gun. I have the sd40ve. Never the less, ignore the “cheap” price. Great gun for a beginner or an advanced shooter who just wants another gun to have around “just in case”. WILL I carry this gun…no. WOULD I carry this gun…..absolutely!!! Its going to take a pretty good gun to replace my Ruger SP101 2.25 inch with new trigger job and MePro sights, but on a rainy day I might just throw this one in the glove box. Shoots strait, feels better in hand than Glock (yes I said that), and saves you $200-$300 compared to other Polymer pistols with similar design and function. Smith and Wesson simply produce so many different guns that they could afford to take a chance on a cheaply manufactured gun and not raise the price way up to help margins….they are Smith and Wesson….they can afford to take a chance and at the same time undercut thier compitition on price for a gun that is just a little below in quality (but not much). Smart move on Smith and Wesson’s part and smart business to have a pistol out there like this. I bet they are very pleased and I can see someone looking at a Glock, and M&P and this and choosing this to save money. So they dont lose out cause they are still sticking with S&W. Very good gun, very good price. Period

  40. Hank Locker

    Add me to the list of people who don’t see an issue with the trigger on this piece, but my other carry gun is a Sig P290RS, and that trigger gets a lot of negative press as well. My SD9VE has shot everything I’ve put in it, and that was quite an assortment. I’ve experienced no issues with the 16th round, but maybe using an Uplula is considered cheating. Magazine loads fine and cartridge chambers fine on my piece. Maybe someday I’ll have the extra 2 bills to get a Glock or whatever else non-SD9VE owners are touting, but for the nonce this gun is serving me well.

  41. I purchased this pistol for my wife. She
    said it was to big for her hands. I ended up buying her a Bersa UC 9mm Pro.
    I inherited the S&W SD9VE. I liked it so much I bought another and call them the twins. 🙂 excellent review.

  42. Ty3930

    I’m a geezer who was raised with a weapon in my hand. 20 years ago I sold all of them because I had an unexpected son in my early 40’s (still can’t recall how that happened). Anyway, bought this pistol in the spring….my first ever semi-auto….but only began firing it recently…..and shortly after I added a Glock 21 Gen 4 to my paltry collection. Being an old revolver guy who opted for SA when I needed to hit something, this pistol caused me problems for 2 mags. I don’t hate it, but it is cumbersome compared to the 21’s trigger. I will say, however, it breaks down easily and goes bang flawlessly. There’s much to be said for that.

  43. john t yanc

    have owned 3 glocks and much prefer the s&w sigma. does have a long trigger pull but works every time. it fits my hand great and after practice have become quite accurate with it. i think its all personal preference. i like it! its no sig sauer but a great gun..

  44. Larry

    I own a few pistols price range from 295-2200. I have a SD40Ve that’s 3years old. It’s had 2100 rounds through it. No problems No warranty returns. Just as accurate as any of the other pistols i own more in some cases. The only one feels even close to being as comfortable in the hand is my Kimber commander and my Colt 1911. All Triggers in all pistols are different. So get off the “Bad” trigger business. Sometimes when people spend to much for something. They feel the need to cut down something that may have cost them less money that performs as well. I used to think that myself !

  45. Jack

    I just ordered the last SD9VE I could find online. I can’t wait to try it. I also have an S&W 642 on order and have to agree on a few comments here. The heavy trigger is an intentional design of the gun to counteract the lack of a physical safety. Be careful with modifications if this will be in a nightstand, you wouldn’t want to shoot a sleeping family member through the wall in a groggy accidental discharge. Stay safe all.

  46. This pistol is exactly a copy of the GLOCK pistol,. GLOCK took S&W to court …and for each one of the S&W sold … Glock makes 8.00 dollars on each one

  47. Charles Solomon

    We have been waiting to buy an SD9 or 40 VE marketed here in califarcia. The sacracmento politicos are demanding the SD9 or 40 Ve be “california compliant” PLUS Pay the alien leach loving governor jerry moonbeam demands of $50,000 to list the SD on the “california approved gun list”. So Here we Are Waiting for this interesting Pistol hoping governor moonbeam and his trained apes in the sacramento legislature will relent and allow S&W to market this fine low cost pistol here for people to enjoy and be protected with.

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  49. Nick Roby

    I really can’t complain about this gun. I got it for 289 at academy and it been a pretty solid gun

  50. Tony Williams

    A reliable, full sized, entry level, full power pistol for less than $300 (gunbroker) what’s not to like? The trigger fix is a good idea for the experienced or inexperienced. As far as the many and varied “comparisons” in this thread, the Springfield XD (not M) can be had for under $400, and is as good as, in every respect, the M&P ($500+) or the Glock ($500+).

  51. Charlie

    Academy has this gun on sale RIGHT NOW for 299.99

  52. Nick

    I have the forty and have fired over 300 rounds through it. I have the apex trigger kit installed bringing the pull down to 5.5lbs+/-. The pull is very much like a double action revolver. I love it! It’s long but smooth. I easily fire groups under 1 inch at 20 feet. The clip works well and the action cycles flawlessly with 14 rounds plus one in the chamber. I’m not looking for anything else for home defense. Great job S&W.

    1. Tracy

      Now that you have the Apex spring kit and like your pistol more you should go to the next step. I also installed the Apex Action Enhancement Trigger (40 bucks) to go with that lighter trigger pull. It is a Glock style trigger that reduces the length of trigger travel and improves trigger reset. I also installed and recomend the Galloway Precision stainless steel guide rod and recoil spring kit (35 bucks). With the cost of these upgrades I am at 422.00 for the total cost of my SD9ve, taxes, shipping and all. I have tried to like the Glock 19 more than my S&W and just can’t. The Glock 19 needs an aftermarket trigger job too, (IMO), the ergomonics suck compared to the SD and the cost of mine is still much less. I personally wouldn’t own an M&P either. I don’t like them. The SD9 impressed me enough to make it the first tupperware gun that I have ever owned. I like steel, aluminum alloy and 1911 triggers. But I am now carrying a SD9ve every day and like it really good for what it is.

  53. Mack

    I appreciate this product review. I bought one of the Academy 299.99 guns on the 15th. and am very happy. I had been looking at the m&p and sr9. It was hard to get beyond the low price as being inferior. Discussions like this helped me forgo the marketing hype. Thanks.
    The jury is out for me on changing the trigger. I’ll do a little polishing and shoot it a while before crossing that bridge.
    Thanks to all the service men and women as well as law enforcement folks. I hope to never need to defend others or myself using deadly force, but, want to be ready and resolved to take action when necessary. I enjoy shooting and like guns. I’m glad to own a S&W and an American made product.

  54. Beetzmee

    I own both the Sigma’s in 9mm and 40, the ve (All black in 9) and this version in 9 as well. Regardless of what people say, this is the most underrated firearm on the market. Even the originals were work horses, just not pretty. And yes, the triggers are tiresome…until you get used to them….even the originals softened up a bit after 500 rounds or so….they are functional. No frills, basic, practical and they go bang every single time. I ROUTINELY mix loads in the same mag to see if I can get this to jam. All 5 models.

    Nope, can’t happen. These things eat whatever I feed them due to the generous feed tolerances between magazine, tilted barrel and throat. No issues whatsoever. I’m not touting these over others. I can tell you that these have performed flawlessly. And now, for the fun part.

    In 2010 I bought the original blocky Sigma’s in 9mm and 40. I paid 279 and 250 respectively…new….I caught the 40 at the absolute bottom of the market before the black model ve came in….on a whim, in 2011 I bought the 9mm (black version) with front night sight and slightly improved trigger…more rounded and ergonomic…conceals better and holds 16 plus 1. Not bad for a mid-sized firearm. I’v since purchased the 9mm in the latest version…same as the black, just stainless and polymer….coin toss….the black one was the most expensive…339….I saw the ve’s on sale last week for 289….

    Bottom line, there is simply NO other gun this good, for this price. If you only had money for one gun, this would be it….on another note, that none of the gun snobs talk about, the Taurus tcp 380….best, most concealable and smoothest trigger of the pocket 380’s and no hardly gives it a mention…it disappears in your pocket, has six and one, slide locks to the rear after the last shot (how about that ruger), and comes with two mags if you buy the package, one if you don’t. Cost? 199 plus tax. CAN’T beat it and it WORKS…wonderfully. I have one in .32 and .380. get the basic blue, by an extra mag for 20 bucks…add the pearce extension if you care for 10 bucks more….great pocket semi for the summer and shorts…NO ONE will know you have it…..

    That’s it…two great guns that are often overlooked. I own 8, 9mm pistols..a hi-power, tarus pt-111, the smiths, kel-tec, Sig 2022, glock GEN 1, ruger SR9 (great ergos on this one), and and old smith and Wesson 6409?..fat chunk of high quality steel…..this sigma/ve is one of my favorites…it’s a no b.s. gun for around 300 bucks and it works, every time.

    Semper Fi,

  55. bob

    Remove thw NY pigtail spring. Add hogue grips. enjoy.

    1. Jim R

      NY pigtail spring? Please explain!

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  60. Tracy

    Glock better than an SD9/40ve?
    Doing a brief search on the web tells me a Glock 17 is about 500.00, best price.
    My new SD9ve, (with two mags), cost me 318.00 with tax. With necessary upgrades that I installed, Apex Tacical Specialties Action Enhancement Trigger and SD spring kit, 69.40 (total). Galloway Precision Stainless Steel Guide Rod and 17lb Recoil Spring Assembly, 35.00. Total cost for the completed pistol = 422.40.
    The SD9/40ve with these necessary and easy to install upgrades make the pistol rank right up there with the best of them. Personally, I never liked the Glocks. The SDs are similar but with better ergonomics, sight options, S&W lifetime warranty, made in America and, (if it matters to anyone), the SDs are a much “sexier” looking pistol. And BTW, Glocks need an aftermarket trigger job too, imo, so don’t even go there. If you have one of these SDs, seriously consider the upgrades I mentioned. They are worth every penny in less trigger pre-travel, over-travel and pull weight, better trigger reset, more comfortable feel, ease of shooting, (which leads to better accuracy), and better overall reliability. HELL YES THE S&W SD SERIES IS BETTER THAN A GLOCK!……Like it or not, thats my opinion 🙂

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  62. Billy

    My experience was the SD9ve was it one of the worst guns I ever owned. The trigger felt so bad and gritty it actually hurt to pull it after a few magazines. Took way too much trigger control to shoot straight (8.5 lbs…mine was closer to 10 lbs), especially with any kind of rapid fire. My G19, my M&P9, and my Sig226…now those are pleasure to shoot and worth every penny more. Sure you can alter this and that, but in the end you could have spent the same amount and got a much better gun.
    No comparison at least for me. Love S&W, have several including ARs but I would take a hi point over this gun any day. Anybody who raves about this gun needs to shoot a wider variety of guns. Every single friend that shot it said it was a horrible horrible trigger and wouldn’t shoot it more then a few rounds. That and 3 FTFs and 2 stove pipes in 500 rounds with factory ammo.

  63. John in Melbourne Florida

    I feel bad for Billy. Must have got hold of a lemon. I have one of these- SD9 and put have 850+ rounds through it and NOT even one issue. I don’t know if Smith has already changed the triggers but I bought this last summer and I think the trigger is great. Mine seems a little too easy to squeeze sometimes especially after just a magazine of rounds. I only wish it was still available with the all black model. I also concur with Beetzmee as to the latest models of the Taurus TCP. I have one of those and the Smith Bodyguard380 and they are great “little” pocket pistols. The TCP trigger is better than the BG’s but both are MADE in U.S.A. Taurus in Miami actually manufactures the TCP and the PT22Poly (I have one of those too) Congratulations to all of you who have discovered great guns that don’t have to cost too much. My next object of desire is a Kahr CW380 just a few more nights at my Chippendales dancing job and One of those babies is mine!

  64. Rob G

    Wow, lots of good info following a excellent review. Back in ’99, I picked up a used police model Sigma 40F, always went bang except twice (2 stovepipes) and that happened going through 500+ rounds over a two month period. Then picked up the two tone Sigma 40VE, sold it 2 weeks later.
    Picked up the Generation 1 SD40 (all black melonite), and STILL have it, shoots great, trigger is fine.
    Then also picked up a 2 tone SD9 VE, and don’t like the long pull but what I really hate is the “spongyness” of the trigger. So, I’m keeping the SD40, selling the SD9VE and taking those $$ to add to my cash for a M&P9…then I’m DONE!

  65. Charles solomon

    SD9VE is an Excellent Pistol for the money and More……

  66. John in Melbourne Florida

    Rob. Admit it man… You’re never done. We’re all pistol junkies. It’s great. I think you might be done until the next awesome pistol comes out. (Like me) enjoy!

    1. Rob G


      Yeah, I’m a junkie but luckily I don’t feel the need to have the latest “cool” firearm to hit the market.
      Although I did feel that way when I bought the 10/22 takedown because it was such a great concept as well as quality.
      Truth be told, I’m gonna sell or trade the SD9 so I can buy an M&P9. Something I should have done in the first place but I was trying not to spend too much (as well as keep peace in the house). I’ll keep my 1st gen SD40 which has a decent trigger pull compared to the 2 tone SD9 I just got. I do love my S&W’s to include the 22A, SD40, M&P15Sport, and soon an M&P9.
      You don’t know how lucky you are to NOT be in the state of Maryland where I have to contend with a 10 rd cap on mags as well as a ton of other BS laws. Hope to pack up the wife, dogs and cat and head to the Tampa area when I retire in 4 years!!!

  67. Charles solomon

    The SD9VE is a hybrid cross between a well behaved sigma and An M&P 9, Minus the flaws. Face it: It IS an EXCELLENT Pistol for The Money and More!….Maryland You say???…. How about waiting 42 days for your second pistol, so to collect an interesting 8 pistol collection I had to put up with califarcia’s senator Leland Yee’s Illegal laws for half a year…california state senator leland yee…ring a bell????Yez…here is an incredible sleezy califarcia state senator who said” ” I won’t rest happy until california is a NoGun State!!!
    Meanwhile this politico is trying to buy 500 M16 AUTOMATICS to sell on the street to ANYONE in an FBI Sting, he was just arrested. It IS amazing what we law abiding citizens will put up with the sleezy politicos.
    On your search engine,Please checkout: “california state senator leleand yee arrested in FBI gun sting”

    1. Rob G

      Well, here in Maryland (which we call California east) we too have our share of crooked politicians. Most have yet to be caught like Mr. Yee. Let us not forget other famous hypocrites like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and our own Md rep Steny Hoyer.

  68. John in Melbourne Florida

    Rob G. , I’m sorry to hear about the horrible restrictions. I used to live in Western New York (Buffalo -Niagara Falls area) and all my brothers and sisters are still there. They have to suffer under that dolt Cuomo’s “safe act” which also restricts the size magazine to 10 rounds I believe. I hope your next four years are profitable, comfortable and pleasantly memorable until you make your way south here to the sunshine state. Good luck man. Stay aware and keep the faith. – John

  69. larry

    I own multiple hand guns and the bottom line is….. I boight this gun for $289. You can beat that. If ot were a car it would be a Kia, it doesnt compare to a bmw but it gets you from a to b.

  70. Charles solomon

    The SD9VE luckily is on the califarcia “DOJ approved list” for another 8months till it “falls off” then LGS cannot sell it to california consumers because of the firing pin ID stamp novelty which WAS supposed to be “enfarced” but NOW this california “doj gun list” is a proven violation of a federal anti trust law which is a felony.
    So here we have our AG(attorney general) kamala harris violating federal laws everyday while the “approved gun list” stops gun makers from selling their semi auto Pistols to california consumers violating Interstate Commerce Trade And The Federal Sherman Act in defiance of Federal Mandates. Along comes california state senator leland yee trying to dry up the semi auto pistol market where he can Illegally black market sell his FULLY AUTOMATIC M16s to Anybody on the street thinking he was getting the guns from an underground which turned out to be the FBI Sting going on 3 years with this guy. The Filth Flows Heavily here in Califarcia state Crapital Hill; And More to come.

  71. Charles solomon

    The Smith&Wesson SD9VE is perfect weight and is very accurate. This pistol compared to my CZ75B is pretty light and easy on the wrist; Ladies Love It?? Probably will. This gun IS A HOMERUN So PUULLEEEZZEE Smith&Wesson, Put a Manual Safety on it!!! Many events of people shooting themselves with glock draw from holster and Other Safetyless GREAT Pistols; Love my Glock19 and very Careful with Her….More on california politician LowLife leleand yee who has tried to be a one man wrecking team on the pistol manufacturing industry with his “doj approved gun list” for sale. SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) – A prominent Democratic California state senator and gun-control advocate was indicted by a San Francisco grand jury on charges of corruption and conspiracy to traffic in firearms, according to court documents released on Friday.

    The indictment adds to the troubles facing state Senator Leland Yee, who was arrested last week and criminally charged along with two dozen others in the same case. It details numerous examples of alleged corruption, and says that the one-time San Francisco mayoral candidate accepted cash from an undercover FBI agent seeking to purchase illegal weapons.

    The 31-page indictment, which sharpens but does not materially change the allegations against Yee, charges the senator with six counts of corruption and one count of conspiracy to traffic in firearms.

    Now that Yee, 65, has been indicted, it will be more difficult for his attorney to argue that the charges should be dismissed, because the process for fighting an indictment is different than the process for fighting a simple criminal charge.

    The indictment details charges against Yee as well as his political consultant, Keith Jackson, and numerous others as part of a wide sweep of alleged crime and corruption in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

    Among those charged in the indictment is Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, a Chinatown figure who is accused of money laundering and conspiracy in california. And all of those indicted are politico LowLife
    Effluence swimming around the sacramento legislature, ag kamala harris and leading up to the most heinous politco of all: gov. jerry (MoonBeam) brown. The whole scenario is driving Good people out of california with its’ idiotic “gun laws” EXTORTING huge sums of money from UpStanding Pistol Makers
    Who will NOT patronize california’s Insane Firing Pin ID Stamp Scheme which Violates Federal InterState Commerce AntiTrust Laws, The Sherman Act.

  72. Jim R.

    Forget about a manual safety. A manual safety is not a part of the design of a striker fired pistol of this type. Those who send their Glocks off to have a manual safety added are doing so because their trigger pull has been lightened far below what is safe. (Good luck to them if they ever need to defend themselves, in a court of law, their use of such a modified pistol!)

  73. Charles solomon

    But Jim!!, The Ruger SR9C AND SR9 BOTH have Manual Safeties, which block striker and trigger, And They are Both striker fired and Both Are Terriffic Pistols. Love my Glock 19, But Be Cautious with her my friend, She’s a Deadly Lady and can go off on a hard grabbed draw.

  74. Jim R.

    Hey Charles, I wasn’t aware of the Ruger’s striker fired, manual safety design, so I stand corrected. In regards to the Glock and S&W VE series (and perhaps others), I think a manual safety is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire and you’re good to go! 😉
    Regards, Jim

  75. Mitchelli

    Just got my HQL and cant wait to get the SD9ve And maybe the SD40ve…Good reviews

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  77. Charles solomon

    Came back from the pistol range and have two words for the Smith & Wesson SD(Self Defense)9MMVE Value enhanced)…No Lie… An EXCELLENT VALUE for The InExpensive Smith&Wesson Retake of their Sigma… It is Wonderful And ACCURATE…………No Complaints Here.

  78. Charles solomon

    More on Califarcia state senator lelan Yee, CaliFarcia’s Number Three Anti Gun politico and his Illegal Antics?? Go to your search engine and type this clown’s name in. The FBI stung him with an 18 Wheeler Truckload of his State and Federal Violations that are so numerous you have to see to believe. Right Now We are pushing to get the Califarcia AG (attorney general) kamala harris’ blatant pistol firing pin stamp scheme monopoly and 2nd Ammendment Violations and interstate trade violations noted to bag this politician along with her lovers leland yee and shrimp boy…This Whole scenario of these three politicos involved in a shanghai prostitute slave ring for political campaign money is shocking if not an outright hollywood testament to the califarcia Politicians and their unsatiable hunger for political power and money and it’s trail leading straight up to THE Number One Politician of All Crooked Politicians califarcia “gov” jerry (MoonBeams) BJ Brown Bottom. This whole califarcia scenario is something out of
    “The outer Limits”…………..

  79. Bamaroxz

    I bought my Ruger P95 9mm in 2010 (TX) and loved it. I fell out of love with it when I got a S&W40VE at Academy for $319. The trigger pull is a matter of getting used to since it is a safety factor, I had 4 total jams from my Ruger in the past 2 range outings. 0, nada, nilche from my SD40. Maybe the UMC 115 gr Wal Mart 250 round box has something to do with the P95?? I have shot Federal, Winchester, Hornaday, PMC in the 40VE with no issue’s. I would shoot 2 mags from the P95 and 2 mags from the 40VE and the trigger pull was drastically different. Now I take one gun to the range for that particular day and the 40VE gets easier and easier to shoot. I carry my S&W 40 now instead of the Ruger. Easier to conceal with IWB holster or inside vest holster. For the money I can’t say enough about the SW40. I have shot my buddies Glock and S&WM&P but I prefer the Smith and Wesson 40VE over all the pistols!!! American made, accurate, easy to conceal, lighter and just feels better in the hand. I wouldn’t change a thing on my 40!!!
    Sorry about all you CA guys. In AL it’s $25 a year to get and maintain a concealed carry license and also open carry is all the rage!! I laid out $100 and I’m good for 5 yrs.

  80. Doug

    You are a horrible shot

  81. Charles solomon

    NOW Glock is doing a switch on Smith&Wesson with their new Glock EXO which is a spitting image of the Highly Successful Smith&Wesson SD VE Series; both SD9VE and SD40VE. It IS Incredible that Glock wants the last CopyCat Laugh. If you look at the Glock EXO, price $525-$600, side by side with a S&W SD9VE or SD40VE, price $369-$425, it Is Amazing….Strange Revenge for the so-so old sigma series which started the knockoff competition to begin with.

  82. Del Austin

    I have a Sigma 9 and two SDVE’s (one 9 and one 40) after seeing this review a while back I installed the Apex spring kits which made the gun shootable. Since then Apex has come out with a trigger for the Sigma’s and SD’s. I now love these guns and have made my SD9 my daily carry. Love these guns now so much, thanks to Apex, that I spent the bucks for Trijicon HD sights. Everyone that shoots my SD’s (especially Glock lovers) just love the SD.

  83. CharlesSolomon

    Don’t let it slip to Smith & Wesson that the SD VE series are Value Packed, which they most certainly are and very enjoyable to shoot at the range. Just let Smith & Wesson keep pumping out these Price Point pistols, SD9VE and SD40VE, which are as much of a steal as they are fun packed with All sorts of well engineered Extras like the 4.00″ Stainless Steel Heat Tempered Barrel with CLEAN and Unfailing accurate functioning which we owners really appreciate. Got back from the range after 2000 rounds, NOT A Hiccup and Great Accuracy..WOW!!!!!! Trigger is silk smooth now after first 500 rounds and direct inozzle injection of CRC Power Lube on the trigger mechanism front and rear. These SDVE Series Pistols are worth every penny and shoot just incredibly great with ALL the Sigma mistakes Corrected/Perfected in these beauties. SD (SelfDefense) VE (ValueEnhanced)

  84. Bamaroxz

    Actually I’m a dam good shot, with the P95 and SD40. The Ruger didn’t like the 115 gr UMC, UMC 147gr works fine.

  85. CharlesSolomon

    After 2500 rounds of Various Ammo makers 9MM And direct nozzle squirt of CRC Power Lube on my SD9VE Trigger, FRONT and rear, Good Golly Ms Molly, She is Silky Smooth!. Every Man Loves Her to be Silky Smooth. NO hiccups, No FubUps of any kind, No Issues, AND MORE Accurate than As Advertised. Bought a second SD9VE, which was On Sale, as I think they will be soldout soon. Maybe Not? Also an M&P 9 model 206301 w/manual safety….smith&Wesson, Your SD VE Series are BlockBusters.

  86. CharlesSolomon

    And so, Instead of sitting around and Male Moaning and Groaning about the power abuse by our CaliFarcia ag kamala Harris and the insane Sacramento State legislature, I went to the LA Library, legal section, and researched Federal Laws to see if I could try and help. Sent the following Federal Law info to
    Cal-Guns, 2nd Amendment, Glock, Ruger and, of Course, Smith&Wesson Manufacturers. May the info help them; don’t know but I tried to do my part in stopping these “new world order” PowerBots from turning people in to Sheople; there’s enough of them Here to begin with.
    To: Calguns Foundation Inc. The Second Amendment Foundation
    970 Reserve Drive, Ste# 133 / 12500 NE 10th Place
    Roseville, Ca 95678 Bellevue, Wa 98005

    Dear Sirs/Madam: I am writing to you so that I may be of help in overturning the California “Handgun Roster” Monopoly and restoring 2nd Amendment rights to California firearms consumers. It is Very Probable California AG Kamala Harris as well as The California State Legislature are in violation of Federal Anti Trust laws by creating A Firing Pin Microstamp scheme monopoly used to interfere with interstate commerce. Destroying Interstate Commerce by Use of A Monopoly is a felony.
    The Harris/ California Legislature scheme eliminates firearms manufacturers, who Do Not Comply With The Monopoly, from selling their products to California consumers while extorting large fees from manufacturers, “once approved” to be on the “DOJ approved firearms list”. POWER TO REGULATE:
    By creating the pistol firing pin micro stamping monopoly scheme, these expedient politicians created an exclusive “California DOJ approved firearms maker list” allowing only those manufacturers who comply with The Monopoly to sell product to the California firearms consumer market. “Although a state may NOT directly regulate, prohibit, or burden interstate or foreign commerce, it may incidentally and indirectly affect it by a Bona Fide, LEGITIMATE, and Reasonable exercise of its police powers. States are powerless to regulate commerce with Indian tribes.” AG Kamala Harris, in collusion with the California Sacramento legislature, rubber stamped their monopoly scheme into a California state law which violates the Federal Sherman Act Anti Trust Laws by destroying interstate commerce between ALL firearms manufacturers and the California consumers market by requiring firearm makers to comply with The Monopoly Scheme. This IS an unreasonable burden upon Interstate Commerce while attempting to mask their Illegal Scheme by invoking Tenth Ammendment States Commerce Regulating Authority:
    “Although The U.S. Constitution places SOME Limits on State Power, the states enjoy guaranteed rights by virtue of their reserved powers pursuant to the Tenth Amendment: “A state has the inherent and reserved right to regulate its Domestic Commerce. HOWEVER, That Right MUST be Exercised in a manner that does NOT interfere with, or place a burden on Interstate Commerce, or else Congress may regulate that area of domestic commerce in order to Protect Interstate Commerce from The Unreasonable Burden”. These Conspirators Use their firing pin micro stamp monopoly scheme to Destroy Full Interstate Commerce and deny California Citizens of their 2nd Ammendment right to Purchase and Bear arms UNLESS The California Consumers Purchase product from the California “DOJ firearms roster list” monopoly. This extortion is an ILLEGAL BURDEN created by AG Kamala Harris and The California State Legislature. “If the subject of Interstate Commerce is national in character, requiring Uniform Regulation, The power of Congress to regulate it IS EXCLUSIVE.” Interference Of Interstate Commerce, be it by one person or a group of conspirators by use of an introduced Monopoly is punishable by The United States Interstate Commerce Codes of prosecution.
    The Commerce Clause authorizes Congress to regulate commerce in order to ensure that the flow of Interstate Commerce Is FREE from Local Restraints Imposed by Various States, As with the State Of California “DOJ Firearms List” Monopoly. When Congress deems an act of Interstate Commerce to be in need of Supervision, it will enact legislation that must have some real and rational relation to the subject of regulation. Congress may constitutionally provide for the point at which subjects of Interstate Commerce become subjects of state law and, therefore, state regulation. Congress already regulates firearms interstate commerce by maintaining the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and federally licensing firearms dealers who sell firearms to American consumers from the firearms interstate commerce market, which is open to all firearms manufacturers.
    California AG Kamala Harris and the California State Legislature are in violation of Federal Anti Trust laws by creation and imposition of their firing pin microstamp scheme monopoly upon the California firearms consumer market while eliminating many manufacturers from the California firearms interstate commerce market which was, until imposition of their monopoly, open to all interstate and foreign commerce manufacturers.
    As equally important, To Illegally deny California Firearms consumers of their 2nd Amendment rights to purchase product from an open interstate product market and to bear firearms. Use of a created monopoly to destroy interstate commerce and to destroy citizens Constitutional guarantees by one or a group of conspirators are both subject to United States Code Penalties.
    What these politicians are doing is in violation of United States Constitutional Guarantees as well as violating Interstate Commerce Federal laws of The Sherman Anti Trust Act.

  87. CurtisD

    I had a G19 until last week. I was at the gun store looking at different weapons when I came across the SD9VE. Firstly, as soon as I took a grip on it, my little voice just said yes. It’s the most comfortable firearm I have ever held. I asked if they would take my Glock in trade, and came home to get the case. Traded right there, on the spot. I was never really comfortable with the G19. It never felt right in my hand, and didn’t point the way I liked.

    Way back in the 90s, I had a guy try to crawl in through a window, and made him leave at gunpoint. Thing is, I was dumping a ton of adrenalin, and my weapon was extended to full lock. It was one of the old Taurus .38 4 inch guns, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t straighten the gun out so that it would point straight. Maybe training can overcome that, but under stress, in a panic situation, that’s the way it was. Ever since then, I have always checked how the weapon points in my hand at full lock. The SD9VE is dead on straight, just like I am pointing a finger straight out as far as I can extend it. In a point and shoot scenario, in the dark, or in a panic, I know it’s going to shoot where I point it.

    It took a little muscle to get the 16 rounds in the first time out. Once you do it once, it’s easier. I had to set the magazine on the nightstand and push down to get the round to go in the first time. By the time I was done on the range today, it’s easy sauce.

    Now, to the range. Out of the box, with a hefty application of marine grade grease on the slide and trigger, I ran the firearm through it’s paces. At first, my groups sucked. I was all over the paper. I was still in the 5 zone on a silhouette target, but I wasn’t too impressed. I also had two failures to fire running a hotter +P round, but I think it’s because I didn’t let the trigger reset right. The thing went click with no bang, and no strike on the primer. Recycling the round and it fired no problem.

    After about three mags, it loosened up, and the groups started tightening up to point of aim. By the time the range session was over, at about 5 to 7 yards, I punched the center out of the bullseye, and sent the last rounds through the hole. The trigger really responded well to the marine grade grease, and melted into the surfaces with no issues. I took some CLP and a toothbrush to it, and it cleaned up spotless. Feed ramp shines like a mirror, and the trigger is smooth as silk now. Reading this review before taking it to the range helped a great deal.

    All in all, a great little weapon that fits my hand like no other, and I have grown attached to it in less than a week. I have been carrying off and on for the past 20 years or so, and this one carries nicely. I am still searching for the perfect ammo to feed it, and have to get some more range time in before I’m good at 25 yards with it, but I hope to be qualifying with it in a month or so. My old trigger lock fits perfectly when the weapon needs to be secured, and I have to get a rug for it, one more mag, plus a duty holster, and it should be good too go. Nothing but good things to say about it. Very few weapons I’d trust with my life., This is one of them.

  88. CharlesSolomon

    @Curtis D: I Also really Like my Smith&Wesson SD9VE AND bought a second one. The “loaded when up” firing chamber safety flag is Exclusive California Compliant and makes these handguns Collectors Pistols aside from being Incredibly EXCELLENT Value Packed 9MM HandGuns.
    I found CRC “Power Lube” to work on my Semi Autos Incredibly Well and I do NOT use anything else Except “Dad’s Gun Milk” which appears to be a mixture of white lithiun grease+Marvel Mystery Oil. Works Great for my SD9VE and it helped Wear In the trigger to function Silk Smooth; maybe 5lb Shorter Pull. Let alone a squirt of CRC INto all four sides of the magazines Really eases loading Incredibly and Permanently.
    These SD9VE Pistols eat All kinds of ammunition without a hiccup. Would love to get the SD40VE BUT the ammo costs are too much. So far, needing to buy only 9MM and 22LR ammunition is Very helpful for the Wallet.
    The Wife ALSO Loves to shoot the SD9VE as female wrists are not fond of Snappy Powerful guns.
    Best of luck with yours

  89. CharlesSolomon

    It Happened Here, AGAIN, in Southern California, last night, April 30th, 2014. A lady and her daughter, shopping, were attacked by a knife wielder stabbed and robbed. An UNARMED Good Samaritan confronted the Knife Armed perp and the perp ran off.
    The UnArmed Good Samaritan gave chase, fought with the Cowardly knife armed perp, was stabbed and died shortly after. The supect, 27 YO Repeat Felon Vincent Alex DeLeon, was arrested and jailed…Again.
    If the Good Samaritan had a pistol, the situation would have ended differently. But Our CRIMINAL Federal Law Violating California politicians like ag kamala harris, her comrades in the sacramento legislature and “state senator” leland yee have done their Damned legislative labors trying to disarm law abiding citizens, which in this case, cost The Good Samaritan his life. AT Least Leland Yee would have armed the Good Samaritan with A Fully Automatic US Army Issue M-16 for $3500…….
    It is NOT Necessary to describe these self righteous career politicians as we know what they are.
    Hopefully, with OUR help, the ILLEGAL California doj approved gun list and “non carry” laws, which are Most Certainly travesties of legislation, will be Repealed and Stricken from the California State Codes.

  90. Justin

    Like others mentioned, it seems Academy sports has the best prices for these. I drove about 45 minutes, but to get one for $299 is quite a deal.

    For the price, it’s probably the best gun on the market. The ergonomics are great and it’s a good size. Hardly any recoil, very pleasant to shoot.

    I haven’t shot it much yet, but it seems like I group a little low with it. Nothing more practice can’t fix.

  91. and421

    I am getting Smith & Wesson SD9VE New Sigma Series 9mm Pistol and the clerk from academy ( very knowledgeable, ex marine) told me that this gun was build to rival Glock series not be compated to M&,P(Mp has its own rivals) Side by side with Glock it matches except the price. Trigger is compansate the lack of safety features.

  92. Ben Byerhoff

    I just bought the sd9ve for my wife. It’s reliable and easy to use. Perfect for what I needed it for. She wouldn’t let me get another gun until she had a hand gun so I went in and asked for the cheapest 9 they had. It was between the fmk and this. She’s more than happy that I got her a S&W which means that I get to spoil myself.

  93. Bill

    Im buying one this week, I have faith in S/W firearms, my fav 20 years ago was a good ole Ruger Blackhawk .357, 4.5 bl, my problem with it was weight, no good for carry, pulled muscles a few times on duty. Im not use to throwing brass on the ground but from what I hear about this weapon, I should zero it out and get some nice tight groups on our first date.

    1. CharlesSolomon

      @Bill Says: Whoever you are and whatever you do, you are going to Love the SD9VE. S&W says
      “Value Enhanced”, “ALL the Sigma mistakes corrected’; They speak truthfully. The SD9VE is a gun that gives More, Much More, for your money’s worth. Use CRC Power Lube for it ONLY and save a bundle.
      You don’t have to go nuts cleaning it, just spray the nozzled power lube right into the trigger and work it
      very thoroughly….SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! like silk. Enjoy!!!

  94. Bought a Sigma 9m/m 4 inch new in 2006. It fired everything thru it. As long as I hosed out the firing pinhole hole every 600 rounds or so it never failed. Sold a SD 40 I really liked for a M&P 40 full size new also. My new M&P 40 is an upgrade from Sigma & SDs and I chose the full size model with the safety on it. Those guns with me were reliable as heck for concealed carry or whatever & that’s what I carried for years. Have more expensive hand guns but I worry more when I carry them because if you ever have to pull them (not fire) but flourish and a threat stops (which has happened,,the bully backed off and called the cops.) The police around here, on every gun call take your gun. Whether your in the right or have a carry permit,,it don’t matter whether your let go or charged. They asked if there were any other guns in the house? of course we said NO (youd better say no) You wont get your gun back either unless ya know someone in the cop shop. Paid a lawyer $1000 & he was unable to retrieve the I will take my pricey &unpricey handguns to the range and carry a reliable $300-$500 handgun such as a Sigma ,SD or M&P.or the like.

  95. CharlesSolomon

    @Otis: What we have now is a police state of gutter cops, killers with paste on badges looking for a freebee gun with coffee and doughnuts. The Professional Police officers, Guardians of The Public Trust, are from an era goneby. The day of reckoning is coming. Meanwhile Be cool, hold onto your guns with plenty of ammo and enjoy the SD9VE as it is without a doubt a superb pistol for the money and more.
    9MM is coming back in a big way, just got 20 boxes Tula 9MM for $11.00 each and the SD9VE shoots that ammo Very Very Well. What S&W said is all the sigma mistakes corrected and perfected with a Real Stainless Slide, Is totally True + Super Accuracy. Kudo Smith&Wesson this pistol is a HomeRun!!!

  96. Thank you Charles Solomon, thank you very much..That was my 1st post on this forum and now I feel comfortable. Thanks again. But yea I must have got a good 1st gen SD40 black mellonite. Because the trigger was much easier than my nice Sigma and with practice I got pretty fair with it in 2010 at an unsupervised range 65 miles away. Sold it last year and purchased the M&P 40 4 1/2 barrel. Yes our gunshop has lifted the 2 box per caliber limit on handgun ammo. Plenty of 9 m/m ammo Saturday there. Put 5000 rounds thru the Sigma,9ve alone in 8 years, ,replaced this and that on it and polished things for speed and reliability. It looked nice. Transferred it to my relative Saturday. I am older and slowing down a bit. And yes my dad was a big city cop for 30 years here and I was a police cadet briefly in the mid- 70,s.. So I know how the game is/or was played. If you know somebody in the cop shop a citizen can get their gun, big knife, fake ID,s,,fireworks, bong/hash pipe back quickly,,and make tickets disappear ,at least from what I remember decades ago here in this city. Soooo the gun shop has a used SD9 with 2 mags for sale $299. Maybe I will take a peek tomorrow. Thanks again and good health.

    1. Jim_R

      To Otis,
      Why buy used when you can get a new SD9 VE with 2 magazines for $329.00, often on sale for $299. S&W is continually improving this pistol, make sure you get the latest and greatest, for the same money. They also offer a .40 caliber version.
      Good luck, Jim

  97. Yes Jim R. I hear ya,,and it makes sense what you suggested. I had the SD40 ve for 3 years. It fit my hand real comfortable,,sold it and bought the M&P 40 full size. I find myself many times going back & forth changing the medium and large backstrap on the M&P to get try to get a comfortable grip. The SD40ve seemed to fit without fussin”.
    Other than that I think I,ll keep the M&P for a while or longer,,I mean its an allright pistol for me. Its heavier & has a strictly business persona to it.

    1. Jim_R

      Roger that. I like those pistols so much, I’m planning to get an SD40 VE and start leaving the P-09 at home!

  98. Ron

    On lasat visit to a gun show, I got to handle everything except Sig-Sauers. Nobody carried them.I don’t think gun dealers make much of a profit off of them more so than their sticker price b/c most of the hardware prices there was inflated.

    As far as ergonomics go, the VE9 was the best feeling gun I ever held. The weight was light and evenly distributed. Racking it was easy and the dots are bright and large. The comment about this thing pointing like and Irish Setter were dead on. Apparently, the owner had a trigger mod because it was a short pull and not the monster you described.

    Which brings me to a question never asked Like a car, can you get a lemon in a handgun? If not, why not? I mean, I’d rather not buy a gun that seems like it was made the last one made at the close of the workday.

    By comparison, all the full-size Glocks felt like bricks on a stick. I thought the ploymers were supposed to lighten them? I held a Glock 17 4th Gen with night sights that one vendor was selling for $480. Great deal, but I did not dig the feel.

    I’m left-handed, btw, which makes a huge difference in how a gun feels, vis-a-vis, the 99% of right-handed people who do all of the gun reviews.

    In fact, you ought to have a lefty on call just to give his take on a gun before you recommend it to the world of which 82% to 95% are right-handed while the 8% to 15% who are left-handed and discriminated against by every company in the world who makes products meant for righties.

    The M&P may be the superior gun, but iot did not feel as great as the VE. I guess that the bottom line is doing an A/B test at the range after getting the Apex trigger mod installed by comparing the M&P & VE, head-to-head, on every possible test that the range has available.

    The savings of $200 is a big freaking deal b/c it means I can buy a 1,000 round brick with the savings so that if I decide to upgrade to another 9mm handgun, or maybe a 9mm carbine, I’ll have enough ammo left over for it.

    On the other hand, I can apply the $200 savings for a an S&W M&P-15 Sport, for for less than $1,000 I can have both an AR and a 9mm from the same American company (and I do believe in supporting USA made products.)

    Then agai,n $41 for a extra mag? I find it hard to believe that 3rd parties won’t be making one to fit them soon unless S&W made the darn thing proprietary.

    Last thought, your review on the plain M&P 9 is still in progress and the only review of an M&P 9 is the Pro series. The MSRP on that baby is $669 vs. $379 on the VE. That’s almost $300 difference, and as many have said, including the reviewer, one can be had for $300-$330. Now, that’s a hell of a bargain for a gun with outstanding reliability, ease of feel, and a rock thrower than will fire anything in 9mm that you feed it. I’m sure the target accuracy can be improved, but if you get it as a home gun, having 17 rounds to spray ought to make up for not being a tack driver.

    1. Jim_R

      All good points Ron, but I believe you are understating the accuracy of the VE’s. On average, mine are just as accurate as any other pistol that I own!

  99. Swinny

    I have owned the M&P 9 and downgraded to the SD9 VE. For my purposes (home defense and occasional carry) the SD9 is a better investment. The M&P looks and feels like a better quality gun, but you pay for that as well. I did spring for the Apex trigger kit and a Galloway stainless guide rod, I also plan to upgrade the sites, but after that, the only downfall is the “glock like” slide release. I do prefer the M&P for that. Overall, including the price, I say the SD9 VE is a much better investment than the M&P. It sits in my hand the same, it feels the same, it eats everything I feed it, and has yet to fail me. The SD9 VE, with certain upgrades, is a high quality gun, at a budget price. I totally recommend it, for anyone that would be willing to ride a Yamaha V-star to save money over a Harley. Otherwise, if you have to have “brand name” type stuff, you should go with the M&P. Yeah, I compared 2 guns, in two different price ranges, but I did it because I have owned both. Some of you, should lay off the other reviewers for doing such things. These are very comparable guns, for their price difference.

  100. I am left-handed.The only things I have done left handed is of course, write and shoot pool and my eating fork in left & knife in the other and shave and comb my hair.. I can shoot left handed a bit & actually did a little,,while qualifying for my ccw many moons ago. But right handed I shoot hand guns, rifles, shotguns ,,throw darts,, horseshoes, wipe myself,,spin cast etc.. So last night I started practicing drawing & aiming & dry firing with my left hand (non- dominant) just as a good idea and to change things around a bit. If your not used to it ,,well an hour or so goes by and I thought “man, was this what it was like learning to walk at one time?”

  101. FRGHeer

    Since 3 weeks now, I’ve got me 1 piecs S&W SD9VE from Gandermtn. Feels good in the hand. I had all my life walther P1, PPK and now also a PPX, but I’ll think a S&W SD( fits perfectly in this lkine.
    Right, the S&W SD9 came in a card box. Two mags included and a – thin – what and how to do with the piece manual. First 10 shots behind the house. Sure the trigger is an issue. OK get real. Last Saturady on the indoor range, no fast shooting but: 260 times pang in 2 hr. with only god now what 9mm FMJ ammo. No problems at all. And did I say that bevore? The trigger is an issue. There is just no triggerpoint to feel.
    Thank you for the tip with the triggersping set. Already ordered.
    A S&W SD9 gets the job done regardless of the slide color, no question. You need a brandname to brag around? Well- Smith & Wesson has a real god name around the entire world too.
    My Trainer in the FRG Army said, “..not the weapon is the issue, the issue comes allways from is the shooter”.

  102. Wife had a few bad dreams after seeing the “Purge” movie trailer on TV. It doesn’t take much for her. She told me we had to get a gun for our home. Went to Academy and she tried a few in her hand and liked how the SD9VE felt. The price at $319 made it an easy decision for her first firearm. We went to the range and I gave her a few pointers on both safety and technique.

    Her first couple of shots were right next to her target from 5 yards. Granted this is not a great distance but she had only fired a .45 before and quit after three shots due to the kick. She went through several mags and had no problem with the trigger pull at all. I guess she wouldn’t notice a difference unless she had something else to compare too. I fired it a few times as well and had no issues with its performance. I was not able to load the 16th round in the mags but she was! I am a strong guy (ex-linebacker in college). I figured out how that due to her smaller fingers, she was able to push the back of the shells down further where my bigger fingers topped out. This made it easier for her to slide the 16th round in. I do notice that with 16 rounds in the mag it does not lock into the gun as easily leaving a chance that the mag could fall out if you move your hand away before you notice. With 15 rounds in the mag it goes in fine. My wife had no issues regarding how the SD9VE felt and fired. Overall we are pleased with our decision for a home defense weapon and occasional target practice. Several of the guys at the Academy gun counter said they sell a lot of these and have heard no customer issues or dissatisfaction. At this price, I may get one for myself! Ex-Law P.O.S.T. certified Law Enforcement guy.

  103. Joseph Simeone

    For about $150 – $200 more you can get a M&P, and for for another $75 you can get a…..Glock and not worry about owning a S&W. If you want a revolver get a S&W you want a gun that goes bang when you need it to and is ready to go out of the box get a Glock. If you want to have to put in a tactile reset for the trigger (M&P have a shit reset) get a M&P. It you want a inexpensive tough as nails piece that looks good get yourself a Ruger. Leave the SDVE to the I got a Smith & Wesson guy.

    1. Jim_R

      Here we go again … with another “spend more and get another gun” guy!

  104. Leo Guy

    Factory 17 lb recoil guide rod assembly needs to be replaced with a 17 lb or 20 lb metal one, recommend the 20 lb one helps eliminates issues that causes limp wristing.

    1. Jim_R (the other Jim R)

      I don’t understand. The only issue causing limp wristing is the shooter … limp wristing!

  105. bill

    I have the .40 so this might not apply to the 9mm. After about 500 rds, mine would jam up once or twice each when firing off a whole magazine. It got progressively worse. I sent it to S&W and received it back supposedly fixed. I shot off the 1st magazine with 180 gr fmj and it jammed up again! It did again on the 2nd magazine. I then shot the 165 gr fmj and none jammed from firing off 3 magazines… however, the center pin site white dot fell out. Not happy about this firearm 🙁

    1. Peter

      During my comparison shopping phase for a home defense handgun, I went to the range and rented out four semis (in 9mm and .40SW) and two revolvers (.38 Special and .357). The possibility of having the HD gun also serve as a CC was another one of my criteria. My trip to the gun store, however, came after a visit to the local gun show.

      I went to the show to sample as many handguns as possible without any pressure to buy any. I purposely did not look at their sticker prices. After handling as many different guns as I could find (every seller had at least three Glocks on display), I made a 2nd trip around the tables to narrow down my choice. i had already ruled out the Glocks.

      First things first: i am left-handed but I also tried out everything wth my right hand as well just for curiousity sake. Having at least a reversible magazine release was an important consideraion. Having a rack that was easy to slide with my right hand pulling on the rear was another decision factor.

      But, my first impressions were always how a gun felt in my hand and how it pointed. From the first time I picked up an SDVE and pointed it, I loved it. Then, I took a look at the sticker prices and they brought up a whole new set of issues, such as “Why is this gun $100-$150 cheaper than others that look like it?”

      Cost should not have to be a major factor when choosing a gun – especially when cost can be deceiving. Try as I might, I did not like how the Glock felt in my hand. The SDVE felt better. It fit my hand better. The Glock felt like a brick to me.

      I did like how the revolvers felt in my hand. If I was looking for pocket gun, I would have gotten the Ruger LCR or the LCP (if I wanted a semi instead). The LCR has an outstanding DAO trigger.

      OK, the last step in my gun buying process is was to test the guns out at the range.

      Unfortunately, the range did not have any of the SDVE’s to rent. So, i decided to try out my three other runners-up. I also included the Glock i the shoot-around, just so that i could tell people, “Yes, I did try the Glock.” Otherwise f I hadn’t, they would continue to bug me about it.

      Well, the Glock made the decision easier as it was the only gun among the four I tried that bit me. have large, meaty hands, and it didn’t matter where I place my second hand because I also shot it one-handed, and it still bit me. In other words, because the Glock slide and barrel are set lower to line of sight, it makes the Glock more accurate BUT it also causes the rear of the slide to come back at a lower angle. I felt it come close to the web of my support hand in the 9mm Glock 17, but switching to the .40SW Glock 22, was something else. The muzzle flip caused the slide to ride back over my support hand and caught flesh on the way back. I even tried holding it lower with both thumbs, with one hand across the front of the trigger guard, and even one-handed. The muzzle flip ran that slide over my shooting hand.

      At that point, revolvers were looking better.

      Anyway, I tested out the S&W M&P 9mm & .40, Beretta PX4 9mm & .40, and the Springfield XD(M) 9mm & .40.

      The Beretta’s all-steel magazine was impossible to load. I gave up after 10 rounds in the two times I reloaded it. Definitely a mag loader is a must on this gun more so than in any other.

      The S&W had steel mags that looked very similar to the SD’s mags and were easier to load than the Berettas and also the double-stack Glock.

      The easiest mag to load was in the Springfield XD. It was an all-poly design which should load easier because there is no metal-to-metal movement.

      The botton line of the story is that I did not like shooting .40S&W’s. I was able to control the 9’s a lot easier than I could the .40’s. Speaking of control, I do plan on getting the Apex trigger kit if i am not happy with the stick DAO. I will say, though, that after several dry fires, I didn’t have an issue with it. I am a revolver guy so I’m used to long-pulling double actions.

      When I pick up my SDVE this week, i am going to strip it, check it out for any manufacturing boo-boos, clean it up inside and ot, and then use a light layer of lube.

      I’ve read over at the SDVE forum someone recommended filling two magazines and letting them sit for 14 days. He also recommended that the gun should also sit in the slide lock back position for 14 days as well. I can sort of see the logic of leaving the magazines filled for 2 weeks as a way to loosen up the springs. I’m not so sure as to the purpose of leaving the gun to sit open for 2 weeks. It’s also the only time I’ve heard that mentioned. I doubt that I would have the patience to wait that long if it is something strictly optional.

      I know I sort of wandered off topic here, but I wanted to say that the feel of the SDVE, its natural pointing position, and wide sight radius are what sold me on the gun. The sales price of $299 at Academy Sports was also icing on the cake.

      In the meantime, after prepping it for the range, I will be keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t have any issues.

      I am of the mindset that I want to use 200 rounds of quality ammo during the break-in period and continue to use the same brand and a secondary choice for training purposes, but keep a load of the best self-defense ammo I can buy by the bedside.

      I cannot understand why anyone would even consider running cheap ammo through a new $600 gun for which the first 200 “break-in” rounds are the most important?

      I check the real-time of 9mm ammo, and their cost and availability have returned to sane levels. But, I have to question the judgement of someone who goes out of his way to save 3 cents per round by buying reloads, or off-brand ammo when those few extra cents saved may mean the difference between flawless performance and getting too many failures to feed, eject, extract, stove-pipes, unfired primers, and other things that are not supposed to happen.

      Sites like WikiAmmo, AmmoLand, Gun-Bot, and CheaperThanDirt will always have a wide range of ammo at a wide range of price.

      And please, stay away from steel casings. There is a good reason why ranges don’t allow them to be fired there.

      Also, whatever savings you think you’re getting by buying ammo in 1,000 round lots will be offset by a new program instituted by DHS that flags people who buy too much ammo at one time – specifically in lots of 1,000. When it comes to the DHS and the DOJ, I take nothing for granted when i hear heads-up like these. I would rather not get put on any kind of list for doing something that you and i think is stupid. That’s why i like buying in odd amounts, like 420 rounds. If you do that, it drives the pencil-pushers crazy.

      I’ll be back to give you my firing impressions of the SDVE9.

    2. Randy

      I have had my SD 40VE for awhile now and have fired over 700 rounds of multiple grain FMJ ammo. Mostly Winchester, Federal and Remington but I have had no issue’s at all. I’m sure you are regularly cleaning and lubing the firearm after every trip to the range or wherever you shoot at? I do the minimal cleaning as described in owners manual and I have had not one misfire. Now I have a Ruger P95 also and have to lubricate it more than the S&W to avoid jams but it has a much heavier slide. All in all the Ruger is a tank (heavy) compared to the SD’s. Please don’t take this wrong but it is the only way I know how to explain it. I was guilty of it with my very first firearm over 15 yrs ago, Bersa Mini Firestorm .40 cal and was getting lots of misfires. One, I was way over lubricating the gun and I was as they call it “limp wristing it”, not keeping a firm grip when using high grain ammo. Ya, I know and a woman instructor called me out on it too, imagine how I felt. But I corrected my error’s and have enjoyed shooting/training for some time now. Now the dot falling out, well that’s just not acceptable and I would definitely hope you could get that fixed without sending the gun back to S&W.
      Good luck and happy shooting!

      1. CharlesSolomon

        Randy, Can’t blame your Female Instructor. With Good Lubrication, She Doesn’t Like it “Limp” Either.
        Get with the program, The Ladies Know…They are Smart….SD9VE is a great pistol…Waiting for the SD9VE in ALL Blackmatt, Love My TwoTone. And About Lubrication??? Try “CRC Power Lube” in the Red/White and black lined can with the spray nozzle…Don’t Know why But Guns, ALL Guns, Especially semiAuto Pistols Love Love Love love Love The Stuff. ONLY Need a Small Spritzel on Slide, Striker, Hammer, guide rod. And, AND!! wait till you inject spray the stuff right INTO your trigger Mechanism…Never needed the APEX..CRC Power Lube is Why.

        1. Jim_R

          Hey CharlesSolomon,
          I’ve watched you praising CRC Power Lube for a long time now! Lol
          How did you start using it and why do you like it so much?
          I guess I’m going to have to try some of it, where do you get it?

          1. Ron

            IMHO, Tetra Grease is to shooting what K-Y Jelly is to sex. It’s like having a tube of tiny ball bearings suspended in a white, synthetic medium.

            It will give your slide the ride of its life.

  106. John Hill

    I purchased an SD9 because I wanted an inexpensive car gun, something I didn’t have to worry about just leaving in a car. I originally was looking for a second hand auto that was cheap, but the SD9 felt so good in my hand, pointed so well, looked so darn good, and was so inexpensive (I purchased it for $325), that purchasing it was a no brainer. Let me just say that I purchased it in the Spring of 2014 and the trigger is pretty darn nice right out of the box compared to new M&P’s I’ve purchased which I had to put after market apex triggers in them. The trigger is very comparable to my glock with the glock having a bit more take up. In fact, for a self defense gunm the trigger is excellent! You don’t want it too light. Taking it to the range at 7 yards, i was tearing the X ring out with carefully aimed shots standing. With faster drills, the groups in creased to about 3 inches. Ii made me wonder what’s up with the cheapo gun that performs like a higher end model. My SD weighs 4 oz lighter than my my M&P 40 which i love by the way. It is also appreciably thinner. It only weighs 2 oz more than my M&P shield and its basically just about as tall with the shield having its higher cap mag in it. Let me end by saying my “car gun” I now carry with me every where and has become my favorite self defense pistol!!! What’s not to like about this gun!!! Now i need to find a car gun lol.

  107. Dingy-Fluffy

    bought an SD9VE about 5 months ago at the lovely steal for 349$ and a state transfer fee which wasn’t eye gouging only downer
    is it came with two 10 round mags due to NY state regulations and i live in Vermont which is far more lenient on anything
    that inst a fully automatic! Love Vermont, as the practical application of a 10rd mag is kind of lacking in a self deference
    perspective, it is actually perfect for a target shooting perspective. I shoot weekly, i started as a beginner with pistols had spent
    a fair amount of time with rifles throughout my life so I have a relatively decent ideal on projectile characteristics.
    now obvious one would think shooting a pistol would be simple at best but through time spent ive learned its a true art.
    getting to a point of many, i shoot weekly, on average about 10 mags every weekend on the range, i shoot side by side
    with my friend every time we pool on ammo, of who has a Glock 19 gen 4, now that thing is like a red headed stepchild out of box
    shot ridiculously low and stupid left, this is an issue that most glock owners have, SD9VE did not have that problem out of box.
    so there’s one thing the sd9 has over the glock out of box is the ability to shoot fairly true, dependent on user. took me a while
    to get the hang of the pistol so i shot like shit for a while not to mention trying to figure out a decent handling style.
    now the trigger is problematic especially for a newer shooter, creates a ungodly amount of jerking for a new user of whom is
    looking for results. when compared to the glock which yes is a 300$ more price point the trigger is far smoother. okay dont
    get me wrong im not complaining or saying the glock trigger is better i mean it is but, just saying from a new shooter
    point of view its rough to get used to, espically when one wants results, but im not knocking it the 8.5 pound trigger pull verses the
    6 pound trigger pull of the glock is noticeable, not to mention the break action trigger,that is like stepping on the gas
    in a car, feels safer from my point of view less prone to go off unwanted so i like it just took some getting used to.
    now i know a lot of you go right out and get the apex trigger upgrade, i honstely think that is the wrong choice,
    after 1,000 rounds it really does lighten up a bit. probally to 7.5 pounds i would have to say. the travel though is the killer
    for that more experianced shooter whom loves 6 pound highly reactive trigger. like i said I like that it feels safe.
    im knocking it just explaining my experiance with it. okay so accuracy and consitancy, many are happy at 7yd with it, some
    even go to 10yd to 15yd, and they seem pretty happy once they get used to the trigger. within that range it is good
    you will hit your target, however consitancy at a range any furteher then that however can get a little iffy.
    now im compaing it to 645$ gun okay im realistic I know that is a huge jump in quality and performance. so if you are shooting
    for anywhere between 5yd to 10yd and paced, they perform realtvily simiular. however the line does begin to devide
    ater that range, now that is because the twist of the barrel on the glock is far more tuned and the
    length of the barrell is .5 inches longer so there is that which (glock 19 gen 4 4.5in SD9VE 4in)
    so the glock will perform better at longer ranges just due to the nature of the design. within 10-15yd they can perform at
    a paced shoot allowing the barrell to seatle fairly simiualr, however the sd9 still will have a bigger for a shooter
    that is looking to take time with there shots and is at what one would consider (normal) pistol range its farily point and shoot
    now we have space around here so we like to push that limit to more like 40yd-100yd. now this isnt impossible, for the SD9
    shooting a siluleit targert your spread from a standing pose at 90 yd with winchster value rounds, will actually hit the target
    now your looking at aiming above the head toget the lower touros region, but its not impossible, conistancy however is a little
    iffy, more like 4-5 out of 10rd will hit the target on a good day with the shooter being on his a game and
    u definatlly have to shot much higer up then with the g19gen4 more like aim over the head about
    2-3 feet give or take and youll be hitting them below the waist, depdant on how that shot leaves the barrel
    , now i know im not
    perfect and frack up shots so there is some moderate user error so we could bump that consitancy up to maybe 7 depandant
    on how much you heat up that barrel. the glock however is more likely to 9 out of 10 once you know where your hitting.
    mind you this is at a paced shoot though,and fighting or getting used to thetravel of the trigger.
    the drop is more for the sd9 at this range but makes sense due to the half inch shorter barell and the twist.
    i know this is a self defence pistol. it will defend you that is for sure, ranged shots will have to be thought out.
    okay the front reciver on the sd9 i like, it is plastic, and a single spring, where the glock has adouble spring mechinism.
    this really does help with the barrel travel, a little with the recoil, but mostly it is there for the barrel reset and
    travel. that does help with those shots at a faster pace of fire. so the glock does win with consistancy when shooting
    at a more what i would like to call a self defence style, which is pulling that trigger as fast as you can to unload.
    thats why i think cops have glocks is because of that reason not to mention durability which im going to talk about

    the durability of the glock is bar none, its made of a polymer kevlar, and that isnt a joke. it really keeps it togeather
    my friend had been an idiot one day and left his glock on the top of his car, drove down a dirt road going about
    50 miles an hour this glock fell off on the one part of the road that did have pavement. now this gun always shot low left
    and started to travel to the right after 1500 rounds give or take a 100, after this incident it shot straight
    now no parts broke got a little scuff but honestly nothing,hence why i call it a red headed step child beat its ass
    and it performs better, however iseen some stress tests on the sd9 and im not convinced that it could go through
    the same treatment and still be fine. im am starting to experiance some issues after 2,000rd with the mag catch
    every once in awhile the mag will slip out during fireing. so with that price point the durability factor is effected
    however smith and wesion did design the gun to made cheap and fixxed even cheaper so where the glock dosent really break
    and the sd9 will the parts are farily cheap thus making it kind of null, however if you rely on it andsomething
    bad does happen that is the shitty thing. but 300 less price point. im not saying this to detur your purchase
    but I have say think about what you are using the pistol for, its relable but it dosent beat the durability of a glock
    but not much of anything does anyways, im just compaing due to the fact that is what I have access to.
    now having been a new shooter I have to say the break down is great does break down just like a glock, you will see differnces
    between the two around the front reciver, length, and trigger assembly but basic clean up is practially identical.
    heres one thing i dont hear people talking about, a glock you can get dirty as a bastard and it still will be a tac driver.
    the sd9 however not the case, it will shoot through some fucked conditons, but your shot consistancy and acccuracy due to
    the barrell is effected, i noticed this the most when shooting american eagle rounds, which it hated,too much resiude
    being created by the shell due to formula really after id say 30 shots its certinally far less consistant, it will
    go up 90-130rd of winchester and other cleaner burning rounds before the residue will start to affect your consitancy and
    accuracy. i havent heard anyone say that, but its the truth. Im being hyper critical, but everyone else isnt, they normally
    bring it out the range and clack off two to three mags at maybe me its an art and that is my brush I must know it
    well. and i want u guys to know it well, espically people who are thinking about purchasing this pistol.
    if you are a new shooter i suggest the hell out of it, the self defence trigger will train you to handle
    any trigger cause most are smoother and if you can rock that trigger youll be golden. this pistol honestly has helped train
    me quite well, i handle a glock like a fracking boss because i got used to all of the mannerisms of the sd9 honestly i just
    cant praise itenough for a new pistol teaches you realisticly what to expect, and when you do buy a glock or something
    of the same quality you will be like holy shit okay, amazing car gun, a lot of fun at the range it will make you perfect
    your hold new users dont let anyone detur you buy it okay master it pick up a higher model after and you be thankful
    as fuck that you spent the time and effort mastering the SD9 dont baby yourself with a glock untill its time. im
    just suggesting this becasue if i had just spent the time with a glock i really wouldnt be half the shooter i am now.
    i give the gun from a beginner perspective a 5out of5 price point and mannerisms of the gun will make you better
    from the perspective of someone who considers themselfs an experianced shooter the rating goes down to
    a 3 out of 5. because you notice those differances
    if you read my mini book i could help you decide oh shit right the grip on the sd9 feels good less bricky then the glock
    and it actually has places for you to rest your finger so i like the hand hold that was well made in my book
    good luck on your puchase hope i could help

    1. cmeat

      i pretty much stopped caring after “bought an sd9ve…”

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  109. Eric O

    I bought one a few months ago and here’s an HONEST review;
    The trigger is long but manageable if you know how to squeeze right. I would say it was an 8LB pull. After the Apex Trigger Job it was closer to 5.6 or 6LBS.
    First 100 rounds and the gun did well BUT had two FTFs. I did the Apex trigger job prior to going out and reviewing the rounds, I noticed both were light primer strikes. I decided to put the original Striker spring on it, keeping the other apex changes in place.
    2nd time out I look at the gun and said “Baby, If you fail me, I am selling you!” I can’t stand something not going bang when I squeeze! So I began the session and after 500 rds she didn’t screw up once. I used winchester white box since it has harder primers, I used reloads and I used some premium 147 grain HP Winchester T-Series Bonded. She ate everything I fed her and did not flinch.
    3rd trip was after I changed that lame polymer guide rod for a Galloway all metal one. FYI the People at Galloway as super nice. The mail man screwed me and lost the package, they sent me another one for free. A month later the original package surfaced (was with a neighbor) and I sent it back to them because honesty pays. Anyhoo, 3rd trip out I blew through 500 rounds and all within a couple hours. I just kept wanting to shoot the thing! She runs good!
    I could of bought a higher end gun but I wanted this budget one to plink and tinker with. I read up on these and wanted to save money (shooting 45acp is expensive).
    I read about the apex trigger and I decided to get the gun so I could do a apex trigger and guide rod change out (not that poylmer guide rods are bad, I just don’t trust em, I like METAL). I also got Dawson Fiber Optic Sights for it too! Its fun to modify, its what I do with my hobby, I like doing stuff myself and not just buying something all tricked out already. That’s why I love the 10/22, its the honda civic of the gun world.
    As for this “Budget” gun, I see a lot of upside for a $300-$400 gun. Worth it in my opinion. So far over a 1000 rds and its a nice gun for me. I am thinking to getting 2 more since they are so low priced. one for the car and one for the office. 🙂 Heck maybe one for the garage!

  110. Jim_R

    On mine, the more I shoot, the better the trigger gets! I’m worried that I’ll have to give it to my wife and get another for myself. LOL

  111. Blake Shealy

    I own the sd9ve in two tone but I am interested to know where and if I can buy the sd9 solid black version? Any help please!!!

    1. GuyFromV

      If you are a member of the S&W messageboard sometimes you can find a melonite SD9 someone wants to get rid of, but they are rare as hell seemingly. I saw an SD9 slide assembly on Gunbroker a few months ago, also. It would fit the SD9VE frame…AFAIK they are identical. I did some research and the SW9GP Sigma model was also melonite and that slide is available at Numrich [ ] and I’m under the impression that it is also compatable, if not exactly a match on aesthetics. The SD9 owners must be happy with them for them to be so scarce only a few years after being discontinued.

  112. Stan

    I just don’t understand why mags for a “budget” gun would run that high.

    1. Ron

      For the same reason an overpriced gun gets you by the Glocks

    2. DanJ

      I just picked up 2 brand new hi-cap mags for $48 shipped. It pays to shop around.

      1. Ron

        OK, I got two SW9 hi-cap mags for $40 shipped. It pays to join the Smith-Wesson forum. Called S&W and they sent me two SD base plates for free.

        BTW, the SW9’s fit perfectly, but they hold 17 rounds. The SD factory mags hold 16 rounds. Don’t know why the change, but I suspect that the issues with the last round being hard to insert or interfering with loading ther magazine might be the reason.

        Or not.

        Anyway, a Youtube video shws how to fix the problem. There is excess plastic along the legs of the follower and sanding them off does the trick – it allows the follower to drop down further, thereby making more room for the rounds.

        BTW, read my other post “New SD buyers: Beware Stealer Dealers”

      2. Ron


        The SD series in both hi-cap and CA/MA Compliant are supposed to come with two mags. A lot of online dealers are selling the SD’s with only one mag and unless you read their ad carefully, you might get scammed.

        I did a check on 100 vendors (via WikiArms) and their prices to see if they ship one or two mags and if they advertise the correct number.

        Surprisingly few dealers sell the SD with both mags – and it is not about cost savings because I found 10 dealers with identical prices, from low ($303) to high $(358) where half were selling them with one mag and the other half wre selling them with two.

        To their credir, Academy has alwaysa sold their SD’s w/ tgwo mags and their everyday price of $319 is lower than many “sale” ads. Academy also puts the SD’s on their own sales fairly often and list them for $299.

        I just bought a new SD9 VE from Green Acres for $299 & two mags when I was initially responding to their sale on Taurus PT111 Millenium G2 for $199. (BTW, Palmetto State Armory PSA is still selling them for $199).

        By the time I got there, he was out of them. He was selling the SD with one mag and When I asked him about his SD9 VE, he said that he sold it for $299, but would throw in a second mag if I bought it to make up for running out of the PT111.

        The SD9 VE was ther first semiauto handgun I ever bought, but sold it because I didn’t like the trigger. I recently bought a used SD9 VE that came with one mag for $260, but thinking that he was selling it with two mags.

        I called S&W and they basically don’t care what tghe distributor or dealer does once it leaves their hands.

        Rather than buying a factory mag for $33 shipped (the cheapest I had found at the time), I sold it privately for $260 (the price I paid for it) and bought the new SD with 2 mags for $299 – which is what I’d have to spend to get a spare mag for my used gun.

        A nice guy on the Smith-Wesson forum had two SW9 VE mags that fit exactly like the SD9 VE mags (but hold 17-rounds instead of the SAD’s 16-rounds). A call to S&W askin g for SD base plates got two sent to me first class for free.

        So, bottom line, I’m back to wheri hae I started and the stock trigger I got with the current iteration is a lot better than what I had bought a year and a half ago at Academy. Go figure. I may do the trigger spring job later on.

        Speaking of which, who’s got the better kit: Apex or Galloway? (Forget about the useless pin that Galloway sends with it and charges $5 for it. Eric told me he’d pull out the safe action trigger pin and sell me the kit for $20 instead of $25. Apex’s kit is $20.95. Another big difference is that Apex kit does not come with a lighter sear spring while Galloway does. Apex says their kit is “designed to work with the stock sear spring.”

        Yes, but is it better than Galloways’ kit?

  113. Frank L

    I bought my SD9VE new a few months ago for $280 on sale from a regional chain sporting goods store. Sad to say, out of the box, it double feeds every 2 – 4 rounds with both magazines. I’ve tried different ammo and have put about 200 rounds thru it on 3 trips to the range. I’ve never had this type repetitive feed problem with any of my other semi-autos.

    The other thing is it is difficult to remove the slide – I thought it might be me but others have had to take several tries (including those at the gun range) before getting it to release.

    The lack of a manual and/or a magazine safety is of some concern to inexperienced shooters, but considering the cost, it is a decent value. It feels and handles well, is fairly accurate, and the trigger pull wasn’t a problem to me except affecting accuracy when rapid firing.

    I’m in process of returning it to S&W thru the store for eval / repair…

  114. Pingback: Gun Review: Smith & Wesson SD9 VE [PICS] -

  115. newshooter

    I got my SD9VE couple of months ago at a gun show for $300. First time gun owner and so far very happy with it. I upgraded the trigger, springs and guide rod all by myself thanks to YouTube instruction from Apex. So for 50 bucks extra and an hour of my time, I have a better gun which I now intimately. Several hundred rounds over 3 trips to range and so far not a single problem. For the money, I am very happy with it. Will likely get another one.

    1. Ron

      Well, if you’re looking for another one, I’m selling my virtually new SD9VE (only fired 100 rounds) with 4 mags (2-16rd & 2 17 rd) and an unused Apex spring kit. Decided that I’m done with bargain guns and moving on up to the $500-$600 range.

      I’m selling the 17-rnd mags separately as well with the Apex spring kit – but if someone wants all of it, I’m amenable to that as well.

      If you or anyone is interested in it, drop me an email at

      (*BTW*, the 17 rnd mags came from an SW9VE and they fit and work perfectly. They have a 1/4″ thicker butt plate and actually fit better than the stock 16-rnd mags do – no gaps).

  116. Dave Jones

    I just bought a SD9VE and the trigger is long smooth and about 8 lbs. I don’t know what everyone is complaining about. This is a self defence firearm that doesn’t need the trigger of a CZ IPSC gun. The slide is smooth, rounds chamber well, the sights are okay and the trigger is smooth with no crunching and grinding like someone said. It’s a heck of a bargain at $399 in Canada (only 10 round mag) and feels and looks better than a Glock. Well done Smith and Wesson!

    1. Peter

      Take it to the range and run 100 rounds through it. Then, afterwards, ask your trigger finger, “How do you like me now?”

      Recommendation: soak it in ice water

      1. Dave

        No issue at all with “trigger finger” and it has same pull on Lyman trigger gauge as my M&P 7 – 8 pounds. I’ve used a 5946 at work since they were issued in 1996 and no issues with the 12 plus pounds on that either. Guess people aren’t as tough as they used to be….my 56 year old finger is fine thanks for asking though!

        1. Jim_R

          Haha, I like that! My 58 year old finger is just fine too!

          Recommendation: More trigger time! (The only 100% cure!)

          1. Peter

            Trigger weight is not the issue, never was the issue, never will be the issue. Trigger travel, trigger break, and trigger reset are the only things that matter to me.

            Even a trigger with a 2lb pull would still suck if you had to pull it from the very front of the trigger guard all the way back to the grip before tripping the striker or hammer.

            Even a trigger with a 2lb pull would still suck if the trip point remains an ongoing mystery every time you pull the trigger. Oh, it’s back there somewhere, but it’s no comfort in knowing that can’t go past the grip.

            Likewise, that 2lb trigger would also suck if it didn’t reset the striker or hammer traveling the same, long path on the way back to Square One, aka the front of the trigger guard.

            Or worse, that reset point was also a mystery position and both the trip and reset poinbts were not accompanied by an audible click.

            It’s damn near impossible NOT to have firing or recoil anticipation if you have no clue as to when and where your Wonder Gun goes “Bang.”

            “What’s the problem?” You ask. The problem is the 8-10lbs of reverse pull on the trigger – and your finger – while you’re busy hunting for the break point, reset, and break point again. The trigger pull is not linear. Spring compression is exponential – as the spring becomes shorter in length, the more pull or pressure is needed to reach its maximum compression point and the more muscle effort required on the part of your hand and trigger finger to keep it there long enough to hit the trip point.

            Also, if you stage the trigger (and nearly every SD owner does), having that return pull doesn’t help in that regard, either.

            Yeah, it’s a “safety feaure.” Right. So is shot placement. I’d trade a heavy, long traveling trigger for one with a shorter travel and pull (with other types of safeties preventing AD’s) any day of the week because it will do more to improve placement on follow-up shots than several days of target practice to “get used” to this abominable SD trigger.

            Of course it has a similar, articulated trigger system as used in the bigger M&P’s. Which is why gun reviewers don’t rave about them in their reviews, either.

            There is almost a sense of denial for those who bought the SD as there was with the original Sigma: how could such a great gun in so many respects have a trigger this bad? This is followed with rationalizations, like “I’ll learn to get used to it,” or “I’m just noty working it right,” to the decision to drop another $60 in mods to lighten the trigger pull and replace the whole trigger with a Glock-alike blade safety mounted in the middle of a fatter and flatter trigger.

            Ah, but the fixes brought with them new problems. As they say, you can’t make silk out of a sow’s ear.

            I’m sure that many will disagree with my harsh assessment, but this was the only gun I really wanted to work for me. My gunsmith who has over 30 years in the business feels the same way as I do.

            Go test fire Walther’s new, and overhyped CCP, for the Sigma’s successor in these respects – but more so because it is a Walther-made firearm. Anyone who bought the CCP without first trying it will be mad as hell about that trigger – even more so that the original Sigma owners.

            But, as I said, S&W has made numerous improvements to the SD over the SW that preceded it and the dreaded Sigma (where the only direction you could go is up). But, Apex is mighy thankful that S&W didn’t improve upon the trigger because it launched their company.

            Now that you know what I much prefer in the way of trigger actions, it should come as no surprise why I like the two passive safeties on the entire Springfield series: the backstrap grip safety (a la 1911), and the split trigger safety. This allows the trigger to position itself in the middle of the trigger guard, trip the striker, and reset the sear, and do it again, with a consistent amount of pull, release, and trigger return.

        2. Peter

          Yeah, so was mine! NINE YEARS AGO.

  117. CharlesSolomon

    Waiting for the SD9VE to be produced in ALL Black. I really like my two tone SD9VE and am eager to buy the all
    black one when S&W finally produces it. Customer Service Fellow at S&W told me that the present two tone SDVE series is taking a lot of M&P9 and M&P9Pro customers. Time Will Tell.

    1. Peter

      You could by an SD9. It’s all black and a better made gun. The problem is that I don’t know who has one for sale.

  118. CharlesSolomon

    In RE: the SD9VE Trigger AND guide Rod/Spring, which are Just fine the way they are. Once Again, May I suggest CRC Power Lube in the Red/Black/white spray can?? With the SD9VE slide locked back use the squirt tube to inject a shot of CRC Into the trigger module and follow/squirt it back to the rear striker with AND All Around the Guide rod Where the Spring will pickup CRC lubrication. Repeatedly work the trigger firmly and Voila! You are gonna’ Love the SMOOTH, NOW 4.5Lb Trigger Pull, Plastic guide rod upfront shares the CRC with Recoil Spring And HOLY COW! Smooth as a Vagina Just before doing it.

    1. Peter

      You can drown the guide rod and captured recoil spring in your CRC & it won’t do jack to reduce trigger pull. Make it cycle easier and racking easier, but forget about doing a damn thing about the length and weight of the trigger pull.

      Now, on the trigger spring – sure, but why oh why are you leaving the slide on? You’re missing more than half of the complete trigger function unless you like really spraying and praying to where the stuff starts dripping out of trigger opening.

      You don’t need to use the slide to pull the striker spring back – especially when you’re missing the most important parts.

      #1 Trigger bar
      #2 Sear (activated by the trigger bar)
      #3 Striker block button (activated by the trigger bar)
      #4 Trigger pivot (a solid polymer rocker on a solid polymer ramp)*

      *When people talk about a “gritty feel” or “gritty sound” that’s where it’s coming from! That area gets dirty very easily. Best thing to do is to clean it thoroughly, and insert a cotton path wrapped on the end of a flat edge (like a small screwdriver) and get it bone dry and spotless before putting on the lube.

      Now, here’s where I blow a lot of people’s minds. As recommended by an experienced gunsmith, the best thing to put in that trigger pivot-meets-frame space, in between the trigger bar and the frame, and on the sear (both where it meets the trigger bar and its pivot point) is powdered graphite. The powdered graphite alone will eliminate all of the grittiness in the trigger. I know it sounds counterproductive, but trust me, it’s not only the best lubricant to use there, it’s the only stuff that will go into that tight space without having anything drip or ooze out – or collect GSR.

      That’s the problem with lots of lube, It feels super when dry firing – but run 50 rounds through the gun, and then pop the slide. You’ll see the lube collecting all the residue if you use too much – whereas the graphite wil not stick to GSR ( or vice versa).

      It makes cleaning-time a bit confusing because you’ll be removing another black substance that will have to be reapplied.

      The graphite also fills up any pits or pockmarks in the metal.

      But, I’ll give your CRC a try if you use Tetra-grease on the rails and on the inside track of the slide. But, you have to work it into the metal until it disappears and leaves behind a totally dry, Teflon-smooth surface.I also use it for the barrel and on the top front surface of the 2nd locking hook (I don’t know what else to call the individual areas of the barrel’s locking mechanism)

      1. Peter

        RE: about what I said regarding trigger weight. It will make the trigger easier to work and make it feel lighter – but physically it doesn’t change the compression ratio of the spring or lessen the uptake and overtravel that always keeps me guessing where the hell is that break point.

        Its nice and easy at the start of range day, but things start to slow down as the day progresses, when the trigger is not as easy as it was before firing, and your hand and finger are not as fresh as they were, either.

        I’d love it if it had a smoother and crisper DAO action like the Ruger LCR has. Definitely, the easiest revolver I’ve ever shot short of a compeition model.

        The Apex solution doesn’t do it for me. Not heard good things about their AEK trigger.

        This is the best of thre three iterations of the Sigma replacement – but they still should have made a major improvement on the trigger.

        I am not a big fan of the M&P articulated triggers to begin with. Like the economy SD’s, great gun for want of a better trigger system.

        I am trading up from here on end. $300 guns that need $60 (or more) in fixes keeps bringing me back to buying more expensive gun that has everything I want. So, this time around, I’ll be hunting in the $400-$500 range and put an end to this playing handgun merry-go-round that I’ve been doing for more than 1/2 of a year.

        The SD9 VE is the gun I love to hate. This marks my 3rd go-around with it. But, this time, when I sell it (which didn’t take more than two or three days from post to person),

        This time around, I’ll have a few goodies to go with it. I’ll have a NIB Apex trigger spring kit (that I chose not to install), a new factory “lower” from S&W service (or maybe a whole, new gun, since the new SD I got from Academy 2-3 months ago had QC issues with the barrel, guide rod, takedown lever, and pretty much everything else that was not in the slide.

        Last, but certainly not least, will be four (4) original mags: two 16-rounders that came with the SD9 VE, while the other two are 17-rounders that came from an SW9 – Smither & Wesson’s predecessor to the SD9. The SW9 mags work flawlessly and actually fit the SD9 VE so much better – thanks to its thicker baseplate that also helps to hide the 17th round. When you look at how the stock mag sits inside the hand grip you can’t help but see the gap between the mag’s baseplate and the grip’s bottom.

        This gap will be one of the things pointed out in the photos I’ll post on my Florida GunTrader ad. I may also run one on Armslist — for local sales only – as I do for all my FGT ads. (I steer clear of Gunbroker entirely). My two prior SD9VE’s were sold via Florida Gun Trader within three days.

  119. Jim_R

    I don’t understand the problem with the trigger. It’s not comparable to a 1911 or many other SA or DA/SA pistols, but it was never meant to be. My pistol doesn’t have all the pre-travel, creep and excessive stacking that I’m reading about above. The trigger does have some stacking, just like any striker fired pistol, but it’s very repeatable and predictable. This is an inexpensive pistol intended to be a home defense or carry piece, it’s never been intended to be a target pistol, although I can hit what I aim for every time I pull the trigger, and it didn’t take any time to “adjust” or “learn how to work it”.

    I’ve fired many, many revolvers and pistols, both single action and double action, custom and plain ol’ out of the box rigs in the last 40 or so years and they aren’t all judged the same, e.g., I’ll never judge a $300 striker fired pistol the same as a $2,500 target/competition custom DA only revolver. Additionally, some very well-known and popular pistols, that cost at least twice as much, have triggers that truly stink in comparison to the SD9 VE’s!

    My advice is to buy it, shoot it, enjoy it and DON’T worry about it! I DID polish the internals of mine and spent about $20 bucks on aftermarket springs to speed up the smoothing process, making it easier for my wife to qualify with it.

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