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Old 06-18-2012, 09:59 PM
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Default SD9 compared to SD9VE

Just got home with my SD9VE. I thought I would do some initial comparisons with my SD9.

The SD9 came in a plastic clamshell box with 2 magazines. The SD9VE also came with 2 magazines but was shipped in a blue S&W cardboard box.

Here are a few comparison pics.

SD9 (black slide) above the SD9VE (silver slide)



The slide is melonited on the original SD9 and left bright stainless on the SD9VE. This is really the only noticeable difference until you look close.

The SD9 has been my CCW gun for a while now, the finish is holding up extremely well.
I saw a post that indicated that the loaded chamber indicator might be different, but it is not, not on mine anyway.


You can see that the sights are different. The SD9 rear sight has a set screw that the SD9VE sight does not.


The front sights are similar, but the SD9 has a front night sight, versus just a white dot on the SD9VE.


The SD9VE also has a different, and slightly better, trigger than the SD9. The weight is about the same but the length of pull on the VE is shorter and slightly smoother. I expect it to get even smoother when it's had a bunch of rounds through it. The triggers aren't very different, and I probably wouldn't notice if I didn't have them right here to compare back to back.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:31 PM
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Nice comparision! Thumbs up on the pics and showing us what they are like side by side, much better than just hearing about it.

Trigger is a shorter pull? That's interesting to hear.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:10 AM
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Very nice comp!! after seeing this probably just stick with my sd and leave the ve
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:17 PM
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I paid $327 plus $10 transfer for this SD9VE. For the money you can't even come close. If S&W can shake the Sigma's reputation (warranted or not) they will have a winner.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:50 PM
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I just got home with a new SD9VE, and I hadn't even noticed that it didn't have the front night sight like the SD9 has. I bought a SD9 when they first came out, and ended up trading it shortly after I bought it...no problems with it, I just found something I wanted more, and needed to use it to help pay for the other gun. I've been wanting to get another one, to carry in my car, and when the SD9VE was announced I thought I would wait and get the new one. I stopped in at my LGS this afternoon to browze, and they had one, and a 40 as well.

When I bought my SD9 it was $399, and the SD9VE that I bought today was $339. It's a good thing when gun prices come down!
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by GKC View Post
I just got home with a new SD9VE, and I hadn't even noticed that it didn't have the front night sight like the SD9 has. I bought a SD9 when they first came out, and ended up trading it shortly after I bought it...no problems with it, I just found something I wanted more, and needed to use it to help pay for the other gun. I've been wanting to get another one, to carry in my car, and when the SD9VE was announced I thought I would wait and get the new one. I stopped in at my LGS this afternoon to browze, and they had one, and a 40 as well.

When I bought my SD9 it was $399, and the SD9VE that I bought today was $339. It's a good thing when gun prices come down!
Where did you find it? I've had a few folks (DFW area) ask where they could get one.
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by WPWarhawk View Post
Where did you find it? I've had a few folks (DFW area) ask where they could get one.
I bought this one at B&S Guns in Garland. I know they had a SD40VE in the case as well, but I don't know if they had any more SD9VEs, other than the one I bought.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:46 AM
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Good camparison!
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:18 AM
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How is the slide to frame fit on the SD9VE as compaired to the SD9?
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by marlin.357 View Post
How is the slide to frame fit on the SD9VE as compaired to the SD9?
The SD9 and SDVE are the exact same gun (minus the finish and sights) and both have a good degree of play in frame to slide fit when compared to the Sigma. As I mentioned in other posts I believe its due to the rear rails not being attached to the frame. Not sure what the OP means by stating the SDVE trigger is better than the SD they are exactly the same trigger and sear.

Here are some pics of my Sigma and SD to show how the rear rails are not attached to the frame



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Old 06-20-2012, 10:05 AM
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Didn't know they came out like that.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:01 AM
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Didn't know they came out like that.
Either did I until I bought mine, that is the biggest design flaw with the SD and SDVE the rails should be attached to the frame. I have no idea why S&W did this as far as I know they are the only ones who have done this. It is a very weak design.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by cbr6864 View Post
Not sure what the OP means by stating the SDVE trigger is better than the SD they are exactly the same trigger and sear.
Must just be the difference in two individual guns. The trigger on my VE is definitely smoother than the SD9. Maybe that makes it feel like a shorter pull, but it definitely feels that way to me and 2 others who have looked at it.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by WPWarhawk View Post
Must just be the difference in two individual guns. The trigger on my VE is definitely smoother than the SD9. Maybe that makes it feel like a shorter pull, but it definitely feels that way to me and 2 others who have looked at it.
Im sure it feels different to you as there will be a slight difference between spring rate and final machining of the sear assembly from gun to gun but they are the exact same assembly.

nice write up though are the sights plastic on the SDVE?
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Either did I until I bought mine, that is the biggest design flaw with the SD and SDVE the rails should be attached to the frame. I have no idea why S&W did this as far as I know they are the only ones who have done this. It is a very weak design.
Design flaw and weak design were the same words described when polymer frames came out. Of course time proved those naysayers wrong. We'll see if the SD9 series rail design does the same. My SD9 has surpassed the 2,500 round mark with no issues or wear whatsoever. The internals look like new.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:38 PM
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.

nice write up though are the sights plastic on the SDVE?
My rear sight is plastic, but the front is metal.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mlk18 View Post
Design flaw and weak design were the same words described when polymer frames came out. Of course time proved those naysayers wrong. We'll see if the SD9 series rail design does the same. My SD9 has surpassed the 2,500 round mark with no issues or wear whatsoever. The internals look like new.
The rails are not attached to the frame its not a theory its basic physics.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbr6864 View Post
Im sure it feels different to you as there will be a slight difference between spring rate and final machining of the sear assembly from gun to gun but they are the exact same assembly.

nice write up though are the sights plastic on the SDVE?
S&W's sale literature mentions a "Self Defense Trigger", so I thought maybe there was a difference.

I hadn't thought to check ... the front sight is steel, the rear is plastic.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by GKC View Post
I bought this one at B&S Guns in Garland. I know they had a SD40VE in the case as well, but I don't know if they had any more SD9VEs, other than the one I bought.
Thanks Ken, I went into B&S Guns ONCE and decided they should rename the place BS Guns. They must have cut their prices since I was there last year.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by WPWarhawk View Post
S&W's sale literature mentions a "Self Defense Trigger", so I thought maybe there was a difference.
Thats what they put in the original SD as well which is what I showed a pic of in my SD40. The sear acts like a lever instead of the funky design of the Sigma sear. I really think it had to do with the lawsuit, why wait this long to fix the one thing everyone disliked about the Sigam
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:43 PM
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Thanks Ken, I went into B&S Guns ONCE and decided they should rename the place BS Guns. They must have cut their prices since I was there last year.
It's a funny thing, but I mainly go to three gun shops in my local area...and the prices are never the same for any one gun in all three shops...not even close. One particular gun will be higher in one shop, lower in the other, and about in the middle in the third. For a different gun, the shop that was high is now lower than the other two, and so on. I have learned to be a comparison shopper, and check prices in all three before I buy in one. (I also check online, as well as this and other forums for pricing information.)

The guys at B&S Guns have been good to me, and I've done a lot of business there. I know that there are negative comments about them, but I've always felt good about my experiences there. Of course, I am a really wonderful guy...

One thing I was say that is a negative is that they are VERY high on their ammo prices. I usually buy my ammo at Academy Sports, or one of the other two local shops.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by cbr6864 View Post
The SD9 and SDVE are the exact same gun (minus the finish and sights) and both have a good degree of play in frame to slide fit when compared to the Sigma. As I mentioned in other posts I believe its due to the rear rails not being attached to the frame.
On my SD the play is the same at the front and rear about .015", but surprisingly doesn't seem to affect accuracy--at least in my hands
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
The rails are not attached to the frame its not a theory its basic physics.
I am not a Physicist or a professional firearm designer, but something tells me Smith & Wesson has at least one of them on staff. I am also betting that when they designed the SD9 they did so with intention of it working and being at least minimally durable. I will further bet that they tested the design and were pleased with it. And gosh golly they were successful because my SD9's are accurate, reliable and so far very durable. So my score card reads: Reality 1 - Physics 0.
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlk18 View Post
I am not a Physicist or a professional firearm designer, but something tells me Smith & Wesson has at least one of them on staff. I am also betting that when they designed the SD9 they did so with intention of it working and being at least minimally durable. I will further bet that they tested the design and were pleased with it. And gosh golly they were successful because my SD9's are accurate, reliable and so far very durable. So my score card reads: Reality 1 - Physics 0.

Ok we get you like the fact that the rear rails are not attached to the frame what is your point? Have you ever even taken a look at the sear block in the SD? There is almost no plastic actually holding the rear rails in place.

The problem with the internet is there are just too many kids online with zero knowledge. Having the rear rails attached to the frame is by far stronger and provides less movement than having them directly mounted to the frame.

Who knows why S&W put the rear rails in the sear block, the only thing I can come up with is reduced production cost as well as repair cost. There is a reason no one else is doing this.
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:17 PM
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WPWarhawk, it looks like the rear sight on the SD9VE says "M&P" on it. Is that the sight that came on the gun? Is Smith & Wesson using extra M&P sights for the SD9VE? Interesting.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:21 PM
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All I want to know is what the hell does "VE" strand for?
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:26 PM
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All I want to know is what the hell does "VE" strand for?
"value enhanced" or just a product code
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:35 PM
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WPWarhawk, it looks like the rear sight on the SD9VE says "M&P" on it. Is that the sight that came on the gun? Is Smith & Wesson using extra M&P sights for the SD9VE? Interesting.
You've got it backwards, the M&P rear sight is what came on the older SD9, the one with the blackened slide.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Ok we get you like the fact that the rear rails are not attached to the frame what is your point?
My point is that no one is having any problems with the design and it is likely no one ever will. We all get that you don't like it and feel that it is some kind of violation of how guns are supposed to be made. It seem that S&W disagrees. And if for some reason the design does become an issue, we all have lifetime warranties to cover us. Who knows, maybe we will all get brand new SD9 Gen3's out of the deal.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:54 PM
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I have no problem with the back rails being a module. If there is ever a problem Smith will fix it. My new shield is the same way and that's an M&P. When Glock e series had rear rails break they had to replace the whole frame and a lot of them. I like the SD because it's plain and simple the way i like a working gun. Good looking too.
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:43 PM
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Maybe it is what the advertising calls the "steel subframe". Touted as an advantage.

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Old 06-21-2012, 07:46 PM
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It appears to be a cost cutting method to me, when i fire my SD you can see the entire back of the slide move from the tension right before the trigger breaks
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:18 AM
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It appears to be a cost cutting method to me, when i fire my SD you can see the entire back of the slide move from the tension right before the trigger breaks
My Kahr CW9 does that and I can guarantee it is not from the rails moving.
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:10 PM
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Does it rattle as bad as the first gens?
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:07 PM
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Neither my SD9 or my SD9 VE rattles any more than my Glocks or M&P's, so I am not sure what you mean.
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:32 PM
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Neither my SD9 or my SD9 VE rattles any more than my Glocks or M&P's, so I am not sure what you mean.
I never owned any in 9. I had 2 SD40's and that was the most rattly gun I've ever heard. The mags sounded like a ball-bearing in a coke can. I never heard any of the 9mm guys have that issue, just other .40 owners. The G19 I owned was silent compared to the SD lol. Either way, I love S&W's and the SD/SDVE's look so much better than Glocks. I loved the melonite and the new duotone models equally.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:40 PM
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I dont know about you guys, but our instructor always told us "never carry a semi-auto for duty or combat that doesn't rattle, if it doesn't rattle it'll likely jam on you". I have carried several S&W semis as well as glocks over the years and they have all rattled. Even the Sig 229 I carried was a rattler. One thing I've noticed on the .40 mags rattling, I've observed that they are also marked .357 sig. Maybe this has something to do with it? The ones for my M&P (that absolutely loves me and the feeling is mutual) sounds like it is coming apart, none of my older models did (4006, 4056, 411).
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:16 AM
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40 sw and 357 sig use the same mag
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:36 PM
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Not sure what the OP means by stating the SDVE trigger is better than the SD they are exactly the same trigger and sear.
I don't know. I handled a SDVE the other day and the trigger felt like a different design. Seemed shorter, had a more audible snap and concrete feel to the firing pin being released. I'd bet my money that something was tweeked. More than just the machining variations. Or it could be that my SD is just worn and the feel of a new one seems strange but I don't think so.
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:27 AM
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@ original OP

Thanks for the write-up and pictures.

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Old 09-25-2012, 09:49 AM
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WPWarhawk, 3 months later, how's the SD9VE treating you? Has it turned out to be as reliable as the original SD9?
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlk18 View Post
I am not a Physicist or a professional firearm designer, but something tells me Smith & Wesson has at least one of them on staff. I am also betting that when they designed the SD9 they did so with intention of it working and being at least minimally durable. I will further bet that they tested the design and were pleased with it. And gosh golly they were successful because my SD9's are accurate, reliable and so far very durable. So my score card reads: Reality 1 - Physics 0.
The SIG P250 does this as well the whole chassis lifts out and can be swapped into different size frames.

Not to mention it makes fixing a busted rail that much easier should it ever occur.

Like you said Smith and Wesson had a clue when they did this or they would have stuck with the standard design.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:29 PM
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WPWarhawk, 3 months later, how's the SD9VE treating you? Has it turned out to be as reliable as the original SD9?
No complaints here, I think the SD9 is the best bargain out there in a 9mm handgun. At least two people who have shot mine bought one just like it.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:15 PM
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Just picked up the SD9VE last evening. Looking forward to the first cleaning tomorrow, then the first trip to the range.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:00 PM
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Great posts, men! I'm basically a S&W wheel-guy, but decided to jump into the pistols and just went out today and bought me three SDVE9s. Got a heck of a deal here in central Ohio at Mike Goschinski's "Fin, Feather & Fur Outfitters" in Ashland, OH. $289 per.

I went with the 9mms, since ammo is plentiful for range work and plinking and with some of the newer self-defense rounds, they will do me aok with 17 rounds in hand. I've been hearing stories about mobs and gangs from guys who have been actually set upon, and I felt my S&W six shooters weren't up to "mob capacity."

Am cleaning them all tonight. I am astounded at the fine fit and finish on the barrel and slide on two of them. One of the three seems to have milling marks on the square sides of the barrel and a substantial burr on the lock-up lug where it was broached, but, hey, what do you want for a production gun at these prices? I'll file off the burr and keep the marks--it adds charachter!

Local stores here in Ohio can't keep the 9mm SDVE in stock, even though the factory is churning out 150+ daily. GO S&W!
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:04 AM
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Thanks for all the great comments and the pictures. I've carried my Sigma 9VE cocked and locked since 2004, when I was robbed and fired upon. During the hearings and the trial I was followed and chased by thugs, and my rear van window was shot out one night. I depend on my gun for my life. I'm glad Smith and Wesson is still working that design and improving on it. If the newer models are anything like my 9-year-old 9VE, they will protect and serve for many years. My hat's off to S&W. If I could afford one more gun, I would go out and get a new SD9VE today.

By the way, my 9VE passed the 5,000 round mark a while back. I don't even keep count now. I've worn out two or three recoil springs. It keeps on ticking. I remember how hard it was to shoot to my 9VE when I first got it. Now it's smoothe as silk. I doesn't rattle unless the slide is locked open.

In case you're wondering -- The robber did 5 years. After that, I watched for him in case he came after me and my family for putting him away. Last September he was shot in the back and the head. I didn't follow the story, but I figure he's dead. I need to get some of that Hornady "Zombie Max" ammo just in case!

Magazines -- Will the new models take the old mags, especially the 17-rounders? I should change my username to "18shooter." For the past 5 or 6 years I have carried two 17-round mags. I keep three 10-round mags in my range case. I have fired several 300-round sessions with slow lead bullets, as well as a couple of even longer sessions with jacketed bullets. My 9VE will shoot anything I load into it, even +P "premium" ammo, which I no longer carry. (I shoot standard pressure ammo better.) The only modification I have made to my 9VE was to polish the feed ramp.

I expect you'll get many years of service from this little gem. Good luck.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by 11shooter View Post
Thanks for all the great comments and the pictures. I've carried my Sigma 9VE cocked and locked since 2004,
How do you manage that as there is no safety and its a DAO handgun?
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:03 PM
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I want to thank you for the post, I am in the process of purchasing my first handgun and liked the SV9...your post made it easier to decide. It'll be home soon....thanks again
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:46 AM
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To the OP: Good post, thanks for sharing the pictures.

The SD9VE is on my list.

The bottom line for me is based on my experience with the sigma, that is; it just gets better every time you shoot it.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by cbr6864 View Post
How do you manage that as there is no safety and its a DAO handgun?
Perhaps I don't know what "cocked and locked" means. What I meant to say is that I carry a live round in the chamber as well as 17 rounds in the magazine.
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Smith & Wesson SD & Sigma Pistols Thread, SD9 compared to SD9VE in Smith & Wesson Semi-Automatic Pistols; Just got home with my SD9VE. I thought I would do some initial comparisons with my SD9. The SD9 came ...
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