And now I have yet another Smith & Wesson 9mm in my collection. Here is my quick and thoroughly incomplete review of the SD9VE.
Fit & finish is everything I except from Smith. A thorough inspection of both the interior & exterior was met with nothing negative to report. I like the stainless slide but don't really care for the stainless barrel, so I am thinking my SD9 and my SD9VE may be swapping some components (just for aesthetic purposes).
The factory trigger pull seems a little bit lighter than the stock pull on my SD, but not much. The trigger is also a little grittier. Neither of those things really matter to me because it will have an Apex SD spring kit inside of it before this upcoming weekend. And then I am certain it will be beautifully smooth trigger weighing in at around 5.75-6.0lbs, just like my SD9. For you purists I am certain the trigger will lighten and smooth out on it's own from both shooting and dry firing too, I am just not a patient man and have "nothing but awesome" experience with Apex Tactical Specialties.
The next thing I will change on this gun is the rear sight. It is polymer and it is quite serviceable, but I don't care for it. Just a personal preference and not a knock on the sight itself. Not sure which direction I will go here but I do have several stock M&P sights sitting in my armorer's kit, so I may just put on a steel tritium set pulled from an M&P. That would definitely be the low cost option. I have a 10-8 Performance U-notch rear sight on my SD9 to go along with the factory tritium front, so I may just duplicate that set up too. It looks good and is fast on target.
I took the gun out for a quick lemon check loading both mags and shooting at a hot box reactive target. I was consistently able to to hit it (and make it dance) but it did take a little more concentration that it does with my SD9. Accuracy on paper was also very good. 50 total rounds with no malfunctions or any other issues. Lemon check = pass! Of course it will need another 250+ rounds or so before I trust anyone's life to it.
I have owned a number of Sigmas and credit them with being a a much better gun than they get credit for. Mine were accurate, reliable and well made. But I believe the SD series is a full step a head. With a price tag of just over 3 bills out the door (LEO discount) I do not believe anything else on the market compares. The closest gun in price (going up) is the Ruger SR9 and it does not offer anything more then SD9VE except a manual safety. I don't know what has been going on behind closed doors at S&W for the last few years, but I like it!