Smith & Wesson Sigma 9mm SW9VE Review

Smith & Wesson Sigma 9mm SW9VE
Smith & Wesson Sigma 9mm SW9VE

Over the years the Smith & Wesson Sigma series has gotten a bad rap. From poor quality to a lawsuit from Glock over patent infringement, word got around. Despite the poor reputation, I decided to buy this gun and give it a go.

I bought my S&W Sigma 9mm (SW9VE) brand new at a gun show for $315 (plus tax). I was looking at Springfield XDMs and Glocks, but the Sigma fit my budget best.

Smith & Wesson Sigma 9mm SW9VE w/ 2 magazines
Smith & Wesson Sigma 9mm SW9VE w/ 2 magazines
2 loaded Sigma 9mm magazines
2 loaded Sigma 9mm magazines

Overview

Overall, the Sigma 9mm feels like a quality gun in my hand. It's a bit top heavy, but the grip is just right for my hand. With an overall length of 7.25", it's not the easiest gun to carry concealed, but it's entirely possible. My Sigma came with 2 10 round magazines which should be plenty of ammunition if the gun is needed for self defense. As a friend of mine (with a revolver) said, "If it takes more than 6 shots, I shouldn't have been there in the first place." I'd like to upgrade to 2 16 round magazines for a little extra assurance that I'll always have plenty of ammunition and it would also be nice to have more rounds ready to go at the range.

At The Range

My first time shooting this gun was a very pleasant experience. There was less recoil that I expected so lining up each following shot didn't take long. When firing rapidly the recoil seemed a little worse, but nothing intolerable.

One of the biggest complaints with the Sigma 9mm is the long and heavy trigger pull. I will admit, this gun definitely had that. But the more I shoot the gun, the looser the trigger gets. The Sigma 9mm has no safety so I can only assume the heavy trigger was added for user safety. The springs in the trigger mechanism can be changed to lighten the trigger pull, but I don't feel it's necessary for myself (mind you, I'm not a big guy but I have no problems shooting this gun).

Another complaint with this gun is rounds jamming. I've put hundreds of rounds through this gun without a hitch. It goes bang every single time. No rounds jamming, no casings getting stuck in the ejection port.

Federal Ammunition Champion 115gr FMJ 9mm
Federal Ammunition Champion 115gr FMJ 9mm
Hornady Custom 147gr JHP 9mm
Hornady Custom 147gr JHP 9mm

Ammunition

I really prefer shooting Federal Ammunition Champion 115gr FMJ rounds at the range. At $20 per box of 100 rounds, it's not too expensive to shoot. And this gun seems to love the ammo. It's a little dirty but never gives me any problems.

At home I keep my Sigma loaded with Hornady Custom 147gr JHP rounds. They're $20 for a box of 25 rounds so they're too pricey for me to shoot them at the range all the time, but I have shot them before and they cycle well in the Sigma. Even with a higher grain content than the Federal FMJs I like, the recoil seems no worse with them.

Field stripped Sigma 9mm SW9VE
Field stripped Sigma 9mm SW9VE

Cleaning

The Sigma series are incredibly easy guns to clean. Field stripping the gun takes a matter of seconds.

  • Unload the gun
  • Pull the slide back ~1/2"
  • Pull down both sides of the lever near the front of the slide
  • Let the slide come forward while holding the levers down
  • Release the levers
  • Pull the trigger and the slide will come forward until it is completely off the frame
  • Remove the spring from the slide
  • Remove the barrel from the slide

Like all guns, keeping the Sigma clean ensures good performance.

Conclusion

After all the bad things I've heard about the old Smith & Wesson Sigmas, I have to say they don't seem to be true with the SW9VE. I absolutely love this gun and would trust my life with it, which is why I'm going to make it my carry gun. The price is great since it's labeled as an entry level gun, it's not expensive to shoot, and it's very reliable. Great gun for sure.

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Comments 8 comments

Longhunter 4 years ago

Interesting article, Cobra.

I understand where you're coming from on the cost. I carry a Springfield XD 9mm I got for $589.

As for concealed carrying, take a look at the Blackhawk holsters. I use one and really like it.

I like what your friend said about the number of rounds but I do carry a few more. I carry 3-16 round mags, one in the gun, two in a holder. The holder stays in my truck. He is right though and I avoid places I think I might have problems.

Again, interesting article.


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Cobrafan 4 years ago from Nowhere Author

The Springfield XDMs were my first choice of guns, but budget became a problem. More than likely my next gun will be an XDM 40 (or 9mm if the Police Academy decides to not allow my to use my Sigma due to the lack of a safety).


Gene 4 years ago

How can I reduce the pressure to pull back the slide


wiliam 4 years ago

I like your article. I have the same weapon, use it everyday as a armed security officer---trust my life to it! Just wanted to say that this weapon does have a 16 round clip and of course room in chamber for one more--17. Oh I DIDN'T see mention to the fact that a safety feature on this weapon is a small hole purposely put on top chamber so that you can see the brass of a round if in chamber.


dwings 3 years ago

I also own a 9mm SW9VE and I can tell you that for an entry level weapon you can't go wrong for the money. I have fired several rounds through mine and have had no problems with the feeding system with standard ball ammo or the hollow point ammo.I have also felt that the accuracy is better than I expected ,I sure would not want to be own the wrong end of this weapon,in the hands of an average shooter.


Greg Hopkins 2 years ago

Smith and Wesson SW9VE. I have nothing but praise for this gun . I've owned it for three years and put thousands of rounds thru it . Never once has it jammed up on me . It will shoot any round that you put in it .

This is a gun that I would trust my life to in any situation , and is the pistol I carry every day . I own more expensive pistols in my collection , but as far as reliability and trustworthy , the SWV9E is my favorite .

If your looking for a great personnel protection sidearm this is what you want . Plenty of power , and never fails to fire . Of all my pistols this is my favorite . I have a 1911 45 and my SWV9E Shoots better than it does. If your looking for a great affordable pistol the SWV9E Smith and Wesson is what you want .


David 2 years ago

what is a good site for parts


Cobrafan profile image

Cobrafan 2 years ago from Nowhere Author

If you're looking for standard replacement parts check out gunpartscorp.com. S&W may have replacement parts as well but you'll probably have to call them. If you've got a broken part that wasn't broken due to abuse, call up S&W and see if they'll do anything about it. A lot of gun manufacturers are more than willing to take the gun back, fix it, and send it back at no charge (aside from maybe shipping to them). Midwayusa.com carries magazines for a decent price. If you want some customization like a flashlight or laser sight then you can hit up ebay for a picatinny rail adapter (it will clamp to the frame in front of the trigger guard). They sell them for around $6-12 (try to find aluminum). Then you can really just pick up a flashlight or laser sight from any retailer your trust as long as it uses a picatinny rail.

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