Smith & Wesson SD9 and SD40 first look


I talked about the new SD9 and SD40 pistols from Smith & Wesson a couple of weeks ago when I got the press release about them.  The short summary is that they’re a specifically marketed self defense pistol with a lower price point than the M&P.  Unlike the earlier budget polymer gun from S&W, the Sigma, the new SD pistols are true striker fired guns, and have benefited from the lessons learned on the M&P.

The SD9, pictured at the left will hold 16+1 rounds of 9mm ammo, and comes from the factory with three dot sights, with the front sight being an XS Tritium dot.

I had the opportunity to handle both of the guns, and the sights are actually quite good.  While I’m not partial to three-dot sights, the rear posts are wide enough to allow a good amount of light in around the front sight post which will aid in rapid acquisition.  The gun also seems to sit well in the hand as you can see with the picture of the SD40 show at right.

Interestingly enough, I did not see any Sigmas at S&W’s booth, although I will confess that I wasn’t really looking for them.  So they might have had some Sigmas out, but at this juncture I don’t necessarily see the point.

So far, the SD40 and SD9 have some good points, while they’re not the M&P they’re definitely an upgrade to the Sigma.  The sample guns I got to handle had average triggers, nothing special to write home about, but better than the triggers on various Sigma’s that I’ve shot.  Ergonomics seem good, as they’re not too heavy and not too long; although we’ll have to see how they handle recoil from full house .40 S&W loads.  The SD40 will be available first, and I’m line to get one for a review gun.  With an anticipated street price of around $400, the new SD pistols could present a more cost effective option for people that aren’t interested in an M&P or a Glock.


  1. I would quibble that the Sigma has a much, much worse trigger.

    I really didn’t like the reset on the SD9’s trigger; but that’s my gamer coming out. I like a sharp, snappy reset.

  2. I’d make a disparaging remark about the SR9, but since you ignored all my good advice and bought one anyway…

  3. I wasn’t overly impressed with it, but it’s still miles ahead of the Sigma.

    Are they still going to sell Sigma’s or are these meant to replace that line?

  4. I have to guess that Unc didn’t attempt to shoot one of the “Cobra” semi-autos.

    Man, those things had a trigger like pulling 20 pounds of concrete over cobblestones.

    AND the trigger slap of a bad AK…

  5. Caleb,

    Saying that the Sigma has a worse trigger isn’t much of a reconmendation. A good Sigma makes a bad Glock look like a just-broken-in Les Baer. {grin}

  6. Jay Beat me too it! I was leading people from all over the convention just to try out the Cobra “Patriot” line of pistols just to show what the worst trigger in the universe could feel like.

    5 pounds, stacking up to a nasty, what felt like 18 pounds, grit and bumps all the way, then a toy-like *poing* with reverb as the hammer lands, and welt-raising trigger slap. Its almost like they don’t want you to ever pull their triggers.

    1. To be fair, you can’t compare the triggers on Cobras to the triggers on REAL guns. A better comparison might be a Hi Point or a Lorcin.

  7. Weer’d Beard may have hit on something.

    The Cobra’s trigger isn’t a bug, it’s a feature!

    You’ll only willingly pull that trigger if you REALLY, REALLY, have to.

    1. IIRC, the Sigma is actually a double action only gun – not a striker fired gun like the Glock. I could be wrong though.

  8. IIRC, Sigmas are striker fired like the Glock — the striker is partially preloaded by the slide action. You’ll need to pull the slide back a little to get it to reset, just like a Glock.

    So it’s not really a Single Action or a Double action gun. It’s a “One and a half” action gun with a deliberately heavy trigger for liability reasons.

    Of course, it’s been years since I bothered to pay any attention to a Sigma, since I disliked their trigger so much.

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