Smith & Wesson Sigma 9mm SW9VE Review
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.