Smith & Wesson introduced its polymer-framed, semi-automatic SD VE pistols in the summer of 2012. The striker-fired guns were a big success and continue to be a popular choice among enthusiasts. Chambered in either 9 mm NATO or .40 S&W, they are a budget friendly option that manages to retain the company’s famed reliability and performance, yet provide an ideal solution for home and self-defense.
The pistols have a distinctive, two-tone finish. The slide is stainless steel with serrations up front and at the rear for solid grip, even when wearing gloves or with sweaty palms. Aggressive texturing on the front of the pistol’s grip and backstrap, along with a finger locator, maintain control and improve controllability.
Laser or weapon light mounting is possible, thanks to a Picatinny rail on the dustcover. All members of the SD VE line have a 4" barrel, regardless of chambering. Frames are all businesslike black and there is no manual safety.
In the 9 mm NATO line, there are five versions from which to choose. One model sports Hi Viz sights, there’s a California compliant version, one for owners in Massachusetts, a Low Capacity model and the Standard—with a magazine capacity of 16 cartridges. Overall length of SD9 VEs measures 7.2" and weights, depending on model, run from 22.4 ozs. to 24 ozs.. Retail pricing starts at $406 and runs up to $455 for the Hi Viz version with fiber-optic sights.
Smith & Wesson SD40 VEs are currently available in four different configurations—with Hi Viz Sights, Low Capacity, Standard Capacity and California compliant. Magazine capacities are 10 cartridges, with the exception of the Standard Capacity model, which ships with 14-rounders.
Overall length is identical in the .40 S&W-chambered pistols, as is the range of weights. MSRPs are also the same.