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Old December 9, 2012, 12:20 PM   #11
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Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 7,333
Sigma history in a nutshell...

is the sigma smith and wesson the same as my new SD9VE, the guy at cabelas had told me there not the same, there are a few differences, something about being sued by glock.
The Glock lawsuit is VERY old news, as in almost 20 years old!

The SDx VE (x = 9 or 40) pistols are essentially the 3rd generation of the basic double-stack Sigma series.

The original double-stack Sigmas were the SWxF full-size, SWxC compact, and SWxV compact; the F & C had black Melonite finished carbon steel slides and black poly frames, whereas the V had a satin stainless slide and light grey poly frame. The initial production version was the SW9F, introduced in 1994. S&W was sued by Glock for patent infringement over these pistols, but IIRC the lawsuit was very quickly settled out of court.

The 1st-gen Sigma series includes the sole factory .357SIG variant, the SW357V, which was sold for what seems like about 10 minutes in 1998. S&W apparently built a small run to gauge consumer and LE interest, only to discover that there really wasn't any.

The 2nd-gen "Enhanced" Sigmas were introduced starting in 1997. These pistols have straight front accessory rails, enlarged ejection ports and slide stops, revised grip frame shape and texture, and improved ejectors and extractors. The full-size F model was dropped. The 2nd-gen includes the SWxE (improved SWxC), SWxVE (improved SWxV but with a black frame), SWxG (black Melonite slide, OD green frame), SWxGVE (satin stainless slide, OD green frame), and SWxP (stainless slide with polished sides and black upper surface, ported barrel, black frame).

The 3rd-gen SDx (non-VE) pistols were introduced in 2010. These pistols have fancier slide machining with front slide serrations, a revised Picatinny-style accessory rail, revised grip frame shape and texture, redesigned magazines, M&P-style sights with a front tritium night-sight insert, and a slightly lighter trigger pull. Slide finish was black Melonite over stainless and the frames were black. These pistols were marketed as an upgrade over the concurrent SWxVE pistols, but were lower-priced than the M&P. (The other SW-series pistols had been dropped during the previous several years.)

In 2012, S&W dropped both the SDx (non-VE) and SWxVE and replaced them with the present SDx VE series, which carry over most of the SDx non-VE changes, but with satin stainless slide finish and no front tritium insert. SDx VE prices are slightly higher than the SWxVE but substantially lower than the SDx non-VE.

The Sigma series also includes two short-lived single-stack subcompact variants produced in the mid-90s: the 9mm SW9M and .380ACP SW380. These pistols are substantially different than other Sigma pistols; the mags are removed by squeezing tabs at the base of the grip frame, and takedown requires driving out a pin from the frame with a hammer and punch. Both pistols have a reputation for iffy build quality. The SW9M was discontinued after less than 2 years, reportedly for an excessive rate of factory service returns.

[EDIT: I know this post goes well beyond answering the previous question, but I've been meaning to write this up for a while. ]
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak

Last edited by carguychris; December 11, 2012 at 02:49 PM. Reason: minor edits...
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