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Old November 21, 2017, 07:02 PM   #1
TruthTellers
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S&W SD9 VE vs Ruger 9E

I'm not a big 9mm fan, I prefer .40 pistols and if I want to shoot 9mm I'll buy a conversion barrel, but I can't deny that the budget 9mm pistols have a draw to them.

The two budget 9's that interest me the most are the S&W SD9 VE and the Ruger 9E. Not factoring price in at all because they're both so cheap that it's irrelevant to me, which pistol would you choose and why? What do you like about them and what don't you like?
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Old November 21, 2017, 07:15 PM   #2
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Glocks are my go-to pistols, but I picked up a Ruger SR9C cheap last summer thinking my wife would like it. Jury is still out on that. The 9E is just a budget version of that gun in a full size. I'm pretty impressed with the gun. It is very accurate I like the fact that it does have a thumb safety. The trigger pull is much lighter than my Glocks and I'd not be comfortable without one on that gun.

I had a bad experience with one of the Smith Sigma's several years ago. I just can't trust the budget Smiths. Their M&P or metal framed guns are fine.
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Old November 21, 2017, 07:33 PM   #3
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I picked up a SD9VE awhile back, and shot an SR9C some before that. My impression is that both are reliable and are good values.

I've fired about 300 rounds thru the Smith so far, with no failures of any kind.

Though I think both are very good pistols, I don't think they are as durable as one might want for high volume shooting (say, thousands of rounds per year).
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Old November 21, 2017, 08:13 PM   #4
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jmr40, Glocks are mine also but when these budget 9's are available for less than 250 used, I have to ask about them not just to mull over getting one, but in case somebody asks me about what I think about budget guns. I think they're better than Taurus PT111's.

How "cheap" did you get that SR9c for?

I was at an lgs yesterday and they had a SR9c. Since the 9E and SR pistols are all the same, the 9E just lacking some cosmetic features and comes with 1 mag instead of 2, I figured I'd try the trigger on the SR9c. I liked it, it's a world better than the SCCY that it sits next to in the display case.

BBarn, I think you're right about the high volume shooting, but I and others probably aren't looking at these budget guns for lots of shooting. Just enough to practice with and rely on in a bad situation.

Given that the 9E costs about $100 less than the SR9, I think it fits the bill better.
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Old November 21, 2017, 11:38 PM   #5
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I bought 2 of the SD9VE for $249 NIB.

When you go back to the store, study it. It has some interesting features.

I have shot close to 1000 rounds with one of them and prolly 600 with the other.

Haven't had any failures that were the guns fault. When I first shot cast bullets with them, I had a bullet problem that caused a few failures to feed. My fault. The problem has been rectified and no more failures of any kind. After you learn the trigger, they are accurate, dependable, and fun to shoot.

Mrs. Dufus carries one in her purse.
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Old November 22, 2017, 09:49 AM   #6
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The SR9E only comes with one magazine whereas the SD9 VE comes with two. This should be considered when comparing prices. I would factor up the SR9E price by the cost of a mag.

IMHO the SR9E has a better trigger, albeit with a Glock-style "dingus;" dingus vs. hinged is a matter of personal preference.

The everlasting manual safety vs. no manual safety and mag-disconnect debates are not worth rehashing here.

The SR9E can be damaged by dry-firing with the mag out. This is a well-documented SR foible that really annoys some people but doesn't bother others.

The SR9E can be disassembled without pulling the trigger, and takedown pin removal is done with the slide locked back, making the process pretty goof-proof. The SD9 VE takes down exactly like a Glock, for better or worse; the trigger must be pulled on an empty chamber to drop the striker, and then the slide must be manually retracted "just so" while pulling down on the symmetrical takedown latches—it takes a little dexterity.

The SD9 VE takes M&P sights, which more-or-less guarantees an abundant aftermarket selection for the foreseeable future, although aftermarket support for the SR9E is pretty good too. (FWIW previous S&W Sigmas took proprietary sights and the factory front sight could not be removed non-destructively; however, this is no longer true with the current 3rd-gen SD series.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmr40
I had a bad experience with one of the Smith Sigma's several years ago. I just can't trust the budget Smiths.
Two points:
  • IMHO the well-documented extraction and ejection problems with the first-generation Sigma pistols (SW9F, SW9C, SW9M, SW9P, and SW9V) should not be counted against the subsequent 2nd-gen SW_E models and 3rd-gen SD models.
  • That said, S&W quality control with the 2nd and 3rd-gen pistols seems to be hit-and-miss; anecdotal evidence suggests that most examples run like tops but a few are lemons. I've heard more of these anecdotes about the discontinued 2nd-gen models, but this may simply reflect these pistols having been around longer.
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Last edited by carguychris; November 22, 2017 at 09:56 AM. Reason: model correction
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Old November 22, 2017, 11:27 AM   #7
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Interesting read as my wife has been looking at an SD9VE as a second gun.

For my self I'm looking at a EAA Witness in both 9mm and 45acp.
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Old November 22, 2017, 01:19 PM   #8
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Hmm.....

I have a SR9C with over 2000 rounds thru without a hitch. Eats any ammo I feed it and will shoot fist size groups at 15 yards all day. Completely stock except for mag disconnect removal and polished stock trigger with 3.5 ghost connector.

It probably has 5000 dry fires on it as well.

Pic in my Lobo holster.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

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Old November 22, 2017, 02:37 PM   #9
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https://www.cdnnsports.com/walther-c...l#.WhXRNJNlCaM

If you can find a new 9mm service pistol better than this Walther Creed for $269.99, just go buy it!
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Old November 22, 2017, 03:43 PM   #10
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The SD9VE is a really good value, but it definitely has a very heavy trigger pull compared to other striker fired guns. I have the SW40VE, and bought a spring kit for it. It made a difference, but it still has a heavier trigger pull. Still, for the money you are getting a well made no frills gun.
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Old November 22, 2017, 04:04 PM   #11
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I like my 9e, I've removed the mag disconnect which allows dry firing without damage and I like the fact that it has a normal Novak cut on the front sight so a fiber optic swap was cheap and easy.
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Old November 22, 2017, 08:42 PM   #12
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I've shot both.

I'm a S&W guy, but in this case, I'd suggest the Ruger. The trigger on the S&W is bad. I was very accurate with it, and it's a solid gun, but I think the Ruger is better option overall.
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Old November 22, 2017, 10:21 PM   #13
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I've had a SD9VE for a few years and it has been very reliable and accurate. It is so similar to a Glock 19, it's scary. However, because of the price of $199.99, I bought a Taurus PT111 G2 Millennium. It has a different but better trigger and I like it better than the SD9VE or my son-in-law's Glock 19. It is the best 9mm for the money I have found and it is very accurate for me.
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Old November 23, 2017, 04:10 AM   #14
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I hear a lot of good things about the PT111 G2, but I hear a lot of things about Taurus guns and multiple trips to the factory for repairs and that their CS isn't very good. I figure if a problem were to happen with the SD9VE or 9E, Smith and Ruger will be better to deal with.

And the only PT111 with a good trigger is the PRO model, which are not as common as the standard models.
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Old November 25, 2017, 09:24 PM   #15
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What magazines does the SD9VE use? Are there any other guns that use the SD9VE magazines?
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Old November 25, 2017, 11:10 PM   #16
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A lot of folks bad mouth the trigger on the SD9VE (and the SD40VE), but remember that the pistol was designed as a self defense gun.

Soft triggers on a self defense gun is an invitation for disaster, IMO.

The trigger can be learned as any trigger can. After two trips to the range plus some informal shooting, and I had it down.

I have let 8 different people shoot the SD9VE and not one said anything about the trigger. Seven out of the 8 made comments of "I would like to have one of these".

So, don't judge the animal by the trigger only. You gotta give it a workout before condemning it. I like it so much that I bought another the next week.

Smith gives them their lifetime service policy, so what's not to like??
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Old November 26, 2017, 09:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruthTellers
What magazines does the SD9VE use? Are there any other guns that use the SD9VE magazines?
All double-stack SW9-series magazines (SW9C, E, F, G, GE, GVE, P, V, VE) will supposedly work in the SD9; the grip was changed and the older SW-series base plate does not line up around the edges, but this does not affect function. 17rd mags for the full-size* SW9F reportedly function but stick out at the bottom. The only 9mm Sigma mags that are NOT compatible in any way are those for the single-stack subcompact SW9M.

*Footnote: The 1st-generation 17rd SW9F was ostensibly the only "full-size" Sigma model; the SW9C and SW9V were originally marketed as compacts, but since only this frame size survived beyond the 1st generation, later SW and SD models have not been marketed this way.
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Old November 26, 2017, 11:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carguychris View Post
All double-stack SW9-series magazines (SW9C, E, F, G, GE, GVE, P, V, VE) will supposedly work in the SD9; the grip was changed and the older SW-series base plate does not line up around the edges, but this does not affect function. 17rd mags for the full-size* SW9F reportedly function but stick out at the bottom. The only 9mm Sigma mags that are NOT compatible in any way are those for the single-stack subcompact SW9M.

*Footnote: The 1st-generation 17rd SW9F was ostensibly the only "full-size" Sigma model; the SW9C and SW9V were originally marketed as compacts, but since only this frame size survived beyond the 1st generation, later SW and SD models have not been marketed this way.
Would these magazines be considered common to find and purchase?

Are there any sort of compact magazines in the SW9 series that would fit into the SD9VE if the grip was chopped and made shorter? Basically, if I took a Glock 17 and chopped the grip to where it would accept Glock 19 or Glock 26 magazines, could I do that to the SD9VE?
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Old November 27, 2017, 09:35 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruthTellers
Would [older SW9 series] magazines be considered common to find and purchase?
I have no idea.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TruthTellers
Are there any sort of compact magazines in the SW9 series that would fit into the SD9VE if the grip was chopped and made shorter? Basically, if I took a Glock 17 and chopped the grip to where it would accept Glock 19 or Glock 26 magazines, could I do that to the SD9VE?
It's reported on the S&W forum that Glock mags do not come close to fitting properly.

Be aware that gun-store rumors and hearsay of broad parts compatibility between S&W Sigmas and Glocks are just that: rumors and hearsay. The Sigma is a conceptual copy of the Glock but it's not a literal or technical copy.

There are some credible reports of Beretta 92-series and Sp'fld XD magazines being modified to fit, but I have not seriously investigated this.
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Old November 27, 2017, 06:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carguychris View Post
I have no idea.

It's reported on the S&W forum that Glock mags do not come close to fitting properly.

Be aware that gun-store rumors and hearsay of broad parts compatibility between S&W Sigmas and Glocks are just that: rumors and hearsay. The Sigma is a conceptual copy of the Glock but it's not a literal or technical copy.

There are some credible reports of Beretta 92-series and Sp'fld XD magazines being modified to fit, but I have not seriously investigated this.
You're not reading the question correctly.

I asked are their any double stack magazines under the SW9 family that are shorter than the standard 16 round mags (that would obviously hold less ammo, but not stick out as far as the standard mags) that would fit into the SD9VE if the grip on the pistol was shortened LIKEwhen someone cuts the grip on a Glock 17 to accept Glock 19 mags or a Glock 19 to accept Glock 26 mags.

I'm using Glock as an example. Forget about Beretta, Springfield XD, and Glock mags in the SD9VE.

Ruger's SR series is available in the SR9 and SR9c. The SR9c is smaller and uses 10 rd mags, but it can use the 17 round mags for the SR9. The 9E uses the same mags as the SR9, but if I cut the grip on that, it can use the shorter mags for the SR9c and be a more concealable gun.

Understand what I'm getting at here?
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Old November 27, 2017, 06:43 PM   #21
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OK, I understand what you're asking.

No, there has never been a double-stack SW9-series pistol with a shorter grip than the SD9, so there is no readily-available shorter magazine.

The only subcompact 9mm Sigma is the single-stack SW9M, which is a different design in virtually every respect (and is widely regarded as a POS, but I digress).
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Old November 27, 2017, 07:30 PM   #22
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Alright, thanks for letting me know.

Advantage is going to the 9E now.
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Old November 27, 2017, 08:31 PM   #23
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The SD 9 versions have 10 round mags available so they will be Kalifornica compliant.

So, if you buy one in Kalifornica it will have 2 ten round mags in the box.

If you buy one in Texas, it will have 2 sixteen round mags in the box.

Also, both mags are available from retail sellers as well....for a nominal fee of course.

You can see the options on the Smith & Wesson website.
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Old November 27, 2017, 09:38 PM   #24
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The mags aren’t rare. Iv seen the in the big box stores.
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Old November 28, 2017, 09:42 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dufus
The SD 9 versions have 10 round mags available so they will be Kalifornica compliant.

So, if you buy one in Kalifornica it will have 2 ten round mags in the box.
I think we've established that TruthTellers is after a physically shorter magazine, not necessarily one with lower capacity. The 10-rounders have the same outer dimensions as the 16-rounders.
Quote:
Originally Posted by xandi
The mags aren’t rare. Iv seen the in the big box stores.
My hunch is that the question primarily concerned the availability of cheap used or NOS mags at gun shows, Fleabay, and so forth. That's usually the reason that folks ask about mag availability for a currently-manufactured pistol; it's a given that you can get new full-price mags from the gunmaker, the LGS, Brownells, and so forth, but the question is whether they're available cheaper elsewhere.
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