smith & wesson SW9VE(9mm) a dependable handgun?


January 27, 2007, 06:29 PM
i just bought one at the gun show for $338. came with 2 15 round mags and a extreme ops pocket knife!

anyway i went shoot 2 mags(30 rounds) in the back yard just now. i had a malfunction for each mag! is this normal?? does the gun need to be broken in before its dependable or is this not a good model?

the ammo used was "silver bear" made in russia. 115 grain bimetal fmj zinc plated case.

the guy at the gun show called it a sigma or something? can't remember.

If you enjoyed reading about "smith & wesson SW9VE(9mm) a dependable handgun?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
January 27, 2007, 06:57 PM
Should be since it's a rip off of a glock.

enough that there was a lawsuit.

that didn't go smith's way.

January 27, 2007, 07:06 PM
Get some decent ammo and repeat the test. Glock sued them because they made a better Glock. Mine (9mm, 40 & 357) will outshoot all my Glocks except maybe my G20, and my 357 VE will almost outshoot my 357 Sig 229.

January 27, 2007, 07:11 PM
I have a SW40VE (second generation) and it has been reliable so far. I have put around 600 rounds through it with zero malfunctions. A lot of people will knock the Sigma that have owned the first generation. Its my understanding that the first gen Sigmas had their problems but the new ones are good guns. My only complaint is the heavy trigger which after you get used to it isnt so bad.

357 VE
Hagar you mean they make a barrel to convert the .40S&W to .357sig? Who makes it I would like one.

January 27, 2007, 07:12 PM
I've had snags on the mags for my 40VE, but that was while hand-stripping before transport. always on the third to last round. Don't know why.

January 27, 2007, 07:31 PM
Own 3 sigmas, 1 first gen, 2 second. All are good guns, especially for the price. Nothing fancy, not super accurate but reliable. They will get the job done if you do your part.

January 27, 2007, 07:57 PM
I owned a 1st gen Sigma. Fired 50 rounds striker assembly broke. Sent it to S&W, got it fixed and 100 rounds later, striker assembly broke. Repeat 2 more times:mad: Finally they told me that they put in the "improved" striker. I took it out to test fire, shot 50 rounds without malfunction, and sold the gun for 100 more than I paid for it {15 round .40 mags during the 94 magazine ban}

I did not want to mess with it any more. A side note. WHEN it shot it was very accurate.

January 27, 2007, 08:17 PM
I still carry my SW9VE on occasion. It has better than 1000 rounds through it without a hiccup.


January 27, 2007, 08:32 PM
Ok... field strip the thing, and clean ALL of the factory lube out of the thing... pay CLOSE attention to the rails and slide... where the frame and slide mate, and any other parts you can reach...

re-lube with GOOD lube... like Break-Free CLP... not too heavy, but well lubed...

Dissasemble and clean the mags too... (some of Smith's mags seem to come with internal goo pre-installed???)

re-assemble, and load up with quality ammo and retry... I'll bet you that it is TOTALLY reliable...

January 27, 2007, 09:02 PM
Did you buy it used or new? The one I shot was a 9mm, and it was reliable. What I did not like was the DAO trigger :barf:

January 27, 2007, 11:42 PM
I didn't have any problems with either one of
the 9VE's i owned.4000rds thru the first one
and 2500 thru the second,both triggers did
lighten up slightly over time.

January 28, 2007, 12:05 AM
VERY reliable.

Some are too weak to handle the trigger pull, but it is a good weapon.

January 28, 2007, 01:29 AM
A friend of mine bought a SW40VE version last year he quickly traded it in for a slightly used S&W 1911. I did try it out once, and I can say I understand why he would trade it in for something better. Their seem to be nothing wrong with the realibity of the pistol, but it did have a heavy gritty trigger pull, and it was not very accurate even off a bench. It would make a very good gun for self defence where one would worry about taking a nice pistol, such as on the water, winter camping etc.

January 28, 2007, 03:38 AM
1st gens had lots of probs. they corrected them, and even brought the price down for the 2nd gens on, and they turned out to be a much underrated pistol.
don't feed it that steel case stuff, though, even if it is nickel plated.

January 28, 2007, 02:46 PM
I had a first generation version of this pistol and was very disappointed with the quality and performance, especially with hollow point ammo. Maybe the newer models are better but I would never buy one. I would spend the extra money have gotten a used Glock or XD before this one.

Just my opinion

January 28, 2007, 03:39 PM
An acquantance of mine is a college campus police officer, and they issue S&W Sigmas in 9mm. He likes it.

January 28, 2007, 03:49 PM
Glock sued them because they made a better Glock.

:scrutiny: :uhoh:

Do some serches on SW9VE opinions you will learn alot.

January 28, 2007, 05:57 PM

The 357V was a factory offering in 357 Sig for one year (1998-1999). It was discontinued in Jan '99. Really was nothing more than a .40V with a .357 Sig barrel. I have one. Pretty neat gun. It was my first 357 Sig. Barrels from S&W to convert the 40s are long gone, but it seems to me I've seen them produced aftermarket as well. Maybe EFK Firedragon Barrels?

If you'd like to see a picture, there's another thread on this board concerning 357 Sig guns. Somebody else posted a pic.

OK, to the OP, I say what has already been said. Get some good old fashioned American made (or European) brass cased factory ammunition. Winchester USA, Remington's UMC, Federal's American Eagle are good stuff. Also, I've found Sellier & Bellot (S&B), a Czech product, to be good. Clean your gun. Try out the new stuff. You may or may not see a break-in period. If it's not reliable by 200 rounds, call S&W CS and see what they say. They stand behind these guns.

No, Sigmas are not a better Glock. There are small differences, but it is, I'll admit, a pretty blatant copy. And I'm a fan of the Sigma. I find them (I have a 9VE as well) to be capable, trustworthy guns. By all means do a search. Many, many opinions are colored by a rather virulent dislike of S&W. Be careful to limit your consideration to opinions from those who have them not somebody whose friend's mother's cousin's son's best friend had a problem with the gun. Also, look around over at

The original versions of the Sigma seemed to have some teething pains, but the later enhanced or "E" revision largely addressed these problems. The hard trigger remains (more dictated by corporate lawyers than anthing else).

Most importantly, enjoy your new gun and shoot it until you know it.

January 28, 2007, 06:31 PM
My personally question is what type of malfunction? When the slide locked back were where certain things located. Slide release; magazine's mouth; I'm not sure what you'd call the part of the slide the feeds the bullets, but that. Most guns can be diagnosed pretty easy. Fixing is a hole nother story.

And the Sigma you bought was the new "Allied Forces" one with the black slide? I've taken a shining to that configuration. To bad about the crappy trigger.

January 28, 2007, 09:53 PM
alright i took my s&w 9mm and my old ruger 9mm(which i have over 100,000 rounds through it since 1992 with only one malfunction) to the shooting range this morning.

first thing i did was load up the ruger with that russian ammo. it did jam quit a bit but maybe not as much as the s&w. then i ran 350 rounds of cheap reloads through my new s&w without any problems at all.

the ammo is the problem. its russian, in a blue box with a bear on it. i posted the name earlier. do not buy that garbage.

the s&w has more kick than the ruger but its quite accurate. its a keeper.

is it alright to shoot +p+ 9mm ammo in the SW9VE? if so which brand is the best in your opinion.

January 28, 2007, 10:10 PM
Glad to see you resolved the problem.

I don't use any of that Russian stuff except in Soviet-bloc surplus guns. By and large, they were designed for it.

Of course, the gun is not rated for +P+ ammunition. No manufacturer rates their pistols for +P+ ammunition (I believe Kahr did at one time, but I can't find any reference to it in factory literature). I don't think you'll hurt it with limited use. As can be expected, +P and +P+ ammunition will cause accelerated wear over standard pressure stuff. The biggest problem is that no industry standard exists for +P+. One manufacturer could load it just short of proof-level pressures, while the next could load it just over the industry standard for +P. I have some Georgia Arms +P+ that I use for carry. I've shot 100 or so rounds through the gun and it works well.

January 29, 2007, 12:24 AM

what does VE stand for? and who has the best prices for mags for this gun?

sigma 40ve
January 29, 2007, 04:37 AM
I have had problems with the same ammo out of all of my 9mm's. I now call it Silver Bearsh#t ammo. I still have about 4 boxes left. Oh well, one day when I have the time I'll take it and one of my 9's to the range for a "jam" session to get rid of it.

January 29, 2007, 05:52 PM
what does VE stand for? and who has the best prices for mags for this gun?

The V stands for stainless (how they arrived at that is beyond me - I'm sure it makes somebody).

E stands for enhanced. Various changes to the frame (grip checkering, frame rail - which is proprietary BTW). I'm sure there are other improvements/changes.

As far as mags go, keep an eye on and Occasionally, I see them turn up at gunshows for decent prices. Only other alternative is S&W.

I have had problems with the same ammo out of all of my 9mm's. I now call it Silver Bearsh#t ammo. I still have about 4 boxes left. Oh well, one day when I have the time I'll take it and one of my 9's to the range for a "jam" session to get rid of it.

Ah, but you can turn it into a practical training session. So that you can practice clearing and getting the gun back into action.

January 29, 2007, 06:00 PM
i have the 9ve and got it for 250 and never had a malfunction of any type plus it has suffered a small endurance test of over 500 rounds fired without cleaning and it was still very accurate. mines cali leagal so it only came with 10 rd magazines but its still a great weapon and i love it and im considering get the 40 cal version since its a discount glock and its fun to shoot.

January 30, 2007, 04:42 PM
o man i want to like this gun but i just had another disturbing problem with my SW9VE. i loaded the mags with some black talons the other day. today i put the mag in the gun and pulled the slide back to chamber it. the round got jammed up against the ramp. no big deal, i just worked the slide again and it went in. then i practiced this 10 more times with no jamming when i chambered the round. i unchambered it and went to the store. when i got home i pulled the gun out and tried to chamber a round quickly. it jammed again. same way as earlier. imo a defensive handgun should never do this.

maybe im to used to my old ruger that works all the time with all kinds of ammo(except not so great with that russian garbage). no matter how forceful or lightly i chamber my ruger it always works perfectly. no matter how i hold the thing it shoots great.

maybe this is the norm im just not used to having any problems at all with my ruger. the SW9VE is very sexy and light weight compared to my ruger but its so finicky imo. and from what i have read over time i would not be happy with glocks either.

fanboyism aside, no handgun is as tough and dependable as a ruger? maybe the colt 1911? or all those high priced handguns that i would never buy?

all i know is that i would indeed bet my life on my ruger p89dc. im not so sure about all these other pretty handguns.

thanks to everyone for their opinions. and im not taking sides but i think im gonna stick to what i know and trade this sexy SW9VE for another bulky, dependable, accurate ruger 9mm.

July 8, 2007, 09:55 PM
The V in 9VE doesn't stand for stainless.......unless they've made a new stainless in black since 2003.

July 8, 2007, 10:49 PM
Well, kinda sorta. I originally didn't, but appears now it does. Here's what I found out at

The original "V" models were their "Value Line" Sigmas with a bead blasted SS slide instead of the black slide.

They still use the "V" to show the SS slide models, which is all they produce on a regular basis now. There have been a few small runs of "G" models, with the black frame and green slide, vs the GVE models with the green frame and SS slide.

This particular post was dated from 6/2006, so it's not entirely up to date.

In fact, they do make a black stainless. Their newest models have melonite treated stainless slides.

July 9, 2007, 10:24 AM
The V in 9VE doesn't stand for stainless.......unless they've made a new stainless in black since 2003.
I believe the V stands for value(as stated earlier). The new Allied Forces model is a stainless steal slide with a black melonite coating. Mines been great so far.

July 9, 2007, 11:15 AM
I have SW40VE. It has been completely reliable and dependable. It is my CCW and HD gun. I also shoot it just as well as the Glock 19 I have to carry for work. In fact I shoot the exact same score with the sigma as I do with the glock.

November 10, 2010, 01:46 AM
I have the SW9VE. Bought it last year. It has proven to be a dependable and accurate Firearm. I have not had any problems wiht it what so ever. Each time I take it to the range (once every two weeks) I put 150 rounds through it and clean it after each trip to the range.

If you enjoyed reading about "smith & wesson SW9VE(9mm) a dependable handgun?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!