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Smith & Wesson SD9VE: impressions and upgrades new and future

Several years ago I purchased a S&W SD9VE with 3 magazines from our local Ace Hardware. Price OTD was $325.

For an entry-level budget-priced self-defense handgun it's pretty damn awesome. Other than the long, stiff revolver-like trigger pull the only thing I did to it after I purchased it was upgrade to an NDZ Performance slide lock (that's the takedown levers piece) as the OEM part I coudn't grab.

The pistol has outstanding ergonomics and fits my hand way better than do Glocks but you knew that.

With ammo and reloading components on the scarce I have instead invested in accessorizing and upgrading some of my stuff and on a whim purchased a spring upgrade kit from M*CARBO (Military Carbine Brotherhood) in Clearwater FL. This kit includes a reduced power striker spring, striker safety block spring, and trigger return spring along with a small plastic slave pin. Price was $19.95 less 10% mil/vet/LEO discount. Apex Tactical also sells a competitive product with 3 springs and no slave pin (you don't need it more on that later).

M*CARBO claims a 35% reduction in trigger pull weight with 100% reliability (no light primer strikes) from 8.5 lbs. stock down to 4.75 lbs.

Installing the two springs in the slide (striker, striker safety block) was a breeze. The installation of the trigger return spring nearly drove me insane until I stopped watching M*CARBO's video tutorial and instead watched Apex Tactical's two frame dis-assembly and re-assembly videos. Using a tapping hammer, a set of basic pin punches, and a roll of masking tape (as an armorer's block) the task again following the Apex vids was very easy.

Trigger pull is now noticeably lighter and crisper and doesn't wear out my index finger after three mags full of ammo.

My next upgrade is installation of a set of Hi Viz LiteWave H3 Tritium-Fiber Optic night sights ($76 from MidwayUSA) but I am presently waiting on a couple of specialty dovetail sight installation punches from Ben Stoeger Pro Shop as I cannot use any of my sight pushers to do it.

It's a shame that the current panic has pushed the price of these pistols up $100-140 more than they were a couple of years ago. I'd like to get a second one in FDE Frame with black slide (Model SD9).

I have the same firearm and it has been absolutely reliable. Seems like the upgrade options make a lot of sense.

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I purchased at least 8 more 16-round magazines for $20 each so it might make sense to pick up another SD9 model.

The stock recoil spring assembly is 18 lbs. A Glock 19/23/32 OEM Gen 3 spring assembly is an exact match so there's that.

I also liked the older Sigma SW9VE pistols. Maybe 20 years ago a range officer lent me his to wring out and I was immediately impressed with how well it felt in the hand..like it was custom made for me. Less impressive, of course, was the 11-12 lb. trigger. I could manage it well enough but one had to work at it. Those guns sold for around $250 or less back then and came with one magazine but S&W included a coupon for two more free mags. Both Apex and M*CARBO sell trigger spring kits. The Apex kit will reduce trigger pull by 2 lbs. M*CARBO says their kit (a single reduced power sear spring) will result in a 50% reduction in trigger pull weight.
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