S&W SD9 VE: The Affordable American ~ VIDEO

YouTube personality, Graham Baates, gives us a video breakdown of the Smith & Wesson SD9 VE.

Smith & Wesson SD9 VE
Smith & Wesson SD9 VE

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- With all the attention on Smith & Wesson’s latest additions like the Shield 2.0 and M2.0 Compact I thought it time we look at their affordable classic, the SD9 VE.  After years of production and a handful of evolutions, the SD9 VE remains a mid-sized handgun packing 16+1 rounds of 9mm and available for around $250. Sometimes, we get lost looking at the new and forget the tried and true.

One thing that impressed me right off the bat was the construction quality.  It’s not that I had low expectations of Smith & Wesson, rather that I expected them to be like many other makers and let their tooling get sloppy over the years.  As shown in the photos below, my example might as well have had serial number 1.

Clean machining on steel and zero flash on the polymer.

Other features match the modern standards for popular handguns.

Witness windows although not ideal, are better than guessing.
The two included steel magazines have witness windows where they should be, on the sides.
The SD9 VE’s mag-well is slightly flared.

When it came time to hit the range we wanted to see how the gun would run with a variety of ammunition.  For that reason we brought along a mix from Freedom Munitions, PPU, Speer, Browning, Hornady, Fiocchi, Polycase, and Liberty.  The loads ranged from 165gr down to 65gr.  For our grouping we of course used Nosler.  See the results in the video below.

About Graham BaatesG B Guns

“Graham Baates” is a pen name used by a 15-year active Army veteran who spent most of his time in the tactical side of the Intelligence community including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Post-Army Graham spent some time in the 3-Gun circuit before becoming a full-time NRA Certified defensive handgun instructor and now works as an industry writer while curating a YouTube channel on the side. Visit Graham on Youtube .

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Hardy Spires

A very reliable gun for a great price. Mine has been dependable every shot. When you see the name of Smith and Wesson you can be assured you are buying a quality piece. You will have enough money left to buy ammo. Lifetime guarantee, American made.


My first gun, the SD9 VE. Great gun, purchase it on April 2016. At the end of that year, got a Taurus PT111 G2 with a 3.2″ barrel, the SD9 is 4″. Got the second because conceal carry since is smaller, but is a lot harder for accuracy. Did not realized how much better my aim is with the SD9 VE. About a month ago went to the range and practice both. When it came to the SD9, I put a new target, at 7 yards… 15 rounds on the bulls eye and one less than an inch away from… Read more »

Buck Cassidy

I have a SD .40 cal. Great ergonomics, but that trigger…. uck.


I recently purchased a SD9. Great handgun for the price and very accurate. Don’t overlook the SD9 if you want a 9mm at a reasonable price.