The S&W SD9 – The Budget Blaster of SHOT 2024

We are all on a budget; some are tighter than others. While some let the Mk. 23 make the decisions, others are looking for a practical, affordable handgun. For years, the S&W SDVE series of handguns have been the answer. S&W has a solid reputation, and the SDVE series are very practical firearms that are priced to move. The SDVE has gotten a facelift, and the SD9 2.0 is here to stay. 

The SD9 2.0 – The New Face of Budget Pistols

The SD9 2.0 takes the same basic design of the SDVE series, which itself was upgraded from the Sigma, and refines it. It’s only available in 9mm now and fits into what we call a compact frame. Picture a gun that’s roughly Glock 19-sized. It’s practical and sized right for home defense or daily carry. It sports that polymer frame and striker-fired action with a 16-round magazine. I’ve basically described every modern handgun with that said. The gun also has a rail, but that’s about it as far as extra features.

No optics cut, no gas pedal, and it doesn’t know how to pronounce the word ambidextrous. The SD9 2.0’s biggest improvement upon its ancestor is the trigger. I have a conspiracy theory that S&W purposefully made the SDVE triggers terrible so people would pitch extra money to get the M&P series. Well, they’ve mostly resolved that issue. The SD9 2.0’s trigger is so much better than the SDVE. 

It’s still a little longer than most, a little spongier than most, and the reset isn’t the shortest, but it is much lighter and more consistent than the older SDVE trigger. There are a few other minor upgrades to cosmetics, and grip texture but not much more. They wisely kept the same magazine platform, and the SD9 will fit most SDVE holsters. 

Here is the craziest upgrade: the price. Its MSRP is $349, which is 60 bucks less than the older gun. Yep, it’s better and cheaper. I think S&W is making money moves with the SD9 2.0. It’s budget-friendly, has excellent features, and even at a time of record inflation, the price is lower than the original gun. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.