Sphinx SDP Series 9mm Pistols

The Sphinx SDP Standard 9mm

The Sphinx SDP Standard 9mm

The Sphinx SDP Standard 9mm

The Sphinx SDP Standard 9mm

I happened to pass the Sphinx booth at SHOT.  I may not have even stopped, but apparently Sphinx is owned by the same company that owns KRISS, and who doesn’t love a KRISS, right?!  So as I’m walking through I realized that there are several really good looking pistols that Sphinx is showing off.

Sphinx, like KRISS and 2 other companies, are Swiss owned companies.  The pistols are the new line of SDP (Special Duty Pistol) pistols, and I have to tell you that I was very impressed with what I saw.

I got to talk with Duncan Ball, of Sphinx, and learned that the current versions will all be in 9mm.  Duncan told me that the first of the series to go to market will be the SDP Compact, with the other two hopefully to follow shortly thereafter.  Sphinx has already put together “hundreds” of pistols at their site in Virginia, but they are still awaiting approval to sale from the BATFE.

The SDP Standard is a large pistol, but still relatively light weight.

The SDP Standard is a large pistol, but still relatively light weight.

The Sphinx literature explains that the SDP was developed from Sphinx’s “heritage in international competition”.  The frame is somewhat unique in appareance, and Sphinx reports it has merged aeronautic grade aluminum with corrosion resistant polymer to complete the pistol.  The SPD series of pistols comes in (3) versions:  the Standard, the Compact, and the Sub-Compact.

Holding the SDP Standard

Holding the SDP Standard

A prototype of their competition version, called the Pro Production Standard, was present too.  Instead of a polymer frame, the Pro Production Standard is made entirely of steel – and you can definitely feel the difference.  There were no specifications for the competition model available.

The prototype SDP Pro Production Standard made of steel

The prototype SDP Pro Production Standard made of steel

The SDP pistols have an ambidextrous decocking lever/manual safety.  The lever had a 2-stage decocking movement.  Upon pressing the lever down the trigger would move back slightly and the hammer would move forward slightly.  Then upon releasing the decocking lever the safety action would complete its action restoring the hammer safely in the uncocked position, while the trigger returns to its resting position.

The SDP decocking lever.

The SDP decocking lever.

I have to admit that handling these pistols was a real treat.  The ergonomics of the grip seemed to be personalized for my hands.  It was one of the most comfortable feeling and fitting pistol grips I have held.  The S&W M&P grip is about as close to a comparison as I can give you.  I don’t own an M&P (wish I did), but that grip is a very well designed grip for comfort and grasp.

The Sphinx SPD pistols appear to be a very well made pistol, however the pricing may very well influence their ability to move into an already incredibly competitive market.  Duncan advised that although these pistols will be marketed to the civilian market, they are also going to emphasize government/law enforcement sales.

SPD Standard 9mm

  • DA/SA with ambidextrous decocking lever/manual safety
  • 6 integrated safeties including a loaded chamber indicator
  • Overall length – 8.3”
  • Barrel length – 4.5”
  • Overall height – 5.5”
  • Overall width – 1.3”
  • Weight – 1.98 lbs.
  • Sight radius – 6.5”
  • Front sight – negative angle iron blade with white dot (shown had fiber optic)
  • Rear sight – iron or adjustable competition
  • Trigger pull – SA 3.3 lbs.; DA 8.16 lbs.
  • Advanced match-grade quality trigger
  • Slide – steel with black TIAIN coating
  • Frame – Upper and lower are hard anodized aluminum with Teflon
  • 6-notch Picatinny rail on bottom of receiver
  • Grip – polymer based with interchangeable rubber grips
  • Grip sizes – S, M, L
  • Reversible magazine catch
  • Capacity – 17+1
  • Options – Lanyard, DEFIANCE Tritium sights, threaded barrel
  • MSRP – $1495

 

The business end of the SDP Standard.

The business end of the SDP Standard.

SPD Compact 9mm

  • All features are the same as the Standard version except the following:
  • Overal length – 7.48”
  • Weight – 1.69 lbs.
  • Barrel length – 3.7”
  • Sight radius – 5.7”
  • Rear sight – serrated U-shaped sight
  • 4-notch Picatinny rail on bottom of receiver
  • Pistol grip includes finger moulds on the front side
  • Capacity – 15+1
  • MSRP – $1295-1395

 

The SDP Compact.

The SDP Compact.

The other side of the SDP Compact.

The other side of the SDP Compact.

SPD Sub-Compact 9mm

  • All features are the same as the Standard version except the following:
  • Overall length – 6.55”
  • Overall height – 4.97”
  • Overall width – 1.22”
  • Weight – 21.15 oz.
  • Barrel length – 3.13”
  • Sigth radius – 5.08”
  • Rear sight – serrated U-shaped sight
  • Lower frame – proprietary polymer
  • No Picatinny rails
  • Capacity – 13+1
  • MSRP – $1195
The SDP Sub-Compact.

The SDP Sub-Compact.

The other side of the SDP Sub-Compact.

The other side of the SDP Sub-Compact.

 

 

 





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  • Duray

    It seems there will never be an end to the CZ-75 clones, which is a little surprising given that the CZ’s are still in production. That’s what I went with.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      The grip doesn’t feel like a CZ to me. Also with three grip panels that takes it away even farther from the CZ. This company does make a CZ.

  • Dorsey

    Can’t go wrong with a CZ 75 clone … though the originals still reign. Except that P-07. Needs a less-blocky grip …

    • Sam Suggs

      how do the originals “reign” they are no where near sphinx bye any standard be it accuracy or anything

  • thedonn007

    Priced to high. Would rather have a CZ SP-01

    • http://twitter.com/FreeTWOGame Frank J Schlosser IV

      This is finished/put together much better than a CZ.

      • Esh325

        Depends on if you value better finish.

        • Marc

          The quality of a Sphinx isn’t defined just by a cosmetic finish, it starts with the ultra-high tensile strength steel they mill almost every last part down to the safety lever from. The titanium-aluminium-nitride PVD finish and lack of tool marks inside and out is just the icing on the cake. If you don’t value that then the grapes are hanging too high.

  • Aaron

    All good comments guys, thanks for reading. Like I said, the pricing could play a major effect of whether these pistols even have a chance on the American market. The CZ models you mention are great choices at far less cost. The P-07 grip is actually alright for me.

  • Bob

    Sphinx pistols are famous in ISPC as top of the line production guns. The Sphinx is to the CZ 75 what the 2011 is to the 1911. They’re modular in the same way and you can get grip frames that accept S_I magazines.

    Front Site magazine recently featured the competition models.

  • AL

    Looks like a love child between an EAA and a High Point. And only 2 1/2 times the price of a Glock, what a deal!!

    • Anonymoose

      Sphinx>>>>>EAA.

      • FourString

        I want a Sphinx SDP full size when I get back home from England. Sighs

  • Esh325

    Priced a bit high. Wonder how they justify the price? It would have interested me a bit more if they would had a single stack version, since there’s a shortage single stack compact nines.

    • Marc

      With quality rivaling SVI the prices are adequate if not even a bargain. I paid considerably more for my Sphinx 3000 and wouldn’t hesitate to buy it again.

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        I had a long look at these pistols as did Aaron and the quality is very impressive. A gunsmith with them took one of them apart for me and showed me the improvements. The finish was uniform and well done. Fit was outstanding. At least in my hand it felt better than a CZ which is saying something.

        • FourString

          Want. SAigh

      • Esh325

        I would think about getting one if they made a single stack version. Can’t really find many single stack compact nines to my liking…

        • Aaron

          Did you get a chance to look at the new Springfield XDs 9mm? It is a very nice shooting single stack 9mm that feels good in the hands.

  • Anonymoose

    Needs moar 10mm.

    • zardinuk

      Go get yourself a Tanfoglio 10mm and shut up.

  • Nmate

    I think they’ve been showing off these pistols at the past few SHOT Shows, then nothing seems to happen. I remember seeing basically this same article in 2011. Still no Sphinx pistols.

  • FALster

    Ouch on the price, but Sphinx are top of the line. Not too big a fan on the looks though myself.

  • Ken

    I shoot all 3.The compact kick a bit. But the full size was a nice smooth gun to shoot. For not shooting it before. I was key holing the target at 10 yards.

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com/ Mirzababa

    An all steel SPD would be nice