Smith & Wesson SDVE Line Now CA Compliant

SD-VE CA legal

Smith & Wesson’s value line of 9mm and .40 S&W pistols, the SD VE handguns, are now California compliant.  The guns have low capacity 10 round magazines and have been officially approved for sale within California by state authorities.

The SD VE pistols are striker-fired and have a black frame with a matte silver stainless slide.  Sights are standard three-dot.

The guns are based on the old Sigma line and are aggressively priced with a MSRP of $399.  Due to the inclusion of a California-required loaded chamber indicator, the guns are $20 more than non-CA guns.

Although the Sigma line has a bad reputation with many, I found that my SD40 has been utterly reliable and very accurate.  The trigger is a little gritty, but better than the Sigma pistols I previously shot.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • Capybara

    While this pistol may have California compliant features, Californians will not be able to buy it because it does not feature Microstamping, a feature which California AG Kamala Harris decided all pistols must have to be added to the California Not Unsafe Handgun Roster. This pistol cannot be added to the roster, therefore it will not be offered for sale in the state.

    I don’t understand the point of this story.

    • Digital Instincts

      Both the 9MM and the .40 S&W are on the roster now – I’m a dealer, I’ve sold them to people here in the Bay Area.

      • Sam

        Where can I buy one? I’m in the bay area.

  • joethefatman

    I have one of them in 9mm. It’s an ok gun. The trigger is horrible though. I’d never use one for EDC.

  • gunslinger

    so what are the California rules for handguns?

    • Garand Guy

      Rule 1: You can’t have a handgun.
      Rule 2: You can’t have a handgun, but lip service to the 2nd Amendement says you can have a “Government Approved!” gun that’s on the list, has the the little flap that kids and fools aren’t trained to look for (made unnecessary by checking the chamber), has a 10 round ‘clip’ so you have to buy more ‘clips’ to be a really nasty psychopath, and must have technology that 99% of cops have never heard of.
      Rule 3: You can’t carry your handgun.

  • mlk18

    A $20 Apex spring kit (or more for a replacement trigger) makes a huge difference in the trigger. I have the polymer AE trigger from Apex in mine and it’s on par or slightly better than a stock Glock or M&P trigger. The SD line is highly underatted.

    • joethefatman

      I’ll check into the Apex Spring. Thank you.

  • Bob Sutterfield

    California maintains a roster ( of handguns whose manufacturers have paid the State for the privilege of selling their lawful products to law-abiding citizens. There’s a process for getting specific SKUs on the roster. The process has been onerous and has recently, by arbitrary administrative fiat (the new unfulfillable requirement for “microstamping”), been made literally impossible. Once on the roster, SKUs stay on the roster until their manufacturer updates the model to add safety features or improve its marketability in the rest of the country. The change could be as insignificant as changing the color of the grips. Then they must re-submit for re-inclusion on California’s roster, which process was formerly onerous and is now literally impossible.

    The list of SKUs that have recently been added to the roster is empty (vacant. nil. nada. nothing. zilch. ninguno. Think West Texas: there’s a whole lotta not much out there.), which does not reflect the pace of product innovation in the industry.

    The list of SKUs that have fallen off the roster since 2001 encompasses 34 pages. All those handguns suddenly one day, when their fee expired, became too dangerous for civilians, though they’re still safe enough for people who are qualified because they serve in law enforcement or military.

    The SD40 VE is scheduled to fall off the roster 3/6/2014 unless S&W pays to renew.
    The SD9 VE is scheduled to fall off the roster 10/24/2014 unless S&W pays to renew.
    Neither of these is a new addition to the CA-DoJ roster.

    The roster has accomplished its purpose: It apparently has nothing to do with safety, and it obviously has no effect on criminals. It only reduces the variety and economical accessibility of handguns available to law-abiding citizens who choose to exercise their natural, civil, and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

    In December, oral arguments were heard for the Second Amendment challenge case (Peña v. Cid), filed by The Calguns Foundation and the Second Amendment Foundation. Calguns “expects we’ll see an opinion on the cross motions in the next 90 to 180 days.”

    And that, boys and girls behind the lines in California, is why we can’t have the nice new toys.

    • gunslinger

      fyi, need to remove the ) ad the end of the link. i think that’s just disqus though.

      and wow. i hope the expiry date thing is removed, at the least. makes no sense that after a certain date the gun is no longer “safe” if nothing else changed. but wow… just…wow..

    • Cymond

      Thanks for this, it’s the best, most concise explanation of the BS CA roster I’ve ever seen.