More Color in the Smith & Wesson SD Line

Smith Wesson SD

The modern Smith & Wesson company has thrown its considerable weight behind the M&P line of polymer pistols. Frankly, the play seems to have been a good one as the original guns have been commercially successful and, in my experience, the new M2.0 guns are a nice improvement on the original.

However, the company quietly makes a considerable amount of sales on a lesser known and cheaper striker-fired pistol: the SD. The SD9 and SD40 (and their variants) make a significant addition to the company’s pistol sales if prior earnings calls are to be believed. Exact numbers are not known, but guns have been mentioned by company representatives multiple times over the years.

The current base models SD9 VE and SD40 VE feature a black polymer frame with a satin stainless finish on the stainless steel slide. These are striker fired pistols and are very similar to the company’s older Sigma pistol line. (For those that are wondering, yes the SD series will run Sigma magazines without any problem. I’ve tested this for folks who have asked previously.)

Smith Wesson SD

The base models carry a suggested retail price of $389. I’ve put several thousand rounds through my original SD40 with zero problems. Although the trigger leaves something to be desired, I feel that is an excellent defensive handgun for anyone on a very tight budget. (FYI – I also have the Walther Creed, another sub-$400 handgun, and it is also proving to be very reliable. Although more clunky looking than the SD series, it has a much better trigger.)

Currently, Smith & Wesson is offering greater variety in the SD line to include additional frame and slide colors. The color combinations include a flat dark earth frame with a black slide and a grey frame with a black slide. Both of these guns are available in both 9mm and .40 S&W. They share the same MSRP as the base guns: $389. There is also a Academy exclusive model that has a grey frame with a more subdued stainless slide. This gun adds HI VIZ fiber optic sights and has a suggested retail of $419.

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


  • Blumpkin

    LGS has the base model 9mm for $264…..and S&W is offering the additional $25 mail in rebate. Great deal. My bro-in-law purchased one, and it’s a nice shooter.
    I’m a snob of course, so if I’m going to depend on a firearm for my life… it’s Hi-point or nothing.

  • Joe

    Maybe they could address the trigger issue instead of different colored polymer. Probably cut into M&P sales, which explains why it is what it is.

    • Henry C

      Apex Tactical offers 2 cheap kits that improve the trigger pull substantially.

      • Just Say’n

        …but then you might as well pay the extra $75 or so for the M&P?

        • Henry C

          Depends on where you get it from. Academy local to me had them down to $289.

          • Joe

            Do you want to tinker to turn an SD9/40 into almost an M&P, or just save $50 extra and buy an M&P? I’m a tinkerer, but with the Gen II’s improvements I don’t know that it’s worth the trouble.

          • Beju

            If you only do the Apex spring kit ($21), it could be a ~$100 savings over an M&P 2.0

  • Edeco

    It’s bizarre there are two lines of Smith brand glock in production, and I don’t think the mags are even interchangeable.

    I wonder if they’d gone all-in on the M&P could they not have maybe scrubbed a few bucks off the production cost and maybe did an ultra-base-model with no coating on the slide, no fish-scales, two mags, etc?

    • Dougscamo

      I doubt that the M&P line would be as popular without these features…but mine came with 2 mags….or perhaps I miss your point…gotta run to the local gun store for powder and primers so I’ll check back…

      • Edeco

        Ah, I’d assumed M&P’s all come with three mags, mine did, I recall vividly because an extra assault-capacity mag was a major bonus at the time :S But they probably did dozens of different packages. Yeah, the hypothetical ultra-base-M&P wouldn’t be as popular as the regular M&P, but all it would have to do is take most of the market share of the the SD, which I would think is smaller…

        • Dougscamo

          Back after being relieved of some of my cash (too much but such it life), looked it up and the S&W site says 2 magazines so either you are lucky or you got a LE package….

    • Hoplopfheil

      That drives me crazy. Especially with Ruger, who only very recently discontinued the last of the P series.

      So they have the P series, SR series, and American series all with different types of magazines.

      Beretta has different mags for the 92 series, the PX4 series, and now the APX.

      One more argument for GLOCK “perfection;” you can slap a brand new GLOCK magazine into your 40 year old Gen 1 and it’ll work.

      • Phillip Cooper

        40 year old Gen 1 Glock, hmm?

        Math is not your strong suite….

        • Hoplopfheil

          Slight hyperbole, but the 1st Gen GLOCK was produced 35 years ago.

          Feelin’ old yet?

          • Phillip Cooper

            Long ago! 🙂

            Right about the time I realized Star Wars was 40 years old.

        • kalashnikev

          …nor is spelling your strong suit, apparently.

      • Edeco

        Yeah, people criticize the sights and triggers but Glock isn’t starting from cart blanch every 6 months or running dual product lines.

        • Tim

          Glock drives the market, everyones reacts.

          I do see the balance shifting in the future though.

          • Edeco

            In their niche they’ve nowhere to go but down, and the competition is getting better, however Glock has so many moves left even if threatened…

          • Tim

            I and my new Sig 320C (It replaced my ergonomically challenged G19) agree.

  • Laserbait

    I love the SD series! The one my wife has will do sub 2″ 10 shot groups offhand at 10 yards. Rested on sandbags, I’ve done 2″ 10 shot groups at 25 yards. The trigger is easy to slick up (just polish the striker), but not needed.

  • Hoplopfheil

    I’m not sure these count as “colors” (something like the Blue or Contractor Yellow Rugers), but damn I like the look of that stainless and gray model.

    Of course since I’m a gun hipster, I’d rather have the 90s SW9VE version of the Sigma.

  • Flyingchipmunk

    I used to sell these all the time at the shop I worked at who had no idea what they wanted besides “gun”. Want a pistol? Have a look at this Glock or M&P. That’s too expensive? Buy this SD. Done. Let’s fill out the 4473.

  • SteveK

    Black’ll do, thank you!

  • RPK

    I own the SD 9, SD 40, the Shield in 9mm, .40 Caliber and .45ACP and the Bodyguard .380 ACP and of course, after I pay full price for each of these, Smith & Wesson comes out with a rebate on each. They are ALL great firearm platforms…no complaints, other than the rebates AFTER my purchases were made. As for Hi-Points, say what you will, but for Yankee ingenuity, they go BANG! every time.