Smith & Wesson is announcing that two of their pistols, the SD9 VE and SD40 VE, were just added to the California approved gun roster. With California changing their roster requirements, these will be some of the last guns to be added to the roster anytime soon.
California recently passed a law requiring that guns added to their list of guns approved for sale be equipped with microstamps, a technology that most gun manufacturers are not willing to invest in. Guns already on the list will not have to use the controversial and unproven technology.
The SDVE series is a low-cost alternative to Smith & Wesson’s tremendously successful M&P series, which is geared towards law enforcement and self-defense markets. The SDVE series is becoming increasingly popular with shooters looking for a new Smith & Wesson handgun on a budget.
“The new SD9 VE and SD40 VE pistols combine the best of both price and functionality in a reliable, ergonomic firearm engineered for personal protection,” said Smith & Wesson’s Mario Pasantes in a press release. “Built to deliver dependability, accuracy, comfort and value, these California-compliant SDVE models provide the peace of mind long associated with the Smith & Wesson name.”
Smith & Wesson put together the 10-round California-compliant SDVE pistols earlier this year, submitting them for approval in January. The pistols also feature prominent tactile loaded chamber indicators and magazine and trigger safeties. There may be a few other guns in the pipe but from now on few companies will bother to comply with California’s new requirements.
If any changes are made to a gun design, it must be re-submitted to the California department of justice for re-approval. Smith & Wesson has already stated that they will not be re-submitting any of their guns following the addition of the microstamping requirement.
The company will be updating much of their M&P series of pistols with new “performance enhancements,” which will go on sale to the rest of the country and fall off the California roster because of the changes. The SDVE series will be one of the few semi-automatic options by Smith & Wesson in California.
Smith & Wesson isn’t the only company to refuse to comply with the restriction. Ruger CEO Mike Fifer told us earlier this year in an interview that his company is likewise no longer submitting their guns to the California DOJ for approval.
The SDVE series was developed two years ago to replace the Sigma series entirely. It has a less expensive white stainless steel finish but most of the changes were internal to improve the gun’s reliability. The Sigma series had a troubled history as an underperforming Glock copy.
And while there is still a bit of a “Sigma stigma” surrounding the SDVE series, many people have found them to be considerably improved over the older designs and far more reliable, living up to Smith & Wesson’s otherwise solid reputation.
Which is good, because it’s one of the lucky few on the very short and shrinking list of California-approved semi-automatic handguns.
SDVE pistols, 9mm and .40 S&W, all feature a stainless steel slide, two-tone finish, striker-fired action and four-inch barrel. The guns have standard three-dot sights, a Picatinny-railed railed frame for accessories such as lights or laser sights and weigh in at just 22.7 ounces, unloaded.
For more information about the SDVE series head over to the Smith & Wesson website.