Top 6 Smith and Wesson SD9VE Problems And How To Fix Them

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I’m here to discuss my hands-on experience with the Smith and Wesson SD9VE. I took it out to the range, spent some quality time with it, and I have to say, it’s a decent firearm for the most part. 

So, let’s get down to brass tacks. I encountered several common issues, from striker wear to the slide not locking back properly.

In this article, we’ll dive deep into these Smith and Wesson SD9VE Problems individually. I’m not just going to tell you what went wrong; I’ll also give you some handy solutions to fix these issues. 

So, whether you’re a seasoned gun owner or a newbie considering your first purchase, this guide aims to give you a leg up on troubleshooting and maintaining your Smith and Wesson SD9VE.

Overview of Smith and Wesson SD9VE Problems & Solutions

StovepipingProper cleaning and improve your grip
Slide Pull IssueStretch magazine spring
Slide Fails to LockReplace magazine or magazine spring
Trigger StuckFile transparent parts on follower
InaccuracyAdjust sights or replace barrel

Top 6 Smith and Wesson SD9VE Problems & Solution

1. Striker Wear Issue

Okay, let’s get down to business. If you’ve been to the range a bunch with your Smith & Wesson SD9VE, you might notice some inconsistencies after about 500 rounds. The striker isn’t what it used to be, folks. 

It begins to degrade. The plunger could start blocking the striker, leading to annoying issues. The gun might shoot, sure, but there’s a catch. 

The pin might awkwardly stick out, and the plunger won’t go down. Yeah, it’s frustrating.


Now, onto the fix. After seeing this problem myself, I tried a few things. The best solution? Just replace the darn striker. Factory strikers may be tricky to find, but don’t sweat it. 

If you’re not a DIY person, your best bet is to send your SD9VE back to the company or to a trusted gunsmith. Believe me, I tried this, and it sorted the issue right out. The gun performed much better afterward. 

No more problems with the striker, no more weird sticking-out pins. Problem solved, folks.

2. Trigger Stuck

Alright, so here’s another issue that could creep up on you: the trigger getting stuck. Oh man, talk about a downer when you’re in the middle of shooting. 

I was out in the field, putting the SD9VE through its paces, and bang—well, no bang, actually. The trigger decided it didn’t want to cooperate. Just stuck in place like it was glued or something. 

It totally throws off your rhythm and, honestly, it’s not something you want to ignore. A stuck trigger is a red flag that needs immediate attention.


So, what did I do? Simple: cleaning and lubrication. Before you start taking the whole gun apart, give it a good clean. 

Take out any build-up of debris or gunk in the trigger assembly. Once it’s spick and span, you’ll want to apply a small amount of firearm-specific lubricant to the moving parts. 

Make sure you don’t go overboard with the lube; a little goes a long way. After doing this, my trigger was back in action, as smoothly as ever. If that doesn’t work, consult a pro for further inspection or repairs. 

Trust me, taking care of this sooner rather than later makes a world of difference.

3. Slide Pulling Issue

Okay, let’s dive into another hiccup you might face: the slide pull issue. When I was at the 

range, I experienced this firsthand. After loading a full magazine into my SD9VE, I noticed something was off. 

Getting the slide back was a beast, like pulling a heavy door that doesn’t want to budge. And guess what? That bullet at the top of the magazine ended up with some lovely dent marks. 

Clearly, this isn’t just an inconvenience; it’s a problem that could compromise the integrity of your ammunition.


The fix is a bit hands-on but worth it. First off, you’ll need some files and 22 or 23-grit sandpaper. Take apart the magazine, removing the spring and the follower. Some of these followers have excess plastic that can interfere with smooth operation. 

File down these unnecessary parts and smooth out any rough edges on the follower itself. After you’ve filed and sanded, put everything back together. 

Don’t forget to give the magazine a few good pushes to break it in. I did this, and it made pulling the slide much more effortless, and the dents on my bullets became a thing of the past.

4. Accuracy Issue

Let’s talk about a touchy subject—accuracy. Now, sometimes, the blame falls squarely on the shooter. During my time with the SD9VE, I noticed my shots were, let’s say, less than ideal. 

At first, I thought it was me, but then things got fishy. I realized the sights seemed a bit off, tilted even. 

And don’t even get me started on the barrel, which also seemed like it could be part of the problem. 


Alright, so how do you fix this? First, get a second opinion. Have some other folks fire the gun. If their shots are on point, it’s time to brush up on your own skills. 

But if everyone’s missing the mark, then roll up your sleeves. Check those sights on top of the slide; they might need some adjusting. I went ahead and did that, and let me tell you, it made a world of difference. 

You might have to consider replacing the barrel if that doesn’t cut it. After these adjustments, my SD9VE was hitting its targets like a champ.

5. Stovepiping Problem

Ah, stovepiping, the bane of any gun enthusiast’s existence. If you’re unfamiliar, this is when the spent cartridge doesn’t clear out properly, ruining your shooting experience. 

You’re there, enjoying your time at the range, and then bam—or rather, no bam. The cartridge just gets stuck.

It can be pretty unnerving, especially if you’re counting on smooth operations from your firearm.


First off, cleanliness is next to godliness. So, start by giving your SD9VE a proper cleaning. Second, your grip matters—big time. If you’re experiencing stovepiping, there’s a good chance you’re limp-wristing it. 

Get a gunsmith or a pro at the range to take a gander at your form. I did both: I cleaned my gun and corrected my grip. 

The result? No more stovepiping for this shooter. Trust me, a clean gun and a firm grip go a long way.

6. Failing To Lock Back the Slide

So, you’ve just fired your last round, and you’re waiting for that satisfying “click” of the slide locking back. But wait, it doesn’t happen. 

Yeah, it’s frustrating, especially when you’re in the flow of things. This issue isn’t just an inconvenience; it could be vital if you’re in a situation where you need to know your gun is empty. 

I’ve personally run into this issue with the SD9VE; let me tell you, it can be a downer.


Fixing this issue isn’t as complicated as you might think. First off, remove the magazine from the gun. Then, get the baseplate off and stretch the magazine spring. It’s a simple move, but it can make a world of difference. 

If you’re still out of luck, consider replacing the magazine. Seriously, new mags are worth the investment. I tried stretching the spring first, and it worked like a charm. But, if it’s a recurring issue, don’t hesitate to get a new magazine. 

Brownells has got you covered for that. A smooth slide lock adds a lot to your overall experience. Trust me on this one.

Final Verdict

In the grand scheme, the Smith & Wesson SD9VE is a solid choice for anyone looking for an affordable yet reliable firearm. 

But with problems ranging from stovepiping to slide issues, I’ve encountered a few bumps during my time with this gun. 

Overall, if you’re willing to invest some time and care, the SD9VE becomes a sturdy, dependable firearm. 

The pros undoubtedly outweigh the cons, making it a worthy addition to anyone’s arsenal.


Is the SD9VE reliable? 

Yes, the SD9VE is generally reliable straight from the box.

Is the SD9VE a Glock? 

No, but it is similar in size to a Glock 19.

How many rounds is an SD9VE good for? 

Standard capacity is 16+1 rounds for the SD9VE.

Can you conceal an SD9VE? 

Yes, but a well-made holster is needed due to its 7.2” length.

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I'm Micheal, an avid shooter and hunting enthusiast from Texas. I'm a recreational shooter who loves to spend time at the range and enjoy learning about new firearms and gears. I love to write about guns and share my passion for shooting with others.

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