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Good deal? I need your input!

For those of you who don’t care a whit about firearms, their recreational and serious purposes and the tendency for males of our species to fixate on them, you can tune out now…. 3…2….1….
Ok, I need the help of the hunters/shooting enthusiasts out there.  I have this pistol….

It is the Beretta 92FS, better known as the M9 (more or less) to military folks.  It’s one of the most successful handgun designs of all time and a quality piece of engineering by anyone’s standards.  It is the make and model that I bought on my 21st birthday in 1999 and have owned in 2 incantations (my first was stolen in 2003 but soon replaced) ever since.  It’s a lovely gun to shoot, easy to control and as reliable as any I have ever fired.  With a aircraft aluminum frame, it will last darn near forever.

That said, it is bulky, extremely heavy, underpowered (9mm) and somewhat dated.  For hunting I have been thinking about making the change to a .40 in one of the newer polymer-framed tactical designs but am obviously limited by price (missions work doesn’t pay all that well).
That is until tonight when a buddy who is in the market for a 92 asked if I’d like to trade straight up for this….

This is a Smith and Wesson Sigma series 40 (SW40VE).  On it’s face it is exactly the type I am looking for.  The Sigma is Smith’s version of the popular (and very expensive) Glock pistols.  It is so close in design that they were forced to pay Glock for trademark violations.  It fits my hand very nicely, is lighter fully loaded than my Beretta is empty and seems to fit both my paddle and my tactical holsters.  The stainless slide and polymer frame make it a better all-weather weapon than my Beretta which is a huge plus when hunting.
The downsides….
Though it’s newer, it retails at least $200 cheaper than my Beretta, which is still in very good if not excellent condition.  The reviews vary wildly from ‘POS’ (that’s a quote) to ‘best gun I’ve ever owned’ and everywhere in between.  On police forums there are a lot of guys that have put thousands of rounds through them without a jam and another that said, and I quote, “It would only be good for an anchor but it’s not even heavy enough for that.”  The consensus is that whatever you think about the quality, it has a ridiculously heavy trigger (12 lbs) to compensate for its near total lack of a safety.
I am borrowing it for a few weeks (my buddy doesn’t need it – he got it in a straight trade for a pop-up camper) and I plan to put in some quality range time 2 Fridays from today in Greeley but I was hoping to get some opinions from my resident gun nuts.  Ask around with any law enforcement friends or family members.  Anyone shot this weapon?
I’m counting on you guys.
  1. Sarah
    October 11, 2008 at 3:08 am

    i realize i’m not a hunter or a gun enthusiast and quite honestly i could just tell you this in person, but… I’m a little partial to the Beretta… maybe because it was a part of the couches for gun program. 🙂

  2. Aaron
    October 11, 2008 at 8:18 am

    Bottom line is, you’ve been allowed to borrow it to see for yourself. Does it matter what others think or is that part of the gun culture? I say you decide for yourself. You can determine if it’s what you want, if it fits your needs better then the 9mm, if it works properly, etc. If you shoot it enough you should be able to answer those questions.

  3. Matty
    October 11, 2008 at 8:48 am

    Aaron,The considerations with a purchase of this kind are two-fold. Primarily you look at how it feels in your hand, the features it has, how it fits into your arsenal and how cool it looks.Then the second thing – and this is the same with a couch, a car, an appliance or any large purchase – is the quality for the price. Unlike those other items, with firearms there are really not than many to consider. For me, I am only looking at maybe 6 models from 4 different makers that fit my criteria. I need to know if this weapon is quality item. Does it handle a variety of ammo? Will it stand up to thousands of rounds fired?That is where you go to public opinion. There are few enough options that if you ask a decent number of enthusiasts, you are likely to find someone with personal experience.Just another piece in the puzzle… This is particularly important considering the fact that I am making a features upgrade while making a quality downgrade. If the ups outweigh the downs then it may be worth considering.You do have a point though… I will certainly use my own experience as the dominant criteria.

  4. mark
    October 11, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Aaron's point is valid, as choosing a personal sidearm is mutch like choosing underwear, you won't know until you try it on. Luckily, in your case you will get a chance to try it on before you buy it, which sadly is more rare with guns that one would think for the investment. That said, the Sigma is a weapon I would only wish on an enemy. POS, crap, a gang-bangers dream as it provides power, capacity, and direct inability to hit what you're aiming at. As you might tell, my opinion is against your proposed trade – and is two fold:1. The sigma is super light with a hard trigger – this will lead to high levels of muzzle lift and "time-off-target" reguire more time for target acquisition between shots, hand fatigue, and more importantly, inaccaurate shooting. 2. I am not a fan of the M-9, I don't like the 9mm for the reasons you mentioned, I find the mechanism to be loose, bulky, and safetys are for girls and wives who don't like guns and lawyers for the ACLU. That said, there is a reason that a reason that the 92F is the 3rd most produced firarm in modern history (behind only the AK-47 and the Browning Hi-Power and its knockoffs): it works, and it WORKS ALL THE TIME, with acceptable accurracy. All the things I dislike make it what it is, it's loose mechanism allows for field conditions (dirt, moisture, blood, drops, etc.) to never affect it's performance. Also, while I am a huge propent of the .40, unless you're hunting with the round itself – there is not much you can's do the a P++ load in 9mm that can't be done with a standard .40 round.If you were looking for a new .40, I would say Glock (that that expensive), Sprinfield XD, Taurus 24/7, S&W M&P – but as budget is a concern, spend $25 on some hot loads and dance with the one that brung you. But ultimately, when you shoot and you like it, then that's enough – even if you loose a little of my respect (again like underwear – that bannana hammock may be comfortable, but when I see you in tiger stripes what am I to think?). So bring it to shoot and decide for yourself. Hope this helps.

  5. Anonymous
    October 13, 2008 at 6:35 am

    I don’t know much about the Smith, but I am not a fan of the company anyway (you know why). It looks like a nice piece, and a .40 would be nice, but a 12 lbs trigger? How did that slip through the cracks. A 12 lb trigger may as well be a locked safety. I say keep the 92, and not spend 200 on ammo to realize you cannot hit the broadside of a barn with a 4″ barrel and a 12 lb trigger. This is Tim by the way.

  6. Anonymous
    August 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    i own this weapon and swear by it. i’ve put more than 2000 rds through it and have never had a jam or any kind of malfunction. i look at the heavy trigger as a plus when safety is concerned, and it still doesnt bother me when just using it for recreation. its my primary weapon to conceal and carry. i love it

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