Smith & Wesson Sigma, 1st Gen

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  • 40Arpent

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    Jul 16, 2008
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    Houston
    I'm searching for the full skinny on the 1st Gen Sigma (re: all the negativity). I bought a Sigma .40 many years ago, not long after they first came out. I maybe put 200 rds of various stuff through it, with no problems whatsoever, in a couple trips to the range and then it just sat on the shelf until a couple years ago. At that time, my neighbor had just gotten his CHL and was asking me for advice on a suitable "truck handgun". Other than a couple of "curio" revolvers that he'd inherited, he had no other handguns. So, short story long, I gave him the Sigma.

    Prior to all that, I'd heard a little "flack" flying around the internet about problems with those 1st Gen Sigmas, but it mostly seemed to be coming from the Glock-anti-any-other-plastic-pistol crowd, so I chalked it up to being mostly B.S. Now, today, I see that some of that flack is still being dispersed.

    So, my questions: Are there real, inherent problems with that particular pistol that can be definitively outlined and proved? And I guess depending on the answer to that question, should I address this with my buddy in the interest of safety?

    Thanks,

    Pete
     

    DrBart2

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    Mar 10, 2008
    467
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    Burleson
    My Dad has the 1st gen Sigma. He still likes it a lot. He has not had much trouble with it. The only negative thing I can say about it is that it would smoke stack about once every 50 rounds. I don't consider it as reliable the glocks, XDs, or sigs that I own or have owned. Again, my Dad is comfortable and happy with his. I would recommend that you have your friend put about 500 to 1000 rounds through the gun to see how reliable it is and to get him comfortable with it. If it has a lot of failures you both may want to come up with a different gun.
     

    mac79912

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    I had the .40 and I had to change the recoil spring every 1500 rounds or it would start malfunctioning.It is a $10 spring so I cannot complain.
     

    Army 1911

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    Mar 17, 2008
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    I have no experience with the sigma. That said in 40 years of shootin centerfire, most malfunctions that I see on the internet can often be related to poor habits of cleaning and maybe bad magazines.

    I shoot 1911's which some say are tempramental. I have never had a malfunction that was not related to bad ammo, bad magazine or a dirty gun. Yes, I clean um after each trip to the range, but 1000 rounds will get the beast dirty.

    My guess is that the bad press is just the internet syndrome where people post the negative at about 10 to one over the good.
     

    40Arpent

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    Thanks fellas. Man, I thought for sure I was going to get a bunch of replies about slides cracking, barrels exploding, missing digits, etc., etc. LOL
     

    SIG_Fiend

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    Feb 21, 2008
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    The only realistic complaint I have ever heard about them, that didn't sound like the typical baseless internet fear mongering, is that the stock triggers suck. Apparently from what I've read elsewhere, it looks like there are already plenty of methods to improve on the trigger, at least to the point where it is about as good as a stock Glock (~5-6# pull instead of stock ~12#). Other than the trigger I can't say that I've really ever heard or seen any actual issues with these guns, though I don't really have any personal experience with them myself.

    Army 1911, you hit the nail on the head! Seems like the internet really multiplies the claims of problems with pretty much anything, cars, guns, electronics, etc etc. Sometimes it seems that maybe only 10 to maybe as much as 50% of those claims can even be taken remotely serious. ;) Oh well, everyone is an expert on the internet.
     

    TxPhantom

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    Apr 5, 2008
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    Sw9ve

    I never miss a opportunity to say something nice about the Sigma series pistol. I have never owned a 1st generation Sigma but my SW9VE has never had ANY kind of malfunction with over 3000 rounds through it. It is a great, inexpensive, accurate, self defense weapon for home or car because of it's dependability. I used to take it to the range a lot but since I got my MP's (a MP 40 & a MP 9c) and my 9mm CZ 75B it mostly stays home. The trigger is a lot like a D.A. revolver which makes it a little less likely you will have a N.D. and shoot yourself or someone else.
    Not a bad pistol once you get used to the trigger.:cool:
     

    txinvestigator

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    May 28, 2008
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    I have experience with the first generation and the new ones. New ones seem to be fine. Much better trigger.

    I taught class for a local security company that has government contracts that has above and beyond the state training requirements. They sent out six 1st gen. Sigmas in 9mm. Triggers felt like gravel was in them, and after a couple of hours we were down to 1 working one. They would FTE and FTF so often a course of fire could not be completed. We managed to finish with the 1 remaining gun and loaned out personal weapons.

    Not scientific by any means, but enough for me.
     

    picketeer

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    Jul 26, 2008
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    NorthCentralTexas
    I'm searching for the full skinny on the 1st Gen Sigma (re: all the negativity). I bought a Sigma .40 many years ago, not long after they first came out. I maybe put 200 rds of various stuff through it, with no problems whatsoever, in a couple trips to the range and then it just sat on the shelf until a couple years ago. At that time, my neighbor had just gotten his CHL and was asking me for advice on a suitable "truck handgun". Other than a couple of "curio" revolvers that he'd inherited, he had no other handguns. So, short story long, I gave him the Sigma.

    Prior to all that, I'd heard a little "flack" flying around the internet about problems with those 1st Gen Sigmas, but it mostly seemed to be coming from the Glock-anti-any-other-plastic-pistol crowd, so I chalked it up to being mostly B.S. Now, today, I see that some of that flack is still being dispersed.

    So, my questions: Are there real, inherent problems with that particular pistol that can be definitively outlined and proved? And I guess depending on the answer to that question, should I address this with my buddy in the interest of safety?

    Thanks,

    Pete


    Got any pics?
     

    picketeer

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    Jul 26, 2008
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    I do, but they're very clear and the front sight is missing.

    Get rid of those ugly things QUICK!
    CHLThumbs.gif
     

    robocop10mm

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    Jan 9, 2009
    996
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    Round Rock
    I have a 40C and a 9V. I am also a S&W authorized armorer on both pistols and revolvers. The first generation guns (serial numbers w/PAA PAB prefix) had chamber dimensions that were too tight. Some engineer spec'd them out that way. Remember this was the very first gun chambered for the "new" .40 S&W cartridge. Smith had a recall on these first guns. I sent several back for upgrades. They came back w/in 5 days with new barrels (with more reasonable chamber dimensions) and new mag releases.
    My 40C is my daily carry gun. I got it direct from Smith after graduating from the course. Night sights and three (then LE only) high cap mags for $330. I could not pass that up. After a few years, I grew to like the gun. I bought the 9V for $285 w/ two high caps and no night sights. I did not have a 9 at the time and "needed" one to fill a gap in the safe.

    Both guns point naturally, shoot accurately and have been extremely reliable. They do not have the 3.75# clean break trigger of my STI but get the job done at 1/3 the price.
     

    JohnnyBeGood

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    Jan 7, 2009
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    i had a 1st gen in 9mm and while i didnt have mechanical problems with it i tended to shoot quite poorly with it. could be just my handling or preference but i shoot pretty well with my glocks, my HK, and the CZ i used to have....but could never shoot as well with the sigma. i tried adjusting grip and sight picture but nothing would work...no clue. no quality issues though but it always bugged the hell outta me that i couldnt get it right...i sold it.
     

    robocop10mm

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    Jan 9, 2009
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    Round Rock
    The engraved logo on the slide is interesting. That must have been done before heat treatment as the finished slide is too hard to engrave.

    1st gen guns will have a serial number prefix of PAA or PAB Most of those will be 40F's
     

    claymore504

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    9   0   0
    Dec 2, 2008
    1,829
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    Katy, TX
    I have experience with the first generation and the new ones. New ones seem to be fine. Much better trigger.

    I taught class for a local security company that has government contracts that has above and beyond the state training requirements. They sent out six 1st gen. Sigmas in 9mm. Triggers felt like gravel was in them, and after a couple of hours we were down to 1 working one. They would FTE and FTF so often a course of fire could not be completed. We managed to finish with the 1 remaining gun and loaned out personal weapons.

    Not scientific by any means, but enough for me.

    I purchased a new 1st Gen Sigma .40 as my first hand gun. It would FTF about aevery 5 rounds. I had it at the range one time and a guy a few lanes down asked me if it was a 1st gen sigma. He said there was problems being found with the feed ramp angle on some and that is what caused the FTFs. I never looked into if that was the problem. I just quickly sold it and bought a Glock 22. But, I paid around 300.00 bucks on sale for the Sigma at Oshmans in San Antonio. i got what I paid for I guess. it was a shame, because the pistol felt and pointed very good.
     

    claymore504

    Well-Known
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    9   0   0
    Dec 2, 2008
    1,829
    66
    Katy, TX
    I have a 40C and a 9V. I am also a S&W authorized armorer on both pistols and revolvers. The first generation guns (serial numbers w/PAA PAB prefix) had chamber dimensions that were too tight. Some engineer spec'd them out that way. Remember this was the very first gun chambered for the "new" .40 S&W cartridge. Smith had a recall on these first guns. I sent several back for upgrades. They came back w/in 5 days with new barrels (with more reasonable chamber dimensions) and new mag releases.
    My 40C is my daily carry gun. I got it direct from Smith after graduating from the course. Night sights and three (then LE only) high cap mags for $330. I could not pass that up. After a few years, I grew to like the gun. I bought the 9V for $285 w/ two high caps and no night sights. I did not have a 9 at the time and "needed" one to fill a gap in the safe.

    Both guns point naturally, shoot accurately and have been extremely reliable. They do not have the 3.75# clean break trigger of my STI but get the job done at 1/3 the price.

    I guess that explianes the issue I had with my 40!!!
     

    Bill C.

    New Member
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    0   0   0
    Feb 14, 2009
    4
    1
    Fort Worth
    I know a lot of people rag on the Sigma.. I have one that works perfectly.. The feel of the grip in realy nice.. the trigger is what it is.. It's never going to feel like a SA auto.. So far about 500 rounds without a failure.. It was a deal for the price..I should have bought two of them..
     
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