S&W introduces .380 Sigma - Smith and Wesson
, July, 1995
by Dick Williams
In May, Smith & Wesson unveiled its smallest Sigma, the SW380. Staff reporter Dick Williams had a chance to fire the new .380 and filed this special report for Shooting Industry.
"Man, dealers are going to sell a lot of these babies!" I thought after unloading the first clip down range from Smith & Wesson's newest and smallest member of the Sigma family, the SW380 in .380 ACP. I was pretty excited about the six-shot group with five rounds around an inch, the sixth a stray about 2 inches out. Sure, the target was only 15 feet away, but for a 14-ounce polymer pistol that fits in a shirt pocket, the results far surpassed my expectations.
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The gun is extremely compact with a 3-inch barrel, 6 inches long, 4 inches high and 1-inch wide. Small enough to fit into the sight channel, but quite visible, is a blade front sight and notch rear sight. There are no external controls, presenting a clean profile with nothing to snag and no manual of arms to perform between drawing and firing the gun.
The single-stack magazine holds six rounds and the floorplate fits into a recessed area of the grip with no protrusions from the bottom. The magazine is removed by pressing in on two latch retention tabs that fit flush into cutouts in the grip/frame. The grip has been shortened so that it only accommodates the middle two fingers of the shooting hand, but the gun's superb ergonomics combined with the .380's low recoil make the gun relatively easy to shoot.
The little SW380 has all the internal safety features and the long 8- to 10-pound double-action trigger pull of the big Sigmas to prevent accidental firings. The serrations on the slide have been fitted into a concave area to facilitate gripping while maintaining the clean profile. Take-down is simple but does require use of the special tool that comes with the gun.
My brief range visit wasn't a gun test by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a terrific introduction. With a suggested retail price of $380 and a dealer price near $200 - along with S&W's renowned reliability - this baby Sigma is going to be a hot seller.
S&W also introduced two compact models of the Sigma in 9mm and .40 S&W. The slide and barrel of the new compacts are 1/2-inch shorter than the full-size Sigma and the magazine base-plate fits flush with the bottom of the frame. The 9mm weighs 24.7 ounces, the .40 S&W 24.4 ounces.
COPYRIGHT 1995 Publishers' Development Corporation
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