I Carry: Smith & Wesson SD9 2.0 Pistol in a N8 Tactical Holster

Today on I Carry we have a Smith & Wesson SD9 2.0 pistol in a N8 Tactical holster with a Buck knife.

by
posted on March 29, 2024

Firearm: Smith & Wesson SD9 2.0 (MSRP: $349)

New for 2024 is the Smith & Wesson SD9 2.0, the company’s updated and upgraded entry-level striker-fired, polymer-frame pistol. Building on some of the excellent M2.0 upgrades to its M&P line of handguns, Smith & Wesson applied the same sort of useful changes to the SD9. There’s now a flat-face, bladed-safety trigger that replaces the hinged version found on the original SD9,  slide serrations are more prominent to assist in administrative manipulations, and the grip texture is slightly more aggressive as well.

Sizewise, the SD9 2.0 is close to the Glock G45/G19X, where the slide and overall length are compact, but the grip is closer to full-size. Overall length of the SD9 2.0 is 7.2 inches with a 4-inch barrel, and height is 5.5 inches. This extra height encompasses a 16-round magazine, and gives plenty of room for a full, three-finger strong-hand grip. A two-slot accessory rail for lights, lasers and other accessories is on the dustcover, as is pretty much expected for a modern defensive pistol.

It's clear that many of the upgrades Smith & Wesson has made to the SD9 2.0 have been geared toward making it more comfortable in the hand and therefore easier to shoot. The trigger, while not as good as the trigger on the M&P M2.0, is pretty decent. The SD9 2.0 has no sharp edges to catch on the draw, points well and has enough heft that it’s not unpleasant to shoot, yet is still light in the holster. The SD9 2.0 doesn’t feel like an entry-level gun on the range, and that’s a significant accomplishment for the engineers at Smith & Wesson.

Bottom line on the new Smith & Wesson SD9 2.0? If you’re looking for a handgun for carry, home defense or both, it’s absolutely going to do the job well. Don’t let the price fool you; about the only thing lacking in the new SD9 2.0 is the number of magazines - you only get one magazine. That’s a personal peeve of mine, especially when the pistol in question isn’t as common as a Glock or SIG; however, the first-generation SD9 magazines will work, so there should be a good number out there. Other than that, the Smith & Wesson SD9 2.0 shoots well, works reliably and has an MSRP less than $350. Affordable options that work well are some of my favorites, and are definitely worth consideration.

Holster: N8 Tactical Multi-Flex (MSRP: $49.95)

I’m generally not a fan of “one size fits most” anything, but especially when it comes to a holster for a concealed-carry firearm. As a general rule, you want the holster to be specifically molded for the exact firearm you’re carrying, and previous multi-fit holsters tend to work best when used for similar families of pistols; like 1911s or medium-frame revolvers. N8 Tactical has introduced the Multi-Flex Holster in two sizes to offer a workable, one-size-fits-many option. As we often feature firearms in “I Carry” that don’t have a lot of holster options, the Multi-Flex is an appealing idea.

Screw-adjustable retention points can be found in several areas around the Multi-Flex. There are adjustments at the trigger guard, at the muzzle, and on both sides where the belt clips attach. In addition, smaller screws on the edges help eliminate wobble in the fit, allowing the user to dial in the holster pretty close to a custom mold. Both belt clips and tuckable metal inside-the-waistband clips come with each Multi-Flex holster so you have the ability to use it as a concealed holster inside the waistband or wear it outside the waistband as we show here.

Accessory: Buck Knives Trace pocketknife (MSRP: $59.99)

Rounding out today’s kit is a Buck Knives Trace pocketknife, which continues the utilitarian and affordable theme of the Multi-Flex holster and SD9 2.0 pistol. The Trace offers a 3.2-inch, 7Cr17MoV steel, drop-point blade with partial serrations and a skeletonized, anodized aluminum handle. Overall weight is slightly less than 4 ounces, and a liner lock system is used to keep the blade open when needed.

A ball-bearing design helps open the blade using the flipper mechanism, making it easy to open and close with one hand. The metal pocket clip is reversible for left- or right-pocket carry, and the Trace has jimping on the top of the blade for greater stability when used for cutting tasks. The Trace is available in bronze and orange in addition to the blue model we have in today’s kit, and Buck even offers engraving on the blade for a slight upcharge.

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