Goldilocks Gun? Steyr Arms C9-A1 Handgun

Other than anti-Glockism, why would a gun buyer opt for a Steyr over a Glock? After shooting the Steyr Arms C9-A1 at the Shot Show’s desert demo grounds, I reckon the Steyr has a slight edge on the Glock in terms of combat-style shootability. The Steyr’s lower bore axis makes follow up shots a little bit quicker—although neither gun is what I’d call unruly in the muzzle flip department. The Steyr’s point-of-aim is more natural—although once you get used to the Glock, that’s natural too. The Steyr’s trapezoidal sights are a damn sight better for rapid target acquisition at close quarters than the standard Glock’s—although most people prefer three-dots and you can now order your Steyr so equipped. But it’s Steyr’s new Reset Action System trigger mechanism that makes all the difference. OK, evens the score . . .

It’s not that the go-pedal on Steyr’s M or S series pistols was horrible. But it was nowhere near as crisp, clean and predictable as the show time button on Gaston’s Glocks. Now, it is. Without a side-by-side test, I can’te quite put my finger on the exact difference (so to speak). Suffice it to say, there’s no longer anything in it. Both guns distinguish themselves with a sharp trigger with an extremely quick reset.

And now Steyr Arms is shipping their “Where Have You Been All My Life?” trigger inside the C9-A1. From today’s press release:

The German bridges the gap between a compact carry and full-sized shootability. With its concealable-length slide and barrel of the S-series Steyr pistol, and the hand-filling frame and high capacity of the M-series, the C9-A1 provides the best of both worlds.

In other words, it’s a ‘tweener: big enough to shoot well and hold 17 rounds, small enough to, uh, shoot well and hold 17 rounds. Kidding. Small enough to conceal. Provided you think a gun with a 3.6″ barrel and a big honking handle is concealable. (I’m looking at you Springfield XD-M 3.8 Compact owners. Of which I’m one. So yes, I do.) Oh, and the Steyr’s barrel is cold hammer forged. Take that Glock fans! Oh wait . . .

Anyway, I wouldn’t give you a bum Steyr. And the chances of you buying one are minimal. The Steyr Arms C9-A1 Glocks-in—I mean clocks-in at $649.

Steyr Arms Pistol Specifications

  • Model: C9-A1
  • Purpose: Self-defense
  • Manufacturer: Steyr Mannlicher GmbH Kleinraming, Austria
  • Importer: Steyr Arms, Inc.
  • Operation: Semiautomatic
  • Caliber: 9x19mm Luger
  • Slide material: Steel
  • Magazine type/capacity: Double-stack steel box/17 rounds
  • Barrel: 3.6-inch cold-hammer-forged
  • Rifling: Conventional, 6 grooves, RH twist
  • Sights: Drift-adjustable three-dot configuration
  • Finish: Mannox
  • Trigger type: Reset Action System (DAO with integrated safety)
  • Pull weight: 5 pounds
  • Frame material: Reinforced polymer
  • Checkering: Anti-slip stippled texture
  • Weight, empty: 1.6 pounds
  • Overall length: 6.7 inches
  • Height: 5.1 inches
  • Width: 1.2 inches
  • Included accessories: Owners manual, lockable box, extra magazine