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Recently, a batch of affordably priced Steyr M9A1 pistols hit the U.S. market. I bought one of these guns at Cabelas in Eugene, Oregon, for $400.00 last month as an impulse buy, and I wanted to report on what I’ve learned about this gun.  It is not my intent to do my typical hyper-detailed review – maybe that will come later after I’ve put a few thousand more rounds through the gun. Rather, in the interest of timely reporting, I wanted to give some background on the importation of this gun, cover a few of its basic features, and summarize my initial range experiences with the Steyr M9A1.

The pistol has the importer listed as “PW ARMS, Redmond, Washington,” which is the first big clue that these are not guns coming into the county via the “official” factory authorized importer: Steyr USA.  In short, these are “grey market” guns. And that means that Steyr USA may refuse to work on them should something go wrong. But more on that later.

According to Dan’s Guns, a retail outlet that apparently has close ties with the importer, says these guns were “military overruns” from a middle-east contract. Yeah, OK, whatever. Maybe that’s true or maybe not. Personally, I tend to roll my eyes when I hear stuff like that – particularly when there’s no documentation to back it up. My guess is that this is the type of white lie an importer will throw out there to gin up a little interest. I tried to call the importer directly to get the scoop but they apparently don’t answer their phones.

Regardless of their original destination, these guns are a hodgepodge of older and newer parts – true Frankensteyrs. For example, the frame on my sample was manufactured in May of 2004, and it is the “new style” (i.e. post 2002). Aside from some differences in the ergonomics, the “new style” frame has a Picatinny type rail instead of the older proprietary design. Also, this pistol features the Steyr “Target” logo and the inscription “Mannlicher” on both sides of the grip. As far as I can tell, there have been a couple of different incarnations of the logo on the grip in the post-2004 frames.

The slide is marked “M9”, which indicates that it is fairly old. (pre-2002?).  According to Jeff Reese, the head M9 gunsmith (and guru of all things M9) at Steyr USA, there are really no significant differences between the older “M9” marked slides and the newer “M9A1” marked slides.

The only real difference is that post-2010 guns have a roll pin located under the rear sight. This roll pin is supposed to improve the trigger pull. Both new and old slides feature a loaded chamber indicator. My grey-market gun features the new-style extractor which apparently is a significant improvement over the older model.  Incidentally, according to Jeff Reese, Steyr USA will replace any old-style extractor free of charge.

From what I have been able to gather, here are the major differences between the various incarnations of the Steyr M9:

Generation 1: Pistols manufactured between 1999-2002 are marked M9/S9 on slide, and may or may not have manual safety. They feature the “old style” grip pattern, including a proprietary rail system.

Generation 2:  Pistols manufactured between 2002-2006 are marked M9-A1/S9-A1.  They feature a new grip style, which includes a picatinny rail system.  They do not have a roll pin under the rear sight.  These pistols were sold by CDNN, and they have the “old-style” extractor.

Generation 3: Pistols manufactured between 2009-2011 are marked M9-A1/S9-A1. They feature a new grip style and do not have a roll pin under the rear sight. They were imported by Steyr USA, and feature the new style extractor.

Generation 4: Pistols manufactured from 2011 to the present are marked M9-A1/S9-A1.  They feature the new grip pattern, and have the roll pin under the rear sight.

As mentioned above, the PW Arms “grey market” gun is more-or-less a “Generation 3”  M9A1 even though the slide still says M9. It’s got the gen 3 trigger and the new frame with Picatinny rail, and it doesn’t have the manual safety. The only “new” features that is missing is the new extractor and the “Gen 4” roll pin in the slide.


The Steyr M9A1 fits my hand very well. I really like the high palm grip, as it makes the pistol ride very low in the hand. Having said that, if you are used to shooting more conventional guns like 1911s and Browning High Powers, the Steyr may point high for you so you may need to do a little retraining. In my case, after a few range sessions, I was pointing the Steyr much more naturally than when I first picked it up.

The slide stop is tiny and uncomfortable, so this is definitely a gun where you will want to rack the slide by grabbing the slide and pulling rearward then releasing on a fresh mag.


 The Steyr’s ergonomics alone were probably enough to sell me on the gun but frankly, what really hooked me was the trigger. Its advertised as a “DAO” trigger, and I guess, technically speaking, it is.  But it reminds me a hell of a lot more of a two-stage AR-15 trigger than a traditional double action pistol trigger. There is about 3/16th of an inch of easy take up followed by a fairly crisp five-pound break. There’s only the slightest amount of creep and minimal over-travel.  The reset is also very short. All in all, this trigger is superior in every way to a Glock.


The Steyr M9A1 is typically found with their unique patented sighting arrangement. The front sight is a white-filled, black-edged equilateral triangle. The rear sight, which Steyr calls a “trapezoidal” sight, consists of a triangular rear notch framed by two white posts.  According to Steyr, “the sight’s shape guides the eye onto the target, and thus the target is captured exactly and quickly.” Steyr also produces rectangular tritium night sights for those shooters who lack flashlights but still prefer not to aim by Braille.

For most people, the trapezoidal sights are either a “love it” or “hate it” affair. I happen to fall decidedly in the “love it” camp. I used ACOG scopes in the military that also featured a similar aiming triangle.  I find the triangles to be far superior to circles, especially for six-o’clock holds.  It is very instinctive for me to point the “arrow,” as I think of the triangles, on the target and pull the trigger.



The 15 round magazines are true works of art: highly blued and smooth as can be. They are by far the nicest looking pistol magazines I have ever seen, if that matters at all. They feature indicator holes on the side so you can identify how many rounds you have loaded.  One side has odd numbered holes, while the other side has even numbers. It is my understanding that 17 round mags are available for the Steyr M9A1, too

Safety Features

The Steyr M9A1 utilizes a multi-stage safety system. There are two automatic internal safeties and one external trigger safety. The external trigger safety is pretty much a copy of the Glock as far as I can tell: a small, spring-loaded inner trigger is housed in a wide, outer trigger and cannot be actuated unless the inset trigger is depressed. An off-angle trigger pull will not, in theory, result in the gun being fired. Personally, I’ve never seen much value in these types of safeties.

This trigger safety also activates the two internal safeties: the firing pin and drop safety. The firing pin safety is contained in the pistol’s slide and blocks the striker from moving forward. The drop safety is an internal safety that’s deactivated by the pull of the trigger.

My sample gun doesn’t have a manual safety. Some earlier versions of the M9 had a manual safety in the trigger guard but Steyr seems to have done away with this feature, at least in the guns it imports to the U.S. market.



My first trip to the range with the grey market Steyr M9A1 was something of a disaster. I had brought 300 rounds of new 2011-era, Czech Sellier & Bellot ammo. S&B has always impressed me as being pretty good ammo, albeit more smoky/dirty than some other brands. I also had a “Mega-Pack” of Remington UMC (Yellow-box) on hand, and 20 rounds of older Cor-Bon +P+ hollowpoints.

First, I tried the Cor-Bons: 20 rounds of flawless feeding and very good accuracy.  Switching over to the S&B, however, things went downhill fast. Within the first 200 rounds or so, I experienced two FTFs (“failures to feed”).  Then at round 250(ish), I had a complete worst-case-scenario: a lock-up malfunction in which a new round had been chambered but the gun had not completed its lock up cycle. The round was effectively jammed in the gun, such that I could not clear the malfunction. The slide would simply not budge.

I was able to disassemble the slide from the frame, but it was not until I hit the top of the barrel with a rubber mallet that I was able to dislodge the barrel from the slide. Since I don’t usually carry rubber mallets in my shooting bag, the gun was effectively out of the fight until I got home. Total bummer. I’m sure I’ll never hear the end of it from Chris Dumm, who has this uncanny ability to remind me years later that my “XXXX” gun malfunctioned on such and such occasion.

The next Monday, I called up Steyr USA and was able to get a hold of Jeff Reese. He told me that the gun I bought was a grey market gun (my term, not his), but that Steyr USA had made the decision to service these guns despite the fact that they were under no obligation to do so. Frankly, in my estimation, that was a very wise choice.

In this day and age, word gets around on the internet pretty quickly, and if there are problems with any M9, the fact that the particular gun is a “grey market” gun is likely going to be lost on the owner. Jeff told me that Steyr USA was going to work on getting some reimbursement from Steyr Austria for the work they do on the grey market pistols.  Overall, I’m very impressed with Steyr USA’s commitment to customer service.

Getting back to my gun’s “lock up” issue, though, Jeff told me that the symptoms that I was describing were unusual, and the culprit was likely the Sellier & Bellot ammo I was using.  He said that S&B uses a hard primer that the M9 seems to disfavor. He didn’t have nice things to say about the UMC ammo, either.

He suggested I try something a bit more high quality, such as Winchester white box or Federal. Well, crap. I really hate it when guns are picky about ammo. Score one point for my Glock 17 – it chewed up my last 50 round box of S&B without so much as a hiccup. In fact, I jokingly commented to my buddy that I expected my Glock to let out a satisfying “burp” at the end of those three mags of S&B.

I did some Google searches for “Sellier & Bellot hard primers” and turned up enough hits that I think there may in fact be some truth to the claim. In any event, a few days later I went to my local indoor range and put 100 rounds of Speer Lawman and 100 rounds of CCI Blazer (aluminum cases) through the Steyr without a hitch.

The next week, I went to Wally World and picked up 200 rounds of Federal and 100 rounds of Winchester (White Box). The Steyr chewed through these rounds without any problems.  While I will continue to conduct more testing, at this point I am pretty close to being ready to conclude that the initial problems I experienced were ammo-related.  Perhaps it was just that this gun needed a 500 round break in period.   Only time will tell.

The good news is that the Steyr is very accurate. In fact, I shoot the Steyr M9 better than any one of my other 9mms, including the Beretta 92F, the Glock 17, the S&W Custom Shop “Recon 9,” the Sig Sauer P6 (aka:  225); the P 08 Luger, and the Walther p38. I attribute most of that accuracy to the excellent trigger although I suspect that Steyr’s barrels are first class as well.

Initial Conclusion

The fact that I bought a grey market gun could have turned out pretty scary. Nonetheless, hats off to Steyr USA for agreeing to service these guns regardless of how they got into the U.S.  Although I’m somewhat bummed that the Steyr has an appetite for more expensive ammo and is not therefore a “cheap date,” the shooting characteristics of this little pistol more than make up for this fact.


Caliber:  9mm
Action: Semi auto, short recoil, locked breech.
Capacity: 15 round magazine, optional 17 round magazines are available.
Overall Length: 6.9 inches
Barrel: 4 inches, 1: 14 twist.
Weight: 26 ounces
Sights:  black plastic with “trapezoid” configuration, conventional three-dot sights optional.   
Finish: Tenifer
Price: $400- $450 (Retail Street Price for grey market imports).

RATINGS (out of five)

Style  * * * * *
Although totally subjective, I think the Steyr is the best looking of the “Glock-a-likes” on the market today.

Ergonomics  * * * * *
The grip’s high palm swell makes this gun point differently than typical pistols. However, once you train with it, it points just like an experienced bird dog.

Reliability   * * * *
After an initial bad encounter with some hard-primered Sellier and Bellot rounds, this pistol has been very reliable. Using decent quality American ammo (Speer Lawman, CCI Blazer, Winchester white box, Federal, etc.,) there have been no malfunctions with 750 rounds fired.

Customize This  * * 1/2
I’m going to rate the Steyr slightly less than average in its peer group in this category.  Holsters are available for the M9 but options are limited. The Picatinney rail is standard enough, so you can hang whatever lights, lasers or other doo-dads you want from the front. There aren’t many aftermarket parts made for the Steyr, although they do sell a factory threaded barrel for a pricy $300.00.  Check out  BTGuideRods website for cool upgrades for your Steyr, including Delrin striker spring buffers and stainless steel recoil guide rods and springs.       

Accuracy  * * * * *
I shoot the Steyr M9 better (i.e. more accurately) than any of my other 9mm pistols. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that it has less felt recoil and muzzle flip than most 9’s I have fired, but the Steyr’s excellent trigger probably plays a role in this as well.

Overall  * * * *
Assuming the reliability issues I experienced were just ammo and/or break-in related, I’m thinking this could be the start of a long romance. Stay tuned to TTAG for updates.

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  1. “The lack of a manual safety will prevent them from being sold in CA and MA, but that’s probably a good thing for the rest of us.”

    Why would the lack of a manual safety prevent it from being sold in CA? I just bought an M&P45 without one, though it did have a magazine safety.

      • Yeah, but only up to Gen 3s, which were grandfathered in as based on a pre-roster design. Gen 4s , being a new gun, had to pass inspection, and since they lack the CA required features, you have to be LEO or do a single shot conversion to buy one. For much the same reason, we get Springfield XDs, but not XDms, and probably not the new XDS, specifically because of the absence of a manual safety (the guns are otherwise CA compliant with mag disconnect, firing pin safety/transfer bar and and LCI.)

    • Manual safeties aren’t required in MA. These guns wouldn’t be MA legal for sale by a MA dealer because the DA trigger pull is too light. Plus, they’re not on “the List.” Those “violations” make the gun illegal for retail sale, but not illegal to own. However, they’re equipped with 15 or 17 rounds mags, which are flat-out illegal under MA’s remarkably stupid AWB.

    • Hi Joe S.
      They are also on the MA Approved weapons roster. I was reading this review to see if I wanted to bring them in to our store…

    • my glock 19x eats all ammo period best pistol out there and will continue to be

  2. Nice article. I know you said you didn’t intend this to be a comprehensive review, but I’m afraid you may have produced one. I’ve been interested in the M9-A1 and the C9-A1 for a while, but information about them is dubious (due in part to mysterious undesignated model changes and inconsistent importation). Of course, they are just plain hard to find. Lower bore axes really interest me and make my XD(m) seem like an ill-conceived design. I love the sights and the look of the Steyrs as well, but I’ve yet to find one to hold for myself. Reliability issues are always disconcerting though. If I found one of these and could verify its “generation” I’d probably buy it. Thanks for the info, Joe.

  3. I own one of these guns, bought from Dan’s Ammo.

    I love it, but it has a few quirks:

    The Sights:

    I loved them at first, but I consistently have trouble on vertical alignment with them. I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to switch them out for traditional notch & post sights simply because those are what’s on all my other pistols. Kind of a shame, because the trapezoid sights are really cool.

    The Trigger:

    Mine has some sort of creep issue which I think is due to the plastic trigger components not fitting together smoothly. After take-up, I can put a bit more pressure on the trigger and it “jumps” back just a bit. After that it has a clean break. If not for this I would love this trigger almost as much as the almighty PPQ’s.


    You’re going to pay for one. It’s that simple. I got a Blade Tech, and it works and is built like a tank. Cost was $75 or so. I would recommend Blade-Tech because they have many styles, solid construction, and their lead time is only one month.

  4. It’s pretty lame that the Steyr can’t handle S&B. My brother and I have probably shot somewhere near 10,000 rounds of S&B with no problems at all, mostly with our XDms. I’m looking at a fired case right now, and it’s got a pretty deep dent in the primer, so I guess Springfield just puts a heavy spring on that striker. That’s one way to defeat hard primers, I suppose. Maybe that just didn’t occur to Steyr.

    • I own a gen4 steyr M9 and exclusively shoot S&B (appr. 5000) and Hand loaded ammo with CCI primers (appr. 8000) and had just one failure to ignite the primer (worked on the Second strike). overall i had 3 failiures to feed by not Holding the gun firmly. Before the M9 I had a Glock 17, bought the steyr, Shot it and sold my Glock after not using it anymore for 3 months. So Overall I am very happy with my steyr.

    • I have not noticed that my Gen 1 S9 has shown a dislike for any particular ammo. I shoot S&B ammo, so I assume that I have shot it in the Steyr. It has shown flawless reliability so far but I have not abused or neglected it. I bought it in ’04 and have shot it enough to know it works well enough to trust it in a live or die situation.

  5. The Steyr pistols have great ergonomics. I’ve found some interesting YouTube videos on them along with some comparisons to Glocks. I wish they were still imported.

  6. Joe, you described the action as blowback, but it doesn’t look like a blowback pistol. With that lug on the barrel, it sure looks like a traditional short recoil, locked breach design.

  7. For those who would like to know, and those who keep comparing the Steyr to Glock, they were both designed by the same person, Wilhelm Bubits. His latest creation is the Caracal, for the UAE, and they are a dream to shoot!

    Tons of great info about these Steyrs at

    • That pre-cocking anti-stress mechanism coupled with a long first pull definitely keep it from being the best trigger out there. The only really good thing about the P99as trigger is it’s super short reset and that’s pretty much it.

  8. I laughed at the term “Frankensteyr”… pretty solid review though, of a lesser known pistol. Thanks!

    • When I asked Dan’s (after buying mine), he said it was a contract for a Middle Eastern country that fell through. That is, the pistols were made but not delivered. This might explain in part the missing marks on the frame that on the US Steyrs say “SAI, Cumming GA.”

      I don’t really see a reason to doubt the story.

  9. Best nine I’ve ever owned, after 2 weeks

    How’d you like the over 200 page owner’s manual?

  10. ” . . . this pistol features . . . the inscription “Mannlicher” on both sides of the grip. ”

    Okay, yeah, that rang a bell.

    These guns were remaindered following the (highly political) cancellation of the original military Purchase Agreement. They were supposed to be commemorative display guns celebrating the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

  11. Funny thing – I saw this article on Friday and didn’t bother to read it (just wasn’t interested at the time), then Saturday I’m at a gun show talking to a friend who’s an FFL and ended up buying this exact same gun from him.

    I’ve put about 250 rounds through it so far and love it. It feels great, shoots great, and is incredibly accurate. The sights do take a little getting used to, but they’re great for rapid target acquisition. My girlfriend ran her first mag through it and did pretty well but didn’t hit the bullseye (about 15 yards) and made a comment about the sights being off – I took it from her, loaded another mag, and drilled five shots through the bullseye and said “What were you saying about the sights? 🙂 “

  12. The “grey market” guns are made in Dubai by a company named Caracal ( Yours looks just like the ones I read about a couple of years ago, and are identical to the M9-A1.

    The Caracal website is showing some new, very modern looking guns, which leads me to think yours are their “old generation” product. AND what’s more, the UAE is building up a surprising mercenary force (including Colombians) to remain competitive with their friend across the Gulf. To do that they are manufacturing their own arms, hence the Caracals.

    I am delighted with my old Steyr S’s (both a 9mm and a 40). The only beef is the proprietary “rail” on the dust cover. With the BT striker rod bushing, it shoots 2″ groups at 50 feet in door with good lighting. The BT bushing took out lots of the grittiness.

    I am selling my Steyr S9 with 6 mags and new Trijicon nightsights for $450.00. Bought new from CDNN; flawless maintained. No visible wear.

  13. This is a great pistol and the sights are the best,…BUT….Steyr has NEVER had a distribution and marketing network in this country, and are totally clueless as to American buying habits–pretty much like most other Euro gun makers. It has never sold well here, and never will. Too bad.

  14. I had failures about 5 times now with my STEYR in about 700 rounds so far with Federal ammunition… Today was the first failure and lock up with mine… It completely lock the slider and the bullet didn’t chamber right and came out almost sideways… ??? Wth is this normal I’ve only had it for three weeks and I go shooting on the reg… I noticed too that where the bullet chambers into the bore it collects a lot of powder… I clean it reg..but I noticed this spot had build up… Love the gun but it’s concerning me with the Jams an what not…

  15. I have a steyr m9 older model bought in 2005 and I love it but I have a hard time finding holsters that I like and extra clips do you have any recommendation where I can get them at

    • The best place to het extra mags is direct from Steyr USA. They are 17 rounders and the cost $28.00, which is pretty good considering how nice these mags are. I have not bought a holster for mine yet.

  16. please everybody , i need to buy a firing pin for my gun ( STEYR M9 9×19 mm , pow ) i need to know from where i could buy it online , because it is not found at any where at my country Egypt , so please if anyone knows a solution for my problem , i would be thankful for him
    Tamer Marie

  17. Joe, How do you like the gun now almost after a year? I am new shooter looking for my first gun (mainly self defense). My heart is set on the Sig P229 but the price OUCH!!! This is a fun gun to shot and I am comfortable with it.
    Is this a reliable pistol? Thanks so much for your help!!!

  18. I have the same gray market 9mm Frankensteyr and its amazing to hold, shoot and look at. I’ve been lucky not to jam er up and I’ve used some lower grade older ammo. Only about 250 rounds fired though. Still love the gun.

  19. Got a new extractor but the gun must of had a hiccup an has been flawless since about 1000 Rnds in now no problems it’s now my baby … I didn’t even need the new extractor idk I love this gun

  20. I have 6 Steyrs, use 2 M40A1s & 2 M9A1s for steel , IPSC, IDPA & 3 gun matches. Occasionally I carry one, but keep my original M40 in my office. I have another M9A1 set up for a silencer. They run great. The triggers are pretty good. The ergo’s are great. I wish they made a 5″ version and extended capacity mags in .40, but they are excellent combat handguns.

  21. I have a Styer m-40 and I have nothing but good things to say eabout it. I recently did a pistol training day with Steve Reichert. There was one other fella doing the training with me as well. We did various quick reaction drills and quick reload drills. I live on the East coast, so lots of sand was introduced into the Styer. Halfway through the training the other fella’s Berreta was jamming away. I am happy to say that Tue Steyer performed flawlessly. I probably went through 700-750 rounds that day also.

  22. All the early Steyr M9 pistols seemed to have FTF problems; it’s caused by the design of the loaded chamber indicator. I assume they fixed it eventually as I don’t hear people complaining about the M9A1.

  23. Greetings,

    I will appreciate that you help me to restore my lock button on my STEYR M9 that does not work as it was first. I talk about the button that we use to remove the barrel.

    thanks in advance for your support

  24. Honestly, the M9-A1 was my first handgun…and to this day remains to be my favorite! The low bore axis paired with the heavier front end makes it incredibly easy to rapid fire. The grip is so ergonomic…I think I may just go purchase another! Thanks for the article!

  25. I have an m9 as well. I also had issues with UMC but not s&b. as a matter of fact I have only had issues with UMC. I have shot steel, case, aluminum and good old brass and it was fine with everything. I was told by Jeff at styer that the UMC problem has to do with the fully supported chamber and the poor quality of the UMC brass. Everyone that has shot my styer has fallen in love with it and it is the one that I keep next to my bed at night. Mine is not a grey market one luckily so I lucked out I guess. I really want to try the new L series that they have just released. It is the “target” model that has a longer barrel and slide.

  26. Lucky America! I am from Austria, where Steyr arms Headquarters are, and here the M9-A1 costs new about 760€ which are 1082 american bucks today…
    I bought the M9-A1 because I wanted to see and feel the differences to the Glocks and Walther PPQ. Withthe S&B ammo I had lots of problems, so I switched over to Brasilian Magtech – great! In the meantime, after about 1500 rounds, the Steyr has no longer a problem with the S&B. I do love the Glock 34, and I really appreciate the feeling of the Walther in my hands – but nothin compares to the Steyr. I will buy the longer version L9-A1, too, but at the moment not available in Austria because of round-the clock-production for foreign governments (Australia, Mexico, I´ve heard.)
    My preferred revolver is a Smith&Wesson Mod. 66 4inch 357 mahgnum/38 special. from 1973. Nice, too. Nice site, congratulations, from now on I will take look regularly! Greetings from Austria!

    • Know it’s a long time since you posted but greetings from an American police officer. I’m of German heritage and I wish you happy shooting.

  27. I have a M9-A1 that was made in 2013. It is an excellent handgun in every regard. I’ve put several hundred rounds of varying grains, of FMJ and JHP. It eats them all without any problems. I bought additional magazines for it, as well as cleaning and lubing it, before I tested it that first time. The trigger on mine is terrific. As far as I am concerned, it is far better than those on a Glock. The M9-A1 is a natural pointer. The front sight is not a problem for me. Wherever I place the tip of that sight, that is where my round hits. I am a 3 dot sight man, but this sight has its own benefits.
    I hung a streamlight tactical light on it and keep it on my nightstand. It’s nice to have an 18 round capacity gun within reach in the middle of the night. I want to buy a new S9-A1 also.

  28. M series Steyr pistols, never understood very well. All media related triggger mechanism explanations are wrong, internal safeties either. Worst of all, the manufacturer did and does not seem to make any correction.

    M series pistols do not have passive striker safeties on path of firing pin stroke and they do not need indeed. They have very strong, built in drop and impact safeties and tight, unseparable slide/steel frame connections. The purpose of striker blocks are to prevent the accidental discharges if slide and frame rails are separated. Glocks may have such a risk, but Steyrs need not since steel subframe grasps slide guides tightly and strongly so that separable only in case of a whole gun termination. When the Steyrs are in cocked form, the piece catching the striker, rests over a transversal pin and prop against a lever in the front and forced to forward by mainspring at back. If the trigger is not actuated, backward travel of striker catching piece is controlled and sustained by the lever located on its front. Slipping off connection from cocked mode is nearly impossible. So called “Drop Safety” by the manufacturer, is in fact, a “Slip Safety” holding the trigger bar in connection with striker catch. On contrast to Glock’s plastic drop safety ramp, Steyr’s support is pure steel.

    Trigger pulls of Steyr M series can be improved. But not rushing over to the wrong parts and locations. Polishing the catch front bevel and underside, and drop safety hook’s triggerbar touching surfaces, and catch with striker nose connections carefully is the job to be done. On cocked mode, the front lever does not carry the catch , its carying and transmitting mission ends bringing the catch over the transversal support pin, and that catch slips there off by backward trigger exertion for a considerable

  29. Joe, Great review!
    Just picked up a Steyr MA1 and got it out to the range today. The triangular sight system makes sight alignment and picture instinctive. The trigger is smoother than a Glock’s but similar in take up and reset. We had similar issues with S&B ammo (which btw shoots like a dream out of all my CZ’s), and under 100 rds there were several failures to eject with 3 different shooters (yes all man sized trained professionals). After 100rds no failures what so ever.
    First 5 rounds out of the gun at 10 yards were one large hole about 3/4″ and hitting the 8×8 plate at 50 yds was 5 for 5 first time around. This gun is just a pure pleasure to shoot. I’m anxious to get some of my first time students to shoot it to see how they do. I have a feeling this is a great gun for beginners to learn on and become experts with. In fact, one associate trainer has set this gun as his next purchase.

  30. hey guys I want to know if the Steyr M9A1 can be sold in CA. I understand that its not on the DOJ website but I also know there I could get a single shot exemption with a 6 inch barrel on it. but my question is where could I find a compatible 6 inch barrel for this pistol? I don’t know how I would be able to do this can anyone give me help I have been dying to buy this firearm for a while now.

    • Just google SSE + your city or county or call up a known Gun Dealer who does SSE and ask them if they do it or if it’s even possible. Or call up a big dealer in your area and ask them if they do SSE. Time to research and get proactive, SSE will be dead at the start of 2015.

  31. I own both M9 imported by PW Arms and M9A1 imported by SAI. Both pistols are excellent. My M9 has the loaded chamber indicator on the back of the pistol (behind the rear sight) where as the newer M9A1 does not. My M9 is slightly MORE accurate than the newer M9A1. “Gen4” roll pin? I can’t feel the difference of the two tirggers. both are very smooth. Smoother than my factory triggers on my 3 Glocks. If you have been wanting to buy one of these, don’t be so caught up in the slight difference of these two. If you find a good deal on either M9 or M9A1, take it.

    • Awesome, just the comment I was looking for, picking up a 2004 M9 today for 280 or less out the door and it’s in great condition, fired very little 👍

  32. I recently had the opportunity to spend a day on the range with one of these pistols (a new Gen 4 model). It belongs to a friend who is a self-avowed GLOCK fanboy, and who had never fired it since having bought it. He brought it out as my 7.62×25 was running low, and wanted to finally shoot the thing himself. But for some reason, he wanted me to try it first.
    After we did a little competitive shooting on reseting steel poppers, GLOCK vs. Steyr. The grin on my face, the hard loss handed to his GLOCK, and my immediate offer to buy answered any questions he had before asking them.
    I’m not a fan of polymer 9s, especially ones with fat double-stack magazines & GLOCK-style triggers. The vast majority simply don’t fit my hands, and their triggers are not something I’m comfortable with. But the Steyr somehow fit in my hands nicely, and the trigger was good enough that I simply didn’t notice it.
    But my favorite feature of the pistol are the sights, by far. I’d almost buy one simply on that basis. I shot far better with them than I have with any other sight setup. While odd at first, something about them makes putting rounds on target accurately intuitive. The pistol makes point-shooting a lot easier, since my eyes could still pick up enough of a sight-picture to hit things more often than not.
    This article’s review is spot-on, and I definitely plan on obtaining one sometime in the near future; but it won’t be the one belonging to my buddy, he’s retired the GLOCK and now I can’t get the Steyr away from him.

  33. Sellier Bellot is one brand I will never buy for any weapon. I bought a pump shotgun from a kid that wanted money. When I saw the amount of plastic wad fouling in the barrel I was amazed the weapon had not blown the barrel. The kid said he cleaned the barrel after every target practice. Uh… no way. This poor shotgun needed a break from the S. B. I cleaned that barrel for 2 days and there is still a mark where the plastic wad fouling is holding on. After that experience, and the fact that this kid gave me a case of 00 buckshot, it still sits in my closet taking up space.

  34. Great detailed review and much appreciated. Steyr USA has a sale on their pistols and rifles right now and I picked mine up for 511.00 total with a sale price of 499.00. They shipped second day air to my FFL and it is even better than the last one I tried.
    This is a fine piece of engineering as is the rifles they produce. One would not be remiss in the acquisition of this in 9mm or 40 S&W.

  35. I just bought a gray market gun this week. Took it to the range today shot 250 rd. shot great I got a 40 cal it also shots very good love the gun

  36. Have one on its way my dealer. Handled and shot one. Really nice. I like my M&p’s, Walther and now the Steyr. It’ll be fun comparing the crop of 40s.& 9s. Ive had Glocks. They’re fine guns I’ve just found others I like better. Vp9? Nice but I don’t want to have to get use to a paddle magazine release.

  37. Did you know this gun was designed by the same gentleman that designed the Glock? He once said that Glock did not want to use these design changes (maybe they were afraid to change the Glock too much)? He felt that this design was an improvement on his Glock design. I love the Steyr. I am not a huge Glock fan.

    • The guy who everybody says designed the Steyr only HELPED design it. He designed nothing, Glock or Steyr by himself.

  38. I tried out my brand new Austrian L9-A1 last week…similar results but worse in terms of when the issues occurred. Used S&B 9mm and had an FTF on round #five O_o
    But upon further inspection i narrowed it down to the magazine rather than ammo. The front lip face on the magazine seems to be just an mm too high and the flat face doesn’t help either. I noticed that round #5 would favor a downward movement where the casing face would collide with the mentioned front lip face of the magazine, also in regards to “hard primers” i can say that my 2015+ era S&B ammo have hilariously soft primers considering the fired primer resembles that of a scoop taken out of a tub of ice-cream.

  39. Hi Joe,
    I had that EXACT same malfunction with my SIG SP2009 TWO times!!. Slide locked up tight and couldn’t get it open or closed. I could actually SEE the round almost chambered. I used a different method to get it unlocked. When I got home I made sure the magazine was removed, then went to my wood workbench and put the slide against the edge of the bench and pressed real had. POOF! unjammed. Did this each time when it happened. Not sure what ammo I was using, but I have a box of Winchester White Box and I will try it out.

  40. I bought a 15rd m9 grey I guess, it had 3 dot which i hate, $349 is what i paid for, my plan is to send it up to Jeff, have him go through it and put trapezoid sites on it.i had a gen 4 was way more accurate than my Glock and S&W but had a feed problem so I sent it in and got it back and after half a box the problem came back. I was honest with the buyer which was a Steyr man that said he knew what was wrong with it, I’ll send a gun in once reluctantly but if a wont and shoot when I need its to its history. Like Glocks, never had one problem with Gen3 but had 2 problems with Gen4’s wont but a Gen4. Hoping Jeff can work his magic with the Gen3 Steyr !

  41. I had the same malfunction using Winchester. My M9 is a Gen 1 purchased used a year ago. I do need to call Steyer about the extractor though.

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