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The Stoeger Cougar is a continuation of the now-defunct Beretta 8000 (a.k.a. Cougar). Ironically, Beretta discontinued the 8000 during the same year that Desperate Housewives hit the airwaves (2004), a show that gave new prominence to the two-legged definition of the word “Cougar.” Just as the the new meaning reinvigorated an old stereotype, the Stoeger Cougar looks set to bring the gun name back into fashion. Not high fashion. More like the Mercury Cougar, a car known for its budget glamor and performance. For some, that’s a highly appealing proposition . . .

Just in case you’re a lineage freak, the Beretta Cougar owes its genesis to the Beretta 92FS: a DA/SA semi-auto with a decocker, slide mounted safety and double-stack mag. I’ve shot the Beretta 92FS numerous times. Your one sentence takeaway: it’s friggin’ huge. Especially for a 9mm pistol. Picking up the Beretta 92 is like trying to palm a basketball. With the Cougar, I anticipated another thick-grip experience.

When I opened Stoeger’s grey-blue plastic box, my initial thought: dang, that’s one fat little son of a gun. Thick. Stout. Chunky. Never mind the adjectives, feel the heft. Unloaded, the 9mm and .40 Stoeger Cougars weigh-in at around 32 ounces. That’s slightly more than two pounds in a pistol package that’s only seven inches long and fractions over five inches tall.

TTAG’s .45 caliber tester packed extra junk in its trunk: a Picatinny rail under the barrel for laser or light attachment. It’s an extremely useful feature given that the Cougar’s weight pretty much relegates it to home defense duty. Even without a target acquisition accessory, peekaboo producer or eight rounds of .45 ACP in the magazine (plus one in the chamber), holding the gun sent an image of a grinning Oddjob swimming across my brain.

Also noteworthy: the words “Read manual before use” printed on the right side of the frame. (RTFM would take up less space.) Above that: “Warning: Retract slide to see if loaded. Fires without magazine.” On the other side: “Made in Turkey Imported by Stoeger Industries. Inc. Ackk. MD USA” I looked on the back strap and the trigger guard for “It was the best of guns, it was the worst of guns,” or “Call me Ishmael.”

An editor and his testing and evaluation model’s manual are soon parted. So I was left to figure out the Cougar using a combination of experience, exploration, guesswork and trial and error. (I’ve still got dial-up.) I soon found the takedown lever stop on the right side, just above the edge of the trigger guard, and that funky, roundish, spinning Beretta takedown lever on the left side. One quick push and a spin and whoosh, the slide slid right off the frame.

Breaking the gun down was monkey-simple. But then, looking down at the disassembled pistol, I felt strange, like somebody had offered me cannoli stuffed with Turkish Delight along with a big shot of vodka. The Cougar’s insides are blocky and big and squared-off. There’s a big lug on top of the barrel and a groove near the chamber for another lug on a block of metal to slide into.

The gun was so simple to take apart, so filled with fat lugs of metal and corresponding grooves, that I felt like I was looking at a weapon designed by a Soviet tank mechanic, not a remake of an Italian pistola. Which brings us to the Cougar’s rotating barrel. According to American Rifleman, “as opposed to a tilt-locking pistol, the Cougar’s rotary barrel locking system maintains the barrel in one plane while cycling, theoretically increasing accuracy. Additional benefits include reduction in felt recoil and muzzle flip.”

I grabbed a bunch of Federal 230 grain .45 ACP ammo (thanks boss) and headed to my backyard range to put the theory to the test.

For the first 50 shots, I didn’t get it. It was just another .45 pistol. Somewhere through the second 100 rounds, it began to dawn on me. I’m not sure if it was the gun’s weight, its rotating barrel or the fatness of the Cougar’s grip spreading the recoil forces across more of my hand, but this gun is fun. As in ergonomically sound, not at all painful and plenty damn accurate.

As is the fashion, the first double-action trigger pull is heavier than the subsequent crisp, clean and light single-action pulls; a few of my first shots dipped a little. But I soon put a 50-shot group into an area about as wide as the Cougar is long from 10 yards. And that was shooting as fast as I could reacquire the sight picture out of recoil. A seven-inch spread for 50 shots at 10 yards in rapid fire is plenty good for a self-defense pistol.

On my backyard range, I shoot things like bowling pins, plastic jugs full of water, and old computer monitors. A perforated plastic jug lay on its side near the paper target on which I had just fired the 50-shot group. I lined up the Cougar’s sights on the blue plastic lid of the old cranberry juice jug and neatly popped it off from ten yards. The Cougar was starting to impress me.

I backed up to 40 yards. I could consistently hit about five out of nine shots on a 16-inch wide by 12-inch tall steel ram silhouette. As advertised, the Cougar remained pointed at the target throughout the shot cycle, enhancing accuracy. I cannot remember shooting another handgun with a 3.7 inch barrel that inspired such confidence from that distance in just a couple of days shooting. More reps, more accuracy (less crime).

The Stoeger Cougar was boringly reliable. It functioned flawlessly for 450 rounds. Despite my initial misgivings—based on first impressions—I fell deeply in like with the Cougar. Unfortunately, the Cougar didn’t always like me back. When I gripped the pistol, a little flesh in the web of my hand bunched up. During those 450 rounds, the Cougar bit me three times. I probably deserved it for judging the gun based on appearances, and my thick, fat palms have been bitten by Berettas, Glocks, Sigs, Brownings, Rugers, Colts, and a host of other pistols.

The Cougar offers a firing system that didn’t get much respect, that should have. At $499, it’s a budget .45-caliber (in this case) home defense gun that ticks all the right boxes: accuracy, reliability, comfort and practicality. What more could you want? Yeah, well, pay for it then. Otherwise, consider yourself lucky the someone at Stoeger understood the value of the original. And the one before that, too.


Caliber: .45 ACP
Barrel: 3.7 inches
Overall Length: 7 inches
Weight (unloaded):32 ounces
Grips: Black synthetic
Sights: 3-dot.
Action: DA/SA
Finish: Matte Matte black
Capacity: 9
Price: $499

RATINGS (Out of Five):

Style * * * 1/2
Plain matte black that’s nicely done, but not flashy or showy. I would prefer a little more war and a lot less War and Peace, but this gun is all business.

Ergonomics * * * *
The grip made shooting a whole lot of .45 ACP a joy and a pleasure. The only knock was the hammer bite; it’d be worth checking your genetic compatibility before buying.

Reliability * * * * *
No failures of any kind.

Overall Rating * * * * 1/2
An unbeatable value proposition that loses half-a-star for a lack of brand cachet. That could change.

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  1. From an environmental standpoint, you probably shouldn't be shooting old computer monitors in your backyard. Similarly, it isn't a good idea to be shooting, smashing, or otherwise destroying electronic materials in general. There are a lot of hazardous chemicals inside, including some heavy metals. It wouldn't take too many destroyed CRT's to contaminate your potable water well. Even "in the country", there are plenty of EPA approved recyclers, including HHW (Household Hazardous Waste) programs sponsored by your local township or municipality.

    Nice review though!

    • What a vagina! The post isn’t about hugging trees or loving the environment! For Gods sake, who really makes a jackass comment to a perfectly good gun review that is that unrelated and just a down right smart ass! How do you know that he isn’t shooting them over a EPA regulated holding cell and then transporting them to the local recycling center where he makes large donations weekly just because he loves there enthusiasm! You don’t! So go say stupid shit somewhere else!

      • ‘Vagina’?
        Are you for real???
        I’m a female LEO from California [born and raised in Texas] with almost 20 years of service. I’m appalled [though not surprised at all] at your shallow, uneducated, pathetic ‘little man’ reaction. Your skin-deep macho attitude further reveals your hollow stand. Caring for the environment should be something that comes naturally to everyone [at least to everyone with loving parents or a basic education…]

  2. I have a cougar in 40. I bought it just try to see what 40S&W was all about. At the price, if it was mistake then I atleast it would be a small dollar mistake. After owing higher priced guns the Stoeger is a revelation. It always works, it's pretty accurate, the finish appears durable and it's easy to clean and eats everything. The wider or fat grips are wonderfully comfortable too.
    If you want a good solid pistol and can subdue the snob side of things…. go for it.

  3. Oh ya, the grips: I was more than a little tired of plastic frames with fixed grips that are designed for 'narrower is better' over comfort and recoil control. BS! I wanted a full figured pistol with some comfort and the Stoeger/Baretta delivers.

  4. Spike, Do you have issues with your .40 with lower grain rounds? I have to go minimum 180G or my .40 jams.

    Outside of that small issue (fixed with going with a heavier grain round) I love my .40. It's also the only gun my girl can fire because shes a wimp and all th eother hand guns hurt her and the .40 doesnt give out pain in her hand lol.

  5. Bought recently manufactured Stoeger 8045 in fall of 2010 for home defense. Installed Trijicon night sights myself without problem contrary to many previous complaints that sight removal was difficult to impossible. Found the single action trigger to be about as good as any non-premium gun and seems to group inside 3 inches with any factory ball ammo. Factory sights shot 3 inches left and at least 6 to 8 inches low depending on the shooter's six o'clock sight picture. Had one last round fail to feed in 150 rounds. Box did not include cleaning brush, both mag and slide springs are very heavy. Pleased with fit and finish. Overall very pleased and would buy again.

  6. This looks like a really high value pistol! But then again it isn’t made in the USA…… It’s made in Turkey so it makes sense the price is lower than other full size semi-auto pistols.

  7. Bought the new 45acp Couger for tactical side weapon. breack down and clean up was easy. 200rds of Federal, no jams. Fits great, but I prefer the rubber grips, can’t seem to find any accessories. So now my two favorites are the Ruger P94 .40 and the new couger 45. If I find a rubber grip to fit, i may lean towards the Couger. Sandman out.

  8. I too like the rotating barel… like the Mauser M2. I ‘d like one of these as well. Stoeger seems to make a higher quality handgun than ATI’s… Zisas.

  9. I’ve owned and shot my .40 ACP for a year and a half. I’ve used all kinds of ammo, but prefer the lighter weight of 155 – 165 grain. This has been the most reliable handgun!!! It is very comfortable to shoot (and I have relatively small hands) and my wife even likes it, and she is scary accurate with it too! We took my sister-in-law, who had never fired a weapon, and she was putting shots in a 4″ group at 10 yards within 15 minutes.
    The gun is also very easy to “take down” and clean. I am sold on this Stoeger Cougar 8040 and would immediately purchase another one if something happened to this one.

  10. I bought my Cougar .45 last fall and have run several hundered rounds through it with no issues. I had a couple of missfires with reloaded ammo I got from another shooter, but I blame that on the ammo, not the gun. I have smallish hands so the size of the grip took a little getting used to, and I tend to shoot off to the left and a little low, but with some compensation the gun shoots straight and true. All and all a great value and a fine weapon.

  11. i own a .40 cougar and i love the thing was looking for something that size and caliber we priced them up and for our budget would of ended up with a pocket pistol, but i had a friend sell me this was a good price and as soon as i saw it was hooked, i love berettas so this was what i wanted, i stand in my friends yard and shoot have not fired at a real target just popping off but have not had any jams with over 200 rounds shot some hitman style (gun turned sideways) fun very loud

  12. I just bought a Stoeger .45 it saturday and ran through 200 rounds in a few days. Ive had no problems, and love the gun. Ive ordered a Barska green laser with built in rail for it. As soon as it comes in Ill let you know if it fits. Im not leaning towards the plastic grip though. Does anyone have any idea where I could get a rubber grip or even upgrade from what I have. Im open to suggestions. One more thing. I hear people refering to it as a brand of beretta and S&W. Which one would it be?

  13. I reviewed this pistol for a printzine with very much the same experiences as you report. After reading several of your reviews, I find them totally credible, interesting and informative.
    The Storm is the polymer bottomed version of this. My review sample had a two pound lighter DA trigger which made it faster for transition shots. It has the same good recoil management and reliability as the cougar.

  14. I purchased a Stoeger Cougar model 8045 last fall and it has performed wonderfully. I had difficulty finding extra magazines nut eventually Stoeger took pity on a frustrated customer and sold me two mags even though they don’t appear for sale on their website. It appears that Stoeger made some modification inside the magwell because .45 Beretta Cougar magazines will not eject from a Stoeger 8045. I purchased a ProMag magazine and a Beretta magazine for the .45 Beretta Cougar and neither would eject freely. The Stoeger magazine works flawlessly.

    Houge aluminum grips look beautiful on the pistol and I discovered that a Fobus Evolution holster made for a Beretta Px4 is a good fit. Alessi Gunleather in NY, Mernickle in Nevada, and Andrews Custom Leather in Florida have all told me that they can make holsters for my Stoeger at a reasonable price quote.

  15. To expand on my last posting, and apologise for the mispelling (fat thumbs andBlackBerry touchscreen) the Hogue grips are those made for a Beretta .45 caliber Cougar and the fit is very good. Kramer Holsters also tells me that they can make a hoslter for the Stoeger; as with Alessi one has to order a holster for a Baretta Cougar .45 and tell them that it is a Stoeger with a light rail. Kramer however will charge an extra $10.00 to $20.00 for the rail. For personal service Tom Kulwicki at Alessi answers his own emails (I was working at my desk at 4:30 a.m. when he contacted me) and Sam Andrews at Andrews Custom Leather answers the phone in his shop (you need to check out the 10 magzine carrier for his Monarch shoulder rig designed for a security officer at the U. S. embassy in Beruit).

    The Cougar has functioned without fail. It is a hardy and well designed weapon and is a real value for the money.

  16. I have the Stoeger Couger with the laser/light as shown in the picture above. I am looking for a holster for it but have been unable to find one. Would you point me in the right direction.

  17. I am not sure about a holster to accomodate the pistol with a laser attached. I am purchasing a Talon Plus IWB holster from Alessi Gun Holsters. Try calling Tom Kulwicki with Alessi at (716) 706-0321; he’s a pleasure to talk to and has been making holsters for quite a while. If you don’t need a holster for both gun and laser you can order from Alessi on-line by ordering for a Beretta Cougar model 8045 and then specify that its for a Stoeger 8045 with a rail.

    I own a Fobus Evolution paddle holster made for a Beretta Storm Px4 that is a perfect fit. Also, the folks at Mernickle Holsters said that they could produce a holster for the Stoeger .45, as did Sam Andrews with Andrews Custom Leather at (386) 462-0576; Sam is another great guy to talk to and has been in business for 30 years.

    • Richard. Try Comp-Tac.Com
      I bought a OWB KYDEX HOLSTER with 45 degree FBI can’t for $65. Has a hex head tension screw adjustable with their enclosed Allen wrench.

      Comp Tac is a GREAT company.
      Best of luck!

  18. I am not sure about a holster to accomodate the pistol with a laser attached. I am purchasing a Talon Plus IWB holster from Alessi Gun Holsters. Try calling Tom Kulwicki with Alessi at (716) 706-0321; he’s a pleasure to talk to and has been making holsters for quite a while. If you don’t need a holster for both gun and laser you can order from Alessi on-line by ordering for a Beretta Cougar model 8045 and then specify that its for a Stoeger 8045 with a rail.

    I own a Fobus Evolution paddle holster made for a Beretta Storm Px4 that is a perfect fit. Also, the folks at Mernickle Holsters said that they could produce a holster for the Stoeger .45, as did Sam Andrews with Andrews Custom Leather at (386) 462-0576; Sam is another great guy to talk to and has been in business for 30 years. You can also try

    • You can also check with Blade-Tech. They’ve made 3 custom kydex holsters for me and 2 custom knife sheaths.

      • The Blade Tech holsters usually run $100-$200. If you check CheaperThanDirt you can find universal type holsters-belt and thigh type. Blackhawk makes a universal SpecOps holster also.

  19. I am told that the 9mm & .40 s&w magazines work just fine. I purchased both Beretta and Pro Mag magazines for the .45 and they just would not eject. I spoke with a fellow Mann & Sons (Stoeger’s accessory distributor) and he speculated that Stoeger may have made a small modification to the mag well on the .45.

  20. I just purchased my new Stoeger 8045 on the 4th of July.
    The first thing I did was take it home for a thourough cleaning. Good thing Kuz it was a mess.
    Fifty rounds later with not one issue, I know I made the right choice.
    I cant wait to accessorise this gun with rubber grips and a polished barrell.
    If your looking for a .45 you can spend more but why. Robert S.

  21. Stoeger now has extra magazines for sale on their web site. Check their online store under “parts”. They are $40.00 each.

  22. Have ran over 5000 rnds. thru my stoeger couger 9mm it has been accurate and flawless operation.Good gun if you want reliability and accuracy!

  23. Just purchased a Stoeger 8045,finding magazines to be very stiff.Any suggestions?Should I try others or just fill them and hope they loosen up?

  24. Thanks Richard,not sure when I will be able to shoot.Filled four clips and my finger tips are bruised to the bone.Sounds wimpy but true.Have a great day.

  25. I’ve been reading the threads as I just recently purchased the 8045. I’m a lefty and field stripped and switched the magazine release w/ relative ease. I like the weight and feel of the grip, excited about putting some rounds thru this Beretta clone. My concern is finding a concealable holster? With the accessory rail this might be difficult, any ideas from those of you that have owned this model for some time?

  26. Look at my previous postings. I have a Fobus Evolution paddle holster for a Beretta Px4 that fits and an IWB that I ordered from Alessi should arrive next week. There is also a fellow with a posting on who has photos of his .45 Cougar in a DeSantis Mini-Scabbard made for an H&L P30. Also try Mernickle in Nevada and Andrews Custom Leather in Florida

    • Thanks RT, I must have missed your previous comments…..will check out your suggestions.

      • Looked at some suggestions made, the Desantis had some various options, however, from the shelf, I went w/ a Bulldog nylon, not really a fan of nylon but stitching seems good and fit is tight and secure w/ no snags, we’ll see over the long haul how much it stretches. Price was reasonable for a shoulder holster w/ opposing 2 mag carry…….thanks for your insight, it helped narrow the gap.

  27. I spoke with Tom Kulwicki at Alessi Gun Holsters this afternoon. A mold for the Stoeger .45 still isn’t available so Tom acquired a model 8045 Stoeger and molded my holster around the actual weapon. Any holster that he makes for the Beretta Cougar .45 he can make for the Stoeger. You can reach Tom at (716) 706-0321. Just thought that I’d pass that along.

  28. I tried the 8045 in a universal belly-band, holds the gun and extra mag with virtually no printing through a tail out shirt. Living in the south one has to get imaginative with concealed carry…this is the first 45 that is big enough to control and still hide under your shirt…and it shoots dead on , close to a “name” piece I have that cost three times as much

  29. I received the Talon Plus IWB holster from Alessi Gun Holsters this afternoon and it an absolutely perfect fit. Tom delivered exactly as he promised and I can highly recommend his company’s work.

    • Appreciate all the insight on holsters, like to pass along what I’ve found to be a remarkable cleaner, This stuff is amazing and I won’t use anything else since trying it. Check out the link. I’m partial to the foam but everyone has their own preference.

  30. The cleaning kit Stoeger includes with the Cougar is quite servicable. Another tip on gunleather; Troy Harp @ Brigade Leather is taking orders again (he’s a one man shop) and he tells me that making a holster for a .45 caliber Stoeger Cougar is no problem. The wait time is about 12 weeks. Troy’s model M-5 Apsis is pretty cool. FYI: “Apsis” was the name of the shield carried by ancient Greek infantry.)

  31. Sorry, that should be “Aspis”. You’d think a guy who has taught at the collegiate level would learn to spell.

  32. I got the Stoeger Cougar 9mm, it came with a plastic guide rod, it was bend, and now I need to replace it with the metal guide rod, please tell me where I can find it? Thanks!

  33. Try contacting the folks at Stoeger. I’ve found them to be very helpful in the past. You could also try looking for parts for the older Beretta 9mm Cougar.

  34. To the guy with the stiff magazines.
    I just bought my 8045 F and had a similar problem. I could not load the mags without hurting my hands. VERY DIFFICULT.
    I took my mags appart and lubed the holy heck out of them. Especially the plastic slider. Once I opened them up, lubed them, reassembled them, they worked fine. I was having trouble with the magazine release button also. I saturated the entire assembly with gun oil and it helped a lot. It still seems a little stiff to me, but I have a thumb injury which is preventing me from using full strength on it which may be part of the problem.

  35. I just purchase the Stoeger Cougar 8000 F and use it in the range for Aim Shooting. For the first time I ever fired the 50 rounds with superb accuracy and the feeling is very good. Grip is very comfortable according to my palm size.
    Thank you Stoeger Industries.

  36. To clear up a few points:
    1) Stoeger is owned by Beretta, not S&W
    2) since the Cougar was designed as a LEO weapon the grips are designed for comfort not flat for concilment. Makes a big difference doesn’t it?
    3) ‘Safari Land” has holsters for the Cougar (cop gun? Look for cop gear!)
    4) Mine handles 110gn (?) just fine.

  37. Very informative thread….thanks to all. I looked at an 8045 today and will more than likely go back after it tomorrow. The piece has a wonderful feel in my hand

  38. Update: Home on R&R from the Middle East, took my AR15 & Stoeger 8045 to the range, 4 hours later. Shot PMC 230 grn, 500rds on the Stoeger, NO Jams, 50M targets all rounds in the chest, rapid fire works well. Also installed the Laser/Light combo, wieghs a little more but still accurate as hell. I bought a Hogue sleeve and will install when I return in May 2012 after my tour is up, CCW in my Biker vest is just a tad heavy. SANDMAN OUT

  39. Hope it’s your shooting and not the gun but with my 2340 Sig at 50 yds I have always consistantly grouped 11shots out of 11 in 8″ . I’ve never adjusted either sight from the factory. I was looking at and considering the Cougar because of the non lifting barrel. I figured it’d make for a more accurate gun. The Sig barrel raises about 3mm when shot. But after your review the Cougar doesn’t sound very accurate.

    • Greg,

      I’ve owned my 8045 for several months now and find this piece to be very accurate up to 40 yards w/ placement in a tight grouping over multiple clips. I’m no marksman by any means but am satisfied w/ grouping. The rotary barrel keeps the muzzle down and on target very well for a larger caliber pistol….for cost and accuracy this gun does not disappoint.

  40. I’ve had a Cougar in .40S&W for 2 years. I’m usually a .45ACP and .357 guy so I bought it because I wanted to ‘experiment’ with 40S&W and not spend a lot of money. It is so comfortable to shoot (grip designed for comfort, not concealment) and when combined with a Safari-land leather holster it is now my usual carry even though I have various 1911’s, .38’s and 357’s to choose from. It is a very good tool and not a BBQ gun to be sure, but its finish is all business and damn tough.

    I may have to ‘experiment’ with an 8045 too!

    • Karl,

      I must have got lucky w/ my 8045, it’s basically fixed sights and mine seems pretty close from point of aim to point of impact. It might be off a little, or more likely, I’ve got a shaky hand. I’ve heard that some owners have noticed low to the left and the cure was to send it back to the manufacturer or local gunsmith to be tweeked. Of course shooting style, left handed, right handed or two handed could be a determining factor? I’m not aware of replacement sights…since this isn’t really a concealment weapon it might be easier to get accuracy from the pic rail w/ a laser?

  41. For anyone who is interested I have found a relatively low cost leather paddle holster tjat works for the .45 Stoeger Cougar. The Tagua model PD2-420 made for the Sig P229 & Beretta Px4 Storm. I purchased the holster for $45.00 and while it’s not a perfect fit it works quite nicely. An added surprise is that it also fits my Ruger SR40C. Tagua is a company whose holsters are made in Paraguay with offices in Miami, FL. The quality is quite good.

  42. With quality ammo, the .45 model of this pistol is the most accurate and most comfortable .45 I have had the pleasure of shooting. Comparing the Cougar to a 1911 is like comparing a T-Bird to a Model A. But, as mentioned in the caveats above, be sure you have quality ammo. I carried some el-cheapo reloads to the Sheriff’s range and was plagued by jams. Thankfully they had some jacketed ammo in brass casings, and the Cougar responded perfectly. Great pistol for home defense. Thanks for the great article.

  43. I got my Stoeger 8045 a few days ago. I was really impressed with the feel and accuracy. My only complaint is that the slide release lever is a real pain to use. You gotta really press hard to release the slide!!

  44. Just Bought a Stogneo e Compact 9MM i fired 100, rounds FLAWLESS GUN i have a beretta px 4 storm no comparsion the stoger out beats[1 the bereta yes realy……….this is my cary gun. i have {3} stogers {1} beretta/ {1 Springfield} all 9s looking to sell px4 storm never fired ans a beautyful 1911 springfield, also willing to trade a beretta 8045 has to be 100%………….. the stoger is the BEST FIREARM I EVER OWNED…………Pat L. P.I.

  45. I just purchased the .45 ca Cougar, took it home and field stripped it and reassembled it with a friend who knows about guns. I’m a novice when it comes to disassembly/reassembly, but my friend has beenworking on all kinds of guns for years. We stripped it and assembled it, but when it is together again the slide won’t pull back. I figure that we’re doing someting wrong, but can’t figure out how to get this pistol back together so it works. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I rather shoot it at a bad guy than have to throw it at him.

    • You have the block in backwards. I have the old Beretta 8045 cougar, and on the block, there should be an arrow. Turn it around and put the gun back together.

  46. Dustin: Thanks for the response. I got it together properly and fired my new Couger 8045 for the first time this past Friday. I have small hands from a genetic anomily, carpel tunnel syndrome, and arthritis in my wrist, so I found the recoil a bit painful. But it is GREAT gun and after getting used to it, I started getting five icnh groups at seven yards.
    The reason the slide wouldn’t work was due to not having the cam on the block riding on the spiral groove on the top of the barrel. Stoger’s manual needs to say out of the gate that the different calibers don’t go together the same as far as the barrel and the spring blocks are concerned. They should add better photos of the block positions on the different models. The one manual fits all approach dosen’t work all that well.
    Except for the Turkish to English translation and lack of better reassembly, I am very satisfied with the performance and accuracy, especially considering it has a 3 1/2″ barrel. I believe there are recoil reducing grips for this pistol, so adding this should help keep my weak “girly” hands from aching after 20 plus rounds at the range.
    I give the Couger a thumbs up. It a quality piece at a reasonabe price.

  47. my wife baught the stoeger couger 45 acp for my 45th birthday, it handles and shoots great, the only draw back is once my wife finished shooting she looked at me and said ” I like my new 45″ I guess she for got it was my Birthday present, the fight is on LOL

  48. I have the 8045 and love the pistol. My only complaint is that parts seem to be very difficult to find. Maybe I’m just not looking in the right place… I wonder does anyone makes an extended barrel for this?…

    • I believe CA had a 4″ brl made specifically for their leo(very rare) but that was for the 8000. Never heard of an extended brl for the 8045

  49. I bought my Cougar when they first came out. $360

    The recoil is perfect, thanks to the wide grip (I have big hands).

    It’s a little big and heavy for a carry weapon but, it just reminds me that it’s there.

    For a gun that fires a half ounce of metal, I can live with the weight. Don’t bring a BB gun to a gunfight.

    It’s also very comfortable to practice with. No fatigue.

  50. I’ve had mine for 6 months and CC it everywhere (with a shoulder rig) and love it! Way too heavy to carry iwb though.

  51. Purchased the Stoeger Cougar in 9 mm in January 2013. Easy shooting. Recoil is less than expected because of rotating barrel design. Happiness costs $400!

  52. Last week I obtained one of the last Beretta 8045’s to be made in Italy, before the transfer of the equipment to Turkey. Mine even has the lower rail, which, as I understand it, was only one of twelve Beretta 8045’s that had that, prior to Stoeger picking up the line and adding the lower rail.

    I shot the 8045 over the weekend and found exactly what the writer of this article said: it’s a dream to shoot and it doesn’t beat up your hand. The felt recoil is considerably less than my 1911 and it’s accurate enough to repeatedly pop up spent 12-gauge shotgun shells placed on the ground at about 4 yards.

    This gun is going to replace my Beretta 96A1 (.40S&W) for winter carry. I can’t wait for the weather to chill down so I can wear my discreet carry vest.

  53. I bought a Stoeger 8045 several years ago and it is easily my favorite firearm. I wish all the other guns I own (American made or foreign) were made to this standard. I talked a coworker into getting an 8040 and that one has a special place in his heart as well. After shooting his pistol I now want the complete Cougar 8000 series (one in every caliber).

    My only wish is that I could find an extended magazine for the 8045. I used to use this as my CCW but it was like lugging an infant around on your hip. Due to its heft it has since been relegated to nightstand duty and so a few extra rounds in the mag could be beneficial. If you’re going to comment “Learn to shoot more accurately” save it; I can consistently hit the lid of a soup can at 30 feet (probably due to the rotating barrel) with the cougar but adrenaline does funny things with your aim and trigger squeeze in stressful situations. If someone knows of a place to get extended mags for this gun please share a link. I’d be indebted.

      • @karl,

        I’ve known about these guys for a while and have actually spoken to the wife/head order taker. Sticker shock indeed. I know it takes time to manufacture these things, and they’re probably worth the money, but DAMN!

        I wonder if I could just graft an existing hicap Glock (or other) mag to an existing 8045 mag. Cut off the Glock feed lips, bend the new opening to match the floor plate profile of the 8045. Probably easier said than done. There’s a local gun show in town in a couple of weeks. I think I’ll dig through their used magazine junk pile to find a couple of donors to see how feasible this is.

  54. I carried a Beretta Cougar as a Duputy, was issued. I hated it. It was one of the worst POS I have ever shot. The thing was a jam-o-matic and left me hanging many times. I was better off throwing it at the suspect.

    • I carried one as well Nick. As a 30 year Sheriff’s Deputy, it was the best issued gun I ever carried.


  56. I just purchased a Stoeger Cougar 40 from Shoot Straight on sale at $299. We cleaned it and put 50 rounds through it the first day. Recoil was,similar to my Beretta PX4 9mm and accuracy was not a problem. It seems a great gun for the price. Tonight I bought an auto loader to save my thumbs.

  57. I’m on my third 8045. The first two were begged/purchased out of my hands by friends when I took them to the range and let them shoot it. I am loading 200 gr. LSWC over IMR 4756 and my 8045 is shooting 4-5″ groups at 25 yards. At 50 feet, one large ragged hole with perhaps two out of the hole from my trigger finger. While the grip is fat compared to a 1911, it sure is comfortable to shoot.

    • Better hold on to this one Stu, word on the street, Stoeger has discontinued the 8045 from the Cougar family, only offering the 40 & 9…and as far as I can tell, I don’t see it on Stoeger’s site anymore though they make mention of it in their advertisement?

      • Indeed, this one is going nowhere. I’ve already put the D spring in and am planning on working on the trigger in single action. I’ve worked up some loads that give very good accuracy also.

  58. I am looking for an 8045. I have the 8000 and 8040. I like them both and then bought a second 8040 as I sold most of my big bores and large .40 S&W caliber pistols. The second gun had nicks and corrosion on the slide and I though, I made a mistake. Then I took it home, cleaned and oiled it and went to the range and blew through 100 rounds without a problem.

    As long as you have oiled them properly, they always seem to work and hollowpoints are no problem.

    I am hoping to find an 8045, either BERETTA (not likely) or STOEGER, while they are still cheap.

    The STOEGER Cougar 8000 and 8040 are one of the best bargains in the handgun world, in my opinion.


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