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In yesterday’s Steyr Arms overview, Gunnutmegger claimed that the Styr M40-A1 handgun is a “worthy alternative to their most direct competitor: Glock.” Worthy yes, but why bother? There’s not a lot in it. The Styr is Austrian as in made-in-Austria. The Glock is Austrian as in “We make perfection in the Peachtree state.” Ethnocentricity aside, there are only two appreciable, in-the-hand differences between these dead nuts reliable weapons: the trigger and the sights.

For the M-A1, the latter is still the odd pyramid-shaped deal similar to the Advantage Tactical Sights TTAG tested without much joy back in September. Styr steered me away from the M40-A1’s “unconventional” sights, assuring me that you can easily swap them out for something a more traditional. Before I’d said a word. ‘Nuff said? Actually no. To paraphrase Kurtz, the trigger, the trigger.

Styr redesigned the M40-A1’s and S9-A1’s (smaller frame) Reset Action System mechanism for a “much smoother trigger take-up and a remarkably consistent and crisp break at approximately 5 pounds.” Geek alert!

The redesign incorporates a small pin beneath the rear sight that bisects the striker firing-pin channel. A small roller on this cross-pin allows the striker firing pin to move much more smoothly during the compression phase of the trigger pull. This also allows for a much cleaner break when the trigger mechanism releases the striker firing pin.

There, that wasn’t so bad was it? And neither was the M40-A1’s go pedal before the makeover. After the makeover, well, all sponginess has been removed from a trigger which didn’t have much sponginess to start.

At first, it feels like the M40-A1’s trigger’s stacking, In reality, it’s become more of an on-off button and less of a process. The breaking point is easily identified and mastered. But getting there is best approached by squeezing with conviction.

The best part is the reset. It’s like a Vegas bouncer: it arrives early and lets you know it’s there in no uncertain terms. Don’t ask me how I know. About Sin City bouncers. Anyway, this ain’t no Springfield, this ain’t no Ruger, this ain’t no foolin’ around. If I needed to loose an extremely fast string of accurate shots, I’d gladly grab an M40-A1 and point shoot the bastard dry.

Around five bills and change buys you an M40-A1. Or a Glock. If you can’t stand perfection, but can’t get enough echt Austrian metal, the M40-A1 is a rock solid choice.

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