Steyr Arms Full-Size L-A1 Service Pistol

Steyr Arms (USA) are now importing the full-size service pistol version of the Steyr L-A1 pistol. This pistol was originally introduced to Europe at last year’s IWA expo. It holds 17 rounds of 9mm or 12 rounds of .40 S&W or .357 SIG. The MSRP will be $560.







9x19mm Luger, .40 S&W, .357 SIG

Slide material:


Magazine type/capacity:

Double-stack steel box/17 rounds (9mm), 12 rounds (.40, .357)


4.52-inch cold-hammer-forged


Conventional, 6 grooves, RH twist


Drift-adjustable trapezoidal



Trigger type:

Reset Action System (DAO with integrated safety)

Pull weight:

5.5 pounds

Frame material:

Reinforced polymer


Anti-slip stippled texture

Weight, empty:

28.8 ounces (29.6 ounces L40-A1)

Overall length:

7.9 inches


5.1 inches


1.2 inches

STEYR_L9-A1_Left_T STEYR_L9-A1_Angle_Front_T

The full press release …

Steyr Arms has announced the availability of the new full-size L-A1 service pistol to the U.S. market. Originally introduced last year at the IWA Outdoor Classics Show in Nuremburg, Germany, high demand from the American market has brought the the L-A1 pistol here. Featuring a full-length slide, 4.5-inch cold-hammer-forged barrel and 17-round magazine capacity for its 9x19mm Luger chambering and 12 rounds for .40 S&W and .357 SIG versions, the new L-A1 service pistol is ideal for the U.S. market. The Steyr L-A1 was designed to serve the dual role of a duty and sporting handgun.

The new L-A1 is nearly identical in form and function to other handguns in the Steyr line, which combine a comfortable fit, a low bore axis, remarkable safety features, extreme reliability and amazing accuracy—thanks to a consistently crisp trigger break. The L-A1’s full-size polymer frame offers unparalleled ergonomics with a high grip that places the barrel axis lower in the hand to mitigate muzzle rise, while creating a perfect grip angle and a very natural point of aim.

The L-A1 incorporates a newly designed loaded chamber indicator that sits flush in the rear of the slide when the chamber is empty and is raised slightly when the chamber is loaded for a visual and tactile indicator of the firearm’s condition. Also new on the L-A1 is a reversible magazine release that is easily swapped for right- or left-handed shooters.

The drift-adjustable sights are in the Steyr’s intuitive trapezoidal configuration, and a Picatinny rail on the frame’s dust cover provides a mounting position for illumination and laser-aiming devices. The integrated trigger safety within the recently redesigned Reset Action System trigger requires positive finger pressure to operate the L-A1’s remarkable double-action-only mechanism. This striker-fired pistol also incorporates a keyed safety lock. The barrel is cold-hammer forged with conventional rifling, and the chamber is fully supported.

The L-A1 incorporates a newly designed loaded chamber indicator that sits flush in the rear of the slide when the chamber is empty and is raised slightly when the chamber is loaded for a visual and tactile indicator of the firearm’s condition. Also new on the L-A1 is a reversible magazine release that is easily swapped for right- or left-handed shooters.

The suggested retail price of the Steyr L-A1 pistol is $560.


Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • floppyscience

    Excellent pistols. I still kick myself for not buying a C9-A1 when they were on sale at Cabela’s.

    I think these would sell a lot more of Steyr actually marketed them. This article is probably more advertising than Steyr has ever done.

    • Nicks87

      I picked one up at Cabela’s when they were on sale, best firearms purchese I’ve ever made. With tax the gun was right around $400 and it functions flawlessly. Super accurate and the trigger is very nice. Like everybody says the sights take time to get used to but they work well and they do make standard aftermarket sights for it as well. I had trouble finding a holster for it at first but the more popular these pistols get the easier that will become. Blade-tech makes a decent holster for the steyr and a few others make a molded kydex one for it as well.

  • Patrick Mingle

    Any particular reason to choose this over other pistols in its market segment?

    • Risky

      It has a lower bore axis than most other similar pistols. It’s like a Caracal that doesn’t explode 😉

    • FourString

      muzzle flip is next to nothing, even compared to glock

    • floppyscience

      A relatively low bore axis and excellent trigger compared to its contemporaries, and a novel sight system. Plus it’s damn ergonomic, but that mostly depends on the person holding it.

    • Premek Marek

      Really good ergonomics, at least for me (with their last models) and exceptional trigger… However, finding a good holster can be more problematic. Their sight system is not bad.

    • BillC

      Pretty much what everyone else said. The downsides are: a lot less holster choices and harder to find mags for it. Also customer support for the pistol could hurt. While it’s not unreliable, things do break.

    • john huscio

      Its more accurate than any polymer pistol I’ve fired aside from the walther ppq

  • Obi-Wan Kenobody

    The original M-series with its Garand-style safety and stubby straight pistol grip was a fantastic pistol. I had it in .357 Sig and it was arguably one of the most ergonomic pistols I’ve ever owned, especially when compared to Glocks and H&K USPs. I really regret selling it.

    I concur that Steyr’s mediocre advertising/media budget must be consumed by their website and that the aftermarket options for this piece (specifically holsters) makes it a no-go as of now for anything other than a fantastic range pistol. It’s sad as it has so much potential.

    It coulda been a contender!

    • FourString

      coulda been sahmbahdy!

  • Jeremy Star

    I don’t understand why my compact M&P can fit 10 rounds of .40 in a magazine, but a service size pistol can only get 2 more rounds? It’s like they are not even trying.

    • Jeff Smith

      Funny, I was thinking the same thing. It seems odd that the .40 model would hold 5 less rounds than the 9mm model. Can anyone explain that?

      • Premek Marek

        I’d guess it has to do with width of the magazine, probably leaves more free space between .40 than between 9mm rounds. That should be good for ergonomics, with slimmer grip

    • Beju

      FWIW, they probably weren’t thinking about how many rounds of .40 S&W would fit when the Steyr M pistol design work began in the early 1990s. .40 S&W was a very new pistol cartridge at that time in the US, let alone Europe. I’d guess that they just tried to design the slimmest grip possible that fit 17 rounds of 9mm. The same goes for the original Springfield XD, which holds 16 rounds in 9mm form, and only 12 in .40 S&W form. AFIAK, 9mm still reigns supreme for most of Europe’s police and military.

      Getting more rounds of .40 S&W in the Steyr at this point would take a frame and magazine redesign like Springfield Armory did with the XDM line of pistols, a relatively expensive undertaking that Steyr is unlikely to take without a more established US market presence.

      • Jeremy Star

        This is supposedly a “new pistol” as stated in the article. They certainly could have reworked some things to fit more rounds, they just didn’t bother.

        If they want to break into the US market, it might be good to be competitive with the most popular service pistols here, all of which have bigger .40 magazines. (Glock, M&P, Sig)

        • Beju

          “New,” in this case sounds like a longer slide/barrel, new magazine release, and loaded chamber indicator. It’s new in the same way that the 2013 Honda Civic sedan was “new.” Some minor bits are changed, but it’s basically the same car underneath.

          They probably would have better luck in the US market with higher .40 capacities, but they either don’t have the will to make an all-new pistol (on par with Springfield’s XD45/XDM redesigns) focused on the US market, or the financial wherewithal. Glock’s higher capacity in their .40 models was probably just a happy accident from the original G17’s dimensions, and the M&P and Sig P250 were certainly designed with .40 in mind. Note that all 3 were already well represented in US commercial/law enforcement sales well before .40 came around, and even Sig didn’t offer a .40 with a greater than 12 round capacity until after the P250 came out in 2007.

          Keep in mind that Steyr doesn’t have the large pistol contracts that Glock, S&W, and Sig have that would allow them to outfit large police agencies at/below cost which would give them some notable market in-roads. Heck, I don’t know if Steyr has ANY large pistol contracts worldwide. With their currently limited pistol sales, making significant inroads into the US market would take a fairly large investment to compete with some very established competitors. It’s a bit of a catch-22; Steyr probably doesn’t have the money to compete in the US market because they don’t sell very many pistols… anywhere, really.

          • john huscio

            Steyr has pistol contracts with Pakistan, Malaysia and Taiwan to my knowledge….

          • Beju

            I saw that on Wikipedia, but further investigation suggests that the Pakistan Special Service Wing, the Turkish Polis Özel Harekat, and the Royal Malaysian Police use a multitude of different handguns, none of which are primarily the Steyr M series. Taiwan has a lot of different police agencies, but I know they have a local Beretta 92 copy called the T75, and Turkey makes a clone called the Yavuz 16.

  • Lance

    Another Glock copy Yawn….

    • FourString

      Man, I’d bet you’d even call call an H&K USP a Glock copy -_____-x

    • Anon

      Another non-productive post by the infamous, Lance. *Yawn*

  • Dong Blak

    An up to date sigma.

  • Jack

    Is the magazine also part of the grip? It looks like the spot for you pinky is attached to the mag. Kind of like on a sub compact pistol only bigger.

    • BillC

      No, it only looks that way from the lines. The very very bottom is of course the mag.

  • Dilby

    I work at a fun store and we have had one of these in stock for several months. It is pretty nice. I really like the sights, a lot. It feels good in your hands and I believe would make an excellent shooter based upon the ergonomics. Alright trigger. The only downfall I see is magazine capacity, which isn’t all that high. If I had extra money, would I own it? Certainly.

  • zimmerlip

    At a glance, from the side, you can imagine Robocop carrying this. It just looks MECHANIZED! (Well, that ain’t bad… Just doesn’t look like a CZ-75 or M1911…)

  • ColaBox

    Good luck finding the .357 to feed it.

  • sianmink

    It’s begging for a melt treatment on all those sharp lines. Ouch.

  • Konaboy

    After Steyr sold those .50 sniper rifles to Iran which predictably were soon found to be in the hands of Iraqi insurgents used to kill American troops, I will never give Steyr a dime of my money. And while their sale of the rifle to Iran was “legal,” who sells weapons to a regime like that?

  • Ben 10

    I have the M9-A1 version, nice gun, but hard to find spare parts and accessories, if the 17 rounder for this thing ever lands in the Philippines, i gotta get some. Mine only has 15 round mags.

  • Kyle

    If they got rid of the lawyer lock, I’d be all over it.

  • hacedeca

    What is the difference between this and the Cara-Kaboom-cal? I hope the designer…