Steyr M9A1 Review

The Steyr M9A1 is “the other” striker fired, polymer pistol from Austria. This lesser known handgun is an often overlooked offering on the market, and by popular request we are going to give it a nice review here on TFBTV.

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Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


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  • gunsandrockets

    I’m not really surprised at the mud test failure. Polymer framed pistols tend to have a big gap between the frame and the slide which provides entry points for dust and mud.

    It can be disconcerting to look at the side of a Glock and be able see clear through the pistol to the other side! I believe that is done deliberately so the frame won’t bind against the slide, when the plastic begins to expand from the heat of firing.

    • crysys

      That is definitely true about the gap on my M9. It’s so big you can see through it better than some peep sights. I love mine though, it feels great in the hand and has not failed me once!

  • Michael Lubrecht

    CDNN used to carry these at greatly discounted prices, back when Steyr was having difficulties maintaining a US importer/distributor. I picked up an M9 and an M357 (SIG) for under $300 each at the time, and used to bring the M9 along as a third spare/backup to pistol classes I was taking or teaching at the time. It was loaned out several times to students whose own guns had failed, and ran through a few thousand rounds without a hiccup!

    Your video makes me think about pulling mine out of the safe, and considering them for carry again. One drawback is that there’s not a large holster selection for the Steyr handguns.

    • Harry’s Holsters

      JM custom Kydex makes great holsters and has a lot of options including the steyr. Their wait is long but I am very happy with their product that I own.

      • disqus_sgMcKYCZZ3

        Bladetech and Dale Fricke made me holsters for mine.

  • TJbrena

    Really, Alex? Aquafina? Arrowhead’s clean taste is far more High Speed Low Drag than any other brand of bottled water!

    On a more serious note, does the Steyr have a more ergonomic grip than the Glock?

    • Michael Lubrecht

      The Steyr has a different grip angle – if you look closely, you’ll see that the trigger and trigger guard are actually angled downward a bit as well. The grip (IMHO) is far more ergonomic than a Glock, or even the XD that I most frequently carry.

  • Nicks87

    Got mine for around $350 at Cabelas, best value gun purchase I ever made. Nothing about it stands out but it’s reliable and accurate. My only complaint is the trapezoidal sights and a lack of holsters or aftermarket goodies.

    • Harry’s Holsters

      That is a killer price! I’m jealous.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    I’ve always wanted one of these, but I’m never seen one in person to check out. Hopefully I’ll run into one at a gun show!

  • Harry’s Holsters

    Do you think you’ll do a mud test on the glock for a control? You execution of the test was one of the more realistic I have seen! Props on that.

  • Vasco T

    Looks like a great pistol. I have a S9 (Glock 26 size) its has ran like a champ with only a couple of problems w/ ZQ1 (Turkish) 123 grains. Not sure if the pistol didn’t strike the primer hard enough or whether it was the ammo manufacturer.

    • aguywhoknows

      Steyr had problems with striker springs, they exchanged them in like 2012. What color has your striker spring? Red is the newer, harder spring that munches all the primers.
      I know because I once changed about 450 springs.

  • Joe

    I rented one about 15 years ago and found that it shot very well for me, most of which I attribute to the unique sights. I have trouble with the width of standard handgun sights; most of my trigger time has been behind rifle sights and a fine aiming point at the front sight post. The triangle tip of the Steyr front sight gave me a much finer aiming point, and my groups were considerably smaller.

  • BrandonAKsALot

    I love mine. Had it for a few years now and it’s shot every kind of ammo I’ve fed it. The Winchester white box only ejects a couple feet out of it, but it still runs. It’s run though stuff my P226 choked on. Plus, it’s so nice to shoot and I love the sights.

  • Triplanetary

    I wish there were more accessories for them. If that were the case, they would be pretty much the only gun I’d use. It is the only one I carry unless I need a single stack Then I opt for a Makarov.