IDEX 2023: Steyr C9-A2 MF – An Often Overlooked Austrian Handgun

Vladimir Onokoy
by Vladimir Onokoy

You can never predict how popular a new firearms design will be. While one Austrian pistol, Glock, became more popular than any handgun in the history of humanity, another Austrian pistol, the Steyr M series has been enjoying limited popularity throughout the years. At the IDEX exhibition, Middle Eastern customers had a chance to see the 4th generation of the Steyr handgun, C9-A2 MF.

Steyr @ TFB:

Unlike the previous generations of Steyr pistols, C9-A2 MF is built with modularity in mind. Much like SIG P320, the Steyr pistol has a chassis that allows you to replace polymer frames and swap different-size grips. However, there is one significant difference with SIG P320. While SIG offers replacement frames for their modular pistols, Steyr doesn’t, and unfortunately, I couldn’t find them anywhere, not in Europe, not in the US. Please let me know in the comments if I am wrong.

C9-A2 MF left side

Aside from that, Steyr C9-A2 MF has a lot of interesting features. First of all, in addition to backstraps, it has “side straps”. After you detach the backstrap, you can remove and replace the sides of the grip to change its circumference. Pretty neat feature if you ask me.

The pistol has three loaded chamber indicators. The first is a witness hole on top of the slide, the second one is on the right side of the receiver, and the third is on the back of the slide.

C9-A2 MF left side right side safety lock with two positions, "F" and "S" is clearly visible next to the disassembly lever

The grip texture on Steyr C9-A2 MF is very different compared to the previous generation – it is very aggressive and feels like a good aftermarket stippling job. This pistol also has a special safety lock to prevent unauthorized access. With a special key that comes with every pistol, you lock your handgun in case you’re concerned that it will end up in the wrong hands.

Just like previous generations, C9-A2 MF has triangle-shaped front and rear sights which some people love and some people hate. Overall, it is a pretty unique handgun that will always find its customer.

Vladimir Onokoy
Vladimir Onokoy

Vladimir Onokoy is a small arms subject matter expert and firearms instructor. Over the years he worked in 20 different countries as a security contractor, armorer, firearms industry sales representative, product manager, and consultant. His articles were published in the Recoil magazine, Small Arms Review, Small Arms Defence Journal, and Silah Report. He also contributed chapters to books from the "Vickers Guide: Kalashnikov" series. Email: machaksilver at gmail dot com. Facebook: Instagram: YouTube:

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2 of 23 comments
  • Kirk_freeman Kirk_freeman on May 03, 2023

    Great pistol, sadly a dark horse here in the Midwest.

    Does not point high for me but I have strange Gibbon hands.

  • Fmonk Fmonk on May 05, 2023

    You are right. Steyr runs its business like it's afraid of being a runaway success. They've designed great platforms, but quit the race 1 yard ahead of the finish line.