I have owned my Steyr M9-A1 for about a year now, and I have sporadically shot it and given it little attention. Around the time I got the Steyr pistol, I started committing myself to double action pistols and perfecting the use of their triggers. Lately I have started expanding my horizons and gone back to old acquaintances in order to see what they have to offer. The Steyr M9-A1 has held a high regard for me, though I have given it little attention.
Recently, I used the Steyr M9-A1 to compete in a steel match locally. I think I did okay, though the coffee seemed to poison my concentration a bit. I feel that all the credit has to go to the features of the Steyr and how well it interfaces with the shooter, even under stress. The trigger being thick and smooth, the slide slide being angled upward, the sights being very big, and the grip being almost perfect in size and shape makes this pistol incredibly easy to shoot.
There are many things that the Steyr M9-A1 has going for it in terms of features, but I believe it is on the shooter to really see the merit in each one. It takes a skilled user of numerous different firearms to understand how to best use a platform and how to get every drop of efficiency out of it. I believe the Steyr pistols have alot of potential in the hands of most any shooter. Normally, any competent marksman can hit the broad side of a barn with a pistol. I feel that the Steyr pistols can make almost any shooter look and feel like a better shooter, as long as they are instructed on how to use the sights properly.
Now, as some Steyr users may know, the extraction pattern on the pistol can be erratic at times. You can have brass flying at your head, over you shoulder, lust out to the side, and even off to the left. Usually, when pistols have these types of issues, it is mostly forgiven until the reliability is compromised. Personally, I have begun to run into some issues with my Steyr in terms of reliability, which has become somewhat off-putting. Aside from these few issues, I have only experienced smooth, reliable service with the Steyr M9-A1. I think the extractor issues are a simple lemon issue where a part was just barely manufactured out of the normal tolerances, and it slipped through the quality control cracks. This kind of thing happens all the time with all brands and products, so the best thing to do is give it a little slack and see if Steyr can resolve the issue.
In my opinion, the Steyr design lends itself to having a longer service life compared to other pistols. Steyr was the first to come out with a real successful chassis system. Lately, the concept has recently expanded in popularity, but I feel that the Steyr design lends itself to being more reliable.The chassis, for one, is made up of some pretty hefty steel, as is the slide. I imagine that this is because the pistol was over-engineered purposely in order to allow the platform to accept the higher pressure calibers in the future. In this case, forward thinking is a terrific idea.
The next think I would assume is responsible for the longevity of the platform, is also something i believe that is responsible for the lower felt recoil. If you look just in front of the front rails, you may notice the polymer pattern. The square cuts are hollow, which would theoretically act as a buffer to absorb the shock from the slide impact into the frame. I would have to assume, from my knowledge of polymer designs, that this would also serve to cushion the overall shock to both the slide and the frame components. For this reason, I feel that this is one of the culprits for the low recoil, and the theory that the pistol will last a bit longer than other designs on the market.
Other than my theories and fascination with operation of the Steyr pistols, I think they lack alot of appreciation. Granted it is a design that is catered only to right handed shooters, I think most left handed people could adapt to the manual of arms fairly quickly. My only complaint is that the chassis is unlike the other chassis systems on the market. The grip module is serialized, as well as the chassis. Kinda upsetting that the pistol lacks the ability to be truly modular and switch frame and slide sizes, or even calibers.
If you are looking for a pistol that performs well and has the tendency to work well with most shooters, the Steyr may just be for you. It is not hard to get used to as long as you have good guidance, and i think that the platform has a much simpler and rugged design than the competition. Personally, I feel that this pistol is in my top 3 list as far as my favorite striker fired pistols.
Do It Rite
Alaska-Based Youtube Vlogger, Retired Marine, gun enthusiast, and passionate firearm and gear evaluator.