Stoeger Cougar 9mm Review


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steelyblue
March 26, 2008, 06:04 PM
I went to the range today and tested out my new Stoeger Cougar today. It functioned flawlessly! I shot 150 rounds through it and it is a fine gun. It is worth every bit of the $349 I paid for it. I used WWB as I shot it alongside my new Kimber 9mm. The Kimber shot better groups, but I believe it is due to the trigger. Next time I will only take the cougar. I need to work on the trigger pull. When I concentrated, all the bullets hit their mark. I will be beating this gun up a lot in the future.

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possum
March 26, 2008, 06:17 PM
thanks for the review i am glad that you like it, and it sounds like the couger is a great value. i have been wondering about them for a while and i keep hearing good things about them.

btw where are the pics man?

Neophyte1
March 26, 2008, 06:24 PM
steelyblue: I want one. Having researched for a year at different sites; all but 2-3 have expressed your experiences. Dang fine unit.
Follow up with your experiences. and Thanks

Thernlund
March 26, 2008, 06:28 PM
I have the .40 cal version. Got it for the same price ($349). The Cougar definitely ranks very high among my favs. Accurate, comfortable, carry-able, aesthetically pleasing. I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone.


-T.

DawgFvr
March 26, 2008, 06:46 PM
Interesting...I was at my dealer's shop just last night and purchased a Stoeger Cougar. A bit more expensive here in Washington State...charged me $ 369 for it. Wow...what a tight, finely made auto! What a price! It was the jewel in the whole case full of 9mm compact and full size autos. Truly....I got a Ferrari with a Chevy price in this Turkish made Beretta. Now...I must admit, I'm not all that familiar with 9mm. I usually carry Corbon DPX in every weapon I own with the exception of my M1 Garand, from my P3AT, GP100, 642 and PT145...etc.

Looking at the instruction book, however, Stoeger has a warning against + P ammo. Hmmm, guess that means I might have to look for something other than 115 grain Corbon DPX. I realize that the 9mm is a high pressure round...might not want to push the package here...eh? I usually follow instructions to a T...but...maybe I could use regular ammo for practice and carry the + P. Suggestions/Recommendations?

steelyblue
March 26, 2008, 07:06 PM
They all say no +P to cover their butts. I've never seen a manual say that it is OK to use +P. They all say "use only factory ammunition loaded to SAAMI specs". I believe it is to avoid a lawsuit if someone is injured. BTW my camera sucks, but here it is with my other girls:

gc70
March 26, 2008, 08:54 PM
From the current S&W pistol manual:

“Plus-P” (+P) ammunition generates pressures in excess of the
pressures associated with standard ammunition. Such pressures
may affect the wear characteristics or exceed the margin of safety
built into some revolvers and could therefore be DANGEROUS.
This ammunition should not be used in Smith & Wesson
medium (K frame) revolvers manufactured prior to 1958.

steelyblue
March 26, 2008, 09:22 PM
Sorry, I wasn't including revolvers. My 686 was more than adequate to accomodate the +P loads. I never read the manual since it was used. I have used +P in my Kimbers, even though the manual says "no". I haven't had any mishaps. I'm not advising anyone to go against the manual, though.

JHansenAK47
March 27, 2008, 04:01 AM
I have used +P in my Kimbers, even though the manual says "no". I haven't had any mishaps. Most of the time it just wears the springs out faster. A new spring should be alright. However if +p are all you shoot I would increase the spring lbs rating. An under power spring will batter the frame and cause increased wear.

Glockorama
March 27, 2008, 10:59 AM
Like with any firearm +p ammo will accelerate wear and tear on a gun; any gun. However, as a Beretta and Stoeger Cougar owner I would say that they are more than durable enough to withstand a normal/moderate amount of +p shooting. I wouldn't worry about it a bit.

FieroCDSP
March 27, 2008, 12:45 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=297529


Here's my review of mine. I like it.

Flopsy
March 27, 2008, 01:03 PM
I just took one home last week. My only complaint is that I haven't had a chance to bring it to the range yet. It looks and feels like an exceptional piece of clockwork and I don't regret dropping $399 on it.

JHansenAK47
March 27, 2008, 04:11 PM
http://www.olhasso.com/beretta/cougar.htm
If you want a steel guiderod I bought mine from this guy. Used to be 12 now it's 15.

DawgFvr
March 27, 2008, 05:45 PM
Actually, the poly guide rod and spring that comes with the Stoeger is superior to the metal one.

According to Beretta, the early production Beretta Cougers did come with a metal guide rod. The reason they replaced it with a poly rod was for all around improvement. Note that the poly rod is fluted...not solid. This way dirt, grit and grime have some place to go and do not accumulate on the outside of the rod which made the old metal prone to jam. The poly rod just holds the spring in line and does not take much trauma/force when pistol is firing.
Bottom line: This extraordinary pistol does not need after market devices...and those kind of improvements lead to less reliable and malfunctioning weapons.

RPCVYemen
March 27, 2008, 05:49 PM
I have kept any eye on these. The look very good. What's the support story?

Mike

DawgFvr
March 27, 2008, 06:07 PM
I just purchased my Stoeger and you get a one year warranty. Register on Stoeger web site on line. All support goes through Stoeger (Beretta) USA out of Pocomoke, MD.

http://www.stoegerindustries.com/firearms/cougar8000.tpl

This is one quality weapon...just pulling back the slide gave me a warm and fuzzy. I love fire arms...and I still am pinching myself on the price of this all metal jewel.

Spartacus451
March 27, 2008, 06:32 PM
Most of the time it just wears the springs out faster. A new spring should be alright.
The springs have no idea what kind of ammo is used to cycle them. If they do then you have coil bind and the gun is going to crack in short order.

However if +p are all you shoot I would increase the spring lbs rating. An under power spring will batter the frame and cause increased wear.
In some firearms it can actually increase wear. Not all of them are designed to take force equally well in both directions. Over springing can also make the gun short stroke (weak grip, light ammo) or outrun the magazine. It can also increase felt recoil and increase muzzle flip.

Jeeps1
March 27, 2008, 06:41 PM
The one year warranty will be extended to three years if you register your warranty when you first buy your Stoeger. It can even be done on line.
My experience with warranty work was excellent from the Beretta location in Maryland, which does Stoeger's repairs under warranty. I had to have my extractor replaced and it was a total turn around of 14 days, I did have to pay one way postage on returning the slide, about $7 dollars with insurance.

I love this 9mm pistol, it is the best investment in weapons that I have ever made.

steelyblue
March 27, 2008, 07:23 PM
JHansenAK47, Thanks for the link on that metal GR. I may try it and if the gun ever locks up, I'll still have the old one. It's only $15! Do yall know what the best mags are, or should I go for the cheapest? I'm asking, because I'm a 1911 guy.

jgo296
March 27, 2008, 07:27 PM
a friend of mine have the smallest couger in 40cal and it wont get through a clip without jamming
i told him to send it back but he hasnt yet

aji
March 27, 2008, 08:06 PM
Have both 9mm and .40. Both are excellent in fit, finish and function. No problem with either shooting all brands and types (fmj & jhp) of ammo. Two of my better purchases.

Glockorama
March 27, 2008, 09:50 PM
I think the Stoeger Cougar is hands down the best buy in handguns right now. Very high quality at a great price. Mine has been 100% reliable thus far, and has good accuracy. It's become a very frequent carry piece.:cool:

JHansenAK47
March 28, 2008, 02:55 AM
In some firearms it can actually increase wear. Not all of them are designed to take force equally well in both directions. Over springing can also make the gun short stroke (weak grip, light ammo) or outrun the magazine. It can also increase felt recoil and increase muzzle flip.
Ya, if you put too many lbs or usually shoot +p and decide to shoot regular ball. Point being you need to get the right lbs rating. Besides +p wears out guns faster by itself.
The reason they replaced it with a poly rod was for all around improvement. Note that the poly rod is fluted...not solid. This way dirt, grit and grime have some place to go and do not accumulate on the outside of the rod which made the old metal prone to jam.
I sure the fact it was cheaper than a steel captured guide rod had nothing to do with it. I've never gotten it that dirty. I'm sure they made the best polymer rod they could though.

DawgFvr
March 28, 2008, 12:51 PM
Actually...it cost Beretta more money to re-design and re-tool for the poly rod. Honestly, if you pay $11 retail for a metal rod...what do you think Beretta pays for mass manufacturing in the metal rod? They did not change that to make such a minisucle profit...they did it for improvements. Once they changed it on their Cougar...Stoeger kept the improvement when the manufacturing line was moved to Turkey. I've also heard that the change to plastic guide rods was because if in the right situation and your guide rod bent your gun would be inoperable with a steel rod but it wouldn't matter at all with a plastic one. I dunno...I see too many people add on too many after-market products to auto pistols and I, for one, do not like anything that could make mine unreliable or prone to malfunction. I actually ordered one of these steel rods (they are slightly different than the original Beretta Cougars metal rod)...I like to think I remain open at the top, but if I have no problems with the weapon...I will not fix something that is not broken. The only two things that are poly on this weapon are the guide rod and the magazine release button. I do not beleive there have been any problems with them.

CountGlockula
March 28, 2008, 01:12 PM
Thanks for the review.

JHansenAK47
March 28, 2008, 04:52 PM
They did not change that to make such a minisucle profit...they did it for improvements. Once they changed it on their Cougar...Stoeger kept the improvement when the manufacturing line was moved to Turkey.
Are you kidding me? Shortcuts are about nickels and dimes times by however many parts they need. Take for example the Beretta 92 using plastic triggers and safeties. (plastic parts with metal inserts) Notice they used shortcuts to avoid raising the price of the pistol because of inflation.
I've also heard that the change to plastic guide rods was because if in the right situation and your guide rod bent your gun would be inoperable with a steel rod but it wouldn't matter at all with a plastic one. Ya i'm sure it was because they had so many bent rods. Look using cheaper parts for a small savings is very common these days. CZ makes plastic guide rods, Kimber uses MIM parts and Springfield uses cast M1a receivers. Why because they work and allow them to sell their wares for cheaper; so more people could afford them.

DawgFvr
March 28, 2008, 05:28 PM
yup...so does Glock...not becuase they are cheaper...because they are more efficient, lighter in weight...etc. Couple of my friends changed out to all metal after-market parts (guide rods) in their Glocks and they are having beau coup malfunctions. I say...stick to the original...Glock and Beretta have been making weapons a long time...if the poly guide rod had any problems...it would have been replaced. After Market add-ons are always looking for Rubes to make a profit methinks. If it isn't broken...don't fix it.

JHansenAK47
March 28, 2008, 05:51 PM
yup...so does Glock...not becuase they are cheaper...because they are more efficient, lighter in weight...etc.
Ya I'm sure price didn't weigh in at all. My plastic guide rod for my Glock 34 broke at the base on the side that goes in that pocket next to the chamber. Glock sent me a new one for free. One of the reasons Glock is popular with law enforcement is they don't break the bank compared to other firearms not just because they have no manual safety and they are reliable. Cost is a widely talked about topic at any corporation. Please note that I didn't say it didn't work. I said cost was a major factor in why they procured plastic instead of steel. It is not the only factor, but you can't sit there and tell me a well built steel guide rod is more prone to breakage than the equivalent plastic one.

DawgFvr
March 28, 2008, 06:32 PM
Beretta stated that their new poly guide rod was an upgrade to the old, original metal guide rod. The after-market metal guide rod is not even close to the original fit:

Original Beretta metal guide rod <part no. C85962 (9mm)>. It has 37 coil count using carbon steel wire with the thickness measured at .0415".

The Olhasso metal guide rod appears to be stainless steel wire which measured at .0475" with 33 coils. I don't have a scale but the Olhasso is at least a couple pounds heavier than the stock Beretta.

Top: Olhasso Bottom: Beretta

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e61/DawgFvr/Stoeger/CougarRodsWeb.jpg

This is a typical report after replacing the OEM poly guide rod with the "after market" version of the old metal guide rod:

"The stiffer spring is more "limp wrist" sensitive with the 115 gr. FMJ. I experienced a couple failure-to-eject while practicing weak hand unsupported fire. One of which was the more nasty variety where there was an empty case lodged in the ejection port while a round was partially chambered. It was not something a simple tap-rack-bang clearance drill could/would fix."

Bottom line...if you are going to carry a weapon for self defense, do youself a favor and do not intentionally make it unreliable. Too many shade-tree gun-smith Joe-Bobs out there IMHO.

JHansenAK47
March 28, 2008, 06:42 PM
Bottom line...if you are going to carry a weapon for self defense, do youself a favor and do not intentionally make it unreliable. Too many shade-tree gun-smith Joe-Bobs out there IMHO.
I think that goes hand in hand with actually function checking your pistol. If you were really motivated you could remove the spring and put your factory spring on it, but I won't recommend it because they are a %%&*^ to get off and back on. I'm going to have to try unsupported firing with my beretta spring and my ohlasso one.

DawgFvr
March 28, 2008, 06:54 PM
Good idea...and, BTW, that is what the below person did:

"Pumped another 150 rounds down range the other day. Continue to have occasional FTE with the Olhasso spring when using the WCC 115 gr. FMJ. Upon closer examination, I think the Olhasso spring is a Beretta made for the .40 and .45 cal. (part no. C85963). If he did not get it from Beretta, it's a very close copy of the same. Just for fun, I installed the Beretta 9mm spring rod and fired 100 rounds with it. No more FTE with either factory mag."

I'll just keep the OEM poly guide rod myself...unless there is a problem with it, I wont be replacing it just to say I have a metal guide rod...just me.

JHansenAK47
March 28, 2008, 07:04 PM
I don't CCW mine but if I did I would test the Ohlasso with +p rounds first. The rounds I would actually be carrying.
Also have you noticed the Beretta 92 mag springs look amazingly similar to the Cougar mag springs. I might just have to buy some wolff extra power to put in one of my mags. I bought my beretta cougar used and think the cop that owned it might have unloaded his magazines every night. Oh well at least they are hicaps. I bought a couple of brand new beretta factory cougar mags and they work just fine. All the rds feed the slide isn't getting locked back on those two particular mags.

steelyblue
March 28, 2008, 10:53 PM
Ijust put 250 more rounds through the Cougar and I'm really starting to love that gun. I'm going to see just how much abuse it can take! After the initial couple of rounds, I can get down to 2" at 15yrds. Its definitely not at par with my Kimbers, but it is a blast to shoot. I will probably get one for my son and daughter. Recoil is nada. I just seem to have to concentrate a lot for the good groups, whereas my Kimbers can do it in rapid fire. I recommend this gun to anybody who wants a quality 9mm for a low price.

DawgFvr
March 29, 2008, 04:51 PM
I wrote Beretta directly for an answer. Til that answer comes back...note what they say about their 92/96 pistols with the poly additions:

"Starting in 2001 Beretta began phasing in polymer parts into our 92/96 pistols. This was done only after extensive testing confirmed the high tech Polymer parts showed superior wear characteristics and self lubricating properties. We feel these parts are a better choice in their intended usage then the originals, predominately due to the fact that the operating nature of these parts is that the surface finish wears with extended use. That is "silver color" starts to show through on blued steel parts. Polymer parts do not exhibit finish wear with extensive use. Some of the Polymer parts that may see high stress loads are reinforced by overmolding a steel subassembly. You will find that all current produced pistols have polymer guide rods, triggers, safety levers, hammer spring caps / lanyard loops, magazine bottom plates and followers."

Monolith
March 29, 2008, 08:04 PM
I also have a Stoeger Cougar, and I think it is a really great gun. I have the .40S&W version, and I really enjoy shooting it. I have long thin hands, and this pistol fits my hands better than any other, so it is very easy on the recoil, I think. I haven't shot it very much, about 200 rounds, but it ate those just fine, and they were cheapie Monarch brand from Academy Sports, so feeding cheap rounds inside of a "break in" period without problems makes me very satisfied about my gun.

steelyblue
March 29, 2008, 08:26 PM
I originally bought this gun to feed it steel cased Wolf rounds. I think it may eat them. I'm not worried about ruining a 300 dollar gun. Am I wrong?

JHansenAK47
March 30, 2008, 10:31 AM
I wrote Beretta directly for an answer. Til that answer comes back...note what they say about their 92/96 pistols with the poly additions:
Ruffle your feathers. Don't believe everything you see in ads. They aren't going to say that they also went polymer because it was cheaper and saved money.

DawgFvr
March 30, 2008, 02:51 PM
JHansenAK47: Methinks you protest too much.

Ruffle your feathers.

I do not understand that incomplete sentence. Please explain.

Don't believe everything you see in ads.

If you are referring to the Beretta metal replacement by poly explanation…it was not an advertisement. It came from their frequent customer question section. I checked the veracity of this explanation with other weapon manufacturers and believe it is right on the money.

I actually work in manufacturing and marketing and I can assure you that I do not believe everything I see in advertisements nor do I invest much in cynical comments from this forum if they are not backed up by facts.

Just as NASA has substituted ceramic for the metal nose cone on their Shuttle...there are many new discoveries wherein metal is far weaker or more brittle, etc., than newly discovered composite materials.

I am taking my Stoeger Cougar to the range today and I will be experimenting with every 9mm round I can get my hands on. I will keep my cougar stock and will report out. I will conduct my own research and will post my demonstrations. I will keep my mind open to all developments.

steelyblue
March 30, 2008, 03:52 PM
I had no idea a gun review would cause so much contraversy. Comments yes, debates no. I guess you can't post a new thread without an argument starting.

DawgFvr
March 30, 2008, 05:23 PM
You are quite correct steelyblue. Perhaps it is my fault...I did not stay focused around your original post. I'm afraid it really went to the "after-market" add-ons vs OEM controversy. Mea Culpa. I am field stripping my new Stoeger Cougar as we speak...I will post a separate post shortly w/photos. Got some fairly inexpensive Hogue wood grips for it...looks nice.

steelyblue
March 30, 2008, 06:05 PM
Don't worry Dawg! It was just an observation, not a critique. Besides, I'm the King of thread hijacks anyway. I enjoy the banter, it was just unexpected on this particular thread. It's all good.:D

JHansenAK47
March 30, 2008, 08:15 PM
JHansenAK47: Methinks you protest too much.
I did ruffle your feathers I brought up one point "plastic saves money."
Just as NASA has substituted ceramic for the metal nose cone on their Shuttle...there are many new discoveries wherein metal is far weaker or more brittle, etc., than newly discovered composite materials.

Actually ceramics tend to be brittle. I believe they chose ceramics for their thermal properties.
It came from their frequent customer question section. Off of a website they own so beretta wrote it. Of course they wouldn't be biased; never ever ever.
Got some fairly inexpensive Hogue wood grips for it...looks nice Where did you get those at? I don't really like the stock grips and those sound comfortable.

DawgFvr
April 4, 2008, 12:50 PM
$39.95...coco bolo on the Hogue site.

http://www.hogueinc.com/getgrip/merchant.ihtml?id=70&step=2

Look...I have the metal guide rod...I'll just hang onto it...just in case. Besides, It's not the rod you have to worry about, it's the spring. As the spring wears and slowly loses its tension it absorbs less and less of the recoil. Which means that over time the frame of the gun has to absorb more and more recoil. This can eventually cause the frame to crack. I'm not worried about the Stoeger/Beretta metal frame...it was, after all, designed for a .40 cal in the first place.

Unless the poly guide rod fails in some fashion...I wont replace it. Again...if you have found anywhere, on any site, or any information as to the Beretta/Stoeger Cougar poly rod failing...please educate me.

ANVILFIRE
April 4, 2008, 08:34 PM
Here's mine!


http://a398.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/55/l_ff55eb480b0cb79a67ed53b287f59e75.jpg

http://a39.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/18/l_4bf050d1a3abd8c83c74340f3fc44936.jpg

22LongRifle
April 4, 2008, 11:54 PM
I held/founded a 40S&W version this week. I liked it and was thinking of getting one for a beat around open carry weapon.

But the only thing that bothers me is getting more magazines. I didn't see anything listed for Stoger on MIDWAY.

22lr

Flopsy
April 7, 2008, 06:10 PM
"But the only thing that bothers me is getting more magazines. I didn't see anything listed for Stoger on MIDWAY."

The Beretta Cougar mags should do just fine.

steelyblue
April 7, 2008, 10:07 PM
I've got some Baretta Cougar mags that are a perfect fit.

nc76
April 7, 2008, 10:12 PM
If you read the 15 rnd mags that come with it, you will see that they are made in Italy, ala Beretta.

22LongRifle
April 8, 2008, 12:49 AM
Great! I bought a S&W Sigma VE40, due to the rebate and free mags.

I'm getting the Couger when the Economy Stimulis check gets here!

22lr

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