Steyr M-A1 pistol (current/past owners)?


November 28, 2008, 01:21 PM
Steyr M-A1.

If you have (or had) this gun, please post your impressions. I'm interested to find out how reliable and accurate it is.

PS. I know about the sights. I'm more interested in the other aspects of it.

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November 28, 2008, 01:24 PM
I have the S9 - same as the M-A1 mechanically. Love it. Reliable, accurate enough, fits in the pocket of cargo pants. There is a fine site for Steyroids. Search for steyrclub.

Marcus L.
November 28, 2008, 01:40 PM
Pretty good accuracy, and pretty good reliability. The magazines are made by MecGar which is of good quality. Mine was the original M-series in .357sig. The trigger was also crisp and consistant.

The issues I didn't like with it was the trapazoidal sights, the extreme grip angle which reduced muzzle flip but instead channelled the recoil into the joints of your arm and shoulder, the loaded chamber indicator really destroys the rims on your brass, and the extractor design. Since the pistol was designed to have such an extremely low bore axis the extractor is smashed down into the breech at almost a 45 degree angle which adds friction to it. I had quite a few failures to extract and eject due to the extractor design especially when the pistol got dirty. Try a S&W M&P.

November 29, 2008, 11:34 AM
I have an S9, M9, and M40A1 with a second .357 SIG barrel. Up until recently I had an M9A1 until I realized that it was redundant as I can take the slide from my M9 and put it on the M40A1 frame and have an M9A1. That's one of the beauties of the Steyr, they are modular. .40 and .357 SIG barrels fit in both the M357A1 and M40A1, and the slides and frames are interchangeable between old M and newer MA1 (and betwen the S and SA1, I presume). The only limiting factor is that barrels aren't going to swap btween 9mm and .40/.357, but again the frames are the same for both.

The gun shoots with tremendously little recoil and muzzle flip. A very low bore axis makes this possible. If you know anything about the Steyr GB you will know that this aspect of a gun's performance, reduced recol and muzzle flip, has been important to Steyr for a long time. You could even go back to the rotating barrel system of the Steyr-Hahn for that.

Accuracy is good. It's not target pistol but I have found accuracy more than acceptable for a self-defense or combat pistol. Reliability with my guns have been perfect. There were some extraction problems with the guns early on but I think most of that has been cleared up, and if not, SAI (Steyr in the US) has excellent customer service. The gun was designed around the .40 S&W round and when they went to 9mm the extraction problems really reared their head. With my S9 I will occasionally get hit on the top of my head with a shell case, but only when I'm benching the gun, for some reason, but not enough to have the gun serviced.

I find the ergonomics of the gun to be outstanding. The M and S had a safety, a feature that I appreciate that I wish would be avaialble on the A1 versions. The only downside to the safety is that it requires one to reach inside of the triggerguard to de-activate, which is very handy, but could lead to legal arguments of an accidental discharge. Overall I like the safety and hope that it is offered with the SA1 that will be coming out.

The sights do take getting used to, but they can be replaced. I like them.

The gun has suffered in reputation for a number of reasons:

1. lack of support by the parent company. Much of this was caused by jumping from distributor to distributor here in the US. SAI has solved that problem, and their recent move from Cumming, Georgia to Trussville, Alabama shouldn't be confused as more of the same.

2. Earlier extraction problems, now mostly a thing of the past.

3. Lack of accessories and support items. This is improving with time, and with the large number of guns sold by CDNN I can only see this getting better with more guns out there.

4. The sale and re-org of the parent company in Austria (guns are a tiny portion of what they make) has brought new products and attention to the US market to a standstill. On the plus side the new CEO is an avid shooter. Steyr seems to have a difficult time understanding the US market, but news of a possible large frame large caliber gun (presumed to be a .45) shows that they are starting to get it.

5. A since 100% debunked story that Stery sold guns were being used in Iraq to kill US soldiers. Pure garbage.

6. Steyr's marketing efforts in the US have been less than adequate or effective. When their ad campaign did start with the multiple page adds the guns were pretty much already sold off to CDNN.

7. The CDNN buyoff and sale of guns has arguably hurt the value of Steyrs, but I would argue that this is only on a temporary basis. Once the CDNN guns are all gone I don't think anyone expects folks to sell them used based on what they paid for them, but rather based on the retail of new guns which will be closer to $600 than CDNN's $340. Also, CDNN's prices put an awful lot of Steyr's into people's hands, and that is a good thing for a gun that was previously suffering due to being an unknown commodity. It will also encourage aftermarket producers to take the plunge on developing products for the guns.

November 29, 2008, 12:00 PM
I just ordered M-A1 in 40 S&W. :-)

November 29, 2008, 12:34 PM
BTW, I highly recommend the Steyr Club at

November 29, 2008, 03:40 PM
Thanks for the fill-in, storm. It's an interesting pistol, and though I've never shot with them I think I'd like and do well with the trapezoidal sights.

the gun is/was ammo sensitive? Some of the cheaper European brands bring feed issues? If so, do you think it's merely a power difference that could be resolved with a spring change if a particular brand and load was settled on to shoot, or was there something wrong with the design that's been changed to make the problems the thing of the past that you've said they are?

Dollar An Hour
November 29, 2008, 05:21 PM

1) Very comfy grip.
2) Low muzzle flip for caliber (no better / worse than the other Austrian pistol though)
3) Super easy field strip


1) Trap sights
2) Vague trigger reset
3) Weak brass ejection often hits shooter
4) Tiny mag release button
5) Slippery grip texture

Considering the above, in a polymer 9mm I much prefer the Glock 19 or Walther P99. I owned a M9-A1 for a couple years and sold it to a friend who enjoyed shooting it more than I did.

November 29, 2008, 07:24 PM

Excellent report and insightful information on the Steyr situation. I have an M9 and appreciate it for all the same reasons you mentioned, particularly the gun's ergonomics and the inclusion of a manual safety. Overall, I have found the M9 design to be a more natural, more instinctive shooting platform than the comparable Glock Model 17.

November 30, 2008, 07:40 PM
"I just ordered M-A1 in 40 S&W. :-)"

That could be a mistake if you ever want to shoot any other handgun lol. I just bought one from CDNN and after shooting it, none of my other pistols feel comfortable.

November 30, 2008, 09:37 PM
I think my next gun will be a Steyr M-A1. I've been wanting one for years but I keep putting it off. The next one I come across that is reasonably priced will probably come home with me. Although I'll probably replace the sights with a set of Trijicon night sights.

November 30, 2008, 10:44 PM
I like the trap sights on my Steyr M40-A1. I think whoever invented these was 50 or older. :p

I bought it because of the ergos and it was $429 NIB. I kept it because of the way it shoots.

I can see this gun gaining a cult following.

November 30, 2008, 11:33 PM
I have an M40-A1, and I love it. I put PT night sights on it. It is one of the most accurate handguns I own (the others are SIGs, Glocks, HKs, etc.), and I love the trigger on mine. My only gripe, really the only reason its not my primary carry, is the lack of holster options. I got mine a couple of years ago and haven't looked for a holster recently, so maybe I'll try again. Currently when I do carry it its in a FIST IWB holster.

December 1, 2008, 02:50 AM

December 1, 2008, 12:09 PM
loved mine; miss it terribly

December 1, 2008, 04:50 PM
Does the A1 have the same basic trigger group system as the older pistols?

December 1, 2008, 05:23 PM
Does the A1 have the same basic trigger group system as the older pistols? Except for the manual safety, the trigger system is the same.

December 2, 2008, 12:24 PM
Does the A1 have the same basic trigger group system as the older pistols?
Except for the manual safety, the trigger system is the same.

The A1 version has a manuel safety option,too.

December 2, 2008, 09:29 PM
I like the trap sights, I swear I can find the target quicker with them. I was shooting on sunday and finally got to compare my Steyr to my buddies Glocks and XDs. The Steyr trigger is much better then the factory Glock and XD trigger. The XD was better then the Glock, but the XD was still not nearly as crisp as the Steyr.

December 3, 2008, 12:01 PM
The A1 version has a manuel safety option,too.

Officially Steyr offered the safety option on the A1 but very, very few if any (more likely none) ever made it to the US. When Steyr put together an A1 for me (they used to be seven miles from my house) I was told that the safety was not being offered on US models. Photos of A1's do come up on Gunbroker with safeties, but those are stock photos. My understanding is that their legal department nixed it.

The safety is one reason for the continued popularity of the original M and S models.

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