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Steyr S9A1/M-A1 questions

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Nordeste, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. Nordeste

    Nordeste Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone. I'm interested in these pistols, particularly in the S9 which I see an excellent option for carry.

    Question is, I have downloaded the owner's manual of each one, and I am a bit confused about their triggers. In the S9, it states a 4mm trigger travel at 2.5 kg (5,5 lbs) weight, whereas in the M-A1, a 11.5mm/0.45 inch trigger travel is declared, with the same trigger pull weight :scrutiny:. It's kind of confusing. I read before things about the existance of two versions of the M-A1, one meant for the general civilian public (the one described) and another one for the military, with a shorter trigger pull. With this in mind, how comes that the S9, which is meant for the civilian public, comes with the shorter trigger pull?.

    Then, mag capacity. The S9 has 10 round mags and I'm afraid I won't be able to get a proper grip on it. I'll find out soon since one of my local gun shops will be getting a few of these Steyrs soon, but what I wonder is whether Steyr has come up with 12 (or more) rounds capacity for this pistol, that could accomodate larger hands, like mine, more comfortably. That would be great news.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. JaxNovice

    JaxNovice member

    It is just hard to stomach coughing up over $500 for one of these after CDNN had them for $350 forever.
  3. adobewalls

    adobewalls Well-Known Member

    Might try asking your question over at this link, there is a subsection for the "M" and "S" series:


    I think the "S" series is the compact configuration.
  4. reloader-1

    reloader-1 Well-Known Member

    Hey there,

    The Steyr "A-1" series are GREAT guns. I have owned several, and currently own an S-A1. The S-A1 manual is correct, it is a 4mm travel at around 5lbs, and the same for the M-A1.

    It's a great trigger, very short reset, and "points" extremely well. For those of you that didn't buy them when CDNN had them, no worries - they have been substantially upgraded since then.

    New models come with a better trigger and new trigger bar assembly that produces a clean break, as well as a new extractor that eliminates any FTE or brass being thrown at your head problems the older CDNN pistols had.

    These things sell on par with HK and SIG over in Europe, the fact that they were once cheaper here due to a once in a decade selloff because a distributor went bankrupt shouldn't have any impact on your purchasing decision. Buy it because it is a great gun, and a good value.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention the S-A1 should be plenty large enough for an average hand. It is roughly the same size as a Glock 19 grip.
  5. Nordeste

    Nordeste Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the steyr club suggestion, Adobewalls. I'm sure it's worth having a look at.

    Thank you VERY much, Reloader-1!. This has been very useful. My interest is focused in the Compact S-A1 version, since I already own two full-size pistols (Beretta 92FS and PX4). I wanted something more concealable and I was narrowing down my options to the Smith&Wesson M&P 9C and the S-A1. I like the Steyr, but it bothered me the limited capacity. Now, you say the grip is more or less the size of a G19, how comes it only accomodates 10 rounds?. The M&P does the same with a shorter grip, then you can get the enlarged one for the 12 rounder.

    I'll get to see both side by side soon. I actually had the Smith in my hands already and dry fired it. Overall, I liked it, and even though there's a number of people that say the trigger is bad, I didn't dislike it at all, but if you say the Steyr has that good a trigger... that's likely to make me change my mind.
  6. reloader-1

    reloader-1 Well-Known Member

    It's interesting - the 10rd magazine for the S-A1 comes with an extended solid plastic base (that slides into the gun) that blocks the extra +2 rounds that might fit. I guess that dates back to the old 10rd magazine capacity ban, and they have never released a 12rd magazine that I know of. It would fit, however, and fit flush.

    As to the trigger - I think it is one of the best triggers out there on a striker fired gun. I have 9mm handguns from Steyr/Glock/HK/SIG/FN and I like the Steyr the best.

  7. Girodin

    Girodin Well-Known Member

    I agree.
  8. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind that there are at least three generations of Steyr trigger designs.

    The original trigger was the heaviest (and there was a design flaw that cause them to recall the guns). Most of the pre A1 guns have the second generation trigger (which you're reading about in the S9 manual). The first A1 guns also had the second generation trigger but the current A1 guns have an even newer trigger design that is apparently even better (I've got an M40 and an S40, both pre-A1 and I can't imagine a better trigger).

    My S40 is my constant companion ... great little gun.
  9. reloader-1

    reloader-1 Well-Known Member


    Correct. The easiest way to tell these 3 "generations" apart is the following:

    1. Marked S9 on slide, may or may not have manual safety. Old style grip.

    2. Marked S9-A1, new grip, no roll pin under rear sight

    3. Marked S9-A1, new grip, roll pin under rear sight.

    Gen 1 had a decent trigger, Gen 2 had an good trigger but some minor problems (extractor), and Gen 3 is rock solid - best trigger, and dependable functionality.
  10. Nordeste

    Nordeste Well-Known Member

    Thanks again for your inputs, gents.

    I had a look -and registered at- the Steyr forums and saw that thing about the recall. Apparently, there was a design flaw that could cause the pistol to fire without the trigger being pulled :uhoh:. It also looks like Steyr's customer service in the US is superb and those affected got a shipment box and their guns repaired and shipped back for free, plus a gift in the form of a spare mag/gun case. That's what I'd call good service.

    Then, this pistols lack a firing pin block as seen in a Glock (or Beretta) pistol. They do have a "catch" marked with #10 in their manuals and, well, it looks like they trust it and deem it safe enough. The thing about the 10-round mag is funny. I understand they make a "standard" mag for the US where there are States that won't allow high-cap mags for the civilian public, but here in Europe we don't have such thing. I think it's pointless to limit their capacity to 10 when you can have +2 with no worries.

    As said, I'm now between the M&P 9C and the Steyr. I like the Smith for the lower height grip and +2 optional mag. My thought is that it might conceal easier than the Steyr, and I also think that the Smith will be a little ahead the Steyr in terms of overall quality and reliability, besides, adding a feature like the interchangeable backstraps, even though it might lose the edge in terms of trigger feel. I know there's this Apex kit, but it looks like it's not available in my country... :(. On the other hand, Smith&Wesson has a reputation for a superb customer service.

    Tough choice. This week I'll see them both side by side at the gun shop. I won't be able to test fire them which is what should make me decide, but that's just how it is here. You can't rent firearms at ranges and obviously, the gun shop owner will let you see, touch, and dry fire, but won't let you borrow it for a firing test session.

    I'll keep you posted. Thanks all ;).
  11. reloader-1

    reloader-1 Well-Known Member

    I hate you Nordeste. I hate you. I hate you.

    I just picked up a new M9-A1 and a new S9-A1 from the store, as this thread piqued my interest. Remember when I said the newest Steyrs have the best triggers?


    Striker fired guns should not have a trigger this good. Heck, single action guns shouldn't have a trigger this good. I wish there were better ways of describing trigger pull, but "unbelievable" sounds about right.

    Folks, if you haven't fired a new Steyr pistol recently, do so (make sure it is one with the new roll pin under the sights). Get your checkbook ready before you do, as you will end up going home with one (or two).

    I've now owned M9s and S9's from all three generations, all of them have had better than average triggers, but the latest version is just amazing.

    Don't know what else to say.... :what:
  12. ScarLata

    ScarLata Well-Known Member

    Published online by Joe Grine on March 30, 2012

    There are the major differences between the various incarnations of the Steyr

    Generation 1: Pistols manufactured between 1999-2002 are marked M9/S9 on slide, and may or may not have manual safety. They feature the “old style” grip pattern, including a proprietary rail system.

    Generation 2: Pistols manufactured between 2002-2006 are marked M9-A1/S9-A1. They feature a new grip style, which includes a picatinny rail system. They do not have a roll pin under the rear sight. These pistols were sold by CDNN, and they have the “old-style” extractor.

    Generation 3: Pistols manufactured between 2009-2011 are marked M9-A1/S9-A1. They feature a new grip style and do not have a roll pin under the rear sight. They were imported by Steyr USA, and feature the new style extractor.

    Generation 4: Pistols manufactured from 2011 to the present are marked M9-A1/S9-A1. They feature the new grip pattern, and have the roll pin under the rear sight.
  13. Fremmer

    Fremmer Well-Known Member

    Reloader, what kind of sights do your new pistols have?
  14. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Well-Known Member

    Look at the dates of the posts
  15. David E

    David E Well-Known Member

    The grip angle is severe. If you're used to the Beretta grip angle, the Steyr will point high. Take this into account when you actually have one in hand.

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