YouTube personality, Graham Baates, gives us a video review of the Steyr S9-A1 Pistol.
USA – – (Ammoland.com)- The Steyr pistols have been in production for nearly 20 years and developed a sort of cult-like following. Like another famous Austrian company Steyr pistols have a polymer frame, but offer a much more refined design and feel and have since the beginning. The S9-A1 is the smallest in the lineup with a 3.6″ barrel.
Steyr S9-A1 Pistol
Fans of the Steyr pistols note the incredibly low-profile slide and high grip permitted by a deeply cut tang and slightly more forward grip angle. The other most notable difference with Steyr pistols are their trapezoidal sights. These sights prove quick to align after the user gets accustomed to them. For those who don't want to learn a new sighting system TRUGLO TFX sights are also an option. For a closer look at the features and design see the tabletop video below.
I was curious how the grip angle, high tang, and relatively slim slide would feel on the range. Although firearm function doesn't vary from most common pistols these days I was also interested to see how the change in weight distribution combined with the 3.6″ barrel would run. This of course meant it was time for a “What's for Dinner?” test running loads from 165gr down to 65gr. This test is intended to find out load and case material compatibility.
Loads tested in the Steyr S9-A1 Pistol included:
- 165gr FMJ brass-cased Freedom Munitions HUSH
- 147gr JHP brass-cased Remington HTP
- 125gr HAP lacquered-steel cased Hornady
- 124gr FMJ brass-cased American Eagle Suppressor
- 124gr BJHP nickel-plated brass-cased Remington Golden Saber
- 115gr FMJ aluminum-cased Federal
- 115gr FMJ steel-cased TulAmmo
- 115gr XTP brass-cased Hornady American Gunner
- 100gr RHVF brass-cased Fiocchi
- 94gr RHTA brass-cased Geco
- 90gr ZCFMJ Winchester Super Clean
- 65gr ZCFMJ Liberty Civil Trainer
Results of the tests including a field accuracy group of five shots from seven yards using Nosler Match ammunition can be seen in the video below:
Grouping performance was likely more my fault that then gun's. Otherwise I haven't experienced a single failure with the Steyr S9-A1. The ergonomics are excellent and the grip angle required only a few practice runs to adapt to. Recoil did feel softer than similarly-sized guns. Of course felt-recoil is nothing but perception, and I can't narrow down the source of my perception. Between the grip angle, high tang, excellent ergonomics, and lower-seated recoil system the gun just feels good to shoot. As you saw in the video even Maddy's feminine hands had no issue with the gun.
For the numerophiles here are the specifications for the Steyr S9-A1 Pistol taken directly from Steyr's product page:
|Trigger||Reset Action (double action)|
|Grip Frame||Synthetic Grip|
After spending some time on the range with the Steyr S9-A1 Pistol I now understand why Steyr has such a cult-like following. They aren't the most common guns out there, but my guess is because once someone owns a Steyr they don't let go of it. I'd like to hear from our readers. Let us know what made you chose or not chose a Steyr and what have your experiences been with them? If you own one have you kept the trapezoidal sights?
About Graham Baates
“Graham Baates” is a pen name used by a 15-year active Army veteran who spent most of his time in the tactical side of the Intelligence community including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Post-Army Graham spent some time in the 3-Gun circuit before becoming a full-time NRA Certified defensive handgun instructor and now works as an industry writer while curating a YouTube channel on the side. Visit Graham on Youtube .