Thursday, April 8, 2010

Steyr-Mannlicher MA1, the Austrian pistol nobody has heard of

When I started looking around for a concealed-carry pistol in 2006, I ended up buying a Steyr-Mannlicher MA1 in .357 Sig.

That was more than a few pistols ago, but I'm still amazed today at how smart that decision was.

Since then, I've also bought Steyr MA1 .40S&W and 9mm pistols and two Glock 10mm pistols, G20 and G29, but I still say the Steyr is a superior design to the more-well-known Glock.

Both are striker-fired double-action only pistols with a steel slide and a polymer frame.

But the Steyr has a better grip angle, not as steep as the Glock and the best natural pointing pistol I've ever shot.

It also has a smoother, lighter-feeling trigger than the Glock, though both are rated at 5.5 lbs.

The Steyr also has a lower bore axis with a grip that sits the pistol lower in your hand and makes it more controllable firing.

And Steyr's trapezoidal sights, a white-outline trapezoid rear and a white-outline triangle front, are the quickest and easiest sight picture I've ever shot.

Steyr even uses the same Tenifer-finish steel slide as Glock, but their version of Tenifer is more brownish than the black Glock slide.

Steyr is that other Austrian pistol that nobody ever heard of because Glock has just been better at advertising and promotion from the get-go back when the G17 first hit the market in the early '80s.

Steyr didn't even start importing to the U.S. until 2004 so they'll never catch Glock now as the most popular plastic pistols with law enforcement and civilians.

But if you'd like to own an immaculate unfired M9-A1 9mm Steyr-Mannlicher, I just listed the one shown on gunbroker for $500. I like Glocks, but I love Steyr-Mannlicher pistols.

P.S. If you wanted this M9-A1 you're too late. It sold last night about midnight, 10 hours after I listed it on gunbroker. Steyr stopped importing any MA1 pistols into the U.S. in 2009 and has not said when importation will resume so the supply is getting very scarce.

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