Thursday, August 26, 2010

Steyr S9-A1 on order from Steyr Arms, NAA "Earl" in layaway safe

I'm such a gun slut. I put an order in the mail Tuesday from the gun shop where I work to Steyr Arms for a Steyr S9-A1, the subcompact 9mm DAO pistol from Austria that hardly anybody has heard of.

It's Glock-like, but with a better trigger, a better grip angle, a higher grip that translates to a lower bore axis and unique Trapezoidal sights that work quicker and better than any combat sights I've ever used.

My very first concealed-carry pistol, purchased in 2006 when I got my N.C. concealed-carry permit, was a Steyr M357-A1, the compact .357 Sig version of the above pistol, 4" barrel vs. 3.5" on the S9-A1.

I liked it so much I ordered a M40-A1, which was my first and so far only .40S&W pistol. I liked the pistol fine but not the caliber so I traded it away. IMHO, .40S&W recoil is sharp, uncomfortable, twisty and hard to control, compared to 9mm, .357 Sig, .45 ACP and even 10mm which I all enjoy shooting more.

So as Jeff Cooper said, .40S&W is the answer to a question that didn't need to be asked. Shoulda listened to Jeff in the first place, but on paper .40S&W looks good. It just don't shoot good, to me at least.

I also ordered a Steyr M9-A1 which I still have and it is one of my favorite 9mm pistols, of which I currently have three others, two compacts, CZ P07 Duty and S&W 469; and a subcompact Kel-Tec PF-9.

I sold the M357-A1 because of its rarity as it got to be worth more than I paid for it. And as much as I like Steyrs, it was only about 99.5% reliable. After I bought a pair of S&W M&Ps and a pair of Sig Sauer P229s, all in .357 Sig, I've found all four of them to be 100% reliable so far, no jams, no stove-pipes, no errors. It's hard to beat 100 percent.

And I just got through paying off my new S&W 396 Night Guard .44 Special revolver from the layaway safe at the gun store, so I should be through buying handguns for a while, right?

I thought so. And then some customer at the gun shop traded in unfired a North American Arms .22 Magnum single-action 5-shot derringer called "The Earl." It's got a 3" barrel and in theory might be capable of actually hitting what you aim at. Plus it's all stainless steel and has good-looking wood grips, and I'm a sucker for both.

So into the layaway safe it went. I'm gonna stay broke the rest of my life working in a gun store. I'm thinking it will be a good backup, maybe for ankle carry, plus it will just be a fun gun to shoot. We've got a fine little leather holster for it at the shop.

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