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Steyr M: Developed for police services and the civilian shooting market

Eric Sof

The Steyr M is an Austrian semi-automatic pistol developed by Steyr-Mannlicher company in the 1990s to compete with the highly successful Glock 17, which another Austrian manufacturer developed.

Introduction

The first Steyr M was introduced in 1999, and only five years later, in 2004, Steyr ceased production of this model. It was replaced in production by an improved and slightly redesigned Steyr M-1A series pistol. These pistols are in service with Austria, Germany, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and Thailand.

Steyr M9 first generation
A very first model produced in this series (Photo: XY)

However, this Steyr pistol is mainly used by special forces. So far, the pistol is chambered in 9×19 mm Parabellum, .40 S&W, and .357 SIG cartridges. Though the .357 SIG chambering is no longer offered.

Design

The Steyr M is a striker-fired pistol with a polymer frame and stainless steel slide with a number of unusual features. For example, it has fully replaceable frame rails, which allows the weapon to be rebuilt after extensive firing, hence extending its service life. It is featured as a short recoil-operated weapon that fires with a locked breech.

Action

The pistol uses a Browning-type locking system. There are two features implemented in this pistol, which resulted in minimum muzzle jump and felt recoil. It is a very ergonomic grip shape and an ideal grip angle. This also makes this pistol very pointable.

This Steyr model and its derivatives have a double-action-only type trigger mechanism with a reset action system. This pistol is available with or without manual safety. A manual safety push-button is located within the trigger guard. This pistol also has an automatic trigger and firing pin safety. There is also an internal lock, which completely blocks the operation of the pistol.

Feed system

It is fed from double-stack magazines. The 9 mm version uses 15-round capacity magazines. Versions chambered in .40 S&W and .357 SIG ammunition use 12-round capacity magazines. The magazine release button is located on the left side.

Sights

This pistol has unusual trapezoid rear sights and triangle front sight, where the sights are dovetailed into the slide. These are similar in principle to Glock’s square U-notch design. Even though the sights have uncommon shapes and it takes some time to get used to them, these provide good acquisition speed and accuracy.

The original pistol has a proprietary rail for mounting accessories such as laser pointer or tactical flashlight. Newer A1 versions have a Picatinny-type accessory rail.

Variants

Steyr M9

It is a version chambered in 9×19 mm Parabellum.

Steyr M40

It is a version chambered in .40 S&W.

Steyr M357

It is a version chambered in .357 SIG cartridges. At some point, this chambering was discontinued, and the Steyr M357 pistol was no longer produced.

Steyr S9

Steyr S9 is a compact version, chambered in 9×19 mm ammunition. This version was introduced and discontinued alongside the Steyr M. Production of this pistol ceased in 2004.

Steyr S40

Steyr S40 is a compact version, chambered in .40 S&W ammunition. This version was introduced and discontinued alongside the Steyr M. Production of this pistol ceased in 2004.

Steyr M9-A1

Steyr M9-A1 is an improved and slightly redesigned version, chambered in 9×19 mm Parabellum cartridges. It was introduced in 2004 and replaced in production the previous M9 version.

Steyr M9-A1 second generation
Steyr M9 A1 8211 second generation Photo XY

Steyr M9

Steyr M9 has a slightly redesigned grip and frame. This weapon has a Picatinny-type accessory rail instead of the proprietary rail. This pistol is also available with or without manual safety.

Steyr M40-A1

Steyr M40-A1 is an improved and slightly redesigned version, chambered in .40 S&W cartridges. It was introduced in 2004 and replaced in production the previous Steyr M40. This weapon has a Picatinny-type accessory rail instead of the proprietary rail. This pistol is also available with or without manual safety.

Steyr S9-A1

Steyr S9-A1 is a compact version chambered in 9×19 mm Parabellum.

Steyr S9-A1 semi-automatic pistol
Steyr S9-A1 semi-automatic pistol (Photo: XY)

Steyr S40-A1

Steyr S40-A1 compact chambered in .40 S&W ammunition.

Steyr C9-A1

Steyr C9-A1 is a compact pistol chambered in 9×19 mm Parabellum with a shorter barrel and slide but with the magazine capacity of a full-size model.

Steyr C40-A1

Steyr C40-A1 is a compact chambered in .40 S&W ammunition with a shorter barrel and slide but with the magazine capacity of a full-size model.

Steyr L9-A1

L9-A1 is a full-size pistol with a long slide chambered in a 9×19 mm Parabellum cartridge. It was introduced in 2013.

Steyr L40-A1

A full-size pistol version with a long slide chambered in .40 S&W cartridge. This Steyr was introduced in 2013.

Technical specifications

Country of origin:Austria
Manufacturer:Steyr Mannlicher GmbH & Co KG
Entered service:1999
Caliber:9×19 mm Parabellum
Weight (unloaded):780 g
Length:180 mm
Barrel length:101 mm
Muzzle velocity:300 – 460 m/s
Magazine capacity:15 rounds
Sighting range:50 m
Range of effective fire:50 m
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