Steyr L9A1 Review
January 10, 2014
Steyr Mannlicherâ€”or Steyr Arms as it's also come to be knownâ€”has been turning out quality firearms since its inception in Austria in 1864. Those familiar with the Steyr name know it's synonymous with the legendary Steyr AUG (Armee-Universal-Gewehr) or Universal Army Rifle. The company has transferred those many years of firearms knowledge and craftsmanship into its pistol line, making it affordable for the all shooters to own.
Steyr currently produces C-A1, S-A1, M-A1 and L-A1 pistol series, the latter being the newest in the lineup. The L-A1 is essentially a long-slide version of the M series with a standard size grip and 4.53-inch barrel. In 9mm Luger guise as the L9-A1, it utilizes a 15-round magazine and plus-two floorplate for a total capacity of 17 rounds. Two magazines are included. Additional calibers include .40 S&W and 9x21 (on request), and rumor has it the .357 SIG may be added in the future.
The features are plentiful, starting with the L9-A1's unique but optional triangular trapezoid sights, which are no-snag and low-profile for effective concealed carry. The slide has cocking serrations located on both sides for those who like to conduct press checks, and the barrel axis is low to the frame to help reduce muzzle jump. The L9-A1 has three loaded-chamber indicators, which are located at the rear of the slide, top rear of the barrel and a protruding extractor.
The frame has many extras as well, the first being the "limited-access" lock that doubles as the takedown button. By inserting one of two supplied keys into the lock and turning counterclockwise (toward the S stamped into the frame, with the twin tool-access indents oriented horizontally), you can deactivate the triggerâ€”an action that also prevents disassembly.
With the lock in F position (indents vertical), the gun is in shootable condition and can be disassembled. After removing the magazine and clearing the chamber, release the slide and pull the trigger. While pressing down on the limited-access lock button, push the takedown lever down. You can use your finger to hold the lock button in, although if you have large fingers you may find the key or similar tool will make things easier. Push the slide forward and remove the recoil spring and barrel.
The frame sports an accessory rail for mounting your favorite gear. There are also molded serrations on the front of the trigger guard and on the front and rear of the grip as well. A cut-out is molded into the frame on both left and right sides for indexing your trigger finger. The magazine release is ambidextrous and can be changed easily by the user.
Steyr calls the sight system 'œtriangular trapezoid.' The triangle of the front sight fits into the trapezoidal cut in the rear. While he did get used to the sights and shot them well, the author wishes they were adjustable.
The L9-A1 employs Steyr's Reset Action trigger, which partially compresses the firing pin spring when the slide is in battery. The magazine release is user-swappable to either side.
The 'œlimited-access' lock deactivates the trigger in the S position. The lock's button when pressed in also allows the takedown lever to be rotated down for disassembly.