If you take the Tupperware out of GLOCK, your only alternative is some sort of ray-gun. Seriously: SIGs, Springfields, Sigmas… Tupperware; M&Ps, CZs, Rugers… ray guns. While the L9-A1 has lost the loony-laser-look of its first iteration, the Steyrs have always had an angular space-age appeal. Thanks to the big rail on the dustcover, a confused cop once came up to my lane asking if I was preparing a Taser for my cardboard companion! The Steyr is a GLOCK adorned with geometrical intrigue exuding a futuristic power. Put differently, it makes the GLOCK elegant by comparison. When you hold the L9, you know it is best understood as “machine”.
When I think of Steyr-Mannlicher, I picture a company with a fine tradition of producing top-quality rifles for sporting and martial purposes since 1864. But, like another Austrian gunmaker you may have heard of, Steyr-Mannlicher also produces a line of polymer-frame handguns. The new Steyr L9-A1 is a duty-size, recoil-operated pistol available in 9 mm, and .40 S&W and .357 SIG options also available. So, what sets this handgun apart from the other polymer handguns in your dealer’s case?
Steyr Mannlicher—or Steyr Arms as it’s also come to be known—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.