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New Favorite: Steyr A1 Pistol Series

At Ranger Point Precision, we have always maintained a strong focus on our core business—building custom firearms and parts. But when I picked up my first Steyr A1 pistol a few months ago, I knew RPP had to become a retailer.

First off, I couldn’t find a dealer in the Cypress/Houston area carrying the Steyr pistols. I had to borrow one from a range officer just to handle one. But the more important reason for becoming a Steyr dealer is that the company has, for the last several years, been quietly producing one of the best handguns ever built, at a very competitive price. That’s the kind of secret that we had to share with our customers.

Before you dismiss that statement as marketing hyperbole, let me say that all of us at RPP are committed to selling only those products that we believe in strongly and use ourselves. It’s not a corporate tag line, but a personal conviction, a point of pride. We also know our customers are not content with cheaply made junk, so we understand that our long term success is dependent on this philosophy. But if you're still thinking the last thing the world needs is another plastic wonder, just trust me, this is no Glopy gat.

Even so, I realize that “one of the best handguns ever built” is the kind of sweeping statement that will be subject to vehement debate. But before you barricade yourself and hunker down with your favorite 1911, or Glock, or XD, Walther, S&W M&P or H&K, bear in mind that before we discovered the Steyr, we all favored one or another of those makes too. And we all own and shoot them still. But the Steyr A1 series pistols have become the shop favorite. Here’s why:

1. Fast, intuitive target engagement. This must be the ultimate goal of every handgun design. The defensive nature of their mission means they may at some point be deployed under duress, so the more intuitive they are to use, they more effective they will be. This is a very difficult goal to attain, particularly for a wide variety of shooters, but the Steyr A1 accomplishes it through:

  • Exceptional ergos that guide a wide range of hand sizes into a comfortably intuitive, but optimal grip form. It doesn't come with any interchangeable grip panels, but somehow it doesn't need them.

  • Incredibly fast sights. The Steyr's unique trapezoidal sights are not a gimmick. They guide the pistol quickly onto the target without taking attention away from the threat.

  • Passive, but effective safeties. While passive safeties are standard fare on most striker fired handguns these days, it's worth mentioning that the Steyr has 3 passive safeties plus a triggerlock to prevent accidents. All you have to do is concentrate on the shot.

2. Remarkably fast follow up. Arguably, the second most important aspect of handgun design after fast target engagement, is fast follow up. With its extremely low bore axis and slide height, the Steyr A1 offers some of the best recoil management characteristics of any gun we've tried. Muzzle rise is noticeably less than comparable pistols. And with its quick reset trigger, the Steyr makes rapid doubles a snap.

3. Superior trigger. Let's face it, most striker fired pistols have poor to middlin' triggers out of the box. The Steyr's completely unique, double action fire control system offers one of the lightest and least "stacking" triggers we've tried, typically around 5lbs. We've already done a lot of tinkering with it, and yes, it can be made even better.

4. A robust and high quality platform. Every aspect of the A1's construction appears to be well designed, from a robust chassis to an attractive slide finish. The ramped chamber is fully supported. The slide recoils against the reinforced polymer frame. The fire control system is made up of actual hardened steel parts instead of plastic. The pistol field strips easily for maintenance. My personal Steyr L40-A1 has now seen several hundred rounds without a single failure of any kind, and no cleaning to date. All evidence would support the company's tag line,"Count on it."

We at RPP are so enthusiastic about Steyr's A1 pistols that we have committed ourselves to being their biggest supporter in the U.S. And I don't mean rah rah support. I mean aftermarket parts of our own design, maintenance, tuning, and repair. We already have several Steyr specific R&D projects on the docket, so if it's aftermarket goodies you crave, count on us.

In the meantime, if you want to handle a Steyr A1 or buy one, call us or stop by. Steyr Arms, the company's U.S. importer, informs us that the Austrian factory is currently filling a large government contract for the pistols, so supplies are tight here in the States. But both 9mm and .40 S&W models are still available. We have them in stock now.

Checkout the recent L40-A1 review by Denis Prisbey, Personal Defense World

Pistol / Rifle Combo (share ammo!): If you fall in love with the Steyr L40-A1, think about a pistol / rifle combo. Just a reminder that we can also build you a custom Marlin 1894 40 S&W Short Stroke Pistol Caliber Carbine.

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