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Review: Stoeger STR-9MC Pistol

Stoeger is a name that should be familiar to most gun owners. While most people associate that name with well-built, value-priced shotguns, the fact is, Stoeger has also made some rather nice handguns. The Stoeger Cougar 8000 had a rotating-barrel action which reduced felt recoil and offered you a high-quality pistol for an entry-level price. Now, with the introduction of the new STR-9 line, Stoeger is continuing that legacy of producing handguns that punch above their price point.

The latest model in the STR-9 series is the STR-9MC, a small 9mm pistol that’s easy to carry and surprisingly fun to shoot. The “MC” in the name stands for “micro compact,” and it’s just one indication that this gun is aimed at the popular higher-capacity carry gun market. 

Micro-Sized, Easy To Hold 

The STR-9MC is 6.1 inches long, or just about the same size as other pistols with similar features. There are serrations at the front and rear of the slide for use with gun manipulations, and the slide is also cut for a slim-sized red dot sight like the Trijicon RMR CC or a similar optic. In addition to this, there are two options for iron sights for the STR-9MC. The standard choice is a white dot front sight with a serrated low-glare rear sight, and for $80 more, Stoeger will upgrade that to tritium night sights on the front and rear.

There is a short length of Picatinny rail at the front of the frame to attach your choice of light, laser or other accessory, and the grip is stippled with slightly raised finger grooves for better gun handling. The STR-9MC ships with one 13 round magazine that puts it right in line with other micro compact pistols, and there is also an additional magazine that ships with the pistol.

The trigger on the striker-fired STR-9MC has a slight curve to it and takes about 4 to 5 pounds of effort to activate. Like many other striker-fired guns, there is a blade safety built into the trigger.

All these features add up to a rather nice carry pistol, but we haven’t gotten to the best part yet, the price of the STR-9MC. Practically every other pistol with this feature set has an MSRP that hovers around $600. The MSRP for the STR-9MC, on the other hand, starts at $399, with the night sight version costing $479. All of this means you can carry around a first-rate defensive pistol without having to take out a second mortgage on your house, enhancing your physical safety and financial well-being at the same time. 

Taking It To The Next Level 

If you pop open the STR-9MC, you’ll see that the insides have a familiar Glock Gen3 look to them. However, the trigger on this pistol has a better takeup feel than any factory Glock I’ve shot, and with an average trigger pull weight of 4.5 pounds, it’s at least a pound lighter than a stock Glock trigger. We’re reaching the point where companies like Stoeger are taking the original version of this pistol to the next level, with better triggers, better ergonomics and best of all, better price points than what was available on the original model. 

Speaking of concealing the STR-9MC, holsters are available from a variety of companies, like Black Scorpion Gear, Crossbreed and other manufacturers. During my testing, I found that the STR-9MC would fit into holsters made for a Gen4 Glock G19. However, I would strongly encourage you to try this out for yourself and make sure it is safe before carrying this pistol in that style of holster.

As the slide of the STR-9MC comes from the factory with an RMSc compatible cut, I chose to mount a Shield Sights RMSw red dot on top of this gun. This is the waterproof version of the iconic RMSc sight, and it was simple to add to the pistol. A nice feature of this sight is that the back of the base is slightly notched, allowing me to see both the front sight and the rear sight on the slide in case your dot should fail. 

Shooting The STR-9MC

On the range, the STR-9MC doesn’t feel like a micro-compact. The grip is wider and longer than other pistols its size and as result, it fills the palm nicely and provides plenty of recoil control. The trigger is easy to run, and all the controls were right where you’d expect them to be on this type of pistol.  

The Stoeger STR-9MC gives you practically everything you’re looking for in a small, easy to conceal gun, and it comes from a company with a long history of making first-rate firearms that won’t break the bank. If you, like many of your friends and neighbors, have decided to buy a defensive pistol as a response to the threat of violent crime, the Stoeger STR-9MC is definitely a place you should stop as you make your journey towards becoming your own first responder.

Stoeger STR-9MC Specifications

  • Manufacturer: Stoeger Industries
  • Model Name: STR-9MC
  • Action Type: Striker-fired
  • Caliber: 9 mm 
  • Height: 4.25 inches
  • Width: 1.08 inches
  • Length: 6.1 inches
  • Barrel Length: 3.29 inches
  • Weight: 18.7 ounces
  • Finish: Nitride slide, polymer frame
  • Magazine Capacity: 13 rounds (10 round available)
  • MSRP: $479 as tested
  Average Velocity (fps) Largest Group (inches) Smallest Group (Inches) Average Group (Inches)
Speer Gold Dot G2 124-grain JHP 1,192 2.4 1.8 2
Fiocchi 124-grain FMJ 1,174 2.5 1.7 2.1
Magtech 115-grain FMJ 1,077 2.4 1.7 2.2


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