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The Ergo-Glock Mash-Up

THE STR-9 — Stoeger’s New German-Austrian-Turkish Love Child

Mash-ups are popular these days. Facebook and YouTube are littered with songs and videos that blend two or more different songs into one new combined creation. Done poorly, the result is a gnarled, incomprehensible mess. Done well, the mash-up can be glorious. We often play this game in many different arenas, wishing for cars, TV shows, smartphones, and even spouses that are mash-ups of several others.

When it comes to handguns, it’s hard to deny the elegance and simplicity of Glock’s design. It’s robust, easy to service and modify, reasonably priced, comprised of a surprisingly low number of parts, and battle-proven. The ergonomics, however, are another story. While many appreciate it, Gaston’s idea of perfection also rubs many end users the wrong way, pun intended.

Photo credit: Stanley Tran

The HK VP9 is a pleasure to shoot and feels great; its ergonomics are fantastic. But it’s expensive. And it’s an HK, the company that brought us engineering marvels like the P7 staple gun, which was incredibly innovative but doomed unsuspecting owners who tried to disassemble it beyond its major parts to a panicked state, staring at a disparate collection of objects that they had no idea how to reassemble. The VP9 is nowhere near as complicated, but it’s still a far cry from the Glock — not to mention the curse-filled adventure of reinstalling the VP9’s trigger return spring without HK’s custom pliers.

So, what if you could create a mash-up of these fine pistols?

STOEGER SAYS, “HOLD MY BEER”

Made in Turkey, the Stoeger STR-9 is a polymer-framed, striker-fired 9mm pistol that sits between the Glock 19 and 17 in size. Its barrel is 4.17 inches long, closer to the 4-inch barrel in the Glock 19, while its height with a standard magazine is 5.25 inches, closer to the 5.5-inch tall Glock 17. And, at 7.4 inches, it’s a bit longer than a VP9.

The STR-9’s overall appearance is very reminiscent of the VP9, with a nicely contoured slide featuring slanted front and rear serrations, a roomy and square-ish trigger guard, a Picatinny rail on the dust cover, and a stippled and checkered grip with subtle scallops on the front strap and sides. The interchangeable backstrap wraps around the sides of the grip and is removable, coming in three sizes to fit the shooter’s hand. There are also scallops at the bottom of the grip so you can strip recalcitrant mags out of the gun. The small beavertail is similar in size and profile to a Glock, so if your big meat-beaters get bitten by a Glock, then you’ll likely experience the same with the Stoeger. The magazine release is swapable to the right side of the gun, if you’re cursed with left-handed-ness.

The gun sports a matte, nitride finish, one of our favorites for hard-use guns. Stoeger proudly displays its rollmark in a large, outlined font on the slide so you won’t forget what it is; we would have preferred a more understated approach.


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The dimensions of almost every key component in the STR-9 are ever-so-slightly different than its Austrian counterpart, preventing you from tapping into the huge aftermarket of Glock parts, such as the AIM Surplus slide and barrel, Taran Tactical magazine extension, and ZEV trigger parts on the G17 shown here.

The sights are the typical triple-white-dot variety, with night sights available as an upgrade. Unlike Glock’s eff-you plastic sights, they’re proper steel sights with a set screw on the rear to secure your windage setting. The rears also have a flat front, allowing for one-handed slide manipulation on a belt or other object. Incidentally, the sight cuts are compatible with Sig P320 sights — but before you get too excited, the Sig sight heights will throw off your elevation on the Stoeger.

GLOCK OR NOT

Start looking more deeply at the STR-9, and it’s all third-generation Glock. Looking at the innards, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference. As with a Glock, ensure the weapon is clear, then drop the striker, squeeze back on the slide a bit, and pull down on the take-down lever to release the slide assembly. From front to back, everything looks familiar. In the frame, the take-down lever sits atop a leaf spring, the locking block is secured by two pins, and the trigger assembly looks (almost) the same. However, the trigger housing is retained by a roll pin hidden underneath the backstrap, and the magazine release has a piece of metal that pops into a slot on the magazines.


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