ccw pistol the steyr m9-a1


Different Methods Of Carrying A Steyr M9-A1 Concealed


If lore is to be believed, the German firearms manufacturer Steyr Mannlicher is descendent from the same firearms manufacturer that produced carbines, rifles, and pistols for the Austrian Hapsburgs in the late medieval period. Ergo, that would explain Steyr Mannlicher's almost fanatic dedication to creating a perfectly crafted personal defense pistol with the Steyr M9-A1.


To find our selection of holsters for the Steyr Mannlicher brand, visit our search by gun holster page.


We recently had the opportunity to dig a little bit deeper into Steyr pistols in an effort to support existing and future concealed carry customers and what we found was a bit surprising. The Steyr M9-A1, also called the Steyr M-A1 or just the Steyr M9, is currently in its fourth generation of production.


Steyr M9-A1 Performance And Precision Review


handgun shooting precision

The ergonomic grip of this pistol and standard trapezoidal sights are just two aspects that may stand out for gun owners used to a more traditional 3-dot adjustable sight. The trapezoidal sights with a triangular front sight post are quite unique in comparison to other pistols we see out on the market.


Reviewers of the Steyr M9-A1 have overwhelmingly reported that it is an adjustment to get used to the pistol grips and the sight picture offers lightning-fast target acquisition. In terms of performance and firing, the Steyr M9-A1 is exceptionally smooth. The high grip and steep handheld angle push the shooter’s hands into perfect alignment to absorb shock and recoil. This is certainly a pistol designed almost especially with military and law enforcement in mind.


One other really cool feature about the M series by Steyr Mannlicher is using a standardized upper receiver.



Steyr M Series - M9, M40, M357, M9-A1, M40-A1

steyr m9 a1

Length - 6.9 inches

Height - 5.4 inches

Width - 1.2 inches

Barrel Length - 4.0 inches



Unlike Glock or S&W, no other gun manufacturer has attempted to replicate or copy Steyr's design. For instance, it's obvious that Kahrs are at least partially inspired by the form factor of Glock pistols -- boxy, beveled square angles are common in either. Honor Guard, a relatively new pistol manufacturer out on the market, appears to have drawn some amount of inspiration from the design of the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield. The grip angle that is the stylistic norm for the Steyr M-9 and other Steyr pistols is notably absent in any other pistol design.


Concealed Or Open Carry Of The Steyr M9-A1


concealed carry vs open carry

There are a couple factors to consider when carrying either the full size Steyr M9-A1 or the more compact Steyr C-A1. First, neither are really “compact”. Steyr’s idea of compact is making an upper receiver that’s literally 10 millimeters shorter (2/5ths of an inch) than the full sized model. Their idea of a subcompact pistol (model S-A1) is 3/5ths of an inch shorter than the M9-A1. So, as you can see, carrying a Steyr pistol will present its own issues if you want to carry it concealed.


Second, the steep angle of the Steyr pistol grip will probably require you to place this pistol in an inside the waistband concealed carry holster with a backpad and two tuckable clips. Carrying a Steyr M9-A1 inside a concealed carry holster will also require a bulkier covering layer of clothing, like a thick jacket or a loose-fitting flannel.


And lastly, Steyr produces high performance pistols designed for combat and competition. As a choice for an everyday carry, if you can carry outside the waistband your experience will likely be improved significantly. We envision that a Steyr M9-A1 in a high retention paddle holster or belt slide OWB would be the most ideal way of carrying this line of pistols.


To review carry considerations for the Steyr M9-A1:



Steyr M9-A1 is ideal for outside the waistband holsters.

Steyr’s unique pistol grip is great for fast OWB draw and high grip.

Practice drawing from your OWB Steyr holster and acquiring target.





James England  

About The Author


James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.