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Welcome, Saevar! And it’s good to be hesitant about that gun purchase, for unless you’re rolling in dough, a new handgun is a major investment (it’s a big bummer indeed when you lay out five or six bills for a new autoloader, only to find that it doesn’t really suit you).

Absolutely, then, try to scour your area for a shooting range where they have handguns for rent. Test fire a few, take some mental notes, and then go back a week later and shoot them again. For a relatively small investment in time and money, you’ll get a much better idea of what you really want and need.

Hardly anybody likes the Glock’s ergonomics. Doesn’t seem to faze the Glock fans, who rave about their reliability. They have a point, but reliability alone isn’t enough to satisfy me (were that the case, I’d junk my other rifles, buy a couple of AK-47’s, and be a happy camper).

As for problems with Steyr’s 9mm’s, well, I hear that the 9 is somewhat more trouble prone than the 40 (not sure if that’s really true, or if it’s just slanted reporting). But remember that any arms maker can turn out a turkey now and then. I bought a SIG P220 years ago, in .45 ACP, and the dammed thing wouldn’t feed anything but hardball. I complained to SIG’s American distributor, and they never responded. Got really ticked off and then finally sold it at a big loss.

Learned later (in a column by Massad Ayoob) that SIG had turned out a flakey batch of P220’s, but that the problem had (allegedly) been fixed. Maybe so, but I was still turned off SIG’s and I don’t plan to buy another.

Probably unfair of me, but it goes to show that nothing’s perfect. So, if you really end up loving the feel and performance of the Steyr 9mm, I wouldn’t let a handful of horror stories turn you off. There’s a lot of fine performing Steyr 9mm’s out there.
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