Safety installation: M9-A1

Discussion in 'M, C, L and S Series' started by dwillia29, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. dwillia29

    dwillia29 New Member


    I have a techie question that I hope someone here can answer... Pls. feel free to PM. And mods pls feel free to move if this should go elsewhere:

    Assuming you had the opportunity to acquire the "new" style safety mechanism (see pics of the S. Korean specops unit Steyrs on this forum), and, w/ the exception of aesthetic differences, it was identical in method of operation as the original M-S series safety, how difficult would it be to install on an "Americanized" M9-A1?

    More to the point, would it even possible w/o risking damage - severe or otherwise - to the pistol?

    My gunsmith -- quite skilled and talented in my estimation -- won't touch it. Completely out of the question. He's not familiar with working w/ polymers; esp. polymers that have a metal subframe. FWIW, it appears to me that the metal subframe does not encompass the area where you'd drop the safety into?

    Please note that I'm referring to the entire safety mechanism -- nothing would be missing. The issue would be cutting/shaping/molding/et. al., the existing M9-A1 so the safety would fit (mostly) flush, not crack the frame, allow debris in, or any of the untold number of things that could go wrong...

    I know this is an unusual question -- and perhaps better suited for a polymer machinist forum or whatnot -- but I thought my gunsmith could help, but his (self-admittedly ignorant) opinion is that it's probably a daunting endeavor, esp. if you wanted fit & finish to be almost like factory. And I would.

    Any assistance very much appreciated.

  2. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

    The only problem is that you will have to butcher the frame. I believe our own BigTaco said he could do it relatively easily if one had all the necessary parts from the M, but chopping the frame is going to be the tricky part. I would definitely stay away from it - you will probably end up with a backyard-looking M-A1 and a gutless M.

    Also, how do you intend to get the safety parts that those guys were using? Their safety lever was not the same as what comes equipped on the regular M...
    (it was much wider - not just a button)

  3. dwillia29

    dwillia29 New Member

    Yea, that's what I figured. :(

    I'd made it my mission some time ago to procure a Steyr M or S, any caliber, WITH the new style safety via Steyr Austria. Not b/c I'm particularly fond of the safety per se -- although I believe their take on the Garand design ingenious -- but just to own something unique.

    Mission failed. Miserably.

    I can be a tenacious guy, but it became clear in short order that they were more likely to send a trained Austrian hit squad to my door than a Euro M or/ S to SAI. Their reasoning was straightforward but sound, and I saw no point in pressing the issue and just perpetuatie the obnoxious American stereotype.

    Bowed but not beaten, I inquired about purchasing the safety mechanism alone, thinking that perhaps I could retrofit an existing M-A1. (and just to be clear, they haven't readily agreed to this request, but they don't seem particularly opposed to it either. i'm relatively certain that steyr would send an assembly to the states, although not direct to me, and it would cost, and be a PITA.)

    Oh well, I tried... Thx. for your help!

  4. nuj

    nuj New Member

    safety dilema

    hello there,
    i was wondering why would you do as a thing with your steyr m9-a1, from the looks of it, its a perfectly working unit. altering the frame might just destroy it. If its not broken why fix it bro.
    remember that no amount of safety mechanism will help if the one between the ears is not used properly. be safe and shoot straight my friends
  5. majette

    majette Member

    you may want to check out member Hibachi's post in the for sale section:

    M9 Parts for sale!
    Bolt, barrel, and complete action carrier from good functioning, light use M9 (@1300rds). Everything but the lower polymer receiver/grip frame. Pistol was working flawlessly prior to disassembly, one owner. Magazine release button and spring included. 250.00 shipping included to lower 48.
    Also two ten round mags. 25.00 ea/ 45.00 both.
    Action carrier has the manual trigger safety.

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

    If this is to be a self defense gun, making significant changes ot the original design might open up another avenue of attack by plantiff's attorney if you are involved in a shooting. Or just get an S/M series with a safety.
  7. bigtaco

    bigtaco Active Member

    alls i'm saying is that the casting has the provision for the safety. if you had the parts, the safety could be retro-fitted to the metal subframe.

    machining the plastic? machining the plastic?

    forget about this term "polymer". i feel like it engulfs people in visions of chemical engineers creating uber materials that are unable to be handled by mere mortals.

    let's consider it simply plastic. ABS with other stuff thrown in for the characteristics the design calls for. easy to cut.

    the task would be cutting the frame to accept the necessary protrusions. the two slots in the sides of the frame and the large slot in the trigger guard for the safety to pass through.

    no need to worry about debris. debris can already get in through other holes.

    you just need to remove enough material to get the safety in there.

    when you're done cutting, simply hit the rough edges with a little 400-600 grit sandpaper to clean up the edge.

    keep in mind, i'm not suggesting this is dremel work. you'd need a milling machine and some pretty good set-ups. but it's absolutely doable. if... you can get the parts.
  8. dwillia29

    dwillia29 New Member

    Thanks for your replies.

    Agreed that altering the steyr's americanized design could possibly increase civil liability, but where I live now, if I successfully defended myself against heavily armed home invaders with a toothbrush, I'd be arrested for assault and sued for millions.

    Anyway, this wouldn't have been a primary defensive gun; more of a collectible.

    That said, retrofitting a new style safety into an existing M-A1 wouldn't be very collectible I don't believe. A factory euro Steyr on the other hand, would.

    Also concur that polymer/plastic are synonomous, but I tend to employ the more widely used "polymer", simply b/c plastic conjures up images of Mattel dolls while "polymer" evokes well-trained serious scientists w/ bubbling cauldrons of chemicals poring over ballistic charts. I've had more than one person correct me: "My G26 is NOT plastic, it's POLYMER!".

    I don't argue.

    You're right tho, it could be done, but I'd be a guinea pig at the mercy of someone -- no matter how well-intentioned and skilled -- who had never done this before. Assuming I could even find someone who met the above criteria.

    It "might" be simpler to purchase a euro steyr the next time I'm in europe and somehow ship it back to the states. Or that could be (likely is?) pure naievete on my part. No clue on personal importation restrictions, but I'd wager they're on par w/ attempting to bring back a little souvenier plutonium.

    Thanks again, after some thought, I've decided to pass on the retrofitting idea. Appreciate the help.