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Steyr M vs. Glock -- Thoughts on design

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Hello all,
First off, this is my first post to the club, and I hope the boards do well and maybe Steyr execs may get wind of our interest here in the US. I have been thinking (after recently buying a Glock 30) about the similarities and differences between my Steyr and Glock. I just wanted to run through the design differences that I think make it unfair for people to think of Steyrs as Glock "rip-offs", as I have seen on many message boards (BTW I really like my G30, but I sleep with my Steyr :lol: ).

1) The steel sub-frame: The Steyr series has a steel sub-frame assembly inside the polymer frame. I am not aware of how many "polymer" pistols are designed in this fashion (comments?), but I know that Glocks are not. The slide rails in a Steyr are machined out of the top of the sub-frame, and all moving parts are supported by pins through the sub-frame. A Glock pistol's slide rails are pressed into recesses molded in the polymer frame, which also supports the pins for all moving trigger parts. This makes the Steyr almost a "Hybrid" steel / polymer pistol. This leads us to point #2...

2) The trigger: The trigger in my M40 is one of the best double action only triggers that I have personally felt. The takeup is clean and smooth, and the break is very clean and consistent. The trigger reset is also quite short. The Glock trigger is very similar, but is much "sloppier" in my opinion. The takeup is not nearly as smooth, and the break can feel slightly gritty. I believe that these differences can be accounted for by the sub-frame assembly of the Steyr, with the trigger and other moving parts supported by steel, instead of the polymer frame, like a Glock.

3) Slide Rails: The Steyr's slide rails are long, thick and machined out of steel (the top of the sub-frame). By contrast, the Glock's rails are made of a small (about half the length of the Steyr rails) tab of steel, pressed into a "L" shape, then pressed into molded openings in the polymer frame. The Glock's rails feel very small to me, and some older Glocks have had problems with them shearing off, although this has been (apparently) fixed in newer Glocks.

4) Magazines: The Steyr magazine bodies are made entirely from steel, just as the Glock magazines should have been from the beginning. The Glock magazines have gone through a few revisions over the years, and they have added more steel each time. The current revision is basically a steel body covered in polymer. I personally have had problems with my Glock magazines because of polymer mold flashing affecting travel of the follower.

5) Safety: This is a subjective matter, but I believe that the manual safety on the Steyr is designed very well. I see no reason why every semi-auto pistol does not have one in the same location, including Glocks.

6) Sights: The trapezoidal sights on the Steyr are one of those things that some people seem to love and others dislike. I, and my friends who have shot my M40, all love the sight setup. I find it much easier to use than tradtional three-dot sights, like those on the Glock. But to each his own on this one.

7) Grip Angle: The 111 degree grip angle of the Steyr makes it much more naturally pointable for me than the 109 (?) degree angle of the Glock. Again, a subjective point, but an important one to me none the less.

So (if you are still reading...), These highlight why I think that the Steyr M series pistol is superior to the Glock designs. Sorry for the long post. Anyone think of any other reasons? Anyone think I'm full o' dookie? Comments?

James W.
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The Steyr is not rip of the Glock but an EVOLUTION. The same guys who worked for Gaston were hired by Steyr after the Glock project ended. They just took some IMPROVEMENTS along for the ride.
and one of the most important features.

Much thighter tolerances all around.

While this does make the steyr less abusable it requires no more maintenance than a sig or beretta etc... just more than a glock.

On the plus side it does not FEEL sloppy the way a glock always does to me, and has siginifgantly increased accuracy.

this article circa 1999 gives the history of where the design came from...
God bless Wilhelm Bubits and Fridrich Aiger!

The Steyr feels less "mass-produced" than a Glock. The weight of the Steyr feels more even than the Glock (which is a very top-heavy pistol).

The trigger on a Glock, if left stock, is nasty feeling.

Lots more, but hell, I own a G19 and I love that little sucker so...

What was I saying? :D
Welcome! Great first post BTW.

Nothing to add, just wanted to compliment you on a nice deduction of why I made the right choice. Although I do wish Steyr would come out with their version of your Glock 30.


james481 said:
5) Safety: This is a subjective matter, but I believe that the manual safety on the Steyr is designed very well. I see no reason why every semi-auto pistol does not have one in the same location, including Glocks.
James -

Great post and welcome to the Club!

The only thing I disagree with you on is the issue of the manual safety. Before I bought my M9, I thought it sounded like a good idea in a convenient location. I absolutely hate the manual safeties on things like the Beretta 92FS...none of my pistols have them, they are all decocker-only models. But the idea of a conveniently located manual safety didn't turn me off.

Now that I have my M9, I know that I will never use the safety. Why? Because no matter what I do, I cannot disengage the safety (with my firing hand) without some rearward movement of my finger. It may not be much, but it's enough that I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it in a high-stress situation where that sort of movement might be amplified by adrenaline. If the safety was designed to be pushed forward instead of up, then I'd be happy. But to get the upward motion, my finger always ends up coming back and that puts it too close to the trigger for my comfort.

Of course, if I buy an M9A1 it won't be an issue....Steyr decided to eliminate the manual safety altogether, rather than keep it as an option.

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Good summary of the virtues of the Steyr M design.

The Steyr design (along with CDNN's low price) finally enticed me to take a dip in the polymer pistol pool (up until now I've been a cocked 'n locked single-action-only kinda guy). I've been sufficiently pleased with my M9 that I wouldn't hesitate to drop $500 or so on an MA1 if I get the urge for another.

BTW, I believe the Browning PRO/FNH P design also has removeable steel sub-frames. I'm not sure if they have a single sub-frame (like the Steyr) or separate front and rear sub-frames, and I don't know how much of the internals are pinned to the sub-frames, but I do know the rails are supposedly replaceable. I've handled the Browning version and was impressed with the trigger pull (both DA and SA) and I liked the placement and function of the ambidextrous decocker. The grip shape was nice, too; I'd rank it about even with my CZ85.
While I agree that the grip shape is better on the Steyr, I would argue that the Steyr is NOT more accurate. After almost 1000 rounds through my M40 I cannot get groups as tight as I can with my 15 year old shot to hell Police trade in Glock 22.
I'm not knocking Steyr, but you cannot convince me that they're more accurate than Glock as a whole.
"... know that I will never use the safety. Why? Because no matter what I do, I cannot disengage the safety (with my firing hand) without some rearward movement of my finger."

That's interesting. I find I actually have to push my trigger finger up and FORWARD to disengage the safety. Perhaps this is just due to different physical characteristics, I have fairly long, thin fingers.
I don't have a problem with the safety but it has loosened up noticebly since I bought the gun. So not as directed or forceful of a push is needed to disengage it now. I don't foresee using it on a regular basis, but it's nice to have for when my gun is unholstered in the nightstand, or if by some chance I need to Mexican Carry, the option is there. Can't do that safely with the Grock.
Besides the trigger one of my favorite features of the Steyr handguns is the super hard steel magazines. If anyone here has tried to adjust the feedlips on a Steyr mag you will know what I mean. Great first post by the way.
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