Last week I had time and opportunity to get to the range. Now this takes a bit of doing as the range I go to is the only indoor range for a long way, even though this one is fifty miles from home. But I had some errands to do in that neighborhood so I planned to shoot at least a hundred rounds that afternoon. I have been practicing my grip and stance some at home so I was really interested to see what improvement I might have, if any. I had a choice to make considering the time I had to play that day. Should I take the new Steyr S40, or should I take the Stoeger (Beretta) Cougar 40? I have shot the Cougar more than the Steyr but I haven't fired the Cougar for more than six months. I was really curious since I have been shooting low and to the left VERY consistently, and wanted to see what my experiments with grip might mean with that gun. If you haven't fired a Cougar I think you really should. I have found it to be a VERY soft shooting gun. My previous (limited) experience is with Smith & Wesson 38-caliber revolvers and most of that experience is very old. I did some shooting with a Model 67 that I had before deciding to try auto loaders which is when I bought the Cougar. I'm not cheap but do admit to being a "bottom feeder", buying a lot of stuff that others have either ignored or thrown away. I paid less than $300 for the Cougar, NEW and was amazed that it shot softly, it seemed with less flip and kick than the .38 had. I had anticipated the reverse. Of course it's a big gun....thick, a handful and for those with small hands perhaps not the best choice. It is also an all metal gun and with full magazine on the heavy side which probably helps with the feeling of stability and softness when fired. I bought the Steyr for the sights and the different design than the Cougar. It also imprints far less carried on my hip than the bigger Cougar. I was a bit concerned that it might flip and kick more than the Cougar at the range. The gun is lighter, has a polymer frame and since I decided to inventory only one caliber of pistol ammo, I got mine in 40 caliber, too. I was surprised at how soft and easy shooting the Steyr was. I decided to take the Cougar and shoot it for a while and was very pleased with the results. Most recent trip to the range had been with the Steyr and instantly I felt I shot better with it than with the Cougar, last time out. THIS time I found by my slight change in grip and stance, I did MUCH better with the Cougar. Despite its heft, the gun just feels right in my hand, and of course works flawlessly as a Beretta is expected to work. I am still shooting a tad lower than I need to, but now mostly centered. I think I'm getting better and I know that I NEED to get to the range more often, at least once a month, but twice would be better. So, I've got two, very soft shooting 40 caliber pistols that shoot far better than I do. But it's OK, as I know I am the weak link and I must get better because the guns are just fine, either one will do. I have a really good leather retention holster for the Steyr and just found a good bargain on eBay for the Cougar (The Barsony clip holster is too light for the Cougar). I think the next trip to the range I'll take both the Steyr and the Cougar and shoot them both to see how they compare on the same afternoon. I like them both!