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How the Stoeger STR-9S Combat Pistol Tamed My Pet Peeves



The Stoeger STR-9S Combat Semi-Auto Pistol is Stoeger’s latest addition to their STR pistol series family. Think of this new addition as the tricked-out version of the STR series with some slick enhanced upgrades … and some of those upgrades and features have totally tamed pet peeves that I have with pistols from other manufacturers. If you are not familiar with the STR series, you are missing out. With some versions having an MSRP of $329 (and a “street” price even lower), you would think that you are getting a budget gun with budget qualities. Nothing could be further from the truth. Frankly, I have no idea how Stoeger is able to deliver the quality, features, and reliability of the STR-9S at these prices. Let’s start with the features, shall we?


STR-9S Combat Semi-Auto Pistol:

  • polymer full-sized frame pistol
  • 5 inch threaded barrel 1/2 x 28
  • Double Action only
  • Striker fired
  • Adjustable suppressor/optic height fiber optic sights
  • Optic ready
  • 20+1 capacity (10+1 version available)
  • Tungsten Cerakote or Black Nitride-Hardened

Included with the STR-9S

  • 3 metal magazines with extended base pads
  • Metal magwell
  • 3 back straps
  • Holster
  • Magazine loader
  • 4 Mounting plates
  • A: Trijicon RMR
  • B: Doctor, Burris, Vortex and EoTech
  • C: Leupold Delta Point
  • D: C-more

Fit & Finish

As someone who coats firearms for a living, I have spent 20-something years building my painting craft. If you want to see how much care a gun builder puts into their firearms, always look at the fit and finish. Any time that I look at a firearm that has been Cerakoted I will inspect the paint job. It is an easy quick indicator of the quality you should expect in the firearm and sets the initial impression. One of my pet peeves, naturally, is the one about uneven or careless coating. My version of the STR-9S came with a beautifully applied Tungsten Cerakote, over the slide, thread protector, magazine release, and magwell. It’s just enough bi-tone contrast that’s classy but not too over the top. The coating was evenly applied and the sheen was consistent throughout. In fact, I can tell the coating was computer machined instead of hand applied—a high-end feature. This gives the best and most uniform results.

Stoeger clocks in another win on the thread protector—which is more than I can say for a lot of other manufacturers at this price point. Here’s another member of my Peeve Menagerie: These days, it seems like nobody besides Stoeger coats the part or includes a rubber o-ring. That means the thread protectors have to constantly be tightened or glued in place.

As a solution, Stoeger did something I can’t really recall seeing on other pistols. The head protector is the same diameter as the outside of the barrel profile. With normal threaded pistols you have to remove the muzzle device to get the barrel out of the slide. The STR-9S can be disassembled leaving the thread protector in place. Kudos to Stoeger.

The polymer construction of the STR-9S feels like a traditional polymer pistol feel; Stoeger used a polymer blend like you would find in a factory Glock pistol. So many companies seem to be going to the higher nylon-plastic blends, which can be molded thinner, but that means they’re angular, and can have some sharper edges. Stoeger keeps it classic for a smooth, warm feel. The back straps are molded in a grey to match the Cerakote—instead of just painting the straps.


The soft edges along with the ergonomics of the frame gives the STR-9S a great hand feel. A nice deep trigger guard undercut and beavertail allowed me to get a nice high grip. And while normally I’m not a fan of finger grooves, they didn’t bother me this time. The grooves are unobtrusive and sort of disappear into the hand while shooting. I never had to fight the pistol; it was natural to shoot it well. Also, the STR-9S comes with three different sized backstraps. For me the Medium was just right, giving me the best finger placement on the trigger.

The trigger is a double action only (DAO) and striker fired. Out of the box the trigger was already pretty good, and after some dry-firing and live shooting, it smoothed out nicely. As you pull the trigger you get to a wall that slightly increases the trigger pull weight, and then it rolls off the edge with a nice break.

With very little practice the triggers break was apparent and easily predictable, allowing me to “stack” the trigger pull if I wanted (pull the trigger right to the wall, then push through the break sort of like a two-stage trigger). The reset is nice and short, with a tactile feel. If you’re the type of person who rides the trigger with each pull, you’ll feel that reset, allowing you to take faster shots.


As far as functionality, I never experienced any failures of any kind. This is expected as other reviews of versions of the STR series generally report good reliability. I even was able to shoot it with two different suppressors—n Yankee Hill R9, and a home-built Form 1 can. With a pistol booster on the suppressor, the STR-9S functioned as expected.

I only have one complaint—more of a pet peeve, really. Since Stoeger has effectively solved so many of my other pet peeves, I’m very hopeful that they’ll solve this one eventually too! Quibble: When shooting suppressed the mounted optic window gets dirty very quickly. Stoeger uses a cut in the top hood of the barrel for a loaded chamber indicator. Just like other pistols that do this, like my Springfield XDM and Prodigy, these witness holes act like funnels. They just seem to throw soot and carbon on the red dot. If you shoot loud and proud, the problem goes away, so it will only affect a small percentage of shooters.

The STR Family

The STR series is available in 6 option sizes for every type of shooting and carrying style.

  • Micro
  • Subcompact
  • Compact
  • Full sized longer barrel slide
  • Full size
  • Combat

Like I said earlier, some of the STR family has an MSRP of $329 with street prices being lower. Even if you don’t think you need the upgrades that come with the combat version, Stoeger had an STR pistol that will fit your needs. For the price you are still getting a great value no matter what version you go with. For more, visit —James “The XDMAN” Nicholas, Mr. UnPewFessional.

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Pedersoli Lever Action Evolution 45-70 GOV 19″

Mitchell Defense Street Legal Rat Dog
Mitchell Defense

Street Legal Rat Dog

The Standard Rat Dog without the NFA headache.

Stoeger STR-9S Combat Semi-Auto Pistol

STR-9S Combat Semi-Auto Pistol

Based on the original STR-9F Full-Size handgun, the new STR-9F Combat is factory-enhanced to meet the needs of today’s discerning shooters. Because defensive pistols may be deployed anytime, anywhere, the STR-9F Combat offers two sighting options.

Umarex Umarex Gauntlet 2 PCP Air Rifle .25 Caliber Precision Pellet Rifle + ReadyAir AirGun Compressor

Umarex Gauntlet 2 PCP Air Rifle .25 Caliber Precision Pellet Rifle + ReadyAir AirGun Compressor

The all-new Gauntlet 2, here in .25 caliber, is raising the bar for PCP air rifle performance and value. This rifle features a huge 24 cubic inch onboard tank that fills to 4500 PSI. The Gauntlet 2 in .22 caliber is also outfitted with a Picatinny style scope rail, knurled bolt handle, reduced cocking effort, and a redesigned stock.

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The Three Amigos – 3 Lever Actions Painting

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American Trigger AR Gold Adjustable Trigger (AR-15, AR-10)
American Trigger

AR Gold Adjustable Trigger (AR-15, AR-10)

The AR Gold has been proven to be the ultimate AR Platform trigger for military, LE, competition, hunting and more. It is the singular best improvement to your AR-15. The AR Gold is a unique approach to the dated trigger functionality of stock AR-15’s and other competitors. The AR Gold is a drop-in module trigger, which makes it a breeze to install. It comes stock with a 3.5 lb pull weight. More than just the light weight pull, the trigger has the shortest reset and cleanest break of any other trigger on the market. If that isn’t enough it is also Drop-Safe.  Adjustable weight engagement and over-travel. .154 pins.  30 Day Money Back Guarantee on direct sales. Made in USA by American Trigger Corporation.

Vertx Overloader


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Gamut Backpack

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Vertx Keryx


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Vertx Ready Pack

Ready Pack

The Ready Pack may look like the average backpack, but it’s far from ordinary. It’s been optimized with upgraded fabric, additional storage pockets and extra room in the CCW compartment so you can make the most of your space – all without calling attention and appearing overtly tactical.

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Crossbreed Holsters

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4mm AXIS Long Range

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Club Timer III

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Stay Ready – Tactical Gear – AR15s and Pistols With Plate Carriers Sherpa Blanket

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ERGO Grips

Superlite™ Modular Free Float Rail System

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ERGO Grips Tactical Deluxe Grip – Suregrip®
ERGO Grips

Tactical Deluxe Grip – Suregrip®

The Tactical Deluxe is a larger more rounded grip than the original Ergo Grip providing exceptional comfort and control. This grip features hand filling palm swells for both left and right handed shooters. 2011 Delta Pistol Gaming Mouse Pad – Black Background

2011 Delta Pistol Gaming Mouse Pad – Black Background

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