We put 500 rounds through Stoeger's new sub-compact variant of its STR-9 polymer-framed striker-fired 9mm pistol series. In the end, we found the STR-9SC to have a lot of pros, and few cons. 

Stoeger is a name that has been around for a minute, dating back to the 1920s, and has been under Beretta's tent for about the past 22 years. Besides their affordable shotguns, Turkish-made Stoeger was known for years for its Cougar pistol, formerly the Beretta 8000, a hammer-fired DA/SA alloy-framed handgun that had a good reputation when it came to reliability and value. 


The Stoeger/Beretta 8000 series Cougar pistol can be thought of as the STR-9's hammer-fired grandfather. (Photos: Guns.com)


Stoeger began introducing the STR-9 series in 2019 and makes then in Compact, Combat, Full-Size and Sub-Compact variants with the latter two added to the company's lineup earlier this year. That's how we ended up with the new STR-9SC this year in both a standard and an optics-ready variant with about a $50 difference in real price between the two. 


The new Stoeger STR-9SC Sub-Compact pistol
The new Stoeger STR-9SC Sub-Compact is clearly intended as a carry gun, ready to be unseen until needed but still large enough to carry 10+1 rounds of 9mm as well as a micro red dot and a light if desired. (All Photos Unless Noted: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Review Contents

Specs and comparison
A Closer Look
How Does It Shoot? 
Pros & Cons

Specs and comparison


  • Overall length:  6.54 inches.
  • Barrel length:    3.54 inches.
  • Overall width:   1.22 inches.
  • Overall height:  4.17 inches.
  • Magazine capacity    10+1.
  • Weight, with empty magazine: 22.5 ounces.
  • Weight, loaded: 30 ounces (with 11 rounds of 147-grain 9mm and mounted Leupold DPP 6 MOA). 


The Stoeger STR-9SC has some very Glock Gen 3 styling, but when it comes to specs it stacks up very well against the competition. 


By comparison, the 10+1 shot Stoeger STR-9SC is slightly longer than the 12+1 shot Taurus G3C, which is in its rough price neighborhood. It is also just a bit larger than the Glock 43, while beating the Austrian polymer pistol's magazine capacity. However, it compares nicely to the Kimber Mako R7 in size. The Stoeger is, notably, about a quarter-inch wider than the rest of the pack, but this could be a plus for those looking to add a micro red dot, as its optics mounting system has four plates, allowing it to fit just about anything. 


Stoeger STR-9SC compared
It is clear the Stoeger STR-9SC is meant to compete with the current crop of micro 9mm pistols. See the Stoeger on the left compared to the Glock 43, Taurus G3C, and Kimber Mako R7. 


A Closer Look


The Stoeger STR-9 series breaks down simply and without tools in a procedure familiar to any Glock owner. 


Stoeger STR-9SC field stripped
On the inside, the pistol is straightforward for a polymer-framed striker-fired handgun. It uses a stainless steel front and back rail on the frame and has a cold-hammered blued stainless-steel barrel while the slide is a high-strength alloy steel with a nitriding surface treatment. The frame is listed as a "Technopolymer," reinforced with glass fiber.
Stoeger STR-9SC magazine
The STR-9SC comes with a single 10-round flush-fit magazine with a pinky extension, is marked "Made in Italy," and drops free. This is a bummer in my opinion as I think every maker should ship their pistols with three mags. Replacement/spare mags are $35 a pop. It is backward compatible with larger STR-9 mags such as the company's 15-rounder. 




The STR-9SC comes standard white three-dot (front post/square notch) rear sight configuration in addition to the optics cut on the slide. Four included mounting plates accommodate Burris, Trijicon RMR, Eotech, Docter, Insight, Meopta, Vortex, Leupold's DPP, and C-More micro red dots. 


Stoeger STR-9SC optics plate
We mounted both and zeroed both a Burris Fastfire and a Leupold Delta Point Pro on the STR-9SC, then fired 100 rounds using each plate, racked the slide repeatedly with the optic against the barricade, then checked for zero and found no movement. However, it is a big bummer that Stoeger uses (soft) flathead screws on the optics cover plate. Do better guys.


How Does It Shoot? 


The STR-9SC, although only 1.25-inches wide, feels a chunky in the hand but its left-sided surface controls are easy to manipulate. Utilizing a texture that feels very Glock-like on the backstrap of the grip and with a softer, mottled texture on the grip panel, the Stoeger has two finger grooves on the front of the grip that evokes memories of the Gen 3 Glock 26. You can get your mitts around it and control it well. In fact, I felt it was more controllable than some thinner carry guns that are in the same category. 

Check out the controllability. The STR-9SC comes back on target with minimal muzzle flip:



The trigger pull isn't too bad, breaking in a flat orientation at an average of about 4.5 pounds with a short reset. There are worse triggers on mass-produced polymer-framed striker-fired pistols, and it feels on par with a Gen 3 Glock or the original S&W M&P M9. 

The trigger at work, below: 



When it comes to reliability, we ran a mix of 500 assorted factory-loaded rounds through the Stoeger. 


Stoeger STR-9SC ammo
These included Federal, Blazer, and Speer, in 115 and 124-grain bullets, including both range and protection loads.


We encountered one jam in testing, a failure to feed about halfway through the only magazine that we had for the gun. It should be noted that we ran all 500 rounds through the pistol right out of the box, only field stripping to check for fitment and function before round no. 1, and did not add any additional lube. 


The below is a typical group from 15 yards. 


Stoeger STR-9SC accuracy
As a carry gun, the STR-9SC is ready to do its part. 


Pros & Cons


Without further, here are the pros and cons of the Stoeger STR-9SC as we see it after testing and evaluation. 


  • Inexpensive. The Stoeger STR-9SC Sub-Compact Optic-Ready (#31749) has an MSRP of $399, which is about $50 less than the Taurus G3c T.O.R.O. or $175 under the current asking price of the optics-ready Ruger MAX-9. 
  • Made by a subsidiary of Beretta with a good reputation.
  • Compact and comparable in size to most micro-9s on the market while including a Picatinny accessory rail-- something a lot of the competition does not have.
  • Reliable. 
  • Decent optics mounting system with lots of available footprints. 


  • Only ships with a single magazine. 
  • Extra mags are $35 and kind of tough to find.
  • Holster options may be limited to generic models. 
  • Cheap screws on the optics cover plate. 



The Stoeger STR-9SC is new to the market and, with the right support, could do well, especially at the extremely attractive asking price it is often found listed. Those who pick it for their carry gun can expect a dependable, if chunky, striker-fired 9mm with lots of options for micro red dots.


For those who want a decent carry gun for typically less than $400, the Stoeger STR-9SC could fit the bill.