Beretta-owned Stoeger is upping its pistol game for 2022 with a new series of optics-ready handguns that are billed as "Every Day Tough," and the STR-9SC is one of the more interesting in the series. 

Established in 1924 as an East Coast-based firearms importer, the Stoeger name was acquired by Beretta Holding of Italy in 2000 and is now listed as operating out of Accokeek, Maryland, where Beretta and Benelli USA's HQ is co-located. Stoeger has imported an incredible array of firearms over the last century but is probably best known when it comes to handguns while under the Beretta/Benelli flag, taking over the old Beretta 8000, aka the Cougar, which was made in Turkey until 2016. 

In 2019, the company introduced the STR-9, a mid-sized 9mm double-stack polymer-framed striker-fired pistol with a 15-shot magazine. Stoeger soon followed up with the STR-9C Compact in 2020, the STR-9 Combat in 2021, and this year the STR-9F – a full-sized model – and the STR-9SC sub-compact available in an optics-ready variant.  

Stoeger STR-9SC 9mm pistol
The STR-9SC is 6.54 inches overall due to its 3.54-inch barrel. 
Stoeger STR-9SC 9mm pistol
It stands 4.17 inches high, which makes it just oversized for pocket carry but is still very compact, especially for IWB appendix carry. 
Stoeger STR-9SC 9mm pistol
By comparison, it is slightly longer than the Taurus G3C, which is in its rough price neighborhood. Note the STR-9SC has a 10+1 capacity vs the G3C's 12+1. Contrary to urban legend floating around the interwebs, the mags do not swap out between the two, at least not without modifications. 
Stoeger STR-9SC 9mm pistol compared to Glock 43
It is also just a bit larger than the Glock 43, while beating the Austrian polymer pistol's magazine capacity. 

Going inside

The Stoeger STR-9 series in general, and the STR-9SC in particular, has an easy takedown that is familiar to anyone that has ever disassembled a Glock. 

Stoeger STR-9SC Sub-Compact Optic-Ready stripped
On the internals, 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 Sub-Compact Optic-Ready 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. 

The trigger pull isn't too bad, breaking in a flat orientation with a short reset. The average of 25 pulls is 4.6 pounds. It isn't the best trigger I've felt from a mass-produced polymer-framed striker-fired pistol, but it is far from the worst and feels on par with a Gen 3 Glock or the original S&W M&P M9. 




Stoeger STR-9SC Sub-Compact Optic-Ready
The surface controls, primarily the push-button magazine release and the slide stop, are on the left side of the pistol oriented for use by a right-handed user. They are functional. The magazine release can be swapped over to the right side of the pistol frame. While there is (gratefully) not a manual safety lever, the pistol does incorporate a trigger safety. 
Stoeger STR-9SC Sub-Compact Optic-Ready
The texturing on the STR-9SC is a little aggressive, which I love. In my opinion, it is always easier to tone down texturing with a little filing rather than build it up to make it grippier. Also, the grip has finger grooves, which is up to the user to love or hate. The gun ships with a medium-sized backstrap and other sizes are available after the fact. 
Stoeger STR-9SC Sub-Compact Optic-Ready
Aggressive front and rear slide serrations are another positive of the STR-9SC.
Stoeger STR-9SC Sub-Compact Optic-Ready
With an overall width pushing 1.25 inches on such a short double-stack gun, you get a natural length-to-beam ratio with a brick-like feel, but the STR-9SC feels balanced with a loaded mag inserted. 
The STR-9SC, along with all modern Stoeger pistols as far as I know of, are made in Turkey and marked as such. Like most imported pistols, they are serialized on the frame, slide, and barrel. 



The STR-9SC runs a standard white three-dot (front post/square notch) rear sight configuration in addition to the optics cut on the slide. 

Stoeger STR-9SC Sub-Compact Optic-Ready
Note the rear is adjustable for elevation while the front post is (slightly) adjustable left-right for windage. Yes, the Stoeger uses flat head screws on the optics plate because we guess something better would have added 20-cents to the cost of the gun. Use a 3/16 driver and a light hand to keep from stripping them out. 
Stoeger STR-9SC Sub-Compact Optic-Ready plates
This model comes with a factory-milled optic cut in the slide and four mounting plates with patterns to accommodate Trijicon RMR, Eotech, Docter, Insight, Meopta, Burris, Vortex, Leupold's DPP, and C-More micro red dots. (Chart: Stoeger) 
Stoeger STR-9SC Sub-Compact Optic-Ready plates
It's nice that the gun comes with all four plates, as Beretta themselves only ship their optics-ready pistols with a chit for one plate of your choice. A cover plate is also included for open sight use. 


Stoeger STR-9SC Sub-Compact Optic-Ready
We've got a Leupold DPP 6 MOA onboard for testing and will let you know how the combo works. Weight of the STR-9SC with the Leupold and 11 rounds of 147-grain JHP is 30 ounces. 
Stoeger STR-9SC Sub-Compact Optic-Ready and Kimber R7
This compares nicely to the Kimber Mako R7 in size. 


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. 

So far, we have sent 100 rounds downrange on the STR-9SC with no issues. Be sure to check back with for a full 500-round review in the coming weeks.

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revolver barrel loading graphic