Stoeger STR-9FA review

Review: Stoeger STR-9FA 9mm pistol

If you want more pistol than you deserve for the money you spend, the Stoeger STR-9FA will give it to you. This handgun catches your eye by waving its sub-$800 price tag, lures you in with a boxful of accessories and would probably seal the deal if you could shoot it in the shop. 

The 9FA is the top-tier STR imported into Australia. It comes with four plates to allow the mounting of various reflex sights, three different sizes of backstrap, a holster, spare magazine, magazine filling aid and the usual books, brushes and a lock in a nice, hard case. 

Stoeger STR-9FA review
All-over FDE (flat dark earth) colouring is one of three options available

It comes with a 121mm barrel and a choice of colour schemes for the polymer frame and Cerakoted slide. 

It’s approved for IPSC shooting as well as, of course, your typical club competitions. 

Naturally, the usual reaction to such a well-stocked box of goodies at this price is a bit of suspicion: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t. But that’s not so with the Stoeger.

The fit and finish of this Turkish-made pistol are very good. The firearms coming out of Turkiye are good quality on the whole and this one is emblematic of the fact.

Stoeger STR-9FA review
The value-packed boxful of good gear that comes with the STR-9FA RDO

Long-term ownership reports (something this review can’t hope to mimic) indicate reliable performance without any particular shortcomings that haven’t been overcome by the factory.

For example, some users complained about sticky magazine release but I’ve come across no recent repeats of them and in this review the mags popped out with apparent glee.

The design is pure striker-fired, polymer-framed pistol style, with a lot of inevitable Glock inspiration and plenty of hints of others as well — so I won’t go into the design it in detail. 

But some details stand out, especially the very cooperative angle and shape of the grip, which angles back a little compared to Glock’s usual setup and seems more natural.

Stoeger STR-9FA review
The STR-9FA’s major components. Note steel guide rod inside the recoil spring

The rear of the trigger guard is undercut, the primary feature responsible for raising your grip higher on the gun, closer to the axis of the bore.  

The interchangeable backstraps make a significant difference to how the pistol fits in your hand, too, and I found it easy to know which suited me best.

The stippling in the grips is excellent, with the heavily studded rear section offering extra security and the contoured recesses for fingers and thumb adding more. It’s an ambidextrous grip, helped by the fact you can reverse the magazine release (though not the slide release).  

The slide’s serrations are large and deep for good grip, too. 

Stoeger STR-9FA review
Note the nicely shaped and textured grip design and the cutout under the rear of the trigger guard, all offering great control

The two-stage trigger, which incorporates a safety bar, is not bad for a striker-fired setup like this: very smooth through a fairly long pull of 2kg weight. It is very consistent. 

From a firm rest, with the forend and butt both supported and a two-handed grip, the Stoeger showed acceptable accuracy with a range of 124gn factory loads. 

I fired 20 groups like that at 10m for an average of 38mm five-shot groups; the best was 20mm with three of the shots into one hole; the worst was 52mm.

There was one load the pistol didn’t get on with but I ruled it out of the results for being a dodgy batch of bullets. It was responsible for the only two stoppages the Stoeger suffered on test, but I got suspicious and tried it in another pistol with similarly inconsistent outcomes. 

Stoeger STR-9FA review
One of the Stoeger’s better five-shot groups at 10m, and there were plenty like this

The short-range testing showed the Stoeger’s potential. In Sports Pistol competition at 25m, I surprised myself by shooting one of my best scores ever. I’m the first to admit my scores are nothing extraordinary but to do this with a pistol I was only just becoming familiar with says a lot about it. 

The decent scores in the precision component were what you’d expect from a straight-shooting handgun but the rapid-fire surprised me because it normally requires a sharper trigger for me to do well but not in this case. 

That probably comes down to the consistency and predictability of the trigger. 

If you’re a bit of a gun snob you might bypass the Stoeger for something supposedly more flash and you’d be quite happy, but don’t be surprised if the STR-9 owner in the next bay out-shoots you. 

Stoeger STR-9FA review
Standard sights are quick to align and do the job just fine if you aren’t ready to upgrade

It’s a full-size pistol weighing bang on 750g empty, so recoil is never going to be a big deal. With the great grip and control you have, it comes back on target quickly after each shot. 

The standard iron sights, with their blocky shape and visible white dots, align quickly and precisely, which helps. 

I mounted a reflex sight, too, which helped more. Doing so was just a matter of undoing the two screws securing the blank mount and replacing it with one of the four supplied, according to the optic chosen. Then screw on the optic and sight in.

The primary upgrade you might want to do from standard is to change the sights, whether it’s to fit hi-viz and adjustable iron sights or to screw on an optic. 

Stoeger STR-9FA review
The optic-ready STR-9FA RDO comes with four mounting plates for reflex sights

There’s a rail up front that you can mount accessories to but frankly there’s not much you really need to do to start competing or plinking with the STR-9FA.

In terms of safety, the Stoeger has its trigger-blocking lever that is deactivated the moment your trigger finger does its thing; it has a striker block that doesn’t disengage until the trigger is fully to the rear; it can’t fire if the slide is not fully home; the loaded chamber indicator is actually just a peephole into the chamber so you can see if there’s a cartridge in there. 

The STR is not fitted with a magazine disconnect safety so it will fire without its magazine in place. 

Stripping the Stoeger is quick and easy; ditto for assembly.

Stoeger STR-9FA review
The optic-ready Stoeger is far more handgun than its modest price implies

I feel that I should have found something worth faulting with the Stoeger’s performance but the best I could do was mention some bad ammo. Stoeger has excelled by creating a competitive and dependable pistol that has very good design elements and plenty of features.

You cannot go past the incredible value it offers. In this optic-ready form with all the goodies in the box, plus the undeniable performance, the STR-9FA is amazing for less than $800.

Stoeger STR-9FA review
Stoeger innards, with steel rails embedded in the fibreglass-reinforced polymer frame


  • Type: Semi-auto striker-fired pistol
  • Calibre: 9x19mm
  • Frame: Polymer
  • Slide: Steel
  • Barrel: 121mm, 1:10 twist, 6 groove 
  • Sights: Dovetailed; optic adapter plates supplied
  • Safety: Trigger block, striker block, out-of-battery block
  • Overall length: 198mm
  • Weight: 750g (empty)
  • Magazine capacity: 10 (two supplied)
  • Trigger pull: 2.0kg
  • Price: Generally under $800 (2023)
  • Distributor: Beretta Australia
Stoeger STR-9FA review
Fit and finish are very good, with the slide given the Cerakote treatment

The STR-9FA in this review is an Australian-market model and specs differ in other markets.

Special thanks to Mudgee Firearms, our local gun shop, for facilitating transfers and so on. As always, they provided great service. All the ammo we used in testing, we bought there.




Like it? Share with your friends!

What's Your Reaction?

super super
fail fail
fun fun
bad bad
hate hate
lol lol
love love
omg omg
Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.