Firearm: Stoeger STR-9MC (MSRP: $479)
Stoeger is a name that should be familiar to most gun owners. While most people associate that name with well-built, value-priced shotguns, the fact is, Stoeger has also made some rather nice handguns. The Stoeger Cougar 8000 had a rotating-barrel action which reduced felt recoil and offered you a high-quality pistol for an entry-level price. Now, with the introduction of the new STR-9 line, Stoeger is continuing that legacy of producing handguns that punch above their price point.
The latest model in the STR-9 series is the STR-9MC, a small 9mm pistol that’s easy to carry and surprisingly fun to shoot. The “MC” in the name stands for “micro compact,” and it’s just one indication that this gun is aimed at the popular higher-capacity, smaller-size carry gun market.
The STR-9MC is 6.1 inches long, or just about the same size as other pistols with similar features. There are serrations at the front and rear of the slide for use with gun manipulations, and the slide is also cut for a slim-sized red dot sight like the Shield RMSc or similar optic. In addition to this, offers two options for iron sights for the STR-9MC. The standard choice is a white dot front sight with a serrated low-glare rear sight, and for $80 more, Stoeger will upgrade that to tritium night sights on the front and rear.
There is a short length of Picatinny rail at the front of frame to attach your choice of light, laser or other accessory, and the grip is stippled with slightly raised finger grooves for better gun handling. The STR-9MC ships with one 13 round magazine that puts it right in line with other micro compact pistols, and there is also a ten round magazine with a finger extension plate and additional flat plate. The trigger on the striker-fired STR-9MC has a slight curve to it, and takes about four to five pounds of effort to activate. Like many other striker-fired guns, there is a blade safety built into the trigger.
All these features add up to a rather nice carry pistol, but we haven’t gotten to the best part yet, the price of the STR-9MC. Practically every other pistol with this feature set has an MSRP that hovers around $600. The MSRP for the STR-9MC, on the other hand, starts at $399, with the night sight version costing $479. All of this means you can carry around a first-rate defensive pistol without having to take out a second mortgage on your house, enhancing your physical safety and financial well-being at the same time.
Holster: Crossbreed SnapSlide (MSRP: $54.95, $66.90 as configured)
One of the disadvantages to choosing a pistol that's not a Glock, M&P or SIG, however, is the dearth of available holsters. Fortunately in the case of the STR-9MC, the folks at Crossbreed have that covered with a variety of the company's well-known hybrid holsters, from the classic SuperTuck to the one chosen for this kit, the SnapSlide with combat-cut sweat guard. Whether you're looking for a tuckable inside-the-waistband holster or an outside-the-waistband unit, Crossbreed has fits for the Stoeger STR-9MC.