Steyr’s MA-1

After a two-year hiatus, Steyr’s popular, reliable MA-1 is back on our shores 

Steyr’s MA-1 Pistol

The author put this pistol down in the snow when the temperature was hovering around 20 degrees. The Steyr M40-A1 handled it.Stey

By Dave Workman

First impressions are important—with people, cars and all kinds of other things, and especially with firearms.

When Steyr announced in late 2010 that it was bringing back the MA-1 and SA-1 semi-auto pistols, chambered in 9mm, .357 SIG and .40 S&W,  after a two-year absence on the American landscape, it seemed like very good news, indeed. These striker-fired pistols, with their well-designed polymer frames, each has a reset-action trigger system, a loaded chamber indicator, an external extractor, a steel magazine and a front and rear sight that takes a bit of getting used to (but once you do, you will put every shot where you aim).

The MA-1 is the full-sized version, and the SA-1 is Steyr’s compact platform.

Pistol Trigger

Steyr’s trigger is similar to the triggers found on other striker-fired pistols with a central lever that allows the gun to discharge only when that trigger is fully depressed.


Chambered in .40-caliber, my Austrian-built MA-1 test piece (Serial No. 3016230) came in a padded hard-sided case with two magazines, an instruction manual and a pair of small keys that are used to activate an internal locking device. The case can be locked, so it is acceptable for commercial travel.

A molded accessory rail is located on the front of the dust cover ahead of the trigger guard, typical for today’s semi-auto pistols. The front and rear sight are hardly typical, however. The front sight has a triangular white spot and the rear sight has two diagonal lines, one on either side of the notch. Line them up with the triangle, zero on the bull’s eye and then cut loose.

To read this article in its entirety, pick up a copy of Gun World’s September issue, available on newsstands now.

One thought on “Steyr’s MA-1

  1. I had the 9mm version for sometime. The slide would not lock back on the last round fired. This happened on both magazines. It is a nice pistol but niether it’s performance nor quality were impressive. I would recommend a Glock or M&P or it any day.

    — Essential Defense, Owner.

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