Steyr M40


Recently, a friend let me shoot his Steyr M40. Made by the same company that brought us the peculiarly shaped AUG rifle, It’s an interesting pistol for several reasons.

Unique Look

From the side the M40 reminds me of a Walther PPS, but it’s a double stack. The style looks very German/Eastern European.

Safeties Galore

There are a plethora of safety features for this particular pistol:

Externally, it has a manual key lock safety, a trigger inset safety, and a neat little key lock system.

The primary trigger safety is engaged by pulling two buttons on the side of the pistol down which brings a bar down in front of the trigger. This is shown in the picture above and can be deactivated by simply moving the bar back up with the trigger finger. Nifty.

There is also a loaded chamber indicator. This is located on the back of the slide in the form of a simple round button. Indicator out…..chamber full.

Internally, there is a firing pin safety and a drop safety.


Rounded, smooth and plain, the grip felt ergonomic. I’m not sure how it would hold up in the heat of the moment when your hands are sweating.

I must add that the handle did have a tiny bit too much angle for my taste.

Tested by Fire

Upon firing, I found the Steyr M40 to have a very balanced feel. Chambered for the .40 S&W, it felt like there was very little muzzle rise. This is probably because of the notch taken out of the back of the handle area which keeps the barrel “line” close to the top of your hand. Paired with the fact that recoil felt low, follow-up shots seemed relatively easy.


The trigger pull was light and crisp. I didn’t need any time to learn it. I was hitting immediately with the M40.


It’s obvious that this handgun was sold during the dark ages of the last ban because it comes with 4 ten round magazines. Post-ban magazines can apparently hold 2 more rounds, but that number seems low.

Accessories “Rail”

I’m guessing that this particular pistol is one of the first generation line because of the two peculiar little indentations below the barrel that we’ll call the accessories area. I’ve never seen this on a gun before. The newer versions of the M40 have a full fledged open rail system like most modern pistols.


The sights are definitely worth mentioning. As seen in the picture below, the front sight is triangular and the back sights are polygonal to match. They were surprisingly intuitive for lining up the target in the sight picture. You can also see the chamber indicator in the “empty” position just below the rear sights.


Overall, I really liked this gun. It felt comfortable and smooth. If I had a chance to buy the Steyr M40 for a good price, I might consider it.


Does anyone have any experience with the Steyr M40 out there?

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