Stoeger Cougar Model 31701 pistol in .40 S&W caliber
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  • You can pick up a pistol originally developed by Beretta for half the price of what it cost before the design was sold to Stoeger (I paid about $300 for mine, and it was brand new)
  • Perhaps the greatest thing about this pistol is that it chewed through all the ammo I threw at it with no problem -- we're talking about cheap target ammunition as well as hollow points
  • Another great thing about this pistol is that the rotating barrel design does cut down on recoil, meaning you can bring it back in line with your target quickly after every shot
  • Furthermore, this gun comes with a safety -- a feature I love although it seems to be present in fewer and fewer pistols


by HawgWyld

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    If you are looking for a pistol that is reliable, packs plenty of punch and is very affordable, the Stoeger Cougar should be high on your list. Stoeger — a Turkish company — makes the pistol in the following calibers — 9mm Luger, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. The pistols are all very similar in form and function, but this review is focused on the Model 31701 in .40 S&W because that is what I actually own. However, this pistol works so well that I see the 9mm and .45 ACP versions in the near future.
  • Stoeger Cougar Model 31701 pistol in .40 S&W caliber
  • To understand why the Stoeger Cougar represents such an extreme value, one has to know a little bit of the history of this pistol. The pistol was first manufactured as the Beretta Cougar in 1994 to take advantage of the .40 S&W cartridge, which was new at the time. The pistol was considered to be novel because it featured a rotating barrel that was supposed to effectively handle recoil (more on that later). A few years ago, Beretta decided to phase out the Cougar, so the company sold the tooling for the pistol to Stoeger. So what? You can pick up a pistol originally developed by Beretta for half the price of what it cost before the design was sold to Stoeger (I paid about $300 for mine, and it was brand new).

  • Stoeger Cougar Model 31701 pistol in .40 S&W caliber
  • So, what do you get with the Stoeger Cougar Model 31701? A black pistol chambered in .40 S&W that holds 11 shots in a double-stack clip. You can opt for a nickel finish, too. The pistol has a 3.6″ barrel and weighs in at 32.4 ounces. Perhaps the greatest thing about this pistol is that it chewed through all the ammo I threw at it with no problem — we’re talking about cheap target ammunition as well as hollow points. After shooting over 100 shells through this monster, I’d trust my life to this thing with no hesitation. This might be a bit bulky for a concealed carry pistol, but it is a great one to keep hidden in your car console or in a nightstand. Another great thing about this pistol is that the “rotating barrel” design does cut down on recoil, meaning you can bring it back in line with your target quickly after every shot. If you’ve ever shot a .40 S&W round, you know how “snappy” they can be and the reduced recoil is important. This pistol feels solid and punchy, but can certainly be controlled with just a little practice.

  • Stoeger Cougar Model 31701 pistol in .40 S&W caliber
  • The Stoeger magazine is very, very difficult to load at first and that means that you might want to invest in a mag loader in order to save your thumb. However, if you load the magazine and let it sit for a couple of weeks, that spring will loosen up considerably and the clip is much easier to load.

  • Stoeger Cougar Model 31701 pistol in .40 S&W caliber
  • Field stripping this pistol is a snap. No tools are required and you can break this down in around a minute for easy cleaning. Pulling it apart is a bit of a challenge if you are unfamiliar with these pistols because a couple of illustrations on how to do it are missing in the manual (they weren’t in my manual, at least).

  • Stoeger Cougar Model 31701 pistol in .40 S&W caliber
  • In an obvious attempt to cut costs, Stoeger doesn’t include much with these pistols. Mine came with a manual, pistol, one magazine and one of those bulky, horrible cable locks. The manual made a reference to barrel brush that was supposed to come with the pistol, but that was not in the box (thankfully, I’ve got plenty of barrel brushes in my cleaning kit).

  • Stoeger Cougar Model 31701 pistol in .40 S&W caliber
  • The Cougar fits well in the hand, although it would have been nice to have some options regarding the grips (one size fits all, folks, and no back straps or other items come with the pistol to make it more ergonomic for different hands).

    This gun simply represents an outstanding value. These guns are reliable as can be as to be expected from firearms designed by Beretta. The only complaints I have are that you don’t get a whole lot of options when it comes to grips, there is no accessory rail on any of these pistols accept for the ones chambered in .45 ACP and racking the pistol can be a bit of a chore due to the fact the slide is somewhat slippery and the action is stiff. On the positive side, however, the gun is accurate, reliable, affordable and comes with a fantastic feeling trigger that breaks crisply. Furthermore, this gun comes with a safety — a feature I love although it seems to be present in fewer and fewer pistols. Also, you can switch the magazine release switch, thus making this truly ambidextrous.



0
Sandy Brown says :

re : Furthermore, this gun comes with a safety — a feature I love although it seems to be present in fewer and fewer pistols
One of the best guns I own

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The review was published as it's written by reviewer in January, 2016. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 126011652460531/k2311a016/1.6.16
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