Newer Is not At all times Higher ::




My Impressions


Proportioned like a Glock 19, the Cougar makes an excellent carry gun. (Photograph: Don Summers/

The usual Cougar is a 15+1 capability, compact, all-metal semi-auto 9mm handgun with a standard double motion/single motion set off. Three issues actually set it aside: First, it recoils extra softly than most different weapons in its class, and second, it’s extremely correct. Third is its inexpensive value.

Stoeger Cougar 8000 FT 9mm pistol
(Photograph: Don Summers/
Stoeger Cougar 8000 FT 9mm pistol
The textured grip provides to safety and luxury whereas taking pictures the Cougar. (Photograph: Don Summers/

Dimension-wise, it’s proportioned like a
Glock 19 pistol, so it’s simply carried and conceals properly. However as a result of it shoots so softly, it excels at quick taking pictures and would make an excellent competitors gun. It’s simply snug to shoot. 

I’ve seen this gun go for underneath $300 used on At that value, it’s a steal!

Historical past


Stoeger Cougar 8000 FT 9mm pistol
The Stoeger goal emblem will be seen on the aspect of the grip. (Photograph: Don Summers/

I first tried a Cougar again within the late ’90s, but it surely wasn’t a Stoeger Cougar – it was a
Beretta Cougar. Beretta designed and debuted the pistol in 1994, later transferring the manufacture of the Cougar to its subsidiary Stoeger within the mid-2000s with the appearance of the PX4 line. The Stoeger weapons are mainly the identical because the Beretta-produced weapons, as a result of they’re constructed by the identical machines.

Rotating Barrel


Stoeger Cougar 8000 FT 9mm pistol
The Cougar operates in another way from most semi-auto handguns available on the market with its rotating barrel system. (Photograph: Don Summers/

The delicate impulse of this gun is because of its distinctive operation system. The Cougar makes use of a rotating barrel system. 

In practically each semi-auto pistol obtainable at this time, you can see a Browning tilting barrel design. After firing, this method unlocks the breech by tilting the entrance of the barrel upward. Glocks, SIGs, S&Ws, CZs, 1911s, and extra all use this method as a result of it’s dependable and straightforward to fabricate. 

In distinction, the Cougar makes use of a rotating barrel design. On this system, as a substitute of tilting, the barrel rotates to lock after a spherical is discharged. It’s stated that this method produced a lighter-recoiling gun with much less muzzle flip than the Browning design. It’s because extra of the power is used to rotate the barrel, versus tilting it. As well as, this design permits a decrease bore entry so perceived recoil is extra inline and higher absorbed by the hand.


Conventional Double/Single Motion


Stoeger Cougar 8000 FT 9mm pistol
In case you’re not accustomed to the heavy preliminary pull on the normal double/single-action set off, it might take some follow to grasp. (Photograph: Don Summers/

One other nuance of this pistol is that it makes use of a standard double/single-action set off. This implies the primary set off pull that cocks the hammer is lengthy and heavy, however as soon as the hammer is cocked, subsequent set off pulls are mild and crisp. 

I lower my enamel on a DA/SA set off, however for many unfamiliar with a standard double-action set off pull, it’ll take follow to get proficient. I’m capable of pop off a number of hits heading in the right direction with ease.



Stoeger Cougar 8000 FT 9mm pistol
The exterior security lever affords peace of thoughts for carrying within the appendix place. (Photograph: Don Summers/

The Cougar makes use of the
Beretta 92-style slide-mounted security. I actually like exterior safeties on pistols, as a result of I carry within the appendix place and the additional guide security offers me peace of thoughts. 

In fact, folks new to any such security might want to get correct coaching and drilling to make its use second nature. 

Stoeger Cougar 8000 FT 9mm pistol
The trick to utilizing this security is to swipe down, as in the event you’re deactivating a 1911 security. (Photograph: Don Summers/

One little tip on the usage of this security – most new shooters deactivate the protection by flipping up on the lever. That is awkward and gradual from a standard firing grip. The trick is to swipe down, as when deactivating a 1911 security. 

Accuracy & Reliability


Stoeger Cougar 8000 FT 9mm pistol
Dependable, soft-shooting, and correct, the Cougar would make an excellent competitors handgun. (Photograph: Don Summers/

Theoretically, the rotating barrel mechanism is inherently extra correct than the Browning design as a result of the barrel by no means comes out of alignment with the sights and the goal. I’m undecided this side is perceivable by a human. However I did expertise wonderful accuracy with this gun. 

The 8000 sequence has a fame for reliability constructed over many many years. My testing corroborated this, and I had no malfunctions.


Over time the Cougar has been chambered in
.40 caliber, 9mm, .357 SIG and even .45 ACP. The usual model of the Cougar pistol is the F mannequin, with the normal DA/SA set off with uncovered hammer, and ambidextrous security/de-cocker levers. 

The G mannequin does away with the protection, making the levers for de-cocking solely. There may be additionally a D model, which has a double-action-only set off, a spurless hammer, and no security levers. 

Stoeger additionally produced just a few smaller compact fashions. Totally different fashions have totally different 8000 numbers, akin to 8045 for the .45-caliber model. The entire household of weapons known as the 8000 sequence.



Stoeger Cougar 8000 FT 9mm pistol
Equipment are restricted for older firearms just like the Cougar, however you possibly can connect a light-weight to the rail. (Photograph: Don Summers/

One of many downsides of buying a much less widespread, older pistol is that there should not as many equipment obtainable. There aren’t many holsters made for this gun, and being designed within the mid-Nineteen Nineties, it was not set as much as take a pink dot optic. To unravel this drawback, I used the Picatinny rail.

Stoeger Cougar 8000 FT 9mm pistol
My Streamlight TLR-1 HL tactical mild mounts simply to the Pic rail. (Photograph: Don Summers/

I used to be capable of mount a Streamlight TLR-1 HL tactical mild to the pistol. This allowed me to make use of my common Phlster Floodlight holsters, that are designed to index off of the connected mild, versus the precise dimensions of the pistol.


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