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GUNS Magazine Digital February 2011 - Page 36

A reliable, affordable big-bore defensive pistol. Mike Cumpston he original Cougar series emerged under the Beretta marque in the mid 1990s as a compact alternative to the Model 92/M9 service pistols. It was available in 9mm, the then-new .40 S&W, .357 SIG and .45 ACP and eventually a “Mini-Cougar” variation emerged. Basic fire controls were the same as the 92 and action variations included the standard DA/SA with hammer drop safety, hammer drop only and full-time double action. T Marketplace and associated vectors lead Beretta to shelve the series in favor of the current polymer-rich Storm series. Realizing the Cougars had proven themselves in terms of functional reliability, durability and excellent shooting characteristics, the companion company, Stoeger Industries moved the original tooling to Turkey and began producing the pistol to the same standard of quality as the originals. Reduced production costs resulted in a substantial reduction in price. The Stoeger product is billed as a “pistol designed for affordability (sic).” This does not mean the current Cougar is, in any respect, a second tier pistol. It is fully equal to toplevel service pistols selling for double the cost. The Stoeger Cougar entered the marketplace in 9x19mm and .40 S&W, standard SA/DA with the other action variations optioned in the future. Recent variations include a non-glare Bruniton silver-steel slide with an anodized alloy matte-silver frame and a 2-tone style, featuring a matte Bruniton black-steel slide combined with an anodized alloy matte-silver frame. Bruniton, whether basic black or otherwise colored, is Like the service standard Beretta M9/Model 92, the Cougar dismounts for cleaning in mere seconds. With the introduction of the .45 ACP, the Cougar series now has a sturdy stainless steel guide rod supporting the recoil spring within the steel-action block. The rotary locking sequence and recoil bearing action block minimize recoil impact on the alloy frame. the ubiquitous Polymer/Teflon bakeon finish applied over phosphate used throughout the industry. It is standard on the Beretta M9 service pistols. The news of the day of course, is the recent addition of the Cougar in .45 ACP. The Cougar .45 The .45 ACP Cougar is the first of the series to feature the framefront accessory rail—standardized for mounting the broad array of laser sights and tactical lights. It also pioneers a very important feature now being applied to the entire Cougar line. Whether generated by functional concerns or resulting from consumer rebellion, the plastic recoil-spring guide is no more. In its place is a very substantial stainless steel unit. The .45 comes in black Bruniton over the black anodized aluminum frame—the meld of finishes complementing each other very well. Metal work under the finish is without visible flaw. Other features are common across the Cougar Line. The hammer drop safety is ambidextrous and the magazine release is reversible. The rotating barrel concept has been The Stoeger Cougar, heretofore chambered for 9x19mm and .40 S&W, is now available in .45 ACP. The Cougar is identical to the original Beretta series originally fielded in 1994. It has developed a solid reputation for ease of use, ultra reliability and durability. Now manufactured in Turkey on the original Beretta tooling, the Stoeger Cougar is the standout bargain among the top-quality service and concealment pistols. 36 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • FEBRUARY 2011

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