Consumer Information

Review: SAR 9

SAR 9 Pistol and Magazines

When a design has certain elements of several successful handguns, it may be a good mix of pleasing features or a witch’s brew of poor design.

In this case, the maker got it right.

The SAR 9 9mm pistol illustrated has come together with good features, making it among the most desirable handguns on the market based on reliability, usefulness and economy.

The pistol isn’t cheap, but it is affordable compared to the GLOCK, HK and Walther. Yet it gives up little to these pistols in performance.

I believe it is a head and shoulders above the rest in its price range, or a little out of the price range on the high side. It is that good a design.

The Sarsilmaz SAR 9 is well worth a hard look. It will fill the bill for home defense, personal defense and for informal target shooting.

While there are other handguns offered by SAR, including CZ 75 clones, the SAR 9 is the flagship or foundation of the line. 

SAR 9 9mm Pistol

Features and Specs

The pistol has its origins in a military contract for over 100,000 pistols.

The SAR 9 isn’t a copy or clone of another pistol, but an original, although some of its features are influenced by other handguns.

The slide resembles the GLOCK with a custom carry smoothing job.

The frame is either HK or Walther-like depending on the perspective of the person handling the pistol.

This is a striker-fired polymer-frame pistol, no surprises there. The pistol features an ambidextrous safety. I like that a lot.

Some will ignore the safety and that may work well for experienced shooters, some will prefer to activate the safety when carrying this pistol.

The pistol features a firing-pin block and the usual bifurcated trigger.

There is a lever in the center of the trigger to prevent trigger movement if the pistol is dropped.

There is a bright red insert behind the trigger that cues us in when the trigger is ready to fire and the slide racked.

The slide lock and magazine release are easily manipulated.

The magazines are tapered like all high-capacity 9mm magazines and are quite easy to guide into the magazine well.

The pistol features a modern light rail molded into the frame.

The SAR 9 no only features changeable backstraps, but also changeable side panels, an unexpected feature in a pistol that sells for less than the HK and Walther.

Five pistols on black table

The pistol is delivered in a hard plastic box with an instruction manual, cleaning rod and two 17-round magazines.

The internals of the SAR 9 are similar to the GLOCK, but not identical as may be expected. The addition of the manual safety makes a difference.

The takedown or field-stripping sequence is simple enough and very similar to the GLOCK/Walther type.

As far as I can tell, nothing is interchangeable with any other firearm I am familiar with.

Operation is standard double-action-only, striker-fired — rack the slide and the striker is partially prepped or cocked.

Press the trigger to the rear and the striker is brought back against spring pressure and breaks against the sear spring, firing the pistol.

The slide recoils and resets the striker for subsequent shots. The magazines are devilishly difficult to load to 17 rounds, but just fine to 15 rounds.

The magazine’s springs are certainly stout and will feed with reliability.

While there is something of a shortage imposed by panic buying and demand greater than ever seen in this country, I was able to fire more than 400 cartridges in the pistol over the course of several months.

On the firing line, I liked the three-dot sights.

They are properly regulated for 124-grain loads and fire a bit high with the 147-grain — par for the course.

The trigger is heavier than some at six pounds, but manageable. In drawing from a Falco holster designed for the GLOCK 17, the pistol is fast on target.

The sights and trigger are good choices for most defense uses.

Getting on target, getting a hit, and making a fast center hit and then a follow-up shot at five and seven yards was not difficult. 

Two Pistols In Case

How It Performs

Most of the ammunition expended was the cheapest ball ammo I could find. It included some pretty dirty steel case and other loads.

The pistol never failed to feed, cycle or eject. I fired a magazine of SIG Sauer Elite 124-grain V Crown to test reliability.

The pistol thrives on defense ammunition. The V Crown is a formidable defense loading.

I also used a few rounds of Winchester 147-grain Silvertip to confirm the pistol’s accuracy at a long 25 yards.

Firing from the MTM firing rest, I put five rounds into four inches. The pistol is accurate enough, if not target grade.

At defense range — seven yards — you may make a single ragged hole in the X-ring with the cheapest load.

This is a formidable handgun well worth its price. 

Man Shooting Pistol in Woods
SAR 9Features
Sights:Three-Dot, White Outline
Weight:27 Ounces
Length7.5 Inches
Magazine Capacity17 Rounds

What do you think of the SAR 9? Let us know in the comments section below!

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.


Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Handloader
Rifle Magazine
Handguns
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns



Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (6)

  1. really love this gun.i have the sar9st and exactly what was said in review, it is almost impossible to get last 2 rounds in clip. Got a speed loader on the way to see if it helps,but otherwise its a great gun

  2. I work at Gun Counter in a nice store I was able to acquire a 9x Platinum.This is an excellent firearm.The package it came with is more then adequate.The flashlight is bright enough the holster sturdy enough and Double Magazine holder works well.A great package at the price.Looks nice and operation is flawless do far.Trigger is breaking in after 600 rounds getting much smoother.I really sell alot of the Sar 9 and am super confident that my customers will enjoy it.

  3. I feel very fortunate to have acquired one of these during a year of turmoil. This along with a few other choice pistols are very nice. Have not yet had a chance to fire; but the ergonomics are spot on. This is the sort of piece that feels just right the first time you pick it up. I have not doubt it will do the job.

  4. Is the SAR 9 California compliant or will it be California compliant anytime soon thank you very much for the article

  5. I have the sar 2000 and LOVE it. Looks good with chrome slides and black frame.. Only draw back I have is it does not have the rail for mounting options.

  6. I wasn’t totally convinced I liked this firearm on my first range trip. The trigger was a bit scratchy and slide very stiff to rack. The gun just felt a bit awkward in my hand. However I decided to keep trying and changed out the grips to better fit my hands. I took it back to the range a few more times. Each time was a bit better. I’m now really liking this SAR9. The trigger feels so much better and I am on target with each shot. It has handled all types of ammo with no problems at all 100% reliability so far. I would definitely recommend this gun.

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