SAR-USA SAR 9 Review

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LT USN (Ret.)
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OK, here's my first full firearm review. Please, no laughing.

First, the unboxing

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So far, so good. Nothing exciting or Abby Normal. (there's a joke there...)


View from the left

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"turn to the right". The lever is a safety, not a decocker. It does not have a positive snap when moved to safe or arm. At first it was quite stiff and during tear down it needed help just to move; more on that later.

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Pretty standard field stripping. Make sure the firearm is unload three times, rack it, pull down on the tabs on both sides just above the trigger, pull the trigger, the slide will now slide right off the pointy end. Notice there was not a need move the slide rearward a little as some firearms require.

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Here's where it started to get interesting. Notice on the below picture there is an unusual color to parts of the slide. It looked copper-like and I've never seen this on a firearm I have field stripped. It was easy to clean off and on the cleaning accouterments it looked more like rust.

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A close up of the mystery.

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So I decided to really clean it out. So next to be removed was the firing pin assembly. Removal again was pretty standard with one little exception, the mystery spring.

Notice in the below picture the extra spring and plunger. SAR calls them the Slide Cover Plate Plunger and the Slide Cover Plate Plunger Spring. When removing the slide cover to remove the firing pin, HOLD YOUR THUMB OVER THE OPENING WHILE REMOVING THE SLIDE COVER. I emphasize this as the plunger flies much faster than my reflexes can react. Luckily for me, it was aimed toward the workbench as was easy to find.

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This picture shows the hole from which the possible eye damaging plunger flew from. I'm a normal guy, why read the instructions first? Yeah, OK.

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OK, next picture shows one of the pretty cool items on the SAR 9; not only does the rear of the lower frame come with three different size swells, the left & right panels of the grip also have three different sized panels for each side. After trying a bunch of combos I settled on the medium to the rear, large on the right and medium on the left. It does make a difference and, as you test fit, it is noticeable.
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The next two pictures show how easy it was to remove the fire control assembly. Remove two pins trans versing the frame and remove the safety; out the whole trigger group pops.
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I got it to all go back together in about 5 minutes with no extra parts sitting on the bench. b-)

So, comments & thoughts. First off I paid $277 including shipping out the door. My FFL transfer was $25. So ~$300 for the whole package. Nice...

Trigger out the box was gritty, funky, poop-ish, dirty, etc., etc. This is why I did the complete disassembly that I did. I cleaned, poked & prodded all over and cleaned it again. It needed it.
I can only assume somebody thought it was going to be going to the far-flung corners of the world before being sold to me. So clean it I did. Once clean and dry fired 100's of times the trigger started to get better. I was watching a soccer game and kept racking and firing, racking and firing, the cats came over to see WTF I was doing. I need to train them to start doing these procedures for me.

Now going back to the beginning of the review I said that the safety did not have a positive snap or feel to it; it is a safety that moved the trigger bar up so it can't move rearward. I have given serious thought to removing it completely but, it is one of the three pin holding the fire control group in place. If I can find a way to replace it, I just might. Side note: while testing firing this firearm the safety in no way interfered with the action or firing. I never bumped it on or off, it's just there. It became a non-factor in the gun overall.

Range Day: I had worked the morning shift as a range safety officer at the outdoor range and stayed after my shift to shoot a little. With me was the SFx w/Vipor and the SAR 9.
I like to shoot at 7 yards most of the time as that is a good self-defense interaction range (and I can't see much past that far).
Shooting the SAR 9 was interesting and I couldn't hit the broad side of a berm. Then I figure out the problem, which I verified with a laser round after I got back home, the sights are set as a holdover vice 6 o'clock hold as most of my handguns are. Once I figured out to put the sights so the center of target was obstructed, I started to see holes in the splatter target (another plus for old eyes are splatter targets).

This firearm is rated "OK' in my book. The price was great, the malleability of the grip panels is outstanding as is the hand feel. The trigger is, there. I have not found any replacement or trigger upgrades so, I think that will be a long time coming. Same thing for holsters. Not too many exact fits but general sized holsters work. I have a Versacarry that my M&P 9c fits in and the SAR 9 fits the same holster. Same general shape & size.

So I will continue to break in the SAR 9 and see if it gets better. It will not be making it into the EDC category for a long time for two reasons; 1. I am very comfortable with my M&P 9c with Apex trigger and it's manual of arms, 2. see #1.
I can see it being a truck gun; 17 rounds in the mag (listed as 15 but can hold 17), not pretty enough to worry about it getting dented or scratched, goes boom when the trigger is pulled (I have no failures or malfunctions in 250 rounds) and if the truck is stolen while I'm out & about, I still have my M&P 9c EDC (and all its other friends).

So that's it folks. Move along, nothing else to see here. Let me know if you have questions. I do bar mitzvah's.
LT

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Mikebaker1129
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Does it appear that any other magazines may fit the SAR9 or are they proprietary?
Thanks for the review!
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Mikebaker1129 wrote: Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:52 pm Does it appear that any other magazines may fit the SAR9 or are they proprietary?
No other mags fit that I have found. SAR-USA is really just in the starting up phase, as time goes on they will start having more accessories. I hope.
LT

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Great review, and hands-down the best review I've ever read with the term "poop-ish" in the text. I'm guessing the trigger and general feel will get better with wear-in...all my SARs seemed extra-tight out of the box. Interesting to read that the SAR 9 will fit holsters (or some) similar to the S&W M&P 9C, which as you know is my favorite CC as well. As I mentioned before, my LGS has one in the case for awhile, but has a $350 sticker on it, because when they came out, they were going for $400-ish...I will see if he will order a brand-spanking new one at the lower current prices instead of the stale donut in the case...Good job LT-sir! Thanks for the effort.
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higgybaby
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Yep- good review.
I'm too fumble-fingered to pull one all the way down....I'd lose half the parts.
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Badgerboy wrote: Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:35 pm hands-down the best review I've ever read with the term "poop-ish" in the text
Thank you sir!
LT

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I like a full chassis in the pistol, can make a lot of difference in trigger feel and it is replaceable as one unit.
Please keep us posted on how it does and thanks for the review.
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So in my exuberance to go "live" I forgot to share with you about the sights.

They are a standard 3-dot configuration. The two on the rear were not very well filled in so, I filled them in with white nail polish (my wife's, not mine).

I also filled in the cut in on the rear sight. It makes it line up quicker.


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LT

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I use white appliance paint to fill in my sights, works well.
The stuff I use has a needle nozzle so it is pretty easy.
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DWARREN123 wrote: Tue Dec 25, 2018 3:47 pm The stuff I use has a needle nozzle
Does it come with that needle nozzle and where did you get it?
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qballbandit
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Thanks for this review. I was pretty much all systems go on ordering one of these after reading up on and watching as much video I could find. Couldn't find a single gun shop with one in the store, so was going to take the gamble since it was priced so attractively. It all went south after I held the TP9SF Elite. Very glad I chose the Canik, but not knocking the SAR 9.
Will follow further updates with interest.

Neil b-)
"I fear not the man who's practiced one thousand kicks once, I fear the man who's practiced one kick a thousand times" Bruce Lee
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DWARREN123
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LT USN(Ret.)
I got it at Wal Mart and yes it has the needle nozzle or you can unscrew the cap and it has a small brush inside.
Rustoleum Scratch & Chip Repair, U5005C, Bright White.
Not inexpensive but easy to use and holds up well.
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McCanik
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The mystery copper colored substance on the rails looks like Glock's factory break in lube. Maybe SAR uses a similar substance or someone at the LGS thought it operated a bit gritty and put some on the rails to help break in.
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Ordered my SAR 9 today from the LGS. $295...pick it up Wed. \M/
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Badgerboy wrote: Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:57 pm Ordered my SAR 9 today from the LGS. $295...pick it up Wed.
Outstanding. Let us know what you think (about the gun, not all the other stuff floating around in there).
LT

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Thanks for the great review. I've been interested in the SAR9 for awhile. I just can't get myself to buy into another brand though that has no aftermarket support. Canik is finally starting to gain some traction, but SAR seems to not be making much progress breaking into the U.S. market. They are priced right though, and receiving favorable reviews. I remembering reading/hearing last year that they now have a production facility in Illinois, and want to have a comprehensive aftermarket parts availability like Glock. I just don't know if they are going to be able to accomplish that though. I've really been resisting the urge to buy one of these, and so far I've been able to hold off. Thanks again for the review, and keep us posted how it performs.
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Best price on magazines I've found so far $19.39 + $6.99 shipping.

https://www.manventureoutpost.com/SAR-U ... _8703.html

I'll keep looking until I find a free shipping; the hunt is part of the game.
LT

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LT USN (Ret.) wrote: Fri Dec 28, 2018 4:13 pm Best price on magazines I've found so far $19.39 + $6.99 shipping.

https://www.manventureoutpost.com/SAR-U ... _8703.html

I'll keep looking until I find a free shipping; the hunt is part of the game.
Send me yours and I will pay the shipping. There you go...free shipping.

I don't suppose the magazines from SAR B6P or CM Gen 2 will fit? I will find out Wed.
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Badgerboy wrote: Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:52 am I don't suppose the magazines from SAR B6P or CM Gen 2 will fit? I will find out Wed.
Inquiring minds what to know.
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Mikebaker1129
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Keep us posted on if the other SAR mags fit or not?
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