Stoeger Cougar .40 Handgun Review

The Stoeger Cougar .40 pistol is a smaller, friendlier and more economical version of the M92F!

If you are even an occasional reader of gun magazines, it would be hard to avoid the conclusion that you have to be pretty affluent if your self-defense strategy involves packing anything more powerful than a baseball bat. It’s easy to find articles about thousand dollar-plus custom 1911s that few of us will ever own. And I’ll freely admit that I enjoy reading those articles myself, even though those pistols are beyond my pay grade, especially if I plan to continue enjoying domestic tranquility.

stoeger2.jpgBut, despite the fact that I enjoy reading about high-end guns, I think there’s a need for more coverage of reliable, high quality, reasonably priced handguns for self-defense. Let’s face it, the lower your socioeconomic status, the more likely you are to be a victim of violent crime. You’d think crooks would have the economic good sense to catch a ride out to a rich neighborhood to conduct their activities where the pickings are better. But I suppose if they had that much entrepreneurial drive they wouldn’t be crooks in the first place.

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  • chris

    just bought my wife the 9mm cougar, and for myself the .40. We cant wait to pick them up tuesday and get out to the range for a bit. We will post our review after a few hundred rounds on each one. Thanks for all the reviews, i got mine over a sig i had my eye on.

  • revilla alaska

    only failure to chamber due to magazine lip and cheap lead hollow point in my experience otherwise flawless operation 10,000 give or take a box

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  • george milton

    I have owned mine for about six months now and fire nothing but Fiochi inexpensive American made ammo through it and coming up on 1000 rounds through it I have yet to have a SINGLE jam, fail to feed or fail to eject with it. Accuracy is everything I could dream and then some. I love the ability to keep the first round chambered and safety on (doubles as a decocker) and enjoy the first round heavy trigger pull for added safety and once the lead starts flying the remaining shots are all feather light trigger pulls which is EXCELLENT for getting off accurate quick shots if that is ever needed.

    Rotating cylinder reduces recoil moreso than just the slide chambering action alone and apparently it increases accuracy somehow – I am usually good but with this gun I was awesome. To the guy who is jamming 19 out of 40 rounds you either got bad ammo or are loading it wrong or maybe you got a bad one. I bought mine new at Cabelas maybe you bought a used one that has been tampered with. Could not ever imagine this gun doing what you described. Never.

  • Ed

    I’ve has a Cougar 8040 for justn over four months . Have fired about 1000 rounds of WWB & Federal R&T without a single FTF or FTE. Rotating barrel cuts flip to a minimum. Love the gun!

  • Bought a cougar gun i ever owned,it is so user friendly,thinking about the 45??????

    • With all of the superior reviews of this weapon using the 40 cal and all the really good quality accurate supersonic rounds in that 40 caliber, I would not seriously consider going to fewer fat slow rounds just to up the weight and width of the bullet. Only exception would be if I already had a stockpile of 45 ammo and other 45’s in my inventory which I do not. So many 1911 are overpriced and IMO not worth that much so they are not in attendance here, Other good 40’s are in stock and such as the S&W 4046 excellent retired service revolvers got good maintenance and are why we stocked/stockpiled 40’s instead.

  • Tonymac

    At first I wanted to buy a 92fs. Owned one before and loved it. The store I went to was out of stock so the salesman showed me the Couger.
    It was love at first site ! Fir my hand perfectly and was over $200 cheaper then the 92fs.
    I went home and did my research, finding nothing but great reviews on the Couger.
    Returned to the store and bought it.
    First time shooting it, it jammed 19 out of 40 x.
    It would get the first shot off and then jam.
    About now I was really disappointed.
    Sent it back to Stoeger for repair.
    It Have shot over 500 rounds and no jamming.
    I used to own a 92fs and I like this gun as much.
    The low price makes it that much better.

  • Doesn’t Take a Genius

    Top of the page Don Hume says….
    “So far never put a round in it, brand new. After cocking the piece and taking the safety off it dropped the hammer 8 out of 10 times. Don’t know if it would have discharged or not with a round in the chamber. In for warranty”

    The Cougar has a DE-COCKER! It drops the hammer while simutaneously activating the safety! This man should not own a fierearm if he has absolutely no idea what he is doing. BTW, I’m pretty sure it dropped the hammer 10 out of 10 times Don!

    I own a Cougar and have had zero problems at over 1000 rounds. Excellent firearm.

  • Wally

    I have a Cougar 8040 and love it. Well over 1000 rounds fired and it is still like new. I have tried all forms of loads it works great, even with wide mouthed hollow points!

  • I bought a resold Beretta Cougar model 8357-D. I love the gun, and am keeping my eye out for an s@w .40 barrel for it,if I can get a deal on one.


  • mike

    ~600 rounds of white box winchester 9mm fmj through my cougar and not 1 problem. Groups are tighter every time I shoot. I love the weight and feel to this pistol. The only thing I would change is the mag release as I have to slightly readjust my hand to reach it, but it’s really not an issue as I don’t shoot competitively. For the 400 bones I dropped on it, I’d do it again in a second. Considering getting the .45 later.

  • Don Mohr

    Cougar 40
    So far never put a round in it, brand new. After cocking the piece and taking the safety off it dropped the hammer 8 out of 10 times. Don’t know if it would have discharged or not with a round in the chamber. In for warranty.

  • claude

    you have a great chance in can buy and use a europe we have a hard law,for the gun.

  • Jerry from BC

    300 rounds through my Cougar 40…Damn, I love this gun…not a single problem, shoots better every time. Groups getting tighter. Gun is getting broke in or I’m getting better..probably both…

  • Darin

    just bought a stoeger 9mm used …had 200 rounds shot through it…….was very skeptical but I LOVE THIS GUN………feels good in the hand….tight groups at 25 yds….very smooth……and to top it it and 3 mags for $295 I am seriously considering the 45 cal brother…….

  • Jerry from BC

    Finally received my Cougar yesterday. Waited 3 weeks, supposed to be 4 days, oh well… I love the gun…Put 100 rounds through it today. Worked flawlessly, nice tight groupings. I got the 40 cal. and it is sweet. Try another 100 rounds tomorrow….

  • Jerry in BC

    Just ordered my Cougar 40 today…Been looking for quite a while, read lots of reviews looked at lots of brands. I think this is the one I want. Thanks for all the input from Stoeger owners…good and not so good reviews…

  • Rich Armstrong

    Bought my Stoeger Cougar 8040 a year and a half ago and shot it monthy (to stay sharp).

  • ConservativesUnite

    I have a Stoeger 8040, have maybe 200 rounds through it, no malfunctions. I have used only Winchester USA ammo, simply because it is readily available and fairly inexpensive, have not tried any other ammo. Only wish it had the accessory rail that is now available on the 8045.

  • Brent

    Just put 100 rds. thru my new cougar 40 cal. Love,love,love it. Have owned a beretta 92fs for 20 years now and have always loved the way it fit my hand. The cougar is no different. I bought the cougar with the silver finish and love the way it looks. We will see how the silver finish lasts over time. I will admit that some of the parts (trigger, decocker, etc.) seem to feel of a little cheaper quality and finish than my 92. I was most impressed by the long range accuracy of such a small gun. I would recommend this gun and will probably buy the .45 at some point.

  • Sean

    I bought the 8045, which is the .45 ACP version. 250 rounds in 3 hours. 6 inch groups at 15 meters, ungodly buy..

  • tim in texas

    Just bought my first Cougar 40. Fired 50 rounds and less than 10 ejected correctly. New cartridge jammed on the spent one or the spent one smokestacked? After reading multiple reviews on how great this gun is i’m concerned. Gotta try some different loads to see if it’s an ammo issue but i doubt it?

    • Justin D. Kimmins

      did u ever start liking it? i have a chance to trade my glock 23 gen 2 for ur exact gun and dont have any knowledge of this pistol, any advice would be apprieciated,,,,,,thank justin

  • D Lipps

    I just picked up the .40SW model this past weekend for $359, brand new and put about 200 rounds thru it at the range the same day. It shot flawlessly. The first handgun I ever purchased was a Beretta 92FS about 20 years ago,so I am partial to their brand. My brother went to the range with me and we also took his Glock .357 Sig, Beretta PX4 Storm .45 ACP, Desert Eagle .40 SW, Sig Mosquito and the Beretta 92FS. I think that the Cougar shot as well as all of these other pistols and just seems to fit my hand perfectly. I can’t imagine another gun touching this one for the price. I have notice that a lot of people have added comments on various websites about their Cougars having plastic guide rods – I am not sure if that is only the 9mm version or the early models, but mine definitely has a metal rod.

    I have a question that I hope someone can help me with. Since this is, theoretically a duplicate of the original Beretta Cougar, does anyone know if the tritium or other night sights made for the Beretta model with fit the Stoeger? Also any help locating a Hogue rubber wrap-around set of grips would be most appreciated.

  • Rob

    As posted earlier, I love my Cougar and find that I grab it on the way out the door far more than any other. For all those interested, Safariland makes a nice leather, top break, three slot holster in right or left handed for $45.50. Model 328 I think. Bianchi makes a shoulder rig for it, the 4601 Ranger Viper out of ballistic weave nylon, ambidextrous design, vertical carry with extra mag pouch and tie-downs. This holster is great for winter wear. Price is reasonable at $72.99. It is fully spring loaded and you can snatch the gun out so fast it never ceases to amaze me. A big thanks to TNshot on where to buy extra mags, that was very reasonable and I got 4 myself.

  • TNshot

    This thread has been running quite a while but, FWIW, I’ve had my 9mm Cougar a little over a year and have put 1000+ rounds through this jewel of a pistol. The only “misfire” was a stovepiped round, the result of an intentional “limp wrist” shot—just trying to provoke it into a boo-boo. Not a single problem since. Absolutely the best looking, best fitting and handling and best shooting pistol I have. In my mind, the finish is great and very durable; I carry it frequently in a Ross holster made for the Beretta Cougar. As far as parts go, I’ve only replaced grips and bought 5 extra 15-rd mags. The grips (nice factory Beretta cocobolo) fit like a dream and look great with the black finish; mags are factory, also. Both grips and mags came at a VERY reasonable price from CDNN Sports ( ). My gunsmith/dealer tells me all parts interchange with the Beretta Cougar.

    So, I’m more than happy with this fine piece, and glad to see I can now have it’s sister in an 8-rd .45 ACP model for $450. I will.

  • Buckshot

    I am on the verge of adding a pistol to the 4 I have and the Beretta 8000 caught my eye, then the Stoeger Couger. Someone commented that the Stoger finish is not as good as the Beretta. Can anyone confirm that? Also, it sounds like the main spring in the Stoeger is not as capable as the Beretta. Any comments on that? I am a buy and hold gun guy so I will pay extra for quality if it is worth the extra. I need to know if it is worth tracking down a new Beretta while they are still available or simply buying the Stoeger and saving the money.

  • I did a lot of research before I purchased my 9mm version of the Stoeger cougar.

    My main choices were Sig, Beretta, Ruger and EEA Witness pistols. I tried out all of them and the most comfortable and best looking was the Stoeger.

    I have put 600 rounds through her all being Remington 115 grain ammo, with no failures.

    I have fired and owned a many a weapon and this remains my favorite.

    It is stamped Stoeger. however it is really a Beretta!

  • ROD


  • Rob

    As of today, I have put 8550 documented rounds through my 9mm version (I reload and live near a range) and have had zero complaints. Rounds range from lead target to some real cookers with 115 ball. I love it!


  • Dan

    Purchased the 8040 for my 50th birthday last March (2009). Counted my empty 40 cal brass and am now over 1,000 rounds. All kinds of ammo – cheap to expensive. Not one failure. Excellent handgun!

  • Nick Olson

    I purchased a Cougar 40 and put about 25 rounds through it before the extractor, pin and spring came out. Sent it back to Stoeger for repairs (no cost) and received it 3 weeks later. Since put about 600 rounds through it with one fail to extract. I’ve been using a variety of ammo. It seems to work equally well with the cheap stuff.

    VERY accurate gun. Mild recoil. Easy field stripping. I really like the way it looks, feels and shoots. This is my second Turkish made pistol and I’m impressed with both of them. Great gun for the money.

  • smog

    Am just getting ready to go pick up my cougar 9. I am someone who does a lot of research on most things I buy and these posts have just put the icing on the cake.
    My understanding is the cougar combines the two best features of two different Beretta’s. One is the rotating barrel and the second I can’t remember.

  • Vern

    I currently own 7 different handguns. My most current purchase was the Stoeger Cougar and all I can say is this is by far the best gun in my lot. Not only is it a sharp looking gun but loaded with features making it an excellent defense gun as well as range shooting. I hear a lot about it being a good choice for the money. Bunk, it is an excellent gun at any money. The simple fact is this is quality workmanship at it’s best.

  • steve burkholder

    I own the 9mm version of this gun. I have fed several hundred rounds of cheap practice ammo through this gun, many times emptying it as fast as I could pull the trigger, without a single malfunction!I can’t say that about my $1000 Kimber.The Stoeger Cougar is the best pistol for the money I have ever owned. I heartily recommend you buy one. Great fit & finish, flawless operation, easy take-down, and it just feels right in your hand.By the way, it is produced with the exact same materials, on the exact same equipment, with the exact same procedures as the Beretta Cougar!

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