I love start articles with something to get certain people frothy, especially Glock guys. Relax fanboys, Glocks are great guns, I just happen to think the MR9 is a better gun. The MR9 is essentially a clone of the Walther P99, made with Walther’s permission of course. The frame is made by Walther, and this isn’t evident until you remove the backstrap, you see the Walther logo.
Magnum Research’s Good Looking MR9
The slide is all American made and looks amazing. I’m a big two-tone fan and the stainless steel looks great. The angular lines of the slide look fantastic. It’s just a great looking gun. Yeah, yeah, yeah aesthetics don’t matter, blah, blah, blah. Looks do matter to a small degree, and this is a good looking gun. A good looking gun that isn’t reliable loses to an ugly gun that goes bang. However, when the two come together you get the Magnum Research MR9. I love the looks of the Walther P99, but the MR9 looks even better.
The Trigger Explained
The MR9 trigger isn’t a simple striker fired design. This is a lot of why I say this isn’t just another Glock clone. Sure it’s striker fired, but it’s the most unique striker fired system I know of. The trigger has three distinct modes. My favorite type of handgun is the Double action / single action designs. The MR9 is a real double action / single action trigger design.
The first trigger pull is long but smooth. Like any DA/SA gun after the first shot is fired the weapon reverts to single action. The single action is super short and extremely clean. It has a little take-up, but then hits a wall, the wall is distinct and just a hair of pressure sets it off. The reset is also super short, roughly a 1/8th of an inch. This trigger system makes rapid and accurate fire easy to do.
The third trigger mode is what Walther calls the anti-stress mode. I’m not sure what Magnum Research calls it, but I like it. This trigger system comes into place when the trigger wants a light single action trigger, but also wants to ensure they do not has an ND under stress. This is essentially a two stage trigger. It has the same length as the double action mode in the first stage, and when pressed it will lock into the second stage. At the second stage, you are in traditional single action.
MR9 Trigger Controls
One of the benefits of a DA/SA hammer fired gun is the ability to manually place the weapon into single action mode for a better trigger. With the MR9 you can do the same thing… kind of. If you slide the slide back just a hair, enough for a press check, it’s now in single action.
This is apparent by the red striker being visible. If the red striker is visible then the gun is in single action.
Lastly, there is a decocker to revert the weapon back into double action. Simply press the button and its good to go.
Shooting the MR9
The Magnum Research 9mm is an amazingly fun to shoot firearm. The trigger is what really makes it a blast. The light, single action makes the weapon very accurate. I’m not that good of a shot, but I was ringing a small steel pistol target from ShootSteel.com. It’s a pistol target, this exact one. As you can see it’s not the biggest target, but at 50 yards I hit it 4 out of 5 times. At 30 yards I could ring the target 5 out of 5 times. 50 yards is way out of my comfort zone, but the proof is in the video right.
Recoil is the same with basically any 9mm compact handgun. This particular model is Glock 19 size for comparison. I love the grip. It’s not aggressive, but it stays put in the hand. I hate finger grooves, and luckily the grooves are very subdued with this gun. The backstraps are interchangeable, and I foun d the medium to be the most comfortable. The large isn’t bad but fatigued my hand.
Firing rapidly is a blast. Because the trigger pull and reset is so short and the recoil is minimal you can fire and get right back on target. This makes rapid fire easily to doing accurately. Double taps? Fast and easy. Failure to stop drills? Simple.
Some folks won’t like the magazine release, but I prefer the Walther style trigger guard paddle. It’s ambidextrous and intuitive. I would prefer the new, longer, paddle Walther is using on their newer guns. However, this short paddle still works. This is another reason this isn’t another Glock clone.
Like all Walther type pistols, it doesn’t really like steel ammo. Neither does my PPS, my PPX, or my old PPK. Unreliable? No, not really. I had three failures to eject in 200 steel cased Tula rounds. I had exactly zero failures with the other 400 rounds of brass cased Fiocchi ammunition. Zero malfunctions in the 200 rounds of Sig 9mm ammunition.
Yay or Nay
I think it’s pretty obvious I really like this gun. Is it my new carry gun? It’s a little big for that now that it’s getting warmer. However, it is my nightstand gun and is staying equipped with my TLR-1. (Protip use the SW rail key for a secure fit.) I think it’s a great gun and the street price is around 450ish. Can’t beat it in my opinion.