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Stribog SP9A1 Review

This is my Stribog SP9A1 review. When the Stribog was initially imported into the United States, it was somewhat of a flop.

This was before the time of pistol braces and there just wasn’t a lot of market for that gun. It really only made sense if you were going to SBR it. Most of the guns ended up being sold at a deep discount for distribution. 

Stribog SP9A1 Backpack

Fast forward a couple of years and Global Ordinance became a Stribog importer. At the time, Global Ordinance started importing the Stribog, SB Tactical was introducing a variety of pistol braces. These fit the gun either directly or using adapters produced by third-party vendors. It breathed a new life into the platform.

What is the appeal of the gun?

Out of the box, the gun feels high quality. It uses an aluminum extrusion for the upper receiver and has a polymer lower that includes the magazine well as well as the trigger pack and pistol grip. The gun just feels to be pretty well-made on its own. 

Is it exceptional? No. But does it feel better than other polymer alternatives? Yes. If you’re like me and you do like the feel of metal, then this gun seems like a great value considering the price point. It’s a really cool gun for the money and fairly compact.

The gun comes with an eight-inch barrel but in its factory format, it’s still under 16 inches in overall length. Most of its competitors have a much shorter barrel and are still the same length or even longer.

Stribog SP9A1 Suppressed Folded Left

This Stribog SP9A1 does have a little bit of that “movie gun” quality to it. It looks different from an AR-15, which is a nice change if you’re getting tired of seeing them everywhere.

Look, I love the AR-15 as much as the next guy, but at some point, you’ve got to have a change of pace. It’s cool to see a gun that not everybody has.

Grand Power Stribog

In Stock Stribogs
New and Pre Owned

Ergonomics 

Ergonomics are very important on a gun, and AR-15 style PCCs or sub-gun clones tend to not have the best ergonomic design. The Stribog is an exception in some areas but follows the rule in others.

Safety

Stribog SP9A1 Safety Left

The safety of the Stribog SP9A1 is quite good. It has an ambidextrous safety with plastic paddles placed almost identically in the same position as an AR-15. My one complaint, which is slight, is that the right-side safety rubs the knuckle of my hand when I place it down.

It’s not a deal-breaker, and I’m honestly glad it’s there because I end up using my trigger finger to place the safety back on. It’s a very intuitive and easy-to-use system. 

Stribog SP9A1 Safety Off Left

I do personally wish they had made the right-side safety leverage a little bit lower-profile or more flush or short, just something to keep it from impacting my knuckle when I flipped the safety off. It’s still one of the better PCC safeties out there, so I’m really nit-picking especially when considering the price point of this firearm.

Pistol Grip

One of my biggest complaints with this gun is the pistol grip. They have a molded-end pistol grip that is integrated with the lower receiver itself. I would have liked to have seen a lower receiver that accepts AR-15 style pistol grips as well, so you have the option to choose what kind of grip you want. Unfortunately with this system, you’re stuck with what they give you. 

Stribog SP9A1 Pistol Grip

The angle on the grip itself is more similar to an M16A1 than a more modern grip that sits flatter. This gun, I guess, was designed to shoot in the prone vs. QCB, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. If they would have gone with a straighter pistol grip or allowed you to install your own AR-15 pistol grip, it would’ve been a much better option.

Stribog

In Stock Stribogs
New and Pre Owned

There is nice texturing on the pistol grip itself that I really like that also matches the texturing on the front of the magwell, so it provides a nice visual aesthetic. Grand Power made the texturing aggressive enough to get a good grip, but not so aggressive that it’s going to hurt your hand in any way.

You’re not going to need to have super calloused hands or anything to shoot this gun effectively. In my opinion, they did a great job. It just would have been a whole lot better if they would’ve allowed for an AR-15 stock grip to be installed.

Mag Releases Stribog SP9A1 Review

Stribog SP9A1 Magazine Release

The magazine release on this gun is ambidextrous and it’s positioned right where an AR-15 magazine release would be. It’s a really good design and frankly, I couldn’t be happier with it. It’s easy to use, easy to reach with both of your index fingers, and even if you have shorter fingers, you’ll still likely not have a problem reaching the magazine release.

It has a ridged texture that is slightly aggressive, but I’m really nit-picking. This is one of the better magazine releases I’ve seen on any gun of this style.

Stribog SP9A1 Magazine Release Left Side

Magazine Well

Stribog SP9A1 Magwell

The magazine well on the Stribog is pretty small but it has a very nice bevel. This has some of the smaller magazines of the PCC-style gun, so they’re originally based on the Colt- and Uzi-style mags but scaled up to work with a polymer format.

There are some issues with those which we’ll discuss later on, but the magazine well itself works quite effectively and it’s easy to get a new magazine in the gun.

Bolt Release/Hold Open

Stribog SP9A1 Bolt Release

The bolt release on the gun itself is positioned right above the magazine release. I can barely reach it with my index finger. It would be nice if they had moved it to stay a little bit further back to allow you easier access and works better as a bolt hold-open than as a bolt release. It’s just stamped sheet metal and there’s only around an eighth of an inch of a lip to where you can get your finger on. 

Stribog

In Stock Stribogs
New and Pre Owned

It works fairly well when using my support hand thumb to drop the bolt release, but I can’t use my index (trigger) finger, which I would like to be able to do. It’s just too stiff. If they added a little more of a lip to that, then it would be easier. However, the aftermarket has solutions for that.

Charging Handle

Stribog SP9A1 Charging Handle

The charging handle on this gun is as simple as it gets. It is non-reciprocating, which is a nice feature, but it’s also just turned metal. There is no texturing and actually rotates freely due to the design. It’s switchable from the left to the right side so you can decide how you want to run the gun.

Just make sure it won’t interfere with any accessories you have mounted. I like it, but overall, I think it could have been improved and a little better-refined, but again, considering the price point of this gun, I don’t have any big complaints and I don’t see myself switching this out to an aftermarket part.

Handguard Stribog SP9A1 Review

Stribog SP9A1 Handguard Right

The handguard on the Stribog SP9A1 is probably going to be my biggest complaint. This is a very tall system as far as the handguard goes. It’s not like an AR-15 where your handguard can naturally fit around the handguard. It’s more akin to something like an FN Scar.

If you like doing a 12 o’clock grip with your thumb, this gun will likely not work well. The overall height of the handguard also presents some challenges when it comes to mounting accessories. 

Stribog

In Stock Stribogs
New and Pre Owned

It can be hard to activate your light or find a setup that will work well for both a right-handed and a left-handed shooter. I like having all my guns set up for ambidextrous use when possible and the Stribog is not necessarily the easiest gun to do that with. More on that later.

Trigger

The trigger on the Stribog SP9A1 is decent. It’s not great, but it’s not horrible either. It has just a little bit of creep before it breaks. It’s kind of like a Mil-Spec AR-15 trigger but a little bit heavier and more plasticky-feeling. It’s still a decent trigger and better than some of its competitors, but it’s not the best trigger in the world by far. 

Stribog SP9A1 Trigger

My understanding is that you can replace this with certain AR-15 triggers that are compatible, but you’ll need to look up more about that online. It’s definitely not a trigger that I find myself replacing, but if this were a go-to gun, I might look at getting a better trigger for it.

Brace/Stock Stribog SP9A1 Review

Stribog SP9A1 Brace Folded Left

There are a couple of different brace and stock options for the Stribog SP9A1. One of my favorite things to do to the gun is to add a 1913 rail to the back, which allows you to mount the brace or stock of your choice.

SB Tactical makes a couple of really nice braces that will work with that 1913 adapter, but there are also other braces like the Triangle Folder from PSA or some of Gear Head Works’ inventory. 

There are a variety of companies that make extensions that will work with either a stock or the Gear Head Works Tailhook. SB Tactical also makes a direct mount brace. All of these braces will fold to the side of the gun and do not cause any interference with the ejection port, the safety, or any of the controls.

Stribog SP9A1 SB Tactical Brace

The Stribog SP9A1 is a very well-thought-out gun. Having the ability to add a folding brace makes the gun a lot more stable to shoot as well as allowing it to be a lot more compact if you were to store this in a backpack or even just the storage space of your safe. I can fit a lot more guns in my gun safe due to the folding brace on this gun. It can fit nicely on a shelf instead of taking up the slot for a full rifle.

Stribog SP9A1 Review Accessories

Stribog SP9A1 Suppressed Right

Finding the right accessories for your Stribog is really going to make or break your experience. If you have the gun set up right, it’s going to have that aforementioned “movie gun” quality that you want to show all your friends: that gun that they all like and all want to shoot when you bring it to the range. There are a variety of companies which we’ll mention below that are making Stribog accessories.

Stribog

In Stock Stribogs
New and Pre Owned

Mounting Accessories

Mounting accessories to any gun can be challenging at times. You want to make sure you have the accessory setup that is most aligned for your use. It’s very important that the gun allows you to ergonomically mount the accessories as well as get the specific number of accessories you need for your own purpose.

Optics Stribog SP9A1 Review

Sighting systems on the Stribog are fairly straightforward. There is a Picatinny rail running at the top of the receiver, so it’s very easy to mount any optic you want. One thing to keep in mind is that if you mount an optic too far forward, you might have issues activating the charging handle with the gun. It’s just something to keep in mind — as long as you mount the gun far enough back, I don’t see that being an issue for most users.

Irons

Stribog SP9A1 Rear Sight Folded

Iron sights on the Stribog are somewhat of a disappointment. It includes these integrated sights that are made of plastic that flip up and actually offer two sighting options. When folded down, they work like standard pistol sights with a post and notch, but when folded up, they have a ghost ring setup similar to an HK-style front sight with a normal peep-sight rear. 

The sights themselves are plastic and feel really cheap. I’m pretty sure they’d snap if I dropped the gun. It’d be nice to see a couple of Picatinny slots move it a little bit further forward on the gun so you can mount standard AR-15 folding style sights like Magpuls, Troys, or any other iron sights that suit your needs.

Lights

Stribog SP9A1 Light Activation

Mounting a light to this gun is one of the most difficult things. I find myself using a Modlite with a Mod button attachment. The Mod Button is a small pressure switch that mounts the Picatinny rail on the top, so I have to extend my hand quite high to get my thumb on that.

The good news is that it is somewhat ambidextrous, but if you’ve set the gun up for a right-handed shooter, your left hand is going to have to torque in some very weird ways to get it to work. I actually had to mount a switch to the rear of the activation of the lights so I could use it with my left hand as well and that is still not the most ergonomic setup. If the handguard was perhaps a little bit further forward this would work better.

Stribog

In Stock Stribogs
New and Pre Owned

The gun has an eight-inch barrel and there are around two to three inches of the barrel sticking out past the handguard. I would have liked to have seen the handguard extended about an inch and a half further as it would have allowed me to get the light out a little bit more and just would’ve made the whole setup better.

Alternatively, they could have shortened the barrel, allowing the gun to be even more compact. If you’re going to set this gun up to be a dedicated right-hand or left-hand gun, then it’s a very decent setup. If you’re not and you want to have the ambidextrous ability, then this might not be the best choice of firearm for you.

Control Devices Stribog SP9A1 Review

Stribog SP9A1 Angled Foregrip 3D Experiment

When I say “control devices,” I’m talking about devices on the gun itself that help you control the gun better. On a gun like this, it’s going to be some sort of vertical or angled foregrip. If you throw a vertical foregrip on, it’s going to move it into AOW or SBR status. You’re going to want to make sure you check out all those regulations before you decide to set up the gun.

I went with a custom-designed angled foregrip that was 3D-printed and matches the gun perfectly. This grip was designed specifically around the Stribog itself. At the six o’clock position, the Stribog has a Picatinny rail section. It would have been nice to see them use something like M-Lok, as it would have reduced the profile and made the gun more comfortable to use when you don’t have anything mounted in that position.

I will say that the 3D-printed foregrip I have is excellent. They matched the texturing on both the magwell and the pistol grip, so it looks like it was made for the gun. The cool thing about 3D printing is it’s finally gotten to the point where they can make small runs and accessories at a price that is somewhat affordable while still being low volume.

The Stribog is not imported in sufficient numbers to justify injection molding of accessories like this at this time, so it’s nice to know that designers are out there making awesome designs that wouldn’t have been possible just a few years ago.

Any angled or vertical foregrip that attaches via Picatinny rail will work on this gun.

Stribog SP9A1 Review Aftermarket 

Stribog SP9A1 Lynx Defense Byte Left

As we discussed earlier in the Stribog accessories section, there are a ton of aftermarket parts for the SP9A1. This gun was really accepted by the aftermarket and it’s just a great little setup. I’m glad that aftermarket vendors supported this gun because it makes it a whole lot more enjoyable to the end-user.

It’s also nice that you can buy a gun at a fairly affordable price and then spend a little bit of money upgrading it to make it truly yours while not being on an AR-15 or another super common platform.

Shooting Experience

When you first pick up the Stribog and go to insert a mag, it inserts very smoothly due to the wide bevel on the magazine well. Pulling back the bolt might increase the weightiness in your hand, but it’s smooth still. It’s important to note that, as a blowback 9mm, the SP9A1 has a lot of weight behind that spring.

Once you let that bolt ride home, the weight for both it and the spring keeping the bolt in place makes for a satisfying, authoritative lock. Shouldering the gun, getting your sight picture, and subsequently flicking the safety off feels very natural and much like an AR-15.

The safety is just very intuitive and light to use — it doesn’t take a lot of pressure to flip it, but you shouldn’t have any fear that it’s going to come off inadvertently.

As you pull the trigger you’re going to be somewhat less surprised by the light recoil. This gun definitely has recoil and jumps around, but it’s not as heavy as most 9mm blowbacks.

For the most part, 9mm blowback guns have a lot more recoil than a 556 AR-15. This is one of the few exceptions. It might have a little bit more recoil, but not a lot. The gun is still very controllable and fun to shoot.

Stribog SP9A1 Review Suppressed

Stribog SP9A1 Lynx Defense Bureau Left folded

When I put my 3-Lug suppressor on, the gun does get quieter and suppresses pretty darn well. It’s not the quietest gun I’ve ever shot, but it’s close enough. The SP9A1 is definitely better than the CZ Scorpion and the Ruger PC 9 Charger.

It doesn’t come close to a rotating-bolt firearm like the SIG MPX. In its price point, I don’t see there being a better gun than a Stribog when it comes to suppression.

Once you’ve run through that mag, ejecting and dropping it free is easy. One thing I will mention here is that a couple of people have had issues with the reliability of Stribog’s magazines.

There are solutions to that. As we mentioned earlier: you can get an aftermarket lower receiver. This will allow this gun to take the more reliable CZ Scorpion magazines. Overall, this is an incredibly fun gun to shoot, and I’m really glad I bought it.

Stribog

In Stock Stribogs
New and Pre Owned

Final Conclusions

The Stribog comes in around $700 without any accessories. You can find it at higher or lower price points depending on market variables. $700 seems to be the average going price. The magazines sell for $20-30 apiece, but I wish they had different options. If the SP9A1 had different magazines, this firearm would be a definite home run.

If you’re looking for a home defense gun, I might be a little bit wary because of the magazines’ reliability issues. There is still a lot of potential there if it’s switched out to take the aforementioned Scorpion mags instead. 

Stribog SP9A1 Folded Left

If you’re just looking for a fun toy to shoot at the range, this gun’s going to be very hard to beat. With its extruded aluminum upper receiver and a decent bit of heft. The gun just feels like it’s pretty darn good quality. In spite of its plastic safety levers and lower receivers. Overall, you’ll feel like you’re getting a well-built gun.

At this price point, I don’t think you’re going to find a better deal than the Stribog SP9A1. In my opinion, it has the best value out there right now for a sub-gun. My only real complaints are the magazines and a wide handguard. These make it hard to mount lights. Other than that, I’m all in. I hope you’ve enjoyed our Stribog SP9A1 Review. Please let us know your thoughts below.

Pros

  • Decent aftermarket
  • High value
  • Good safety
  • 8-inch barrel
  • Short overall length
  • Good recoil impulse
  • Decently compact

Cons

  • Mounting accessories
  • Factory sights are worthless
  • Magazines aren’t great
  • Don’t like steel ammo

4 Replies to “Stribog SP9A1 Review”

  1. johnny downs says:

    Harrison, GREAT posting! Extremely informative about the nuances of the Stribog sp9a1. all the other sights I read just repeated the mnfr’s basic info. What I needed was your site! I have just ordered one myself as my online dealer had dropped price to $580…..some one day sale! Your posting answered almost all of them…….but I have two questions : it’s an 8″ barrel….with about 2.5″ sticking out past handguard………can you send me a pic of the front of your weapon…..barrel first….no suppressor……and if you know…..what is the approximate spacing between the barrel and the handguard…..I do not have a registered suppressor yet….so I am working on a shroud/muzzle brake combo.
    Thanks again for all the info…..your posting really did answer alot of questions!

    1. Harrison says:

      Glad it was helpful. Unfortunately, I’ve got a 3 lug mounted on my gun so I’m not sure on the exact length. If you don’t want to deal with designing it yourself 3Dexperiment on Instagram has some awesome products for the Stribog that seem to describe what you’re working on. Might want to check them out unless you’re having fun designing it.

      1. johnny downs says:

        yeah…..I think I am going to go your route……play with it and have some fun!
        Oh……I noticed you have solid black magazines in yours…..the one I bought has some semi-clear mags that I think look a bit silly. I understand the reasoning…..my AUG has the same and it does serve a purpose…..(on some weapons)……anywhere I can look to get some solid black ones? Thank you

  2. johnny downs says:

    ooops…..Sorry Harrison…..I think I was looking at another photo posted online of the solid black mags.

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