The Sarsilmaz, or SAR Arms, ST10 is made in Turkey. It feels a lot like a Sig 226 with a little bit of CZ75 thrown in. It is 15+1, double action/single action, and has no decocker, just a thumb safety. The street price on them is in the $500-$550 range depending on finish. The gun is a near copy of the HK USP.
We shot about 300 rounds of roundball range ammo and tested the gun for accuracy with this Hornady Critical Duty barrier penetration ammo. Out of a 15 round magazine, just rested on a bag, the Sarsilmaz ST10 put most of them into an inch at 10 yards.
Turkish guns have been in the US market for many year and have a great reputation, including the AR24 from Armalite that is made by Sarsilmaz. This new line coming in from EAA is going to do well here where people appreciate guns that shoot well out of the box and are reliable.
A very important point on this gun is that the side lever is not a decocker. It is just a safety. So the gun can be carried cocked and locked in single action, or you can manually let down the hammer with your thumb for a double action first pull.
No surprises field stripping the ST10. It comes apart and goes back together like any othe DA/SA hammer fired pistol.
Another big surprise from the ST10 was the double action pull at a smooth 8 and a half pounds. The single action pull was just under 5 pounds.
Even the most diehard American gun nut will be hard pressed to have heard of the Turkish gun manufacturer “Sarsilmaz.” They are, however, the third largest firearms factory in Europe and have been making guns since the 1880s. Sarsilmaz makes over 40 different firearms, pistols, revolvers, and shotguns, and they are the makers of the Armalite AR24, which is a CZ75 clone. The Turkish military is the second largest military in NATO and it is supplied by Sarsilmaz exclusively for duty pistols. So why haven’t we heard of Sarsilmaz? Who knows. But the guns are recognized worldwide for their quality and durability, and it looks like they are finally going to come into the US market in a big way.
The European American Armory, or EAA, is introducing some of the Sarsilmax guns this year under the name SAR Arms. We got to take a look at the 9mm ST10 that carries a street price around $500 for the all black one. I have never owned an HK USP, which this gun is nearly an exact copy of, and I thought it felt like a cross between a CZ75 and a Sig 226. Sarsilmaz has several international patents themselves for firearm design, but this gun is clearly a side by side copy of the HK USP. Since this is a very expensive firearm, the Sarsilmaz copy coming in around $500 is probably a good buy if you love the USP. We can’t compare it directly because we have no test HK gun, but overall the ST10 is a great gun, and could owe some of its biggest positives to HK engineers, who made the USP similar to a Browning Hi-Power action, which this gun is also a decendant of now. The most interesting note about this gun is that it has no decocker. You have to let down the hammer with your thumb if you want to fire it double action first shot. This is an option on the USP (#9) but not common, making this Sarlsilmaz and interesting and high quality gun at a reasonable price.
The Sarlsilmaz ST10 is a fairly standard double action/single action hammer fired design, and worked really with no malfunctions at all in our tests of just over 200 rounds. As a firearms reviewer it is difficult to tell anyone to buy a gun from a “new” gun company, so the fact that Sarsilmaz isn’t really a new company explains the gun better than anything else. The Turkish gun factories are known for high quality stuff, and also for supplying spare parts and handling customer service well. Sarsilmaz itself has a stellar reputation worldwide, so it really just comes down to whether the gun is right for you, and if perhaps you have wanted an HK USP, but couldn’t make the pricetag.
The features on the ST10 are what you would expect on a high quality semi-auto pistol. It has serviceable no-snag three dot sights. A front rail is molded into the alloy frame. Again, it does not have a decocker. The lever you see is an off/on safety. You have to manually decock the ST10 by letting down the hammer with your thumb if you want it to fire the first shot double action. The gun field strips by holding the action open for removal of the takedown pin. The barrel is stainless steel and the magazine holds 15 rounds. A nice feature with our test gun was that it came with a nice nylon belt holster and double mag pouch, as well as an extra magazine. They appear to be looking across the continent for some tips from Croatia. It is nice to get stuff you need with the gun, with the gun.
Where the SAR Arms ST10 really shined was at the range. At ten yards it grouped consistently into well under 2 inches, and that was over 15 shots in one magazine. Most rounds were into an inch. The gun is a little crude for the US market in design, because of no decocker, but the accuracy is among the best we have tested in a handgun to date, and this was shot without a Ransom Rest or anything other than a sandbag. Could it be a fluke on this particular gun? Who knows, but it could just as easily be the beginning of a Turkish invasion into the firearms market with really good accurate guns.
We didn’t get a lot of details on the SAR ST10 as to what other calibers it will come in. They are just coming into the market now and the aren’t even listed on the EAA website yet. That other Sarsilmaz from EAA, the K2, comes in 9mm, .40S&W and .45ACP, so this ST10 may as well. EAA is known for finding high quality guns and bringing them into the US at affordable and fair prices, and these new Turkish guns look to be the next big thing for EAA. We didn’t have any failures with the ST10 at all and it feels and shoots good. Very few have been listed on GunsAmerica so far, but you can ask your local dealer for one if you are interested. Davidson’s and a few other distributors have them in stock and ready to ship out.