Beretta Cougar 8040 Review

Beretta Cougar 8040 Review

This is a discussion on Beretta Cougar 8040 Review within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Last month I took a huge gamble and purchased a Beretta 8040F online. I've bought guns online before but they were all well known guns ...

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Thread: Beretta Cougar 8040 Review

  1. #1
    Member Array Jbabbler's Avatar
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    Beretta Cougar 8040 Review

    Last month I took a huge gamble and purchased a Beretta 8040F online. I've bought guns online before but they were all well known guns that I had handled in local stores or shot at the range before. I mean honestly, if you handle a Glock 19 you know what 90% of all other Glocks feel like. This purchase was different though. I wanted something different, unique and uncommon. I had my carry rotation split evenly between my G23 and CW/PM40 hybrid so I didn't really care if the gun was large. Immediately Sigs, CZ's and Berettas came to mind. I have a Sig P225 and like it but find it to be large for caliber/capacity. The Cougar intrigued me so I ordered Police trade-in 8040. When I opened it my first thought was "oh crap, I screwed up". The grip on this gun was thicker and the gun itself was heavier than I imagined. The controls were oddly placed and I hated the safety.

    Well, after a little research I figured out that I could make the gun into a "G" model which is a decocker-only setup with no safety. After making the mod to the gun it seems to be much more familiar to me now and remonds me very much of my Sig. I played around with the gun some this week and really began to appreciate how it sits in my hand and how well balanced it is. Keep in mind that at this point, I still hadn't shot it. I stripped it down, cleaned/lubed it per the manual then I hand cycled 3 or 4 mags through the gun. It fed smooth and would chamber any JHP I fed it without complaint. The Cougar uses a rotating barrel rather than a the standard tilting barrel of most recoil operated autos. This leaves the barrel straight and true throughout cycling.

    Friday, I went over to my property with a box of 180gr flat-nosed FMJ to see if it would even shoot. I had tried the pencil trick and it would shoot a #2 4-5' into the air in SA or DA so I "assumed" it would fire OK. All I had to compare it to was my Glock 23 so I decided to shoot a few mags through each. I started with my G23 and pumped 27 rounds into a target at 10 & 12 yards. The results were predictable as always. I made a nice jagged hole with a few dots around the perimeter. Satisfied with my firearms prowess I reholstered the Glock and felt pretty good about myself. Then I tried the Cougar. I toyed with different grips a little until I felt comfortable. The gun is wider in the grip than any gun I own so it was strange not having my fingernails digging in to my palm.

    When I chambered the first round I could really tell the difference between my Glock and the Beretta. My Glock is smooth but the Beretta feels like it is riding on bearings. I slowly lowered the slide to see if the round had any spots that it might catch on. It popped right in and locked into battery without issue.

    Time to fire... The first thing I noticed was that the trigger, while stout, was smooth and broke clean. Even though I had dry fired it at home the sensitivity changes when its time to actually hold your point of aim. Trigger pull in DA mode was pretty long but there is no stacking or gritty spots. The muzzle didn't pull right or left. I squeezed off the first round and, aside from the sound, was unsure if it had actually fired. I actually thought it might have been a squib. There was almost zero recoil. This was an eye opener. My first shot was low. Real low. I shot two more and realized that I was anticipating recoil and muzzle flilp like I feel with my Glocks and had already compensated for it. I was the problem. It took me a few shots to get used to the SA trigger as well. While crisp and clean, the trigger comes back almost all the way to the front which leaves a lot of takeup for SA shots. I found that if I just released the trigger until it reset that I could pop off rounds quickly. The next 20 rounds hit exactly where I aimed and all that was left was a silver dollar sized hole with no fliers or orbiting holes. This left me a bit perplexed. I had just outshot my off/on EDC gun of 5+ years with a used gun of a brand that I had never even held before. I had enough ammo for 10 more rounds so I loaded 5 in the Glock and 5 in the Cougar. The Cougar put every round in the existing hole while my EDC G23 made the hole a little bigger.

    To say that the gun impressed me was an understatement. If she wasn't so darn thick I would definitely start looking for an IWB carry rig. As it stands now I think I'll grab a paddle holster and carry it when concealment isn't an issue. Since mine was a Police Trade-in it came with Night Sights. They still have some life left and have been glowing brightly on my night stand for the past few nights. I really like DA/SA and may start looking at some others such as the FNP 40.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array lance22's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    I'm always on the lookout for cougars

  3. #3
    Member Array dawgfvr's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Olympia, WA
    I think the Cougar is a fine weapon...especially for the price. I would like to own the new one chambered in .45 ACP. A couple of years ago, I owned a 9mm Cougar. Again, fine weapon. However, the grip was far to long and thick for CCW. I also hated the sights...and, as you stated, I detest the flip up safety. Personally, I do not like the double action and then single action on any pistol. I sold it...and do not regret it.
    It all comes down to going down the dark holes after monsters. That’s what it’s all about; when everyone else is huddled around the campfire, somebody has to go out and fight.

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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array NY27's Avatar
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    I had the same exact handgun. It was the second gun purchase that I made, but my first semi-auto. She was a sweet shooter, but I got rid of her about 7 years ago. Another of the ones that I wish that I had kept. Sellers regret is the pits.

    Enjoy your Cougar!
    Police Defensive Tactics, Firearms, Carbine Rifle and Taser Instructor
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Array GlockJS's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Miami, FL
    Sweet new(to you) pistol! I bet its that chunky weight that tames the .40 out so nicely.
    Glock 26 9mm, Ruger LCR .357mag

    "Protect yourself at all times."

    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."-Clint Smith

  7. #6
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    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
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    I would never carry another Beretta (I still have the 9000S), but they are excellent guns. A bit heavy for carry, but dependable and with an easy breakdown.
    I love the look of the Cougar...congrats on the new pisotla, certainly a superb HD weapon.IMHO
    Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

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  8. #7
    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    Hiding inside a bottle of Jim Beam Black in S. FL.
    Sounds like it will make a great duty/HD firearm. I'm sure some will have doubts about the rotating barrel setup, but what works works. I wonder if they have a smaller version more adaptable to CC.
    Retired USAF E-8. Curmudgeon at large.
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  9. #8
    GM is offline
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    Congrats! I am glad you enjoy it.
    "The Second Amendment: America's Original Homeland Security"

  10. #9
    Array QKShooter's Avatar
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    I don't think there are any thinner grips "out there" for the Cougar. The Hogue wood grips are thicker than the factory plastic grips - FYI.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Congrats. I just got rid of mine in the Stoeger version and I know I'll regret it. It was a sweet shooting pistol, but I went M&P and then didn't see the need for the Cougar. I don't collect like I used to. Plus it started feeling fat, lol.

  12. #11
    Member Array Ishmael's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Ohio Valley
    Love my Stoeger 8040, which I picked up for $399 about two years ago. I doubt I'll ever be able to afford a full-size autoloader that feels better-made than this one. (For those who don't know why we're talking about Stoeger in a Beretta thread:

    Also, a gun-store clerk once told me that the rotating barrel has the advantage of not throwing mud in your face if you dropped the gun in wet/dirty conditions. Does that make sense/sound right to anyone?
    Last edited by Ishmael; November 9th, 2010 at 07:02 PM. Reason: Thought of something else.

  13. #12
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    My newest addition is my Beretta Cougar 8357 i like it so far.
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