A Solid Pistol at a Reasonable Price

The Stance gives Savage a good foothold in the handgun market

A Solid Pistol at a Reasonable Price

After a full century’s absence from the handgun arena, Savage Arms launched the 9mm semi-automatic Stance pistol at the end of 2021, entering the lucrative concealed carry market.

“Since Savage was sold in July 2019, President and CEO Al Kasper publicly stated that Savage Arms would be a complete firearm company,” Robert Gates, vice president of sales and marketing at Savage Arms noted in a press release announcing the Stance.  “Today, Savage is proud to announce its first step into what is the largest segment of the firearms market with the introduction of Stance, a micro compact 9mm pistol manufactured with premium materials, finishes, and features.”

Since then, Savage has also added variations to the original Stance model, and then went one better by introducing a whole new line of semi-autos with the Savage 1911 Government Style Models chambered in 9mm and 45 Auto.

So, with Savage back making and selling pistols, the question for its first offering is: What does the Stance offer independent FFLs and their customers? A solid little pistol, it turns out, accurate and quite functional, and with a reasonable price tag.

I received a new-in-the-box Stance for testing and evaluation. Mine was the Stance Gray Night Sights model, SKU 67011, featuring TruGlo Tritium Night Sights, front and rear, and a gray-colored polymer frame with an inner stainless steel chassis. Striker-fired, the pistol’s stainless steel barrel measured out at 3.2-inches and was built with a 1:10 RH twist. The slide sported a black nitride finish.   

My Stance Gray Night Sights model came with a seven-round and an eight-round magazine, and two interchangeable backstraps to adjust the grip size; the magazines and backstraps, by the way, come standard with every Stance model. Mine did not have a manual safety, although of the 14 Stance models, half are offered with a safety.

Of note, those 14 models of the Stance feature different color options for the frame (black, FDE, and Gray), and various sight options, while all 14 models are built with the same length barrel.  

At my outdoor range, I shot the Stance at self-defense distances using two brands of 9mm range ammunition: Remington UMC loaded with a 115-grain full-metal jacket (FMJ) bullet; and Sig Sauer M17 NATO, a +P round featuring a 124-grain FMJ projectile. I also tried out two self-defense 9mm options, both from Federal Premium: Personal Defense HST, loaded with a 124-grain hollow point, and Personal Defense Hydra-Shok DEEP and its 135-grain bullet featuring a center post construction for improved penetration.

For much of my shooting, I used Champion Targets LE Cardboard Silhouette Targets, life-sized and featuring green silhouettes.    

Accuracy was good throughout my shooting, all of which was done offhand, with both the range and self-defense ammunition brands. At 10 yards and under, an experienced shooter should have no problems pegging five-shot groups of 2.0-inches and even better.


Some of my best groups included:

--At 5 yards, the Sig NATO made a .90-inch group with five shots;

--Federal’s HST pegged a .90-inch group of five shots at 7 yards;

--Also at 7 yards, Federal’s Hydra-Shok DEEP drilled five shots into a 1.0-inch cluster;

--And, at 10 yards, Remington UMC range 9mm put five shots into a 1.1-inch group.

In over 200 rounds, my Stance experienced no failures to feed or eject.

The magazines loaded easily and popped out of the frame nicely with a push of the mag release. However, while the slide remained open with the last shot from the seven-round magazine, the slide stayed open only about half the time with the eight-round magazine in use. I could not detect any differences between the feed lips and the followers in the two magazines, so I am unsure why the seven-rounder worked better than the other magazine.

The trigger on the Stance measured at 3 pounds, 10 ounces of pull, on average, according to my Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge. A striker-fired trigger, I wouldn’t rate the break as clean. In fact, the trigger was stiff and a bit stagey. The rather wide trigger face, though, helped to make the trigger pull functional.  

The TruGlo Night sights popped nicely and put me on target quickly, the tritium green glow showing up very well in low light conditions.

The stippled grip texturing on the Stance’s pistol grip and along the top of the trigger guard were nicely aggressive, grabbing and holding my fingers very solidly even when firing off a magazine fast.

Cuts on both sides of the front of the slide revealed the Stance’s barrel, giving the pistol an edgy look. Those cuts were also a real aid in racking back the slide, providing great purchase for my fingers.

The Stance also featured a loaded chamber indicator.

Selling the Stance

So, time to sell the Stance to an ever-growing base of consumers eager to embrace concealed carry and home defense. Where to start your sales approach?

“The Stance is a thin, easily concealable pistol built to be both functional in the hand and easy to conceal,” Savage’s Gates told Shooting Sports Retailer. “Show your customers the defined surface textures, the advanced slide serrations and the ergonomic grips, all of which mean these micro-compacts are designed to be comfortable when holstered and formidable when needed.”

Point out that the Stance package includes both a seven- and eight-round magazine.   The two-magazine setup allows the user to keep the Stance loaded, while the additional magazine provides back-up rounds easily held in a pocket or magazine holster.

Gates also recommended letting potential customers know the Stance provides a good deal of user adjustability and customization. Users can adjust grip size thanks to two 18-degree interchangeable backstraps. And the pistol’s slide catch and magazine release are already ambidextrous.

For in-store help with sales, Savage can provide copies of a Stance-dedicated product brochure that was released at the pistol’s launch.

“We have in store signage for key models in addition to standard branded items available to stocking dealers,” Gates added. “We also have a blog that hosts numerous videos used by sales reps when selling our products and training counter staff, as well as a dedicated video series and how-to’s available for sales staff on the Stance.”

Gates added, “Our local sales reps are tasked with conducting in-store product and sales training. They actively train at independent dealers, buy group dealers, distributors, and big box retail stores.”

Of note, Savage also offers co-op funding of advertising for independent dealers that purchase Savage products through distribution.

In the larger marketing sense, Savage has been busy getting the word out on the new Stance pistol line through various platforms, including the television shows Guns & Ammo TV and American Rifleman Television, among other shows. Many social media influencers have featured the pistol, too, including Mike Stroff, professional hunting guide and host of “Savage Outdoors TV,” and Kyle Green, host and executive producer of The Green Way Outdoors television show and podcast.  

A good number of written reviews of the Stance can be found with a simple web search.  Keep these links handy to share with potential customers.  

Independent dealers can purchase all Savage (and Stevens) firearms through Savage’s nationwide network of wholesale distributors. These include Big Rock Sports, Bill Hick's, Camfour/Hill Country, Chattanooga Shooters Supply, Crow Shooting Supply Davidson's, Lipsey’s, Sports South, RSR, Glen Zanders and many others.

Savage does sell direct to the four major dealer buy groups, too: Sports Inc.; Mid-States Distributing; Nations Best Sports; and Worldwide Buying Group.

 What sort of impact Savage’s new handgun options will have on the market remains to be seen. But with the rollout of the Stance, the addition of numerous Stance model options, and the gunmaker’s entry into the 1911 arena, Savage Arms clearly aims to be a player in the handgun market for a good long time.

It’s a welcome addition.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.