The Beretta Cougar is one slick piece of hardware, and that’s partially because it did not take the same design path as other semi-automatic pistols. The Cougar is a unique, enduring and reliable design that stands on its own. - See more at: http://www.personaldefenseworld.com/2016/04/83725/#stoeger-cougar-compact-1
Beretta 8000 series pistols, also known under the Cougar name, first appeared on the market in 1994 as a more compact alternative to bulky, full-sized Beretta M92F service pistols. Cougar pistols were originally developed for the then new .40S&W cartridge, and latter were adopted to other calibers, such as 9x19mm Para. .357 SIG and .45ACP. These pistols offer good compromise between concealability, ease of carry, accuracy and firepower. These pistols are well suited for both police duty and for civilian self-defense. These pistols are no longer manufactured in Italy; its production has been moved to Stoeger factory in Turkey, which is also owned by Beretta group.
Just picked up a Beretta Cougar this last weekend. What a great gun! Everything is so smooth on it. I picked up the 8000F ... 9mm with DA/SA trigger. I managed to get mine for $399 (it was $429 and I had a $30 off deal if you spend over 150). I think this will have to have a sibling, this is the one gun I might want a .40 in also. Very cool!