Here at The Gundivas, we strongly believe in try before you buy. Sometimes that is not always possible, but some days you get lucky and your local range has a dealer demo day, where a manufacturer comes out to allow you to try their products.
Today was that day. My local range, Trigger TimeGun club had STI out to display their wares. We the customers were able to shoot several different models.
Who is STI? STI is the manufacturer of high quality 2011 handguns with an emphasis on quality. They have models for the everyday shooter to high-end competition guns.
For those who may not be familiar with the 2011 handgun, it is the same as a 1911 but has a double-stack magazine for increased capacity, thus the frame is wider to accommodate the wider magazine.
STI brought out a wide selection of handguns to try. From their entry level carry guns to their high-end competition race guns.
So far my favorite is the Tactical model, a nice balance between size and performance.
DVC Steel (top). DVC Limited (bottom)
Tactical model with red-dot (top)
DVC Carry with red-dot (bottom)
Can be purchased without red-dot sight
DVC 3-Gun (top)
What sets STI apart from other manufacturers? First is their quality. Every gun is made with precision parts then hand fitted by a professional gunsmith that ensures the firearm meets all quality standards and will perform as intended. Next is their unique two-piece frame. By separating the frame into two pieces they can;
- Reduce weight by making the grip portion out of high strength polymer. Instead of steel or aluminum.
- The grip is smaller in width and diameter than competitor’s 2011 handguns, which makes the gun easier to hold onto, especially if you have smaller hands.
- Better recoil management, as the recoil is primarily driven straight back through the steel (or aluminum) portion of the frame, whereas in a traditional once piece frame you have more of a moment arm that increases muzzle flip during recoil. (This also helps you shoot faster)
Overall, I am very impressed with all the models I tried. The fit and finish is excellent. The action is very smooth. The trigger is light with a crisp break and excellent, positive reset. Though the frame is a wide, double-stack configuration, it is still narrow enough that I can get a firm grip on the handgun and control it. Accuracy was excellent. Where I aimed is where it went.
Making rapid-fire shots with the STI 2011 is easy and so is keeping all your shots on target.
Ignore the operator error on the left side. (getting used to a new gun) The important part is the large ragged hole in the middle. 7 yards, rapid fire. Two different models, one with micro red-dot, the other with iron sights. (once I figured out the gun/sights, both shot exactly where I aimed as fast as I can pull the trigger)
One thing I did notice is the two-piece frame really does help manage recoil. The muzzle flip was noticeably less than with other handguns. And the models with compensators on them had even less.
Standard one piece frame on top.
STI two-piece frame on bottom.
STI two-piece frame assembled.
Now for the downside of STI, their guns are not cheap. Pricing starts around $1500 and goes up, upwards of $4000 for the high-end competition guns. And if you want custom modifications, they can do it, for additional money.
That is the bad news. But quality costs money. And if you want one of the best, then you need to spend the money.
In my opinion, I am highly tempted to trade in several of my generic guns just to buy one STI. Yes, I think they are that good and that nice. There is nothing wrong with Glocks, or Smiths or Rugers or any other brand. They are just generic and there is only so much modification you can do before you are just wasting money. Sometimes you just need to splurge, upgrade and buy the best. Buy once! Cry once! (Are you OK driving a Honda, or do you really want that twin turbo Porche?)
This is my take on the STI 2011 pistols. Definitely worth the money! They will perform as promised, just at a price.
Finally, thank you to STI for coming out to display their products. Especially Buck, for answering all my dumb questions. And a big thank you to Trigger Time Gun Club for hosting the event. It is always great to try before you buy, especially higher end products.
Buck did mention STI is working on new products for 2019. As they are not released I won't go into detail about what is coming in the near future. These details will have to wait until SHOT Show 2019.