Just shy of its 100th birthday, John Browning’s 1911 stands as the most popular self-loading pistol of all time. While its contemporaries have long been obsolete, the 1911 drives on and new variations of this timeless theme are constantly being introduced. Although there is much to be said for a traditional style 1911, new materials, configurations, and chamberings take this classic design to new heights.
Not too long ago, consumers were pretty much limited to a single source for a 1911 pistol. That’s hardly the case today and one can purchase a 1911 from a variety of manufacturers. Quality, however, can vary a great deal and the smart shopper will do his homework in determining which outfits are building the most reliable machines.
STI International may not be the biggest player on the scene, but their 1911 pistols are among the best available at any price. Founded by Virgil Tripp in the 1980’s, STI was a pioneer in the precision world of “EDM” hammers, sears, and other components. The firm was also the first to market a modular grip frame, which is lightweight and trim, and accommodates double-stack, high-capacity magazines. Complete pistols followed and quickly became the standard by which out-of-the-box competition and carry guns were measured.
I have had a number of STI pistols pass through my hands and have never been disappointed. My STI Trojan remains a favorite and allows me to be at the top of my game, despite an occasional mental lapse. There is simply no doubt in my mind that there is much more magic out there for the taking.
Last year at a show, a most unique specimen in the STI line caught my eye. The new STI Perfect 10 is a double-stack, long slide pistol chambered for the hard-hitting 10mm cartridge. I realize that the 10mm never captured the hearts and minds of American shooters and that’s probably too bad. However, it remains the most powerful cartridge you can wrap a service size pistol around and I was intrigued