Precision crafted. Precision: The condition or fact of being exact and accurate. Crafted: Exercised skill in making. These two words are used to describe the competition handguns made by STI International. It would seem that the words are a fair assessment of the pistols the company manufactures.
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STI was founded in the 1980s by Virgil Tripp, who was making custom 1911 pistols for competition. Today, the company continues to build top-end competition guns based on the original John Moses Browning design. The guns vary as much as the competitions themselves. If you have a particular sport in which you engage, chances are STI has a gun to meet your needs.
STI is an employee-owned company, suggesting that each employee has additional motivation to provide excellent service and superior products. Based in Georgetown, Texas, the company has a reputation for building reliable, hard-working firearms that could be considered symbols for Texans themselves. The company backs its pistols with a warranty that covers the pistol’s lifetime, not just for the period of time the original purchaser owns the gun.
Of course, it’s not likely you would ever have a problem with your STI gun. The company uses top-end parts and manufacturing processes. All of its guns are hand-fitted and completely function tested. Before an STI gun ships, it must pass a quality inspection process that checks more than 30 aspects of the pistol.
In addition to building some of the top competition guns as normal catalog items, STI also runs a custom shop to further enhance your race pistol. The custom shop can polish your pistol’s trigger, install sights or optics, refinish surfaces and tune the action. For the level of craftsmanship the STI shop provides, the prices are very reasonable.
STI builds two basic kinds of pistols: 1911s and those utilizing the company’s 2011 platform. The 1911s are traditional-looking single-stack pistols, while the 2011s use double-stack magazines for increased ammunition capacity. When running and gunning, the additional rounds in a double-stack magazine can shave a few seconds off of your time by reducing the number of reloads.
1911 Match King
The Target Master 1911 is specifically designed to run in PPC competitions. The rear Aristocrat Tri-Set sight is matched to an Aristocrat front sight to provide a zero for three known distances: 7, 25 and 50 yards. The forged frame offers a long service life. STI undercuts the triggerguard to give the shooter a higher grip on the gun for increased control and stability. A 6-inch bull barrel is used along with the company’s two-piece recoil system. The slide and frame have an understated matte blue finish that is nicely accented by a stainless steel thumb safety and cocobolo grip panels.
In 1993, STI developed the 2011 platform at the behest of competition shooters looking for more ammunition capacity in a 1911-style pistol. The original gun in this new line was the Eagle. Maintaining the classic look of the original Browning creation, the Eagle is chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W. It features a polished blue finish and the shooter’s choice of either a 5- or 6-inch barrel. For quick yet precise shooting, STI equips the Eagle with a fully adjustable BoMar target rear sight with a bright fiber-optic front sight.
Considered the flagship gun in the STI catalog, the Edge has been dominating competitions for more than 15 years. STI hand-fits this gun so the slide smoothly rides on the frame rails. A 5-inch bull barrel is standard, as is the company’s highly regarded Recoil Master system. Designed for the shooting sports, the gun has an oversized magazine well, a BoMar adjustable rear sight and a fiber-optic front sight. The polished blue steel frame has a full-length dust cover to improve balance and stability. Shooters can order this gun in .38 Super, 9mm, .40 S&W or .45 ACP to match the kind of competitive shooting they will be doing.
For precision shooting with maximum “thump,” many STI fans will opt for the Perfect 10. As the name suggests, this 2011-series pistol is chambered for the impressive 10mm Auto cartridge. STI built this gun to handle the cartridge’s power using the best parts and construction to ensure years of service. The gun comes with a 6-inch bull barrel to maximize bullet velocity and improve the sight radius. Unlike some of the pure sporting guns, this pistol has an accessory rail so it can double as a home-defense pistol. Whether it is for knocking down bowling pins or hogs, the Perfect 10 is a 10mm fan’s dream.
STI was definitely thinking outside of the box when it created the Apeiro. To reduce recoil and increase cycling speed, STI cut a large portion out of the top of the slide and mounted the front sight on the barrel. This increased the barrel weight and decreased the weight of the slide. As a result, there is more weight retained at the end of the gun and less running backward when shooting. The front sight is a fiber-optic unit, while the rear is a completely adjustable BoMar sight. STI didn’t neglect the look of this gun either, with Sabre-Tooth serrations on the slide and a two-tone look.
Designed for the fast-paced Steel Challenge matches, the Steel Master is all about speed. STI designed the gun with a short slide and a 1.6-inch T1 compensator for fast target transitions and reliability with light loads. The tuned trigger pull drops the hammer at 3.5 pounds. This 9mm handgun is equipped with a factory-mounted, 6-MOA C-More sight to enhance the speed of target acquisitions. An integral blast shield ensures that the sight is not occluded when running the gun hard.
When you are running higher-pressure ammo but still need a fast gun, consider the Match Master. Although similar to the Steel Master, this pistol is designed to run hotter ammunition. It can be had in either 9mm or .38 Super and comes with a T2 compensator. The Match Master is fitted with an oversized magazine well for faster reloads and the mounted 6-MOA C-More sight ensures you put rounds rapidly on target. Although it is built for speed, this is a gun that also looks good with stainless accents on a polished blue frame. Additionally, the slide has the elegant and functional Sabre-Tooth serrations.
If you compete in the USPSA Open division, the TruBor might look familiar. Considered by STI as the standard pistol of the Open division, the design has been competing for more than decade. The five-port compensator is machined with the barrel from a single piece of steel to eliminate alignment issues. This combination is said to reduce muzzle rise by 45 percent—a significant number for any competitor. The popular 6-MOA C-More sight is factory mounted and has an integral blast shield. The TruBor is available in both 9mm and .38 Super.
Ideally suited for the USPSA Limited division, the STI DVC Limited is a top-end competition pistol. Available in both 9mm and .40 S&W, the pistol has both slide and dust-cover cuts to lighten the overall weight. STI uses a titanium- nitride-finished, 5-inch bull barrel to reduce friction and a Dawson tool-less recoil system. The pistol has a hard-chrome finish while the grip has custom texturing from Extreme Shooters. A BoMar adjustable rear sight pairs with the fiber-optic front sight. STI rounds out the gun with a 2-pound trigger.
STI could credibly argue that the DVC Open is the ultimate in race guns. Similar to the DVC Limited pistol, the DVC Open uses a hard-chromed slide and frame with a 5-inch, titanium-nitrided barrel. With the “Open” class designation, the gun is also fitted with a compensator to reduce muzzle rise. A 6-MOA C-More sight is mounted on the pistol along with a reversible slide racker. The trigger pull is set at 2.5 pounds, and STI offers this gun in both .38 Super and 9mm.
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It is plain to see that STI International builds a wide range of guns to suit any of your competition needs, from very limited divisions to the wide-open classes.
For more information, visit stiguns.com or call 512-819-0656.