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Thread: Teach me about STI guns

  1. #1
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    Teach me about STI guns

    I've toyed with the idea of getting a STI/SVI type gun ever since I saw some Ichiro Nagato photos of Smoking Hole Pistol guns back 20 years ago. Reading about the much improved "NEW" STI company and their updated range of guns, I'm pretty interested in picking up either a Staccato-P or a DVC-P. What's the skinny on these not-skinny guns?
    Last edited by RAM Engineer; 07-09-2019 at 03:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Site Supporter Zincwarrior's Avatar
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    Oct 2016
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    THEY ARE TEXAN! All you need to know!*


    *If you need to know more, they are known for making USPSA style competition guns of various flavors. These are not mass production guns-higher quality and commensurate price. Very accurate, good triggers, sights, etc. for the price. Usually used in limited or race guns. I think they are also favored in 3 gun, but am less knowledgeable on that. Good guns. Magazines are bit on the expensive side.

  3. #3
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    I've purchased two low round count STI's in the past year. An Edge and a DVC Limited. The Edge has been troubled free so far but I only have about 1500 rounds through it.

    The DVC Limited is currently on its second trip to STI in less than 500 rounds. The Bomar rear sight kept moving in the dovetail and they had a new one fitted and back to me in a week. Then the trigger weight started dropping, it went from a 2lb trigger to about a pound in the course of a couple hundred rounds. While this was going on the grip safety stopped worked. The very tip of it cracked and appeared to be an MIM component. It's been at STI since May with no word from them after 3 emails and a voicemail.

    It seems like things were getting better while Dave Dawson was taking control of things. He left recently and based on my experience, the customer service left with him. If you buy one purchase a backup gun and hope that one works as well. Their QC seems to be spotty, depending on when your gun was manufactured. I'm not bashing the company, just posting my experience, hopefully the newer guns are better.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    Last edited by andre3k; 07-09-2019 at 03:33 PM.

  4. #4
    You'll Shoot Your Wad Out RevolverRob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andre3k View Post
    It's been at STI since May with no word from them after 3 emails and a voicemail.

    It seems like things were getting better while Dave Dawson was taking control of things. He left recently and based on my experience, the customer service left with him. If you buy one purchase a backup gun and hope that one works as well. Their QC seems to be spotty, depending on when your gun was manufactured. I'm not bashing the company, just posting my experience, hopefully the newer guns are better.
    Yes, your experience is definitely unfortunate. But just to be fair, Dave Dawson just left STI not even a month ago. He was still there when your gun went in for repair. He also was not running CS or other aspects of day-to-day. He was there to help train gunsmiths and streamline production facilities and improve production quality.

    Have you called them between 8am-3:30pm? I recently sent them a note, because I needed some info, about what the lobe length on the slide stop in my gun is. They let me know that their CS hours and tech response hours are only between 8 and 3:30 CST M-Th. I did end up with an odd note responding saying, "Slide stops are caliber specific. I don't know which yours is. But any 1911 slide stop to your caliber should work." After I told them directly it was a 9mm gun. - It ended up moot, because the only reason I sent them the email in the first place was because I couldn't find my calipers to measure the lobe and confirm it was a 9mm slide stop, instead of a .45 (some companies only use the .45 stop). In the interim, I found the calipers and had already measured the piece and ordered a replacement.

    Given that STI is in process of training a host of new gunsmiths and still evolving/settling on their product line, it wouldn't surprise me if there are QC issues currently or from time-to-time over the next 12-24 months. I would give them another 18-months of production, before I leapt in on a new STI.

    FYI - they did hire Eddie Garcia (https://www.emgcustoms.com/) to serve on their gunsmith advisory board and in gunsmith training. That's great news and if anyone knows Eddie personally (I don't, just by reputation), you may reach out and see what he has to say about the changes in QC, etc.
    "P-f: I lurked for wonderful combat pistolcraft advice, but I ponied up cash for my daily dose of Dada." - Baldanders

    Do not be a fool; the Oxford comma is always necessary.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Buck8154
    We as a company came under new management in January 2018, the entire executive staff is now all prior/retired military, to include myself, as the director of leo/mil sales, and am a retired Marine. Our guns made since March of 2018 are nothing like any of the QC nightmare stuff that had been put out for the previous decade. We have submitted, completed, and won numerous leo test an evals in excess of 50,000 ads of testing to certain guns. All with factory guns, not tuned, or treated any different in manufacturing for the evals. Since last summer I have put a little over 3,000 STI's into leo hands for duty use. I think most people will be surprised at a couple of the larger contracts that i just secured last week, that have not been announced yet. As far as round counts, Long Beach SWAT and the US Marshals Special Operations Group (SOG) have the highest round count on T&E guns prior to, and after fielding our guns. LBPD still has the 3 T&E guns I left with them a year ago, and all are at very high round counts on original, untuned, factory magazines.

    As far as holsters, yes safari land is dragging their feet...short of modding an existing safari land for a railed 1911, you have weber tactical, midwest tactical solutions, long shadow holsters making level 2/3 holsters for our guns. Blackpoint Tactical also makes a level 2 safariland type for leo only.

    Any questions let me know.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buck8154
    The duo system replaced the host system,. Duo was 100% engineered by Dave Dawson, and trademarked by him as well, as it allows the optic to retain zero when removed and re-mounted to the gun.

    yes, a lapd metro officer had in ois about 7 weeks ago with his sti. He now swears by the platform. His gun was only in time out for a week as well...not months as some people fear. This particular officer had been in three previous ois that I am aware of, one of which was with a glock 35, which malfunctioned on him, and had been carrying a custom springfield trp since that incident prior to crossing over to a 2011.

    At this time almost every specialized unit within lapd has purchased 2011’s from me directly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buck8154
    All of our high round count tests have passed with the new factory mag, which is all I run. I do have a couple of taran basepads, and dawson basepads that i use occasionally. Most malfunctions Inhave seen with new guns are actually from other manufacturers mags, or aftermarket mag parts. As far as a high rd count with no malfunctions, there is a gun being tested in NC that went over 8k with no malfunctions and no cleaning, only lubed. As far as other agencies Long beach PD has been keeping a pretty good record, and I believe the last I was told was 5 or 6 malfunctions in the first 30k, all attributed to old mags.
    Source: https://www.lightfighter.net/topic/c...latform?page=1

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by andre3k View Post
    I've purchased two low round count STI's in the past year. An Edge and a DVC Limited. The Edge has been troubled free so far but I only have about 1500 rounds through it.

    The DVC Limited is currently on its second trip to STI in less than 500 rounds. The Bomar rear sight kept moving in the dovetail and they had a new one fitted and back to me in a week. Then the trigger weight started dropping, it went from a 2lb trigger to about a pound in the course of a couple hundred rounds. While this was going on the grip safety stopped worked. The very tip of it cracked and appeared to be an MIM component. It's been at STI since May with no word from them after 3 emails and a voicemail.

    It seems like things were getting better while Dave Dawson was taking control of things. He left recently and based on my experience, the customer service left with him. If you buy one purchase a backup gun and hope that one works as well. Their QC seems to be spotty, depending on when your gun was manufactured. I'm not bashing the company, just posting my experience, hopefully the newer guns are better.
    This is unfortunate. I'm very close to buying a DVC - Limited. For $3,000, I have pretty high expectations.

    On a separate note, how are STI magazines? Everyone I know with a 2011 uses MBX mags. Those are not inexpensive either.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricP View Post
    This is unfortunate. I'm very close to buying a DVC - Limited. For $3,000, I have pretty high expectations.

    On a separate note, how are STI magazines? Everyone I know with a 2011 uses MBX mags. Those are not inexpensive either.
    I haven't had a single issue with the magazines. I use both the Gen 1 and Gen 2 mag bodies. I run Grams followers and base pads in the gen 1 mags without issue. The gen 2 mags are completely stock. I haven't felt a need to go for the MBX mags yet.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    You'll Shoot Your Wad Out RevolverRob's Avatar
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    Current factory mags are GTG in my experience. At least in 9mm.

    I have a bunch of Gen 1 mags, I'm still tuning a few of them. Reminds me I need to get a Dawson Tuning Kit.
    "P-f: I lurked for wonderful combat pistolcraft advice, but I ponied up cash for my daily dose of Dada." - Baldanders

    Do not be a fool; the Oxford comma is always necessary.

  9. #9
    Member Paul Sharp's Avatar
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    Mar 2014
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    Illinois
    During 2014 I carried an STI Edge 40 as an EDC experiment. I carried it everyday for a year. I loved it. Zero malfunctions related to the pistol. I had a fairly bad malfunction during the Rangemaster Tactical Conference match that was due to bad ammo. Other than that, zero issues in multiple classes, a few matches, and for department proficiency shoots.

    I wouldn't hesitate to carry that pistol again. The JM AIWB holster for the 2011 is superb and allowed me to conceal a fairly large pistol on a daily basis. At work I carried it in a G21 Safariland SLS holster we modified.
    "There is magic in misery. You need to constantly fail. Always bite off more than you can chew, put yourself in situations where you don't succeed then really analyze why you didn't succeed." - Dean Karnazes www.sbgillinois.com

  10. #10
    Member JonInWA's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    Auburn, WA
    Their website seems to imply that STI users/target audience either wears shiny team jerseys or sports operator beards and multiple tattoos...

    I'm kinda curious how a bull-barrel staggered box magazine 1911 holds up in duty/real-world use. The info from Buck8154 is impressive, but my personal perception is that STI is primarily oriented and marketed towards the USPSA crowd.

    My idea of a reliable, durable double-column .45 ACP for duty/hard use centers around things like a Glock G21 and HK HK45 and USP, but I'm willing to be open-minded (But yeah, I'm pretty skeptical here from what I'm seeing).

    I'm not saying that they're inordinately expensive for what they are, but they are spendy little puppies; a cursory look at their offerings indicates 1 at $1,500, one at $2,000, and the rest north (and some well north) of $3,000...

    And whenever I see magazines described in millimeters instead of round capacity, I automatically think "Racegun." And likely expensive. My thoughts are that Ferraris rarely do particularly well as daily drivers...

    Best, Jon

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