STI tactical 17k review

Discussion in 'Range Reports & Reviews' started by Ethank, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. Ethank

    Ethank Well-Known Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    Ive has an STI Tactical in 9mm for about 4 months now. In that time, I have put about 17k rounds though it. About 15k of WWB 115 and 124 grain handloads. The other 2k were Federal HST rounds. Here are my impressions of the gun upon deliver.

    It comes in a very nice range bag with the STI logo on it. Supplied with the gun were 2 140mm mags, and I purchased 3 126mm mags. The finish on the gun at delivery was very nice, and everything worked as it should. Delivered, the trigger pull was about 3.5lbs. My only complain on delivery was a mag catch that was very stiff and not smooth at all.

    In my shooting, I only had one malfunction, and that was at an IDPA match. I’m still not sure what caused it, but it was during a reload. I use a “press check” method of sending the slide forward, where my support hand goes in front of the ejections port. For some reason, it wouldn’t send the slide forward. I messed with it for a few seconds before changing magazines and using the slide stop. It worked that time, and I haven’t been able to replicate the malfunction since.

    Speaking of press checks, I’m one of those idiots that does them regularly. With a fully loaded magazine in the gun, the top round will occasionally pop out in the magwell when I remove the mag to ensure it’s down one round after loading. Not sure why, or if this is common with STI magazines (this is my only 2011).

    The finish has held up exceptionally well. There are only a few small marks on the gun(besides the aluminum magwell). It has been carried exclusively in a kydex holster, and has never been a “range” gun that doesn’t see the inside of a holster. A4F6DC91-921F-4BB3-920C-183F1BE3CD47.jpeg 2FB7051F-EC39-4765-AF80-48CC911FBA31.jpeg 30B335FA-78FD-4FBC-9C4F-EDE1863AA1C4.jpeg
    Virtually zero wear on the barrel hood or top of slide. I use a Safariland ALS holster, which causes a ton of wear on my Springfield Professional.
    The only real signs of use are the magwell, which shows the gun has not been a safe queen.
    83A716BC-F47B-4539-947A-D138539EAE9C.jpeg F6DF767A-E72F-4AD6-A8A6-5F9F31FA2CF5.jpeg
    Any streaks you see on the gun are from oil and not damage to the finish. The only small marks are on the above picture, and I’m not sure where they came from.
    gaijin, gun_fan111, crc and 6 others like this.
  2. Ethank

    Ethank Well-Known Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    Shooting the gun has been a pleasure. It is very accurate and is the easiest gun I have ever had to shoot accurately. My only real gripe is the front sight is very short at .145. I have to hold a little high with this gun (about 3/4” at 7 yards) to hit center of my target. I would prefer a sight about .180, as they are easier for me to pick up and more similar to my other guns.

    I worked on the mag release a bit, polishing both the mag catch, mag catch lock and inside of the grip. It is still not butter smooth, but I don’t notice it all while shooting. CF948466-5793-4620-853B-F275376C1DB2.jpeg

    The trigger is down to about 3.25 lbs now, and very smooth. It appears to be bearing a little harder on the left side of the sear, but has contact on both sides. It easily passes all safety checks. The sear has a small secondary angle on it, where many of my stock guns don’t have any. E2B27CCC-C6AE-46F3-AE36-811BAC7E2B3C.jpeg

    The thumb safety is nicely fit and snicks on and off with a nice click with zero over travel. They are very comfortable and the Ambi doesn’t get in my way while shooting. B3EB5BFD-042A-496E-B23D-4DDEFD520247.jpeg
    The grip safety needs to be depressed almost completely before clearing the trigger bar. This isn’t an issue for me, but others have had to regrip the gun to disengage it. It also has a clearance cut to be able to remove it with the main spring housing in place 5F447CD2-13AC-4DE3-8D83-E8BE63F596CE.jpeg
    1D6DAACD-9A0C-4FF7-81CF-4227F9A6F1EC.jpeg 680979A3-BB1C-4B3C-BFE6-D5A153E8037D.jpeg A4613CFD-16E9-4271-B422-337398055DD3.jpeg D3F76B02-8B90-4D69-A90F-4A61F6EF8178.jpeg
    The bottom of the ejector shows some metal deflection. It still operates and ejects properly and hasn’t caused any issues.

    Being an almost exclusive 1911 shooter, the grip feels big in my normal sized hands. I have developed a nice callous (?) on my knuckle from the extra width of the gun. It’s not uncomfortable at all to shoot, but initially my hands had to get used to the added pressure there.

    In all, this gun has now become my go to gun. It’s easy to shoot, accurate and good looking. The perceived recoil is very low, and it’s very easy to stay on target. That becomes more evident shooting it back to back with my 1911s. The tree bark grip is aggressive, but not obnoxious. My weathered hands have no issue with discomfort even after heavy range sessions.

    All in all, I love this gun and can not recommend it highly enough to anyone considering one. That’s all for now.
    Alex Chung, CENTURIATOR, B81 and 16 others like this.

  3. monadh

    monadh Sapientiae Timor Domini Initium

    May 8, 2012
    What a great review. Thanks
  4. khend1

    khend1 Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Mar 10, 2013
    Awesome job! Thanks for sharing
  5. MHarvey

    MHarvey Active Member

    Sep 2, 2011
    Is that barrel DLC coated? I’m thinking of sending my Staccato C off to have the barrel flush cut and reverse crowned and would like to have the barrel done in black. I figure DLC is probably the best option and was curious with that many rounds through your gun if that’s what the coating is.
  6. BBP

    BBP Enabler Sponsor

    Feb 1, 2014
    That's a lot of shooting. Great review, thanks for sharing.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
  7. Ethank

    Ethank Well-Known Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    Yes sir. DLC on barrel. It holds up very well.
    MHarvey likes this.
  8. crc

    crc Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Jan 17, 2012
    Another excellent review.
  9. gun_fan111

    gun_fan111 Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2014
    Thanks for the great review, my four months old Tactical with 100 rounds down the pipe is very jealous right now.
  10. ChuckC

    ChuckC Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Feb 2, 2016
    Excellent review! Wish mine had the DLC coating too!
  11. Outerlimits

    Outerlimits Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Thank you for your in depth review, it came at a perfect time as I am looking to add a Sti Tactical 4.0 host to my collection. Having held one at my local gun store, it feels like a perfect fit and having a DVC 3 Gun and a DVC Carry Host, it seems like my STI group will be growing.
  12. Descartian

    Descartian Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2017
    If you’re going to get a Tactical, get one soon, the model has been discontinued. Also make sure you get a 2018 model with the DLC finish and Extreme Shooters Costa/Tree Bark grip. It’s the same price as the previous Tactical but with an additional $500+ in options. The Staccato-P is the closest model to the Tactical in STI’s new lineup with the same $1999 msrp but the Costa grip is a $250 upgrade.

    There are still 2018 Tactical on the market/dealer shelves.
  13. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    Great write up. This is the kind of content this forum needs.

    CENTURIATOR Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2018
    Perfect timing, I shot my ELITE TACTICAL for the first time on Saturday....great to read your review.

    Let's just pause and consider the awesomness of this statement in the OP:

    I've had it for four months and have put 17k rounds though it.

    azpoolguy likes this.
  15. azpoolguy

    azpoolguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 4, 2013
    That’s about 8 years of shooting for me.

    Great review though. I like to see the wear inside the gun.
    CENTURIATOR likes this.

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