What's going on over at STI?

Discussion in 'STI/2011' started by Pablomigraine, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. Pablomigraine

    Pablomigraine Whatchoo gots?

    Feb 17, 2018
    So, in the last 9 months, STI has eliminated 80% of its model lineup, introduced 5 new models in various configurations, only to then immediately discontinue 4 of those 5 new models, and reduce the standard features on the one left. Its definitely a head scratcher, and I consult in the hi-end goods manufacturing Industries for a living.

    Now STI is about to try their hand, as so many have in the past, at bringing to market a single-stack / 1911 with a composite grip / frame. Well, if anyone can be successful here where so many have failed in the past... its STI.

    I've personally fondled or fired 4 examples of STI pistols ever. Two of them had MAJOR issues which would be unacceptable on guns a third the price right out of the box, one wouldn't fire 5 rounds out of 10 without several hundred dollars worth of work after purchase according to its owner, and the last was absolutely perfect and some of the most fun I've ever had with a pistol.

    I've been drooling over these guns for a long time, and I'm currently hunting for a Tactical 3.0 l, DVC Carry, VIP or even Hextac in 45acp... but I'd love to hear some both some firsthand experiences with these shorter lengths, and especially any inside news as to what we might expect from the Company itself in coming months.
  2. ozy

    ozy Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2014
    I was an STI fan and loyal customer for several years.... the good years where it was tightly ran as a semi custom shop, and produced some iconic models..... in the last 3 years or so it’s been ran by a private VC firm, which is the reason for the poor quality, poor designs and subpar cs sti is now known for.... imho, and expereince.
    I sold most of my sti pistols as my confidence in their cs and quality has diminished. To me, they now resemble more of kimber then Wilson.
    Pablomigraine likes this.

  3. IANative

    IANative Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2013
    I am new to STI, too, having been forever leery of 9mm 1911's. However, the idea of a 2011 9mm, from a company that specializes in such things, and a pre-order special Addicts price from Dan at BBP earlier this year was enough to make me take a gamble on their new Tactical model. Holy smokes, am I glad I did. It is the most fun I've had shooting a pistol in a long time. I immediately went looking for a compact 2011 as a CCW option without the DVC Carry price tag, and Dan was once again able to hook me up w/ a new old-stock Guardian (3.9" bbl) in all-black. Having been spoiled by the TreeBark grip treatment on the Tactical, at Descartian's suggestion I immediately removed the stock Guardian grip and sent it off to Jason at Extreme Shooters for a DVC grip treatment and double-undercut. I've only managed ~100 rounds thru it so far, a mix of 115gr and 124gr JHP and FMJ, but it's been perfect and very accurate. A holster and mag pouch order from lshoster.com, and I've carried it a couple of times now. (Disclaimer- I've EDC'd a Glock 19 for 15+ years. It will be hard to dethrone the G19 on anything other than a temporary basis.)

    Anyway, I'm pleased with it so far, and yes, I have a Staccato-C on pre-order, too, for a more discreet carry option. But my biggest STI complaint is that they've dropped the Costa Carry Comp from their line-up just as I've discovered the joy of owning STI's, and that CCC is the one pistol I want more than any of them.

    cwoods, RN47 and gps man like this.
  4. Pablomigraine

    Pablomigraine Whatchoo gots?

    Feb 17, 2018
    Ahhh I didn't know they'd changed hands / been leveraged. Now its starting to make sense.

    I appreciate your input, in your opinion, would the slightly older VIP model be a safe bet used?
  5. IANative

    IANative Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2013
    I would ask Descartian and Nemain to weigh in...
  6. eboggs

    eboggs Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2016
    I believe they're under even new(er) management now....But I could be wrong as I dont follow stuff that closely as it doesn't affect my life. I own an older Marauder now and have a new 4.0 HOST coming my way soon. Had one before and foolishly sold it.

    Never had an issue....ymmv.
    Pablomigraine likes this.
  7. monadh

    monadh Sapientiae Timor Domini Initium

    May 8, 2012
  8. monadh

    monadh Sapientiae Timor Domini Initium

    May 8, 2012
    I have read what Descartian and others have had to say about STI in particular and 2011 pistols in general, and while I don't doubt what you're saying, I am not sure how common that experience is. I've mentioned in other threads my not-so-great experience with Les Baer and my horrible experience with LaRue and I have been told that what happened with me has not been seen by most everyone else. Descartian knows a great deal about STI and can speak to the quality better than anyone else I know of.

    I've said this elsewhere too, but since shooting Guncrafter's Hellcat x2, I am convinced the 2011 type pistol is the best handgun out there and is the future of the 1911.
    rwschill and RN47 like this.
  9. dash

    dash Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2016
    I heard this too. Dave Dawson recently joined the mgmt team to oversee quality. That should make a very favorable impact.
  10. tarosean

    tarosean Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2013
    Tis the question inquiring minds want to know..

    They seemed to turn their back on the core of their business.


    They are definitely shilling towards the "tactical" crowd now-a-days.
  11. eboggs

    eboggs Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2016
    Not just "tactical" ninjas....but LEO as well. Safariland doesn't just create a duty holster for any gun out there....for them to have prototypes out there for testing means there are agencies, big agencies with -deep- pockets out there T&Eing HOST models with Safariland duty holsters.
    BBP likes this.
  12. Usp45ct

    Usp45ct Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2012

    Honestly, I would not have bought an STI if they stayed competition. I consider my VIP Costa up there with my Volkmann for reliability and value.

    I guess I am “tactical” that way.:alien1:
  13. IANative

    IANative Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2013
    Well, five out of the nine models in there current lineup are competition models, plus I’ve seen some competition shooters running the Omni, so I wouldn’t say they’re turning their back on their competition core. More like broadening their appeal, or balancing their offerings to accommodate those outside their competition core. Just my thoughts on it.
  14. wrmiller

    wrmiller The Tinker

    Oct 29, 2016
    Guess I'd better scrape up some dough and get that frame I've been wanting for another build.
  15. tarosean

    tarosean Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2013
    No one serious. I have an Omni and it would be the last gun I'd use in Open.
    Pablomigraine likes this.
  16. Pablomigraine

    Pablomigraine Whatchoo gots?

    Feb 17, 2018
    The one that I shot that was problem-free was, just as you had said, was some of the most fun I've ever had with a Single-Action Auto. And I love the styling.. always have. What year is your Guardian?

    Most of the STI people I've spoken to who's opinion I trust (and who's basis for comparison I respect) have all had some kind of action work done and NONE have had a totally problem-free ownership experience... but they all still shoot STI. Some have moved on to Full-Customs from SVI / Infinity, Atlas etc.

    I did consider a DS Guncrafter briefly.... I was IN LOVE with GI NN Commander, and it well and truly broke my heart to have to sell it so soon after getting it.... the gun was so amazing I was able to overlook the far less than perfect ordering / CS experience I had with them.

    One would hope!

    I'm curious to see how the SS Staccato and the likely upcoming variations do in terms of sales. Soooooo many companies have tried to bring a polymer SS 1911 to market and failed.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
    DPGI likes this.
  17. monadh

    monadh Sapientiae Timor Domini Initium

    May 8, 2012
    One of the managers at my favorite LGS is a competitive shooter with over 75,000 rounds through one of his STIs with no problems, and the others he has may have fewer rounds but no issues. There are others there that also compete with STI and have had no issues. I am on a waitlist for the Staccato, and I am hoping it is problem free as well.

    Fingers crossed!
  18. Descartian

    Descartian Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2017
    Well I just came across this thread.... I guess I’ll chime in. I don’t claim to be an expert on STI’s but I’m a collector and have learned s thing or two over the years.

    Where do I start will all the posts...

    I don’t know what guns you handled or who you have been talking to but I own somewhere between 30-40 STI guns. I’ve had to send 3 back in for warranty work. One was a used Elektra 9mm I bought at a pawn store for the wife that ended up having some feeding issues. STI has the gun back to me in under 2 weeks with shipping paid both ways by them. The other 2 guns were first run Costa Carry Comps, I was having some stovepipe issues. STI very quickly tuned the guns and got them back to me. All my guns run 100%. I havent had to tweak, fiddle with or modify any of the guns or magazines. I would definitely say my experience has been trouble free.

    Now competition guns are most likely going to have some issue here or there. Most competitors like to fiddle with this or that to try to get the gun to run faster or squeeze in an additional round or two. But you can’t blame STI for those issues. That’s like trying to claim warranty on a car that you’ve modified the engine and transmission.

    I have guns that were released in the past couple months to guns that were made in the early 2000’s. I can’t tell you there’s a difference in quality.

    Quite a few years ago, private equity cane in the picture and the company changed from a smaller employee owned business. There were some hurdles and decisions that probably were not handled the best way. There is a new CEO in charge of the company and they have brought back Dave Dawson as their execuative in charge of quality. There seems to be a big commitment to steer the company in a new direction.

    They pulled out of the traditional 1911 game. In my opinion it was a very smart move. The 1911 industry is super saturated and most people care more about flashy marketing over quality. How can you compete with a $400 RIA or a mass produced Kimber? You really can’t.

    Yes they are coming out with a polymer gripped 1911. You say a bunch of companies have tried this in the past. My memory is not that great but I can only recall 2 or so that cane out with polymer FRAMED guns. STI’s Staccato is a steel/metal framed gun with a polymer grip. It is the same proven design as their 2011 platform in a single stack format. It’s brilliant, I’m sure they also hold the patterns on it. You need to differentiate yourself and be innovative. Innovation is the roots of STI, I’m glad they are going back to their roots.

    STI is not turning their backs on the competition market, they still make quite a few competition models but that is only catering to a small market share. Producing models that are attractive to the general consumer opens up a much bigger customer base than before. They are also strongly pursuing agency sales. That is what the Tactical model is designed for and priced for. It’s a hell of a lot of features for a sub $2k gun.

    They did discontinue their Costa models... The contract was up, they came out with the DVC models including the Omni to replace them. Temporarily partnering with Costa was a great business move, it got them a lot of exposure to a new group of potential customers.

    I think I’ve covered most ov everyone’s questions/concerns.

    For those of you looking for a frame or a Tactical 3.0 or VIP in 45 let me know, I might be able to help you out.
    villdetwink, FWoo45, B81 and 7 others like this.
  19. awmp

    awmp Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Apr 27, 2012
    I just started with STI and I started with the Tactical 9mm not too long ago. To say I like it would be an understatement, it is now my duty pistol.

    I tested it hard before making it my duty carry. Very impressed.

    I went from a Polymer pistol with a thumb safety to the STI, the only drawback is I can tell the difference in weight over a long shift.

    The plus is a better trigger, accuracy, reloads and ergonomics, just to name a few.

    Only thing I need now is an STI that I can carry off duty. I would like the DVC Carry but the price is out of my range. I had a Costa Luda on the way but could not bring myself to pay that much money.

    I wish there were more STIs out there, was a huge leap of faith to purchase the Tactical sight unseen, but with the help of some key LEOs in CA I made the leap and I'm glad I did.
    KTXdm9, IANative and monadh like this.
  20. MHarvey

    MHarvey Active Member

    Sep 2, 2011
    IANative, that’s a nice Guardian you have. I bet it’s a great little shooter and it looks fantastic. I’m new to the STI stuff as well, just receiving my Staccato C on Wednesday of this week. I was taken by the gun when I saw the original pics for the release as I really like CCO sized pistols and the polymer grip intrigued me. After I put my deposit down with Wichita Gun Club, I read several posts online about terrible quality, as well as a handful of negatives on how STI’s guns don’t run without work, etc. Those posts had me a little nervous as anyone would be, but I also read several things that Descartian stated about the company being ran by a larger firm at the time and how things have changed now for the better. The Staccato is the most expensive gun I’ve ever purchased so I didn’t want to be disappointed, and I’m not in the slightest. After having this one, I’ve already found myself looking around at others for future purchases. This is my first 2011 but I definitely know it won’t be my last, so I hope this new business model works well for them and they’re around for a long time.
    rwschill and IANative like this.