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STI Duty One 9mm 1911 Review

Posted by JFranz On May 17, 2014 ADD COMMENTS

STI Duty One 5.0 9mm 1911

I had the opportunity to take my new pistol to the range yesterday and run some rounds through it. The STI Duty One came highly recommended by Ken Hackathorn when he was here last month, and I was able to find one for around $1300 brand new in the box. It comes with one 9 rd STI magazine and a plastic hard case. Front and rear sights are black serrated, and the rear sight is adjustable. It has a ramped match barrel with a match grade bushing. I purchased three Wilson Combat 10 rd magazines and an Ed Brown magwell for it. The pistol is also equipped with a light rail. It has a single-sided thumb safety, and a high-rise beavertail grip safety.

First, I ran the gun through the 1-2-3 drill. One-handed shooting was smooth with little recoil. All six of my head shots at 5 yards were touching. Next, Bill’s drill. My times were 3.20 and 3.15 with shots restricted only to the upper portion of the A zone on an IPSC target. These times were a bit faster than the normal 3.5 to 4 second clean runs that are average for me with a Glock 17. Next, I shot a 10 round group on a B-8 for score at 15 yards. I scored a 99 with 3 x’s. The “Test” was next on the agenda, and I shot a 97 in 8.00. Quicker and cleaner than the same drill with a Glock. I ran the FAST drill twice, modified with the body shots all in the black of a B-8, and my times were 7.50 and 7.16 with all head shots in the “credit card.” Reloads were a little slow, and I realized the magazine needs to be seated very hard to catch when loaded with 10 rounds. I spent a little time cleaning up my reloads and ran 8 iterations of a two shot reload drill. I had a high time of 4.10 (gun did not return to battery with use of the slide stop), and a low of 2.94. Times were only recorded as a “go” if both shots were in the high A zone. I rounded out the day with a 10 round group at 20 yards on a B-8, and scored a 97.

88 rounds total through the gun, and only one malfunction. On one reload late in the training session, the gun did not return to battery on the reload. This could be charged to four possible reasons in my opinion: a new 1911 – sometimes they need to be broken in a bit being an all metal frame. Not enough lube. I cleaned off all the cosmoline that it was shipped with from the factory and coated it with Fireclean. I may not have put enough on it. The last possibility is the captured two stage recoil spring they put in these guns. Since it only happened once, that may not be it. Either way, I will most likely replace it with a standard recoil spring and guide rod. The final possible reason is a magazine malfunction, but again, it only occurred once, so it is hard to tell.

Conclusions: I will refer to this gun as my “cheater gun” from now on. It shoots very soft with 115 grain PMC FMJ factory ammo, and has almost no recoil. The trigger, while not as crisp as my Nighthawk, is firm and has adjustable over travel. It is by far superior to the triggers on Glocks, M&P’s, etc. Honestly, I will probably not train with this gun too much, as I don’t want to get spoiled by the lack of recoil and crisp trigger. I will most likely spend most of my range time with Glocks and M&P’s and use this gun in competition. I’m not a fan of the all black sight on the front, and it will be replaced with something more hi-viz. Extractor tension may need to be adjusted, as the gun isn’t kicking brass very far. But that may also be a product of the lower blow-back pressure of a 9mm as compared to a .45. No failures to extract or eject were experienced in these first 88 rounds. The magwell was an excellent addition, and makes magazine insertion easier and faster. Fit and finish aren’t spectacular, but pretty good. The forward serrations and front strap checkering provide good grip, but aren’t overly aggressive. The STI G10 grips aren’t my favorite, and will be replaced with some VZ grips in the near future.

Having shot Ken’s Wilson Combat in 9mm, this gun shoots and looks pretty close, but at a much lower price than the $3700 to $4000 price tag on the Wilson. So far, it’s worth it. I’ll keep you posted.

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