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11-26-2008, 04:45 PM #1
STI Eagle 5.0 9mm 2011 - Double Stack 1911 Review
I've always wanted a really good 1911, but I wanted something that was in my price range and somewhat unique. I looked at a Colt National Match for its unrivaled bluing and heritage, but I just wasn't happy with the product. It was loose and had frankly had a shitty trigger. I had already owned a Kimber, and while it was a good gun, I wanted the next step up. That's where I found the STI 2011.
Originally I was put off by the double-stack 1911 by handling a Para. It was like holding a brick in my hand, akin to a Glock 21 after Thanksgiving dinner, and honestly ... I wanted an American 1911. After getting the chance to shoot an Eagle 5.0 (thanks Stephen), and a suppressed Tactical 4.15 (thanks Chris), I was definitely hooked. The size was seemingly just right for my hand, and even better... it was a TEXAN 1911.
Made a phone call to Robert at Talon Arms, and a few days later, I was the proud owner of a new STI.
In the past week I've managed, with some help from friends, to run about 700 rounds through the gun. The more and more I shoot it, the more and more I love this thing.
Specs & Features
The Eagle has a CNC milled forged steel sub-frame with a rigid polymer grip. The slide is a traditional blued finish, CNC milled piece, and is hand-fitted to the frame.
Slides during the Manufacturing Process
Trigger weight is approx. 4 lbs with a crisp break, and has the standard lightweight curved trigger. Options include a gunsmith trigger blank, or a flat trigger if you so choose.
Sights are adjustable target sights from STI. Optional, and a future upgrade for me, are Dawson fiber optic sights.
The frame has a standard polymer magwell that is pinned for easy removal and is blended into the grip. You have the option of an aluminum or stainless magwell from STI that I dub the "Black Hole". Unfortunately the "Black Hole" does not fit in the IDPA box.
The slide to frame fit is perfect. You could not improve this if you tried. To experience it's smoothness, cover yourself in a latex suit, apply copious amounts of a water-based lubricant and dive onto a freshly waxed marble floor. Someone put it best when they said it was like it was on ball-bearings.
The hammer is a lightweight commander style cut, and the Eagle has a factory ambidextrous safety.
Because the Eagle is a double-stack it has a nice capacity. The standard magazine hold 17 rounds, and there are increased length magazines available from STI that increase the capacity to 20 rounds and 26 rounds. Ten round magazines are available for those of you that live in those certain states that believe the 11th round is the enriched thermonuclear heat seeking babykiller.
Range Report and Shooting
That's a 17 round group at 7 yards with Blazer Brass. The diamond in the center is 1" in width. This is done standing, slow cadence.
This is simply a one-hole gun, even with cheap range ammo. I can't imagine what this thing would do with a standardized hand load. The trigger is light and crisp, like you'd expect from a good 1911. The trigger is also very consistent, something I've come to notice from some lighter triggers is a seemingly inconsistent or sluggish feel at the breaking point. My Kimber was a classic example of this, as it had about 1 - 1.5mm of creep before the shot actually broke. Just about everyone that has shot this STI has commented, even been surprised, by the crisp break of the trigger.
The 9mm in a full size 1911 really makes for a soft recoil, considerably softer than any polymer framed gun I've owned, including my HK P30 and Glock 17L.
I've been exceptionally consistent with this gun. Mainly due to the fact that it retains a common 1911 grip angle, and feel. The platform really just works for me, and the stippling on the grip is aggressive which gives good feedback and control.
When the gun got pretty dirty I had an occasional failure to extract. I've since cleaned the gun, and haven't had a chance to test it. I expect it was due to a dirty chamber as the extractor has plenty of tension.