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STI DVC vs CK Arms 9mm Open


JAF1680

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What are the trade-offs between these two firearms? Specifically, I am hoping for specific strengths and weakness of the different components/features. I have read that CK is a joint venture between Matt Cheely and Bobby Keigans both well-known gunsmiths for custom 1911/2011's. The CK Arms is around $200 more and does not have the chrome finish. The CK appears to have the popple holes and a smaller comp. Are there other factors that I should be considering?

Thanks

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Great question. Ive handled both of them, but not shot them.

I was actually pretty impressed with the trigger on the DVC. Not sure if it had been touched or if that was actually the stock trigger from STI.

Im also interested to hear others opinions.

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As pretty as the STI gun is I'm sure it still uses stock STI parts which are the first thing many custom gunsmiths take out and replace with higher quality aftermarket parts. Matt builds guns with STI frames and slides then custom fits and installs the very best aftermarket parts to complete the gun. Bobby, pretty much the same thing. Now they have joined forces and actually machine most of the parts needed to build a gun. They still hand fit these guns I'm sure but with them machining their own stuff that probably gets less time consuming.

So I say, despite the apparent beauty of the new STI line, they are still mass produced with the same parts that have historically been replaced during customization. Sure there are STI factory guns out there that ran or run great right out of the box for years but that is not typical.

$200 more for a CK build? Worth a lot more than that I think!

The comp is shorter because they probably don't feel the extra port hanging off the end was needed, especially in 9mm. Matt's comp is very very good.

Before certain "people" take this as bashing STI just let me say I think they are a great company and they do a heck of a lot to support USPSA. But they still sell mass produced guns and you can only build anything mass produced so good.

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Wow, I actually completely agree with Sarge :)

Seriously, he made all valid points and I agree 100%. If there is only $200 separating the two, I'm all over the CK. If would take a lot more than that to push me to the STI. However, I do love STI and the way they support our sport, I have multiple models from them and frames and slides from custom work. I would not feel like I'm getting junk by getting the DVC but I just feel I would be getting a little better gun for money by going with the CK.

I have never held or shot either one but I do have guns from Bobby and had lots of work done by Matt along with many stock guns from STI so I'm just basing my opinion on that.

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I have had both and both are very good. The odds are good you will have some feed issues with STI and will need to work on it. Matt's guns work from day one on. Both will stand behind the guns but for just $200 more I would go with the CK.

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It looks like STI is really ramping it up, I have not held the new models. I have used the slide and frames for two open guns, that were customs and I picked all my other parts.

I have a Limited Gun built by Matt around November and the Slide and Frame are CK Arms in the low 100 serial numbers. The Slide and frame are very well made. Excellent job on the Pistol. The hammer, sear and strut are EGW parts and very nice. It was built with a Schuemann Barrel (first I have had) and it will shoot inside an inch off the bench at 25 yards. Aftec extractor and SV trigger. I was lucky that Matt had it finished not sold.

I believe Shooters Connection had the Specs on their site of an in stock CK.

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It sounds like the overwhelming prepondance of folks are recommending the CK. Are there specific parts on the STI's that tend to break or not wear well, or is the primary difference in the fit and finish work?

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The DVC is a brand new gun no one has one yet

The DVC is indeed out there already. Seems some have even said on here they received their's already.

But back to the point, he was probably comparing other stock STI guns maybe. The DVC can't be that much better than their other stock offerings such as the trubore without being more of a custom gun.

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I have been anxiously awaiting for the DVC's to begin shipping. There is a thread here on the forum that has 13 pages of folks that are either awaiting their DVC or are interested to know more.

No one on that forum has confirmed their pistol has shipped or of receiving one.

http://www.brianenos.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=208660&page=1

Brazos had one limited and one open model at the FL open a few weeks ago, and a hand full (I have seen 3) of STI team shooters and pro's have one in hand, but I have seen very little feedback from anyone except those that have handled them at SHOT or the FL open.

Supposedly STI has spun up an actual custom shop, and are doing a much more detailed finish process on the DVC's. Although they are planning on sending out these at a larger scale, I would not be so sure of the fit/finish being identical to other STI's like the Edge or GM until shooters get these in hand and put some rounds on them.

Either way, the wait on a DVC is likely 2-3 months if you ordered now, so you have some time to see lots of field tests and feel good about your order if you decide to go that way.

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By all accounts the dvc open will be a great gun and a new standard in 'factory' guns. But at this point its performance is a bit of an unknown. On the other hand plenty of guys have cheely built guns and ck parts. They are a known product with a good rep.

The other thing to consider is one is a factory gun one is a gunsmith built custom gun. Yes apparently this new sti is better fitted/finished than typical factory guns but a custom built gun will no doubt be tighter tolerances and be tuned nicely right out of the box.

It's a tough call but if they are that close in price is lean towards the custom gun.

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go with the CK, better parts (EGW hammer and better TS) and handbuilt.

I've felt the fit of the DVC open and the barrelfit was good but not perfect. a little wiggle between barrel and slide... trigger is verry good out of the box but still not perfect.

I have no experience with CK, but they have a good reputation

gr T

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I would definitely say go with the CK Open gun. They build a great gun at a great price and the parts they use are much better than those in the DVC. Also I have serious doubts on the longevity of the slide with the cuts that STI is doing to these guns. I could be wrong and am a lot but I don't think I am on this one.

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Keep in mind the CK guns do not get the same attention to detail and hand fitting that Matt and Bobby's true custom guns get. That being said, I would still without a doubt go with the CK gun over the STI for reasons already mentioned.

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Keep in mind the CK guns do not get the same attention to detail and hand fitting that Matt and Bobby's true custom guns get. That being said, I would still without a doubt go with the CK gun over the STI for reasons already mentioned.

You can either build a working gun or you can't. Please explain "attention". It amazes me people bagging on sti parts quality and most use their frames and slides. Check the front sight survey.

If I were to spend money with EITHER company it better dang well work no matter how much attention is given. Otherwise it's just an expensive paperweight.

"Custom" doesn't always mean better.

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Keep in mind the CK guns do not get the same attention to detail and hand fitting that Matt and Bobby's true custom guns get. That being said, I would still without a doubt go with the CK gun over the STI for reasons already mentioned.

You can either build a working gun or you can't. Please explain "attention". It amazes me people bagging on sti parts quality and most use their frames and slides. Check the front sight survey.

If I were to spend money with EITHER company it better dang well work no matter how much attention is given. Otherwise it's just an expensive paperweight.

"Custom" doesn't always mean better.

The "custom" here has nothing to do with the functionality of the pistol. It refers to customers who want to specify components in the build and perhaps different slide cuts as opposed to purchasing a pistol that has already been assembled by Matt and Bobby. The same attention to detail go into everything they build.

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STI has built an excellent reputation for building dependable pistols .. I feel fairly confident STI has tested the new DVC before ever introducing it to the public.. look at the TruBor .. the new DVC is probably a spin off of it... so I surmise before years end the DVC will win lots of competitions..

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It amazes me people bagging on sti parts quality and most use their frames and slides.

FYI,

CKArms manufactures their frames and slides in house along with a lot of other parts.

Explain how that makes their parts better than the "in house" parts sti makes please? Didn't ask that question.
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You can either build a working gun or you can't. Please explain "attention". It amazes me people bagging on sti parts quality and most use their frames and slides. Check the front sight survey.

If I were to spend money with EITHER company it better dang well work no matter how much attention is given. Otherwise it's just an expensive paperweight.

"Custom" doesn't always mean better.

I never said anything about STI's parts or functionality. You would think by your reaction that I just insulted your Mother, relax. I was simply comparing CK Arms guns and total custom guns from Matt and Bobby based on my conversations with them.

The "custom" here has nothing to do with the functionality of the pistol. It refers to customers who want to specify components in the build and perhaps different slide cuts as opposed to purchasing a pistol that has already been assembled by Matt and Bobby. The same attention to detail go into everything they build.

Thank you for clarifying. This was exactly my point.

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And for what it's worth the front sight survey says "framed" guns. We have pretty much acknowledged that many custom guns use STI frames and slides. I doubt many stock off the shelf STI guns were used to win the nationals.

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Lot of things to consider here and you have to make your own choice.

1) CK Arms is a new company. It is not Matt individually or Bobby individually. What happens to your warranty if they get a divorce (from each other I mean)? That is a factor but only you can determine how much.

2) CK Arms is using what many consider to be better quality parts in the gun - EGW, Schuemann barrels, ect. The difference between these parts and STI factory parts is not clear cut. Most would agree they are better but by how much? You will have to make that choice.

3) CK Arms is making their own frames and slides. STI has been making frames and slides for a long long time and have the process down. I fully believe that CK does as well but they simply have not been at it as long as STI. Only you can say if that matters to you.

4) STI is a significantly bigger company. This means more resources for warranty if it is needed and better likelihood of long term viability.

I think that much of the reason that STI has stepped up their game and produced the new DVC series is because of companies like CK Arms. The competition required them to reevaluate their products and design to the new market. The new designs are much more custom and seem to be what people wanted - which I expect will lead to very brisk sales of the DVC series.

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