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My experience with various 2011s


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Just sold off my last 2011 (STI DVC 3 Gun) because I got an offer I couldn’t refuse.  As I switch over to the CZ Shadow 2 platform, just thought I would share my experience with the various 2011s I had owned.

 

STI Marauder: bought it used and the barrel had been shot out (3 in. groups at 10 yards).  No FTF/FTE issues though.  Contacted STI and they replaced the barrel for free with free shipping both ways.  While the grouping vastly improved, the new barrel was not fitted correctly as the gun shot left by 1.5 in. at 10 yards even with the rear sight shifted all the way to the right.  Contacted STI again by phone and email but couldn’t get anyone to respond — sold the gun a week later. 

 

STI DVC 3 Gun: owned both bushing and bull barrel models.  Nicely built and ran with all of my STI mags (126mm, 140mm, 170mm) and with any factory ammo (115, 124, 147).  Shot extremely flat with the 147 gr ammo (almost as if shooting with a compensator).  Very reliable (never experienced any FTF/FTE) and very accurate as I effortlessly hit steel targets 75 yards out in 3 Gun matches.  After more than 10000 rounds, the pistols still looked brand new.  My positive experience with the DVC 3 Gun led me to explore higher end custom 2011s.

 

Atlas Titan in 9 mm:  very nicely built but at 3+ lbs with PT Evo grip and steel magwell, a bit too heavy for 9 minor in my opinion.  Frequent FTF/FTE with half of my 2nd gen STI 140mm mags and all of my 170mm mags.  Contacted Atlas and was always able to get someone on the phone.  After 2 weeks of being told “there is something wrong with your ammo / magazines”, I sold the gun.  I only use CCI Blazer factory ammo, by the way.

 

Akai Limited with PT grip: another beautifully built custom 2011 that attracted attention at the range.  Experienced a catastrophic failure within the first 1000 rounds.  After Akai fixed it and sent it back (blamed the failure on my factory ammo), the gun grouped poorly.  After failing to get Akai to respond to my inquiries, I had my local gunsmith fix the issue (poor fitting between barrel link and slide stop).  Sold the gun a week later.

 

Staccato XL:  similar to the DVC 3 Gun in specs but inferior in build quality.  Experienced frequent FTF with 147 gr ammo.  Contacted Staccato and they promptly sent me new proprietary magazine springs (not available on their site yet) and followers which eliminated the FTF issue.  Couldn’t get past the fact the slide was rubbing the barrel on the left side (leaving a very visible mark after only 250 rounds) so I sold the gun.  The gun was accurate and soft shooting — the polymer grip was quite effective at reducing felt recoil.

 

Atlas Hyperion with aluminum Alpha grip:  another very nicely built gun with great balance.  Stronger felt recoil than the Staccato XL and STI DVC (aluminum vs polymer grips).  Experienced continuous FTFs with the Atlas MBX mag shipped with the gun  (disappointing considering the gun was marketed as perfect return to zero with factory ammo).  I could not use my 140mm 2nd gen STI mags because the magwell hit the basepad so the magazine could not be seated.  I sold the gun.

Edited by Firebull
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2 hours ago, Firebull said:

Just sold off my last 2011 (STI DVC 3 Gun) because I got an offer I couldn’t refuse.  As I switch over to the CZ Shadow 2 platform, just thought I would share my experience with the various 2011s I had owned.

 

STI Marauder: — sold the gun a week later. 

 

STI DVC 3 Gun: owned both bushing and bull barrel models.  Nicely built and ran with all of my STI mags (126mm, 140mm, 170mm) and with any factory ammo (115, 124, 147).  Shot extremely flat with the 147 gr ammo (almost as if shooting with a compensator).  Very reliable (never experienced any FTF/FTE) and very accurate as I effortlessly hit steel targets 75 yards out in 3 Gun matches.  After more than 10000 rounds, the pistols still looked brand new.  My positive experience with the DVC 3 Gun led me to explore higher end custom 2011s.

 

Atlas Titan in 9 mm:   I sold the gun.  I

 

Akai Limited with PT grip:   Sold the gun a week later.

 

Staccato XL:  so I sold the gun.  

 

Atlas Hyperion with aluminum Alpha grip:    I sold the gun.

 

I expect your experience with the CZ Shadow 2 platform will be similar to your 2011 experience, since you seem to be the only common denominator in the various guns.

 

I hope you were fully transparent with the various gun issues when you sold the guns!?!?

 

By your post count I would guess none of the guns were sold in the classifieds here?

Edited by Ming the Merciless
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Sorry for all your issues but surprised you had some of those issues since we owned a couple of the same guns. Very surprised that you said you had stronger recoil with the Hyperion then you did the staccato XL. Just don’t understand that as my Hyperion does not feel like it moves at all. I can definitely feel less recoil with it than I can my staccato. Good luck to you.

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13 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

Sounds like very expensive solutions (swapping guns) instead of just solving the root cause of the FTF/FTE issues which would have been much cheaper and easier to resolve. To each their own I guess.

Cha Lee, after watching your Titan review and reading your book, I purchased a new Titan yesterday to replace one of my STI DVC’s for IPSC standard this year.  I have requested the high shielded safeties and an IPSC mag well.  My current load is 180gr plated truncated cone over 5.4gr of VVN320 @ 1.18” OAL.  Would you recommend any changes to this setup.

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@Firebullthanks for sharing your experiences. My own limited experiences with 9mm 1911-type guns is that they would prefer longer ammo than factory, and can be sensitive to both magazine and extractor fitment/geometry.

 

The bad news is that almost everything has to be fit, tuned, and tested to make things work. The good news is everything on a 1911/2011 is understood and fixable. It sounds like you gave up way too early on your guns or had unrealistic expectations. Your STI Marauder needing a new barrel seems unlikely, as shooting out a pistol barrel for acceptable accuracy in USPSA is almost impossible. Also, they sent you some barrel and you dropped it in? That also seems strange as there are all kinds of variables and fitting to do to replace a 1911 barrel. 

 

Your experiences with Atlas sound like you just couldn't bear not using those Gen 2 STI mags. Did you ever try a different brand of ammo? The Staccato story sounds like you are just ridiculously picky about minor appearance issues, but maybe the rubbing was egregious?

 

Once again thanks for the interesting post.

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33 minutes ago, Twinkie said:

@Firebullthanks for sharing your experiences. My own limited experiences with 9mm 1911-type guns is that they would prefer longer ammo than factory, and can be sensitive to both magazine and extractor fitment/geometry.

 

The bad news is that almost everything has to be fit, tuned, and tested to make things work. The good news is everything on a 1911/2011 is understood and fixable. It sounds like you gave up way too early on your guns or had unrealistic expectations. Your STI Marauder needing a new barrel seems unlikely, as shooting out a pistol barrel for acceptable accuracy in USPSA is almost impossible. Also, they sent you some barrel and you dropped it in? That also seems strange as there are all kinds of variables and fitting to do to replace a 1911 barrel. 

 

Your experiences with Atlas sound like you just couldn't bear not using those Gen 2 STI mags. Did you ever try a different brand of ammo? The Staccato story sounds like you are just ridiculously picky about minor appearance issues, but maybe the rubbing was egregious?

 

Once again thanks for the interesting post.


Sent the Marauder to STI and they determined the barrel was shot out and fit a new one.  Funny how everyone has chosen to ignore my high praises for the DVC 3 Gun -- a reasonably priced pistol that ran reliably with any ammo and magazine.  I had come to 2011 from the CZ platform so expected similar reliability and accuracy.

 

Yes, I did try different ammo (all factory though) and magazines (MBX with brand new Gram’s springs and followers) but the issues persisted with the Atlas.  
 

Anyways, just sharing my experience.

Edited by Firebull
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20 hours ago, jcc7x7 said:

Remind me not to buy a gun from you. LoL

I was thinking the same thing.  He only sells guns that have issues.  I've had 4 Stacattos and have used the STI Gen2 mags with success with STI, Cheely and Atlas guns.  But I do add ISMI 11 coil springs to the factory STI mags.

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I am a small time operator, but have been more fortunate in two tries.

STI Eagle 9mm bought second hand has been trouble free with Gen 1, Gen 2, and MBX magazines and my reloads with coated and plated bullets.

The Buzzard (Eagle configuration assembled by local part timer) .45 is very finicky on bullet shape but is reliable with RN and quite accurate.

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14 hours ago, Drmike said:

Cha Lee, after watching your Titan review and reading your book, I purchased a new Titan yesterday to replace one of my STI DVC’s for IPSC standard this year.  I have requested the high shielded safeties and an IPSC mag well.  My current load is 180gr plated truncated cone over 5.4gr of VVN320 @ 1.18” OAL.  Would you recommend any changes to this setup.

 Congrats on your new Atlas Titan purchase!!! Since every gun and shooter is different I would suggest getting a range of recoil springs from 10lb - 13lb so you can tune the muzzle return characteristics to match your grip pressure. The best tool for tuning this is to use slow motion video while shooting the gun to see how the whole gun moves around as the slide snaps back forward. I have a two part video series that talks about this spring tuning stuff on my YouTube channel.

 

Other than that, you will need to verify that your ammo OAL and Powder drop matches what the Titan needs. I always suggest that people optimize the OAL of the ammo first, then tune the powder drop to achieve the velocity that you desire. I started the below thread that talks about tuning the OAL. Check it out.

 

 

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$20K spent on 2011s that didn’t work right... ouch. Sorry things didn’t work out. Did you at least get most of ur investment back from selling them?

 

Also, do you have a railed 9mm 2011 laying around that’s problematic? I’m looking for a winter project lol

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A lot of this is probably related to trying to use standard length 9mm ammo and tuned race guns IMO. Can it work? Sure. Is it optimal? No. Did you send sample ammo to the builder when getting the guns? Doubtful. These type of pistols can be extremely picky on ammo and mag tuning. 

 

As to CZ guns being better.... mmmm I wouldnt say that's really true. I've seen plenty of both fail at matches. But I've seen plenty of both run great at matches. I myself ran a RIA doublestack for 2 years and can count on one hand the times I had a malfunction on a stage, 4 times. But I spent a LOT of time getting it to run that well consistently. 

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As many have stated, I'll put myself in they're camp.

Generally I've had great success with STI 2011's, yeah I got upset with them when their QC went down hill a few years ago.

Started buying Pt, Chelly, Akai guns and frames.

I live near Dan Bedell and have had him build guns for me.

All basically without a problem.

 

Mags have mostly been Gen 1 STI mags that get basic polishing and work fine.

SVI old style tubes that have been re sprung and new followers added.

All get a metal base plates vs the plastic ones that come with.

 

A few had to have ramps polished and two had to have the angle recut, but all have run generally without fail.

 

I've said this for a long time.  "We are in the golden age of pistol making!"  I remember the 70's when you bought a new Colt and then before ever firing it you worked on it or gave it to a qualified gunsmith to make it feed and function.  Thank God those days are gone.

 

My condolences to the OP for his problems, and even greater condolences to the people he sold those guns to if they truly were the lemons he says they were!!

Edited by jcc7x7
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Finding the true root cause to this is simple. All the OP has to do is reach out to all of the people he sold the "Failing" 2011's to and ask them how the gun is running. If the guns are running reliably with their new owners then the root cause can be found by looking in the mirror.

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I don't get it.  I've owned two full custom Open guns and a semi-custom and all worked 100% with STI Gen 1s with STI guts, STI Gen 1s with Grams guts and pad, MBX, SVI Gen 1 with TTI gust and pad, and the new one works with STI Gen 2 mags as well.  You know what I had to do to them to get them to work?  Nothing.

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