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Old 03-18-2001, 10:10 PM
Ankeny Ankeny is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Shoshoni, WY
Posts: 1,053
STI fat free 6 inch

Now that I have a couple of thousand rounds through my fat free 6 inch STI from Benny Hill at Triangle Shooting Sports, I figured I would give you all a no BS range report. First off, I am still a relative newcomer to the USPSA game and the only other semi-auto that I currently shoot frequently is my Les Baer Premier II. Well I guess I can compare the 6 inch STI to a 1911 pattern 5 inch.

OK, let's talk ergonomics. I just love shooting my Baer. There is nothing like the feel of a 1911 single stack. I can draw the Baer with my eyes closed and when I open them the sights are lined up almost every time. Just like most of you, I can draw and shoot two rounds into an IPSC target at 7 yards with my eyes closed, both A hits. On the other hand, when I draw and point my new STI with my eyes closed, when I open my eyes the sights are only lined up good enough to make a hit about 75 percent of the time. The other 25 per cent of the time the sights are pointed to the left just a little bit. This is my first wide body pistol and I think I will get that little pointing problem ironed out with a little dry fire practice. As for the weight of the two pistols, the STI weighs 38 ounces empty and my Baer weighs 42 ounces. The balance point on the STI is just ahead of the trigger. The slide on the 6 inch is exactly the same weight as the slide on my Baer. Benny did a great job of making the slide lighter than stock.

So, how does the 6 inch run? Like a sewing machine. The pistol seems to index a bit faster than my Baer and the slide functions really fast. Guys who say the six inchers are sluggish have never shot one of these pistols. The felt recoil also seems slightly less on the STI given equal power loading. I assume that is because the surface area on the wide body grip is larger and the felt recoil is spread out over a larger area. The impulse of the STI with 180 grain .40 caliber bullets is faster and sharper than the Baer with 200 grain bullets in .45 caliber. The muzzle returns to the target more quickly with the STI.

Frankly, I like the looks and feel of the Baer over the STI 6 incher. If I had to chose just one, it would probably be the Baer because I prefer the .45 as far as ease of developing loads, I can shoot the Baer in both IDPA and IPSC, it ain't made of plastic, and it is a man's pistol. Having said that, I have noticed a marked improvement in my shooting with the fat free 6 inch STI. For starters, my par time on my splits is down to .12 from .17 seconds. Also, my target acquisition time is down by about 30 percent or more. And it is obvious that the STI is easier to reload, with my shot to shot reloads down to 1.1 seconds (I know some of you guys do it faster) from 1.8 seconds. What this translates into is about a 1.2 second improvement in my El Pres.

Today I shot a USPSA match and my performance with the new (actually my 3rd match) STI was pretty good. Where this pistol really shines is hosing down multiple targets at close range like 5 yards or less and again on tight shots at long yardage. We had an array of five targets in a field course that we shot at beginning at 10 yards with the fault line at five yards. I stepped out of the box and took about two giant steps toward the array then I cut loose and I got 8 A hits and 2 C hits so fast that it scared even me. The entire course was 28 rounds and the last two targets consisted of just the heads of two pepper poppers sticking above two widely spaced stacks of tires. The targets were about 15 yards apart and 30 yards distant. The shooter had the option of running up to a fault line that was about 15 yards from the targets, but you had to go around an obstacle to close the gap. I chose to shoot the popper heads from 30 yards away and it was not a problem. On these shots the 6 inch sight radius and fast indexing made a world of difference. If this gun has a disadvantage I don't know what it would be. Did I mention that I still like my Baer?

[This message has been edited by Ankeny (edited 03-18-2001).]
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