A 2011 Life: 5000 Round Update

As reported before, the STI Staccato P is quite easy to shoot and a lot of fun. It didn’t take long to hit 2,500 and then 5,000 rounds through the pistol. I am enjoying learning about the gun and having some focused pistol practice.

Initial Thoughts:

  • The 2011 platform is easy to be fast and accurate with. The single-action trigger mechanism offers a simple and easy trigger press at a lighter weight than a striker-fired gun.
  • The 4.4″ barrel is a nice compromise in size, with good balance and how it “feels” when cycling. I’ve had 5″ 9mm 1911s before and constant spring tuning and maintenance were required to keep the gun from recoiling too much or the slide not cycling with ammo.
  • Aside from 1 hang-up on feeding during the first range trip, I have not had any stoppages or malfunctions.
  • I didn’t clean the pistol until about 2,500 rounds, then at about every 1,200 rounds since. For each range session my procedure is to add a drop of lubrication at the front of the barrel and the barrel hood, as well as a drop on the disconnector and at the back of the slide channel.

Range Sessions

At each range session I’ve gotten in the habit of starting with the 50-rd Dot Torture Drill (link to pistol-training.com here). This is a great warm-up session that works a variety of skills, and I use as a diagnostic to evaluate progress and provide some direction for the rest of the session. The Dot Torture Drill can get exponentially harder with even a 1-2 yard change in distance. At 3 yards my average score is a 49-50, at 4 yards it’s a 47-48 and at 5 yards it’s a 45-46. One thing I’ve noticed with the 2011 versus a Glock is the level of work required to do well on this drill is lower with the 2011. I feel like the 2011 allows another 2-3 yards of distance to the target to have the same level of accuracy/performance on the drill when compared to shooting a Glock.

Targetry

For each range session, I have been setting up one or two 8″ steel MGM Steel Challenge plates, as well as one or two IPSC/IDPA cardboard targets. The cardboard targets will get shot by themselves when clean, but then smaller targets such as dots, shape targets or B-8 bullseyes get added. This assortment can be rapid configured to work on a variety of skills from slow-fire and accuracy intensive to speed drills. By mixing up steel, paper or both, I can vary the pace and standards to keep working on different skills. The shooting bays at my normal club are also 20-25 yards deep, so I can move in or out as needed.

Performance

One habit that I have gotten out of the past few years is tracking progress via time/accuracy. I used it extensively when I was shooting a lot of pistols chasing matches, but with the STI I decided to started a fresh book and track progress again. After several visits I feel confident that I’ve got a good baseline with the gun. I don’t believe in just sharing my fastest time, but what type of average performance I can expect out of a string of 10 or 20 times.

5 Yards, Count 1 to 6, firing the matching number of rounds to the target number, in sequence.

Draw Times

I’ve been playing almost exclusively with a Safariland ALS holster for the Staccato. I don’t like to practice heavily with live-fire for 1-shot draws, preferring to do that via dry-fire at home. However I do like to integrate draws into most of the other shooting drills to get the practice built in.

Draw times with a Safariland ALS on an 8″ steel plate with a guaranteed hit

5 yards – 1.1 seconds

7 yards – 1.2 seconds

10 yards – 1.5 seconds

20 yards – 1.9 seconds

Reloads

The 2011 platform for me has the same manual of arms as the 1911, meaning that my slide-lock reloads require the use of my support hand for closing the slide. So far on a timer it’s adding at least a quarter of a second. Time will tell if I can cut that timing down, but it is the one area I’ve found a deficiency versus a Glock.

As for reload mechanics, I currently don’t have a magwell on the gun, although the opening is quite large as it is. I haven’t found an issue getting mags in the gun. The belt setup I’ve been using has HSGI pistol tacos, which are pretty quick but a little taller and with more friction than a dedicated competition mag pouch. While the competition only rig might be a little faster, some of the events I plan to shoot need the extra retention the more “tactical” type pouches offer.

Slide lock reload – 1.9 seconds

Speed reload (mag change only) – 1.5 seconds

Accuracy

One of the noticeable qualities to the Staccato is the accuracy. It’s easier to coax greater accuracy from the platform via the trigger and sights. However the pistol also has better components and a match-fit barrel, so it should shoot well. There are a few matches that I compete in with some smaller targets at extended ranges that need to be reached with a pistol. I’ve struggled a little on some of these in the past, but the Staccato has given me greater confidence for these target engagements.

A Ransom Rest will show the best results of a pistol, but I don’t have a Ransom Rest and don’t shoot my pistols from a bench, so my testing is done with B-8 targets, 8″ steel plates or just full-size IPSC targets for longer ranges. From a practical perspective, I like to add a timed component, adding some pressure as my competitive use is time based with better placement via faster times while being accurate enough.

B-8 Tests

One of my favorite drills for checking sight alignment or when doing load development on a gun is to shoot 5 rounds at the same target from a few distances, generally somewhere at 5-7, 10-15 and 20-25 yards. This helps check for any offsets or deviation from point of aim at close and further distances. Generally I’d expect a pistol to hold within the X-ring at the close distance, 10-ring at the middle distance and 9-ring at the further distance assuming I do my part. With the Staccato, this isn’t a problem at all.

Another great B-8 based drill to keep you honest with your 25-yard shooting is Kyle DeFoor’s Pistol Hat Qual.

Defoor Proformance Pistol Hat Qual

Standing from 25 yds into an NRA B-8 Repair center. Using an electronic shooting timer draw and fire 10 rounds under 20 seconds and score 90 or better during a class. Three attempts only. Passing score receives a DPS hat.

This is a great drill for working on balancing speed and accuracy. My downfall is often I go to fast and shank a couple shots, shooting too fast at 10 rounds in about 10 seconds but score in the mid-80s from being sloppy. When I slow down and just focus on good shots without worrying about the timer usually come in around 16-17 seconds and a mid-90’s score.

92-1X, 17.09 seconds

Conclusions So Far

After 5,000 rounds down range, I’m still really liking the Staccato P. I feel that I can be a little more accurate than with a Glock 17 or 34, at similar or slightly better speeds on target. For competitive shooting, this can make a difference when your score is some combination of speed and accuracy. The pistol has proven reliable when dirty, with a wide variety of ammunition. One last note is how easy the pistol is to shoot a lot in one day without getting fatigued, most likely due to the additional weight. With my Glocks I can fire 300 rounds and start feeling some fatigue creeping in, whereas the 2011 doesn’t have this effect until about 600 rounds.

At this point I’m not going to sell off everything else I own and switch to only 1911/2011s, but as an all around gun the Staccato is a nice option. The size is good for just about anything except for deep concealment. I’m interested in having a red dot equipped 2011 to explore the RDS shooting a bit more, but would also like to look at having a backup gun because my last name is Murphy.

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