STI 2011 .45

I picked up a 2011 frame at a local shop. The frame came in the white and cut for a Wilson / Nowlin ramped barrel, so I had some options. I figured I'd build it up as a .45, already having SV Infinity guns in both .40 and 9mm. Intended uses were for IDPA CDP class competition and possibly for CCW.

I wanted to keep the configuration close to a factory STI gun, upgrading here and there with my personal preferences, but stopping short of filling it with top-grade, premium parts. I reasoned that if I ever sell it, I wouldn't get that money back out of it.

The only .45 slide available at the time was one without sight cuts, so I was obliged to do my own Novak dovetails. The slide also needed some mill work to fit it to the frame rails, since it was about .005" oversized in a couple of dimensions. I also scalloped the front of the ejection port, which was too short to allow a loaded round to eject cleanly. The slide also got a French cut for style points, and because it looked kind of naked without rollmarks.

I picked a Kart barrel, which are widely held to be second to none for accuracy. The bushing is an EGW angle-bored unit, and fitting the barrel was a straightforward process. Fortunately the barrel ramp / frame interface needed no work for correct timing. The frame was already cut for a .250 beavertail, and the Brown unit dropped right in, with only the usual lug filing and a little top blending necessary. The fit was not as close as I'd like, but it equals or exceeds most factory beavertail installs. The trigger is currently at just a hair over 4 pounds.

Parts list:

The finish is a glass bead blast and hot blue, using the old lye / ammonium nitrate formula.

Fresh out of the box:

Most of the parts fitting complete:


I had a chance to shoot it in a Ransom rest to get an idea of what it would do. The rest was mounted under suboptimal conditions -- clamped to a wooden, freestanding bench on a grassy surface. As is generally the case with my range visits, I was short on time so I couldn't do a whole lot of tweaking, testing and find out which load this one likes best. At any rate, my 5 or 6 groups were running between 1.7 and 2.0" inches at 25 yards. Best one was just over 1.7" with my reloads (4.2 grains of Titegroup under a 230 grain lead bullet in a motley assortment of cases.)