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How I went home with an Escort (a 1911 review)

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by G27RR, Jan 7, 2011.


  1. G27RR

    G27RR
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    Disclaimer: this is long but hopefully entertaining.


    How I Went Home with an Escort


    No, no, no, not THAT kind of Escort. This was an STI Escort, an officer frame 1911.

    If you've read my review of the STI Shadow, then you know how much I love that pistol and that I carry it daily. Now you may be wondering, if I love that Shadow so much, why did I buy an Escort? Well, I hadn't bought another pistol for a while, and I started getting that feeling. You might know the one. The one where you start thinking, I just NEED to add another gun to my collection. I had the itch. Had it bad.

    I finally gave in and decided that I needed a backup 1911 from STI in the same size. Since I didn't want to limit myself to an identical pistol, I looked at other officer models and came away impressed with the STI Escort. Now, I have heard that there are wives out there who will buy firearms for their husbands. Birthdays, Christmas, whatever the occasion, but they buy them as gifts. Personally, I think they're a myth. It can't be true, can it? MY wife's never done that, and I'm awesome, so if anyone's wife would buy one, surely MINE would, right? Right?


    Well, while I was waiting for hell to freeze over, I decided I'd better buy my own birthday present. Let's look up an Escort I said to myself! No, no, no, not that kind of Escort. Sheeesh, we've been through that already! My local dealer was out of Escorts,
    and my birthday was just a few days away. Hmmm, maybe I'll check out Gunbroker just in case. It must have been my lucky day, because an auction was just ending on a NIB Escort from an out of state dealer, so I snagged it for $800. $355 off list, not bad I thought. Add in shipping and transfer fees and I was out the door two days before my birthday with my brand new .45ACP Escort for $850. Happy Biiiiirthday, G27, Happy Biiiiirthday to me.

    The Escort is an officer length 1911 with a forged aluminum frame coated in KG and a blued carbon steel slide. Many of the features are just like the Shadow.... stippled front strap, checkered MSH, undercut trigger guard, machine beveled magwell, round top, 3" ramped bull barrel, RecoilMaster guide rod system, etc.

    The main difference, aside from the finish, is the sights. The Shadow has Heinie Straight 8 tritium night sights recessed into a channel in the slide top. This pistol has a plain round top with TAS sights (Tactical Adjustable Sights) without illumination. The Escort also comes with standard width checkered cocobolo grips instead of the agressively textured G10 grips on the Shadow.

    I decided that a birthday pistol needs some custom grips. So, a few emails back and forth with Esmeralda and I had a set of grips on order to my specifications. I combined the features I liked from several of her more common grips and asked her to blend them and some personalized incsriptions into the set you see below.

    Alright, now down to the shooting. How did this pistol perform? In a word, great. Just like the Shadow I had no probems with any of my standard FMJ practice ammo (WWB or PMC) or with any of the JHP I tried (Speer, Hornady, Winchester, mostly). The factory mags and the thin baseplate Wilsons I favor both performed as expected. I lost track of round count on this one, but it's still low at somewhere between 600-800.

    It is a little easier for me to be more precise with the Escort due to the different sights (3-dot Novak style rather than the Straight 8 "dot the i" night sights on the Shadow). On the other hand, I find the Heinie sights to be quicker to pick up, especially so in lower lighting with their tritium vials.

    The RecoilMaster does seem to soften felt recoil, and translates that recoil into even more of a "push" back into the palm than most officer models. For comparison to a more typical guide rod and spring, my Colt Defender has a bit more muzzle rise. There are a lot of people who say an officer size 1911 won't be reliable. Both the Shadow and Escort have been very reliable for me. STI seems to have small 1911s figured out. Maybe the RecoilMaster is part of the answer.

    As another benefit, the RecoilMaster is said by STI to last 10x the number of rounds before needing to be changed. I haven't reached a spring change interval with my Escort, but the Shadow would more than likely have required at least one by now and is still going strong.

    Would I change anything about this pistol? For range use, no. For carry use, I would have preferred night sights but it's not a big enough deal to get me to swap them out. otherwise, it's another very nice 1911 that doesn't break the bank.

    Hope this was informative and a little entertaining. Thanks for reading, and please enjoy some pictures.


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    STI Escort

    Calibers: .45ACP (9x19mm optional)

    Frame: forged aluminum
    officer length
    STIppled front strap
    undercut trigger guard
    machine beveled magwell

    Slide: carbon steel
    round top style
    rear cocking serrations
    oversized ejection port

    Barrel: 3" fully supported and ramped bull barrel

    Mainspring Housing: flat checkered polymer

    External Safety: single sided STI extended thumb safety

    Grip Safety: high rise beavertail

    Sights: Tactical Adjustable Sight (TAS) - "Novak" style white 3-dot

    Guide rod: STI RecoilMaster system

    Hammer: commander style

    Other: STI long curved trigger with stainless bow (~ 4.5 lbs weight)
    STI logo checkered cocobolo grips, standard thickness

    Finish: KG coated frame, blued slide

    Length: 7.0"

    Weight: 22.8oz

    Website: http://www.stiguns.com

    MSRP: $1155
     

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  2. Shipwreck-The-Sequel

    Shipwreck-The-Sequel
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    Beretta 92 Nut!

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    wow, that is very nice!
     

  3. 20South

    20South
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    Cool story, nice pics, great piece! Congrats! And happy belated birthday.
     
  4. awpk03s

    awpk03s
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    That's sweet man. Congrats!
     
  5. Mr. Gekko

    Mr. Gekko
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    Congrats! :wavey:
     
  6. G27RR

    G27RR
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    Thanks everyone.
     
  7. Bai Qui

    Bai Qui
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    I also have an STI Escort. Love the gun, have 300 rounds through mine, not one malfunction. Pretty much disproved all the negatives I've heard about 3" 1911s. Mine doesn't have the RecoilMaster guide rod though, not sure why, I may contact STI and ask. The only thing I may change is adding night sights. Great gun.
     
  8. Alcoy

    Alcoy
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    I am glad your wife is okay with you taking home an escort on your birthday. Just kidding.

    Congrats on your new Escort. Looks really sharp.
     
  9. G27RR

    G27RR
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    Glad to hear your's works great, too. It seems to me that STI has the 3" 1911 figured out pretty well. Sometimes I wonder how many of the people saying 3" 1911s are unreliable have tried one in the last few years, or tried a Colt or STI. My Defender and both STIs are reliable ad most reports on those models say the same.
     
  10. G27RR

    G27RR
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    Thanks!
     
  11. bac1023

    bac1023
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    Congrats! :cool:
     
  12. Bai Qui

    Bai Qui
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    I know. All I read was how temperamental the 3" guns were. I bought mine based on the praise for STI in general. It sure seems like they managed to get their guns to run right. My guess with the complaints I've read about the Kimber 3" guns is because Kimber just sells so many more guns than the other manufacturers, you're bound to hear of more problems with them.
     
  13. smith10

    smith10
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    10MM WOOOOOOT

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    That is a LOT of gun for the money.
     
  14. OrangeDonkey

    OrangeDonkey
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    I really like the Escort, I think I've decided to go that route instead of the Ultra CDP. Would you recommend the Shadow over the Escort? Would it be worth the $200?
     
  15. rsxr22

    rsxr22
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    congrats!! Im a big fan of STI's guns, 1911's and 2011's
     
  16. G27RR

    G27RR
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    The two main differences are related to the sights. The Shadow has night sights and the sights are set into a channel in the top of the slide so they are more recessed than normal. This makes them less likely to catch on something during the draw.

    The other obvious differences are the finish and the grips. The Shadow has a matte black finish and G10 grips with substantial grip to them. The Escort has a shinier finish and comes with nicely checkered grips which aren't quite as aggressive as the Shadow's but they are adequate.

    Since I would have swapped out the standard sights for night sights and changed out the grips on the Escort, it would have come close to the price difference anyway. In that case it was worth it to me. I have both and carry the Shadow since it is setup just how I want it.

    If you don't want or need the differences or expect not to make any changes to the Escort, I would get it and save the money. As someone else said. It is A LOT of gun for the money. It's the same price as the Colt Defender give or take, and has addtional feautures that I like.