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Thoughts on the STI Spartan 9mm

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by 931shooter, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. 931shooter


    Sep 26, 2009
    columbia tn
    I have been tossing the idea around of getting the Spartan. They seem to be decently priced and well built. Does anyone have any experience with this gun? What are the pros and cons of it? I will mainly be using it for the occasional idpa match and range shooting.
  2. Rally Vincent

    Rally Vincent Bipolar

    Feb 16, 2003
    The Bar.
    It's made by Armscor. I wouldn't buy anything made by them. STI or not.

  3. Have heard nothing but good things from folks that actually own and shoot them. There is plenty of good reviews from folks that own other ARMSCOR products. STI is an outstanding company and stands behind what they sell.
  4. junkie


    Jan 9, 2005
    I have one that has several thousand rounds through it. It is very well made and once we got the mag catch issue straight it has not malfunctioned at all. I use it for IDPA ESP division. The idea that Armscor cannot be trusted is just crazy. RIA and STI both use Armscor and then finish and add their parts.
  5. glock2740

    glock2740 Gun lover.

    Jun 19, 2008
    NW Ark.
    Have 3 Armscor Rcok Islands and a STI Legacy. Love them all. Do you have any reason to make the statement that you have? Or are you one of the ignorant, "never held one in life, much less, ever shot one, but read it on the internet" guys? What exactly is you experience with RIA guns?
  6. bikewriter


    Jan 26, 2011
    Mine is flawless. Paid less than $650, added a S&A magwell, lighter recoil and hammer spring, a lighter sear spring and some internal polishing. Over 2000 rounds and still going strong. Parkerizing is a bit cheezy, but I plan to get it refinished a few years down the road.

    Trigger pull is crisp and predictable, a hair under 2#. Extremely accurate out to 25 yards which is all I need for IDPA; puts tiny holes in the same little area that my $2000 1911s put their big 45acp holes.

    Use 9 round Metalform mags. Perfect feeding and ejection. A little bit of grip tape on the front strap and we're good to go. Thinned the front sight, too.

    I have a Dan Wesson PM9 which is a fantastic firearm but cost me a little over twice as much. I shoot my STI Spartan more than any 1911 in the safe.
  7. Clint-M


    Jul 7, 2010
    RR, Texas
    If you decide to pick one up you should order it from Dave Dawson. DP inspects all 1911's that go through their shop so you can be sure you're getting your money's worth.

  8. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    Nov 24, 2005

    Many of the raw forgings are made in Korea.
    Nothing wrong with Armscorps
  9. Rally Vincent

    Rally Vincent Bipolar

    Feb 16, 2003
    The Bar.
    Oh God, let me appease you real quick.
    Purchased an STI Spartan a year ago from a local gun store after reading a review of one in a magazine. Seemed to be well made. 300 rounds into a range session the slide stop shears in half. Call STI and they tell me that it's fine and they will send me a new one, that I have to pay for. No way. I took the godforsaken thing back to the gun store and got my money back. The dealer can fuss with the broken pistol. Far as I'm concerned the thing was on par with a Brazilian made 1911. Sorry. But PH quality just didn't impress me. I'll stick with US made 1911's. And thats all I'm ever going to recommend.

    That good enough banjo Pete?
  10. plouffedaddy


    Apr 1, 2011
    My range buddy has it and I have the RIA Tac 9mm. They're almost the same gun. STI basically looks over the parts on a RIA and throws out the ones that don't meet their specs, add a f/o front sight, and roll mark the slide. For that, they charge about $150-200 more. Well, I threw a f/o on mine and saved $200.

    Armscor has awesome customer service. I had a 45 that had an extractor that was problematic. They paid shipping both ways and while the gun was there, they polished up all the internals and ran 20 rounds through it to ensure the new extractor was working.

    9mm Tac:

  11. bikewriter


    Jan 26, 2011
    I think the RIA Match is the STI Spartan equivalent and their prices are about the same.
    $628 delivered STI. All things being equal I'd go for STI's customer service which is usually regarded as stellar.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  12. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    So, US made M1911s don't break, huh?

    Excuse me, but I ain't too impressed with the quality of US guns versus Filipino guns.

    Pics don't lie. $400 Filipino gun versus $1000 American guns.

  13. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    I've own my STI Spartan 9mm for almost 2 years and it have over 12,000 rounds through it. The finish is mediocre but decent park but the frame/slide/barrel fit is tight.
    It's my IDPA ESP / USPSA SS game gun. The frame/slide is made but Armscor but everything else other than the sights are American STI parts comparable to the Trojan in the STI line. I have added aftermarket grips, a Dawson .100 FO front sight and Dawson Ice no gap magwell/basepads with Tripp 10 round mags. My gunsmith did a mild trigger job at 1000 rounds with a MSH spring (14#) change (breaks at 3.5#) and adjust the grip safety for more positive disengagement.
    The Spartan has a standard unramped barrel. Mine been ultra reliable once I found the best load for the gun and my needs, a 135g Bear Creek Moly RN running at 1000fps.
    I have a 10# recoil spring in the gun and it shoots flat with no appreciable muzzle rise off hand and sub 2 inch groups at 50 yards on a rest. It's an awesome gun and IMO good value for the price of the Trojan... I bought the Spartan and paid for all the extras listed.

    The previous posts regarding less than anything but A-1 customer service from STI is extremely hard for me to believe. I have called STI on 2 or 3 separate occasions, for technical assistance. STI CS reps have been nothing but courteous and extremely helpful. I have an extra high clearance ejector no charge thanks to them.
  14. Frog1


    Aug 28, 2009
    Philo guns are good for the price. This forum seems to be full of fans.

    STI does a god job assembling the parts and fitting the critical diminsions. Everyone has a bad day once and awhile.

    Personally, I prefer the Brazilian cheaper clones. Never had a problem with them. Taurus haters and Philo lovers unite.
  15. FLSlim


    Apr 12, 2010
    FL W Coast
    Good comments by Boxerglocker. Can't help on the 9, mine is a 45 and has been an outstanding value. I don't understand the issue raised by a previous poster, but I found customer service with STI to be second to none. Good luck with the decision.
  16. bikewriter


    Jan 26, 2011
    Since it's somewhat related to this post, a local shooter forum posed a similar question, and RIA vs STI always comes up. Here is today's post:

    The metallurgy is not the best. What I have noticed is the slide has started to widen out and the thumb safeties snapped after about 5k. (I am left handed and work the weaker side a little more than most.)

    Mine is and was purchased to be a high round count pistol.
    My long term plan was to replace pretty much everything and keep the stock stuff in my parts box.

    My recommendation would be, as long as its a low round count pistol, tough to beat.
    Being 9mm I basically have a bull barrel and the slide is barely moving to cycle. not a lot of stress on things. .45 is going to be a little more stressful on all of the parts.
  17. 931shooter


    Sep 26, 2009
    columbia tn
    If i do decide to get one i plan on shooting it a lot. I have a g34 that i have had for a month and a half and it has close to 1500 rounds through it and i plan on doing the same with the spartan.
  18. TTM65


    Jul 5, 2006
    Central Florida
    I will second bikewriter, the pilipino products are put together nicely however, the metals are softer and not to the US standard. I have personally visited the Armscor plant before and must say that I was impressed. I do however get guns in my shop for feed issues and generally they are high mileage guns and they have the same problem. I know that I will upset a few here but facts are facts. Armscor, Kimber, and Rock Island are the only ones I have seen with dented or marred breech faces. although I am not expert it appears that the slide metal is soft and the long term shooting mars the breech face. A few minutes with a medium stone, a dab of cold blue, and your on your way. This does not stop me from recommending one of these guns to a customer who desires a 1911 but has limited funds. I think they are good guns for the money. What we must realize is that all 1911 shooters are fanatical and require a name brand.