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Old 01-04-2011, 13:00   #1
G27RR
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Tale of the Shadow (1911 review)

The tale of the Shadow

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This is a tale about my absolute favorite concealed carry pistol. I first came across the STI Shadow in a local gun shop. I saw it sitting there in the case next to the other 1911s, but this one looked different, subtle even, and didn't really jump out at me at first. After a while though, the Shadow really caught my eye. It looked dark, shadowy even, with its matte black KG coating and the "STI Shadow" rollmark upon the slide. I flipped it over, and there, on the other side of the slide, was the outline of the great state of Texas. Not just made in the USA, made in Texas. What red-blooded Texan can resist that little touch?

Easy now, I said to myself, check it over really well before you do anything. You already have a Colt Defender. Do you really need a second officer model 1911? Of course you do shouted the voice over my shoulder!!! The Colt is great, it's reliable, I said. But it's shiny and stands out! It doesn't have night sights! It doesn't have a checkered front strap! Without the Hogue wraparound grips, it's a bit slippery! Grip tape is ugly, and, well, you just don't carry the Colt like you thought you would, said the voice over my shoulder. Easy now, I said to myself again.

Sufficiently calmed down and more objective now, I proceeded to give the Shadow a good inspection. After handling the Shadow in the store for a while, I knew it was the pistol I had to have for CCW. It fit my hand extremely well, and the G10 mycarta grips, stippled front strap, and checkered MSH provided a very sure grip without discomfort. The Heinie two dot tritium night sights, recessed into a grooved sight channel on the top of the slide, sealed the deal. Full size sights in a snag-free setup? Perfect. BUY IT!!! screamed the voice. Now convinced, I laid down the cash and was on my way.

My Shadow, chambered in .45ACP, came home with me that day and got a good cleaning. Knowing the perhaps overblown reputation small 1911s have for unreliability, I immediately ran 250 rounds of 230 grain FMJ PMC through it at the range the next day. Zero malfunctions. This was looking good, I thought. Next, I ran 100 rounds of Winchester 230 grain JHP through it. Zero malfunctions. Oh boy, this was looking REALLY good.

After going through 350 rounds that day, I took it home and gave it a good cleaning. I went back to the range several more times over a couple weeks, and after 750 rounds of various 230 grain FMJ and 250 rounds of various 230 grain JHP, including my chosen carry ammo, this pistol became my new daily carry.

Since that time, my Shadow goes with me everywhere it can. It usually travels in a Tucker Gunleather "Cover Up" IWB holster. I ordered mine from Tucker rough side out to assist the single kydex belt clip with keeping it in place. It's a great pair. Easy to put on, and easy to take off if necessary. Reholstering is a snap.

The Shadow has a bit of wear now, mostly holster wear and some wear on the front strap from carrying and shooting it as much as possible. I have yet to have a malfunction with either the factory magazine or the black low profile Wilson magazines I bought to carry with it. I did have a few malfunctions using the magazine that came with my Colt Defender, but those were clearly attributed to that magazine and I no longer use it with the Shadow.

How's the accuracy, you may be wondering? The two dot Straight 8 style sights are very quick to acquire, and though they may give up a bit of accuracy to a more target oriented sight, it is by a very slim margin. I don't particularly shoot for group size with handguns, and I never shoot them from a rest, but here's my take on the Shadow. Fifty round rapid fire groups offhand at 7 yards make one baseball sized hole. At 25 yards slow fire, I can keep things to a golfball if I'm not having a bad day. It's a very accurate pistol.

In the realm of CCW officer model 1911s, I highly recommend this pistol if you're looking for one in the +/- $1200 range. More expensive than the Colt Defender? Sure, but you get night sights, extended safety, stippled front strap, etc. for just $300 or so more. Hope you enjoyed the review and thanks for looking.

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STI Shadow Specifications

Calibers: .45ACP (.40S&W, 9x19mm optional)

Frame: forged aluminum officer length
STIppled front strap
undercut trigger guard
oversized ejection port

Slide: carbon steel round top
integral sight channel
rear cocking serrations

Barrel: 3" fully supported and ramped bull barrel

Mainspring Housing: flat checkered polymer

External Safety: single sided STI extended thumb safety

Grip Safety: bobbed high rise knuckle relief beavertail

Sights: 2 dot tritium night sights
recessed into the slide
(Heinie Straight 8)

Guide rod: STI RecoilMaster system

Hammer: commander style

Other: Beveled Magwell
STI long curved trigger with stainless bow
G10 mycarta grips

Finish: KG black

Length: 7.0"

Weight: 22.8oz

Website: http://www.stiguns.com

MSRP: $1370

Last edited by G27RR; 03-01-2011 at 16:52.. Reason: added picture
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Old 01-04-2011, 13:30   #2
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How long have you been working for STI?


J/K, nice write up. Glad it serves you well.
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Old 01-04-2011, 14:44   #3
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How long have you been working for STI?


J/K, nice write up. Glad it serves you well.
I saw that one coming with all the specs in the post and everything, but figured it sounded kind of lame to go ahead and say in the review I didn't work for them.

I listed all the specs since people usually want to know.

Last edited by G27RR; 01-04-2011 at 14:45..
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Old 01-04-2011, 14:29   #4
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Thanks for the review. How often do you replace the recoil spring in that little guy-sounds like you've done a lot of successful shooting.
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Old 01-04-2011, 14:42   #5
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Thanks for the review. How often do you replace the recoil spring in that little guy-sounds like you've done a lot of successful shooting.
Haven't replaced it yet, it uses a RecoilMaster instead of a traditional rod and spring. They claim the RecoilMaster has been good for 10,000+ rounds in testing (ten times the "normal" spring life). I am waiting to see signs of weakness before I swap it out.

Last edited by G27RR; 01-04-2011 at 14:51.. Reason: typo
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Old 01-04-2011, 15:28   #6
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Great write-up. STI makes good stuff.
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Old 03-01-2011, 19:54   #7
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Great write-up. STI makes good stuff.
I agree.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:43   #8
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Excellent report!
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Old 01-04-2011, 15:39   #9
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Never noticed it until now, but the BT is pretty cool looking. Nice pistol.
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Old 01-04-2011, 19:03   #10
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Agreed, good review! Thanks for sharing.

Andy
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Old 01-04-2011, 19:15   #11
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Thanks everyone, glad to hear some people liked it.
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Old 01-04-2011, 21:53   #12
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it was indeed a good write up! STI is making some of the best 1911's out there in the production world
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Old 01-04-2011, 21:57   #13
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The Shadow is on my must one day buy list. I fondled one at the gun store/ range here and fell in love with it. Great write up I was looking for something like this on that particular STI.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:41   #14
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Great write up I was looking for something like this on that particular STI.
I hadn't seen anything specifically for the Shadow either, except in one gun magazine a while back.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:45   #15
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Now the Escort.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:58   #16
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Now the Escort.
The Ranger II was up next,but since you asked I'll do the Escort first.

Last edited by G27RR; 01-05-2011 at 17:30..
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Old 03-01-2011, 16:53   #17
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1911 Forums

2,000 rounds of wear, but it's nice an even with no surprises.
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Last edited by G27RR; 03-01-2011 at 17:31..
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Old 03-01-2011, 17:16   #18
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That is deffnly a sweet shooter.. and now I have yet another reason to hate the PRK..
Nice write up.. makes me want an STI even more.. thanks for that
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Old 03-01-2011, 17:24   #19
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Nice write up.. makes me want an STI even more.. thanks for that
No problem... just giving you another great excuse to leave the Republik of Kal E Forn E ahhhh for the Republic of Texas.

G27RR - working to free the oppressed since 2010.
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Old 03-01-2011, 17:28   #20
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G27 are in the DFW? I ask because I saw a shadow in stock a LGS that also has an outside rage not too long ago.(Alpine)
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