My STI Eagle 5.1 is in need of repairs. There was the thumb safety which I still hadn’t fixed even though I had the new safety in hand. It requires some fitting and I just hadn’t taken the time to go to the farm where all the good tools are.
I also had purchased a RecoilMaster nearly two years ago and found it didn’t fit right. My gun is old enough that some milling needed to be done before it could be installed. Newer STIs come from the factory in a configuration where you can just drop the RecoilMaster in. I had never followed through to get the work done.
But my biggest concern was that the hammer, on two occasions in about 300 rounds, followed the slide. Requiring the hammer to be manual cocked before it would fire. I’m a little surprised it didn’t “double” on me. After the first time I inspected and cleaned the gun. I couldn’t find anything wrong and I tried to duplicate the problem manually, without ammo, and could not. Okay, maybe the auto-disconnecter was dirty enough that something didn’t work right. The gun is clean now so maybe the problem has gone away. Shortly after saying that the problem happened again.
The gunsmith that built the gun for me is no longer in business so I asked the guy behind the counter at Wades if their gunsmith would have a reasonable turn around time. It turns out they don’t really have a “gunsmith” on staff. They have an “armorer”. The difference being the armorer doesn’t do work that involves milling or other major metal moving. So I went to the website of a gunsmith I know in Idaho. Shawn Carlock is an USPSA shooter and I was pretty sure he did pistol work. I couldn’t find reference to it on his website. There was lots of info about rifle work but nothing about pistols. I called him up and he told me they stopped working on pistols and shotguns about three years ago. Bummer.
I asked around for some recommendations and called up a couple guys.
As I was explaining the work I wanted done to the first guy he asked, “What type of gun is it again?” “It’s an STI”, I told him. “Oh, a Stye”, he said. He pronounced as a word like the eyelid infection. After a few seconds he interrupted me to ask, “Is that like a Colt?” “Uhhh… yeah. Except Colts are called 1911’s and this is called a 2011 and has a grip wide enough to take double stack magazines.” At this point I was pretty sure I wanted to get someone else but I asked him what his turn around time would be. He said he could get started on it right away and could have it back to me in a couple days.
I talked to the second guy and he was familiar with STIs in general although not the Eagle 5.1. I asked him for his turnaround time and he said he was currently quoting sometime in November. Ouch.
I called up STI thinking that it would probably be expensive getting the work done at the factory but maybe they could recommend a gunsmith in my area of operation. I talked to Bobby in “Warranty” who said turn around time was usually five to seven business days but currently he was essentially all caught up and they had him working in production part of the time. How much is this going to cost me? This gun is over 10 years old and can’t possibly be considered still in warranty. It turns out it will (most likely) just cost me the shipping cost of the gun to Texas. Wow!
The shipping isn’t cheap. I’m not sure who made the rule but handguns require overnight shipping and with the additional insurance the total was $77.55. The gun arrived at the STI factory yesterday. I’m hoping to have it back by next weekend.
I shoot a STI gun in competition, I carry a STI gun and you should too.