New gun

Yesterday I picked up a new gun to replace the old one which died at a match on April 19th.

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It’s another STI. This time a DVC Limited. Again it’s chambered in .40 S&W.

I didn’t realize it but this gun was just introduced at Shot Show this year and they are hard to get. I was going to get another STI Eagle but I saw this on the STI website in mid March and called around trying to find one.I asked the local gun shop if they could get me a good deal on one and after calling their distributors and STI found they could not. Only authorized dealers can get them. There are only three dealers within 100 miles of me. One told me I could get delivery in September. Another told me delivery “by the end of the year”. Another dealer told me they were on sale if I ordered by the end of the month and I would get it “in April or May”. It would have been nice to just “go pick it up” but April or May was a lot better than September or the end of the year. And getting it below MSRP was a big bonus. I ordered the gun and then less than a month later the STI I purchased in 1997 and carried almost daily died.

Getting the gun was a big thrill and I checked the holster fit before I getting in my car. It fit both my competition holster and my IWB carry holster. It was a little tight in the carry holster but not a big deal. I loaded it up and it felt so good to have a STI on my hip again.

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I had been carrying my Ruger P-89 in the Alien Gear IWB holster but after a few hours it was uncomfortable. And when I bent over to lift something the gun would pop most of the way out of the holster. I used to have Kramer holster for it but couldn’t find it.

I stopped off at the range before coming home. I shot factory ammo which I had known to be accurate in my old STI but it was a huge disappointment in this gun.

I bought a different brand in a different bullet weight and tried that. Still horrible.

I was about to give up and go home and decided to just empty the magazine. The last couple of rounds went about six or eight inches right of my point of aim on a target 21 feet away. Oh! I need to check something.

I tipped the gun to the left as I brought it closer to look at it and the front sight fell off:

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That happened with my first STI after a few hundred rounds when I first got it.

I put a 0.004 shim of plastic under the front sight and carefully tapped it into place just like I had done with my first STI.

I went to the range again today and the results were much better. I adjusted the sights for a 25 yard zero and tried it again at 7 yards.

This is five rounds, off hand, from 7 yards away with some of my Montana Gold handloads:

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This is five rounds, off hand, from 25 yards:

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Okay. That’s more like it! Most of the group dispersion is probably just my aging eyes in the relatively low light of the indoor range and the tremors in my hands and arms.

It’s been many years since I could get groups like that with my STI Eagle. I had been wondering if it was my aging fire control system or the gun. I’m pretty sure I can say it was the gun. The slide to frame fit on the Eagle was never very good. The gunsmith who assembled the kit had deliberately put it together with loose tolerances for reliable carry. After 40K rounds through it the tolerance probably increased enough to make the difference that I suspected were aging of the flesh rather than wear of the gun.

The first thing I did with the DVC Limited, assembled by STI, was check the slide to frame fit. I cannot detect any movement at all. It has to be on the order of 0.001” or less gap. Same with the barrel. No detectable motion when I try to wiggle it.

I’m very pleased now that the front sight is staying in place. I can’t wait for the next match.

18 thoughts on “New gun

    • I can make major in Limited for USPSA matches. And I have many thousands of rounds on my shelves.

  1. …when I bent over to lift something the gun would pop most of the way out of the holster.

    Does this mean you’re reducing the positivity of your earlier review? I don’t like the idea of a holster which (mostly) ejects the pistol when you bend over…

    • For the P-89 holster, yes. I’ve been meaning to write up another post and update the old one.

  2. I like it. I’ve read many posts from you about your carry weapon. I still find it hard to believe you carry such a large and heavy gun. I’m glad it works for you.

    • Most find it surprising. I don’t see it as any big deal. But my body shape is apparently different enough that it works for me. I am on the large side of normal and in decent shape (6′ 3″, 40″ chest, 36″ waist, 40″ hips) so that may be what enables it to be comfortable.

  3. It’s rare to find someone who carries their gamer gun. Well done!
    My M&P Pro front sight fell off on round 49.

    • “It’s rare to find someone who carries their gamer gun.”

      It’s a practical matter, because practical shooting. Honong one’s skills on a gun one doesn’t use is a rather silly exercise.

  4. Why use a plastic shim? What does the factory say about this front sight problem?
    Perhaps they have an oversize/unfinished sight they could give you? I’d feel more confident with a properly fitted all metal sight base.
    Losing the front sight could be a big problem in a self defense incident.
    If it slides to the side in your holster, could it lock it up?

    Had a friend lose his front sight on the first day of a 4 day class. He finished the class using two different loaners.

    • I used plastic because on the Eagle (the old one) I couldn’t find a shim thin enough.

      On the DVC Limited I didn’t have any metal shims handy and there is also a slight taper to the cut in the slide for the sight. It gets tighter as it goes further to the right. I needed something that was compressible.

      Since the plastic one on the Eagle lasted 17 years I figured this should work out just fine too.

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  6. That’s a beautiful gun, I think I’d be a little disappointed if the front sight fell off. Hope it gives you another 40k rounds of happiness.

  7. It is pretty, but I don’t see any flame designs.

    The front sight being loose reminds me of all the many people I’ve had tell me that they use iron sights exclusively, because they’re so totally infallible. “I’m an iron sight man, myself!” said in the tone that a Klansman would use while declaring his heterosexuality after it had been questioned.

    I can recall having experienced directly at least four separate iron sight failures, and two optic sight failures. The irons were on solid, well-thought-of rifles, and the two optics were cheapos, owned by other people, and which failed in my presence. A third optic, which didn’t exactly fail, but fogged up, was an entry level Aimpoint we had been heating up in our torture testing and then quenching with cold water. We wanted to see if we could break it, but it kept going even when one of the seals was compromised. Using a sledgehammer would have been too obvious.

  8. hi joe, congrats on the dvc ltd. great pistol./ just got mine last week. terrific shooter.
    what iwb holster/s do you use for it?

    • Kramer IWB #2. I have the one for the Eagle 5.0 which with a tiny bit of fitting works great for my Eagle 5.1. It’s just a bit tight for the DVC but I think I could rework it a bit for a great fit if I really wanted too.

  9. Pingback: Front sight problems | The View From North Central Idaho

  10. sti=armscorp.

    nothing wrong with that. they make more 1911’s than anyone in the world, and their pistols seem to work very well. very good values, and a complete lineup of models.

  11. Pingback: Ammo matters | The View From North Central Idaho

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