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STI International Guardian 2011

All you naysayers who say nay to a hand-finished handgun that costs more than a grand in the hand may say nay today. But we are the knights who say need! We, the guardians of many nations, need a Commander-sized single-stack 1911-style handgun with the “extra” capacity of a 9mm (15 rounds), fashioned from aluminum, weighing under 25 ounces unladen. The STI International Guardian 2011’s MSRP $1899 is a but a trifle compared to the $1.3 trillion (and counting) spent on the F-35 fighter program. Make the jump for the STI presser on the gun, which is headed TTAG’s way for test and review . . .

USA ( New for 2016, the ever popular STI Guardian is now available in a 2011 platform with double-stack magazine. The gun has a narrow lightweight aluminum frame in Cerakote finish with a stainless steel slide.

The STI International Guardian 2011 Handgun also features a unique 3.9 inch barrel and a shorter VIP grip for easier concealment in light cover, and yet still maintains an impressive 15 round capacity in 9mm.

Providing substantial firepower in a personal defense, concealed carry gun, the Guardian 2011 features a 2-dot adjustable rear sight with fiber optic front for quick target acquisition in low light conditions. The Guardian 2011 sells for a suggested retail price of $1899.00

For more information, please visit

STI Logo About STI International, Inc.

Precision made. Performance Defined. STI is an employee-owned company based out of Georgetown, Texas and is the premier manufacturer of 1911 & 2011® style firearms. The company is dedicated to providing the highest quality firearms for competition, duty, or self-defense use. From introducing the firearms industry into the precision world of “EDM” hammers, sears, and components to the invention of the legendary 2011 platform, STI has continually led the firearms market in product development and quality.

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  1. I’m sure it’s badass. STI makes hot stuff.
    I always worry, God forbid, if I do have a SD shooting, at the discretion of the lead investigating po-po, upon seeing such a nice high end bling heater, may want to impound it “temporarily” into evidence, where it “mysteriously” gets lost. But the DA won’t be pressing charges so stfu and go away.

    • That is the exact reason I carry a sig P320. If I am going to lose a gun, let it be a gun I can replace almost on a whim.

      • Same reason why my M11A1 is on my hip and my Legion P229 is in my safe and stays there except for very special occasions.

  2. Meh, as I said elsewhere, for the same money, I’d rather have a P229 or P226 Legion. That gun is actually DESIGNED to run a 9mm cartridge.

    • Yeah, because STI 2011’s chambered in 9mm have so many problems. Dont get me wrong, Sig makes nice guns, but making a broad statement like that makes absolutely no sense.

  3. It ain’t the “hand-finished” and the “expensive” that bothers me.

    It’s the cases where the hand-finished, expensive gun is an unreliable turd.

    Given that the author of the post conceded that with his carry piece he traded reliability for accuracy (that is, when the gun functions, it’s accurate), I question his judgment on guns in general.

    • Go ahead and question RF’s judgment, but I bet he’d have put his Sig 229 out to pasture if it doesn’t perform 99.5% or better with self defense ammo.

      • He’s not carrying a Sig any more as I understand it. He swapped it for some sort of blingy 1911 because it was more accurate…and he admitted the 1911 had reliability issues.

        • Going back and rereading that post, it seems like a whole lot of people missed the point. The gun he carries is the compact version of the Wilson Combat X-TAC. In testing, it went 615 rounds with multiple ammo types without failure. It had it’s first and only failure at 616 rounds. He says that a Glock is more reliable than that. (I would like to point out on that particular day of shooting the only gun to consistently fail was a Glock 42.) His point was, so what if a Glock is more reliable? When your chance of failure is 1 in 616 vs. 1 in 1,0000, he’d take the bet on the 1 in 616 because it was, by far, the more accurate weapon, and those are really good odds.

        • Actually, you’re being pessimistic here. We *don’t* know that the chance in failure is as high as one in 615, because there was no failure. We’ve got some reason to believe it’s some number less than 1:615 (however, it could be the gun had a lucky streak), but for all we know it’s much better than that, too. Since no failure happened, we don’t know if the gun would have fired another ten thousand rounds with no oopsies. So (again, unless the gun went through a lucky streak) its failure rate is something less than that… maybe even much less.

          Generally, when I see a 1911 that’s a piece of crap, regardless of how purdy or expensive it is (and I see a LOT of them, to the point where an unknown individual 1911 at the store is guilty until proven innocent), they reveal themselves quite quickly. I rented one–a cheap one–recently, and it actually did feed 150 FMJs with zero issues–better than the Dan Wessons I tried, which were jamomatics, I’ll have to blow money shoving hollowpoints through it someday (the range sensibly requires you to shoot their ammo through their guns). Then decide if I want to take the risk when I’ve seen my friends get burned so often.

    • After 30,000 rounds and EDC for a few years, I just had my custom STI Duty 4.0 serviced by STI. I know they replaced the recoil spring, but I don’t know what else, if anything, they did. It still runs like a champ. For an article, I put 2,000 rounds straight through that gun, no lube, cleaning, maintenance of any kind, with many different kinds of ammunition. Zero malfunctions. But it was not a cheap gun.
      Some “fancy” guns don’t match the price tag and aesthetics to the performance. STI’s guns aren’t that way. I’ve shot them, and reviewed a few of them for this site, don’t think I’ve had a malfunction with any of them so far. I’m hoping to getting my hands on this one. If it’s a dog, I’ll certainly let you know.

      • To clarify, I wasn’t responding to the STI per se (I know next to zero about them)…I was responding to RF’s attempt to pre-empt criticism by implying that people complain about expensive guns solely because of the price, right up there in the first paragraph of the article.

        • Ah, got it. But to be fair, when I post a review of a gun that shoots spectacularly well, like the 1911 from Bill’s Custom Automatics, many people immediately dismiss the gun, and only comment on, the price ($6k). The most common comment is “I could get 10 Glocks for that price”. The fact that it shoots 3/4″ groups at 25 yards after over 500 rounds of mixed ammo and it does it with lighting fast speed doesn’t seem to matter.

        • True enough. Although it’s wrong for some to assume all such comments are motivated by “envy,” it is true that the dissing comments even on something that was a POS (like the Cabot Black Diamond) were often *solely* about the price.

  4. I own an STI Sentry and an STI Escort, and both are a joy to shoot. I use both in local tactical pistol fun shoots the Escort just to keep in practice with the 3 inch platform, and they are both reliable…and that’s with almost 5000 rounds a year through the pair.

    If this new pistol came in 45 ACP, I would already have one on order…

  5. Not sure what the value of an empty weight is. You don’t carry it that way.
    For comparison, my .45 Commander with 9 rounds on board weighs 33.8oz. The missus’ Glock 19 with 15 little 9s inside weighs about a half-ounce more.
    I couldn’t tell you what either weighs empty, because it doesn’t matter.
    Meanwhile, this STI could be of interest in .38 Super, which is a suitable cartridge for the platform, and will give perfect feeding and even superior performance- DPX 125s emit from my ancient .38 Commander at 1280fps.
    The problem would be magazines. They exist- STI makes its bones on USPSA double stacks- but they’re pricey.

  6. Did you know that the average airspeed of an unladen swallow (European, not African) is 24 mph?

    If not, memorize it. Knowledge saves lives.

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