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STI Sentinel Premier vs Wilson Combat CQB

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by m0par, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. m0par

    m0par Well-Known Member

    I am in the market for my first 1911. I think I have narrowed it down to the STI Sentinel Premier in hard chrome, or the Wilson Combat CQB. Both in the 2000-2200 range.

    I had considered the Kimber Raptor. The scales are just so pretty (gimmicky... yes, but I like it), and its at least 700 cheaper, but I think I have been all but scared off from getting a new Kimber.

    It will be used almost exclusively as a range gun (competing as a novice in heavy-metal class 3-gun, mostly), at least when the weather doesn't permit easy concealed-carry of a gov't-sized 1911.

    I'd appreciate any opinions.

  2. LancerMW

    LancerMW Well-Known Member

    im sure both guns are great, but ive had experence with STI and i think they are amazing 1911,s personally id go with the STI, plus if you plan on competing, STI is the master of competition 1911,s
  3. m0par

    m0par Well-Known Member

    I guess I should have said it would be used to _participate_ in 3-gun matches. Unfortunately, at my level, I don't think I should call it "competing."

    Thanks for the input LMW. Do you (or anyone) know if STI's quality has fallen lately like so many other companies seem to have done in their rush to maximize profits from the increased demand this past year?
  4. farscott

    farscott Well-Known Member

    If it is a first 1911 and you have not spent some time shooting the platform, I recommend starting with something much less expensive, say the STI Trojan 5.0. The Trojan 5.0 is 90% of the higher-end STI guns at 50% of the cost. You could also spend even less and buy the STI Spartan, which is still 85% of the Sentinel or CQB at about 30% of the cost. STI makes 1911s that are meant for competition, and they support their guns.

    1911s are the Harley-Davidsons of guns, and you just do not know what you like until you try the platform. And some people rather ride a Honda. So start with a basic 1911, like the Trojan, save the $1000 on gun and spend the $1000 on ammo. Shoot the $1000 of ammo in the Trojan and then you will know if the 1911 design is for you. If it is, then you will know what your next 1911 should be.
  5. ROBBY.1911

    ROBBY.1911 Well-Known Member

    i have just built two 5" 1911s using all Fusion Firearms parts. Fusion is "first cousin" to STI as 90% of their parts come from there. i have been fiddling with 1911s for some 15 years and have bought parts from all the major manufacturers and suppliers. they can hold their heads high over there at STI. why don't you add Fusion to your search for "that gun." they build some beautiful stuff and bob serva is the best at customer service. they will build it your way right down to the grip screws.
  6. m0par

    m0par Well-Known Member

    Scott, your advice is appreciated, and spot-on for someone with little/no experience with a 1911.

    I tried to keep my original post short, and the comments I made would lead a person to believe that I don't have any experience with 1911s. Actually I've had quite a bit, enough to know that I need one anyway. Doesn't everyone? I've just never purchased one before.

    As far as starting with the more frugal STI models, well, maybe I have more money than brains, but I have the money burning a hole in my pocket specifically earmarked for a higher-end, short of true custom, 1911, and have no problem paying significantly more for truly quality work. Not sending the $ overseas is a welcome bonus too.
  7. m0par

    m0par Well-Known Member

    Robby, i checked out their site. Sweet looking stuff.

    Unfortunately, I don't know if that would be an option. The range I have been doing the 3-gun matches at has just starting to have them this year, and so far they have been informal "fun-shoot"s, but if they get enough people attending, they may actually follow class rules per USPSA. I want to run in the heavy-metal class, and the rules state "Only 1911 production type pistols. Must be available to the general public..."

    I have a feeling, although I am not sure, that the Fusion pistols would not qualify. Maybe their in-stock ones would. But, since it has to be a single-stack 45 and it can't have an accessory rail, there isn't an in-stock model that qualifies :(
  8. farscott

    farscott Well-Known Member


    Since you know the 1911 platform and want to buy American, four more options for you to consider.

    1) Les Baer Premier II. This is a pretty good high-end production pistol that uses mostly good parts. I like these better than the equivalent Wilson pistols, and I have owned both, including a Protector and a Tactical Elite. The Baers stayed and the Wilsons got sold. Get one in carbon steel with the options you want and get it finished in hard chrome and you have a great pistol that will survive years of competition. Step up to the Ultimate Master if you want a bit more gun. If you do not want to wait for a Baer to be built, check out John at Pro-Load; he stocks a lot of these in some unusual configurations, including lots with no front cocking serrations.

    2) SVI Single-stack. The wait is long, but these are really, really nice competition guns. The options are dizzying, but you get exactly what you want. Short of a full-custom, these are the best deal running.

    3) Check out www.louderthanwords.us/forum/ and see what is for sale. There are some amazing customs that are several levels above the two choices above.

    4) If you want a Wilson or just someone to talk over some ideas, contact Terry Peters at P-T Partners. He is a high-end 1911 dealer, including being a Wilson stocking dealer, who knows how to use a 1911. He is also as honest as the day is long in Alaska in the summer. I know he has a very nice Rock River Arms 1911 in stock as I have been considering adding it to my small collection. He also has guns from Richard Heinie, Ted Yost, and Vic Tibbets in stock. I really recommend contacting Terry. Check his reputation and see what others say.
  9. SHAGGY101

    SHAGGY101 Active Member

    You can't go wrong with a Wilson!
  10. mec

    mec Well-Known Member

    I have recently shot two sentinel premiers -one with the chrome option and ambi safety and the other blue with only the left/side safety. Both were very closely fitted and accurate with no functional issues. One kind of unusual feature was that they came with 3 lb/2 oz and 3 lb 6 oz trigger pulls. I don't know if their standard production will have light triggers like this or not but it surely did make it easy to hit with them.
    Advantages include no MIM lockwork parts -(can't say about other components) STI actions are cut from flat steel by electric discharge maching.
    Another advantage might be that the people who distribute STI/ (see web page) frequently have the guns in stock for immediate availabilty.
    Any problems that crop up with individual guns are handled expediciously at the Georgetown factory. A good strategy would be to try to get the pistol from Bob Londrigon /Brazos Custom and spring for his enhancement package. Or do the same thing with David Dawson at Dawson Precision. That will assure that the guns are fully vetted before you get them.
    The high option one had the effect of pushing me over the edge and sending my Les Baer TR in for the hard chrome finish.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  11. Rob0811

    Rob0811 Member

    you can't go wrong with STI.
  12. LancerMW

    LancerMW Well-Known Member

    yea, i havent heard of any QC problems with STI
  13. Hawk

    Hawk Well-Known Member

    As mec has noted above, STI's distributors seem to do a fine job.

    Mine came from Dawson with the "enhancement package" and I've been obscenely happy.

    The downside is that I'm not certain if STI or Dawson should get the credit.

    Whatever, my future semi-auto purchases are now boiled down to one manufacturer / distributor. Wilson is a fine product - the only problem is that Dawson doesn't sell them. A non-issue for most that weighs heavily in my purchases.
  14. ARTinCT

    ARTinCT Member

    I do not own nor have I shot the Wislon, however I do own the STI Sentinel Premiere in Hard Chrome finish .45 ACP.

    First off, this is a very accurate pistol, perhaps only second to the STI TargetMaster in the current STI lineup. (I also have the TargetMaster in .45 ACP)

    The sights on the SP are fantastic. The rear sight is a Dawson Precision low profile and is fully adjustable for both elevation and windage. The front sight is a Trijicon (Sp?) tritium.

    The sight picture is perfect. The trigger pull right from the factory is 3 LBs 2 Oz as measured on my RCBS trigger gauge. It is crisp. I have learned now to anticipate the let off, but this takes some getting used to as it is really that crisp and clean. I do not know how STI does this time after time but they really spend alot of time on the triggers.... for sure.

    After 200 rounds of hardball 230g clad I then started feeding my SP with my 200g H&G LSWC over 4.1g Clays. It just loves this load. My groups are always under 1 1/2" at 25 yards if I do my part but I have never had a group over 2" yet with about 1000 rounds thru the pistol. This summer when the weather is better, I will be doing some serious load development with my Ransom Rest to see what it really likes in the way of a load.

    The fit and finish on the STI SP is just perfect. Not a single flaw can be found in my particular pistol. The grips are very nice to hold and fit well. The mag in my pistol was a Wilson Combat Elite of which there was one supplied. The barrel is recessed into the barrel bushing and is conical at the end giving a really fine finished look to the pistol.

    The one unique part of the SP is the STI Recoil Master system. This is the recoil spring system that STI has developed. I beat the brow of the STI folks as well at those at Shooters Connection where I purchased the SP. They all indicate that the Recoil Master will last well into 30K rounds and perhaps beyond with my mild bullseye loads. So far so good.

    Personnaly you would have to look long and hard for an equal to the STI SP direct from a factory. You like I will probably love this pistol.
  15. mec

    mec Well-Known Member


    Sti is not joking around about its "patented action.' Its all 1911 but produced by electric discharge machining. While many 1911s use mim sears/disconnectors, these just came off the edm machine at STI
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  16. RH45

    RH45 Well-Known Member

    I own a Wilson, an Ed Brown, a Les Baer, a Colt, a couple of older Kimbers, and 9 STIs.

    While I don't think the quality of a factory STI is quite up to taht of a semi-custom, such as Wilson, Baer, or Brown, I think you'd get more value for your dollar with an STI.

    FYI--Shooter's Connection has a Sentinel Premier on Gunbroker right now for less than $1,800. Chuck, at Shooter's Connection gets a +1 from me.

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