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This article is about a gun manufacturer. For the scientific and research network STI2, see Semantic Technology Institute International.
STI International
Type Private
Industry Weapons
Predecessors Tripp Research, Inc
Founded 1980 (1980)
Founders Virgil Tripp
Headquarters Georgetown, Texas, United States
Key people Virgil Tripp, Sandy Strayer, David Skinner, Tim Dillon, Dave Dawson
Products Pistols
Owners Employee Owned
Website http://www.stiguns.com

STI International, Inc., is a Texas-based company that manufactures complete M1911 pistols and parts for competition, duty and self-defense. It is most well known for its "2011" modular frame guns (so-called because the lower grip and trigger guard, which is made of a fiber reinforced plastic, is a separate component from the metal upper portion of the frame that comprises the dust cover and frame rails). STI and Strayer Voigt Inc. share the patent on the modular frame.


In 1990, Virgil Tripp, a gunsmith and machinist, started building custom 1911s for competition use, especially USPSA/IPSC. After some time, Virgil began designing parts for 1911s, including electrical discharge machining (EDM) hammers and sears. Virgil's company was called Tripp Research, Inc. and most of his parts were sold and marketed by Chip McCormick, a champion pistol shooter, under his company's name, Chip McCormick Corporation (known as CMC).[1]

Around 1993, an engineer and computer aided design (CAD) guru named Sandy Strayer joined Tripp Research, Inc. Tripp and Strayer revolutionized the 1911 market by designing a modular hi-capacity 1911 frame for IPSC shooters. While Para Ordnance already had a hi-capacity 1911 frame on the market, it was made of steel. The modular frame made use of a fiber-reinforced plastic which combined the trigger guard, grip, and integral magazine well. It used a proprietary grip which attached to the upper portion of the frame (a metal part that comprised the dust cover and frame rails). The result was that the modular frame weighed less than half of what the steel frame weighed. Further, while the Para frame feels notably larger than a standard 1911 in the hand, the STI feels similar to a regular 1911 since the grips are molded into the plastic of the frame rather than screwed to the outside. Tripp and Strayer were listed as the co-patent holders on the modular frame. Soon after the modular frame was introduced, the company name changed to STI (Strayer-Tripp, Inc.) and Strayer was given an equity stake in the new company.[1][2]

In June 1994, Sandy Strayer left STI to start a new company called Strayer Voigt Inc, which focuses on building completely custom pistols as opposed to the "semi custom" models of STI.[1]

In November 1994, Dave and Shirley Skinner, owners of an electronics company named Tessco, Inc., became involved in the operation of STI along with Virgil Tripp. In early 1997, the Skinners completed their purchase of STI from Virgil Tripp and renamed the company to STI International, Inc.[1][2] Virgil went on to start a new company using the name Tripp Research, Inc., which produces various finishes for firearms and magazines for 1911s.[1] During the Clinton era high capacity ban, STI remained in business by focusing on exports and the growing concealed carry market. As of 2007 STI was the third largest exporters of pistols in America.[3]

From 1994 through the late 1990s, STI had a custom shop which would build guns to customer's specifications.

In January 2005 Dave Skinner sold the company to the employees of STI, making it the first ESOP company in the firearms industry.

In 2010 Dave Skinner made the decision to retire and began searching his search for a suitable replacement. After months of looking, Tim Dillon (formerly a military contractor overseas and the head of the Law Enforcement Division of Brownells) was offered and accepted the job of President/CEO.

February 12, 2014

STI International Inc., an employee owned company, announced today that Tim Dillon resigned his positions as President and CEO, effective January 26, 2014. A committee has been formed to conduct a nationwide search to find his replacement. During the search period, local businessman, competitive shooter and current Vice Chairman of the STI Board of Directors, Robert Pullen, will assume the vacated office on an interim basis. A special committee of STI Senior Department Heads will be assisting Mr. Pullen to continue to produce the finest firearms, parts and customer service on the Domestic & International markets. Inquiries should be directed to Mr. Pullen at the STI offices in Georgetown, Texas.

STI today[edit]

Today, STI manufactures a full range of 2011 pistols based on its modular frame, in addition to single stack 1911s using steel and aluminum frames in a variety of calibers such as 9mm Parabellum, .45 ACP, .40 S&W, and .38 Super. STI also manufactures a full line of parts for 1911 pistols, such as modular frame kits (which are used by gunsmiths to build complete guns), slides, barrels, compensators, triggers, hammers, thumb and grip safeties, slide stops, firing pins, guide rods, magazine wells, magazines, and scope mounts. STI's modular frames are marketed under the brand name 2011 (a take on the 1911 name).


  1. ^ a b c d e Note: McCormick won the 1989 Steele Challenge with a gun designed by Virgil's brother, Fred Tripp, called the Scepter. The Scepter was the first of what came to be known as Race Guns. Tripp Research, Inc. - Company History
  2. ^ a b STI International - American Handgunner - September/October 2001
  3. ^ [1]

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STI_International — Please support Wikipedia.
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Custom STI Pistol that shoots Both 9mm and 40S&W - REVIEW

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67 news items

Wed, 19 Nov 2014 19:45:00 -0800

Gunmakers and shooting equipment manufacturers are responding with more products targeted toward women. “As you can see most of our guns are just black and women tend to like more color in their accessories,” said Alex Griffith with STI International, ...

State of Guns

State of Guns
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 10:54:20 -0700

The Georgetown company, “STI International” makes some very good combat pistols.Their tactical line is made up mainly from long barreled models with single or double stack magazines. Here, we'll focus on two that use Colt M-1911 design and European ...
Mon, 25 Mar 2013 08:06:43 -0700

STI International of Georgetown, Texas, first made a name for itself in the world of 1911 pistols during the 1990s with the development of what is today its extensive 2011 series of high-capacity modular-frame guns, which utilize a fiber-reinforced ...
Mon, 04 Feb 2013 11:13:01 -0800

Flat checkered mainspring housings provide an excellent hold and the controls are STI International's singled sided thumb safeties and STI International high-rise beavertail grip safeties. The Duty One features include traditional 1911 styling with ...


Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:16:46 -0700

Once partnered with STI International, Grand Power was poised to hit the American market a few years ago but didn't get wide enough distribution to make a mark. Now with a solid distributor, Grand Power hopes to change all that. Grand Power pistols are ...
Mon, 11 Feb 2013 11:19:17 -0800

STI International's Employee Owners proudly announce the expansion of their Tactical line of pistols to include single stack versions of all three models. Building on the popularity of STI's 2011 Tactical line, the new Tactical SS pistols offer the ...
The State Journal-Register
Sun, 30 Mar 2014 19:16:49 -0700

Weight: 23 ounces. MSRP: $599. Polhamus says: A little too small for everyday target practice, but a balanced choice for concealed carry. It has a trigger safety and another safety built into the top of the grip. STI International 1911 LT 3.0. Capacity ...
PRLog.Org (press release)
Thu, 28 Jan 2010 22:57:47 -0800

STI International, a leading manufacturer of competition firearms for the Practical Shooting market, presented officials from the U.S. Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) with a check for $9,000 during the 2010 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. The check ...

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