January 25th, 2014

Deliverance from Trigger Hell to Trigger Heaven at SHOT Show

While at SHOT Show, I visited nearly all the major pistol manufacturers, and tried out their latest polymer-framed, striker-fired pistols. To my dismay, these pistols (from a half-dozen different makers), all had one thing in common — really unpleasant triggers. The triggers were mushy, “sproingy” (my term), with a heavy (and sometimes rough) “stagey” pull that was not consistent through the pull cycle. Trying one gun after another, my reaction was always: “Yep, another awful trigger”. Most of the striker-fired guns also had a sloppy slide to frame fit, so they clanked around as they cycled. I’m sure they would function reliably, but I felt I was sampling staple guns, not fine firearms.

STI International Firearms

STI International FirearmsIn Search of A Better Trigger
Disheartened, I left the main exhibit hall and descended to level one. There, like a beacon, I saw the STI logo, and ranks of metal-framed, hammer-fired pistols. I picked one up. I worked the slide — it operated oh-so-smoothly, like it was on ball bearings. The grip safety functioned perfectly when I wrapped my hand on the grip — no conscious pressure was required and I didn’t feel an uncomfortable bump in the web of my hand. The safety just did its job effortlessly.

I asked an STI rep if I could dry-fire the pistol. “Go right ahead” he said. The first thing I noticed was that the take-up was smooth — butter smooth. There was no grittiness, and the take-up pull was constant. When you got to the break point, resistance increased, and at just about 3 pounds of pressure, the hammer fell with a precise release. No staginess (rising/falling pull weight), no “sproingy” feel (like a cheap coil spring compressing and then snapping), just even pressure and “click” the hammer falls. This was trigger heaven, compared to striker-fired trigger hell.

As I was at the STI booth, a young fellow came up next to me. I noticed, from his name badge, that he was from Austria, home of the Glock. He said “You know I have had Glocks for years. Then one day I said ‘Why am I doing this to myself, why am I putting up with this?’. The triggers are scheiße — I can’t stand them, and the grip shape is wrong. So I sold my Glocks and bought one of these [an STI] and now I am very happy.” He held up an STI and said “Now this is how a pistol should be made!” I smiled and said, “Isn’t it ironic that it has been more than 100 years since John Moses Browning invented the 1911, and his design still works so well?”


Here are two of the STI Pistols on display at SHOT Show. They are both built to very high quality standards, and they both have smooth-running slides and crisp, near-perfect triggers.

STI International Firearms

STI Target Master
The Target Master is built on STI’s 1911 Government-length frame with 30 lpi checkering on the front strap. The safety controls are STI ambidextrous thumb safeties and STI high rise, knuckle-relief beavertail grip safety. The 6″ slide features a lowered and flared ejection port, tri-level adjustable sights, and STI front and rear cocking serrations. The barrel is a 6.0″, fully-supported and ramped bull barrel. The Target Master comes standard with a STI two-piece steel guide rod, Commander-style hammer and patented STI Int’l trigger system. The STI Target Master ships with one 1911 Magazine.

STI International Firearms

STI International Edge
Integrating patented 2011 technology with classic 1911 design, the STI International Edge is a high capacity pistol that carries John Browning’s design into the 21st Century. Since its introduction in late 1997, the STI Edge has become the standard for USPSA/IPSC Limited Division competition. Built on the STI Modular Steel 2011® frame with polymer grip, the Edge delivers the traditional features of a 1911 with the benefit of high capacity magazines. The Edge frame preserves the 17° grip angle (like the original 1911). The design allows for double stack magazines without over-sizing the circumference of the grip.

Along with its distinctive full-length dust-cover frame, the STI Edge features traditional front and rear cocking serrations. The Edge comes standard with a stainless, high-rise, knuckle-relief grip safety, stainless ambi-thumb safeties, and a stainless, fully-supported and ramped bull barrel. The Edge ships with one 126mm magazine.

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 9 Comments »
December 31st, 2011

Carl Bernosky, National HP Champion — A Top Story of 2011

Currently, the NRA Blog is featuring “Top Stories of 2011″. Among these stories is an account of how Carl Bernosky earned his NINTH High Power National Championship. We believe Carl’s latest National Championship title, and his amazing skills with a rifle, deserve more ink. So, here, from the NRA Blog, is the story of Carl’s 2011 victory at Camp Perry.

Report by K. Jillson for the NRA Blog

Bernosky Gets His 9th Nat’l HP Title
This past August, Carl R. Bernosky of Ashland, Pennsylvania, shot his way to his 9th NRA National High Power Rifle Championship at the NRA National Rifle & Pistol Championhips at Camp Perry. A National Guard training facility on the shores of Lake Erie, near Port Clinton, Ohio, Camp Perry has been home to NRA’s national championships for 102 years. The matches, which take place during July and August, have become notorious for their harsh gusts of wind, sweltering heat and storms that come off the lake with little warning.

2393-160X out of 2400
This year, during the NRA High Power Rifle Championship, Bernosky posted a 2393-160x out of a possible perfect score of 2400, Bernosky took first place and won the prestigious Mumma Trophy. In addition to winning the overall high power rifle championship, Bernosky was also the NRA Match Rifle Champion. He won top honors in eight of the eighteen matches that make up the championship and placed within the top three in five others.

“It’s just a matter of getting your mind ready to shoot the shot when it’s there and just tweaking everything a little bit”, Bernosky said when I asked him how he prepares for each match. “You don’t have to be thinking about what you’re doing, it just happens.”

During his title run this year, Bernosky tied the National Record for slow fire standing from 200 yards — an extremely impressive accomplishment. The record, a 200-15x, was originally set by Gary Anderson in 1971 during the Navy Cup.

“When I shot that 200 with 15 standing, that was discipline. I didn’t shoot a bad shot”, Bernosky told me. “That was the best target I’ve ever shot, including practice”. Bernosky tied the record during the Crescent Cup, which has the same course of fire as the Navy Cup, and finally let us know that the record had been on his mind for a very long time. “Every time I shoot a standing, whether in practice or in a match, I'm thinking about that record. I always thought I could shoot that well”, Bernosky said. “It’s tough to do and it’s a great feeling to have done that”.

The record-tying match couldn’t have come at a better time. Tied for first, Bernosky was looking for a boost to have a great day of shooting and take sole possession of the lead. The Crescent Cup was the first of the final day’s three matches and Bernosky couldn’t have asked for a better boost. “When you enter the final day and you’re tied and you just stand up there and shoot a 200-15x, it doesn’t get any better than that…”, Bernosky said.

Having grabbed the lead after the excellent performance, Bernosky held on for the last two matches and won by three points — close. Congratulated by his friends and fellow competitors as he packed up, Bernosky left the firing line a champion.

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
December 30th, 2011

Last Chance Sale at Grafs.com

Now through Monday, January 2, 2012 at 11:00 CST, Grafs.com is running a Last Chance Sale. With this limited-time promo you can save money on powder purchases, and save on shipping/handling charges. If you purchase at least 32 pounds of powder, Grafs.com will waive the normal $25.00 Hazmat Fee. You can mix and match different brands of powder to reach the 32-lb minimum. You can also add other hazmat items (powder and primers) into the shipment, up to a total weight of 50 pounds. (Limit one free Hazmat fee per order, all items must be in stock.)

Grafs.com last Chance 2011 sale

Also during the “Last Chance Sale”, if you purchase $100.00 or more of currently-in-stock products, Grafs.com will waive the normal $4.95 handling and insurance fee, and UPS or FedEx ground shipping to the lower 48 states is free. This offer excludes closeouts and target load ammo.

Sale Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals No Comments »
April 7th, 2011

Online Registration Opens for 2011 Camp Perry Championships

Camp Perry Championships registrationCamp Perry shooters, get out those computer keyboards. Online entry is now officially activated for the 2011 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry. If you plan to attend the National Championships, CLICK HERE to submit your entry information online at www.nmentry.com.

The Online Entry Form for the 2011 National Matches has links to download Liability forms and Special Squadding Request forms for the Smallbore Rifle Phase. Please note that team entries must be made on-site at Camp Perry. Visit www.nmentry.com, for more info. If you have questions about online entry, email compadmin@nrahq.org.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
January 1st, 2011

Happy New Year and Message to our Readers Worldwide!

First, we’d like to wish all our readers a happy, safe, and prosperous New Year. We hope that, in 2011, you’ll have time to enjoy your precision rifles, and spend more time at the range, hopefully with good friends who share your “addiction to accuracy”. We’ve made some major upgrades to the site this year, and our audience is bigger than ever. We hope you’ll continue to enjoy our feature articles, our daily news reports, our match reports, our video collection, and our Free Forum Classifieds.

Major Site Redesign Accomplished in 2010
2010 was a big year for the site. First our traffic grew substantially. AccurateShooter.com is now accessed by more than 100,000 unique users every week. In November we completed a major site upgrade, a “nose to tail” rebuild that required hundreds of man-hours of work. We’ve expanded the layout to provide more room for photos and videos. The entire site was rebuilt, page by page, on a sophisticated content management system (CMS). Our new CMS allows easier, faster searching, and category-based navigation. The CMS also automatically links readers to related articles and relevant gear reviews. This provides a richer browsing experience — you can find more cool stuff on every visit. The new site format also allows us to integrate popular articles that originally appeared in our Daily Bulletin.

Forum Membership Grows 30%
We experienced big growth in our Forum as well. Membership grew by 30% as member ranks swelled from 10,000 members to 13,000 members! The Forum Classifieds section, with a new seller/buyer feedback system, is more active than ever.

Daily Bulletin Is a Big Hit
The AccurateShooter Daily Bulletin has become a “must read” for anyone interested in serious rifle accuracy. We launched a bigger, more colorful Bulletin layout in April, and now we now have 12,000 average pageviews a day, up from about 8,500 last year. 365 days a year we offer a unique combination of shooting tips, gear reviews, industry news, and highlighted bargains and special sales.

Big Plans for 2011 — With Your Help…
In the months ahead we plan to release more Cartridge Guides, more Gun Profiles, and some major gear comparison tests. We also plan to do audio interviews (“podcasts”) with top shooters such as Sgt. Sherri Gallagher, Sam Hall, and John Whidden. And we’ll continue to offer timely match reports and inside “scoops” on the latest precision shooting products.

AccurateShooter.com donation

We need your support. For over six years the site has relied largely on volunteer efforts by dedicated shooters. But as the site grows, adding new types of content and more sophisticated features, we need the assistance of knowledgeable programmers, database experts and web designers. Those guys don’t work for glory alone.

For the site to continue to expand its content, we need to bring in paid helpers. Right now, the site reaches over 100,000 shooters every WEEK. If the majority of those users could provide a small donation every year, we could deliver MORE stories, MORE tests, MORE Gun of the Week features, and provide more of the photos and videos everyone enjoys.

In the past quarter about 60 site users have generously donated to the site. I want to again thank all those who have contributed. But that still leaves tens of thousands of users who access the site regularly without contributing.

Here’s our proposal. First, if you have used our FREE Classifieds to successfully sell your rifles or shooting gear, consider sending in a dollar or two from your sale proceeds. Second, for those who use the site regularly, consider donating One Dollar a Month. That’s less than the price of a cup of coffee and much less than many websites now charge for their “premium content areas”.

Consider this — what do you pay for a movie ticket these days? Probably $8.00 or more for 90 minutes of escapism. For a buck a month ($12 a year) you can help this site provide a YEAR’s worth of info, tests, and shooting news that you won’t find anywhere else.

How to Contribute

Making a donation to the site is simple and easy. Just click on the “Donate Button” at right. If you have a credit card, you don’t need a Paypal account to contribute. Any sum is welcome — donations need not be large.

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