A version of an old gun or a modernization of one?
Rock Island Armory has been around quite a while and are known for putting out some great 1911 style pistols and importing some fun toys that I’ve come to love like my VR80 shotgun and 9mm 1911 pistol.
Rock Island Armory has added their own flavor and knowledge of the 1911 to a what feels very Glock Gen 3’ish. We’re probably going to be seeing more things like this as the patent protections for some of these types of pistols have recently expired.
Looking at this pistol, its internal parts, and the feel of it, it appears to be a Glock pistol with a little different pizzazz, weight, and slightly different grip angles. This pistol has a 4 ½ inch barrel, weighs 2lbs 8 Oz (compared to G19 that weighs 1lb 9.6 Oz). Averages prices for the pistol that I observed are between $500 to $550 (what even is a normal price anymore when it comes to guns in this market?)
The STK 100 has an alloy aluminum frame with a unique way of being put together. When you think of a traditional Glock, or at least when I think of one, I imagine an improved Tupperware container frame with metal embedded components and a metal slide. This feels like a solid pistol when you pick it up and lends itself to a nice, weighted feeling when shooting it. One of the concepts behind the aluminum frame is to produce less flex for more accuracy.
With accuracy being a focus, it doesn’t necessarily feel like this pistol hits the mark. I wasn’t overly impressed with accuracy of this pistol and I’m not certain if it is the larger MOA RDS that I wasn’t used to running or something else. I plan to continue putting rounds downrange with it and see what develops.
The front of the frame has a standard Picatinny rail and I noticed that the trigger guard was deeper allowing for a better grip on the gun without it needing to be “undercut.” Speaking of choices on the grip for this pistol, they ended the beavertail for folks like me with big hands so we won’t get slide-bite and changed the angles a bit giving it a 1911 style angle without the “hump” that you sometimes see.
The magazine release was smartly recessed to keep from being inadvertently pressed and the grip serrations provided for a good purchase of the gun. I do worry thought that the surfaces are a bit too slick for combat scenarios if that is your intended purpose of this pistol.
The slide stop selected for this pistol was the extended slide stop version that comes standard on model 34 and 35 Glock pistols.
The STK 100 has a metal trigger. I found the trigger press to be “okay” and a bit better than a standard Glock pistol, but it definitely is not an Apex! I found the trigger to be an average of about 5 lbs 10 ozs.
The slide is a Parkerized finished 4140 steel with side and top cuts (lightening cuts) and slide serrations. Less mass reciprocating on the slide and more weight in the frame results in faster follow-up shots. It’s the little things, right? I do think RIA did a great job with their choices on the slide and it has a nice fit and finish to it.
The one thing I’m disappointed in with the slide was the choice of making it with the RDS footprint of Doctor/Noblex standard. I get that this is one of the most widely used footprints, but it is a footprint that doesn’t work for some of the most popular RDS on the market.
I had a Vortex Venom lying around that I put on it and installed. It was quick and easy and felt like a solid thread engagement. Some of you might be fans of the optics that use this footprint and for that I say “congrats!” It’s just not the right fit for me and I would have love to see something similar to the Grey Ghost Precision footprint that allows for the Trijicon or DPP or Holosun or Swampfox etc to all be mounted with no additional purchasing. I also think they missed the mark (and I know some of you will disagree with this) by having the rear sight come off with the optic mounting plate. I like having lower 1/3 back up iron sights.
If you don’t plan on running an RMR (come on and just do it, you’ll love a red dot sight) the STK 100 comes with a blacked out rear sight and a simple designed white dot front.
Another great choice for this pistol was to make it compatible with older generation and readily available Glock magazines with a 17 round capacity. The market is full of options for Glock gen 3 and 4 magazines and this pistol does come with KCIUSA Magazines that worked great. My stock gen 5 g17 magazines didn’t fit so well though and were a bit too tight.
I didn’t readily find a holster for the STK100 yet so while testing, I installed a Streamlight TLR1HL to it and ran my TREX Arms Ragnarök Holster with it. This setup worked great, and I enjoyed having even more weight on the front of the pistol.
RIA provides a lifetime warranty on the STK 100 and guarantees the warranty to travel with the firearm, not the original purchaser.
I like this pistol and I enjoyed shooting it. When I’m teaching, especially new, shooters the lesson in Basics of Pistol about how to choose a pistol, one of the most important factors to consider is your, “intended purpose” of the firearm.
With intended purpose in mind, if you are looking for a great concealed carry firearm or a striker-fired pistol that has mostly Glock functionality but the weight and feel of a 1911 in your hand or aren’t a fan of “plastic guns” than this is probably a great pistol for you.
I love the way RIA has thought about one of the most historically popular guns in the US, the Glock 19, and brought it to the table with a new twist and flavor. I hope to see more of this type of innovation with classics like the G19.
If you are in the category of personal protection or recreational shooting, this is a great choice. I’m not quite ready to endorse it for a duty quality pistol yet.