Don’t fret! Rock Island’s STK100 is the company’s first striker-fired pistols, but it decidedly breaks from the herd.
How The STK100 Set Itself Apart From Other Striker-Fired Pistols:
- Lightwight aluminum-alloy frame.
- Similar ergonomics to the 1911, including beavertail and straight grip rake.
- Lightening cuts in the slide to improve cycle rate.
- Excellent 17+1 capacity.
If you know Rock Island Armory even in the slightest, you know the cut of their jib. For years now, the company chipped away a solid niche as one of the world’s foremost purveyors of affordable 1911 pistols. Good ones at that. Maybe not hand-tuned, custom-made good, but solid enough to trust your life as a personal defense piece. But the only constant in the world being change, the Filipino gunmaker recently made a big shift.
Say hello to Rock Island’s first striker-fired pistol—the STK100. Yes, the staunch defenders of John Moses Browning’s iconic pistol succumbed to the whims of the modern shooter and joined the current of today’s dominant handgun design. We’ll give you a second to scrape your jaw off the keyboard. Better? Good. While the move may chagrin purest who insist all their heaters boast hammers, there’s much to like about the way Rock Island has leaped into the modern fray. To be sure, the STK100 is a striker-fired 9mm, but a decidedly non-conformist take on this popular and omnipresent class of pistol.
Where Rock Island has taken a different tack is decoupling “striker-fired” from “polymer-framed”. Indeed, the gunmaker has opted for what it knows best to build the STK100, metal—in this case, an aluminum alloy. In some respects, the material ends up being a best-of-both-worlds option, offering what is generally considered a more robust frame material than polymer, but proving lighter than steel and corrosion-resistant. Plus, it appeals to folks who still turn a jaundiced eye at “plastic” guns.
Ergonomically, Rock Island has stayed close to home. The STK100 takes many cues from the good ol’ 1911, particularly in its relatively straight grip rake as well as fairly prominent beavertail. Evolution has all but done away with the latter on most polymer guns, which sport a little more than a nub. However, it and the grip angle make the pistol instantly familiar and comfortable, as well as facilitates a fundamentally sound high grip. The uncut trigger guard pulls its weight here too.
The gunmaker hasn’t remained a complete slave to tradition, adding some welcome tweaks. There’s a slight swell to the 9mm’s backstrap, helping it conform to the palm better. And the texturing is milled directly into the frame and grip proper—three panels of diamond checkering on the flats and horizontal and diagonal cuts on the front and back respectively. Additionally, the slide has cocking serrations fore and aft making the pistol easier to manipulate. Though, lightening cuts, three on each side, minimize the volume of serrations up front.
As for the tale of the tape, the STK100 is a 17+1 duty-sized pistol, sporting a 4.5-inch barrel and tipping the scales at 28.8 ounces. Given its moderate heft, the gun should make the double-stack 9mm a kitten, thus fast and accurate shot to shot—even a bit more so with the slide lightened up thanks to the cuts. Certainly, these dimensions are not out-of-bounds for a concealed carry gun, especially for those who don’t mind packing a bit more pistol. And Rock Island is surely angling the gun that way, outfitting it with an accessory rail.
The STK100 comes optic ready, with a slide cut compatible with popular red-dot optics (though Rock Island does not specify exactly which ones). However, the gun is ready for action out of the box wearing a set of the almost universal white three-dot sights. The trigger is one area where Rock Island joined the herd—yup the same blade safety outfit you find on nearly every striker-fired. As for its break, it’s in line with the crowd as well, tripping at between 3 and 7 pounds fresh from the factory. As to finish, the aluminum is anodized and the steel slide and barrel a matte-black Parkerization.
RIA has made a name for itself among penny pinchers after quality and the STK100 doesn’t disappoint with an MSRP of $599. Give other gunmakers are presently turning out metal-framed premium editions of their cornerstone striker-fired pistols, Rock Island little ditty might have the stuff to play spoiler among the top-shelf gang.
Rock Island STK100 Specs
Barrel Length: 4.5 inches
Overall Length: 7.91 inches
Overall Width: 1.25 inches
Overall Height: 5.16 inches
Weight: 28.8 ounces
Front Sight: Tenon Cut W/ Retaining Screw
Rear Sight: Fixed Integrated on Optic Cover Plate
Grips: Aluminum (Integrated On Frame)
Finish: Black Anodized
Trigger-Pull Weight: 3-7 pounds
For more information on the Rock Island Armory STK100, please visit armscor.com.
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STK100: Rock Island Armory’s Takes On The Striker-Fired is written by Elwood Shelton for gundigest.com