Rock Island STK100 - Nearly Brilliant - unfortunately disappointing
The Rock Island Armory STK100 had me really excited... until I shot it very seriously. If you just show up to the range and only make noise poking holes in shot up targets - you'll be giddy because the recoil impulse is flat amazing. The problems start to creep in if you start to look at it more seriously. Let's take it from least offensive to most offensive. The grip is slippery. It's an aluminum block with basically no traction on the front strap or back strap - the two areas of the pistol that are gripped hardest when firing the gun. The serrations are there - they just don't do anything. Shooting this pistol on a summer Texas day as it got hotter and I started sweating - it became very obvious that the gun was beginning to slip in recoil in my grip. The side panels are very aggressive - fantastic texture - it's just not primarily where the gun is gripped to control recoil. The next two are going to be out of sequence. This is actually most offensive - but it makes the following issue more offensive so buckle up. The gun is inaccurate. Despite having amazing looking sights - the sights impact low. What's worse - is that the barrel has a 1:16 twist. Twist rate - being how many inches it takes to complete one revolution of the rifling - is about 60% slower than a typical 9mm twist rate. Glock is (nearly) a 1:10. CZ and S&W M&P M2.0 are both 1:10. The 1:16 is a problem - it stabilizes 115 grain projectiles very well - so accuracy is good (though they impact even lower than heavier for caliber projectiles). I ended up shooting nine different loadings - two hollow points and four reloads and the balance being 115 grain target loads - and the gun could not stabilize two of the three 125 grain lead round nose competition reloads attempted. Don't read that as cheap gun store reloads - but the tumbling loads were developed by myself and a shooting buddy - both for use in competition because they are very accurate. It was like patterning buckshot. So the iron sights hit low and the barrel requires 115 grain projectiles - so what - use the optic cut and life is good - right? Well - kind of. The slide cut - despite not being listed anywhere on Rock Islands website or in the manual - is for a Vortex Venom. I don't mean a Docter footprint - but literally a Vortex Venom footprint. Hex Dragonfly has a Docter footprint - surely it will fit right? No. Doesn't. How about that cheap one you got off of amazon? Nope it doesn't either. The only sight that fit on the optic cut was the Vortex Venom - and it didn't fit particularly well. There was an air gap of about 1/16" with the optic seated as far as I could get it. I put the screws in and cinched them down and it seated fully. The cut looks like it was custom made for the optic when it's on the slide - BUT when you go to remove the optic then you have to use tools to get the optic to separate from the slide. I took a knife and a hammer and used it as a wedge to get the venom off. It shot great with the dot on the gun - but in 2021 this is some proper 2017 stuff they did with the dot cut. The rest of the gun review "stuff" we'll wrap up quickly - I don't think this gun is worth buying in it's current form despite being really pleasant to shoot. The gun comes in a flimsy clamshell plastic case and only ships with one 17 round KCI glock magazine. The rail fit both my TLR-1HL and my OLight Baldr Mini. The trigger is pretty unremarkable Glock fare - my example weighted just over 5 pounds. Ultimately - I can't recommend this gun - yet.