Sti-AT 4.25/9mm Australian Tactical

The problem with special order guns in Australia is that theyre for lack of a better word, a head f&*k. It came down to the choice of two pistols, either a glock or an Sti. Both I can work on myself and are easy to get parts for within a day to two weeks. Other brands on the market can take 6 months and over to order since sales agents dont keep them in stock and only order a shipment every few months when large enough to warrant shipping and the ammount of importation paperwork required.�

For a glock to suit what I wanted there are three ways to go about it. One; to buy a model 17A. (A 5 inch barrel is required by law in OZ for auto’s and 4 inches for a revolver) for $900 and then buy a model 22 slide for $600 to replace the original barrel maybe another $300 to a 9mm conversion from either Lonewolf barrels or Stormlake. The easiest way is to order a Stormlake Longslide barrel at 6 inches and have it machined down. Anything under 5 inches wont be allowed in the country. Second; to buy a 17A and a 22 and hand in the barrel, extractor, mags and frame to Firearms Branch. This gives you an extra set of parts.(40 Cals are restricted here to police and security). Hence the 9mm build up, otherwise it would be 40 cal all the way. $900 for the 17A and another maybe $400 for a secondhand ex-security model if they come up for sale. Thirdly; Just buy a model 22 and have to have it inspected by Firarms Branch to say that its been converted. These prices on top of Stainless Steel guide rod, extended slide release, mag release, butt cap, taping the grip, decent sights, EU trigger, etc, etc. Using a conversion barrel brings the weight up and the thickness of the barrel to almost bull barrel proportions.�

The problem I have with Glocks is that I now limp wrist them causing malfunctions, my upper body strength isnt what it used to be. I dont have this problem with 1911’s. By the time Ive done all this I might aswell just purchase an Sti. The model I liked was a Tactical 4.15, undersized making it illegal here unless having a 5 inch barrel inserted. This would be easy in the States but not here, with importation laws and I end up with an illegal 4.15 barrel I couldnt sell or use. Coming to the conclusion that getting it custom factory fitted was too hard, having to import through shipping agents. It became easier just to make one up by importing the parts and having it custom made here to my specs. Hence the AT model or Australian Tactical.�

A� Commander frame and slide length are more likely to pass through an inspection, than a 4.15 slide. The 4.25 inch being close to a Glock 17A in length. The A model being a 5 inch barrel on a 4.5 inch slide. Two of my favorite STI’s that the AT is based on are the Tactical 4.15 with no front racking serrations and a SOCOM (Special Operations Command), made from an Edge with a two tone finish of an OD (Olive Drab) bottom end and a black top end. The original idea was to go for hardchroming but too expensive to have it factory done and I couldnt find anyone in oz that did a good enough job. There are bound to be a few but whomever I approached to use their metal plater also wanted to do the machining of the rails from where the extra coating builds up. This is what I wanted to avoid by staying as close to factory standards as possible. Ceramic baked coatings are far eaiser to have done and the two tone finish may be more suitable for military applications.�

The AT concept is a commander slide length of 4.25 with a 5 inch barrel, on a cut down Edge slide. Made by GFJ Firearms. Giving a Commander slide with full length sides with (no scallop) to match a long dust cover frame. Coupled with a Cerakote finish of a Military Black top end and a Desert Bottom end. Cerakote make three desert colours of Sand, Sage and Verde. Im leaning towards Sand. All parts are factory Sti, made by a MIM (Metal Injection Molding) process of using powdered steel formed under pressure in molds and then sintered, I prefer to stick with factory standard parts as much as possible. �

Speaking of which, always stick with factory STI mags, not aftermarket to be as reliable as possible. Ive only had problems with binding rounds when using aftermarket mags. Here we’re restricted to 10 round mags. Sti make two types of mags. A standard 1911 pattern for their single stack designs and a 2011 double stack mag but with crimping on the side to make them a single stack internally. This gives the best of both worlds in terms of no chance of binding with a double stacker but the ease of inserting into a mag well with the tapered ends.�

Other things worth mentioning are the removal of the ambi safety. I cant shoot left handed and if I had to the safety would already be off. I have small hands but prefer a fat frame. It seems to fill the hand and absorb recoil better. A wider trigger width is prefered for service matches, I no longer compete in IPSC and having to decide between Bomar and Novak sight dovetails when ordering the slide. Still in the design process, I’ll keep updates coming as the process moves along. It should end up looking pretty much like a 4.15 tactical but with a slightly longer frame and slide, extended barrel and two tone finish.�

JFJ Firearms

Limp Wristing