Picture courtesy of Shooting Illustrated
Rock Island Armory/Armscor just… surprised (?) everyone by announcing a new metal framed striker fired pistol called the STK100. Their claim? “The advantages of metal at the price of plastic.” Before I go over what we know let’s go ahead and talk about the currently advertised specs of the pistol.
Overall Length: 7.91 inches
Barrel Length: 4.5 inches
Overall Height: 5.16 inches
Overall Width: 1.25 inches
Weight: 28.8 ounces
Frame Material: Aluminum
Capacity: 17 rounds
The Armscor/Rock Island Armory STK100 is…essentially an aluminum framed Glock 17 with an aluminum frame. It has about 90% parts compatibility with the Gen 3 Glocks with the major exception being the magazine release. This compatibility is great because it arguably fixes the biggest issue I have with this new firearm; the slide.
The slide for the pistol has the gaudy “STK100” marking plastered on the side, FN FNS-esque slide serrations (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), lightning cuts… and the part that kills the slide entirely; it’s milled from the factory for a specific optic…and the rear sights are integral to the plate cover.
The milling? It’s specifically for the Vortex Venom (ew!) and at the cost of losing your rear sight (again, ew). Where the parts compatibility comes into play here is that you should be able to take a Gen 3 slide that’s milled for your favorite optic and drop it in.
As far as the STK100’s frame goes, it shares its grip angle with the 1911, but it doesn’t have all of the advantages offered by metal frames. The STK100’s frame has three different textures going on while not offering changeable side panels; a feature that was also absent on all previously failed aluminum grip frames. On the bright side, the gun does take standard Glock G17 magazines.
With an MSRP of around $600 the Rock Island Armory/Armscor STK100 doesn’t seem like a terrible option… but there are many disappointing things with it and I ultimately see it flopping; it’s nothing new. It’s been attempted before for around the same price point and nobody took interest in it.
If it doesn’t fail though, it might just be the metal framed striker fired pistol that paves the way for more, budget friendly options.
As an aside that isn’t aimed exclusively at Armscor/Rock Island Armory; Why the fuck are manufacturers still making “defensive” optics ready pistols where the optic plate removes the rear sight? Are your design teams incompetent? Do the members of your shooting team have no idea what a defensive pistol should have on it? Or do you just not care?