The DVC Carry moves a STI line of pistols better known for competition squarely into the realm of self-defense.
For the most part, STI’s DVC line of 2011 pistols have been engineered to gun for the gold at shooting competitions — steel, practical or otherwise. But the Texas company has gotten downright defensive with the performance handgun’s latest iteration.
The STI DVC Carry integrates all the gunmaker’s proven technology into a compact package purpose-built for the concealed carry market. And while it has plenty of features certain to capture the attention of shooters, there is one particular aspect of the 9mm that has the potential to get hearts fluttering: capacity.
Being a 2011 means the pistol is a double stack, allotting nearly twice the capacity of traditional 1911s. In the case of the DVC Carry, it’s 15+1 (it also comes with an extended 17-round magazine). STI pioneered this design in the 1990s for competitive shooters, helping them save precious seconds by cutting down reloads. But it makes a logical transition to the defensive pistol end of the spectrum, giving shooters the time-tested 1911 function with modern-day capacity.
Being a double stack, the DVC Carry’s width is larger compared to traditional 1911s, but it is well in line with many of today’s most popular carry pistols. The dimension increase is all in the grip, which is 1.3-inches wide. Combined with its 3.9-inch barrel, it should be a snap to conceal. Although, like all double stacks, it could be bit of a bear for those with smaller hands to find a solid purchase.
Some of this will be overcome by the stippling on the DVC Carry’s grip — perhaps the most aggressive currently available on a production handgun. Produced by Extreme Shooters, the scale pattern polymer grips wrap 360 degrees around the frame and are designed to overcome any environment or biological (think sweat) factors to give a reliable, positive grip time and time again.
STI was weight-conscious in its design of the DVC Carry, keeping well in the ballpark of similar 9mm handguns — polymer or 1911. As is common in metal-framed concealed carry handguns, the company has opted for aluminum as the frame material, which has kept the pistol at 26 ounces unloaded. This should make it a viable everyday carry piece, one that won’t nag shooters by the end of the day.
The DVC Carry is configured to excel in low-light situations with a low-profile tritium front sight. As a nice — not to mention functional — addition STI has included a fixed ledge rear sight, allowing the pistol to be cocked with one hand.
The company has also given the handgun a touch of flair, finishing the frame and slide with a sharp black DLC coating and porting the front of the slide, allowing the copper-colored barrel to show through. The porting should also help in making the pistol more manageable on multi-shot strings, reducing muzzle flip.
As would be expected from a company that borders on semi-custom, the DVC Carry comes in on the pricier end of the concealed carry market. But for those searching for a single-action semi-automatic with peace-of-mind capacity, the pistol’s $2,999 MSRP might not be too great a hurdle.
STI DVC Carry
Type: Semi-auto, single action
Barrel Length: 3.9 in.
Weight: 26 oz.
Front Sight: Low-Profile Tritium
Rear Sight: Fixed Ledge