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Posted: 2/23/2015 11:57:07 PM EDT
This one has been simmering on my bench for several months now as other projects came and went. I won a certificate for a free Phoenix Trinity frame at a USPSA match a while back, and decided to do it in 9mm since it's the most under-represented of my 2011 collection.










Parts list:

Phoenix Trinity frame http://www.ptrinity.com/firearms
STI unique slide, bare http://www.stiguns.com
STI bull barrel, 9mm
STI magwell
C&S hammer & pin set
EGW hard sear, firing pin stop, barrel link http://www.egw-guns.com
Kimber / BUL ball head disconnector
Colt sear spring
Brown thumb & grip safety
STI rear adjustable, black front
STI one piece guide rod, reverse plug
Wilson slide stop
Cerakote finish

I performed all the work. This is the order I went about it:

Cut the slide to fit frame
Fit barrel to slide, and then cut lower lugs to fit to slide stop
Ream barrel to proper depth (it was short-chambered)
Fit STI grip to frame
Fit grip and thumb safety, reprofiling as necessary
Fit slide stop and extractor
Cut slide for SVI-style grasping serrations (20 lpi and panel cut)
Flat top slide and cut 30 lpi serrations
Cut dovetail for front sight
Cut front sight to .100" wide
Drill and tap hole for rear sight elevation screw
Fit fire control parts (these didn't need much work)
Soften all sharp edges
Abrasive blast slide, frame and parts
Polish slide and frame flats to 240 grit
Cerakote slide, frame and parts
Glass bead blast barrel

Parts out of the box


Fitting the barrel to the slide


Cutting the lower lugs


Assembled with temporary safeties & slide stop


Cutting the top serrations (EGW carbide 60 degree slitting saw)


Cutting the grasping serrations (same EGW cutter)


Pretty close to the SVI


After function testing at the range


Notes about the Phoenix Trinity frame: the 3 holes to attach the grip were misaligned a bit higher than they are on STI frames. It was easy enough to use round files to bring them down enough to match up with the grip holes and insert the screws.

The hammer and sear pin holes were tight enough that they needed opening up a bit as well. The grip safety tangs were a bit longer than STI traditionally makes them (pre-cut for a .250 grip safety radius). This was actually OK since I prefer a tighter looking grip safety fit.

Other than that, it matched up very well with the STI slide. For the price ($200 to $300 depending on features), I think it's a good product. If they correct the dimensional errors, it will be a great product. STI charges $450 for their frame, but they do include a $100 grip frame, $30 trigger, mainspring housing, and mag catch. Still, it's nice for those of us who probably already have those parts lying around anyway (and in fact, I actually did. All I lacked was the MSH) to be able to build up a new gun without having to buy all of it.

I debated pinning the grip safety, but I figured this would see some action in 3-gun and a functional grip safety is probably a good idea there.

I've shot it briefly, enough to check function and accuracy. I have about 80 rounds through it, prior to final finishing. It seems to be quite accurate, which I'd expect since the frame and barrel are fit tighter than Dick's hatband. In fact, after Cerakoting, I had to remove the finish from some rail surfaces and the slide stop pin in order to get things moving smoothly again. I haven't benched it or put it in a Ransom rest, but freehand I was putting them into one hole on a USPSA target head at 15 yards, with no flyers I hadn't called. My 135gr lead handloads aren't the most accurate, so I may have to break out factory ammo to really put it through its paces.

When the "good weather" and "free time" curves next intersect, I'll do some more serious accuracy shooting.


Link Posted: 2/24/2015 12:31:39 AM EDT
That is absolutely gorgeous.
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 12:49:04 AM EDT
looks awesome!!!!! how come a FDC instead of a SDC?
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 12:51:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/24/2015 12:51:33 AM EDT by 2IS]
That looks amazing... I wish I had the know-how to pull off something like this.
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 12:55:25 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 12:59:40 AM EDT
I wasn't aware of these frames till recently. Glad I saw your thread and beautiful build.

I really want to have a couple guns built on tactical frames but they are spendy.
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 2:12:53 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Wash-Ar15:
looks awesome!!!!! how come a FDC instead of a SDC?
View Quote


Thanks! Already had a SDC 9mm and wanted something different.
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 2:45:14 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ken_mays:


Thanks! Already had a SDC 9mm and wanted something different.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
Originally Posted By Wash-Ar15:
looks awesome!!!!! how come a FDC instead of a SDC?


Thanks! Already had a SDC 9mm and wanted something different.

I'm sure what you meant was because it's awesome
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 8:24:35 AM EDT
Nice job. Hadn't heard of that particular frame either. Is the only upshot 1) cheaper and 2) more options over an STI one?
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 8:57:07 AM EDT
that looks great, nice job.

i have a question...is that a steal slide, and an aluminum frame?

if so, you may get trouble with galvanic bonding, corrosion of dissimilar metals
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 9:09:38 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By XsnowBoarderFL:
that looks great, nice job.

i have a question...is that a steal slide, and an aluminum frame?

if so, you may get trouble with galvanic bonding, corrosion of dissimilar metals
View Quote

The frame is stainless. With the modern alloys that doesn't really seem to be a problem anymore or at least I never seem to hear about it causing any problems.
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 10:57:39 AM EDT
Looks great! Nice job, and thanks for taking the time to post some of the details.
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 12:01:10 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By XsnowBoarderFL:
that looks great, nice job.

i have a question...is that a steal slide, and an aluminum frame?

if so, you may get trouble with galvanic bonding, corrosion of dissimilar metals
View Quote



Both the slide and frame are carbon steel. Even if galling were to be a problem (not something I've ever encountered), the Cerakote on the rails would prevent it.

My intent is to send it out for hardchrome or IonBond at some point. I do want to shoot it for a while to make sure nothing needs to be changed.
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 12:05:09 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By n00g7:
Nice job. Hadn't heard of that particular frame either. Is the only upshot 1) cheaper and 2) more options over an STI one?
View Quote


I think they offer a stainless frame where STI doesn't. For a year or two there, STI was having trouble delivering product due to demand, so people began buying PT frames instead. I get the feeling from talking to PT that they aren't turning out nearly as many frames and their operations aren't really as streamlined as STI.
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 12:05:57 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ken_mays:


Thanks! Already had a SDC 9mm and wanted something different.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
Originally Posted By Wash-Ar15:
looks awesome!!!!! how come a FDC instead of a SDC?


Thanks! Already had a SDC 9mm and wanted something different.


Butler cut. LDC are so passe these days.

SDC/ Short dust cover LDC/ long dustcover
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 12:21:46 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ken_mays:


I think they offer a stainless frame where STI doesn't. For a year or two there, STI was having trouble delivering product due to demand, so people began buying PT frames instead. I get the feeling from talking to PT that they aren't turning out nearly as many frames and their operations aren't really as streamlined as STI.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
Originally Posted By n00g7:
Nice job. Hadn't heard of that particular frame either. Is the only upshot 1) cheaper and 2) more options over an STI one?


I think they offer a stainless frame where STI doesn't. For a year or two there, STI was having trouble delivering product due to demand, so people began buying PT frames instead. I get the feeling from talking to PT that they aren't turning out nearly as many frames and their operations aren't really as streamlined as STI.



Thanks for the info.
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 1:26:30 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Wash-Ar15:


Butler cut. LDC are so passe these days.

SDC/ Short dust cover LDC/ long dustcover
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Wash-Ar15:
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
Originally Posted By Wash-Ar15:
looks awesome!!!!! how come a FDC instead of a SDC?


Thanks! Already had a SDC 9mm and wanted something different.


Butler cut. LDC are so passe these days.

SDC/ Short dust cover LDC/ long dustcover


Could still do that. I'd like to cut a light rail on the dust cover at some point. Just need to buy the right cutter.
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 3:25:29 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ken_mays:


Could still do that. I'd like to cut a light rail on the dust cover at some point. Just need to buy the right cutter.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
Originally Posted By Wash-Ar15:
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
Originally Posted By Wash-Ar15:
looks awesome!!!!! how come a FDC instead of a SDC?


Thanks! Already had a SDC 9mm and wanted something different.


Butler cut. LDC are so passe these days.

SDC/ Short dust cover LDC/ long dustcover


Could still do that. I'd like to cut a light rail on the dust cover at some point. Just need to buy the right cutter.

Is that a hard operation for you machinist types?? I noticed they offer a failed version but I assume it's a short rail.
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 3:32:48 PM EDT
That looks great.

Cal .355 leaves a lot of room for interpretation.
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 10:09:08 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ALASKANFIRE:

Is that a hard operation for you machinist types?? I noticed they offer a failed version but I assume it's a short rail.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ALASKANFIRE:
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
Originally Posted By Wash-Ar15:
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
Originally Posted By Wash-Ar15:
looks awesome!!!!! how come a FDC instead of a SDC?


Thanks! Already had a SDC 9mm and wanted something different.


Butler cut. LDC are so passe these days.

SDC/ Short dust cover LDC/ long dustcover


Could still do that. I'd like to cut a light rail on the dust cover at some point. Just need to buy the right cutter.

Is that a hard operation for you machinist types?? I noticed they offer a failed version but I assume it's a short rail.


No, it's only really 3 cuts. I'll probably need to buy at least one cutter to do it, a 45 degree double angle cutter.

Here's a LDC SV with the light rail cut.

Link Posted: 2/24/2015 11:06:38 PM EDT
Beautiful pistol ! It must be very satisfying to be able to do that for yourself.
I am just a tinkerer, you sir,are a craftsman.Well done.
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 11:17:01 PM EDT
Eye catching!

Nicely done sir.
Link Posted: 2/24/2015 11:58:41 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
No, it's only really 3 cuts. I'll probably need to buy at least one cutter to do it, a 45 degree double angle cutter.

Here's a LDC SV with the light rail cut.

http://www.guntechtips.com/misc-img/svi-ss-1.jpg
View Quote

That's sexy
Link Posted: 2/25/2015 12:43:14 AM EDT
This gun made my eyes pop out. Beautiful looking piece.
Link Posted: 2/25/2015 6:29:17 PM EDT
That's sexy as fuck!





Link Posted: 2/25/2015 7:21:28 PM EDT
Amazing work and an amazing final product. It amazes me what a person with the right knowledge and tools can accomplish.

Well done sir.
Link Posted: 3/9/2015 9:22:10 PM EDT
How well do the 2011 style pistols feed 9mm and .40 S&W? I really want one of the STI/SVI style 2011s in 9 or 40 and I am Glock guy so I don't know a lot about them. That is some very impressive work, I am jealous of the ability.
Link Posted: 3/9/2015 11:00:23 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 96Ag:
How well do the 2011 style pistols feed 9mm and .40 S&W? I really want one of the STI/SVI style 2011s in 9 or 40 and I am Glock guy so I don't know a lot about them. That is some very impressive work, I am jealous of the ability.
View Quote


They can be a little picky as to bullet shape (flat nose bullets can sometimes have issues), but they feed most quite well. The 40s work best when loaded a bit longer, if you use truncated cone bullets. Round nose 40s aren't as picky, I've found.

The double stack mags also need a tuned slide stop if you want the slide to lock on an empty mag. Untuned slide stops will sometimes lock the slide with one round left.
Link Posted: 3/10/2015 8:08:47 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ken_mays:


They can be a little picky as to bullet shape (flat nose bullets can sometimes have issues), but they feed most quite well. The 40s work best when loaded a bit longer, if you use truncated cone bullets. Round nose 40s aren't as picky, I've found.

The double stack mags also need a tuned slide stop if you want the slide to lock on an empty mag. Untuned slide stops will sometimes lock the slide with one round left.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
Originally Posted By 96Ag:
How well do the 2011 style pistols feed 9mm and .40 S&W? I really want one of the STI/SVI style 2011s in 9 or 40 and I am Glock guy so I don't know a lot about them. That is some very impressive work, I am jealous of the ability.


They can be a little picky as to bullet shape (flat nose bullets can sometimes have issues), but they feed most quite well. The 40s work best when loaded a bit longer, if you use truncated cone bullets. Round nose 40s aren't as picky, I've found.

The double stack mags also need a tuned slide stop if you want the slide to lock on an empty mag. Untuned slide stops will sometimes lock the slide with one round left.

Thanks!

I really want one of the STI Tactical 5.0's in 40 or 9mm. It has been a long time since I owned a 1911 style gun and something about them just calls out to me.
Link Posted: 3/10/2015 9:13:09 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 96Ag:

Thanks!


I really want one of the STI Tactical 5.0's in 40 or 9mm. It has been a long time since I owned a 1911 style gun and something about them just calls out to me.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 96Ag:
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
Originally Posted By 96Ag:
How well do the 2011 style pistols feed 9mm and .40 S&W? I really want one of the STI/SVI style 2011s in 9 or 40 and I am Glock guy so I don't know a lot about them. That is some very impressive work, I am jealous of the ability.


They can be a little picky as to bullet shape (flat nose bullets can sometimes have issues), but they feed most quite well. The 40s work best when loaded a bit longer, if you use truncated cone bullets. Round nose 40s aren't as picky, I've found.

The double stack mags also need a tuned slide stop if you want the slide to lock on an empty mag. Untuned slide stops will sometimes lock the slide with one round left.

Thanks!


I really want one of the STI Tactical 5.0's in 40 or 9mm. It has been a long time since I owned a 1911 style gun and something about them just calls out to me.
Do it!
Link Posted: 3/10/2015 9:39:16 AM EDT
My Edge feed fed factory 180gr truncated cone bullets fmj/hp just fine (about 4,000). When I started reloading for it I went with longer reloads and a aftec extractor, as my reloads would some times fail to extract, but never had this problem with virgin brass.

the 9mm has never seen factory 9mm to the best of my knowelge, that one uses SV mags and 124/125 grain bullets loadded long and "hot" for 9mm standards (173-175pf)
Link Posted: 3/10/2015 11:27:59 AM EDT
My STI (Kart barrel and bushing) feeds literally everything I've ever put in it.

Factory ammo (federal, PMC, WWB, Remington, Hornady), remanufactured ammo, reloads, COAL from 1.1250-1.1500. It doesn't matter, it eats all of it.

It used to not extract maybe 1/150 rds, then I bent the extractor between my fingers when I was cleaning it, no issues.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my STI.
Link Posted: 3/10/2015 4:13:51 PM EDT
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