When I first became involved in Action Pistol shooting (back in the Dark Ages?) one of the first technological marvels to hit the sport was the ‘Pin Gun’. Originally designed for the then popular bowling pin shooting matches, it was a single-stack .45 calibre 1911 pistol fitted with an extended barrel that had a weight mounted on it. The added weight was to hold down muzzle-jump, allowing faster follow-up shots, and to provide a longer sight radius. Soon thereafter, ports were cut in the weights to vent powder gases upwards, which further reduced muzzle-rise. Thus, the muzzle-mounted compensator was born.
For many years I attended the annual Second Chance Bowling Pin Shoot in Michigan and had my gunsmith build me several pin guns. Around the same time, compensated 1911s became popular with USPSA shooters and I used my pin guns to compete in that discipline too. Competitors discovered that compensators were even more efficient when firing high-pressure cartridges and, with the capacity to fit more rounds in the magazine, this led to the .38 Super’s dominance of the sport.
To level the playing field, USPSA introduced Open and Limited Divisions. In the former, the compensated .38 Super pistol was the favourite, while the latter was for those who wanted to shoot more traditional pistols. But Limited shooters began taking advantage of technology to gain an edge which resulted in the average Limited pistol being anything but traditional. So Single Stack and Production divisions were launched.
Introduced in 2015, STI’s DVC series of high-capacity pistols were designed to give the Action Pistol shooter a gun with all the ‘bells & whistles’necessary for competing in USPSA’s Open and Limited divisions, Steel and 3-Gun matches straight out the box. All you needed to do was load the magazine, zero the sights and you were ready to run. I evaluated the DVC Limited pistol for Combat Handguns when it first hit the market and found it to be everything the manufacturer claimed.
The pistol I recently received was STI’s new .45 calibre DVC OMNI, and it brought back many fond memories. DVC stands for “Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas”(accuracy, power, speed) and is the motto of USPSA. OMNI is a Latin word meaning “all”and the DVC OMNI is no exception as it was designed to allow the shooter to compete in a number of disciplines with one pistol.
The OMNI is built on STI’s 2011 modular frame which features an upper section made of 4140 alloy stainless steel that has rails, a full-length dust cover, and is pre-cut for a high-ride beavertail grip-safety. The lower grip assembly is made from glass-filled, nylon polymer with metal panels molded into it to allow metal-to-metal contact with the upper frame.
The polymer grip frame does away with the need for separate grip panels, so high-capacity double-column magazines can be used while still keeping the grip narrow enough for easy handling by persons with smaller hands. A Picatinny rail on the bottom of the dust cover allows lights or other tactical devices to be attached to the pistol.
Without a doubt, the OMNI’s most distinctive feature is its Island Compensated Barrel. This Island Compensator, which is machined integral with the barrel, has a large port on top, and angled ports on either side that vent powder gases up and to the sides to hold down muzzle-jump. The match grade barrel, sans bushing, has been shortened to 4.15-inches which aligns the muzzle with the ports while keeping the OAL of the pistol under 8½-inches.
Read the full article in the November 2018 issue of Magnum.