The fact that the STP pistols now enjoy real international attention is proven, for example, by the fact that even James Reeves from the world-renowned US internet portal "The Firearms Blog" (TFB) raves about the 1911/2011 match pistols from Kühbach in Bavaria. The now 61-year-old founder and owner of STP, Karl Prommersberger, is a busy jack-of-all-trades with an impressive overall knowledge of the international firearms world, who always advocates liberal gun laws within the associations, is active as chairman/chief master of the German Gunsmith Guild and was a co-founder of the renowned Smith & Wesson Club 30 Germany gunsmith association over 30 years ago.
Karl Prommersberger – Pioneer of handgun tuning
As the son of a forester, the active hunter was familiar with firearms from an early age. This fascination lasted a lifetime, so that at a young age he decided to learn the traditional gunsmith's trade at the technical college in Ferlach. After serving in the German army and working for several years with French gunsmiths in Metz and Strasbourg, he passed his master craftsman's examination at the trade school in Ehingen, Germany. With the financial support of his grandmother and a bank loan, the young master gunsmith founded the Prommersberger gunsmith's shop and workshop in the Aichach town square in 1988, and just two years later he opened his store and workshop at the current location in Kühbach. In addition to the classic gunsmith's trade including the fields of manufacturing and repairing of hunting and sporting long guns, professional scope fitting or the insertion of interchangeable barrels, the multi-talented Bavarian has always had a soft spot for sporting handguns. Among other things, this led to the creation of the German Club 30 with gunsmiths dedicated to pistol and revolver tuning after a course at the Smith & Wesson Academy in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1993. Karl Prommersberger is now the chairman of Club 30, and many training courses followed at the gunsmithing schools in Ehingen or Suhl, where the US specialists from S&W traveled to Germany. Four years later, the 1911 luminaries John Nowlin Senior and Les Baer from the USA also held practical seminars for gunsmiths in "good old Germany" to further deepen their expertise in this market sector. The author of these lines attended some of these early handgun tuning courses.
Karl Prommersberger is closely associated with the IPSC sport
Due to the boom in centerfire handgun shooting sports in the 1990s, Prommersberger intensified its activities in this market sector and, after participating in the 1998 European IPSC Championship in Crete, entered into a cooperation with the Texan 2011 pistol manufacturer STI (now Staccato 2011). In the years that followed, gunsmith Prommersberger helped the STI brand name to become far more popular through its own major IPSC competitions such as the STI Open in Philippsburg and other events.
After many years of close, successful cooperation between the Texan manufacturer and the European importer, a change of ownership and supply bottlenecks led to a dispute between the main parties with unpleasant consequences, so that STI, for example, could only distribute catalogs at the IWA 2016, but not exhibit a single pistol! Another consequence was that the agile and smart Bavarian tuning specialist launched the "STI Europe" label a year earlier. The ambitious goal: the production of 1911/2011 pistols to the company's own specifications, with the main components and small parts largely "Made in Germany". Seven years ago, the company invested in its own production hall with new, high-quality CNC machines for in-house production. The workforce consists of qualified gunsmiths and machining technicians. This is how the current company Sport Target Pistol (STP) came into being, although the company also carries out external orders outside the firearms industry to ensure maximum machine utilization. An average of 600 to 700 STP pistols are made each year, with an upward trend, which are exported to around 25 to 30 countries around the world.
STP's wide-ranging program covers 5 divisions
1. The most affordable entry models into the STP world starts with the so-called "Sparta" pistols. The line currently consists of a trio with the Sparta 5.0, Sparta 6.0 models and the brand-new Sparta 5.0 Double Stack, which is currently available to us for testing purposes – you will soon be able to read the report here on all4shooters.com. The Sparta 5.0/6.0 in 9x19 (9mm Luger) and .45 Auto is a classic 1911 with a single-stack 9- or 7-round magazine and either a 5" (127 mm) or 6" (152 mm) barrel, priced at just €1,390 and €1,590 respectively. For an additional charge, these "low budget" all-steel pistols can have the single-action trigger system reworked or a fiber-optic front sight fitted, as well as a matching rimfire conversion kit. For €1,990 the Sparta 5.0 Double Stack in 9mm Luger, on the other hand, is based on a high-capacity grip frame with a corresponding magazine capacity of 20 cartridges. A "trigger job" or a front sight for faster target acquisition can also be ordered here.
2. STP all-steel pistols in classic 1911 design with slim grip for single-stack magazines. Here you can discover the six models Duty One, Perfect Classic, RM (Range Master), Sentry, Sentry Limited and TM (Target Master). The Duty One, RM and Sentry 5.0 are available in the classic Colt 1911-A1 Government format with a 5" (127 mm) barrel, the Perfect Classic, specially designed for the IPSC Classic Division, with a 5.4" (137 mm) barrel and the Sentry 6.0, Sentry Limited and TM with a 6" (152 mm) barrel. These fine match pistols in common calibers such as 9x19 (9mm Luger), .40 S&W and .45 Auto can be used in many disciplines. Depending on the model, prices vary from 2,840 to 3,666 euros, although special customer requests are of course possible at any time.
3. STP steel/aluminum pistols in a more modern 2011 design with a two-part grip frame with a steel upper section for the slide guides and the actual grip section made of aluminum. The series consists of the seven models Black Major, DAG 5.4, Igel, Lisa, Loki, Rosa and SWAT. Primarily created for the IPSC Standard Division, they are of course also ideally suited for other disciplines, whereby it is always necessary to study the relevant rules and regulations of the respective discipline before purchasing. Only the latter model is available in a compact version with a 4" (102 mm) barrel and in a full-size standard format with a 5" (127 mm) barrel. All other models with a wide variety of designs, features and finishes are fitted with 5" or 6" bull barrel match barrels (without barrel bushings) to suit their sporting purpose. The flagship in the form of the attractive Black Major in the calibers 9x19 (9mm Luger), 9x21, .357 SIG, .40 S&W and .45 ACP is also available in a 6" (152 mm) version in 9x19 and .45 ACP. The magazine capacity is 17 rounds in the standard 9 mm Luger caliber, 15 rounds in .40 S&W and 11 rounds in .45 ACP. Prices vary from €3,690 for the Igel 6.0 model with BoMar sights (€3,990 with Aristocrat multi-position sights) to the top-of-the-range Black Major model for €4,510 (6" version €4,810).
4. The identical hi-cap frame construction is also the basis for the high-powered, high-firing "Open Guns" for the IPSC Open Class or Free Classes of the various associations. Here you will discover the three models Elsa, Max Open and Mono Comp in calibers such as 9x19 (9mm Luger), 9x21 or .38 Super as well as a magazine capacity for 17 cartridges. All three high-tech pistols come from the factory with grip frame assembly and C-More red dot sight as well as polygon barrel with robust, effective Mono Comp compensator. The prices start at €5,290 for the particularly powerful Mono Comp with a 4.15" (105 mm) barrel and range up to €5,690 for the top model Elsa 5.0 with a 5" (127 mm) barrel.
5 Finally, the Sissi 5.0 and Lodur 6.0 models are two high-quality match revolvers based on the Smith & Wesson L-Frame M686 Distinguished Combat Magnum in .38 Special/.357 Magnum. They feature a completely new, reworked lock made of tool steel (instead of original MIM components that cannot be tuned for long-term use) as well as polygonal barrels in 127 mm and 152 mm lengths, Nill wood grip panels, adjustable match sights and other extras. The price starts at €3,390, although there are also many other options to choose from and special requests can be fulfilled, as befits a high-end handgun.
According to our tests, STP could also stand for "Always Top Precise"
According to the manufacturer, the three 2011 hi-cap match pistols Rosa, Lisa and Elsa from the "New Generation" are now the best sellers among the customers in the STP range. The design and attractive overall appearance of this series was created in close cooperation between STP and the industrial design company Target Design from Inning, near Munich. Over the years, we have been able to test countless match guns from the wide-ranging STP catalog. The small selection presented here reveals the exceptionally high accuracy potential of the German guns. The 2011 hi-cap pistol Rosa in .45 Auto with a 6" barrel, for example, shot a best shot group of 25 mm (WM Bullets factory 200-grain SWC – Silvermoly line).
The 2011 Lisa hi-cap pistol in 9x19 (9 Luger) produced a top shot group of 26 mm (handloaded with 5.5 grains of Vihtavuori 3N37 and H&N 115-grain KSHP bullets). An STP Perfect Classic 5.4 in 9mm Luger perfeclty hit the mark with Norma 124-grain Safeguard factory ammunition and 17 mm (48 mm at 50 m). The STP Sissi revolver in .357 Magnum delivered a 32 mm group (Sellier & Bellot 158-grain JHP factory). The STP Lodur match revolver in .357 Magnum with a 6" polygonal barrel performed even better, shooting two groups of 12 at 25 meters of 24 mm each (Hornady American Gunner 125-grain XTP factory, handload with 7.8 grains of Vihtavuori 3N37 and 180-grain Hornady XTP bullets). Compared to the far more expensive top models from this company, the affordable Sparta series has to make concessions in terms of shooting performance, but even with these low-budget 1911s it is still possible to hold a ten with selected ammo. For example, a Sparta 6.0 in .45 Auto shot a 10-best group at 25 meters with 48 mm (Hornady American Gunner 185-grain XTP factory). The same model in 9x19 achieved 39 mm (with both GECO 124-grain FMJ and Hexagon bullets).
True to the motto "buy cheap, buy twice", the fine match guns from STP are always worth a recommendation: it can be a wise decision to buy something sensible right away. At STP, there is always a direct contact person for service and maintenance, which is unfortunately not always a matter of course these days.