STI International, Inc., is a Texas based arms company that manufactures pistols in the Style of the M1911, its proprietary 2011® handguns and parts for competition, duty and self-defense.
In 1990, Virgil Tripp, a gunsmith and machinist, started building custom 1911s for competition use, especially USPSA/IPSC.Virgil’s company was called Tripp Research, Inc. Around 1993, an engineer and computer aided design (CAD) guru named Sandy Strayer joined Tripp Research, Inc. Tripp and Strayer were listed as the co-patent holders on the modular frame. Soon after the modular frame was introduced, the company name changed to STI (Strayer-Tripp, Inc.) and Strayer was given an equity stake in the new company.
In November 1994, Dave and Shirley Skinner, owners of an electronics company named Tessco, Inc., became involved in the operation of STI along with Virgil Tripp. In early 1997, the Skinners completed their purchase of STI from Virgil Tripp and renamed the company to STI International, Inc. In January 2005 Dave Skinner sold the company to the employees of STI, making it the first ESOP company in the firearms industry.