In 1992 Tripp Research revolutionized competitive shooting with the polymer modular design now known as the 2011. Virgil Tripp collaborated with engineer Sandy Strayer to bring John Moses Browning’s 1911 pistol into the next century by moving away from the heavy all steel frames of the time to using a polymer modular design that allowed for higher capacity, and lighter weight. Together they founded Strayer Tripp International (later shortened to simply STI) to address the needs of competition shooters of the day. They were successful beyond anyone’s expectations and literally changed the face of shooting forever; at the USPSA’s (United States Practical Shooting Association) Open Nationals in 2016 over 87% of shooters were using pistols built on the platform he came up with so long ago.
After the 2011 patent expired, many other companies began to copy the design but aside from minor differences no company except for Tripp Research Inc has really stepped up to help the 2011 platform evolve. “We could have called the company Tripp Firearms, but Tripp Research is more indicative of our approach. We don’t just build guns- we innovate. We research and develop and constantly seek ways to improve. This philosophy is best summed up with the T2”, says TRI President Aaron T.
Today, Virgil is joined by a new engineering Guru- Brad Tetrick and his son Aaron to create a new design team that developed an updated double stack pistol correcting the design issues from 20 years ago and adding in new features that today’s competition shooters have requested. “All the things I’ve learned through my decades of experience have gone into the new upgraded platform. From raising the trigger path up, to optimizing the grip around the smaller .40S&W round instead of a .45 round, we are addressing and fixing the flaws of the last platform”, says Virgil.
One of the biggest things that separated the 2011 from other pistols was its ammo capacity. Everyone is still chasing maximum capacity. Companies are selling 2011 magazines for upwards of $150 and still can’t say exactly how many rounds they hold, and inserting them to a closed slide often requires super human inserting power. The other option shooters use is buying a 2011 mag tube and installing some combination of followers, springs, and base pads from various manufacturers, trying to find the elusive “right combination” to get the most out of their mags- and more often than not, still having the same problems. The new T2 mag and grip combination together solve these major problems because TRI started with a clean slate- first designing the magazine without that blocky shape, and then designing the grip around it with an ultra-high hand placement made possible by the use of the new T2 hybrid polymer/steel grip construction.
For over 25 years people have been building off his earlier work, but Tripp Research is the only company to have truly taken the development of the 2011 platform to the next level. This lifetime dedication to improvement is obvious in the T2- faster, lighter, and more agile; this is truly a new pistol for a new generation of shooters. Says Virgil, “the combination of ultra-high grip, new grip profile, and high performance magazine make the T2 unmatched for the draw, reload, and agility while navigating the entire course of fire. Nothing else is even close.”