Actual Special Forces Pistols Up For Auction

GunBroker has for auction two very interesting STIs. WeaponsMan has covered the story:

These pistols for sale on GunBroker come with a rare claim: they were used by one of the nation’s most important special operations units during a period in the mid-oughts when that unit was flat-out in a radical optempo on worldwide CT missions (and other missions as well).  Not just “pistols like these,” but these exact pistols are represented as having been used in that particular SOF unit. They have a letter of authenticity from a former unit member who did have access and placement to know about the unit’s armament initiatives at the time.


And they’re pretty good pistols, but the bid of $6,500 at press time hasn’t broken the reserve. Here’s what the auction says:

Both of these STI 2011 .40 caliber pistols saw actual issue and use in a US Army SOF unit in 2006-2007. One pistol is in 93%+ condition and the other is in 96%+ condition. They are consecutively serial numbered and are quite possibly the only consecutively numbered set to be offered for sale. This consecutively numbered set comes with the following items: *** individual letters of authenticity from Larry Vickers ( for each pistol— original, unedited versions will be provided to the buyer *** six 140mm 17 round magazines *** one 170mm 22 round magazine *** one issued Surefire X200A light *** issued Safariland 6005 light bearing holster with end user modifications *** two Eagle Industries pistol cases

This is an uncommon occurrence, to say the least. Soldier-bringback weapons are highly unusual these days; ones used by special operations and authenticated in this way are up there with unicorns and hen’s teeth. Be sure to click through and read WeaponsMan’s entire article.

Special operations forces (SOF) in the United States are given considerable leeway in the weapons they are allowed to use. As a result, it’s not uncommon for unusual or limited-run weapons to be trialed by special operations users either before or in the absence of adoption by a regular military arm. Perhaps the most famous example of this was special operations use of the Stoner 63 rifle/machine gun weapon system which for many years was almost a calling card of SOF troops, despite not having been adopted by any other military arm.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • jeff k

    so are there bodies on these or what?

  • Interesting that they’re in .40 cal. Didn’t know that was in use much besides US LEO.

    • The STI magazines can be extra twitchy in .45 ACP. The .40 S&W configuration is more popular in USPSA Limited Division.

    • Bruce

      Those look like standard/limited USPSA guns. The .40 offers a lot in USPSA competition. You can load it down and run it minor power factor in production, load it up to major power factor in limited and limited 10. Because the bullet must be at least .40 cal in limited to make major, you’ll find a lot of people running it, you can load up more .40s in a mag than .45s. It’s less common in Open because you can fit more 9mm sized rounds in a mag and 9mm is allowed for Open major power factor.

      Given a $2400-$2600 price tag on a similar gun in the current STI catalog. $8k isn’t that silly of a markup for an authenticated piece of history. Especially with mags running $80 a pop.

  • Zachary marrs

    6k for a fo-tay? Lol nope

    • BattleshipGrey

      The listing is finished and they sold for $8000, reserve met. Crazy.

  • BattleshipGrey

    I thought that was the normal price on a couple of STI’s 🙂

    I’m a little confused as to who the seller is. Shouldn’t it be .gov since that’s who owned it? If so, they should continue the practice of auctioning off other unused firearms. If it’s not .gov, then something seems fishy.

    • “The unit” returned the pistols to the manufacturer due to performance issues.

      • Grindstone50k

        Do tell more!

        • BattleshipGrey

          Oops, I forgot to read the supplied link. Thanks for answering my question anyway.

  • Nicks87

    Pretty much sounds right, when I got out of the military we were just getting the “shoot the pelvic girdle” training and volume fire vs. mozambique. Now, in LE, it’s pretty common.
    I’ve never actually seen spec-ops guys with Glocks and only a few with 1911s, (mostly sigs and berettas) but with how much they shoot it wouldnt surprise me if they favored a pistol that was easier to maintain.

  • Grindstone50k

    Ah, I remember reading that article on Gunners, totally forgot the STI. The preference for the Glock 22 is what stuck with me.

    Thanks for the link!

  • Grindstone50k

    Doritos-flavored Mt. Dew.

    Get on my level.

  • Wetcoaster

    The most recent surplus gun things I recall were Armalite AR-10T uppers the Canadian Forces were trialing as DMRs in Afghanistan some years back. If you look closely, you can sometimes see them in photos.

  • raz-0

    makes sense they would be evaluated and not picked. I like my .40S&W 2011, but if you are disliking the cost and hassle of maintaining and deploying 1911s, a 2011 isn’t the answer. It’s basically a 1911 with increased initial expenditure and higher parts replacement costs.

  • Grindstone50k

    RC cola? What are you, some sort of Canadian?