By Miguel C. Gil
Manny Pacquiao is still on the waiting list to get his! And that pretty much sums up just how hard it is to come by an SVI Guns Infinity pistol in the Philippines. Greyman Elite Trading (GET) is the exclusive local distributor of these uber high-end 1911 variants, every one of which is custom-built to the individual specifications of its discriminating buyer.
Grace Tan—design consultant for GET, told Home Defense Journal that their client list reads like a “who’s who” in the Philippine political and business scenes. But let’s not get into that right now as we may simply sour the mood of our readers… who have had quite enough of many politicos and their excesses!
Suffice it to say that when Grace handed us four yet-to-be-broken-in Infinity pistols to examine, our first impression was that these must be the Chateau Lafite Rothschild of handguns!
SVI or Strayer Voigt Incorporated, is a Texas-based firm that was born out of a partnership between legendary firearms innovator Sandy Strayer and professional shooter and gunsmith Michael Voigt. The firm was formed in 1994 soon after Strayer (the “S” in STI International) parted ways with former partner Virgil Tripp.
Grace tells us that Strayer and Voigt are also in the process of wrapping up their business relations as of press time. This will apparently leave Strayer at the helm of SVI Guns and so the initials “SVI” may eventually be phased out. The name “Infinity” is expected to be at the forefront of the company’s branding.
Strayer is said to be a true firearms craftsman with an artisan soul, a trait which may not always sit well with his business partners, Grace says.
Filipino buyers will have to wait anywhere from 14 to 18 months after placing the order, to get their hands on their brand-new Infinity pistols! Neither power nor privilege can speed up that process, Grace explains. Works of art apparently take time to come together… and may be subject to the moods of the Artiste?!
A prospective customer will have to place the order to SVI Guns on-line. It is here that the customer will spell out in detail all his/her specifications including personal touches and add-ons. SVI’s Texas head office will then delegate direct customer relations with their local distributor. It is at this point that Grace steps-in to take charge of the nitty gritty.
She also explained that licensing these custom-built pistols to their respective owners hasn’t been too hard despite today’s weird regulatory climate. But, then again, many of their clients thus far have been politicians or in positions of privilege—so the rules may possibly apply differently to them?
The cheapest of the four SVI guns we handled cost the buyer a whopping Php 348,000! Grace further revealed that the most expensive Infinity pistol they had sold carried a half-a-million Peso price tag! We can only say that the craftsmanship in these pistols reflects the meticulous attention to detail found in the making of jewelry.
A practical man would say that a locally manufactured 1911 costing around Php 20,000 can be just as lethal in a self-defense situation! We would be hard put to dispute that logic if shooting is all we intend to do. But, then again, pride of ownership is the main issue here!
Someone buying an Infinity pistol is not only buying a shooting tool, that individual is buying something to brag about… something to covet!
This writer was indeed curious to find out if the Infinity pistols shot any better than his own inexpensive but modestly customized 1911? This was, after all, the most expensive gun in its genre that we have had the privilege to shoot so far! We focused our attention on the single-stack variant in .45 ACP. Such a gun suits our personal tastes the best.
We decided to get things rolling by shooting at the silhouette targets 5 meters away just to get the hang of it. Pulling on the slide to chamber that first round told us that tolerances on this gun were very tight indeed! The trigger pull was smooth as silk and broke at around 2 lbs. This was much lighter than what we personally prefer but will undoubtedly be loved by the competition set.
In any case, we managed to bunch up our shots quite neatly at 5 meters—much to our enjoyment. In no time at all, we were knocking down those little steel disks at 20 meters with little effort! The very well regulated adjustable rear sight coupled with the highly visible fiber optic front sight helped us to make quick, accurate shots all day long! We ended that session with plenty of respect for these fine pistols… and more than a little bit of envy for those who would own them!
It must be mentioned that shooting champ Jethro Dionisio made our range session with the Infinity pistols possible—which also took place in his firing range in San Francisco del Monte, Quezon City.
PLAY: Rising lady champ Grace Tan of Greyman Elite Trading shows Team HDJ how its done. Several Infinity pistols were tested to everyone’s delight. (Video by IGG)
There is something utterly confidence-inspiring about tightly grasping an Infinity pistol, with its handsome G10 grips and 30 lpi checkering! Such confidence can easily carry over from the competition circuit into the real world.
When it all comes down to it, Infinity guns are reliable, robust and accurate big-bore pistols! Why shouldn’t they be suitable for home/personal defense?!
As for the potentially murderous home invader that gets himself shot with one… he may be just as dead as someone shot with an economy-priced gun, but he will certainly die with much more finesse!
*Note: For detailed inquiries on pricing and specs contact Greyman Elite Trading at Makati Cinema Square.