If I were to cast the Staccato C as a character, I might choose Mr. Wolf, the “fixer” from "Pulp Fiction" (played by Harvey Keitel). Mr. Wolf is a no-nonsense, get-it-done boss man in a tuxedo. He’s like James Bond, but not so stuffy. He’s the one you call when you have a big problem—and he confidently and quickly solves said problem, with exquisite style.
Then again, these guns are made in Texas and sport a lone star and an American flag. Mr. Wolf is neither a Texan nor exactly law-abiding … maybe Matt Houston, the private eye played by Lee Horsley, would be a better example. I’m probably dating myself here, but hopefully you get my point: This gun is classy and rich, but also a no-nonsense problem-solver.
The Staccato C is an excellent compact 9 mm concealed-carry pistol. Staccato’s website says the C is crafted to “2011 performance and accuracy standards,” which seems to mean it’s like a 2011, but single-stack. (For those unfamiliar, a 2011 is essentially a modernized 1911). If you’re looking for double-stack, though, don’t worry, the Staccato C has a big brother, the C2.
At its lowest price point—which certainly isn’t low at $1,899—the C comes with a red fiber optic front-sight post and a square-notch rear sight that will co-witness with red-dot optics, should you add them. If you’re going to use red-dots (I’m not their biggest fan), co-witnessing is ideal. One should not have to rely on batteries in times of emergency, so it’s great to be able to see the normal sights even with a red-dot attached. The pistol works with small-profile red-dot optics like SIG’s Romeo Zero, the JP JPoint or Crimson Trace’s Micro RAD. Buy the red-dot and its plate directly from Staccato and they’ll do the work of mounting and zeroing.
The C’s frame is a lightweight alloy with an accessory rail for a flashlight or laser. It sports both a beavertail grip safety and an ambidextrous thumb safety. The nicely shaped beavertail and rounded hammer protect your skin between thumb and first finger very well. The grip is well textured on both sides and on the lower portion of the front and back straps, which of course improves control. The grip has some valleys both where your dominant hand’s second finger will rest and near the non-textured, left-side-only magazine release. This latter valley and the magazine release are a little farther than ideal for my thumb, despite advertising claiming the C works for smaller hands, but, while that’s a little disappointing for me, it will likely fit most people.
The magazine well is beveled and the gun comes with three steel magazines with witness holes. The magazines’ floor plates jut forward a bit past the well so they’re easy to grab, but they drop energetically with no assistance. Note that you cannot baby these magazines in, as many new shooters are wont to do. Seat ‘em in like you mean it.
The trigger guard is double-undercut, so there is a nice curve right by the grip where your dominant hand’s second finger will rest, plus an upward curve for your support hand’s fingers to rest as well. This could be very helpful toward achieving a high grip with both hands and for controlling recoil; however, this also means there is a downward point between the two upward curves under the trigger guard. If your hands aren’t thick enough for your support hand’s index finger to nestle into that forward upcurve, the downward point may rub. But, hey, what’s life without interesting calluses? (Matt Houston probably has a few.)
The four-pound 1911-style trigger is also textured and nicely curved, with significant cutouts to save weight. If I were to worry about any part on the Staccato C, it would be this trigger—it just has a flimsier feel to it than I expected. Yet I wouldn’t worry about it much, given Staccato’s lifetime warranty against defects in material, workmanship and mechanical function.
The slide’s serrations, fore and aft, are deep and almost sharp, but angled slightly backward, so your racking grip is optimal without the likelihood of snagging. Slight beveling at the front allows for easier holstering.
The barrel is stainless steel but can be upgraded to a DLC (diamond-like carbon) barrel for only $100 more.
How does it shoot? Very well. Very well indeed. Staccato brags about something they call “FlaTec,” which is just a marketing term for good engineering that helps shooting performance. A compact 9 mm has plenty of recoil, and this is no exception, but did the FlaTec get me back on target more quickly? Maybe. That’s hard to measure, but it felt like it.
One quirk caught my attention. The C’s metal backstrap was uncomfortably noticeable in my shooting hand as the gun recoiled, particularly at its edges—no doubt because my hands are smaller than the hands Staccato’s engineers designed for. It felt much better to shoot with a glove on, and, fortunately, the C’s grip is designed well enough that using a thin glove did not seem to cause any slippage.
In shooting, the trigger certainly did not feel flimsy as I had worried it might—it felt awesome. It’s a very light trigger, as is traditional for 1911 styles, with very little slack and a short reset. The texturing was not aggressive enough to be noticed past the first shot or two, but it did help maintain my trigger finger’s position through recoil—especially helpful when I added the shooting glove. I also did not notice any rubbing from the downward point on the double-undercut trigger guard.
The overall shooting experience was certainly superior to the average, but was it worth the price-point difference? Absolutely. Between the excellent shooting experience and the quality of workmanship, you can’t help but feel great about this choice for concealed carry. This is a gun you know you can bet your life on—it performs, with style. It’s not so much Mr. Wolf, I suppose, as his Acura NSX. “That’s 30 minutes away,” Wolf says. “I’ll be there in 10.”