Well, I did it. I finally got my hands on a Staccato P. I’ve been itching to get my hands on one of these for almost three years now. Granted the itch has come and gone a few times, but nevertheless it’s been there and with a little bit of help here we are.
The very first time I got my hands on a Staccato P was about three years ago when the late Sean Hoffman let me shoot his Staccato P while I attended his Tactical Pistol/Rifle class in 2019 in an effort to help me understand gun fit. That was the one and only time I actually got to shoot one before this review. There were a few other occasions where I was able to hold one and dry fire it between now and then, but that was about it.
While I was always curious about the Staccato P and other recent Staccato variants, I didn’t mind them much for a couple of reasons. First off I was a new shooter and actively avoided anything other than striker fired pistols so I could focus on learning how to shoot with the simplest manual of arms available. The second was that Staccatos, like a lot of other 2011 pistols, aren’t exactly budget friendly. Let’s be honest, they are quite expensive. Of course that price is relative. In the world of defensive pistols, Staccatos are certainly pricey. However in the world of 2011s and specifically in the world of pistol competitions, the Staccato is actually quite affordable.
How much are we talking about exactly? Well, the starting MSRP for a new Staccato P is right around $2100. However, the Staccato P can be built to order with some personalization. With all the bells and whistles, which includes an optics-ready option, an installed Trijicon RMR, a diamond like carbon (DLC) coated threaded bull barrel, custom engravings, X-series serrations on the slide, the new improved grip texture on your choice of a steel or aluminum frame, and a compensator, then one is looking at about $4100. While that price might seem steep in the defensive pistol world, it is still, for all intents and purposes, quite affordable in the 2011 competition pistol world.
What does one get for two to four thousand dollars? One gets:
- The pistol with the selected features and personalization,
- a soft pistol case with a Staccato P patch,
- a manual,
- a cable lock,
- the tools needed to maintain the pistol,
- two seventeen (17) round flush fitting magazines,
- and one twenty (20) round 140mm extended magazine.
Let’s walk the Staccato P I got my hands on from the muzzle to the grip.
From the muzzle, we start with the thread protector for the 4.4 inch DLC coated bull barrel the Staccato P I got my hands on was equipped with which is stupid accurate. Far more accurate than I am, but more on that in a bit.
Following the threaded barrel we find the front of the slide. In the case of this particular Staccato P, the slide did not have X-series serrations. On the top of the front of the slide we find the fiber optic Dawson Precision front sight. Following the slide to the rear is the Dawson Precision optic system which includes a fixed black serrated rear sight. Both the front and the rear sight are tall compared to the fixed iron sight version of the Staccato P which function in conjunction with the Dawson Precision optic system adapter plates to provide back-up iron sights when an optic is installed.
Under the slide we find the steel frame which includes a 1913 accessory rail in the front. Moving back along the frame, we find a 1911 single-action trigger. The 1911 single action trigger is one of the characteristics which makes the 2011 platform extremely attractive to competitive pistol shooters. The trigger itself has almost negligible take up before hitting a distinctly positive wall which breaks crisply right around 4 lbs. The reset on the trigger is exceptionally short. All in all, the factory trigger is fantastic.
Right above the trigger on the left side of the gun we find the 1911 style slide lock and release. Behind that we find ambidextrous 1911 thumb safety controls which are followed by an extended beavertail. Above that, we have a skeletonized hammer. Below it, we have the notorious beavertail safety which is large and very easy to engage.
This Staccato P was equipped with the improved TacTexture polymer grip. The texture feels very much like fine grained sandpaper or grip tape and provides excellent grip. While the trigger reach isn’t terribly long, the grip itself is wide enough that it may give folks with small hands a little trouble. Specifically with reaching and actuating the reversible magazine release button which is installed in a traditional right-handed configuration by default. However, the wide frame and grips are necessary in order to accommodate the double stack 9mm magazines that hold seventeen, twenty, or twenty-six rounds. The removable flared magazine well device at the bottom of the grip makes inserting a magazine child’s play. The double stack capacity is another characteristic that makes the 2011 platform attractive to competitors.
While it may sound like we have a large and heavy gun with a healthy 9mm magazine capacity that competitors may fawn over, the Staccato P is intended primarily for duty and home defense use. Even though it certainly is a large and heavy pistol, given the right holster, physical morphology, and attitude, this pistol can be carried concealed. This intended design is worth noting because 2011s, especially those built with competition in mind, are infamous for being finicky about ammunition and requiring significant tuning to get them running reliably. It should go without saying that reliability is by far the most important attribute of a defensive pistol.
So how does the Staccato P shoot? The good folks at GunMag Warehouse, who I don’t have a financial relationship with as of writing this post, were kind enough to send me a few hundred rounds of 124gr CCI Blazer Brass FMJ and 124gr Federal Premium Punch to test out. The results were phenomenal. Not a single malfunction occurred and the groups were exceptionally small (when I took my time and did my part).
Everything about this gun was beyond satisfactory. The recoil and muzzle rise from the 9mm cartridges were mild which I’m sure the size and weight of the pistol were a significant contributing factor. The action was super smooth. It was as if the gun was ambivalent to the shooting style. Slow and precise? No problem. Fast and accurate? Easy as pie.
It’s difficult to describe how this gun feels in the hands. Even though the gun is large and relatively heavy (especially when outfitted with the optional steel frame), it is anything but clunky. Quite the opposite really. I suppose if I were to pick one word for, then that word would be “refined”. All the controls and components are fitted remarkably well with tight tolerances. Nothing jiggles. Nothing rattles. Nothing jerks. It’s reminiscent of a well built custom 1911 which is not surprising given the pedigree of the 2011 platform.
Perhaps the best way to describe the Staccato is using a car analogy. A Staccato is like a Cadillac. It’s luxury without exuberance. The craftsmanship is unmistakable yet subtle. Precision and performance are at its core without sacrificing control or comfort.
Is it worth the two to four thousand smackaroos? This is a tough question to answer. There are a lot of facets to consider. On one hand as a defensive pistol, the gun is phenomenal. On the other hand as a defensive pistol, it’s a significant amount of money for a tool, which is certainly reliable and capable of protecting life, that might end up confiscated and locked up after a defensive encounter. To some that might not be an issue. To others that price tag will cause pause. So much pause that some folks may opt to not train or practice with it in order to minimize wear and tear.
As a pistol for competition, it’s a good starting point for some shooting disciplines. However, I’m not convinced that it’s the best place to start. This is because from the factory it will place the competitors in the same division with race pistols that have lighter triggers, slide-mounted optics, and compensators. This is just my opinion, but it might be worthwhile to put that money towards the Staccato XC or Staccato XL which are better suited for competitive tasks. Even then, that money might be better spent with a custom 2011 designed for competitive applications.
At the end of the day, I can’t imagine a Staccato P owner being disappointed. They are phenomenal pistols after all.