Editor Tom Marshall breaks down the Staccato C2 compared its single-stack counterpart, the Staccato C.
Back in Concealement Issue 15, we reviewed the STI Staccato C — an officer-sized, single-stack carry version of the now-renowned Staccato P service pistol, currently being issued to dozens of law enforcement agencies around the country, including the U.S. Marshals’ Service elite Special Operations Group.
Since then, two significant changes have come to the 2011 world. First, STI rebranded to Staccato 2011, declaring in no uncertain terms the company’s commitment to its Staccato line of duty-ready production pistols. Secondly, the single-stack Staccato C has been augmented with a double-stack counterpart, the Staccato C2. This model is meant to provide the same reduced footprint, optimized for plainclothes concealed carry, while bringing to bear the high capacity that have made 2011s, as a whole, popular in both the competition and duty-use communities.
Both the C and C2 feature a 3.9-inch barrel and Staccato’s dual-spring RecoilMaster system. We first experienced this take on 1911/2011 recoil springs when shooting the 2019 version of the larger Staccato P in 4.15-inch configuration. The full-size P is now a 4.45-inch gun with the Dawson toolless guide rod system. But the smaller 3.9-inch guns can’t accommodate this setup, so they retain the dual-spring setup. The C2 also features Staccato’s new-for-this-model Officer Double Stack (ODS) frame. The ODS grip module is shortened to take 16-round “officer” mags unique to the C2, while still accepting any of the larger double-stack Staccato sticks that come with other models — available in 17-, 21-, and 36-round capacities. The mouth of the ODS frame is also flared, providing both a pinky rest and integral magwell. For those who want a larger funnel, some bolt-on 2011 magwells will still fit.
THE THIRD OPTION
The debate about red dots on carry guns can hardly be called a debate at this point. The rapid increase in sophistication and reliability of miniature red dots, as well as their steadily decreasing cost, has made these miracles of modern technology available at nearly every price point in one form or another. The Staccato line of pistols was intended to be red-dot-capable from its inception. When we reviewed the single-stack C, it was the only version we knew of that was constricted to iron sights, due to its incredibly slender profile. It was an understandable trade-off.
Since then, carry optics and mounting options have evolved exponentially, making the C2 our first encounter with a Staccato pistol available with three sighting configuration options. If you still prefer a front blade and rear notch, it can be had with a dedicated irons slide. But the C2’s extra girth also permits the use of Staccato’s trademark DUO optics mounting system, which will accept either Leupold’s Deltapoint or anything that uses a Trijicon RMR footprint. In the case of this pistol, there’s a third option available.
At SHOT Show 2020, we ran a version of the single-stack gun equipped with the ultra-compact Sig Romeo Zero optic. Staccato calls the streamlined mounting system used on that gun their Carry Optics mounting system and can mount the Sig Romeo Zero in addition to the Shield RMSc and Holosun K-series optics — all of which will co-witness with the factory irons. This system will also be available on the double-stack C2 for those who prefer to go micro-sized with their optics. Our first experience with the C2 was with this micro-mounting system and a Romeo Zero. The size difference, compared to something like an RMR, is noticeable and will help reduce the potential for printing or snagging on cover garments. But after a couple range days and some time in a carry holster, we settled on a DUO-equipped C2 running a larger Holosun 507 v2. For our carry methods and body type, the larger optic presented no issue, and the bigger window made dot acquisition much easier.
One of the gripes we heard about the first generation of the DUO system was the thickness of its mounting plate for RMR-footprint optics. These plates were purposely overbuilt for end users who may literally be roping out of helicopters or rappelling down buildings with their Staccatos. But it was a complaint all the same. Engineers addressed this system with the 2020 DUO revision, trimming the plate down to 0.2 inch in thickness — better for sure, but not enough for some. Enter C&H Precision Weapon Systems, an aftermarket machine shop that specializes in producing tough, ultralow-profile optics-mounting plates for a variety of red-dot-ready pistols. Their Staccato mounting plate is a measly 0.1-inch thick, featuring an integrated rear sight designed by Staccato pro shooter Hilton Yam of 10-8 Precision. C&H sent us one of these plates, which we sandwiched between our test gun and the 507C before hitting the range for another round of testing.
In the last two-ish years, Staccato has made long strides as a brand to overwrite the conventional wisdom that 2011 pistols are gamer guns requiring mythrial parts and elven magic to run reliably. Changes to materials, machining, and QC requirements have led to duty-ready 2011s riding in the holsters of some of our nation’s finest. The C2 continues this legacy in a size and shape optimized for concealed-carry duty in the hands of responsibly armed citizens. Our range time with the Staccato C2 was exactly what we’ve come to expect this point — boring reliability and one-ragged-hole accuracy regardless of bullet type, weight, or muzzle velocity. We ran everything from 115-grain Fiocchi to subsonic 147-grain from Fenix ammo and Blackwater’s +P offerings.
In terms of shooting experience, there’s no beating physics. The smaller, lighter C2 definitely bucks a little more than its service-sized brethren. The recoil master system does most of the heavy lifting, as was our experience with the Gen 1 Staccato P. In slow fire, the recoil feels slower and almost plush, as if spread out over a longer curve versus other guns in the same size and caliber class. But when you push the gas pedal, it tends to create a bit of a rocking motion. While it’s consistent and predictable, making it possible to effectively “ride the wave,” when compared to larger Staccatos with the Dawson system, the trade-off in size and concealability becomes apparent.
This doesn’t necessarily make us subtract points for the C2. However, it’s why we generally advocate carrying the largest gun you can effectively conceal, balanced by your individual abilities as a shooter. Barrel porting or an effective micro-comp might help mitigate this to some degree, but the bottom line is that small guns in big-gun calibers will always have more recoil to contend with.
The Stacatto C2 DUO with three 16-round magazines will lighten your bank balance by $2,000, hardly a pedestrian entry into the concealed-carry pistol world. But the fit, finish, and performance you get out-of-the-box is substantial. If you’re looking for a premium-pedigree pistol with a now-well-documented track record for both accuracy and reliability and find larger 2011 options to be too hefty to conceal, the C2 family might be more than worth the scratch to put in your holster.
[Photography by Niccole Elizabeth.]
STACATTO C2 DUO
Weight Unloaded: 25 ounces
Magazine Capacity: 16+1 rounds
Length: 7.5 inches
Height: 4.94 inches
Width: 1.3 inches
Barrel: 3.9 inches
Total as Shown: $2,489