I had the pleasure of putting the Staccato P on the range with the new BlackHawk T-SERIES Holster. They invited me to their range, and since they had ammo, I was delighted to oblige. What I found was a combination that could potentially decrease the time for an accurate to target hit for Law Enforcement Officers. Using simple science, this combination could very well be THE Law Enforcement choice for the future.
The Staccato P is a 20 round single action pistol with a billet steel frame and a 4.4 inch bull barrel. It is configured to make any shooter shoot well, which I will explain later.
In the training world, we want to have our equipment as intuitive as possible. That is, the draw stroke shouldn’t contain additional cognitive load for releasing retention, the sights should be easy to acquire, and the gun shouldn’t have operational barriers that take away from natural operation. Moreover, we do not want a holster that releases the gun before the Master Grip is obtained.
The Blackhawk T-SERIES L3D Light-Bearing Red Dot Sight (RDS) Duty Holster was designed around the Master Grip Principle. That is, a gun should not be drawn from the holster until the shooter establishes a Master Grip, the first foundation of a correct shooting platform.
Buck Pierson of Staccato explained to us that Blackhawks agile manufacturing policies really benefitted the Law Enforcement Community. You see, prior to the T Series, few manufacturers were making a complete holster system for the Staccato P, and even fewer had any retention that gave a reasonable level safety to the Officer. Staccato took their need to Blackhawk, who produced a system in an impossible amount of time.
Blackhawk built the T-SERIES Holster backwards. In the manufacturing process, the tooling team, which is the team that executes a design, was brought into the process early. In other words, the design team shared their designs right up front. This new version of collaboration gave them an opportunity to answer the “Can we do that?” questions during the process, not after.
How did that affect the product to the LE officer on the street? The Officer who uses the T-SERIES will notice the same thing I noticed when I was first practicing my draw with one. It is quieter. It doesn’t have the “clop” sound of Kydex (which I like on the range, by the way). The body is polymer but the liner is made of the same material as CV boots in cars. Besides being quiet, what’s the tactical advantage? It won’t freeze, peel, or delaminate. It won’t change dimensions with a change in weather. It is a low friction material which is easy on a gun finish. An Officer in Juneau will have the same experience as one in Tallahassee.
Blackhawk does all of their injection molding in house. This is an advantage, especially when it comes to designing the retention system on a holster.
The T-SERIES uses a locking device that disengages when the user presses the lever between the holster mount and holster body. I found that just sliding my hand into position and gripping the gun released everything, including the Level 3 retention device, which is a strap that goes over the back of the slide. The holster mounted rigidly on this setup. The cant was set for vertical, but it is adjustable. We were given optional leg straps for our use, and I found that I could sit in a chair comfortably with the leg strap on. I recommend it, if the department policy allows it.
When I got settled in with the holster sitting where a duty holster goes, I began to cycle the Staccato P in and out of the T-SERIES Holster. The holster is a jacket slot configuration, and it is mounted solidly to the belt by a platform that attaches the holster body with 3 screws, just below where the thumb goes when the gun is grabbed. Since this mount naturally curves from the belt to the holster body, a person’s thumb rides along it when obtaining a master grip. This curve naturally guided my thumb to the release. One the range line, I wasn’t the only person who noticed this, and we all had different sized hands.
The retention strap that held the slide in place snapped out of the way reliably. When the user slams the gun back into the holster it locks it in. The retaining strap is manually reset for it to go to a Level 3 retention. It also had a removable rotating dust cover for the optic. This cover pops out of the way seamlessly when the draw cycle starts. I didn’t like having mine on there, and it is easily removable.
Although all of the shooters on the range had Staccatos, most of us had P models, but there were a couple of C (compact) models. Most had optics, but there were some open sight models. Almost all of us had either SureFire X300 or X400 weaponlights attached. The T-SERIES is available for several firearms besides the Staccato models, and the light bearing models will accommodate most of the similar configured RDS sights.
Despite the fact that I have been shooting a long time, I am a relative newcomer to the RDS scene, and even more novice at the pistol mounted optics and lights. When I used a pistol mounted light on duty, it was deliberately attached for specific purposes. On duty, I carried an iron sighted Glock without a light. I am quite familiar with single action handguns, but the Staccato guns were completely different, in a modernized way. There you have it: I was shooting a new gun, using a new holster, in a new configuration, in the company of some very competent shooters.
Before I go further, I have to say this: I was a department armorer, and assisted with acquiring firearms for my agency. If I magically transformed back to rangemaster staff of an agency, I would equip them all with Staccato P handguns with Holosun HE509T sights and Blackhawk T-SERIES L3D Light-Bearing Red Dot Sight (RDS) Duty Holster. I found this system to have the shallowest learning curve for a duty set up I have seen for an officer to shoot well, with a moderate amount of practice. Why, even I could operate it well.
The Staccato P has a polymer grip, called 2011 G2, that is attached to the billet sub frame. The grip has aggressive texturing that doesn’t bite the hand as much as it lets the meat and polymer to merge. There is a slight undercut in the trigger guard, near the reversible mag release. This arrangement gives the gun a balance that is very different than conventional guns. This has a lot to do with the 4.4” bull barrel, too. It was designed to fight recoil. I was able to fire much faster controlled pairs with it, and the slick trigger and positive clicks of the safety made it easy to put into action, and quickly make safe. I know we were only shooting Federal 115 grain, but it felt like 22lr.
By the time we got going, everyone was letting go with short bursts; first controlled pairs, then 3’s, 4’s and even 5 shot groups. You guessed it: we, like the rest of America, ran out of ammo before we were done. We did finish with shooting the Staccatos at 50 and 100 yards. If anyone was wondering, I can barely see targets at 100 years. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it. The Staccato P is perfectly capable at 100 yards, and my friend Tom McHale of American Handgunner proved it in front of me.
The Staccato P is completely ambidextrous, customizable, and built in the US by veterans and patriots. It comes with 2x20 round magazines and 1x17 round magazine. They have a Heroes Program, which awards Service Members and First Responders a discount. Staccatos have been adopted by over 270 agencies, including some pretty big ones.