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Staccato CS Review: Best Compact 2011 for Carry?

Staccato's newest pistol, the CS, promises amazing performance in a small package. But does this compact carry gun deserve a spot in your CCW setup?
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    Over the years, Staccato has shown a dedicated interest in evolving. A brand once known for race guns (STI) morphed into something coveted by cops and concealed carriers alike by offering important qualities like accuracy and reliability.

    Recently Staccato released a new model called the CS.

    The whole premise behind the gun was something concealable that didn’t sacrifice those aforementioned qualities.

    We can agree there is a direct correlation between the size and functionality of a gun — tiny guns are easy to hide, but the smaller they get, the harder they are to use.

    Did Staccato strike that balance with the CS? We spent some time testing it at their release event, then took the new pistol out to the range to find out for ourselves.

    So keep reading as we walk through the specs and features, pros and cons, and ultimately do some performance testing at the range.

    Table of Contents


    Pros & Cons


    • Accurate
    • Improved Longevity
    • Reliable


    • Price

    The Bottom Line

    The Staccato CS is akin to bottled lightning; it strikes a nearly perfect balance between concealability and functionality. Accuracy and reliability tested extremely well, and the gun is very easy to control despite being the smallest member of the family. I believe Staccatos can make you a better shooter, but the cost of admission to that club is accordingly expensive.

    Drawing from AIWB.

    Specs & Features


    • Caliber: 9mm
    • Capacity: 16+1
    • Action: Semi-auto
    • Length: 7.1”
    • Barrel Length: 3.5”
    • Height: 5.6”
    • Width: 1.45”
    • Weight: 22.07 oz. (no magazine)


    • Optics ready
    • Three magazines
    • Redundant sights (Dawson Precision)

    Source: Staccato

    at Staccato

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons


    The CS is the newest version of a 2011 — meaning a double-stack, 9mm, aluminum framed, polymer gripped, hammer-fired pistol reminiscent of John Moses Browning’s famous 1911.

    The closest predecessor from Staccato is the C2, which has a longer barrel and slightly wider grip, but same capacity.

    Although similar in many ways, the CS is a departure based upon the reduced grip and newly minted magazine.

    Who Is It For?

    Concealed carriers are the customers of choice for the CS and a wider variety of people at that. Staccato took great pains to make sure their new pistol fits a wider range of hand sizes.

    By comparison, the CS is roughly the size of a Glock 19 but with a shorter slide. However, it performs like a full-sized pistol.

    Toward that end, I could also see this model kicking down the proverbial door to the law enforcement market for those whose hands couldn’t master the P due to size.

    Fit & Feel

    Keeping in mind I have 2X-sized meat hooks, the CS still fits me really well. I had smaller-handed folks tell me it also fits them well too, so Staccato did well to find that middle ground.

    The grip texture is good, like sandpaper, but not nearly as aggressive as the Staccato P. This was done intentionally to prevent hanging up on cover garments.

    The sights are well done. The fiber optic up front is supremely bright in outdoor settings and, because of the height of the rear sight, visible through a mounted optic.

    For this review, we used a Holosun 507C X2, and the pairing was great. This is due primarily to the ability to co-witness the dot and irons.

    at Primary Arms

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    The slide is deeply milled in order for this to be possible, and Staccato has several different mounting plates on its website for different optics.

    The Leupold Delta Point Pro will direct mount to the slide, though.

    Magazines (three included) are easily recognizable as Staccato though they’re markedly slimmer and more narrow.

    The base plates include divots to dig fingers in and forcibly remove should you experience a malfunction.

    During testing, we ran a few brands and weights of ammo. The magazines fed, locked back the slide, and dropped cleanly when called to do so.

    The trigger has a skeletonized, aluminum, curved shoe and broke cleanly at an average 3 pounds 8.5 ounces on a Lyman digital gauge.

    There is very little pre-travel until your finger finds an easily recognizable wall. After breaking, the trigger resets quickly and is both audible and tactile.

    How Does It Shoot?

    There might be an expectation of more snappiness with a shorter gun from Staccato. By comparison with the P, it’s a little bit more so, but only slightly.

    This was more pronounced when we shot defensive ammo through the gun, but it was still very manageable because of the grip. This made follow-up shots a breeze.

    During a slow-motion video segment, I fired four rounds in two seconds to demonstrate the controllability.

    Shooting a torso-sized plate from 10 yards, I had four hits in that time.

    The accuracy was strong also. My final group of five from 7 yards was around an inch, excluding one “flyer” because the target blew forward in the wind.

    The trigger, sights, and general nature of the hammer-fired gun all add up as components to make this accuracy a reality.

    What Sets it Apart?

    First, the grip size is a good move for Staccato because they (likely unintentionally) excluded some potential small-handed customers.

    I’d be curious to see if they circle back to longer barrels and try to adopt this grip size as Walther did with the PDP F.

    Staccato P.

    Next is longevity.

    In the past, I ran a Staccato P through a 3-day training and noticed the slide would start to hang up a bit after a lot of rounds — north of 1,000. Precision manufacturing makes for close tolerances.

    Simply adding oil or cleaning and lubing would always remedy the issue.

    The CS was designed with some new magic “patent pending” tech that Staccato will release more information on in the future.

    Narrow profile.

    Suffice it to say their goal was enabling the gun to run longer without intervention.

    I saw a lot of people shooting the CS during the release event, and despite thousands of rounds going downrange across a number of guns, I didn’t even hear of anyone having an issue.

    Our individual testing, which will be ongoing, has reflected this as well.

    Barrel Length3.5″3.9″4.4″
    Weight22.7oz25oz33 oz
    Capacity16 rnds16 rnds20 rnds
    Staccato CS v. C2 vs P

    By The Numbers

    Reliability: 5/5

    The CS performed flawlessly and ate up Remington UMC 115 grain FMJ, Omusha 124 grain FMJ, and Federal 124 grain JHP defensive ammo.

    Ergonomics: 4/5

    Some controls are easily reached though I had to adjust my grip to hit the magazine release and slide stop, as did smaller-handed shooters. The mag release is not reversible though the thumb safety is ambidextrous.

    Accuracy: 5/5

    Shooting groups while getting used to how the gun performs, I was able to tighten them up nicely.

    Customization: 3/5

    The amount of customization is somewhat limited with this new gun. You can certainly accessorize by adding various red dots, and there is also a rail for mounting a light.

    Value: 3/5

    Without a doubt, $2,500 is expensive for any pistol, but this is a premium handgun that can improve shooter performance.

    Overall: 4/5

    at Staccato

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Upgrades for Staccato CS

    As the CS is a very new gun, there aren’t currently any upgrades available. Shooters can select from the standard curved trigger as well as a flat bow option for an upcharge of $80.

    You can also decide whether you want a compact or full front sight.

    The CS website is handy for the Q&A section letting people know which works best for their optic to establish co-witness.

    Of course, the best upgrade at the moment is that of an optic. As mentioned earlier, we ran a Holosun on ours, but the Leupold Delta Point Pro might also be a good addition.

    at OpticsPlanet

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Final Verdict

    Staccato’s solution to the tiny pistol problem by way of the CS provides hot rod performance that will fit a wider cross-section of the shooting public.

    But better start saving your pennies…since this venture is not a cheap one.

    The CS begins shipping in December will you pony up the cheddar needed to pick up a Staccato CS? Let us know in the comments below and for other good concealed carry options, check out our 12 Best Concealed Carry Guns.

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    35 Leave a Reply

    • Commenter Avatar
      Joseph (JP) Pace

      Picked one up mid Dec.. Added the ACRO P2 and TLR 7 Sub. Based on my experiences with 1k'ish rounds shot so far, your review is spot on. While I'm still an Sig 365 fan, this has become my primary EDC.

      January 11, 2024 3:23 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Improved Longevity- how would you know- it just came out? Aluminum frame- 2500 pffft

      January 24, 2023 7:02 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Michael Crowley

        I guess you missed it where when talking about longevity he was referring to how many rounds you can fire before needing oiling and/or cleaning due to malfunctions.

        December 10, 2023 7:17 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Looks like a clone of the Bul SAS II Ultralight

      November 24, 2022 12:13 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Nice gun but priced way out of range for the average working American. People who live where they need a gun the most are the least likely to be able to afford one. There are plenty of great, reliable, accurate guns price a quarter of cost of a CS.

      November 21, 2022 6:53 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Sean Curtis

        Mikial, you are absolutely correct. I'd even go as far as saying many good options are even less than a quarter of the cost of the CS.

        November 22, 2022 9:36 am
        • Commenter Avatar

          Agreed, Sean.
          And no negative reflection on your article or the gun. Both are great. Just thinking about the times as they are.

          November 26, 2022 3:44 pm
          • Commenter Avatar
            Al M

            Hard to argue with that. The fact is you can get an ultra reliable G19 for 1/5 of the cost and then throw any accessory you want on it and have a bunch of money left over. Staccatos certainly aren’t aimed at that crowd searching for necessity, but man are they sweet. I definitely don’t NEED one, but they are on the wish list for sure.

            December 4, 2022 7:12 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Why in the known world of fine gun ownership would one not clean a pistol prior to 1,000 much less 4,000 rounds?

      November 19, 2022 4:38 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Sean Curtis

        Platt that's a great point. One answer is laziness. I know plenty of people who don't clean their Glocks because they can get away with it. Anything you potentially depend on for your life should be well maintained though.

        November 21, 2022 7:35 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      XL Owner

      While I appreciate Staccato going progressively smaller, this seems like an odd addition. It's not really that much smaller to merit getting it over a C2, just a bit shorter, so you'd have just as much problems concealing it. Might as well go C2 and have it be "more standard". Am I missing something here? I believe the author has seen both, so is this more or less correct?

      I'd also love to see a side-by-side comparison of high end carry guns. Something like C2 versus a Wilson Combat ECD 9XS versus a Nighthawk Custom Counselor, etc. I'm sure I'm missing something in that list. Finally, while doing said comparisons it'd be nice if PPT did MOA accuracy groupings for the guns they evaluate. Keep up the great work!

      November 18, 2022 11:16 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Sean Curtis

        XL Owner, I haven't spent any time with a C2, but I might have to arrange it after all the comparisons. The measurements alone do not always tell the story of how a gun performs or feels in the hand.

        Regarding MOA, are you referring to pistols? We do that for rifles, but I'm not sure how applicable that would be for pistols. Can't imagine that without a Ransom Rest...

        November 18, 2022 5:30 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I love my Staccto's! The price is high but damn you get what you pay for.
      If I didn't already have a C2 I'd get a CS

      November 18, 2022 9:21 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Sean Curtis

        I almost feel like that would make for a good comparison itself. If you had small-medium sized hands, you might be better off with a CS. Otherwise, you've got to wonder what the "patent pending" references are about. Staccato has done some tinkering and will reveal some other benefits in time.

        November 18, 2022 5:26 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Daniel S.

      As much as I'm not sure I'm going to get one (at least not any time soon) it's hard to dispute the unmatched aesthetics of one. Nice review!

      November 17, 2022 7:55 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Sean Curtis

        Thank you Daniel, they are beautiful and run as good as they look.

        November 18, 2022 5:23 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Javier Antonio Quinones Ortiz

      Expensive toy…

      November 17, 2022 6:55 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Sean Curtis


        November 17, 2022 7:05 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Gary D Giannini

        Guns Are not toys!!!

        November 18, 2022 3:59 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Good review. Unfair verdict. Who needs customization for Staccato? Customization is needed only for a gun which shoots like a toy and needs to be customized to shoot properly (fe. G-Perfection).

      November 17, 2022 5:22 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Sean Curtis

        I won't argue the point Shooter. It's a damn fine pistol and really doesn't need any customization.

        November 17, 2022 6:47 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Howard Lee

      Nice. A holosun on this gun. thumbsup for holosun.

      November 17, 2022 4:33 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Sean Curtis

        Love love love Holosun Howard!

        November 17, 2022 6:47 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Monte Walsh

      ‘Bout 2 years ago a client showed up with 3 different Staccato configurations. First time I took one for a test drive, then the other and then the 3rd. They’re worth it without a doubt, the control and balance, second to none. Obviously you carry the best you can afford, nothing wrong with that. From experience the base Staccato will out perform a number of other manufacturers race guns ( I’m a Glock guy). Some people prefer a old malt scotch or 1 barrel whiskey to well shots. Never really know until you try ‘em.

      November 17, 2022 4:19 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Sean Curtis

        Monte, you make some great points here and I agree. Being in the media side of things I'm exposed to a lot of hype. Staccatos perform at another level, enough so that I think they can make the average shooter better. I say that with almost a decade of being a firearms instructor.

        November 17, 2022 6:50 pm
        • Commenter Avatar
          Monte Walsh

          Yep, I know of a few mil and LE units that switched for that reason, their people shoot better and overall are more proficient with them. Kinda like buying a pistol from a sporting goods store or waiting and getting a Wiley Clapp…
          Seen specific weapons make all the difference ( I’m old, been doing this since late 70s) still fun though!

          November 17, 2022 7:19 pm
          • Commenter Avatar
            Sean Curtis

            Right, I think there are over 700 LE agencies using Staccato now. There's good reason. Thanks for stopping by Monte!

            November 18, 2022 5:22 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      No Sig for Sid!

      If a handgun is over $2K, it's not a "carry gun"... it's a designer hand bag with a barrel.
      My Glock 19 with RMR, TLR-7A, Tenicor holster, and three mags is half the price, and twice the spice...
      //Signed (with love),
      No Sig For Sid!
      P.S. Sig is still mass market trash. Glock is perfection.

      November 17, 2022 3:52 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        I definitely agree.

        November 17, 2022 6:49 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Sean Curtis

        Thanks for stopping by Sid, your next round is on me.

        November 17, 2022 6:51 pm
        • Commenter Avatar
          No Sig for Sid!

          You, sir... are a gentlemen.
          If, by "round", you mean "beer"... Sid drinks only the finest Guinness.
          If, by "round", you mean "cartridge"... Sid only shoots his 9mm Luger out of "perfection" (Glock)
          Thank you for your contributions to this excellent community,
          //Signed (graciously),
          No Sig for Sid!

          November 18, 2022 7:44 am
          • Commenter Avatar
            Sean Curtis

            Either way, we're set. Go in peace my friend, I love Glocks too.

            November 18, 2022 5:24 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        To each his own really, alot of $! For "me" I like the middle ground, a Gst-9 frame feels alot better. If the Staccato was $1,500 I'd buy one, but it's not... Kinda like comparing a designer bag to a colostomy bag. Ymmv.

        November 18, 2022 1:28 pm
        • Commenter Avatar
          Sean Curtis

          Yep, we all have to make that decision about what level of performance is acceptable at what price.

          November 18, 2022 5:31 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        glock- pffft.

        January 24, 2023 7:06 am
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