Monday, September 27, 2021

Monday Musings

Staccato XC vs Nighthawk TRS-Comp

By Pudge

I called Mack and told him I was going to do another handgun comparison and he was very happy to know it was going to be a little different than some of the budget blasters I’ve compared before. (It’s also nice to not have to use Mack’s favorite piece of tupperware as the comparison piece!) Today are some quick musings between the Staccato XC and the Nighthawk TRS-Comp.

I was fortunate enough to pick up my own Staccato XC about a month ago. I decided to get one as a gift to myself and knowing that I would be using it to protect my family and teach others how to protect theirs, was all the justification I needed. I have been running this handgun exclusively for the past month so when I was recently given the chance to try out a Nighthawk TRS-Comp, I jumped at the chance to see if I chose correctly or poorly. (I do have to preface this with the fact that I was only able to shoot and handle the Nighthawk a little, but I do still believe I had enough time to give a decent comparison.)

The Staccato (new name for the old STI handguns) XC is somewhat of a cross between the duty line of current Staccatos and the legacy STI competition guns. I have been extremely impressed with mine. It has done everything I want of it so far. The Nighthawk TRS-Comp is their first, designed from the ground, double stack 1911 or 2011 offering. Before this Nighthawk has given the option of a double stack upgrade on their handguns but this is the first model they have offered only in double stack. Both guns have an integrated compensator into the barrel, they have full length dust covers with rail for lights, and have a standard 17 round capacity (they use the same magazines).

Now let us discuss differences. The Staccato has a polymer grip whereas the Nighthawk has an aluminum grip. The Staccato uses a curved trigger, Nighthawk a flat trigger. The Staccato has forward serrations that also help reduce slide weight, Nighthawk comes standard without (however you can get slide serrations as an extra option). The front sight on the Staccato is green fiber optic, Nighthawk has a nice gold bead. The Staccato comes with the ability to mount an optic standard, Nighthawk you can add this option. The Staccato has an ambi-safety, Nighthawk only has a standard one-sided safety that most of us 1911 users are accustomed to. There are some other miniscule differences between the two that are pretty much negligible in the scope of this comparison.

Working on my cellphone photography skills!

The setup I was lucky enough to test out.


What do all those differences really mean? The fit and finish on both are amazing, which should be expected of guns in this price bracket, with the slight edge going to the Nighthawk. The optic mounting system of Nighthawk is vastly superior to that of Staccato. It allows you to use standard height sights instead of suppressor height. It also allows the optic to sit lower in the slide making the transition to a red dot easier and the Nighthawk puts the rear sight in front of the optic which has many benefits. The lack of forward serrations on an optic equipped pistol can be gotten over but I prefer them, so Staccato gets the nudge in this part of functionality. Again, most of this is all personal preference so what about the most important aspect, shootability. I think the Staccato takes a large lead here. The slide seemed to run flatter and quicker on the Staccato along with less felt recoil. The felt recoil is in large part to the polymer grip on a steel frame. It helps absorb and dissipate recoil better than the aluminum grip of the Nighthawk. The slide runs extremely flat on both guns but the Staccato shows less muzzle flip which is crucial for getting rounds on target in quick succession. Now, this is very nitpicky because either handgun will outperform even the best shooters out there but we are comparing higher end handguns so it is a game of inches to find the best. I also would never scoff at the opportunity to get or even shoot the Nighthawk again because it was a solid piece of mechanical engineering.

Some of the other important comparisons to end with. The Staccato XC can be had for $4,300 right now, or for a little less if you are Military or LE and go through their Heroes Program. However, that will make it a 3-6 month wait. With the Nighthawk you are looking at least 11 months from time of order to in your hands and $4,600 standard setup and around $5,000 setup similarly to the XC with the option to mount an optic.

You cannot go wrong with either of these choices, but for now I am very pleased and extremely content with my choice to go with the Staccato XC.

My XC at work! (This thing shoots amazing)


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Tuesday Tips

 Wobbly Surefire Fix

By Pudge


Hey everybody! Still alive and coming at you with a quick tip today.

I'm sure if  you run a Surefire X300A of any sort you notice a little woble. They best way I've found is to put a little strip of the soft side of velcro on the back of the light. I prefer the self-adhesive type so that I can just stick it and forget about it. It will make the light lock up tight no matter what platform you run it on.  








Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Weapons Wednesday -Winchester Short Mag - Take Two

 So, what's the best way to deal with the ammo panic? Dry fire? Reloading? Hoarding?

None of the above! The best thing to do is buy a rifle in a hard to fine caliber that is loaded only seasonally!


I like Model 70s. And I have come around to the short magnum bastard cartridges. 

And when my best friend Huck called and said:

"Hey, I'm looking at a Model 70 Ultimate Shadow in three hundred short mag. Guy only wants four bills for it. You in?" 

I of course said sure and promptly got into the truck. 


I like yellow and orange 

Excuse the potato quality cell phone pics. 



I had a VX-II 4-12x40mm lying around and it dropped right on there. Warne rings and bases because I get those damn free from work .


The Model 70 Ultimate Shadow is a new production, pre 64 designed gun made right before Winchester went bankrupt and got gobbled up by FNH. 

Super lightweight; ergonomic, easy handling rifle. And hey, I still got 300 WSM on the shelf at the store. 


Thanks for stopping buy. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Tuesday Update

 Hey, is this on? 

Y'all still there?


So, lets have some fun life updates and hopefully a Weapons Wednesday tomorrow. 

Um, Pudge has decided that jumping out of airplanes full time was getting old. And that he wanted to grow wheat. So he moved out to the heartland. 

And I got the Covids. Again. But like for real this time. 

Oh, and I am in the process of becoming a State Game Warden. And holy crap. I'm fat. 


But. Your Counter Jockey team is here and still kicking. Kinda. 


Thanks for stopping buy. 

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Slinging Lead Saturday

Just some pictures of a few Saturdays ago getting to do some blasting as the 'Counter Jockey Blog Team.' Now we just need to get back out there and keep working some of the drills we found and like. I'm always looking for new drills so please comment with your favorites.


Mack being a great 'dummy' for the camera!


A little carbine action.


Because I really want to be a cool commando.


A couple of nice tools.






Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Tuesday Tips

Realistic Targets-
By Pudge

After a long hiatus for life, we’re back with another Tuesday Tips. I’m going to discuss a very simple yet effective way to help make your 2d, cardboard target a little more realistic. It will also help you get a better idea of your natural aim point when there is no ‘scoring ring’ to aim at.

I took a regular IPSC/USPSA target and put a t-shirt over it. This helps make the target look a little more like something you may have to shoot at should the time arise. I just used an extra t-shirt that I had laying around. I prefer to use black t-shirts because they simulate the most extreme scenario. The black hides any hits you’ve made while also making you work for your sights as it creates very little contrast. (Especially if you are running black on black irons.)





My target after 9 rounds.


Mack blasting away!

Doing this allows you to see where you might aim in a self-defense scenario. I’ve never really had an issue even with low contrast targets but as you can see, I tended to be inline, just a smidge low. Still effective hits but nice to know I should aim a little higher than I think. Go try it out and you might be surprised what you find out.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Tsundoku Tuesday - Pacific War Trilogy

 As a meta intro, the thought of using a Japanese word to begin a book review gave me a bit of a Bud Light induced chuckle. 

A bit of backstory:

Georgia Southern University, 2009

Our protagonist was in a bit of a bind. He had drawn a pretty good topic for his term paper in Early U.S. History, 1787 to 1830; HIST 2500 class. In fact, his topic was so easy as to lead to a bit of complacency. You, see our protagonist, spent four years of high school in NJROTC. And was a bit of a history nerd. So the topic " The Continental Navy and the early U.S. Navy" seemed like a piece of cake. Which was good because our protagonist was very busy with sorority girls and cheap beer. 

And then the next thing you know, it is 2045 on the night before the paper is do. The library is closed. But the local Barnes and Noble says they have a copy of "Six Frigates" in stock. And with a bit of creative sourcing, our hero is able to finish his paper, secure a B in the course, and have a lot of fun at the AOII Christmas party. 

*Insert picture her of me with a cardigan sweater and reindeer antlers on here*

So, ever since then I've really liked Ian Toll. 

He has recently finished the last book of his "Pacific Trilogy" concerning the war between the USA and Empire of Japan from 1941 to 1945. I've become a big fan here lately of the historical view that the Pacific War was damn near separate from WWII in Europe. Mister Toll is also a big proponent of that view.

The first book in his series is entitled "Pacific Crucible" and covers then period of 8 Dec 1941 until the Battle of Midway. And is very well done. I have a few minor quibbles in regards to how he formats some rank abbreviations and squadron designations. Also, I'm that guy. I like footnotes on the page where they are cited. So I can highlight then and there without having to refer to the index or bibliography. 

And the War in the Pacific has been rehashed a hundred different times. Mister Toll is very concise but doesn't really present anything new or Earth shattering. 

That being said; I still whole heartedly recommend his trilogy because of one cogent point.

He is rightfully appreciative and does his level best to give generous and due credit to the pre-war regulars. Both officers and enlisted. He gives them the credit for winning the war. Which they so rightfully deserve and are so often neglected for. The war began in earnest on 8 Dec 1941. We won it on 6 Jun 1942. The IJN just didn't realize it yet.

And the guys that held the line and won the war were all pre-war regulars, for good or ill. And they did their jobs. And did them well in spite of obsolete equipment and horrendous pay.

Ian Toll finally gives them their due. Can't recommend his books enough.

Monday Musings

Staccato XC vs Nighthawk TRS-Comp By Pudge I called Mack and told him I was going to do another handgun comparison and he was very happy t...