In a break from the typical “First Shots” format, today I’m not actually shooting a new gun for the first time, per se. Rather, I wanted to acknowledge the name change of STI International to Staccato, and discuss the cause of the change and what it might mean for the artist formerly known as STI—at least from my perspective.
I may be among the minority in Internetland, because I actually feel like I understand and agree with—or, at least, I don’t disagree with—the change. I’m not going to give a history lesson on the company, but suffice it to say the STI name and it’s double-stack 2011 platform has been most recognizable within competitive shooting circles. And, given the size—large—and features most commonly associated with the guns—comps, rails, flared magwells, etc.—it’s fair to characterize STI as a company that catered to the competitive shooting market, probably to the exclusion of the personal defense and duty/LE markets. (Standby for the gnashing of teeth and rending of clothes). However, both of the latter consumer pools are many times larger, and more lucrative, than the population of competitive shooters in need of a new pistol. So, if the company wanted to grow, it would need to open its tent and expand its catalog.
Enter the Staccato. Taking a shot (punny, right?) at both of the aforementioned markets, STI International introduced a compact single-stack for personal defense, the Staccato-C, and a series of duty-ready Staccato-P 2011s. The new guns had sensible features given their intended roles, were priced appropriately, and made STI and its increased-capacity 2011 platform more accessible to legions of shooters—myself included. Whether a 1911 aficionado or a Glock fanboy, firearm enthusiasts are always looking for more, and the STI Staccatos offered something for most everyone. In short order, the guns were a huge success, and demand for Staccatos quickly overshadowed STI’s legacy offerings, and is currently allowing the company to reach new heights in terms of production, recognition and popularity.
So why the name change? Did STI have to morph into Staccato? Of course not, but the company had already been through several ownerships and evolutions, so I understand the desire for a clean start. (Also, in the age of Google, there was the added and very practical incentive to disassociate from an acronym that may return search images of inflamed nether regions.) The growth of Staccato as a brand provided the opportunity. It happens in all businesses and industries; on occasion, the brand relevance and recognition for a product or product line supersedes that of the parent company. In large corporations, that is often a goal, managers want their brands to take on lives of their own and develop customer loyalty and interest. Sometimes, brands even get spun off into independent business entities. STI International was not a large corporation, but management recognized that the Staccato brand offered a bigger and brighter future for the company, its employees and its products.
Information on the change and the new product lineup is still forthcoming. In the meantime, I would urge patience and calm (if you regularly wear a jersey to the range, I’m looking at you). I’ve seen a few posts from the more excitable keyboard commandos, and I think their concerns will be largely unfounded. For those newly introduced to Staccato, welcome. It’s a cool company with cool products that run the gamut from personal defense, to duty and, yes, competition. And if you’re in the market for a 2011 from the company the created the platform, I’m sure representatives are eager to meet you over at staccato2011.com.