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A Gun Fit For A Knife Fight: A One-of-One Project Pistol with Custom Bladesmith Michael Quesenberry

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Photos courtesy of Staccato

Bourbon and cigars. Steak and lobster. Peanut butter and jelly. What do they all have in common? Each is an artful marriage of two good things that, when combined just right, produce an experience more refined — and more impactful — than their individual components. Such is the case with this unique pistol, nicknamed “The Staccatoberry.” 

Mike Quesenberry started making knives in 2005 and earned his Mastersmith stamp from the American Bladesmith Society in 2014. He is a true artisan, crafting knives from conceptual design through final polish. Quesenberry prides himself on doing everything in-house and has a particular passion for steel work — doing his own heat treating, cryogenic treating, and Damascus. 

For those unfamiliar, what we now call Damascus steel is created by “pressure welding” two different steel alloys together. Super-heat both steels, then physically press them together with a hammer or hydraulic press. Then, you fold the layers back and forth on each other, which creates the distinct wavy grain pattern that most people associate with Damascus. 

The alloys used, the particulars of the pressure-welding, and the folding pattern are all unique from maker to maker. This process is complicated and time-consuming, and it’s one for which Quesenberry has developed a reputation. When Staccato wanted to produce a truly unique version of their iconic XC model, they teamed up with Quesenberry to produce a pair of functional art pieces.

Quesenberry handmade the Damascus steel that Staccato then machined into an XC slide to create the pistol shown here. The same steel was also used to produce a matching folding knife to accompany the pistol. 

As our subtitle states, this pistol is a true one-off with custom serial number “Q1” and subtle Quesenberry signature engraved on the slide, just below the ejection port. The gun will be auctioned off to support Fallen Blue, a nonprofit organization founded in 2021 for the sole purpose of easing the financial burdens on families of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. 

The organization operates nationwide, and issues grants to individual families based on need to cover everything from housing and transportation to medical and educational costs. Keep an eye on Fallen Blue’s website for updates on the auction and your chance to bid on this one-of-a-kind intersection between custom bladesmithing and high-end pistol production. 



Quesenberry Knives:

Fallen Blue:

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