Over the years I have read often about Hi-Point pistols, and developed a curiosity. Every firearms discussion board on the internet has at least several lengthy discussions, some people cursing the gun as a piece of junk, and others praising its virtues to high heaven. So finally curiosity got the best of me, and I plunked down $139 plus tax, etc., at a local pawn shop, for my very own, brand new, Hi-Point C9 9mm firearm. Here's a picture of it in the box:
I took off the label, the trigger lock, and the little yellow chamber insert, and cleaned it up a bit, and put a Hogue slip-on over the grip. It felt heavy, but comfortable in my hand, a lot like my old Ruger P95 that I had sold a year ago to a friend. (The Ruger actually weighed 3 ounces more than the Hi-Point C9, 28 vs 25 oz.) I liked the heft of the gun in my hand, but the slide spring seemed really strong, and difficult to slingshot. (My opinion is that this gun is not for those who have some weakness in their hands and fingers.) The trigger felt good, light (about four pounds I think) and crisp (though I would not say it is like glass breaking!) Certainly no worse than a light GLOCK trigger. No worse than my old Ruger P95. The C9 is single-action-only, and IF I were to use this gun for concealed carry, I might carry it cocked, with a round in the chamber, and the safety switch "on." (Note: the manufacturer recommends NOT to do this!) That would be 8+1. Not a high capacity, but "OK." Ten round magazines are available, but I haven't seen or tried the ten-rounder.
Here's what it looks like from the left.
Here's what it looks like from the right.
These are the specs and measurements from the Hi-Point website:
The sights are clear and good:
I purchased the gun on December 22, and was not able to get to the range until today, December 28. I went with a couple of friends, and between the three of us we were shooting the Hi-Point C9, a Kel-Tec 357 SIG, a Ruger Redhawk .44 magnum revolver, a Bersa .380 and a SIG .45.
We got off to a fun start, because one of my friends was having trouble with his brand new SIG .45! It wouldn't chamber a round very easily, and then the cartridge would fire sometimes, and so on. He couldn't figure out his problem. So I looked at his pistol, and then his brass. Here's what his brass looked like after firing:
Wow! So I looked a little closer at his brass, and guess what?! He had been trying to shoot 40S&W out of his .45! Well, his gun was OK, and no one got hurt, so I guess we all learned a valuable lesson.
I came to the range with a 100 round box of Winchester Valu Pak, and I was determined to shoot all hundred rounds from the Hi-Point C9, just to see if it really was a reliable gun. Well, it IS a reliable gun. I shot all 100 rounds with absolutely no problems whatsoever. No failures to chamber. No failures to eject. No stovepipes. Nada. Zip. All 100 rounds fired off perfectly!
I felt like I was shooting my good old Ruger P95 all over again. It felt good in my hand, and was as accurate as I can handle. This gun is a "sweet" shooter. I was shooting standing, off-hand, no support, and shooting 6 inch groups at 7 yards. I imagine a better marksman than I would get even better groups. (I'm 59 with glasses and things look a bit fuzzy at 7 yards.) But 6 inch groups at 7 yards is perfectly adequate for self-defense, and I'm happy with the accuracy of the C9. I was impressed also at how the short, light trigger makes it possible to fire off a lot of shots very quickly.
NOTE ABOUT TRIGGER: My friend Wade from Florida wrote me that his C9 had a terribly strong trigger. If you buy a C9 and get a really bad trigger, please don't think that is normal for the C9, because the trigger is normally very good. I suggested to Wade that he return his C9 to Hi-Point. However, even with the abnormally bad trigger, Wade found his C9 to be a good shooter. Here is what he wrote, along with two of his target photos....
"i got it and shot it today, 10/8/10, for the first time. i shot 154 rounds through it and it was perfect, no failures at all! the only issue i have is...the trigger is really hard to pull. my finger was sore from it. is there anything that can be done to correct this? any info would be greatly appreciated! anyway, here's my targets from today...i have a lot of improvments to make, but it's a start....this is a 14 shot group at 21 feet. the inner circle with the black dot is 3 inches inside width. the black dot in the middle is 9/16 of an inch."
"...this yellow silouette target is 140 shots. 25 at 15 feet and 115 at 21 feet. quite a few rapid fire clips. the red bullseye area on the head is 1 3/16 of an inch wide and the center mass red bullseye area is 1 1/2 inches wide. the rear sight needs to be adjusted as you can tell the groups are low."
"...the range officer shot it as well and even he was surprised at how hard the pull is. so i emailed the company tonight and asked them about lightening up the pull. hopefully the will get back to me first of next week and tell me they can do it because i do love this gun and don't want to get rid of it for this one issue....what else i really liked is that it's heavy, and easy to target. after shooting the 150 fmj's in it i put in some 147 hydrashoks and it fired those with perfection, no hang ups, etc. my brother is getting one of these these tomorrow..."
Here's a picture of the rifling in the barrel:
This is what Hi-Point says about cleaning: "Although some customers who have Hi Point Firearms are capable of it, MKS recommends that you do not take the gun apart. The exploded view in the manual is not intended to be a detailed disassembly guide. It is really just to note the basic steps for those who feel qualified. The way MKS recommends to clean a Hi Point is to blow the inner area out with a mild aerosol solvent once or twice a year. (Of course wear eye protection). This gets out any accumulated grime and dirt that may have been attracted and held in there by the oil. Clean the barrel with a good bore solvent after you get home from shooting. This is all we do after thousands of rounds of shooting. Oil lightly, and the gun is ready for the next session of shooting. If you feel that you must take the gun apart, but need help, please phone the factory and talk with a mechanic there. They can be reached at (419) 747-9444 Mon.-Thurs. 7am-5pm EST.
So I'm going to heed Hi-Point's advice. I'm not going to take the gun apart for thorough cleaning as I do my other pistols. I'm just going to clean it out lightly as suggested, and see how many rounds I can go before it starts to mal-function. It will be fun to see what happens. And with Hi-Point, I have nothing to lose. There is a life-time warranty, and by all accounts on the internet discussion boards the customer service is quick and good.
I have only one true negative with regard to this weapon: the capacity of the C9 is only 8+1. How nice it would be if the C9 carried 15 rounds! But this gun is a terrific value at $139!
I plan to get some Corbon DPX 9mm rounds, and try in the C9 for reliability and accuracy. If they function well, I will use that cartridge IF I ccw this gun. (I probably WON'T cc, because my p3at is so handy for that.) I'll add that range report to this page, ASAP.
For loads more information on Hi-Point firearms, I have created a "Hi-Point Link Central," which you may enjoy checking out. You may enjoy my other website, too: www.mouseguns.com
Update: May 10, 2007. I had an opportunity to go shooting today, so I grabbed my C9 and a100-round box of Winchester ValuPak, and headed for Prentice Cooper Range near Chattanooga. The shorter handgun range stations were occupied, so I shot from the 18 yard range (that's how it measures by my stepping it off.) The C9 functioned without flaw, except that I had to refrain from loading the magazines to full capacity. Loaded with six or seven rounds, no problem. Loaded with eight rounds, the first round wouldn't chamber. (I understand this is a very common magazine situation with the C9.) I was pleased with the accuracy of the C9. Shooting standing without support I was hitting four and five inch groups with not much effort. Here's a scan of one of my targets:
Check out HI POINT CENTRAL for lots of links to Hi-Point info, both pistols and carbines.