Hi-Point 9mms may be cheap, but they'll get the job done.
When it comes to semi-automatic polymer frame firearms, there is one name that makes most shooters wince when they hear it. Hi-Point firearms. We know, we know. These guns don't exactly have a sterling reputation. These guns are dirt cheap and it shows. These guns may not have the nicest fit and finish.
And the Hi-Points certainly are not lookers, often considered some of the ugliest guns on the planet. However, if you need a firearm that will go bang every time you pull the trigger, and you need it cheap, a Hi-Point will do that. Because despite their reputation, these things have been thoroughly torture-tested by many shooting YouTube channels. They can withstand a ton of abuse, sometimes even more than guns from Glock or Smith & Wessons in some situations.
Today we're looking at Hi-Point's offerings chambered for 9mm Luger. While you shouldn't expect precision and match-grade shooting quality out of these semi-auto guns, if you're looking for an American-made, super-budgeted 9mm, any of these will fit the bill.
The C9 is the striker-fired 9mm pistol that most people know from Hi-Point. For those who may be thinking: "That slide is huge." Well, you're not wrong on that. Hi-Points have larger slides than normal on all their caliber models. That's because these guns use a blowback action to cycle and the larger slide is a necessity. This is one of the things many people consider to be ugly about these firearms. However, function over form. The design does work, so those complaints are superficial at best.
The frame of these guns is made from a high-impact polymer and it can take a beating. Hi-Point says their guns are either black powder coated or receive a hydro-dipping finish in digital desert, woodland camo or pink country girl camos. These finishes bring the price of the gun up about $30, but the C9 still usually falls under the $200 mark.
One downside is that the C9 is a single stack firearm. The capacity is 8+1 rounds for the standard model. They do have 10-round magazines on the market, but the capacity still falls far beneath many other compact 9mms on the market. However, keep in mind that most experts say the majority self-defense scenarios are over after only three to four shots. Ammo capacity isn't necessarily everything if you're just looking for a home defense handgun in case something goes bump in the night. The C9 operates via a thumb safety and has three-dot adjustable sights. The barrel length is 3.5 inches, which is on short side for a gun this large, but it doesn't seem to hurt the accuracy that much with a little practice. And it's rated for +P rounds, so that's a big bonus.
One last thing we should mention is the weight. As you may have guessed from that slide, this gun is heavy. We're talking almost 30 ounces. For comparison, a Glock 19 falls in the 23-ounce range. It's a heavy gun and not really one that's suited for concealed carry. However, once again, if you're simply looking for something to keep in the home in case of intruder, this gun should get the job done. The $159 price point of the standard C9 is another really big selling point. What's more affordable than that? Even the tightest of budgets can usually spare enough for a C9.
While the C9 seems to get all the attention from this company, Hi-Point also makes a pistol caliber 9mm carbine that enjoys a slightly better reputation than the company's handguns. Maybe it's because this gun isn't as ugly as the C9. Don't get us wrong, it's still a weird-looking firearm, but in a good way. Like 70's dystopian sci-fi movie weird. There's just something that's charming about it. At least we think so.
The crazy thing is how many features Hi-Point packed into these guns at a price that's half the cost of other pistol caliber carbines like the Ruger PC Carbine. These guns have threaded 16.5 or 19-inch barrels standard on a polymer frame. Hi-Point skeletonized the stock to help cut down the weight, which sits at a little over six pounds, which is way less than we would have guessed.
These guns come with fully adjustable rear peep sights, and weaver style rails for accessories and optics. They are made to fit 10-round magazines standard, but there are also 20-round and 5-round magazines available in the Canadian version.
Just like the C9, Hi-Point hydro-dips many of these guns with camo patterns for slightly more money. The standard black is the cheapest at $279.99. That's super cheap for a carbine. Most user reviews rave how much fun the gun is at the range too. Who would have thought?
Why buy a Hi-Point?
Despite the sneers and snide comments you'll get from many gun owners at the first mention of Hi-Point, the fact is that these guns sell and the company has been doing very well. Talk to any gun shop owner and they'll likely tell you they move more Hi-Points than any other firearm. Why is that? Well, a lot is probably because of the low prices. However, we imagine a lot of people are just wanting to pick up something "just in case" buy these guns. Some may never even get fired by them. They just want something in case of emergency, and it gives them peace of mind. Covid-19 panic buying anyone?
At the same time, we've noticed an increasingly large cult following of Hi-Point forming on the Internet in recent years. Even with some gun owners who aren't afraid to drop $1,000 or more on the latest 1911 offerings from Sig Sauer or Beretta. It's weird when buyers of quality guns also drop $150 for the cheapest pistol on the market. Our best guess is that some gun owners just like the fact the guns go bang almost every time the trigger is pulled and that they can take a beating. Other people have embraced the looks of guns like the C9. We wouldn't call them beautiful ourselves, but as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It's not the first gun we'd put on our wish list, but we're also not going to judge anyone who thinks otherwise.
Perhaps some of it comes from Hi-Point's lifetime warranty. No matter what happens to these guns, Hi-Point does free repairs for the full lifecycle of the gun with no questions asked. And that warranty transfers across owners, so even if it's changed hands five times, so long as you have the warranty info, you're good to go. Not many businesses do that anymore and we get the feeling that some gun owners just appreciate that old-fashioned service.
Even though guns like the C9 have a reputation for rattling and their grips don't get a ton of praise for their ergonomic value, this brand soldiers on. Sure, they may not be as pretty to look at than the latest Kimber or Sig offerings. They may not be as popular as Taurus, Walther, Smith & Wesson, Ruger or any of the other big names. But they sure have found a spot in American gun culture and we don't see them going anywhere anytime soon.