Hi-Point 9mm Firearms, cheap and powerful, but is it a good combination?
It’s no hidden fact that I am a big fan of the 9mm Luger cartridge, it being one of the most popular and highly used pistol cartridges in firearms history. Especially in combination with an IWB Holster.
If you’ve been around firearms for any length of time, or done much reading on 9mm pistols, the name Hi-Point has probably crossed your path at some point. Not to be confused with the Hi-Power by Browning, Hi-Point is an American Firearms manufacturer based in Ohio, USA that manufactures several low-cost firearms chambered in 9mm Luger as well as three additional popular pistol cartridges, the 380 ACP, 40 S&W, and .45 ACP. Hi-Point 9mm Pistol and Carbine firearms are known both for there cheap manufacturing process, small number of moving parts, and wide accessibility due to a lower MSRP than most any other 9mm firearms on the market. In most areas of the United States, a Hi-Point 9mm Pistol can be had from about $199 USD up to about $250 USD, depending on where you are purchasing it.
Hi-Point Reliability and Durability: What’s the Story?.
While being inexpensively manufactured and having an exceptionally low retail cost, Hi-Point 9mm firearms are also widely known for their relative reliability because of the simplicity they employee. Pair that with the reliability and wide variety of 9mm cartridge loadings and you could have a valuable combination on your hands. Like many modern firearms, the Hi-Point Pistols and Carbines are manufactured using steel or zinc-alloy slides sitting on a polymer frame, and generally employ a Blow-Back style design. The Hi-Point 9mm firearms themselves are considered a little crude in appearance by many in the firearms world, but are moderately well built for their very low price tag, several of the Hi-Point 9mm pistols even being rated for +P cartridges. Hi-Point Firearms offers a variety of data points as well as test videos on their website for consumers, demonstrating different functionality, as well as torture tests and safety information.
Hi-Point Value: Balancing Price with Quality.
Hi-Point offers a balance of intermediate quality with one of the lowest price points on the market for a 9mm pistol or carbine firearm. Because of this, they have tapped and saturated the low end of the firearms market with their inexpensive line of pistols, even offering the C9 Compact Hi-Point 9mm Pistol for concealed carry use. Besides a low price point and moderate build quality, Hi-Point 9mm firearms come with a lifetime warranty, no questions asked, even for general wear and tear. What this means, according to Hi-Point Firearms, is that you can basically trash these sub-$200 firearms, beat them, kick them in the dust, and generally mistreat them in ways you would never think of with any other firearm, and they will happily warranty, repair, or replace the firearms without so much as a word to say about it. All of this is implied through the Hi-Point warranty (Statement of Limited Warranty – Available in Product Manual), stating free repairs for life regardless of the who the current owner is (revision as of 2008). For a $200 pistol, that’s not half bad. Of course, I don’t believe you could even give one of these firearms away for free to your high dollar 1911 Aficionado’s out there, but that’s not really who these are intended for anyway.
Just Who Are Hi-Point 9mm Firearms For?
Despite their general lack of appearance, some might even say ugly, and over all cheap feel and manufacture, Hi-Point 9mm firearms still do have a niche crowd to which they appeal. Would you see an experience or avid shooter carry one, or for that matter ex-military or Law Enforcement? I can most definitely guarantee not. But again, that’s not who these firearms are for. Hi-Points 9mm’s appeal to not only first time recreational shooters and people with a tight budget constraint, mostly due to the combination of a cheap firearm and inexpensive 9mm ammunition, but also to folks who wish to keep a home protection firearm stowed away and that will most likely only get it out to practice at the range on occasion. When you are shopping for a first firearm or a spare to stash away, $200 can seem awfully appealing on a budget when sitting next to a $600 Glock 19, especially when you are only shooting a few boxes of ammunition a year. Ben Shotzberger gave a pretty solid review of the Hi-Point 9mm C9 Compact Pistol over at The Truth About Guns which is fully worth the read. He marked some pretty fair points about the firearm as well providing a very interesting, if not amusing, analysis of the functionality of the firearm.
Still, price is not everything when considering value and long term ownership. You have to ask yourself, if Hi-Point 9mm firearms can be manufactured at such a cheap cost while still claiming reliability and good manufacturing process, why the need for a lifetime, no questions asked warranty? Generally lifetime warranties of this type are offered at additional cost or come free with purchase when you drop some real coin on a product, one for which they know has a very low failure rate. My guess is that they are expecting a few bumps along the road, definitely some repairs, and probably the occasional full replacement. To me, this would hint towards a less than stated quality control with these firearms. This probably should be expected however, given the small price tag, Hi-Point 9mm firearms are bound to max out the fine balance of quality and pricing considerably quick. In reality, $200 will only buy you so much.
Are Hi-Point 9mm Firearms Worth the Purchase?
When purchasing a new firearm, many people may shop around for a considerable time. Those looking to make an intelligent and informed purchase likely spent time reading reviews, talking to experienced folks in the industry, and probably moseyed around a few gun counters asking questions before making their final decision. So when it’s all said and done, and the bill fits the budget, are they the best deal out there? Not in my book. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t in others. There can be many occasions that call for a sub $200 firearm, first time ownership and self-defense are just two of which. I do believe however, when you are able to spend a little more, it never hurts. Pride is a natural part of gun ownership, like many things in life, and having something we can be proud of is important to many. If the Hi-Point brand is a brand you feel comfortable with, proud to own, and feel safe with, then by all means it might be the firearm for you.
It should be noted however, there are in fact many firearms and firearm manufacturers that offer quality, reliability, and a great pricing structure that may count for a better value than just the lowest price tag. Remember, you usually get what you pay for. With Hi-Point 9mm pistols though, I believe you in fact do get more than you pay for. That being said, you’re only paying $200 or less for a Hi-Point 9mm pistol which in the world of firearms, is pretty insignificant. Decent 9mm firearms can be had from companies like Taurus for a low range price tag and much better build quality under many circumstances. If I were approached and asked what the best balance of quality and price were on the market right now, I would currently point to Sturm Ruger. Not only have they been an integral part of the firearms industry for almost 70 years, but they seem to have found the sweet spot for value, balancing their quality along with their pricing structure better than really any other company on the market today. For under $300 you can purchase a Ruger P90 series pistol in 9mm or .45 ACP, with superior build quality as well as aesthetics to the Hi-Point 9mm series of firearms. Regardless, Hi-Point 9mm’s do have their appeal to some and if it truly does fit your budget and needs, you may be better off saving the extra few bucks to spend on a few boxes of ammo to take down to the range.
Hi-Point C9 9mm Models & Pricing
The Hi-Point C9 Pistol is offered through various dealers by Hi-Point Firearms in a few variations, each of which includes the Standard C9 Pistol with a different holster or accessory. While this may be convenient for first time buyers, most likely an experienced firearms owner would want to select their holster choice based upon their needs for the firearm. It is notable that one variation includes a Galco holster, as these are well made and high quality holsters, and perhaps a little much for a pistol at this price point.