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Summary: Paul Markel’s review of and rating for the Hi-Point 9mm pistol, including a range report, photos, pricing, specs, user ratings and user comments. (Click here to see all of Markel’s pistol reviews.)
If you spend much time at gun shops, gun shows or just hanging around the shooting range, you’ll hear gun people offering their opinions. We all know what opinions are akin to and their olfactory quality.
Should you truly desire to hear someone’s thoughts on personal defense and handguns, bring up Hi-Point Firearms, or better yet, produce one. The attacks will start flying from all corners, and primarily they will be based on looks and price.
There’s little doubt most any Hi-Point pistol has a face only a mother could love, and we really don’t need to argue that fact. However, when it comes to fighting with arms, cosmetics are purely for the gratification of the owners and their peers. How physically attractive a gun is or isn’t has no basis on how it performs. During my three decades of involvement in the firearms world, I’ve come across plenty of firearms that looked like pieces of art and functioned like pieces of something else.
After we’ve acknowledged the fact Hi-Point guns won’t soon be winning any beauty contests, we must consider the price attack. That attack specifically hinges on the assumption that a gun so inexpensive must be a piece of junk. This is a prejudice not based upon experience but mere assumption. I don’t hold stock in Hi-Point, but I’m also not so closed minded as to push them under the bus based upon price alone.
In days past, people with meager disposable income who wanted a gun for security at home had little choice other than a low-quality .22 LR or .25 ACP pistol. When I was a young man, I clearly remember the $60 .25 ACP pistols and how folks bought them to keep at home “just in case.”
Hi-Point Firearms now offer such folks a larger handgun that chambers a genuine centerfire pistol cartridge, including .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 SW and even .45 ACP. I think we can all agree a 9mm or a .45 ACP handgun is more viable personal defense tool than a compact .22.
The question: Is the Hi-Point, specifically, a viable personal defense tool? In this review I evaluate the Hi-Point 9mm pistol, catalog model C-9.
The C-9 is an upgrade from older generation Hi-Point pistols. It’s a semi-auto, striker-fired pistol with a single-action trigger press mated with a manual safety lever located on the left side of the frame.
Atop the pistol sits the monstrous slide that offends so many shooters; it features a black powder-coat finish. The frame is black polymer, and the pistol is fed by an eight-round single column magazine. You can purchase 10-round versions separately. The slide does indeed lock back on an empty magazine.
A 3.5″ barrel guides projectiles to their target. Hi-Point has installed their particular version of three-dot adjustable sights on the gun. They use a red/orange and yellow combination.
Other features include a +P rating, a free extra rear peep sight, a free trigger lock and an operations safety sheet. The pistol comes with a lifetime warranty, and it’s 100% American made.
For my range session I mixed in several FMJ practice loads with controlled expansion ammunition. Ammo makers included Black Hills, Federal’s American Eagle brand, Hornady, Wolf and Winchester. Bullet weights varied from 115–147 grains.
Rather than bench the gun (that would be a bit optimistic), I stood straight, gripped the gun with two hands and slow-fired at a cardboard target 7 yards away (the established litmus test for defensive shootings). Here are the results:
- Black Hills 115-gr. FMJ: 1,103 fps, 2.25″ group
- Federal American Eagle 115-Gr. FMJ: 1,075, 2.37″ group
- Hornady 124-gr. TAP: 1,058 fps, 2.74″ group
- Winchester 147-gr. SXT: 934 fps, 1.59″ group
- Wolf Brand 115-gr. FMJ: 1,067 fps, 3.05″ group
For fun, I moved on to some steel silhouette targets. Paper and cardboard and nice, but steel is real. You either hit it or you don’t. No walking down range to check scores and, it helps eliminate that nasty habit folks have of turkey-necking over the gun to look for shot holes. The results? The pistol placed rounds into the preferred zone with little difficulty.
The Hi-Point is built to launch bullets at an economical price. The big question: Does it do so reliably? During this particular review, I fired somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 rounds through the gun. I’ve actually had the C-9 in my possession for a few years and would say it’s consumed 500 rounds, give or take a few.
I have yet to have a problem with the pistol in regards to feeding, extracting or ejecting. The C-9 doesn’t seem to care whether you feed it FMJ or JHP ammunition—it cycles it all. And tipping the scales at 29 oz. while empty, it packs plenty of heft to absorb the mild recoil from the 9mm cartridge, even the fast-moving loads.
On numerous occasions I’ve encountered an almost unmasked arrogance or condescension toward anyone who might purchase a Hi-Point. I actually heard such an arrogant individual in a gun shop spout that he’d rather go without a gun than own a Hi-Point.
Hi-Point pistols are priced to own, period. Any person with a job, even minimum wage, can afford one.
In this YouTube video (click here), the author shoots a Hi-Point 9mm. The focus of the video is on go-bags or emergency bags, and what handguns you should pack in one. The Hi-Point footage starts at the 2:54 mark.
They aren’t match-grade competition guns, they aren’t for hunting and they certainly aren’t for duty carry. Why not duty carry? First, they’re too thick and cumbersome in the slide area for concealment. Second, the manual safety is small and rather awkward to engage from a drawstroke. Last, the sights are functional but not duty quality, and a duty quality set of tritium sights would cost nearly as much as a new Hi-Point. No, they’re built to launch projectiles without fanfare and better left as a nightstand gun.
But before you get on your high horse, consider the young family just starting out with very little disposable income. Consider the single mom living in a not-so-great neighborhood who really wants a gun for the house but can’t afford much. Don’t poor people have a right to self-defense?
Most handgun reviews spend a lot of time discussing stainless finishes, exotic grip stocks, tritium or fiber-optic sights, match-grade barrels, etc. If that’s what you’re into, I seriously doubt you’re shopping for a Hi-Point C-9.
Being completely honest, the C-9 would not be my choice for concealed carry or a duty pistol. That said, I wouldn’t feel naked with one lying on the nightstand of my hotel room loaded with Hornady TAP ammunition.
I doubt the Hi-Point would make third runner up in a three gun beauty contest, but that’s not its job or intended purpose. For its purpose—launching bullets reliably in the direction of bad people—I would say it hits the mark every time. Hi-Point firearms aren’t for everyone, but I certainly wouldn’t dissuade a person with little cash in need of a gun from purchasing one simply because it’s ugly.
Keep shooting straight and shooting safe.
Paul G. Markel became a United States Marine in 1987 and served his nation honorably during peace time and at war. Among the many hats he has worn in his career, Markel has been a police officer, professional bodyguard, firearms instructor and gun writer. Markel is the creative director and host of “Student of the Gun,” a weekly television show airing on the Sportsman Channel (www.studentofthegun.com). Visit his Web site at www.paulmarkel.com.
|9mm||10+1, 8+1||3.5″||6.75″||29 oz.|
Here are links to info pages for Hi-Point’s other pistols:
- Hi-Point 380 ACP
- Hi-Point 40 S&W
- Hi-Point 45 ACP
37 thoughts on “Hi-Point 9mm”
Thank you for a well thought out and written article Paul. It is refreshing to hear an unbiased report on the Hi Point pistol. Not a beauty queen to most, in fact there are actually those who think they are nice looking weapons.
Come visit us at http://www.hipointtalk.net if you want to learn a little more about the type of people who own them. You would be surprised how many own higher end guns like Colts and Kimbers too.
Wonderful review. Very unbiased. I own several pistols made by several different makers and my feeling is at some point they all will have a problem.
I personally find it to be a beauty queen however. Lol.
Great review! I am very impressed at lack of bias. The Hipoint is not a beautiful gun by any means. It’s a gun I can take out and get dirty without worrying about it cleaning it or having it rust. I shoot it in the rain and snow without any problems. It shoots as good or better than I do. I say this because I’ve benched it and shot reasonable groups at 50yds with it. By reasonable, I mean all shots on a normal piece of notebook paper. To me that’s not bad for a 3.5″ barrel.
Awwww…you went and did it now. You DO realize that now you need to buy that C9’s brothers and sisters, don’t you?
Well…at their prices, it won’t break the bank to add the 380, .40, .45 and related carbines. I’ll be looking forward to their reviews if you can get off of the firing line to write them. Ah, you’ll write them…your trigger finger will get tired after a few days…
This is a great gun for the price…and the looks kinda grow on you. It is a great entry level gun and can be concealed if needed.
It eats everything I have fed it and that as well as the accuracy I have gotten are what it is all about.
Great review and thanks.
I own the 9MM carbine and love it. Paid just over $200 for it and I’ve run 400 rounds through it without any issues. 9MM ammo is cheap and so is the gun so it’s a win win for a fun gun to shoot. My rating is for the carbine overall.
Thank you for an objective, well-written review. And thank you for mentioning how well the gun mitigates recoil. I believe that is a major plus, especially for some of the audiences you mention (I.e. young families, single Moms) for whom this gun could serve as their introduction to shooting. I replaced the OEM rear sight with the outstanding and very affordable Mahan rear sight, and my C9 is among my favorite firearms.
Paul Markel is dead-on accurate in his review. I have a Hi-Point .45 which I love, especially when I think about the price. It is consistently accurate, functions flawlessly, and as mentioned, its heft helps to reduce the recoil. I like the .45 so much, I put the Hi-Point 9c on layaway at a prominent website. Yeah, that’s right, I put a $145 gun on layaway. Hi-Point hit a homerun with this line.
Well written Paul. I own a HiPoint 9mm, I could have afforded a more expensive weapon but I am not a handgun nut. For me a handgun is the last line of defense, something you use to pickup a real weapon from the person you just dropped. My 9mm is not a tactical wonder, it is a beast, but as with any weapon system it is only as good as how many rounds you have fired to become competent with your weapon. I have a friend with a Kimber, he could have bought 10 HiPoints with his purchase price and he initially laughed at “THE BEAST”, but after a day on the range dropping zombies and taking out bad guys with hostages he asked if he could fire a few rounds with it. Sorry to say he wouldn’t trade his Kimber though he had that look of subdued satisfaction and admitted it functioned well, just was plain ugly. I’m hoping maybe next time on the trade.
I will end with this, I am NOT a pistol man, if they are within 10 feet we will dance with the K-Bar, but for peace of mind I have put almost 1,000 rounds through “THE BEAST” and she continues to cycle without problems. The one point that Paul did not mention is that at almost 2 pounds when you are out of clips you can throw the HiPoint without worrying about hurting the intricate scrolling and do some serious damage to any bad guy or zombie coming your way!!
You have to do a fluff and buff, maybe only put 7 rounds in the 8 rd mag, but it’ll put ’em in there after that. Hi-point suggests Remington and no steel cased.
Great article, i have allot of more expensive handguns, and i realize that price means nothing, but i purchased a hipoint just to see what all the negative comments are about, well i found that i could not find anything bad to say about the hipoint, instead i purchase a second one and still both the .45 and the 9mm worked dependably, How can you go wrong when you buy american and there is a lifetime warranty? They are not pretty but they would sure be scary to a bad guy!
I bought 3 9mm Hi Point c9’s for 119 each. I gave one to my son as a gift and he already had the .45 Hi Point. It is my opinion that this is by all comparison a reliable, ready to use hand gun. I have Ruger’s, Smith’s, and I would never shy away from another Hi Point. They have served me well and I am confident they will continue to do so. I salute Hi Point for what they have done.
You did a wonderful job my friend. The article said it all and I have a 9mm and 2 45’s and really like them. I have had expensive Kimbers before but find for a truck gun it is a waste of money when a lower priced gun will do the job. There big and fat but some of us like them that way. I no longer need a fancy kimber with air cond and all the frills. Thanks again for doing a great review. :-)
I’m a newbee to handguns and recently purchased a HiPoint C-9mm. The little buger fires accurately,and has a nice feel. I’ve got some friends that are collecters, police officers and avid handgun shooters all of them recommended a HiPoint and now have fired my 9mm. their opinions are the same as mine. For an entry level handgun that is in-expensive, in my opinion, it’s a good investment for a newbee. The groups I’ve shot so far have been within 2 to 3 inches. The handguns bigger than a .380 or C-9mm are butt ugly, but affordable. People that don’t own or shoot Hipoints don’t really know the gun.
i own the 45 and 9mm. “pig” and “piglet” respectfully. both are excellent for price and intended home defense purpose. crazy to not own one just for what someone may think of the brand. buying a pistol based on perceived social status is stupid. hipoints put bullets where they need to go. enough said. ugly big busting through the door-45 “pig” will put you on the floor!
I bought a new C9 in November 2012. The gun has 190 rounds of FMJ fired thru it with 1 double feed and 1 fail to feed – pretty reliable in my book! The recoil is soft for a 9mm, the gun is comfortable in the hand and the sights are easy to see. The trigger pull is long, but not heavy. For the price ($149.95 online) it’s the best value in handguns!
I just bought a C9 and I love it. Its my first Hi Point but will not be my last, the 45 acp is next. I wouldnt consider any gun beautiful no matter how much I paid for it. A gun is for defense not winning beauty contest. It shoots very well and I like the fact that it doesnt have a ton of recoil. Thanks to Hi Point for making a good affordable pistol with a lifetime warranty to boot.
I purchased a Hi-Point .45 carbine last year and installed a cheap red dot scope sighted in with a muzzle laser. At the range, it was dead on the money from 25 yards and it eats everything from Tula to Speer. I am ready to purchase more Hi-Point weapons including the c9. Reliable, accurate, US made plus a lifetime replacement warranty? All for 150-200 bucks. What’s not to like?
I bought a CF380 a couple of months ago just to see if the handgun snobs were as off-base as I thought they were. Much to my satisfaction, I was proven right. As stated in the above review, this gun serves the purpose for which it was intended in spades. I have several other semi-autos including Browning, Colt, S&W and the Hi-Point holds it’s own with them all. It’s accurate, reliable, and a very good value for the price. I just wish they made a smaller carry weapon like the Ruger LCP.
I have a.40 hi point got it a month ago. fired 200 rounds double feed once that was in the first shot after that no problems just love the feel and looks don’t care what people say it does its job to protect me. oh, don’t forget the life time warranty and price.
I own all the Hi-Point models except the .45 carbine. Some may consider them heavy, unattractive and have a long trigger pull BUT….they are made in the U. S. accurate, have a lifetime warranty, inexpensive and go “bang” when you pull the trigger. These attributes are why you buy a weapon in the first place.
Where’s the beef?
It’s about time someone with some knowledge did an unbiased review of the Hi-Point! I purchased my .45ACP back in 2005 in Alaska. I saw it in the display case, NIB, for $119, and the 9MM was next to it for $99. I couldn’t pass up a new hand gun of that size for that price!! Initially, it had a minor feed problem, but after some oil it’s been flawless since! I’ve stood next to friends with top dollar pistols and shot tighter groupings than them, only to ask me what I was firing. A bit humbling on their part! LOL Actually, I accidentally left my Beretta .40 and my Hi-Point in my 4-wheeler storage for several weeks before I realized it. After pulling them out, the Beretta had rust on it and the Hi-Point was unmarked! Yes, it feels like you’re holding a Craftsman cordless drill in your hand, and forget about taking it apart(took me 2 hours to get it back together), but this is one VERY affordable, reliable, accurate and lifetime warranted(whether you are the original owner or not) projectile throwing beast!
Good job on the review. If you boil it down the gun is perfect for someone who does not have much money and really does need a weapon for self defense. I bought the .45ACP And Carbine on the same day because honestly felt i could not go wrong with the price. Then i went out and shot both of them. My 10 year old was able to fire the .45 Carbine without me helping. He fired all rounds in the clip into his zombie target effectively. I never did experience the first round hang up like others talk about. Every round down range in both guns. That includes the .45 reloads i bought at the gun show the following weekend. Most likely i will get the 9mm for my wife as a night stand gun. Then we will go out and fire hundreds of rounds through them to become completely aware of all the nuances theses guns have as i feel that is the most important thing about protection guns….not looks or price but practice…….
I bought the 995TS (9mm Carbine) used at a local shop for $250 several months ago. I had fired rifles before but this was my first purchase. After a little more research, I bought the C9 because it can use the same mags as the carbine. Talk about compatibility! I have also heard the negative comments from the gun snobs. But I also think that it comes from ignorance and lack of experience with Hi-Points. I have fired several hundred rounds with each of them, with minimal problems. The bullet goes where I point it. What more can I ask for. Like others have said, they aren’t exactly works of art, but they aren’t intended to be. They are a great buy for the $$. Not to mention that their Customer Service can’t be beat. They will answer any question and e-mail faster than any other company I have ever dealt with. Again, excellent firearm.
I own a Hi-Point .40 s&w and I love it. It may be a little heavier than others but I found that the heavy slide absorbs a lot of the recoil and thus keeping the accuracy better. My target accuracy is far more tighter with the Hi-Point than any other gun I own. I am no expert but in my opinion, if you pull the trigger and it hits what you are aiming at, who cares what type of gun it is or how pretty it is. Before this Hi-Point I owned a Smith and Wesson SD40VE and it was a piece of crap, it was light and looked pretty but its accuracy was terrible. So yes I chose a Hi-Point over a Smith & Wesson. But be prepared, you are going to hear a lot of criticism for using one. Stand your ground and place your first shots center target, that will shut their mouths quick.
I just purchased a hi point C9 and I love it. I don’t need a $2000 pistol to show off with, I just need it to go bang when I pull the trigger. And so far it has
My Hi Point C9 is as accurate as my S&W M&P 9mm compact.I favor the Hi Point it’s more comfortable shooting
A heavier pistol. Can not beat the C9 for the $$$$.
I loved the review and all the positive comments and experiences with Hi-Point firearms. I have the Hi-Point 45 and the C9. I haven’t had any problems with mine whatsoever. I’ve fired a few hundred rounds through both and its never failed me. Most negative comments I’ve heard before I bought mine are from people who never even shot one or even owned a gun period. I’m getting ready to buy another Hi-Point 45 because they have them on sale at woodbury outfitters for 129.00. Lifetime warranty and made in Ohio just a few hours from me.
I just ordered a C9 yesterday. I did this after my front door was kicked in by an intruder who thought the place was empty, at 10 am. I only had a 1×2 and my ugly face, but he took off.
Fortunately the LEO’s got him about an hour later and his is in jail. 30+ years ago, he would have not made it out because my .44mag with180 JHP would have prevented that.
I got rid of all my guns while raising a family, because an unloaded gun is useless. After the adrenaline subsided, I realized that was stupid, and I didn’t want to be put in that being said.
Being a seasoned citizen, I don’t have a lot of disposable income, so my primary criteria was reliability and cost. I have devoured just about every review I came across, eliminating the “nose in the air snobs”. Even the snobs could only say it is ugly, and wouldn’t have one on a bet. But the concensus even from them was it is reliable, and goes bang when the trigger is pulled. I don’t care about the groupings at 25 yards. My apartment is only 40 feet long.
My C-9 will be in Tuesday and I plan to push about 100 rds thru it to break it in and me too. Thanks for the reviews.
Bought my C9 in November 2012. It was the only NEW handgun, I could afford, beside a Cobra FS380. I was sold on the warranty, price & customer reviews. 584 rounds of fmj & jhp fired, for 12 minor stoppages – works for me. I love my C9!
I own a 3 Hi-Points, a C9 compact, a 45acp pistol, and a 45 cal. Carbine. I had been told by gun store employees, ccw instructors, and “people in the know ” that Hi-Point was a terrible weapon. I can personally tell you they are wrong. The carbine is a dream to shot, never had a problem with it. The C9 & the 45 pistols are reliable and accurate with low recoil. I own other pistols and an AR-15 but I show off my Hi-Points . I love them
I love hi-point?!!!!!!!
Great article. Why should someone who can’t afford a Sig or Kimber be defenseless?
I’ve owned Hi Points for years. My first one was a .380 I bought at a yard sale, and I put over 800 rounds through it at the range getting ready to deploy to Iraq. I gave it to a step-daughter with a couple of boxes of ammo so she and her husband would have a gun in the house. I also gave a 9mm HP to another step-daughter for the same purpose.
I currently own an HP .45 pistol and matching carbine and I have no complaints. I own a lot of high end guns, and the HPs haven’t given me any more trouble than anything else. And on the occasions when I’ve needed replacement parts, I have simply called the factory and talked to a tech for a few minutes, and then they promptly sent me what I needed with no drama.
I am currently looking to pick up another HP 9mm to put into my emergency stash. Nope, not an EDC but a very reliable gun to use around the house for home defense. We tend top keep guns hidden but readily available around the house so we’re never too far away from a gun, and a Hi Point is a good choice for that.
My Hi-Point 9mm was my first pistol. I love it. Never fails me. I purchased snake skin pistol grips for it. Now it’s not ugly. Very dependable gun. Love the review.
Sure appreciated all the great comments. I purchased a High Point 9mm C9 Lugar yesterday and the comments have assured me that I did not make a mistake with the purchase. I am 77 years old and I am doing just what we did in the Army before firing the weapon with live ammo. I am going through “dry firing” in order to become comfortable with the weapon. I am not as strong as I used to be, and therefore I struggle to pull back the slide. I have a couple of Police Officers that I am going to counsel with before going to the range. In the Army, I fired “expert” in 1958 with my old M-1, but this little C-9 is really different. Of course, I am not in as good shape as I was 60 years ago. I’ve always been a long gun fan, but I am going to now branch out.. Comments and suggestions welcome on this site or to my email..
Thank you for this honest review. I live in Illinois and I fear that all the firearms I own could be deemed illegal one day, as what happened in Deerfield, IL http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/deerfield/news/ct-dfr-deerfield-assault-weapon-ban-tl-0412-story.html. If that happens and I have to transfer my guns to a friend in a better state, one I will move to upon this happening. I plan on going and grabbing a Hi-Point firearm so I have a firearm in the house. It ain’t pretty but it will get the job done is what I keep hearing. I live in St. Louis, MO suburbs and unfortunately needing a gun for protection is a reality.
What is all this garbage about the hipoint being an ugly gun.
I personally have never seen a pretty gun. A gun is a tool. My socket wrenches are not pretty but they do what they are designed for. Same with the hipoint. It just works.period
I have high priced guns that jam occasionally.
I have never had an issue with my c9. Yes, like many firearms, they will jam sometimes. Mostly due to a bad round, not the gun. Show me one other firearm company at any price that gives an unconditional guarantee that transfers with the gun. As far as concealed carry, I have no issue carrying my c9. And I trust it. 9000 + rounds and always goes boom.
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