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Handgun Reviews Semiauto

Hi-Point C9 Review

by James Tarr   |  February 14th, 2013 31

Hi-Point-C9_001

In the past few years I have more than once been tasked with evaluating very expensive ($2,500 to $4,000) custom pistols that turned out to be less than 100 percent reliable. Heck, $2,500 is more than the cost of my first three cars combined. The thing to remember about guns bought for self-defense, everything else stripped aside, is this: A gun is a tool. The most and perhaps only important question is, Does it do the job?

Hi-Point sells a lot of pistols. The guns are not flashy nor, in my opinion, pretty, but they are inexpensive. I recently had the chance to review the Hi-Point C9 for this magazine as well as for Personal Defense, a TV show on The Sportsman Channel.

The C9 is a polymer-frame 9mm fed by a single-column eight-round magazine that has a suggested retail of only $179. A quick search online showed it was selling for close to $50 less than suggested retail, which is less expensive than any used gun I’ve ever bought.

The first thing I did upon taking the C9 out of the box was fire 200 rounds as fast as I could load and fire it. As the pistol only came with one magazine, that took a while, but I had no malfunctions. Let me say that again: It went bang every time I pulled the trigger during my pre-test, during filming for Personal Defense and at my later range sessions where I tested it for accuracy.

If you think the C9 has odd proportions, you’re right. That’s because that it is a straight blowback design, very unusual for a 9mm. The slide is both big and heavy to absorb the recoil energies of the cartridge. The slide is a zinc-aluminum alloy and has a black powder-coated finish.

The pistol comes with three-dot sights, yellow in the front and red in the rear. The front sight is metal and of one piece with the slide; the rear is plastic and adjustable. The sight picture they provide is not very good, but it does allow you to aim the pistol more than well enough for use at self-defense distances. Hi-Point also provides a rear ghost ring sight as well. The barrel is fixed to the frame, allowing for better than expected accuracy.

The slide makes the C9 seem bigger than it really is, but it still is no pocket pistol. It has a 3.5-inch barrel and weighs 29 ounces. It is roughly the size of a Glock 19 but heavier. Yes, it has half the magazine capacity of a Glock 19, but it’s only one-third the price or less. Hi-Point sells extra magazines for a mere $15 apiece.

The frame of the C9 is high-impact polymer. The front and back of the frame are serrated for gripping. The grip of the pistol has mild finger grooves that fit my hand correctly, but I have small hands. I had no problems with the slide rubbing on the web of my hand during firing, but someone with large hands might.

The grip was very comfortable, and with the weight of the slide soaking up the recoil, shooting it was a pleasant experience. The single-action trigger pull measured nine pounds, but I measured it five times because I just couldn’t believe it was that heavy. For some reason it feels at least two pounds lighter.

There is a frame-mounted safety on the pistol—down for Fire, up for Safe. I was able to manipulate it with the side of my thumb while keeping a firing grip on the pistol, but I wouldn’t want to have to do it under stress. The C9 also has a magazine disconnect safety.

An eight-round magazine with finger extension is provided with the pistol, and Hi-Point sells 10-round magazines with polymer grip extensions as well. The slide locks back on an empty magazine, but there is no manual slide release lever. Throw a loaded mag in and rack the slide by hand.

Hi-Point sells the pistol with a black suede Galco Paddle Lite holster for only a few bucks more, which I think is a really smart move.

I think the Hi-Point would make a fine shelf or toolbox gun. Would I carry it? No, it’s too heavy for its size, and I have better options available to me.

For those people who don’t have better options and are short on cash, Hi-Point’s C9 might be a lifesaver. You can’t go wrong with a reliable 8+1 9mm, plus you get a decent Galco holster right with the gun. Further, the C9 is so inexpensive you’ll have plenty of money left over to buy practice ammo.

Hi-Point-C9_002

The sight setup features orange dots on the rear and a yellow ramped front. It doesn’t make for a great sight picture but is acceptable at defensive ranges.

  • Don

    I had a Hi Point 45 and just loved it for the cash layed out for it. Very well made and never any problems. You could shoot nails thru it and it would be happy. I personally did not like the saftey on the gun so that was one of the reasons I never carried it. I have 2 Sigs for that but for home defence or the range it was great and very reliable. Yes it is top heavy but the heavy slide made it a dream to shoot. I loved it but sold it due to having too many weapons.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jwbletsch John Wesley Bletsch

      One can never have too many weapons!

      • greg

        in agree!!!

  • eyemall

    I bought my wife one of the .380's she has shot it many times and has never had any problems. The only problem I have with it is I cannot hit crap with it. She can shoot it very good though. I guess if we ever have to defend our home and kids I will let her shoot.

  • JGS

    Back when I had a gun shop, I sold A LOT of these. They go bang every time. I bought one for each one of my kids & another to put in my truck. My youngest daughter likes it better than my Sig 226. You just can't limp wrist them or they'll jamb.

  • clark

    They always go bang and cost very little–nuff aid.

  • VCB

    Not for lefties! I had the C9 and shot two rounds and the magazine fell out. Tried again, 1 round mag fell out. After these 3 rounds I sold it for what I paid and bought a Taurus. My experience in this platform was those 3 rounds, but just wanted to comment, it's not for lefties.

    • southpaw

      Myself being a lefty I had the same problem with 2 different mags of my 45 thinking it was me. But being very careful of my hold the next few mags and being sure I was not hitting the mag release upon recoil the mags still dropped.
      Called Hipoint cust service explaining the problem, They sent me out a new mag release assembly with instructions the next day. Installed that with no problem. Problem solved. Haven't dropped a mag since. Great customer service

      • dave

        Did you convert it to left or did it stay righty. I’m left handed also.

  • David Landon Jr

    I was given one of these by a family member a few years ago. I’ve only had issues when using fully loaded magazines with round nose bullets. It would experience a FTF on the second round. If I loaded it with 7 rounds it worked fine. However, with flat nose bullets, I’ve never had any issues, even with fully loaded 8 & 10 round magazines. Don’t let the price fool you. It’s a great gun for target shooting, but as already stated, too heavy for carry.

    • wolf

      I conceal carry Glock 21, and a few other full size heavy guns, including Hi Point, but can only get away with it in the Winter with heavy clothing, one of the advantages of living further up North.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jwbletsch John Wesley Bletsch

    One guy in my CCW class had one of these and the first impression I got was that if he wanted to hit the target at 5 to 7 yds it would be best to throw the gun. He had a difficult time staying on the full sized qualification target with it. The instructor who could shoot tight groups with his 1911 all day long could hold the HiPoint to maybe a 6″ group. As with anything, you spend your money and you get what you pay for.

    • wolf

      I don’t understand that statement, I just couldn’t believe how accurate I was shooting my 9C hi point, maybe it goes different from gun to gun.

  • Doug

    Great review, thanks! I am a Glock lover, but I have owned and
    thoroughly liked the Hi-Point C9. Sold it to a friend a while back who
    wanted an inexpensive firearm. I had over 2000 rounds through it
    without a single malfunction, not one, ever! At 7 yards, freestanding, I
    shot 2-3″ groups, every time, no exaggeration. Most of my friends that
    have shot with it have loved it and were very accurate with it as
    well. People say it’s not pretty, I think it actually looks kind of
    cool… but there are a lot of ‘not pretty’ firearms on the market…
    I’ve heard people say Glocks are ugly. Who cares. All in all, for the
    money (especially for the money), the Hi-Point C9 is worth a look.

  • John Hattabaugh

    i have a hi-point. won’t say i love it, but for what it is: a hand-held, manually-operated, self-loading, magazine-fed, bullet-launching device, it works well. the flaw in the gem i found was, the magazines are CHEAP, uber-cheap in fact…but there are diamonds in the rough if you look hard enough…when you find a magazine that works, then keep it and never let it go. send the crappy ones back to the factory, and request replacements-you’ll get ‘em. the other plus in your/our favor is their customer service rocks!! my c9 9mm pistol was bad out of the box, sent it back to hi-point, and they returned it to me, no questions asked, problem solved, with a hand written note from the factory repair tech, and a new factory fresh magazine to boot. why yes the hi-point is not a glock, it was never designed to be, but for what the pistol is, it is good-damn good.

  • keyman

    had mine to the warranty shop twice. shoots straight but jammed beyond use. unsafe to use.

    stripped it down to clean and it never worked again.

    they totally rebuilt it last time and it has only jammed occasional

    • Martin E Blake

      Limp Wrist ?

      • wolf

        That limp wrist is a big problem, I have seen some shooters that have big problems with their gun, but someone else shoots the gun and never has a problem, seen it.

    • wolf

      Kind of a pain to disassemble, are you sure you put it back together properly? I took mine apart, polished the feed ramp, a great little shooter, I just might have to buy another for the heck of it. Good gun for the price.

  • PANCHOBARRONR

    this is a good gun for hard working americans,,with the economy,,many people are looking for a deal,,,HIPOINT offers lifetime warranty,even if you get a used gun from a pawn shop if it brokes hipoint will fix it and send you a free magazine

  • USPatriotOne

    I have the Hi-Point .40 Cal. and the C9 both and they work great. I have more expensive Hand Guns (I am a Certified NRA Hand Gun Expert) than the C9 and have fired other more expensive Hand Guns the cost 3 and 4 times as much and quess what? They perform no better and some perform much worse. You can’t beat the C9 for the cost. I also qualified for my CCW with my Hi-Point C9.

  • ModerateRep

    I gotta say, my Hi-Point was inexpensive and is a cheap home-defense weapon. I bought mine when I had little cash to spare…and I never had a problem whatsoever. I’ve since moved on to a Glock 23, but never had any regrets on the Hi-Point. Great weapon for the money!

  • jj

    does anyone know if the hi point c9 is ca legal in 2014?

    • jimmy

      yes just bought one in ca

  • jj

    does anyone know if the hi point c9 is ca legal in 2014?

    • me

      Yes, it’s still listed on the California DOJ Roster until 10/11/2014. If you ever have questions about CA handgun legality consult the DOJ Roster. I’ve also seen them for sale at local gun shops in Sacramento.

  • inglwud

    I also have one and never had any problems. Went and bought the 995 ts carbine it shoots every thing I put in it too. Xlent guns for the price.

  • Johnny

    I bought a C9 a few years ago. I have put maybe 200 rounds through it and it has never jamed on me. Now, it did jam a few times on my son and his friend who were just learning how to shoot. They were limp wristing their shots. With a little practice though using proper form, they were quickly able to shoot the pistol with no problems. This gun does exactly what I need it to do which is put lead down range where I want it to go. I don’t car if it is ugly, I am not trying to win a beauty contest. Shooting is fun, but I would rather spend my time doing something else so this gun for me is strictly for personal defense. I don’t go into bad parts of the city I live in so I don’t need a concealed weapon permit. If I decide that I need to carry a gun, I will just open carry. That is legal where I live. I did hear a snide comment from the range master about my C9, but I don’t really care what he or anyone else thinks about my gun. Guns are simply tools to me to get the job done. If shooting is your passion and you have the funds, then by all means, get one of those fancy pistols. As for, me I am happy with my purchase and am very confident, thit my C9 will go bang when I need it to.

  • kirby14

    I have a break on the frame to my 9mm does anybody no how I can fix it without sending it in. would be very grateful for someone to answer this

  • ccalex

    I bought one of these new in 2000 from a pawn shop for $79. It was my first handgun purchase and was all I could afford at the time. I have probably put a few thousand round through it over the years and have only occasionally experienced feed issues when shooting cheap hollow points. Polishing the feed ramp would probably fix it but since I only shoot fmj through it now its no issue. Field stripping for cleaning is a PITA. I wouldn’t recommend that for anyone who is not experienced with somewhat in-depth dissassembly. Overall it was definitely worth $79. I keep it hidden in a cut out book on a shelf in my office and wouldn’t hesitate to use it in a defense situation if I had no other option readily available. If you are reading these reviews then you are likely considering purchasing one. I would not recommend it for carry, but it is an OK choice for an inexpensive home defense option.

  • wolf

    I bought the 9c took it to the range and shot the 2″ groups at 30′. For a Saturday night special price I like this gun. Heavy but I like it. I had no problems, I took it home disassembled, a little of a pain, but not too bad. I then polished the feed ramp. It is a keeper. I was reluctant that is why I waited so long, now I wish I would have bought this gun sooner.

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