Hi-Point C9 Review

Hi-Point C9 Review

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 blowback-operated 9mm features a fixed barrel, which contributes to its good accuracy.
The front of the finger-groove frame is serrated to help improve gripping. Felt recoil is not bad, due in part to the 29-ounce weight.

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.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

All About Handgun Ammo

All About Handgun Ammo

Rich and Jim get into the nitty gritty of the FBI ammo protocol, firing into various barriers to illustrate what can happen to a bullet.

Teaching New Shooters

Teaching New Shooters

Julie Golob of Team Smith & Wesson guest stars, joining Jim and Scott for a discussion of how best to introduce new shooters to the sport.

Dealing with Subcompacts

Dealing with Subcompacts

Jim and Rich cover the benefits and the challenges presented by very small pistols.

Going To The Range

Going To The Range

Jim and Scott show you how to make each trip to the shooting range a quality experience.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The number of accessories and aftermarket upgrades for the SIG P320 is only going to increase. Accessories

SIG P320 Accessories and Upgrades

James Tarr - December 14, 2017

The number of accessories and aftermarket upgrades for the SIG P320 is only going to increase.

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a terrific balance of weight, power and shootability. 1911

Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander 9mm Review

J. Scott Rupp - May 08, 2019

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a...

According to a recent report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a lawsuit against 2nd Amendment

Judge Postpones Oral Arguments to Stop California Microstamping Law

Handguns Online Staff - May 07, 2014

According to a recent report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a lawsuit...

One of the newest in the Micro 9 series, the Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall is a serious pistol designed for personal defense. Compact

Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall Review

Jeff Chudwin - January 29, 2019

One of the newest in the Micro 9 series, the Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall is a serious pistol...

See More Trending Articles

More Semi-Auto

Smith & Wesson has boosted the power of its excellent M&P Shield EZ with a hot new version in 9mm. Semi-Auto

Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield EZ – First Look

J. Scott Rupp - December 11, 2019

Smith & Wesson has boosted the power of its excellent M&P Shield EZ with a hot new version in...

Remington's new executive adds aesthetic upgrades to the company's popular RM380 semiautomatic line. Semi-Auto

Remington RM380 Executive Pistol Review

Brad Fitzpatrick - June 21, 2019

Remington's new executive adds aesthetic upgrades to the company's popular RM380 semiautomatic...

You don't have to spend a lot of money on a defense pistol to effectively protect your home and family. Semi-Auto

11 Best Defensive Pistols Under $500

Brad Fitzpatrick - April 07, 2020

You don't have to spend a lot of money on a defense pistol to effectively protect your home...

The Taurus TX22 is an affordable, well-balanced and soft-recoiling  .22 that's designed and made in the USA. Reviews

Taurus TX22 Review

James Tarr - November 06, 2019

The Taurus TX22 is an affordable, well-balanced and soft-recoiling .22 that's designed and...

See More Semi-Auto

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Handguns subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now