November 04, 2021
By Richard Nance
I’m not really a car guy. Sure, I like to have a vehicle that’s reasonably nice and has some amenities, but I don’t get overly excited about what I drive. While a new German-engineered luxury car may be “better” than my Ford pickup, the Ford gets the job done at a price I can afford.
Conversely, I’m more interested in guns than most people. I place significant importance on having a gun that’s not only safe and reliable (like my Ford) but also has many of the bells and whistles that make it a little easier to carry and shoot. And like a car guy, I’m willing to pay more for what I want.
But many view the purchase of a defensive pistol the way I view buying a vehicle. They are looking for something safe and reliable that won’t break the bank. That’s where companies like SCCY come in.
SCCY Industries is located in Daytona Beach, Florida. Joe Roebuck founded SCCY in 2003 to offer a simple, reliable and affordable pistol in response to the rise in concealed carry. With decades of experience as a tool and die maker and a mechanical design engineer, Roebuck used his skills to develop the CPX line of subcompact, hammer-fired pistols.
I’ve shot various CPX models chambered in 9mm and .380 ACP, and they ran surprisingly well considering how inexpensive they are. But despite the value, not everyone was a fan of the CPX, in large part due to its nine-pound double-action-only trigger pull.
Recently, SCCY introduced the DVG-1 and the DVG-1 RD (red dot) pistols. Highlighting Roebuck’s goal of not pricing anyone out of their Second Amendment rights, the DVG-1 RD has a suggested retail price of just $399, with a Riton Optics red dot sight included. Not only is that a tremendous deal, but also the DVG line is, in many ways, a tremendous improvement over the CPX line.
But not everything has changed. At a glance the DVG-1 doesn’t look much different than a CPX pistol. Like its predecessor, the DVG-1 is ideally sized for concealed carry. It stands 5.6 inches tall, is 6.01 inches in length, and is just an inch wide. It features a 3.1-inch barrel with a 1:16 right hand twist. Tipping the scale at a modest 15.5 ounces, the DVG-1 won’t weigh you down.
One feature that carried over from the CPX line is the Roebuck’s Quad-Lock. As the name implies, the Quad-Lock locks the barrel in four locations: to the front and rear of the chamber and on two adjacent points at the front of the barrel. This helps lock the barrel to the slide for enhanced accuracy.
Quad-Lock notwithstanding, the DVG-1 is a very different pistol than the CPX. The most significant difference is the trigger. As I mentioned, the hammer-fired CPX’s trigger pull is nine pounds. That’s significant and more reminiscent of a revolver trigger than that of a semiauto pistol. The heavier the trigger pull, the more difficult it is to operate and the more likely the shooter is to inadvertently move parts of the hand other than the trigger finger while firing, which hurts accuracy.
In contrast, the DVG-1 is a striker-fired pistol with a much lighter, 5.5-pound trigger pull. Reducing the trigger pull weight by almost half is conducive to better shooting, as the trigger requires less force to activate. The DVG-1 trigger is also straight with a flat face. A straight trigger can provide additional leverage as opposed to a curved trigger like on the CPX.
The polymer frame doesn’t have an accessory rail, but it does feature smooth, dished-out areas on both sides for locating thumbs. Atop the frame is an H&M black nitride-coated stainless steel slide, which has serrations at the front and at the rear and not just at the rear. There is no downside to this addition, and it provides an option to those who prefer to grip the front portion of the slide to chamber-check their pistol. Those folks will appreciate the front serrations.
As compared to the CPX, the DVG-1 has a grip with a reduced circumference, but it is otherwise identical. The narrower grip will make it easier for smaller-handed shooters to establish a proper grip on the DVG-1. Grip is important on a subcompact, 9mm-chambered pistol like the DVG-1, which can produce significant recoil. An improper grip will make it much more difficult to achieve fast and accurate follow-up shots.
The grip on the DVG-1 RD was comfortable. Between the finger grooves and mild stippling on the sides and along the backstrap and the slightly undercut trigger guard, the pistol stayed put when firing. The controls were also well-designed, with the magazine release button being easy to reach and depress and the slide stop lever being prominent enough to use as a slide release rather than having to rack the slide.
The DVG-1 features a polymer white-dot front sight but is not equipped with a traditionally configured rear sight. Initially, the DVG-1 RD shipped with a Crimson Trace dot, but the pistol is now shipping with a Riton Optics X3 Tactix MPRD V2 red dot. This red dot has an integral rear sight notch. The notch is too shallow to see more than the tip of the front sight through it, but it would enable you to aim the pistol should the dot fail. Because of difference in height between the sight notch and the red dot, co-witnessing is not possible.
The optic runs on a CR2032 3v battery and is constantly on. The brightness is not manually adjustable but is self-adjusting based on lighting conditions. The unit needs to be removed to swap batteries. The optic seemed sturdy enough and stayed in place throughout my evaluation.
Windage and elevation adjustments were a bit of a challenge because there was no “click” to indicate how much of an adjustment was made. I realized a little turn went a long way. The red dot was plenty bright and has a three-m.o.a. aiming point, which to me is about right.
There’s a reason red dots are so popular. They make it easier to aim your pistol. Having to align the front sight within the rear sight notch and account for equal height and equal light can be extremely difficult under duress when the natural tendency is to focus on the threat you’re facing. A prominently displayed red dot keeps everything on the same focal plane and enables you to stay focused on the threat. Seeing a red dot on the target requires far less conscious effort than trying to line up three nubs that protrude from the top of the slide.
I first shot the DVG-1 RD at a gun writers’ event. I put several rounds through it, mainly plinking five-inch metal plates from about 15 yards. Misses were rare, and malfunctions were nil. The trigger was leaps and bounds better than that of the CPX.
The DVG-1 ships with two 10-round magazines, each with an optional extension to accommodate your little finger. To me, the trade-off of having a little extra length on the grip to fit my whole hand on the gun is a no-brainer. But if you prefer a flush-fit magazine for optimal concealment, you have that option as well. The DVG-1 also accepts CPX magazines.
Between zeroing the red dot and obtaining accuracy and chronograph results, I fired more than 100 rounds. Twice, early in the process, I experienced a failure to extract, but once the DVG-1 RD was broken in, it ran reliably. One issue I experienced is that the placement of my right thumb while gripping the pistol almost always kept the slide from locking to the rear when the gun ran empty. The remedy is to modify your grip so the slide stop can do its job and hold that slide to the rear to facilitate an efficient reload.
I wasn’t expecting tack-driver accuracy from a $399 pistol with a 3.1-inch barrel, nor did I obtain it. The average accuracy standard I achieved was about 3.25 inches. These targets aren’t going on my wall anytime soon, but when you consider that a 3x5 card is roughly the size of the heart, an inexpensive subcompact pistol that delivers that kind of accuracy is impressive.
For as big of an improvement as the DVG-1’s trigger is over that of the CPX, it’s by no means the best I’ve pulled. It feels gritty and wants to stick a little. The reset isn’t terrible, but it is rather long and a little mushy, although it does produce an audible click. Keep in mind, this is a commuter car, not a Rolls Royce.
The SCCY DVG-1 RD is an economically priced, simple to shoot, subcompact 9mm pistol. It comes with two magazines and a red dot for just $399. You could expect to pay more than double that for a similarly equipped SIG Sauer, Springfield, Smith & Wesson or Glock.
As a guy with a passion for guns and a budget that can accommodate these more expensive pistols, that’s what I carry. But for someone who’s on a tighter budget—or not interested enough to pay more—looking for a means of protecting themselves and their loved ones, the SCCY DVG-1 RD is a viable option. In fact, with the money you save, you could even afford a second pistol and some ammo.
Just as my Ford pickup gets me where I need to go without a lot of flair, SCCY pistols provide an opportunity for just about everyone. The DVG-1 RD is reliable and accurate enough to get you on the path to self-defense.
SCCY DVG-1 RD Specifications
- Type: striker-fired semiauto centerfire
- Caliber: 9mm Luger
- Capacity: 10+1
- Barrel: 3.1 in. w/Quadlock
- OAL/Height/Width: 6.0/5.1/1.0 in.
- Weight: 15.5 oz.
- Finish: H&M black nitride
- Trigger: 5.5 lb. pull (measured)
- Sights: Riton X3 Tactix MPRD V2; white dot front
- Price: $400
- Manufacturer: SCCY Industries, sccy.com