Budget Pistol: The Hi-point C9
.357 Magnum ammo has hit $.80 per round for the cheap stuff. 4 months agao I was paying that for 300 grain .454 Casull. So I figured "**** it...Time to get a budget gun!"
I selected the Hi-point model C9 in 9mm.
Here are the stats:
Barrel length: 3.5"
Overall length: 6.75"
Weight: 29 oz.
Frame: High-impact polymer
Finish: Black powder coat
Capacity: 8-shot magazine standard (10-shot magazine also available)
Sights: 3-dots, fully-adjustable rear sight
I paid 168.00 US dollars for what may in fact be the ugliest automatic pistol ever made. The frame is polymer, so you would think it'd be light. WRONG!!! Damn near 30 oz for a nine? Woah! Then again...a Ruger p95 is about that heavy, so I shouldn't bitch.
The issue is that big-ass, all-steal slide. It's just a hunk of metal cut to shape. That makes it heavy, but y'know, it also means you could run it over with a truck. Durability is nice.
I took it out back and ran 100 rounds through it. Not bad. It had a tendency to not feed the last round in the magazine though. manufacturer says that this weapon has a 100 to 300 rounds break in period, so I will be patient. Internet research indicates that the magazines can be sub-par. I have ordered two more just to check. it is also recommended to polish the feed ramp. This weapon has a fixed barrel, which makes it more prone to feeding problems, but also freakishly consistent.
That's my next point. This little bastard shot some of the tightest groups I've ever seen. 2 inch groups at 7 yards with almost no practice at all. The weight, fixed barrel, and low-recoil cartridge make getting all the bullets into the same hole super-easy. The polymer grips DO get slippery though. No one makes after market grips for this low-rent shooter, so I bought a Hogue rubber slip-over grip thing (A Hogue Hand-all; get the one that fits all Glocks) and it helps.
This is not a gun for gun snobs. It will not replace your Browning high-power or Beretta 92. It's not even a Springfield XD. However, with a little care and know-how, this piece is a solid shooter. It stays on target, is easy to handle (once you deal with the grips), and is quite reliable.
Until the cost of .357 comes back to something more realistic, this little piece will be on my hip more often than not. I can still get 9mm for $.26 a round.