The Hi-Point C9.
Photo from

by John Boch

Tim over at GunNuts Media has been reporting on his progress shooting his Hi-Point C9 and putting 2000 rounds through it, a few hundred at a time over the past few weeks.

He completed his project.  In the end, he ran nearly 2200 rounds through it.

He kept track of the number of malfunctions and the net result?

A malfunction every 28 rounds, on average.

Is this a gun you want to defend your life or that of a loved one?

I don’t think so.


Personally, I’ve had a-plenty of experience with this particular pistol over the years.

1.  I owned one.

We all make mistakes.  This was one of mine.  (Why do I feel like I’m at an AA meeting when I say that I owned one?  “Hi, my name is John and I owned a Hi-Point.”)

I bought one in the early 90s for $89.  I bought it because

1) I didn’t know any better, and
2) A 9mm pistol for under $100?  What’s not to like?

Had it for about one week after the first time I shot it.

From about 30′, bullets were keyholing on my target.  At the time, I didn’t even know what I didn’t know about properly shooting pistols, but the ability for this little pistol to put shots on target in a nice little group were sharply less than the Beretta 92 I had at the time.

I also distinctly remember it was also quite malfunction prone.

I promptly sold it to someone I didn’t know for $100, making a couple of bucks and better still, ridding myself of countless instances of frustration and irritation.  Tim over at GunNuts wrote:  “Total number of cursewords expended during test: Incalculable.”  Looks like selling that was one of the *smartest* things I’ve ever done!


2.  I am a firearms instructor teaching classes including NRA Personal Protection in the Home, and I see these Hi-Points on a semi-regular basis.

Each year, maybe 1-2% of our students will show up with Hi-Points…  usually in 9mm.

In short, some work okay with just a couple malfunctions that aren’t induced in our malfunction clearing segment – in a class where we fire about 275 rounds.

About half of the Hi-Points I see are problematic as defined as constant issues with malfunctions.  (A malfunction I define as the gun fails to go bang when it’s supposed to for any reason.  That includes failure to feed, extract, properly cycle or any other weirdness.)

Beauty and the beast?  The most recent HiPoint C9 in action.
(Rosie, get your support hand up!)

For what it’s worth, and giving credit where it’s due, the newer specimens *seem* to be somewhat more reliable than older ones.

The most memorable instance was a class five or six years ago where we had a dad, mom and son.  Dad was proud of his Hi-Points.  He had three:  one for each member of his family.

The story goes something like this:  these guns weren’t just simple stock guns, either.  He had a laser on one or two of them, one or two had muzzle brakes and extended magazines…  all things I didn’t even know they made for Hi-Points.

Dad was bragging on his guns something fierce.  I asked him if they were reliable for him, following a golden rule never to denigrate students’ gear.

They even make kydex holsters for the C9. As it’s one of the best-sellers in terms of units sold, it shouldn’t be a surprise folks are going to need a holster for it.

He touted them as “great” on reliability.  “And the best part,” he crowed, “all three cost less than your Beretta!”  He was pointing at my 92 that was sitting on the desk with a slew of other loaner guns available to the students to try out or to use if they didn’t bring their own pistola.

We did our customary dry-fire exercise and while looking ugly as heck and a little clunky in operation, all seemed okay thus far in the class.

Once we got out on the range, all three of them suffered a malfunction within the first five or ten rounds fired.

The mom was having issues manipulating her Hi-Point C9, and she was getting a lot of extra opportunities to manipulate thanks to a constant string of malfunctions.  She soon became quite eager to explore our loaner collection.  We offered her a K-frame Smith and Wesson revolver and she took to that like a fish to water.

A couple of hours later, the son bailed on his Hi-Point and shot one of the Glocks.  He loved it.

And dad reluctantly borrowed that Beretta Sunday morning.  After we were about done shooting, dad waves me over.  “Boy, this Beretta sure does shoot nice…” he said to me.

Now, granted, the Hi-Point family I met way back when was an exception and not the rule, but I’ve never had issues with Glocks, Smiths (a Sigma or two excluded) or Rugers.  Heck, not even Tauruses.

Quality guns are reliable.  Yes, quality costs more than $149, new in box for a handgun.

If you or someone you know can’t afford a new or used Glock, Ruger or Smith and Wesson K-frame for self-defense, there are options within the $149ish price point.

Look to used pump-action shotguns.  For home defense, it’s hard to beat a pump-action shotgun with buckshot or slugs.  The shotgun, either 12ga. or 20ga., is the most powerful home defense firearm you can buy and it’s affordable.  Bad guys aren’t combat effective after taking a load of buckshot.

Nobody walks away after taking a load of buckshot in the solar plexus.

Single-shot shotguns are typically under that $149 price point as well.

Again, your life is worth more than a malfunction every 28 rounds.


The Hi-Point Challenge: Completed!

October 11, 2012

By Tim

 Total rounds fired: 2199

Total malfunctions: 1

Total stoppages: 76

Total number of cursewords expended during test: Incalculable

Alas, the test of the Hi-Point pistol is at an end for I have run out of free ammo. It’s been quite an experience. So on to the major conclusions of the Hi-Point test!

…  Read more.  There’s some good stuff therein.

5 thoughts on “A malfunction every 28 rounds… HiPoint C9”
  1. The 9mm HiPoint CARBINE, by all accounts, is quite reliable as well as reasonably priced and accurate. Both my old one and my new model been trouble-free. Too bad about the pistols.

  2. Yes, I’ve heard nothing but good things about their carbine, despite it’s rather ugly (IMHO) appearance.

  3. I loved my HiPoint .45 *because* I could count on it to malf regularly but randomly. Before I got that weapon if I wanted to train on clearing problems I had to have a buddy load some snap-caps into randomly chosen mags.
    And yes, when I sold it I told the buyer what he was getting and how I had used it.

  4. I have a hi-point pistol in .45 bought it back in the spring. i found that if i shoot SWC it will fail to feed once in a while, but with 230 gr round nose it is a trouble free gun, i have put several thousand rounds through it with absolutely no problems .I can’t shoot remington ammo in my ruger without plenty on problems.

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