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« Knoxville Gun Show Notes Vol. I | Main | Litigation Prevention »

December 18, 2003

A REQUEST FOR ADVICE

So what about Hi-Point handguns?

A reader named Troy Arnold has left the following comment.

"I've been looking at pistols lately because I've never owned one but enjoy shooting shotguns, rifles, and bows. I do alot of hunting. I don't want an expensive pistol because im not sure how much i like shooting them so im looking for a cheap one. I found a HI POINT CF380 with a laser 10rd mounted with the barrel extension for $200 I dont know much about the prices but ive looked around a little and think this might be a good deal. What do you think about the price? Is this a good pistol or is it junk? If you would please let me know anything you might know about it.
Thank You,Troy"

Short answer, they're junk and I can't recommend them.

Long answer is that there's both good and bad and you have to consider both.

The good is that Hi-Point handguns are inexpensive, so people on a limited budget can afford something to defend themselves with. Unlike most low-cost firearms which are chambered for ineffectual cartridges like the .22 Long Rifle or .25 ACP, Hi-Point has models that are chambered for calibers that the police and the military favor. This means that you can get a handgun that fires the 9mm Parabellum, the .40 S&W or the .45 ACP for a decent price.

To be frank, Hi-Point is one of the few firearm companies that enable someone in bad financial circumstances to arm themselves with an effective defensive arm. This isn't to be ridiculed.

But the low price means that corners have to be cut somewhere. Hi-Points are reliable and safe firearms, but they come apart rather quickly under even normal wear. Since the main factor needed to survive a violent encounter is adequate training you need a firearm that will hold up to having a few thousand rounds put through it. (Just for comparison, I have my students fire 1,000 rounds when they go through my handgun course. I consider this to be a pretty good benchmark to develop the minimum level of skill.)

If you can afford it I'd suggest a Ruger or a Taurus. They retail for about $500.00 USD, and they are both rugged and reliable firearms.

Bottom line: I would recommend a Hi-Point in only very limited circumstances. If someone was strapped for cash, they really needed felt the need to be ready to defend themselves and a shotgun wasn't a good choice for some reason. Otherwise I'd say avoid the Hi-Points and buy a more robust handgun.

But that's just my opinion. If any of you other gun geeks feel differently you can leave a comment or Email Troy at troy_j_arnold@yahoo.com.

Posted by James Rummel