Hi-Point .45 ACP Carbine: Are Handgun Caliber Rifles the New Home Defense Shotgun?

Capt. John Raguso keeps threatening to send us a review of Kel Tec’s smokin’ SUB-2000 9mm carbine. Today, Hi-Point Carbines drops the news that their long awaited .45 ACP rifle is ready to rock and roll. These handgun-caliber carbines may be gaining favor over the venerable 12-gauge as the weapon of choice for hom defense. And for good reason. In fact, here are four. . .

1. Less recoil than a shotgun

While home defense shotguns put an awful lot of lead downrange with a single trigger squeeze, shooters pay the price with a big ole’ wallop to their shoulder. That’s no big thing for big people who’re comfortable with firearms (who may, in fact, like the kick). And in the heat of battle, who cares? But if a gun is formidable to fire (i.e. painful), its owners are FAR less likely to practice. If they don’t, they will not be confident and accurate.

Even in .45 ACP, handgun-caliber carbines have minimal recoil, relatively speaking. The lower recoil makes the rifles far more attractive to women, teens and (let’s be honest here) small-framed men. They can also put a lot of lead downrange. BONUS! Quick mag changes are easier than reloading a shotgun.

2. Quieter than a shotgun

The state prohibitions against silencers really piss me off. (Somebody was watching way too many spy movies.) Meanwhile, shotguns are ridiculously, enormously loud. While a handgun caliber carbine will make plenty of noise, a shooter stands a chance of being able to hear something after firing—which could save their life. Comparing the two firearms genres, handgun caliber rifles will definitely reduce a shooter’s chances of permanent, perhaps even catastrophic hearing loss.

3. Better than a handgun

So’s a shotgun. But again, there are plenty of people who find shotguns intimidating. In that sense, handgun caliber carbines hit the sweet spot. Thanks to the carbines longer sight radius, they’re easier to aim than a handgun, And more intimidating (i.e. visible)

Handgun caliber carbines increase bullet speed and, thus, penetration. Hi-Point says their .45 ACP’s longer barrel increases velocity figures between 80-200 FPS (feet per second) over a like-chambered handgun.

4. Less expensive

To my way of thinking, a semi-automatic weapon is the best home defense shotgun. A good one costs the thick end of a grand. This Hi-Point .45 ACP Carbine costs $330. The SUB-2000 goes for $409.

I love shotguns. But the handgun caliber carbines may be better for more people. The market will speak.

Specifications for Hi-Point .45 ACP Carbine:

Price: $330 MSRP
Finish: Special high-durability black powder coat
Stock: Black molded polymer-(with standard upper and lower Picatinny rails).
Barrel length: 171/2-inches
Overall length: 33-inches
Weight: 71/2-pounds.
Magazine capacity: 9-rounds.
Sight: Adjustable front post and adjustable rear (ghost ring)
Warranty: Lifetime on parts and labor that follows the gun.
Manufacturer: Hi-Point of Mansfield Ohio-every part is made in the U.S.A.
Factory affordable options are available: Folding grip, laser, scope sight, etc.