Range Report – Hi Point C9 Pistol

I am not a gun snob. Much like politicians, guns are tools for a job. If they do the job, they get my respect. Period. That said, while many members of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia take the expression “beware of the man with one gun” to heart, there are times when a gunslinger doesn’t get to choose which one gun the bad guys are bewaring of. Gun props or not, a self-defense shooter should be able to pick up any gun and shoot with reasonable accuracy. Just like that. Unless . . . well, let’s just call this post on the $165-ish Hi Point C9 semi-automatic pistol a “Range Report” rather than a “Gun Review.” That’ll come later. For now, credit where credit’s due . . .

Pick up the Hi Point C9 for the first time and you know you’re holding a real gun, with decent ergonomics. The pistol’s got all the right ridges in all the right spaces (yeah, yeah, he’s going down). It fits my hand like a glove, although more like a gardening glove than a driving glove. Bringing the pistol to point of aim feels natural and easy.

The sight picture past the three-dot contrast sights was typical, though some would note that the contrast paint on the sights themselves appears to have been applied by hand . . . by my seven year old cousin. It’s mostly “in the lines,” but definitely not perfect. They get the job done. At the price, you can only remark, not complain.

I happen to have the great fortune of residing ~ 15 minutes away from the National Rifle Association’s headquarters, and their state-of-the-art indoor shooting facility. It really is a sight to behold, and behold you would, IF photography were permitted inside the range. Swing and a miss, strike one on Shotzberger! After taking the tripod, cameras, and hopes of raucous YouTubery back to the car, I stepped onto my lane and prepared the beefy C9 for a thorough evaluation.

Ryan and I now subject each pistol we test to a standard 50 round “qualifier”—which will be explained in the full review. It ranges in distance from three yards to 25 yards. The series of exercises tests accuracy, function and fun. Before launching into a full on review and qualifier, I set aside a few rounds of what RF calls “getting to know you” ammo. In this case, I found myself with 20 spare rounds of PMC 9mm just begging not to come home with me. I loaded three rounds, seated the magazine, racked the slide and took aim.

I’d set a standard “bulls-eye” target at three yards. It’s a fine distance for putting rounds on paper and concentrating on the function of the pistol. My sights were perfectly aligned on the bull.

As I took-up the trigger slack I felt a bit of side-to-side “wiggle.” Odd yet manageable. Squeeze … squeeze … squeeeeeeeze … SQUEEEEEEZE. And while we’re waiting fo something to happen, please note that arthritic shooters need not apply; the C9′s eight to nine-pound trigger pull will likely break your finger before a bullet comes out the other end. Eventually, the C9 trigger breaks and round one travels down range. The sights remain on target throughout the entire epic.

Lowering the pistol to low ready I peer downrange at my work. At three yards, I have failed to put the round anywhere on the paper.

Faced with the prospect of running the target “home” to confirm my suspicions of failure—and showing blank paper to the shooter’s to my left and right—I take aim again and turn my concentration inward. My first thought: the concussion I suffered five days previous has seriously distorted my shooting ability. Fine, let’s finish this magazine and see what happens.

Round two fails to hit paper with a proper sight picture. With round three, I ignored the sights and relied on muscle memory. Finally, a round lands on paper. Barely. Almost. Ok, I lied – all three rounds have disappeared.

Without making any changes to the fully-adjustable sights (gotta set a baseline first!), I progress through a brace-and-a-half of three round magazines, with much the same result.

Observation 1.: Out of the box, this Hi Point C9′s sights needs some ahem “minor” adjustment. I’ve placed three of 12 total rounds on the paper, none of which are in the scoring rings. Of the three lucky-strikes, two were fired in frustration using point-shooting techniques. The third resulted in a near giggle-fit since I aimed the sights six inches above the bull.

So I whipped out my trusty multi-tool and set about adjusting the sights to compensate for the drop over distance. I’m a might upset at this point, I haven’t shot so badly since, well, ever.

A total of 20 rounds exited the Hi Point in the general direction of the target. Five hit paper. One hit the 6 ring. “Oh, a scoring hit! How did THAT happen?” I’m downright fed-up at this point; no condition in which to continue on with a review.

I put the pistol back into my range bag and called it a day on the Hi Point. To ensure that I hadn’t hit my head THAT hard, I fired up my trusty 1911. JMB’s timeless classic to me is like Ben and Jerry’s with pickles to my pregnant co-worker; it’s comfort, pure and simple.

Duplicating my previous run with the C9, adding two more five-round magazines for good measure, and running the slow fire pistol target back out to the 7 yard line – I place one in the 6 ring, three in the 7 ring, five in the 8 ring, 11 in the 9 ring, and 10 in the red. In short, the bugger’s dead and I’m fit in the head. My hour’s up, and the Rangemaster is ushering me towards the exit.

In fairness to the Hi Point, in my flustered state, I adjusted the sights in the WRONG direction (a realization I came to after returning home). So, my bad. I repeat: I screwed up. Equally important, you can’t judge an inexpensive gun by what it does straight out of the box. You need to adjust the sights (if possible), feed it a variety of ammo to see what works, clean and lubricate it assiduously, and practice.

Which is exactly what I’m going to do. My initial impression? The Hi Point C9 shoots bullets. It’s a gun. With a bit of work, it might even be a reasonably accurate gun. Sometimes you choose the gun, sometime the gun chooses you. At the moment, the C9 is best used at point blank range. With a few twists of an multi-tool, that could change. Watch this space.


About Benjamin T. Shotzberger

Ben is an aspiring gun-writer caught up in the pursuit of playing with firearms for a living. He spends his days grinding his way up the corporate ladder and wishing for 5pm. His nights.. well the details of how he spends those are private.. His childhood dreams of chasing "bad guys" for a living met the unfortunate reality of student loans, bills, and promotion potential. Ben resides in the Northern Virginia area and enjoys long walks.. to the range. Ben is always on the lookout for new article ideas. Have a firearm you want reviewed? A product tested? Your suggestions are welcome!

43 Responses to Range Report – Hi Point C9 Pistol

  1. I had a Hi-Point .45 for a while and it was an excellent gun . . . for practice clearing misfeeds. I could not go through more than two mags without getting at least one FTE or FTF. I eventually traded it to someone for some ammo (and yes, I did warn them about the problems I’d had, at length: I don’t need the karma of someone getting shot or killed because they depended on a gun I sold them and it didn’t work).

  2. avatarsdog says:

    i have a hi point carbine, when i shoot it the take down pins work themselves loose, i would go with a kel tec p11or a ruger p95 series over any high point firearms, if the cost is your most important factor.

  3. avatarJJ Swiontek says:

    A co-worker bought a Hi Point C9 and asked me and another co-worker/friend to sight it in for her. The first 3 rounds told us all we needed to know. It was shooting about 8 inches low-center at 10 feet. Bringing the rear sight up as high as it would go brought it to the 10 ring. The next 27 rounds were much better. And, yeah, the trigger pull is a bit on the very heavy side.
    Not my first choice for a self-defense weapon, but better to have it than nothing.
    Now we just need to get her to practice with it…

  4. avatarLost Patrol says:

    I dunno, I have had my .45 High-Point pistol since 05′, not even a hiccup! And it shoots great too!

  5. avatarDonWorsham says:

    The son, when he came home from the Marines a few years back with a wife and bady, needed something for home protection. He had just enough money to get a Hi-Point C9. After 100 rounds and plenty of cleaning he shoots that gun as well as any of his the other guns he now owns (and he shoots well).

  6. avatarRalph says:

    It figures that a Hi-Point would shoot low.

  7. avatarSean says:

    My brothers are Detroit cops…they hate these things with a passion. Hi-Points show up at shooting in the city constantly. Of course, the surplus Glock 22′s that the city sold when they switched to M&P’s are showing up a lot now too!

    • avatarRyan Finn says:

      Charleston County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina hated them too, had a whole evidence locker full of them. Said the gangstas called them “G-Heavys”.

  8. avatarJeff O. says:

    I have the carbine, which I like a lot, and a friend has a C9.

    For cheap guns, they’re a lot of fun. It also doesn’t hurt that two cute ladies I hang out with really like to shoot the carbine.

    Out of the box the carbine was shooting way right (the front sight post was canted) and the C9 was basically on target.

    An issue we had with both was that the feed lips of the magazines had to be bent slightly (front out, back in) to get them to feed 100%. After that, no problems.

  9. avatarPavePusher says:

    I have a H-P .45. Shoots fine, needed only two clicks of rear sight adjustment out-of-the-box.

    But yeah, the trigger is aweful….

  10. avatarjk says:

    An old high school buddy of mine needed a good pistol for home defense. He should never have sold the perfectly acceptable 8040 Cougar I sold him several years ago when I decided I didn’t like double singles. Anyway, he shows up to show me the new C9 he had purchased. Once I was done bitch-slapping him about the face and head, we ordered him a new XD9. I told him if he wanted to keep the C9 as a plinker that would be fine but I would NEVER trust one as a defensive weapon.

  11. avatarHigh on Hi Point says:

    Hi Point – breakfast of gangtas

  12. avatarCUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

    You know it’s quality when a single phillips head screw holds the grip panel on…

  13. avatarJimulacrum says:

    I think this is the first Hi-Point review I’ve come across, and it seems pretty consistent with my initial impression of the brand that always fills up page 1 when you sort the list by price. Cheap is cheap is cheap. It’s no surprise that police end up confiscating them from people whose only interest in guns is commiting crimes with them.

    • avatarKevin says:

      You may want to do some more looking. several other sites have done positive reviews, including Guns & Ammo.

    • avatarbleclair says:

      Definitely take a look around.. There are many many good reviews on the c9… I just bought one and it shoots perfect every time the trigger is pulled

  14. avatarNick G says:

    I saw a new C9 at my local gun shop today, and am considering trading+ a little cash for it. Up for trade would be my Davis arms .380. Yes i realise i’m trading one cheap POS gun for Another but the C9 seems much more decent to me and a better defense gun. I’d appreciate any feedback on that idea. Thanks

    • avatarCUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

      Please, no. Buy a good used revolver for a bit more or a little more for a good, used pistol. More likely that you’ll get a good revolver, used, for a low price. In example, Taurus honors their lifetime warranty, just don’t tell them you bought used. Smith and wesson also has a life time warranty and I believe ruger does too. Given choice, I’d go for the Ruger or the Smith, .38 special or higher-.357. Then get some good Jacketed Hollow Points and test fire. If you really want in put, contact me @ WTWDGARYBUSEYDO@GMAIL.COM. I was aN FBI trained firearms instructor, gun shop manager and Green Beret. I would be happy to help.

    • avatarKevin says:

      Do a little looking yourself. Watch all the videos on YouTube of people shooting the Hi-Points they love. (Ignore the one of the guy who says he got a 45 with a 40 slide on it, the two guns aren’t even made in the same factory and when he “shows” the slide to prove it, it’s so out of focus you can’t read what it says) That’s what I did before I bought my prefectly functional and accurate HP 40 JCP.

  15. avatarJohn Wriston says:

    Yes, I own one of these guns and have been very happy about it. It may not be the best looking gun a person could own, but I have shot more than 2,000 rounds and not had a problem. I own more expensive guns like sig sauer and had more jamming with them than the Hi point C9. And I do keep it loaded and within reach at home. PS don’t be a gun snob and try it befor you nock it.

  16. avatarJustin says:

    A “gun reviewer” who doesn’t even know which way to adjust sights? Why would you even post this until you had gone back to the range and properly adjusted the sights? What ammo did you use? How many rounds? What difference (if any) did you see between them?

  17. avatarKeith says:

    I work at a gun store, and I own a C9. We have sold around 25 Hi Point pistols, and many more carbines. I have never experienced, or had a customer bring back a Hi Point with any of the problems this reviewer has shown. I have had someone bring back a Hi-Point carbine that was having an issue with the magazine staying in. We sent it to Hi-Point, and they refurbished and sent it back for free.
    When I first purchased my Hi Point, I did have to adjust the sights, and the gun does not like to fire Blazer ammo. Other than that, I’ve shot many rounds without any issues.
    When a customer shows interest in a Hi-Point, I do try to show them some better double action only pistols. The Hi-Point is bulky, heavy, and ugly. That is the truth, and I am sure even the Hi-Point fans will agree.
    If someone only has $200 Bucks, or they have a bunch of pistols and just want something different, the Hi-Point is fine. You can’t try to make it something it is not.

  18. avatarSnorkel68 says:

    I own several Hi Points and have yet to have even a misfire. I have the 9mm, .45, the 9mm Carbine, out of the box every one of them has been extremely accurate. The carbine I took out of the box and ran 300 rounds of Wolf bulk ammo through it and not even one round failed to fire. The .45 I took out of the box and sat on my 4 wheeler 40 feet away and the second clip (first clip I had about a 14 inch group…lol) I put all 8 rounds in a 5 inch circle. My brother has the .45 also and he had a 6 inch group on his first clip sitting right next to me on his 4 wheeler. I would not hesitate to recommend or buy any of the Hi Point guns!

  19. avatarSKen says:

    I own a hi-point carbine 9mm and I can tell you they are extremely accurate if you tweak it right. I’m use a 9mm bore site laser cartridge to calibrate a reticule sight I mounted to the rail, iron sights removed. At 75 ft where the arc meets my sight I’m hitting bullseye with pretty tight groups consistently. I typically use PMC and Federal American Eagle rounds and I’ve never once had a problem. I’ve also had questions about cleaning, breakdown, clips etc. and the people are Hi-Point have been quick to help.

    I think the fun of this faux rifle is they are so inexpensive you can just keep buying accessories to change up the action. Can’t really go wrong.

  20. avatarBrady says:

    You must be joking ! Hi Point firearms produce the finest disposible hand held caveman club made today!

  21. avatarGary says:

    I have a C9, needed 1/8th turn up after 3 shots. Then sent a box each of Remington UMC, Blazer Brass, and Speer Lawman all at 115 gr through the gun. No FTL, FTE, or FTF, nice groups at 7 and 10 yards. The groups will tighten up once I get more time with the gun, normally I’ve shot revolvers. We had a great time with the C9.

  22. avatarCprl Robert Davis says:

    I to had a lot of trouble getting any holes in my target at 10 yards i did a little adjustment on the sight and switched ammo and now have no problem emptying a 10 round clip at rapid fire into a frisbee at 50 yards.

  23. avatarJoe says:

    its not a glock thats for sure but its not 700 bucks ether it a good home defence wepon. If someone in the house even hears a shot chances are they leave. take it for what it is a basic 9mm thats it if we could all afforg glocks then these guns would not be made

  24. avatarC9 owner says:

    I own a C9 and shoot on a regular basis. I shoot my C9 almost every other weekend and about 200 rounds a time. Mine shoots very well, at 25 feet, not yards, can group at 2 to 3 inches, consistently. For the price, it is a good reliable weapon. It has jammed only once on me, however I did make a minor mod on the feed ramp.

  25. avatarSam says:

    I own a C9, having no problem hittng targets from 3 to 50 yrds. out, starting the firtst day I purchased it. I would recommend hi-point products to anyone just starting out to a seasoned shooter.

  26. avatarChristopher F.W. Nelson says:

    I just purchased a Hi-Point 9mm from the local surplus store. $162.00 with 50 rounds American Eagle Fed, and a cleaning kit. Gotta wait for the 5days, I am excited to see how it shoots out of the box and compare it to after adjustment / break in time / modifications. Will report back with findings.

  27. avatarBob Tanner says:

    I am very grateful to the “gun snobs” out there. I recently purchased a Hi-Point c9 and a Hi-Point 45 ACP from a friend for $150 bucks. Included was two, 9 round magazines for the 45 and one, 8 round plus one 10 round mag’ for the 9mm. He had graduated up to the more costly pistols to please his “Gun Snob” friends and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I have pumped a box of lead through each and have no complaints, at all, with either of them. Thanks to all the gun snobs.
    BTW. I drive a 98 GMC Sierra, 2 wheel drive and all of my friends look down their noses at me because I don’t have 4×4. I have never been stuck with 2 wheel drive so I see no need to spend extra money for 4 wheel drive when mine serves me very well. Thanks again to all the elitist’s out there.

  28. avatarGene C says:

    Need information on High-Point .45 cal. carbine —function, accuracy. ect.
    thank you.

  29. avatarMatthew says:

    I have the C9 for fun, i’ve shot at least 1000 rounds through it and it groups 4 inch at 50 yards.. Home Defense I have a Dan Wesson .357

  30. avatarKwon says:

    Hi Point’s a pretty accurate gun, once you get the sights zeroed, and once you figure out what ammo it likes (or fine tune your handloads). I don’t really shoot in formal environments, paper doesn’t give me the instant feedback i desire. Last weekend I did some plinking, and I hit 6 soda cans with 12 rounds, starting at 25 yards to 55 yards. it wasn’t 100% accurate but that’s probably because I’m a lousy shot with a handgun. But what I managed surprised the heck out of me.
    1, I didn’t know I could shoot that good
    2, I didn’t know my ammo was that good (they were designed for maximum economy and distance no more than 50 feet)
    3, I didn’t know my handgun is that accurate!
    In the hands of a good shot, I believe a hi point c9 won’t loose to a fancy Kimber 1911 or a Glock 9mm.

    At the indoor range I practice twice a month, I’ve been able to put 4 bullets in the same hole at 7 yards several times.

    This is probably the best deal gun for the money i’ve ever bought. aside from my marlin 925 22 rifle, which was another $160 gun that is very accurate and reliable.

    FYI, the trigger pull should be around 4.5 lbs. most hi point c9′s have a 4.5 lb trigger. it’s sometimes more probably because there’s gunk in he trigger thing or something. Mine was like 12 lbs or so, but it’s gotten smoother over time. I learned to work with it. probably easily fixed in 30 seconds with a dremel buffing wheel but i never got around to it.

    I’ve owned mine for 3 years, and put close to 8k rounds thru it. it’s a wonderful gun. I recommend it to anyone, but gun snobs always get in the way.

  31. avatarRick Miller says:

    I have owned a HP C-9 for about three years. About a year ago I bought a Glock 26 for carry. Everytime I go visit my mother in the country I practice. The C-9 has never jammed or failed to fire. I shoot the cheapest ammo I can find. I did have to do some massive sight adjustments just to hit paper at 20 feet. I probably could have thrown the damn thing and hit my target sooner than with a bullet if it wasn’t so heavy. Then, I changed the rear sight to the ghost ring that came with the gun. Amazing difference. The C-9 is more accurate and will put more holes in the red with a 10 rd clip than the Glock will with 15. I never practice with targets over 30 feet. I have had FTE with the Glock, making me wary about having it as primary carry weapon. In fact, I now carry a Ruger LCP. I would rather have my $550 back that I paid for the Glock than the $169 that I paid for the Hi-Point.

  32. avatarRon Hoffman says:

    Haven’t fired a gun for 20 years since being out of the military. Got a Groupon for 1hr range time, gun rent, 50 rounds of ammo. I took the HP C9 I bought wifey for Xmas and rented the ranges’s M&P9c. Fired 50 rounds through the M&P, 200 through the HP. Though the HP was shooting about 6 inches low/left and I didn’t have a screwdriver with me to adjust the sights, I just aimed high and right and shot the center out of the target at 30 feet…. a bit surprised at how well the HP shot. I liked the HP better… even the heft. No malfunctions. Trigger pull wasn’t an issue once I got used to it. Planning to buy another for home defense. And I could buy 4 HPs and scatter them around the house for the price of 1 M&P.

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