The growth segment in the firearms market now is concealed carry handguns. That’s the #1 purchase for new gun owners, a handgun for home defense and concealed carry. And while buying a good gun seems to be foremost in their mind, plenty of buyers are happy with going for a lesser known brand if the price is right. That’s exactly where the market segment the SCCY CPX-2 handgun has staked out . . .
SCCY (originally Skyy, not to be confused with the vodka) has only been producing firearms in the state of Florida since 2003, but they can be found at just about every gun show these days. Their raison d’etre is producing handguns that are big on quality but low on cost, and they seem to have hit that mark with their flagship pistol.
Yep, this handgun can be had for as little as $209 via Brownells. MSRP runs around $319.
Let’s take a second and go over the features. For that $250 you get a polymer frame semi-auto handgun with a 3.1 inch barrel in 9mm that sports a “double action only” trigger with a full-length metal chassis embedded under the skin. It accepts double stacked 10-round magazines with either flush-fit bases or finger extensions that give you a little more pinky room. And the CPX-2 comes with two mags as well as replacement bases for both.
The original CPX model (CPX-1 for those keeping score at home) included a manual safety on the frame, but it drew so much criticism that the manufacturer dropped it altogether in the newer model.
When you pick up a $250 gun, you expect it to feel cheap. But with the SCCY pistol, it feels the same as any GLOCK — only slimmer. None of the usual rattling or toy-like textures are present, only a polished and shiny gun. It even looks nice on the outside. Nice, compared to other polymer framed handguns, at least.
It’s quite appealing on the inside as well. The gun takes down easily, kinda like some unholy combination of a 1911 and an FNS-9. Tools are unfortunately required to get the takedown pin out of its hole, but it goes back together tool free.
The white dots on both the front and rear sight are especially nice and big, highly visible white dots that can be seen even in low light. That’s not to say that you’ll actually be accurate, however.
The trigger is where the ship starts to fall apart. It’s a double action internal hammer job, so we already know the long trigger pull is going to be heavier than Joe Grine coming out of an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. And while it’s a smooth pull, there’s something about the combination of the flat-yet-curved trigger and the small form factor of the gun that kept me from actually putting rounds on target. At 10 yards I was “minute of paper” at best. Follow-up shots were a challenge, so con’t expect one-inch groups.
While the gun will eat anything you throw at it, the magazines seem to object to steel-cased rounds. They caused this malfunction back at the loading table, and caused the stainless steel slide to lock back once on the firing line before the gun was empty. Then again, you get what you pay for when it comes to ammo.
Personally, I wasn’t a big fan of the gun. I wasn’t able to be accurate with it, and the double action only trigger left something to be desired. Then again, I’m not this pistol’s target audience.
Thankfully I had brought a couple brand new shooters with me the day I was testing it, and out of all the handguns we fired, this was the one they seemed most interested in buying. They had been thinking about getting a handgun for home defense, and even with the FNS-9 and Glock 17 sitting on the table, they kept asking about the SCCY CPX-2 and wanting to fire it.
There is something to be said about a good looking, cheap gun.
Action: Semi auto
Barrel length: 3.1 inches
Overall Length: 5.7 inches
Overall Width: 1 inches
Overall height: 4 inches
Weight: 15 oz.
Sights: 3-dot steel
Finish: Black or stainless
Capacity: 10 Rounds
Suggested Retail Price: $ 319 (MSRP) — as low as about $209 via Brownells
Ratings (Out of Five Stars):
At contact distance, it doesn’t really matter. But “minute of bad guy at 10 yards” is the best I could muster.
Ergonomics: * * *
For me and my big hands, the handgun feels too small. Even with the extended baseplates on the magazines, I couldn’t get a solid grip. Add with the long and tough double action trigger pull and you have something that I would buy, fire once, and then chuck in the drawer, never to be seen again.
Reliability: * * * *
I had no issues, except when I ran steel-cased ammo. The owner of this handgun tells me he has run everything from FMJ to hollowpoint ammo to +P loads with no issues, and I’m happy taking him at his word on that. Or, rather, my hand appreciates him testing the gun for me.
There’s pretty much no aftermarket options for these handguns.
Overall: * * * *
While this isn’t my first choice for a home defense or concealed carry pistol, it’s cheap and reliable enough to meet the needs of any new shooter looking for a budget self defense firearm.