As soon as I heard that Hi-Point Firearms was making a 10mm carbine, I put in a request to review one. It was months before I finally got my hands on one. Apparently they’re quite popular. In fact, I called a couple of retailers and they confirmed that yes indeed, the new carbine is a very strong selling firearm.
From a 17.5-inch barrel like the 1095TS’s, we can expect 900 ft-lbs or more of energy at the muzzle from many commercial rounds. That’s plenty for home security as well as common deer- and pig-hunting applications.
Hi-Point makes their money on their affordably-priced firearms by not spending money on the fluff. This rifle comes in a plain cardboard box with a single 10-round magazine. The manual is a single page of paper, front and back. There are no photos or diagrams to aid in disassembly or highlight key features of the firearm.
The good news is that there’s a very large, robust Hi-Point community out there. That means you don’t have to figure out anything on your own. I’d highly recommend anyone buying one of these carbines to peruse the Hi-Point forums.
Hi-Point has earned their cult strong following for a few good reasons. First, they’re seriously inexpensive. Most Hi-Point guns are cheaper new than better known manufacturers’ firearms are when purchased used. Most people think that they must be made overseas to keep this cost down so low. I often hear people deride them as “cheap Chinese guns.”
While that’s true of something like a Type 56, Hi-Point makes its guns right here in the US of A. In fact Hi-Point makes true all-American-made guns, not only assembling their guns in the U.S., but sourcing their materials here in the Land of the Brave as well.
As for aesthetics, let’s be honest; the 1095TS is a strange-looking gun. There are ridges on the sides of the forend that look like rails. They aren’t rails. The top of the gun has a plastic rail down it that extends beyond the receiver, for no obvious purpose. The whole thing is an odd mix of geometric shapes and angles.
None of the parts fit together very smoothly and there are gaps and lines where all of the major components come together. For this model, the entire gun is hydro-dipped in RealTree Edge camo.
One valid complaint you’ll hear about Hi-Point guns is that they’re heavy. My longtime readers know well that JDub prefers ’em with a little meat on their bones. And that goes for my guns too.
But at 7 pounds empty, the Hi-Point 10mm Carbine is a little less Thick Rihanna and a little more Ralphie May. Seven pounds puts the 1095TS about a pound heavier than most other pistol-cartridge carbines on the market.
Some of that additional weight is balanced out by having the gun load through the handle like a traditional semi-auto pistol. That allows the entire bolt and receiver to be moved back toward the shooter, giving the gun better balance and something of a bullpup feel.
The end result is a carbine with a 17 1/2-inch barrel but only 32 inches of overall length. The 1095TS is the rare case of a gun feeling heavier slung than it does when shouldered.
The other complaint I often hear about Hi-Points is that they’re awkward to handle. Even with a shorter overall length, comparing the 1095TS carbine to most other pistol-caliber carbines built in the AR or MP5 style, I’d have to agree.
First off, the stock, with its internal recoil buffer, is just weird.
The rear of the carbine’s stock has a strange recoil pad that’s set on springs. And that’s not a good strange. Those springs mean you have to pull back even harder to maintain a good cheek-stock weld. If you don’t, the carbine will bounce around as you fire.
If your goal is purely recoil reduction, with no thought to shooting accurately or quickly, that might be OK. But a stock needs to be rigid to help keep the firearm as still and on-target as possible. This spring setup actually accentuates movement and reduces your ability to maintain a consistent position on the weapon. Wrong answer.
Unlike some previous models, the 1095TS Carbine sports a gel-like cheek pad on the stock. The choice of materials is an odd one, as the pad is grippy and tacky. It’s not really sticky, as it leaves no residue on what it touches. It does, however, rapidly collect dust and dirt, and holds it there firmly.
I’m not a fan of the raised soft rubber cheek piece at all. As is, combined with the sprung recoil pad, it feels like a light slap in the face every time I pull the trigger.
Those of you who have beards, take special note. One of the other folks shooting with me at The Range at Austin had a full beard and has less of it now. That rubber pad actually pulled out hairs during recoil every time he shot the gun.
That rubber cheek rest could have been smooth, and the stock-on-springs thing didn’t need to exist at all. I assume these features were included out of a concern about felt recoil. And for its weight, the recoil impulse on the 1095TS is a bit more than I expected. I’ve shot plenty of magnum power carbines in one form or another, and this one feels more like a 5.56NATO carbine than one that fires a 10mm cartridge.
Even so, the recoil-reducing features do very little to curb muzzle climb at the cost of making the rifle actually more uncomfortable to shoot. They need to go, or Hi-Point would do well to sell another version without them.
Feeding the Hi-Point carbine works in the same manner as most semi-automatic pistols; through the pistol grip. For those of you used to the AK, AR, MP5, UMP, FAL — just about all of the detachable magazine fed rifles out there — this will definitely take some getting used to.
After some trial and error, I found the simplest way to change magazines quickly was to hold the grip in my firing hand at high port and use my support hand to both release the magazine as well as to withdraw and insert a loaded magazine into the rifle.
Essentially, load this carbine as you would a pistol, but hit the magazine release with your support thumb. That’s because, even with my size large hands, I wasn’t able to reach the magazine release without shifting my grip. And I’m going to need all of that grip to keep a seven-pound carbine still at high port during the mag change.
Done in this manner, with a little practice, I was able to get the gun back into action quickly and reliably.
The 1095TS is festooned with rail space on top and bottom of the receiver, as well as under barrel. Note that these aren’t standard Picatinny rails, but plastic Weaver-style rails on which you can mount a scope or red-dot optic.
The nice thing about the rail set-up on the bottom of the rifle is that you could feasibly set up a bipod on the rail attached to the frame, as well as a flashlight in front of the bipod hanging from the barrel itself. That weight making contact with the barrel will certainly change your point of impact at longer ranges. As always, zero the rifle as you intend to use it.
The barrel is threaded with a standard .45ACP threading of .578×28. As with all direct blowback guns, expect a good amount of gas blowback if you’re using a silencer. A sling, swivels and scope base are included with the carbine.
The plastic trigger looks like it would pull straight back like a 1911. Try to pull it back like that, though, and you’ll certainly increase the trigger’s perceived pull weight. Instead, allow the trigger to operate a little more like a double-action revolver, and let it hinge down. You’ll find the trigger then vastly improves, although it’s still relatively heavy and gritty. I measured trigger pull at just over 8 pounds.
I’m not a fan of Hi-Point’s lever safety. The thumb safety is obvious and intuitive for the new shooter. But it’s also difficult to turn off and even more difficult to engage, especially while the rifle is shouldered.
The 1095TS Carbine will lock the bolt back on an empty magazine. Since there is no obvious bolt lock or release lever, I assumed that you couldn’t lock the bolt back without a magazine inserted.
Upon closer inspection, I found that there’s a slight round cut-out at the rear slot that the reciprocating bolt handle traverses. With a little difficulty and some care, I was able to push the charging handle knob (on the left side) down into that slot, keeping the bolt locked to the rear, even without a magazine in the chamber.
However, seeing as how that takes some time and some dexterity, that process may make clearing a double feed malfunction a more difficult and time consuming, as the inability to lock the bolt back quickly often makes it much harder to strip the magazine.
As I found out, however, double-feeds aren’t likely.
I’ve heard complaints about Hi-Point reliability. I have heard them, but I’ve never seen it in practice. The same goes for the 1095TS Carbine. As always, I lubed the firearm prior to shooting, but I never cleaned or lubed it again during the entire review process.
I put a total of 500 rounds through the rifle without any problems. Most of these were the Freedom Munitions 180gr flat nosed rounds (use coupon code “TTAG” for 5% off) with rounds from Winchester and Hornady, too. Nothing gave the 1095TS anything it couldn’t handle. At least none that are directly related to the function of the gun.
It’s fairly easy to make the firearm fail to go into battery if you don’t completely pull the bolt to the rear prior to releasing it. If there’s an empty magazine in the gun and the bolt is locked to the rear on that empty magazine, you will have to insert a fresh magazine into the gun, pull the bolt back fully and release it.
The problem is that “fully” back is all of about ¼ of an inch. Then you need to fully release it. Not pulling it back that ¼ inch, or riding the bolt forward at all — even the tiniest little bit — will result in a bolt stoppage. I was able to clear those every time by just pressing the bolt slightly forward, and the spring did the rest.
Again, there’s no mechanical failure of the firearm here. But the firearm’s design makes it easy for the user to fail in properly releasing the bolt. It takes some practice and even then, it’s pretty easy to get wrong. Actually lengthening the travel the bolt pulls back would have fixed the problem.
Putting 500 rounds through this gun wasn’t particularly quick. That’s because it ships with only a single 10-round magazine. You can buy more on the Hi-Point website for about $20. Sadly, there are no other 10mm carbine magazines on the Hi-Point website that will hold more than 10 rounds. That’s disappointing, as a big selling point for the PCC concept in general is their ability to pour rounds out quickly. That’s not much fun when the round count ends at 10.
Accuracy testing with the Hi Point 1095TS 10mm Carbine was yet another lesson in the importance of paying attention. My first groups with the factory iron sights were around four inches at 25 yards. I burned a lot of ammo trying that again and again, and 3¾” was the average.
I didn’t expect great groups, but I expected better than that. I figured maybe it was my eyes. So I put my Atibal Nomad scope on a Warne cantilever mount and tried again. Same results, and all while tucked into the Caldwell shooting rest. I was pretty happy with the inexpensive carbine up to that point, but the lack of accuracy made this a 25-yard hunting gun, at best.
As usual, before call a gun out in a review, I called the manufacturer. Hi-Point let me know that those are the groups I should expect at 100 yards, not 25. They asked me to send them the gun and they would fix it or I could have a new one under their lifetime warranty.
As this is a test and evaluation gun, I wanted them to fix it and send it back to me. I then set about taking the scope off. When I reached to unscrew the mount, the scope fell off. And here was the first part of my lesson for the day. Slow down, pay attention.
The top rail didn’t quite match up with the scope mount. It looked like the mount was on, but in fact, it wasn’t fully seated in the rail. Nor could it be, no matter how hard I tried. It wouldn’t fully seat down into the rails, nor would any of my QD mounts. When I tried regular rings, they mounted just fine. Slow down, pay attention.
With a scope mounted correctly this time, I shot 1¼” five-round groups at 25 yards off a rest using Freedom Munitions 180gr round point flat-nosed bullets. That’s more like it.
Putting the original rear sight back on gave me my final lesson for the day. The rear sight is attached with four screws into the top of the receiver, one of which is also the elevation adjustment. When I locked all of the screws back down onto the receiver, I realized the elevation screw wasn’t sitting in the same footprint of where it was originally. It was slightly cocked. Now it was perpendicular to the receiver. Whoever had this T&E gun before me apparently hadn’t fully seated it back in, causing the rear sight to be loose. It must have been moving a bit when I was shooting it. Yet again, slow down, pay attention.
The adjustable sights from the factory are fine for fast acquisition or low-light shooting. The front sight post stands out sharply and is protected by a classic ring. The rear peep sight is fully adjustable. It is also pretty big … too big for precision work. When improperly seated, it must have been moving a slight amount, and since the rear site is fairly large, I never noticed. When correctly mounted, the gun shot 1.5-inch groups at 25 yards with the factory irons. Mystery solved.
That means that instead of limiting shots on game to 25 yards, we have a realistic 100-yard whitetail deer and pig slayer, assuming good marksmanship on the part of the shooter.
Pay very close attention to where the marks on the rear sight were, because you’ll have to reset them to that spot in order to get anywhere close to your original zero if you remove the rear sight and then put it back on. You will still have to re-zero the rifle.
Accurate enough? Check.
Here’s the really real ya’ll. For those of us familiar with most other platforms, this is an awkward gun. It has some strange features, some of which just shouldn’t be there. And it doesn’t feel like the guns we’re used to. It’s not fast, it’s not sleek.
It’s also not a $1,000 carbine. The bottom line is this a dirt cheap gun that’s good enough for the vast majority of things you’ll need a gun to do. It’s good enough to hunt deer and pigs out to the ranges most people hunt them, and black bears at 50 yards as well.
It’s good enough for home defense, and it’s plenty good as a truck gun. I found them online, exactly like this one, for under $400. For a whole lot of folks on a budget, the Hi-Point 1095TS Edge carbine is a semi-auto pistol-caliber carbine that checks the boxes for all the basics.
How does it compare to a Bretheren Arms MP5 10mm? Not so well. But if you want those looks, those ergonomics, that light weight, increased accuracy, customization, the name, and the speed and ease of use, get ready to shell out an additional $3,200 for one.
For some of us, that’s totally worth it. But for the vast majority of folks, $400 or less for a gun that reliably does what you need? That’s easy math.
Specifications: Hi-Point 1095TS Edge Carbine
Barrel length: 17.5″ (threaded)
Overall length: 32″
Weight: 7 lbs.
Sights: Fully Adjustable Rear Peep and Post Front
Stock: Realtree Edge Camouflage hydro-dipped polymer stock
MSRP: $439 (black polymer version MSRP $389, less via Sportsman’s Guide)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style and Appearance * *
The Hi-Point has a look all its own. The lines don’t particularly flow together, there are superfluous features, and it’s more bulky that it needs to be.
Customization * *
The multiple rails allow for the use of many different add-ons. But there are very few factory options, and the lack of larger capacity magazines is a big disappointment.
Reliability * * * * *
Don’t release the bolt too soon and the 1095TS carbine runs like a champ. The only issues in 500 rounds were user-caused.
Accuracy * * *
1 1/2-inch groups at 25 yards makes this gun very capable out to common hunting ranges.
Overall * * *
It’s awkward. It’s heavy. It’s not pretty. It’s also perfectly reliable and accurate enough to maximize the ballistic capability of the 10mm round. In short, in what matters most, the Hi-Point 1095TS Edge 10mm Carbine gets the job done and does it for cheap.
Ammo for this review provided by Freedom Munitions. Visit www.FreedomMunitions.com and use coupon code “TTAG” for 5% off site-wide on dozens of brands of ammunition, accessories, parts, optics, and more.