Hudson H9
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Hudson Mfg’s H9 pistol was the belle of the SHOT Show 2017 ball. And why not? Hudson was a brand-new company making a brand-new pistol — a truly unique pistol, at that. Today, the first production H9s are hitting distributors. It’s time to see if it lives up to all that hype attention.

The H9 is sure to confuse the loyalties of GLOCK and 1911 devotees alike. This Temple, Texas-built firearm lives in a new realm of its own creation somewhere in the middle. It’s an attempt to marry the best aspects of John Moses Browning’s time-proven design with the size efficiency of a striker-fired system. It’s a handgun, Jim, but not as we know it. Funny looking and futuristic.

But let’s get one thing straight: that tall snout doesn’t house a light or laser. And, no, the H9 isn’t integrally-suppressed. In fact, the H9’s distinctive front end contains mostly nothing: air space between the bottom of the barrel and the top of the recoil spring.

Hudson arrived at this design for two reasons. First, the barrel could then be lowered down towards the frame, reducing slide height and bore axis. Second, lowering the recoil spring is supposed to direct its force into the frame at a lower point, thereby reducing muzzle flip.

This design results in a unique, slab-sided look. The H9’s dust cover practically extends the flat bottom of the trigger guard all the way to the muzzle. Ultimately, the H9’s appearance is polarizing; it seems like people either really like it or really don’t. Personally, I dig the Robocop meets pregnant guppy aesthetic.

That said, the Hudson H9 looks a bit absurd with even a small light bolted to the accessory rail. As often as I whine about the single slot on a GLOCK’s rounded, angled, not-to-spec rail, I think the H9’s single slot lends a cleaner look to the gun than if it had four or five slots in that space. [Note: reaching the activation switch(es) was a non-issue.]

Bro, can you even make a holster for that thing? I’ve been seeing that question a lot on TTAG’s Instagram and Facebook pages, and the answer is “yes.” As I write, at least 14 manufacturers make holsters for the Hudson H9; from leather to Kydex to hybrids, IWB and OWB. Ft. Worth-based DSG Holsters‘ Kydex OWB holster is seen above.

Mistaking the H9’s wide muzzle for its grip could be forgiven. Thankfully, Hudson respects their customers enough to leave the “GripZone®” silliness to a certain Illinois-based gun importer. But I digress…

The grip frame is one of two areas where the Hudson H9 screams “1911.” If you like the shape, width, and angle of the 1911 grip (and we all know you do), you’re going to love the H9. G10 grip scales from VZ Grips are fit flush into the forged steel frame for a slim, clean look and feel.

The H9’s frontstrap checkering is wonderfully precise. I’d prefer sharper peaks, but blunting them off is a better market-pleasing choice and they still offer sufficient gription.

There’s a ball dimple at the base of the frontstrap, matching the dimple in the proprietary magazine’s baseplate. This feature facilitates the quick stripping of a stuck mag, without going overboard like some guns I could mention.

Over at the H9’s backstrap we find a traditional, two-piece 1911 construction with one huge departure: the beavertail is that and only that; it doesn’t function as a grip safety. Below it sits a Hogue G10 Mainspring Housing. Again, I could go for more aggressive texturing but this gets the job done.

Surprising many, the H9 is not a single-stack pistol holding 10 rounds of 9mm. It’s a double-stack affair with a capacity of 15+1. Another benefit of a fatter pistol mag: it’s still skinny at the top, acting like a reverse magazine well and facilitating easy mag insertion. Even so, Hudson has beveled the magwell well.

Controls on the H9 consist of an ambidextrous slide stop and a magazine release. Unlike a 1911, there’s no manual thumb safety. Yet. As you may have guessed from the plug at the top rear of the frame, Hudson will be offering an add-on safety soon. Three, in fact: left-side-only, right-side-only, or ambidextrous (a lever on both sides).

While the magazine release isn’t ambidextrous, it’s insanely easy to swap from one side to the other. Simply turn that flathead screw a quarter turn and the mag release slides right out of the frame. Flip it around, put it back in, turn the screw a quarter turn back the other direction, and you’re done. Awesome.

If the grip frame was the first area kept fairly pure to the 1911 design, the trigger is the second. Yes, despite the H9 being a striker-fired gun it rocks an extremely 1911-like trigger.

Just like JMB’s meisterstuck, the H9’s trigger is on a hoop-like trigger bow that slides straight rearwards into the frame rather than pivoting. There’s another notable departure from 1911 tradition: a trigger safety flipper dingus. In fact, this unique dingus even departs from the “tradition” of striker-fired pistol trigger dinguses (dingi?).

The H9’s trigger safety pivots at the bottom rather than the top, encouraging shooters to pull the trigger straight back or slightly upwards instead of down and into the frame. Additionally, the safety runs the full height and width of the trigger shoe. You don’t feel it as a separate piece of the trigger; it isn’t a skinny “blade” and it doesn’t dig into your finger. The H9’s trigger safety dingus simply becomes the trigger’s entire contact surface. It’s a great design.

The Hudson H9’s trigger is also 1911-like in the most important way: it’s short and crisp and so is the reset. In fact, the reset is more pronounced than on most 1911s. That didn’t stop Robert from whipping out his Wilson Combat EDC X9 to remind me that the Hudson H9’s trigger is not as good as a hand-tuned, high-end 1911’s go pedal. In this he is correct.

That said, this H9’s trigger breaks at about 5.75 pounds. That’s 60 percent heavier than RF’s Wilson, which makes comparison of other fundamentals a little muddy. At any rate, we can settle the ol’ Walther PPQ vs. HK VP9 vs. CZ P-10 C “who’s got the best striker-fired trigger on the market” debate. It’s the Hudson H9. Those other guys are now left arguing over second place.

Rounding out the “Features” portion of today’s H9 show: the H9’s sights. A serrated black rear and a Trijicon HD bright orange and tritium dot front are dovetailed into the forged steel slide, which also sports serrations along its top to reduce glare.

To field strip the H9, clear the gun, drop the mag, lock the slide to the rear, and pop the takedown lever out towards the left side of the frame. You’ll probably need a tool like the corner of a magazine base place to pop that lever out. Rotate the takedown lever downwards until it stops, then release the slide from lock and ease it forwards. Once in battery, pull the trigger to release the striker and slide the slide off the front of the frame.

The first thing you’re likely to notice: the H9’s flat-wire recoil spring is captured on its steel guide rod and captured in the frame. The guide rod screws into a mount at the rear of the dust cover. As the spring’s under considerable tension even in its “rested” state (as above) and there’s precious little finger purchase area, I’d have added a hex cut in the front of the guide rod so you can use a tool to remove and install it. Just sayin’.

Once you rotate that takedown pin, the H9 is easier to field strip and reassemble than any other pistol I can recall. With the recoil spring captured in the frame, there’s no need to fumble with it. And the barrel drops in and out of the slide just as you’d expect.

As you can see, the Hudson H9’s frame rails bear no resemblance to a 1911’s but are a more modern design with short rail sections both front and rear. Those rails are part of a removable, one-piece, sub-chassis insert; the serialized “firearm” part of the H9. Should Hudson (or the aftermarket) make different grip frames for the H9, they would be available “over the counter” as they are for the SIG P320Beretta APX, and a few other modern, modular pistols.

The H9 uses a unique barrel locking system that’s designed to lower the barrel towards the frame as much as possible while still allowing for suppressor use (unlike a rotating barrel, for example). The barrel moves rearwards and forwards and tilts down to unlock from the ejection port, but the vertical movement is very much minimized.

Hudson H9 Detail Strip Stripped

Boom. Detail stripped (except for disassembling the trigger, removing the slide stops from the chassis, and removing the sights). There are some 54 individual parts not counting the magazine. That’s almost the same number as a 1911, and there are quite a few strong similarities in the fire control group components.

Why detail strip a new gun? For science! To inform our readers! And also to clean it in my cheap-but-effective ultrasonic tank after putting it through an approximation of the Military Arms Channel’s famous torture test (video above).

In said torture test, the H9 did okay. Not great. It has no issue firing completely full of water, and handled light exposure to sand and mud. Twice burying it in that playground sand proved too much to ask; the hard grains got on the ammo and into the chamber and began preventing rounds from going into battery.

Nearly all the photos in this article were taken after abusing the H9 with that sharp sand, thick mud, and water, and attempting to force it into battery and generally manhandling it while absolutely filthy (the gun, not me…but also me). The nitride finish on the H9’s forged steel frame and slide still looks as-new. There are zero scratches, scuffs, or anything of the like.

Unfortunately, the black oxided steel chassis didn’t fare quite as well. Finish is worn away from some of the wear surfaces, and there were spots of light surface rust. It cleaned up just fine, but its surface resilience falls well short of the nitrided slide and frame. Hudson says the extreme surface hardness of nitriding isn’t ideal for the H9’s chassis, which sees repeated impact and has some thinner areas. They state the H9 will have a longer lifespan with a less brittle treatment on the chassis.

While the H9 wasn’t a battle-ready standout in the MAC torture test, it did more than well enough for normal self-defense duty. Especially after it showed itself reliable with over 750 rounds down the pipe — 525 prior to the torture testing and nearly 250 after.

During my first range outing I shot the Hudson H9 straight out of the box, without cleaning or lubing it. I fed the firearm 500 rounds of mixed ammo including six types of hollow points and some aluminum-cased rounds. We’re talking everything from 90 grain Alchemist Ammunition frangible ammo to 165 grain Freedom Munitions HUSH (HUSH, DAMN YOU!) to flying ashtray hollow points to aluminum-cased Independence FMJ range fodder.

The H9 ran it all with only a single stoppage due to ammo failure. On the first range trip after detail stripping and reassembling the gun, I experienced one failure to extract practically right off the bat. It seemed like the extractor hadn’t grabbed the case rim at all; maybe it was a little sticky after installing it. The H9 has since run another 230-ish rounds of mixed ammo without another hiccup of any sort.

Six people have fired this gun so far and all of them agree: the Hudson H9 is an extremely flat-shooting, soft-shooting, fast-shooting pistol. Good Lord, is it fast and flat!

Weighing-in at 34 ounces, the H9 is five ounces lighter than an M1911. But it’s still 13 ounces heavier than a GLOCK 19. Heavy enough to absorb recoil, but that clearly isn’t the only factor here. Maybe the H9’s recoil spring location truly works as advertised — directing its force down near the bottom of the trigger guard instead of up at the top of the frame. Muzzle flip is only notable by its absence.

And then there’s the H9’s aforementioned limbo-low bore axis. In fact, it would be impossible for a pistol to allow for a higher grip. The bottom of the H9’s slide is a scant couple millimeters away from the hand, but never touches.

As much as I like the size and height of the beavertail, Hudson has made a mistake here. The beavertail doesn’t fit flush to the frame at its corners, which are pokey.

That small, almost-healed scab on my thumb used to be a cut. The left corner of the H9’s beavertail slowly scrapes me on the thumb until it breaks skin. This pokey frame gap is noticeable immediately but not bothersome unless the range session includes at least four boxes of ammo.

And there’s another, more serious issue . . .

We’re looking up inside of the magazine well, with the backstrap to the right. As you can see, it’s nice and smooth in there. A magazine will slide up the inside of the front- or backstrap without impediment. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always look like that.

When releasing the trigger, it’s common for the trigger bow to travel forwards far enough that it sticks into the magazine well a couple/few millimeters. Far enough that the back of the bow sits just barely proud of the magwell wall.

On many occasions, this caused an obvious bump while inserting a magazine. With purposeful rearwards bias on the mag, its insertion can be physically blocked by the trigger bow. Without doing that intentionally, the mag will hit the bow and bounce forwards and/or bounce the bow back and continue on its way. But you can feel it hit that wall and pop over it, and this I do not like.

Hudson told TTAG that they’re aware the bow will sometimes ever-so-slightly protrude past the face of the magwell wall. But that, based on my photos and description, this H9 should go back for inspection. It appears to be beyond the acceptable tolerance. Speaking of which . . .

This H9 is not a highly accurate pistol. For one thing, the point of impact is low and the sights aren’t adjustable for elevation. On this H9, the rear sight needed to be taller or the front lower. And it isn’t me. At 15 yards from a sandbag this gun hits about six inches low. Every other shooter who attempted accurate hits saw the same results.

Issues with POA/POI aren’t necessarily related to mechanical accuracy, though. Sadly, this H9 doesn’t excel there, either. The pistol’s barrel lockup is relatively loose; I can push on the barrel hood and easily cause it to slide up and down, and can slightly wobble the barrel at the muzzle end, too. The H9’s slide-to-frame fit is also fairly loose.

From a sandbag, using the factory sights from 15 yards, I kept getting decent three- or four-round groups. But there was always a flyer or two in a five-round group somewhere. I thought maybe it was me, but I’m now confident the flyers were related to the H9’s loose barrel lockup.

Heading over to The Range at Austin, I bolted a laser to the H9’s accessory rail to take my sight alignment skills out of the proverbial picture. Five, five-round groups with five brands of ammo at 15 yards off a sandbag produced similar results, despite very high confidence that I was breaking that clean trigger with the dot dead-on in the bull.

This time the poor accuracy was likely a combination of that barrel-to-slide play and the slide-to-frame play. As the laser is bolted to the frame, not the slide or barrel, all of this clearance stacking can negatively affect accuracy. Conversely when using the iron sights, which are fixed to the slide, the slide-to-frame play is removed from the slow fire accuracy equation.

Bottom line: Hudson seems to have engineered the H9’s clearances with a larger nod towards reliability than accuracy.

At the end of the day, despite falling short of perfection in its first iteration, I really dig the Hudson H9. Its grip frame and overall ergos and controls are absolutely fantastic, and that trigger is incredible — as good as it gets in the striker-fired world. And while the H9 doesn’t shoot exactly where you aim it, it shoots as flat as Kansas cornfields, as soft as Texas cotton, and as fast as a highly-caffeinated New Yorker.

I also think the $1,147 MSRP is right. While many of us struggle to get beyond the fact that the H9 is striker-fired and feel compelled to compare price against Gaston’s gat, I don’t think that’s appropriate. With a nitrided, forged steel frame and slide, separate internal chassis, flawless finish and machining, great sights, G10 grip panels, three included magazines, and a lifetime warranty, the H9’s price is justified. In fact, I think it’s more appropriate to compare the H9 against decent 1911s, and on that scale it’s a bargain.

While the Hudson H9 is an absolute joy to shoot — and shoot fast — and delivers enough accuracy for self-defense and most competition use, it does fall disappointingly short in the hit-what-you’re-aiming-at department. Especially when compared to a halfway decent 1911. Though I take issue with a couple other aspects of the H9’s design, ultimately it’s the sub-par accuracy that prevents me from being completely gaga over this early production, brand-new pistol.

Specifications: Hudson H9

Caliber: 9×19
Capacity: 15+1 (ships with three magazines, which are based on but not compatible with 5906/Hi-Power mags)
Weight: 34 ounces
Barrel Length: 4.28 inches
Sight Radius: 6.26 inches
Overall Length: 7.625 inches
Height: 5.225 inches
Maximum Width: 1.24 inches
Slide/Frame Materials and Finish: forged steel, black nitrided
Trigger: 4.5-5 pounds pull (mine measures about 5.75 pounds). Approximately 0.115 inches of travel (not including safety blade).
Sights: serrated black rear, Trijicon HD front
Grips: VZ Grips G10
Safeties: Striker block safety and trigger blade safety included. Optional (coming soon): left-side-only, right-side-only, or ambidextrous thumb safeties.
MSRP: $1,147

Ratings (out of five stars):

Reliability * * * * 1/2
In the real world the H9 has earned five stars. Unfortunately for the H9, I put it through a gauntlet test that showed it isn’t king of the adverse conditions hill. Would I carry this gun and trust it for all normal self-defense use? Definitely. Would it be my go-to-war gun for storming beaches and jungles? No. But I have no plans in that direction.

Accuracy * *
Disappointing. A tighter barrel-slide lockup could drastically improve the H9’s accuracy, which needs drastic improvement.

Ergonomics * * * * *
I love the H9’s grip angle, shape, and feel, along with the ability to get an extremely high grip on the pistol. The slide stop is absolutely perfect for me, functioning very easily as both a lock and a release, and the magazine release is spot-on. Yes, the beavertail pokes my thumb, but this is a relatively small gripe that’s only annoying on extended range sessions.

Customize This * * * *
Replacement grip panels are not yet available, but will be soon from VZ Grips and others. Various thumb safeties are not yet available, but will be soon. Magazine extensions are not yet available, but Hudson has designed the magazines specifically to make it easy for the aftermarket to create extensions. The mag release can be swapped from left to right in seconds. The H9 does have a single-slot Pic rail, though it looks a bit silly with anything clamped to it. And there’s already a nice selection of holsters available.

On The Range * * * * *
Few guns shoot nicer than the Hudson H9. Everybody who tried it instantly loved it, as it shoots as flat and as soft as a pancake and it’s faster than a greased Usain Bolt. The H9 points naturally, moves quickly, has great sights for self-defense and timed competition, and rewards with a truly 1911-like trigger. Though I’m giving it five stars here because it’s so stellar in so many ways, the shooting experience can still be meaningfully improved. Hudson should fix the POI, beavertail, and trigger bow issues, and needs to improve the H9’s accuracy.

Overall * * * *
Hudson’s first gun, the H9, is extremely impressive in many ways. It feels good in the hand and it shoots like a dream. But there are important improvements to be made as they refine this brand-new design.

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  1. Dingus’s vs dingi. Hummmm. Is this is it just me or is this clearly an attempt to create new gun terminology. And I thought I was confused before I read this!

    • Because it’s only one of many categories that combine to form an overall rating. It’s largely responsible for the H9 not receiving five stars. Again, the accuracy is completely acceptable for self-defense and timed competition, etc., so the H9’s performance there shouldn’t be overly emphasised. It’s just that it’s below expectations (three stars being average or “meets expectations”).

      • Jeremy you’re one of my favorite gun reviewers out there but I kinda have to agree with the comment. Nearly 1200 bucks for a gun that shoots six inches low at fifteen yards? And that’s off a rest. When we are talking defense situation, accuracy in general tends to suffer. It just seems that this gun has too many quality control issues to rate four stars. Kudos to them for trying something new, but f If it were from Springfield, Glock, even some sort of 1911 I have a feeling this gun would have gotten critically panned for this performance.

        • The H9 is a fantastic shooter and I can fix the POI in two minutes with my metal file if I choose to (take a little off the top of the front sight). Ultimately, the POI thing is a much smaller issue to me than the marginal mechanical accuracy.

          Hudson reached out to me a couple hours ago and said it’s below their expectations and internal testing results. I’ll be sending this unit back to them for inspection and will follow up with another article with the results.

        • The idea that taking a file to a $1100 gun should be either advisable or necessary is laughable. And anyway, it’s not like you can just file a Trijicon sight down the requisite 0.07″ without also damaging it.

        • I agree I’ve been thinking about getting one of these but for 1200 bucks? Hell I can almost buy two Sig Sauer for that… And there’s a lot more accurate. I don’t care how fast or snazzy or Sleek a gun is if it’s not accurate it’s worthless. My everyday carry is a first gen (yep you read that right I’ve had this gun for almost a decade) Springfield Arms XD 5-inch tactical 45 ACP I’ll stick with that for now. If the Hudson drops in price by 300 bucks and fixes some of the accuracy issues then maybe I’ll get one.

      • Good, I sincerely hope it was just a sub par example that got out, that will happen especially with a new gun. I do wish them success in their business venture and it is a neat concept.

  2. Nice write-up and analysis Jeremy. If you ever develop a commercial firearm, count me in as a buyer. I’ve handled many of the pistols referenced in your article, but STI’s Duty One Lite in 45ACP remains my present favorite for weight, trigger, accuracy and price ($1200). Capacity in a single stack will never touch a double stack :/ Hudson deserves recognition for a new design, I’ll wait for 2.0 before writing a check. Keep up the good work, I wish TTAG would devote more ink to quality articles than gotcha biters…

    • While the trigger isn’t quite there, the recoil impulse of the H9 reminds me the most of a few of the hand-tuned 9mm STIs that I’ve shot. Some of those guns are crazy soft and flat, and this one’s close.

      • $1200? With a little shopping around l can score a ppq and an aerex for $1200 and I won’t need a file to fix the sights. You’re spending more time defending your review than you used to write it.

        • The purpose of the review is to provide all of the information necessary for people to make a purchasing decision or form an opinion of the firearm, not to drive what that opinion is. The review is as objective as possible, pointing out features, functionality, upsides, downsides, etc. The ratings section, however, is highly subjective and is my opinion, not yours. You DO NOT have to agree with how I prioritize price, accuracy, aesthetics, weight and size, features, etc etc for the review to be meaningful.

          I’m happy to jump in the comments and explain how I chose my subjective ratings, but I don’t feel like that’s defending the review and I also don’t feel like you’re attacking the review, either. You absolutely know how accurate this gun is now. Whether that’s a deal breaker to you, which I take zero issue with, or whether I think it’s within acceptable range for my envisioned use of this gun (and I do) is, again, entirely subjective.

          BTW I like to push back on “I can buy two of X gun for the price of that gun” comments. That argument can always be made. There are reasons people buy more expensive guns when less expensive ones can do the same thing, and you can argue it right on down to the “why buy a Canik when a Hi-Point is fully functional for $135?” Yeah, the Hudson is $1,147 and you can get a gazillion pistols for hundreds and hundreds less, but they aren’t a Hudson (and by that I do not mean the Hudson is amazing or anything, just that it’s a unique item and if you’re into it then buying a Glock isn’t likely to scratch the Hudson itch just like buying an M&P wouldn’t necessarily scratch the Glock itch). I could get nine Hi-Points for that price, yet for some reason I don’t find that as appealing. I can get two Toyota Corollas for the price of one BMW, yet people still buy BMWs. And a Corvette may lap the Nurburgring as fast as a Ferrari, but some people will still choose the Ferrari. C’est la vie.

        • I also agree with other people’s reaction to Jeremy’s comment “I also think the $1,147 MSRP is right” in wondering what, exactly, is right about a gun – other than its looks – that costs more and offers less than the striker-fired handguns from H&K, CZ, Walther and Beretta. Oh, and yes, a Springfield XD Mod 2 that’s the most accurate and natural pointing 9mm I’ve ever held and fired.

          Hey, If I wanted a handgun with a really low bore axis, I’d buy a Rhino revolver.

  3. I am not much of a gun person, but could that position of the recoil spring in front of the trigger guard be used on say, a single stack 9mm, to reduce the recoil? The problem with the single stack, concealed carry friendly guns is the recoil…could that spring position help with that? And that trigger safety, can other pistols copy that or is that patented?

    • I don’t think the spring location is going to help with overall felt recoil. It seems to help with muzzle rise, for the reasons mentioned in this article, but I think the only way for the spring to reduce overall felt recoil is for it to be stouter, and that means the slide would be harder to rack. Which can be problematic on smaller guns with less room to grip the slide. In short, a system like this would probably help a subcompact single-stack to shoot flatter and be less jumpy (and thus improve follow-up speed and accuracy), but it wouldn’t do much to reduce the “sting” of shooting a thin-gripped, lightweight pistol.

      • ^^^ agreed. The spring location has more to do with muzzle flip than felt recoil.

        You can often reduce felt recoil by perfectly tuning a recoil spring to a load, getting a pistol to cycle far enough to eject the empty and strip that next round from the mag but not so far that the slide “bottoms out” in its travel. The thing is, that often means that if you get a light-loaded round the slide won’t cycle far enough and the gun will stop. Which means, yes, self-defense pistols are often under-sprung to ensure they cycle everything possible. That “snap” in your hand is often the slide smacking rearwards into its travel stop, basically bottoming out hard and sending a shock through the frame.

        Judging by the ejection pattern of this H9, I think they’ve tuned the spring pretty well. It doesn’t eject empties farther than it has to to be reliable, and the ejection is somewhat inconsistent in direction and height, which I think is demonstrating that it’s affected by variances in ammo more than an under-sprung gun is. But the weight helps a whole lot, too. Steel-framed 1911s always shoot super soft. And the width of the backstrap also helps vs. a skinny single-stack, which concentrates that force onto a smaller area.

  4. So, once the infatuation wears off we will see if this pistol is really worth the price. I am going to predict no. The amount of slobbing on the Hudson H9 cock that you gun youtube celebrities are doing is pathetic and you should stop selling your soul to the I want something different devil.

    I get it, we are all bored with Glock, Sigs you can’t drop and M&P with their WTF front slide serrations. Just like the first girl we saw with pierced nipples, you were like OMG what is that new sparkley thing beneth that see thru shirt. Ok, that doesn’t make any sense and has nothing to do with guns. But, I’ve been working all day to fit in pierced nipples somewhere and this was the best opportunity today.

    In short, the Hudson H9 will be a niche market gun that has soft recoil that no one is going to carry for anything serious. You’re better off with a Glock 19C model and a bunch of mags and ammo to out shoot your comspicuous consumption friend that has a fetish for pieced nipples.

    Boom, twice today.

    • You’re on to something. The H9 is like the really hot girl that is bad in bed. Defeats the purpose but some guys will put up with it and even pay more for the privilege just because they want to be with a hot girl.

  5. It’s not “likely a”. It’s “PROBABLY a”. A year ago, some kid who can’t figure out how to speak like a grownup got a dopey posting on the internet, and people read that kid’s bad English. I have no idea why, but people somehow felt insecure if they didn’t imitate that kid’s bad English, so it has spread like a national brain fungus.
    Yeah, yeah, I do know the terminology and rules that tell us why it’s wrong to imitate that bad English, but they’re not necessary.
    It’s really simple. “Likely a”, “likely is” and all the other bad, wrong uses of likely are bad and wrong. Say “probably”instead, just as we’ve always done for hundreds of years.
    Who cares? People all over the world, for one thing. They look at us, see people who aren’t even smart enough to speak English as well as their little kids, and they think we’re losers.
    Wanna know how to use “likely” the right way? Be un-21st-century American: USE your intelligence.
    Don’t let me tell you what to believe, look it up for yourself. Then THINK. Then ask other human beings what they think. Then listen, for a change.
    We’re accepting bad English instead of fixing it…like Americans used to always do…because we’re being trained to be people who never do those things, more and more.

    • I’m seeing multiple dictionaries state that “likely” has been used the way I used it since the 14th century as a substitute for “probably.” It’s the first suggestion and definition of the word in multiple dictionaries. I’d gladly swap it out for “probably” as you suggest, though. I’ll likely do that in my next review.

      • Jeremy, I like seeing that you’re using your intelligence, but a dictionary is the wrong tool for this job.
        It doesn’t matter that somebody, somewhere used to use a word in a certain different way hundreds of years ago. For example, America’s first Anglos used to use an “f” instead of an “s” back then too, as in “Get thefe unclean folkfe and their peftilenfe to the peft houfe”.
        Would you just let me tell you it’s okay if I write that way because medievals did? ( I do think it’s okay when Daffy Duck does this, though…)
        I’m now pasting in my little standard blurb on this sudden “likely” problem, so don’t think I spend all day writing in COMMENTS sections. And on that subject, my one-hour-late lunch break is ending, so I’m going back to work, and don’t expect to check in again. Here’s a Hudsonized version of my blurb:
        America stinks at teaching English, so we stink in using English.
        Rules and regulations fail in teaching proper speech. Here is the right tool: Reading the words of people who use language properly. Read ’em. Read ’em every day. You’ll be smart then.

        Try this one: Kurt Vonnegut’s “A Man Without a Country” or his complete opposite, P.J. O’Rourke, especially his “gonzo” travel books. These two guys are totally different, don’t agree on a damned thing, and are both funny, sad, wonderful and wise.

        Here’s the boring-way rule.: “Likely” is a word that describes a thing,but “probably” is a word that describes an action.
        BORING TERMINOLOGY: One is for nouns, one is for verbs. One is called an adjective, and the other kind is called an adverb.
        You would say, “Hudson will probably sell a million of these things”, but you would use “likely” to say “Hudson is not likely to be a success”.
        In the first sentence, “probably” describes Hudson, and Hudson is a person, place, or thing: a noun. In the second sentence, “likely” describes “is”, see? “Is”is an action, so “is” is a verb.

      • TTAG won’t be respected if its writers can’t even speak at a simple level. That point isn’t a pedantic point. It’s a baby-talk point.
        This isn’t really a this-article point. It’s an all-of-us point: A lot of Americans have lost the ability to use the word “probably” just in the last year. Why? What are we, stupid?
        Well….yes. Today’s Americans actually do, far too often, think that it’s good to make people think that you’re stupid.
        I have a real job, and my late lunch break is over, so I’m going back to work now, and I won’t be checking in again. You just go ahead and while away your empty hours by making snarky comments to while you sit there, all alone.

        • Hahaha, I work a civil service job, that allows me to work 2 doubles, and then have four days off most weeks. My hours are plentiful, but not empty. They would be emptier if I spent my time pedantically enforcing archaic rules of speech.

        • Well I’ll be, that thar fellers git a spy cameer in mah house, ain’t you the guy invited me over tah yure place have Bar b que, whut ever happen to that?

  6. Great review, with lots of info so folks can judge for themselves. But color me annoyed that it is so hard to find a practical, affordable 9mm that has terrific accuracy. The accuracy of my CZ-75B is very good, but not terrific; with all the others I’ve tried being worse.

  7. why the F is that dust cover so damn massive? looks like a battery storage compartment or has a laser built in, but no just extra crap for no reason.

    • It’s explained in paragraph four. It might take you a while to read that far, but if you sound out the words and ask a grown up what the bigger ones mean, you’ll get there. Good luck!

      • He makes a valid point. The vertical positioning is explained, but not the cavernous diameter of the cavity. Your condescension is not helpful.

  8. This gun is ugly
    A CZ 75 is a thing of beauty
    My CZ 75 is accurate, reliable and the trigger gets better over the years
    I wish someone would make a handgun that looks like a sci fi blaster
    I would buy it in a nanosecond

    • “I wish someone would make a handgun that looks like a sci fi blaster
      I would buy it in a nanosecond”

      You want the Maxim 9 from SilencerCo, available *now*.

      Like an obnoxious New Yorker, it screams “I got your ‘Blaster’ right *here*, pal.” :

      The Hudson is an interesting gun, Jeremy. All they need to do for the next one is put a single baffle suppressor in the lower slide spring chamber. And make it a bit more immune to mud-n-crud.

      (And I hate to admit it, but for $1,200, I’m more inclined to scratch a direct-sampling HF SDR itch with a sweet Icom IC-7300.)

  9. Do Spingfield have some kind of patent lock on grip safeties? Why make a 1911 + Glock love child with no external safety (except trigger) and not include the one unique(ish) feature that there’s almost no competition on? I guess a grip safety wouldn’t help that much with Glock-foot anyway (since it seems to happen when holstering, where you generally have your hand on the grip still), but still it wouldn’t hurt (and could help, given a training approach).

    • I don’t think Springfield has invented much, if anything, and they sure as sh*t didn’t come up with the grip safety. I suppose part of Hudson’s vision for a more modern pistol was to switch from a manual thumb safety and a grip safety to the ever-so-popular trigger dingus safety. The market may well not want a grip safety, and they do often get in the way of taking a high grip (at least when they include the beavertail as part of the same piece, as in a 1911). There will be thumb safeties available for the H9, though, in the near-ish future.

    • Try the Remington R51 for a modern grip safety.
      But I holster mine with my thumb on the back of the slide, not the grip safety!
      Easy to tell if the slide and frame start to mismatch!

      As much as i love “something different”, this gun certainly doesnt turn me on!

      I think that I just might go for the High Points!

  10. I like what I see – but it appears it is having some growing pains.

    And for me – the price is not right.

    If I can buy a Beretta 92 for $500 with shit-load of parts and machining then this gun will have to be cheaper for me to consider buying it.

    It is not a custom-fitted – lazer beam hole puncher or made from unobtainium weighing 14oz.

    It is a neat design that looks like it would easy-to-run.

    They may keep the price-point high and limit sales (been done before) if they can’t make that many.

    Even if they don’t want to sell one to me, it will have a long movie career ahead of it.

  11. While the Hudson does appear to be a well-engineered and well-built pistol, the accuracy is unacceptable at the price.

    My Kahr MK9 produces better groups than that freehand, costs less,and is an ultracompact, to boot.

    My bone stock Glock 19 will outshoot it for $500.

    Guns which are equivalent in price will all outshoot it, from SIGs to Kimbers.

    I don’t understand why a pistol which is so expensive is built to such a loose standard. It’s not like the H9 is going to compete for military or police contracts. It’s only ever going to be a range toy for 90% of its customer base. I also seriously doubt this will ever be someone’s first or only handgun.

    I hope they can improve the accuracy.

  12. With tax, $1,200 for a gun that my Gen 1 G19 can easily outshoot at 25, let alone 15 yards. So can both of 1911’s and all my revolvers. No thanks. “Fast is fine. Accuracy is final.” Bill Jordan

  13. Cool. Let me know when I can get it in 10mm or, better yet, 357 Sig.

    I just don’t need another 9mm handgun.

    For those who do need one, they could do a lot worse than this nifty bit of innovation.

  14. I think it looks incredible and it will be made more accurate as time goes by.
    I am in California so I won’t ever be able to buy one, but if I could, I would buy immediately.

  15. So let’s see: beavertail cuts into your hand, the trigger bow impedes magazine insertion, the sights are 6″ off at 15 yards, and the pistol groups like a shotgun… How do you get to 4.5/5 stars?? While I can see the value in fast and flat, not being able to hit what you’re aiming at would seem to nullify those advantages

    • 4 stars. It always hit what I was aiming at, just a bit low unless I compensated. I came to this rating because I really like the gun and I love shooting it. How much do I like it? Four stars.

      • Right now, if You want a weird looking pistol with an ultra low bore axis and a big snout, I think Steyr is the way to go. Both the M9-A1 and L9-A1 are available right now for around $450 and there is a $50 factory rebate through the end of the year. They have a pretty good trigger too, the only complaint I’ve seen is the reset is not very tactile.

  16. I’m all for innovation in the firearms industry. In this case, the final product doesn’t provide that much benefit for the increased cost. There are plenty of great shooting full sized 9mm pistols out there. I liken this to the full size Chiappa Rhino. Interesting design, but the large frame Rugers and Smiths shoot really well, cost less and have a proven record of durability. The snub nose version does have a more distinct advantage over its competitors…maybe if Hudson comes out with compact or subcompact version, it will be worth the premium price.

  17. It’s just plain ugly, with that thick front end. Made me think of a Hi Point. Anyway, to me, if it doesn’t have an exposed hammer, it’s not a “proper” 1911.

  18. So the Hudson H9 is basically a striker fired Browning Hi Power with a needlessly oversized recoil spring dust cover? (It is within 2 oz of the HP weight, steel framed, has a tilting link-less barrel, a single action trigger and a double stack magazine.)

  19. I think this is a fantastic review, on top of the torture test. With great pictures of the gun.

    To those bashing on price…example of wrist watches. a $10 timex nearly holds as good time as some crazy $50,000 “time piece”. People still buy those why? And then the crowd that just say “screw watches these days just look at your phone.” There will always be personal justification for investing in products of varying price ranges.

    This is an amazing first effort at a new pistol design – probably better than nearly anybody else can do it, and against companies far larger, with decades (or even 100+ years?) of engineering experience on deck. So massive Kudos to Hudson!

    The construction of the gun and what it is designed to do I believe is absolutely worth the 1000+, just like most other full metal constructed guns. A lot of people dont see value in my Sig Legion either, but I tell you want, its an amazing gun and NOBODY will say its actually bad. its the owners subjective view on if its worth it to them.

    2 things are alarming to me

    1 – per this review and other reviews, reports of the recoil spring guide rod coming loose or being a huge pain to get back in (which may render this gun inoperable should this happen in the field) and this review points out there is no purchase or way to tighten the rod easily. I AGREE. This is a silly simple fix. Simply mill some flat spaces at the end of the rod towards the muzzle. Fixed. That takes a slight edit to some CnC / mill settings. boom fixed on version 2 guns.

    2 – accuracy. I totally understand its a first run gun and a totally new gun design so I give it a pass for now. But frankly, this may prevent me from buying the gun. What is the goal of shooting? Putting a projectile on target. THATS IT. it all boils down to that. And numerous reviews have stated this gun struggles a bit more in that category.

    DO you need “bull eye” accuracy for a 3 gun match or a steel club match? No, but let me tell you, a few millimeters is the difference between a “DING!” and a miss. every bit helps. Having a gun that is dead accurate means its only my issue. a gun that shoots low 6 inches…well now im fighting what is Me and what is the guns problem.

    And we all know, every once in a while you have that competitive “bonus” shot of some silly little 3 inch steel plate….hard to hit!

    My sig legion can hold 1-2 inch groups pretty much at any normal pistol distance, just like most nice Sig 226s can (or a lot of other pistols on the market). Would I be a little disappointed if I paid 1000+ for my legion and it didnt? Absolutely.

    I’d love to see “gen 2” of hudsons really fine tune some aspects. and I will be itching to buy one!

    • Rich folks buy a $50,000 timepiece for three reasons, I’m guessing.
      1. They can afford it!
      2. They want to impress their friends.
      3. The $50,000 timepiece will outlast the Timex many times over.

      • Outlast? Not necessarily. Rolex and other mechanical time pieces have to be serviced every X amount of years, depending, usually at a cost of 10-20% of the MSRP. I dont know anyone who has ever serviced a Casio or Timex, aside from changing batteries. Pretty much all decent watches last forever if they are properly maintained.

  20. Over $1100 for a gun from some company I never heard of when I can get a brand new Ruger 9E for about $300? Screw these guys.

  21. The writer can keep counter pointing all he wants but the market reaction to this gun will be very similar to most of the comments in this thread if accuracy is indeed an issue with the production guns that go out. I expect… no, demand… accuracy and flawless reliability from any gun that is in my collection unless it’s just a range toy. My carry gun is a Walther PPQ and it’s an excellent firearm that retails for roughly half of this one. It’s extremely accurate. Better than me on most days.

    Sorry if gun writers can’t understand this, but when you’re not getting a T&E sample, you actually expect to get your money’s worth when you lay down over $1,100 on any firearm. Value is important to most people. If the Hudson was indeed the unique looking, soft shooting, high capacity tack driver that early reports made it out to be then we wouldn’t be having this debate.

  22. I really appreciate an honest review as in depth as yours. I actually own this gun and couldn’t wait for it to arrive. I 100% agree with your accuracy comments at first I thought it was me but bench rest shooting it had the same results low and with a flyer. The bump when inserting the magazine is present on my Gun as well. The biggest issue I have is failure to feed. Within the fist 150 rounds I had 75 failures to feed. Hudson said it was the ammo. Men NATO. Hudson Told me to try Winchester white box or federal. The problem has persisted not as bad. I’m at 1250 rounds and my last trip to the range I am at a loss. No idea what happened and I will try to discribe. I loaded a magazine with only 10 rounds fired about 7 and ejected the case and failed to grab the next round. The slide stopped out of battery in the same location it stops when it’s failing to feed. I ejected the magazine and checked the gun. It was clear and from obstructions. The slide however was completely seized. I could not free it . I took it home and sprayed it with lubricant and just tried to wiggle it back and fourth. Finally getting it free. I took it apart found nothing wrong . I have tried to contact Hudson but no luck. Any thoughts?

  23. Looks like the concept of the gun works as intended but it could use a bit more in the refining aspects. Thats the difference between a startup and an established manufacturer.

    I was totally on board with this thing until you got to the accuracy. Accuracy should always be a priority. and those groups suck for a modern pistol. My favorite gun is my 226. Yeah its heavy and has a mile high bore axis, but it goes boom every time and it hits where I point it. I don’t think you’ll ever hear anyone say their favorite gun is the one that looks cool but shoots 6″ off (heirlooms not included).

    Hopefully they are being truthful and this is a wacky one off, but what are the chances that the one bad one just happened to make it to this review?

  24. I rented and shot an H9 this week.

    It shot low and was not at all accurate. I also found the trigger safety pinched my finger. It was an uncomfortable and inaccurate bulky steel handgun.

    I am glad I rented it. If I want a heavy steel gun I will get another 1911. If I want something striker fired there are a lot better guns for a lot less.

    Heck, I bought my mk25 with a red dot for 1200. That thing is a tack driver and cost the same with 3 mags and a RED DOT!

    Glad I rented it but I would not buy it!

    Overall **

  25. I like the gun, love the design changes but, not being able to adjust the sites so you can hit the broad side of a barn on a $1000.00+ pistol is a major screw up! I’ll wait to purchase one when they add some good sites because I like hitting what I aim at…

  26. So which is the flatter shooting gun? The Hudson with its lowered recoil spring, or the grand power with its rotating barrel?

  27. If this gun is not accurate then how can $1147 be justified??? Big deal what its made of!? Make some parts out of polymer and lower the price. How can you give good marks for the sites when in your article you said they were bad? This gun is no better than a Hi point let me change that at least a Hi point is accurate! Maybe this gun should be priced along the lines of a Hi point? BTW if anyone wants agun with a low bore axis buy a Chiappa Rino

  28. Bought one, interesting design…took it to the range…hated it. A really poor design I have no interest in shooting again. Real regret having bought it. Lent it to two different groups of gunstore owning friends…their opinion…”Meh, don’t like it, won’t be buying one”

    The trigger sucks (had to clean up what I really feel). Horrid design. It pinches, had to shoot wearing a glove. Look at the crappy design, trigger tilts up leaving a sharp bottom wedge space to pinch the trigger finger. Real POS sloppy design. I contacted the company twice…great customer service, they never responded.

    Maybe when a decent aftermarket trigger comes out I may shoot it again. Its a piece of crap as it sits…don’t waste your money. I really regret wasting mine. They spent more time designing the box than the gun.

  29. I have read all the good reviews of the H9. So I ordered one in July 2018. Since then I have not heard from them about my order. They didn’t hesitate to charge my card. I have sent two emails and called 4 times. I have left my number, email address. Have not heard a single word from them about the order. On their website they say customer communication is utmost important. I find that hard to believe and the only time they answered the woman said that they were lots of back orders and would try to get the order out in two weeks. That was 6 weeks ago. Has anyone else had any problems with their orders or contacting them.

    • I have sent two more emails and called them today. No response since july when gun was ordered. The phone was so full that they aren’t accepting anymore messages. This company is not at all what they have promoted.

  30. Jeremy,
    I recently read your article “The Heckler & Koch P7 is the Best Pistol Ever” which stated, “the P7 likely has the lowest bore axis anywhere.” I’m curious as to how does the Hudson’s compares?

  31. Purchased the Hudson recently after the bankruptcy for $799 with extra magazines for $22. The pistol shoots very soft. The trigger is great after you get used to the bottom pivot safety. It shoots very good groups. Sight picture is as follows: level front sight and rear sight. Cover your point of impact with the front sight dot. I do not like that. I want to see my target. A couple of malfunctions so far. Shot a plate match with no issues at all. Magazines springs are crazy stiff, but do not seem to get stiffer as the last rounds go in. Shot some 120 gr hard casts over 2 grains of Bullseye. They functioned.
    Bought the gun for the collect-ability but am going to shoot it a lot.

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