Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hi-Point JCP 40 S&W review

   Hi-Point gets some pretty bad press in the mainstream, hardcore gun forums. I think this is sad, and mainly stems from an elitist view. I've found that the more someone pays for a gun, the more extreme they become in justifying the huge chunk of change they plopped down. I can understand if you shoot 1,000 rounds a month, or completion shoot, the bells and whistles (and quality) of the higher priced guns might be worth the cost. However, for just a sidearm for the woods, or a home protection piece, this Hi-Point is all the gun you would ever need.

First of all, this is not going to be an in-depth review. I'll let the experts do that, this is a common mans review. I have shot guns since I was 5 years old, and have experience with Rifles, Shotguns, and handguns. But I'm no expert, I'm just the common man. So I'll make this short and sweet.

I want to cover one thing before I start. Hi-Points may be cheap, but they DO come with a lifetime warranty. So if you ever do break it, or wear it out, just send it in, and they'll fix it, or send you a new one. In fact, let me quote it for you.

"Damage, age, and plain old wear and tear—these things happen. When they do, Hi-Point customers enjoy a lifetime, no questions asked warranty. And lifetime means just that— free repairs for the life of the gun, whether you are the first owner, or the third. That service is fast, friendly and expertly performed. Your Hi-Point will be back in action, good as new, in no time."

 I can't say how many times I've heard Taurus owners tout the lifetime warranty as the reason to buy a Taurus, but no one seems to point that out with the Hi-Point. In fact, when I bough the gun, the girl behind the counter tried hard to push me to a Taurus, and that was one of her biggest selling points. She didn't even mention that the Hi-Point had a lifetime warranty also, I'm not sure she even knew.

So, to get to it. When I decided it was time to buy a new handgun I went around to all the local shops to see what was out there, I handled quite a few guns. To be honest I settled on the Hi-Point for one main reason, it felt the best in my hands of all the guns I looked at.  It just fit right. Also I had owned a Hi-Point 9mm before, so I didn't have any negative preconceived notions against it. It was also the cheapest 40 they had, and was brand new. It was cheaper then even any of their used guns.

Now, about the gun itself... Some think it's ugly, but it's the kind of ugly that grows on you. This isn't some eye-candy type of gun, it's plain and simply a brick. That shoots. It's also heavy as hell, and large. This is one hefty gun. This is due in large to the insane 4.5" barrel, this as about long as you get from a run of the mill semi-auto. A 1911 .45 does come with a 5" barrel, but that also is a massive semi-auto. What that should mean is this gun is more accurate to a much longer distance then your average auto. And I've read some reports from "expert" shooters that they have in fact found this to be true. I'm not a good enough shot to either confirm or deny this. The plus side is that if you run out of bullets you can hit them over the head with it, or throw it at them and do some damage. It also means is THIS IS NOT A CONCEALED CARRY GUN. While I'm sure a large person, in bulky clothes, could carry this as a CC piece, to be honest it's too heavy and large to be a good candidate for CC. Now throw it in your glove box, or under the seat, and that would be just fine. Also at home is perfect, but I'm not ever going to try and carry this monster as a CC.  I'm of medium build, and I also must say it's not a great one-hand shooter either, just to heavy. I mean it does OK, but I wouldn't want to shoot it all day one-handed. But it's a great two-hand piece.

The sights are easy to see, thanks to the day-glow markings. It also seems to come up naturally aligned for me. Without trying, wherever I point it I'm already pretty close to lined up, the front sight is right there and just needs a little adjusting before firing off the shot. Some guns seem to be setup well this way for me, some aren't. I've read of others with the same observation of this Hi-Point, so I don't think it's just me . The rear sight is also fully adjustable, I'm still trying to get mine dialed in better, out of the box it shot low and to the left. I made some quick adjustment at the range with a borrowed screwdriver, and got it closer, but I noticed last time I had it at the range it's still a little low and to the left. That's my fault, not the guns, I just need to work on the sights more. I'm still trying to figure out if it's the sights, or me jerking slightly left when I fire.

I've fired several hundred rounds down range with this gun so far, without a single failure. I've got two clips, and neither clip has dropped while firing, or caused any type of jam. The recoil is firm but expected and very manageable. The weight of the gun helps some with recoil. I have no problems staying on target, even under rapid fire situations, and I'm no sharp shooter. The safety is a little cheesy to me, as it's a slide up lever instead of a button, and honestly LOOKS cheap, but it works well, and is easy to get to one handed. It is in a very comfortable place for me, and once I got used to it, it's really a pretty clever design. It serves three purposes. First it's a safety, and will prevent the pin from firing, second it's a slide lock and prevents the slide from being worked while the gun is on safety  third it's also is the slide lock for when the slide is open. The down side is that there is no way to un-chamber a round while the safety is on. So if you have a round in the chamber, the only way to extract the round is to take the gun off safety and cycle the slide. However the gun does have a magazine safety  and cannot be fired with the magazine removed. So if you wish to manually eject a round, for any reason other then a miss-fire, remove the magazine first On a side note, if the clip is removed the chambered round will most of the time fall out the bottom of the gun through the magazine hole instead of side ejecting.  But this in not uncommon with semi-autos, just very common with his gun.

The last piece of info I wish to share is the magazine release, it's in a great location, easy to get to without even looking and works very well. But I do wish to point out, both the safety and magazine release are setup for right hand shooters, and they don't make a left hand model. Just FYI.