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.


  1. Very good review! I have had my HP s&w .40 for 2 years now. My best thoughts about this gun are:
    1) made in the USA...can't say enough about that
    2) reliable
    3) I have small hands..the recoil isn't bad
    4) the price was right and the pride of being made in the USA is an unexpected bonus
    5) the cheap white box ammo shoots nice out of it

  2. how dare hi-point to make a gun in the u.s.a, how dare they have a life time waryt. how dare they make a reliable gun, sell it at a price that working guys can afford. it's a great gun at a great price that works everytime. yep, i hate them!!!! i have a glock that i now use as a door stop. #pos glocks

    1. $170 will buy you a 40 cal firearm. This is better than no gun at all. It functions and for a night stand gun this works. I was asked by a gun snob if I would drive a Yugo and I replied if my choice was to walk or drive a Yugo? I am not walking. I bought this piece and later purchased a P226. I still shoot my Hi Point and have no intention of letting it go.

      It has issues. The magazine feeds will nose dive and occasionally jam. I guess the Navy SEALS don't carry Hi Points but what does the average citizen need other than home defense. Why spend $900 when $170 will do? Why did I do it? I did it because I have the money and I want to validate the value of this purchase. If you don't have the cash then buy this gun and protect yourself and your family. Don't walk when you can drive.

  3. I just bought a hi-point 40 s&w hand gun I also own a hi-point 40 s&w carbine the only complaint I have is that the cocking handle on the carbine is on the left side and is not handy for a right handed person.

    I have owned hi-points in the past the only caliber I have not owned is .45 I have never had any feed problems or ejection problems with them. and I have run reloads and factory ammo through all of them.

    the carbine is good enough that i can hit a 30 inch target at 100 yards consistently. i have also shot the 40 handgun at that range and can hit fifty percent so if i an hit fifty percent at 100 yards imagine what i can do with it at 10 yards.

    made in the U.S.A.
    lifetime warranty
    shoot good

    cons cocking handle on left side on the carbine
    handguns have a long trigger pull

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. I probably got a bad one when i got my jcp 40, but i have had many problems with it. First off, i got it brand new. My first 2 magazines i put through it, i had a jam every other shot. Then i was able to get through a magazine with maybe 1 or 2 jams. It may need a bit more "breaking in" The major problem with this gun other than reliability is the safety on mine was bad. I let my dog out and heard her barking and growling at something. Sounded like she was fighting. I grabbed my JCP 40 and chambered a round. (I dont really trust it enough to keep it chambered) After chambering a round I tried to put the safety on just in case. It wouldn't go, I tilt the gun up from the strait down position, to the left a bit to see the safety and push it again a bit harder. Finger is strait out. The gun went off and put a hole through an $800 washing machine through my bedroom door and wall. in over 20 years of handling weapons i have never had an accidental discharge. My JCP 40 is considered a piece of junk that costed me far more than i saved by getting a cheap weapon.

    My C9 on the other hand is my best pistol. First 2 mags had a few jams. After about 5 mags i never had another jam in over 300 rounds fired. I have never had a problem with the safety, and feel safe to keep it chambered at all times.