Today is going to be a “two for the price of one” day. I promised a review on my experience with the Hi-Point C9 9mm, and I also promised the good folks over at Pax Baculum a review of the Aguila SniperSubSonic .22LR ammo I purchased a while back. In the western spirit of my blog, I’m going to review each subject under three categories. The categories will be “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”.
Please do bear in mind that my review is based entirely off my subjective opinion, and should not be taken as anything other than the opinion of one guy. Your actual mileage may vary. So without further ado, off I go.
Hi Point C9 9mm
I had heard a lot about this pistol. Before I purchased it, I had seen the various internet gunboard arguments over whether it was a jam-o-matic, an average pistol, etc. I was definitely in the camp of looking at it with disdain, as I mentioned in my post on Gun Snobbery. As I said back there, I’m actively taking measures to cure myself of snobbery, so I went out and purchased one for what I felt was a quite reasonable price.
- Ergonomics – The pistol sits well in my hand. For whatever reason, the grip is easy to get my hands around and gives me very positive feedback on the pistol.
- Sights – Actually, the sights are really, really nice. It was very easy to acquire my sight picture even during rapid fire drills.
- Accuracy – I did not test the pistol out past 10 yards, because I can’t imagine taking a 25 yard shot with this gun. At 10 yards it was more than capable of putting all eight rounds in the magazine into the center section an a standard ICORE tombstone target.
- Ejection – Rounds clearing the pistol were thrown well clear (and I mean well clear), and I experience no stovepipes or ejection related malfunctions.
- Magazines – Those magazines are SHARP. I had heard about this in advance, and actually used athletic tape on both thumbs to prevent getting gouged by the magazines. Additionally, the only magazine I could get to feed reliably (without modification) was the aftermarket ProMag. I had heard that those were terrible, but in this instance it far outshone the factory magazines. All three factory mags had to have their feed lips slightly modified before they would function “reliably” (more on that later).
- Weight – I’ve mentioned before that I’m a relatively little guy, as such weight is a concern in any pistol I’m going to carry for more than 1 hour. The C9 feels about the same in my hands as my GP100 with regard to weight, and the GP100 balances better and has less felt recoil. I suppose though that if you ran out of ammo, you could beat the other guy to death with this thing.
- Balance – Fairly straight forward, the gun feels top heavy due to the massive slide.
- Felt Recoil – My first shot from the C9 surprised the hell out of me. The felt recoil from a blowback operated 9mm was surprisingly rough. I figured that the biggest cause of this was the extremely heavy slide on top. Unfortunately, the recoil also beat the hell out of the pad on my trigger finger. Once I got used to it, it was controllable, but I’d frankly rather fire full-house .357 Magnums out of my Taurus than shoot this gun again.
- The Magazines – I mentioned above that the magazines needed tweaking to work with anything that resembled a reliable firearm. The issue that I was having is that the rounds would be taking a nosedive in the magazines, causing the slide to lock to the rear because it thought the gun was empty. A quick tap-rack would fix it every time, but it was frustrating. After modification, the mags were better, but not perfect. The only magazine that would feed all eight without jamming was the ProMag magazine. Even after I performed the recommended mods to the factory mags, they would only reliably feed 5-7 rounds. That’s right, 5-7 rounds.
The Hi Point C9 had some good points and some bad points, and it had one critical failing that kept me from recommending to someone looking for a defensive pistol. While the failing with the magazines can be corrected with modification, the point of a defensive firearm is that you should be able to pick any specimen out of the box and have it go bang every time. For someone who’s about to drop $140 bucks on one of these, I’d say wait another month and turn that $140 into $300 and get a good wheelgun. You won’t be sorry.
As for me, the Hi Point will continue to reside in my safe, and it will actually fill a niche in my arsenal. Since I have no love whatsoever of semi-automatic centerfire pistols, the C9 will allow me to check the “Own a 9mm pistol” box on the my “guns to own list”. I won’t carry it, but I’ll definitely shoot it.
I also tested the Aguila SniperSubSonic .22lr rounds. For those not in the loop, it’s a 60 grain subsonic .22 Long Rifle cartridge. It uses a .22 Short case with a super-long bullet to bring the Overall Length up to that of a regular .22 Long Rifle. I tested it out of 2 guns, a stock Ruger 10/22 and a stock Walther P22. The manufacturer said that the rounds should be stabilized out of a barrel with a 1:9 twist, which none of my guns have. So, here we go.
- Accuracy – The accuracy of this round is phenomenal, to a certain point. With Ruger at 50 feet (the indoor range is only 50 feet deep), I printed a group about an inch in size. Unfortunately, the rounds were showing signs of tumbling as there was slight keyholing in the target. (More on the keyholing later). At 10 yards from the Walther P22 going rapid fire, I kept 50 rounds in the center section of an ICORE standard tombstone target.
- Felt recoil – From the P22, the muzzle would barely flip with each shot. Recoil was non-existent from the 10/22.
- Function – I ran 150 rounds through the P22 without a single malfunction. As the P22 is notoriously finicky about ammo, this is a very good thing. Ejection was positive, although a couple of the empties landed in my hair and singed it a just a bit.
- Dirty – When I got home to clean my guns, the P22 was dirtier than it had ever been. Previously, she had a steady diet of Stingers and Mini-mags. There was a little of leading built up, but that’s also to be expected from 150 rounds of anything.
- Ejection (from the rifle) – The rounds would eject positively, however there was a very, very disconcerting experience with the 10/22. For some reason (and I’m not sure) the bolt would open before the powder had finished burning, allowing a lot of powder and flash to escape from the bolt. It was mostly just sparks, until one round had a large flash right next to my eye, rather like shooting a flintlock. Due to the keyholing and flintlock effect, I decided to retire the rifle for the day.
- Keyholing – Unfortunately, it seems that the need for a barrel with a 1:9 twist is correct. At a mere 50 feet from the 10/22, the rou
s were starting to tumble. Obviously, tumbling inside the target is good, but outside is bad. From 10 yards in with the P22, there was no tumbling, which is encouraging.
I want to get a rifle with a 1:9 twist in the barrel and really test the accuracy of these things out to 50 yards. I feel like they have a lot of potential for pest control out on the farm…or for those stupid cats that insist on mating outside of my bedroom window. From the P22, these rounds are going to supplant Stingers as my carry round, due to the fact that they’re double the weight. Overall, I was very pleased with the Aguila ammo, it’ll stay in regular stock in my arsenal.