Hi-Point Challenge: Week 6

Almost there!
Rounds fired: 376 (American Eagle AE9DP, Federal HST 124 grain +P)

Stoppages: 7 (All the now-familiar failures to go into battery)

Since we’ve pretty thoroughly established the accuracy potential of the Hi-Point with ammunition it likes in previous weeks, I thought I’d focus on using the pistol on some standardized tests that emphasize delivering accuracy at speed. The first set of standards that grabbed my attention was the DB modified LAPD SWAT standards put up as the Drill Of The Week on Pistol-Forum.com. The LAPD’s SWAT team has a reputation for being among the very best law enforcement tactical teams in the world, as well as a reputation for being a good group of shooters. The idea of shooting a course of fire similar to their qualification sounded like a great opportunity to work the Hi-Point at speed and see what happened.

Although I did finally manage to shoot the qual clean, I woudln’t endorse the Hi-Point for LAPD SWAT.
Due to my range declaring jihad against anything as radically unsafe as drawing a pistol from a holster, (Shock! Horror!) I was forced to resort to the low-ready version of the drill. As I was loading up to start, I distinctly remember thinking about how I was going to spend the rest of the range session after I breezed through the drill. The magnitude of my hubristic miscalculation was soon made clear to me as I missed my first shots at the 3×5 card at 10 yards. I mentioned in Week 3 that the trigger pull on the Hi-Point could be inconsistent, but if you’re shooting for slowfire accuracy it’s not such a big deal. When you’re trying to put 2 rounds into an 8” circle and then hit a 3×5 card at 10 yards in 2.5 seconds, though, it’s a royal pain in the kiester. It led to battling with anticipation as I kept yanking shots just below the 3×5. On the occasions where I wasn’t missing low, I was getting the front sight a bit too high and pushing the shot over the card.I reasoned that I just needed to shoot the “body” shots faster to allow for a little more time to hit the 3×5…which led to throwing my second shot on the “body” low and then hitting the 3×5. The standard itself is a pretty tough one (a drill based off of an LAPD SWAT qualification might require some skill?? Get outta town!) but the ergonomics, trigger, and sights of the Hi-Point combined to make shooting it clean more difficult. More difficult, but not impossible. After an embarrassing number of tries I managed to put together a clean run. It would have been easier had I simply tried doing what works all along…but why do it right the first time when you can make a complete hash of it instead? I greatly prefer making a darned fool of myself over and over and over before I do anything as cowardly as, you know, focus.

I did several runs of multiple shots on the 3×5 card to try and dial in how fast I could make hits to that target at 7 yards. The fastest split (time from one shot to the next in a string of at least 2 shots) I could manage and still hit with both shots was .51 seconds, but that was an exceptional run. To get a for-sure hit both times on the card I averaged in the .80 range. With the control Glock 17 I can average about .50 and get both hits, with exceptional runs in the range of .25-.35 seconds. The ability to get a more solid grip on the Glock 17 along with the better sights and reliable trigger pull makes it easier to get the hits. It’s not impossible to shoot the Hi-Point well at speed, but it’s certainly harder than it is with the more common options on the market.

I doubt very much that the typical Hi-Point buyer cares very much about split times or the level of performance they can deliver on standardized drills, but one of the goals of doing the Hi-Point challenge was to try and quantify exactly what the buyer is getting. What these standardized drills and accuracy-at-speed exercises show is that they’re getting a pistol that’s harder to use well on demand than other pistols on the market. I’m sure someone out there is rolling up their sleeves right now to type out a response arguing vehemently that nobody logs split times in combat.

…but that’s part of the reason why I chose to focus on this particular drill. It’s based on a qualification standard for a group of people whose job description includes violent interaction with bad guys. Surprisingly, being able to deliver accurate fire in a hurry seems to be an asset in a gunfight. There may not be anyone logging split times in a gunfight, but there most assuredly is a timer involved. That’s a rant for another time.

One of the minor frustrations of shooting the standards was the interruption of the by now very familiar failures to go into battery. I’m religiously cleaning the pistol every 200 rounds to the point of actually having cleaning supplies in my range bag. When I’ve fired about 200 rounds I stop and clean as best I can on the range without doing a complete disassembly, lube the pistol, and then resume shooting. I focus a lot of attention on making sure the feed ramp, breech face, chamber, and under the extractor are as clean as I can get them to give the pistol as much chance as possible to feed reliably. After each range session I completely break down the gun and clean it thoroughly.

We’re just shy of the 2,000 round mark! Next week if all goes according to plan I’ll be wrapping up the test and discussing the conclusions I’ve come to after spending this time with the pistol.