Hi Point Changes Up Their Pistol Line. Finally.

Aside from being big, bulky, heavy, and ugly (all true), one of the main beefs that people have with the budget-friendly firearm brand HiPoint is the low capacity (also true). Their line of pistols and pistol caliber carbines have always featured a limited capacity single stack magazine despite the wide grips. That changes now.

For two decades, the Model C9 – a blowback operated polymer-framed 9mm  pistol with Zamak slide – has been the company’s flagship handgun. Throughout that time, the Hi-Point product line has seen precious few changes aside from the addition of new calibers and cosmetic features. This includes the stock flush-fit 8-round magazine capacity that C9 owners have always been limited by.

At SHOT Show 2019 in Las Vegas, the Ohio-based company introduced their latest pistol offering – a higher capacity 9mm with a few new features that will be appreciated by those who don’t immediately turn up their nose at the inexpensive firearms. Hi-Point is quick to point out that the new handgun is not just a tweaked version of their existing pistols but, rather, is an entirely new firearm with a more contemporary design that they say will stick with the company’s affordable pricing structure.

Currently in what they are calling a “stealth prototype” phase, the company had 3D printed rapid prototypes on display in their booth to demonstrate the size and features of the new pistol, which boasts a higher capacity magazine, threaded barrel, improved slide and grip geometry.  

The new model does not officially have a name yet, for the time being dubbed only “The New C9” or “The New Hi-Point.” Both aesthetically and ergonomically, the new pistol is still obviously a Hi-Point although it has been smoothed out a bit. The top edges of the zinc-alloy slide have been “melted” to be more rounded where the original model was blocky. In addition to now having front slide serrations to help with manipulating the slide for loading, unloading, and press-checks, the rear sight channel has also been redesigned to accommodate the future addition of picatinny rail or other mounting options for a red dot optic.

Protruding from the front of the redesigned slide of the prototype is the 1/2-28 pitch threaded barrel, making the new model capable of serving as a host for a suppressor or other muzzle device.

The frame also received several updates. The New C9 now features a backstrap component that can be installed with the flat side out for a straight grip or reversed to provide a slight palm swell. Alongside the original thumb safety, a new backstrap safety has also been integrated into the new design, which the company reps say will replace the original model’s internal drop safety – the cause of “the Hi-Point rattle” The left-side-only magazine release has now morphed into an ambidextrous control and the dust cover now boasts a one-slot accessory rail, a feature previously reserved only for the larger framed .40 S&W and .45 ACP models.

Although the overall grip size seems to remain the same chunky size as the original C9, the space seems to be put to better use, now accommodating the new staggered double-to-single stack magazine that increases the capacity of the flush fitting magazine to 10. The booth staff said that they anticipate offering extended factory magazines in the 15-20 round range. Among the shared components with the original C9 is likely the feeding system, as the new magazine appears to neck down to the original mag’s geometry.

Of course, the underdog pistols have never been, and still are not, Glocks, Sigs, or H&Ks, but Hi-Point has never claimed to be playing on that same ballfield. Despite what many naysayers (largely those who with little to no experience with the brand) bandy about, the low cost firearms accomplish their goal of being durable, reliable, and affordable – an ethos to which the company plans to adhere with the new model. The new pistol is expected to have an initial MSRP of $200, directly in line with that of the existing models.

Hi-Point hopes to have the new model in the hands of consumers by the end of 2019, but say that nothing is set in stone as they want the firearm to be well designed and thoroughly tested out of the gate from day one.

Although the C9 is the company’s original bread and butter, it is but one among a full product line that features pistols chambered in .380 ACP, .40 S&W, and .45ACP and PCCs in .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45ACP, and 10mm. When asked if the other pistols and, personally more intriguing, the carbines, would get the same treatment, the company rep with whom I spoke merely shrugged and said “Mayyyybeeee…”  Translation: heck yeah.

While it may not be the combat pistol of choice of Tier 1 Operators or ripped from the pages of the glossy gun-porn magazines, it is great to see forward progress from a solid American company that offers firearms for working class Americans. For those who are more concerned with defending your family or hitting the range without breaking the bank than with having the flashiest gun pics on Instagram, the New C9 might be just what the doctor ordered.

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