Hi-Point C9 Pistol Review – Affordable and Functional, But Basic!

Hi Point C9 Pistol Review 
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="list_thumbnail_alt"

Hi Point C9 9mm Pistol Review
Loading... 50 view(s)
Hi-Point C9 Pistol Review – Affordable and Functional, But Basic!

The Hi-Point C9 pistol is a compact, budget-friendly semi-automatic handgun chambered in 9mm that has gained popularity among gun owners looking for an affordable option for personal defense and casual shooting. Curious about this often maligned 9mm pistol with its "chonky" appearance and obvious heftiness when you handle it, I purchased a used example from an online auction. This article provides an in-depth look at the Hi-Point C9, discussing its features, performance, and overall value in the market.

My Hi-Point C9 - Unloved!

I purchased my Hi-Point, used, from an online auction for the paltry sum of $41 plus a $30 shipping fee. It was a bit of a risk as it was listed as a "gunsmith's special" and would require some attention before it was taken to the range. Upon getting my hands on it, I field-stripped the pistol and lubricated anything that looked like a normal wear spot. I purposely did not clean my C9, opting to initially leave the funk I found in the pistol intact. 

Speaking of the funk in the gun, we took to calling it "Cheetle" in the office, as it resembled a mixture of Cheetos dust and WD-40. Ewwwwww! At a later time, my Hi-Point C9 would get a nice batch in an ultrasonic cleaner to rid it of this orange gunk, but at first, after the lubricating, I simply function checked the pistol after and determined everything seemed to be working correctly, and then took it to the range.

We took to calling this orange junk in my Hi-Point C9 "cheetle," a supposed mix of Cheetos dust and WD-40!

And get this - at the range, the gun worked.  Well, it mostly worked.  So wrap your head around this: for $71 after shipping I bought a (mostly) functioning 9mm pistol. I'll get to the malfunctions later on in this article, and discuss the course of action to rectify the problem.

Maybe the judicious application of a hammer will make my Hi-Point C9 better?

Design and Build Quality

The Hi-Point C9 features a polymer frame with a die-cast alloy slide, contributing to its low cost. Since the pistol has a direct blowback action, its alloy slide is large and heavy so it can cope with the recoil and cycle 9mm properly. It sports a 3.5-inch barrel with an overall length of 6.75 inches, making it relatively compact. Despite its affordability, the C9 is built to be sturdy and functional. The design is somewhat bulky, which can be a drawback for some users looking for a more streamlined pistol.

Here she is in all of her glory, the Hi-Point C9!

Performance and Reliability

Supposedly, one of theHi-Point C9's most notable features is its reliability. I had been told it could handle various types of ammunition without frequent jams or malfunctions, a significant advantage for a pistol in its price range. However, while shooting through two 50-round packages of Winchester "White Box" 9mm 115-grain FMJ, I experienced several failures to extract/eject. The firearm operates with a direct blowback action, which is simpler and often more reliable than more complex mechanisms found in pricier models. Since I had acquired my example of the Hi-Point C9 used and with a dubious history based on its condition, there were concerns of wear that were addressed by Hi-Point for me.

It was suggested that I reach out to Hi-Point directly and inquire about having an extractor, extractor spring, striker, and striker spring sent out to me. Hi-Points warranty istop-notch, and for the price of shipping (maybe a fiver and change), I had replacement parts on the way!

The C9 comes with an 8-round magazine, which is in line with many micro-compact 9mm pistols' capacities, I consider it to be a very small capacity for a compact-size pistol. I did find the single-stack magazines to be of a decent enough quality through, and are very inexpensive compared to other pistol magazines on the market.

The standard Hi-Point C9 magazine is an 8-round, single-stack metal mag. The quality of these is surprisingly good. And they're relatively inexpensive to replace!

The Hi-Point C9 also has safety features that are common with higher-priced pistols of similar size. The C9 had a manual thumb safety, magazine disconnect safety, and drop safety - making it a safe option for everyday carry. I do find the thumb safety, constructed of simple stamped metal, (which also acts as a manual slide lock when the slide is locked to the rear) to be a bit awkward to actuate.

Accuracy and Shooting Experience

The Hi-Point C9 is reasonably accurate for a budget pistol. It performs well at close to medium range, which is typical for personal defense scenarios. The pistol's heavier slide design helps manage recoil, although the overall ergonomic design may not be as comfortable as higher-end models. OAdjusting the sights can be a bit tricky but once dialed in, they are effective for typical self-defense distances.

The trigger on the Hi-Point C9 is often maligned, but I found it to be surprisingly...

...not bad?

Oh, don't get me wrong. It's not a great trigger by any means. But it's also not a terrible trigger. While weighty, the trigger on my example is relatively short, smooth, and free of any gritty feeling one may expect from this caliber of pistol (quality, not chambering!), with a nice solid break. Reset is a bit odd for a person like me who came up on Glock pistols, as the trigger on the Hi-Point C9 is reset when released fully; otherwise, there is no tactile response that the trigger is indeed reset. A typical Glock rewards you with a solid "thonking" click on reset. On the C9, the lack of tactile tell is not such a big deal, though, as the trigger's travel is short.

Accuracy was surprising! With the brightly colored, painted sights (day-glow yellow up front, orange out back), I was able to shoot coffee cup-diameter groups into a target at 10 yards. The rear sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation, and this is simply accomplished with a small Phillips screwdriver.

The Hi-Point C9 has simple but functional adjustable sights.

Aesthetic and Ergonomics

The C9's aesthetic is functional but not particularly sleek or modern, which might not appeal to all users. The grip is lightly textured, but I found the surface not to be aggressive enough and felt like the gun wanted to slide around in my hands a little too much. This is a problem in the hot South Florida sun with sweaty hands. To remedy this, I applied stick-on rubber grip decals pre-cut for a C9, and this greatly improved the grip situation.  As mentioned before, I characterize the Hi-Point as being "chonky," and the size makes it a good choice for users with larger hands. However, the bulkiness might be a downside for users seeking a more concealable option.

The Hi-Point C9 is a "chonky" little pistol!

Maintenance and Durability

While a basic cleaning of a Hi-Point C9 can be easily accomplished with some solvents, gun lube, and a boresnake, maintenance for the Hi-Point C9 is anything but straightforward. Any real field stripping of a Hi-Point C9 requires a roll-pin to be hammered out of the frame's rear while the slide is locked to the rear. For firearms hobbyists or professionals who might possess the tools and workspace for such an operation, this isn't a big deal. But for a beginner or casual pistol shooter, this might prove problematic. However, the pistol is designed to be durable, with Hi-Point offering a lifetime warranty, which is a testament to the company's confidence in its product's longevity and reliability. And, for some reason, I don't think these things see much range time when one considers why they might be purchased. Ideally, a Hi-Point C9 will either end up in the hands of a person seeking a low-budget home defense weapon or in the hands of a person like me who purchased one purely for the novelty of it.

Price Point and Value

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of the Hi-Point C9 is its price point. It is one of the most affordable pistols on the market, making it accessible to a broad audience. This affordability, combined with its reliable performance and durability, provides excellent value for those needing a functional firearm without a significant investment.

I remember standing in a large gun store in the metro Atlanta, GA area waiting to see a gun that was behind the counter and witnessing a sketchy-looking woman with an odd set of twitches (meth?) request to purchase seven Hi-Point pistols. Seven! But they were $99 each back then!

These days, a new Hi-Point C9 can be had for $150 to $180, depending on how carefully you shop. Or, you can do what I did and keep an eye on the online auctions, picking up an unloved example for much cheaper.

For the price of a new Hi-Point C9, you might be able to pick up a very nice, higher-quality used Taurus G3C with some careful shopping. For not much more than the cost of the new Hi-Point C9, you can get into a brand new Taurus G3C of your very own! The Taurus G3C features better overall quality, a greater feature set, and a much higher magazine capacity (12 +1 in the G3C vs. 8 +1 in the C9), and is a much, much nicer gun to carry concealed.

For not much more than the cost of the new Hi-Point C9 (left), you can buy a new Taurus G3C (right) (not optic-ready, though)!


The Hi-Point C9 is an excellent option for budget-conscious individuals seeking a reliable and functional pistol for self-defense or casual shooting. While it may not have the refined features of higher-priced pistols, its performance, durability, and the manufacturer's warranty make it a compelling choice for both new and experienced shooters. The Hi-Point C9 demonstrates that effective self-defense does not have to come at a high cost.

And what the heck, as a novelty, it's not that bad at the range!

Hi-Point C9 Pistol Review – Affordable and Functional, But Basic!
Leave your comment
Your email address will not be published
Leave your comment