Earlier this year, we subjected a Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Compact to a 2,000 round “torture” test. It passed with only a single failure, proving it to be quite reliable and accurate over the long haul. Upon conclusion of this test, we started thinking about other pistols to which we’d like to give the same treatment, when inspiration struck: Why not a Hi-Point C9?
We’ve covered the Hi-Point C9 previously here at Shooting Illustrated (in fact, it was the very first Gun Locker I wrote upon joining SI staff). Low MSRP and commensurate low off-the-shelf price make the C9 an affordable option, but the internet is littered with criticisms of the pistol’s performance over time. Tales of malfunctions, inaccuracies and even catastrophic failures paint a grim picture of this entry-level handgun, and we wanted to see how one would fare in our testing.
So, off we embark on a 2,000-round “torture” test. We’ll be following the same basic framework as the M&P Compact torture test, cleaning only if needed and such, with one slight difference. While the M&P Compact had a pretty even balance between full-metal-jacket and jacketed-hollowpoint ammunition, we’re going to weight the Hi-Point C9 more on the FMJ side, just given that it’s far more likely to see bulk-grade ammunition than high-end fodder.
A quick word on the term “torture test,” first. There’s a spirited debate in the firearm community over exactly what constitutes a torture test. We’ve all seen the videos where various and sundry firearms and gear are dragged behind vehicles, thrown in the mud, frozen, left in salt water, shot hundreds of thousands of rounds, etc. Certainly, these are all examples of extreme measures that a firearm might be subject to, but in our experience the overwhelming number of consumers won’t ever be jumping out of an airplane and dropping their firearm from 30,000 feet.
For most handguns, 2,000 rounds represents years of shooting for a good number of gun owners. We design these tests to mimic how most folks are going to use these firearms: occasional range trips once or twice a year for a fairly long period of time. In the case of the Hi-Point C9, where it is significantly more budget-oriented, 2,000 rounds may very well represent the pistol’s entire shooting lifetime. While we’d love to test every gun we receive with 5,000 rounds over a multitude of different conditions, we’re limited by time, ammo budget and range availability. You know, just like the average gun owner.
We’ll be updating every 200 – 300 rounds or so and will be keeping a close eye on malfunctions if/when they occur. Check back on shootingillustrated.com to see how the Hi-Point C9 testing progresses!