February 14, 2013
Have you seen anything about the new SCCY Industries compact, polymer-frame, 9mm auto pistol? It's been getting a lot of press coverage lately. It's on the Web. It's in the magazines. It's even been the cover gun on one of the handguns-only magazines. All that coverage made me ask, "What's all the fuss about this little pistol?"
I read most of those reports, and because they had mixed results, I thought ST should get a gun and find out firsthand. So we made arrangements to get one in here, and I spent several days working it over. Here's what I found.
Probably the thing that has everybody talking about the SCCY CPX-2 9mm is its retail price. It lists for only $299. That's darn reasonable for a brand-new 9mm self-defense-type pistol these days, and it's just a little more than half the price of the Ruger LC9, Beretta Nano, and Smith & Wesson Shield.
What you get for that $299 is a polymer-framed autoloader with a 3.1-inch barrel; steel, fixed, three-white-dot sights; steel slide (black or natural finish) that's machined from barstock; two 10-round magazines with finger-groove floorplates and two extra flat-base floorplates; a trigger lock with two keys; and a small tube of MFR-7 gun lubricant. Everything comes in a classy-looking, foam-lined box.
The pistol weighs 15 ounces unloaded, and measures 6.0 inches long, 4.7 inches high, and 1.2 inches thick. With the finger-groove magazine floorplate in place, it feels good in my medium-size hand, and I can actually get a full-hand grip on it. That's a good thing to my way of thinking because the 9mm cartridge in a relatively lightweight, compact pistol can be a handful when shooting, no pun intended.
The CPX-2 has a double-action-only firing mechanism, and as such it doesn't feel like a match-grade pistol built for precision shooting. The trigger is what you might call a long stroke. My sample's DAO trigger pull measured a consistent 9.0 pounds on my RCBS trigger pull scale. Remember that this is a self-defense gun, and while that amount of pull might sound pretty heavy, it sure doesn't seem that way during live firing.
The only external controls on the sleek, stylish pistol are the slide release lever and the magazine release button. They are both located conventionally on the left side of the gun, and the slide release is steel with Zytel overmolded extension.
One important consideration is due here. The SCCY manual specifically states, "+P cartridges should never be used in the Model CPX." So keep that in mind if your favorite self-defense 9mm ammunition is of the +P variety.
To put this new compact pistol to the test, I decided to fire it for accuracy at 25 yards even though it's not intended for such "long-range" work. I did that because that's ST's standard distance for handgun evaluations. I keep saying it, but this gun is for self-defense, so I also fired full-magazine strings (10 rounds) offhand at a common defensive distance of 7 yards. The results of all that shooting are listed in the accompanying chart, but I want to point out that all loads put those 7-yard 10-shot strings into pretty good clusters. I think they would definitely do some damage to an attacker. The 25-yard accuracy wasn't what I would call stellar. The best group average was just under 4 inches, but that's within the classic "4.25 at 25" standard.
The pistol functioned 100 percent during all that shooting, which was upwards of 100 rounds. Some of the earlier reports on this new model questioned its reliability, but as I just said, I didn't have a single problem with my sample.
As for shootablility, I found the pistol to be pleasant, but I did have to work at the trigger in the beginning to get used to it. I'm a 1911 kind of guy and prefer single-action autoloaders. I also enjoy double-action revolvers, but I tend to go single-action mode with them, too. So be advised that when you shoot one of these little 9mms for the first time, if you're like me and generally a single action shooter, you might have to spend some time getting used to its trigger.
As I alluded to earlier, I think the SCCY CPX-2 has a certain style that appeals to me. I'm usually not too taken by polymer-framed, DAO pistols, but I kind of like this one. I think I'll keep it.