December 03, 2021
Micro-sized 9mm personal-protection pistols are all the rage these days. That’s reflected in the lineup of articles in this issue of Shooting Times. I was lucky to get the assignment on SCCY’s new striker-fired, optics-ready (S.F.O.R.) DVG-1. I say lucky because I have enjoyed shooting SCCY pistols going all the way back to the company’s first semiautomatic pistols, which were introduced sometime around 2003. SCCY pistols are known for their incredibly reasonable retail prices and the very good quality you get at those low prices. These pistols represent some of the best value-for-dollar handguns on the market. I have some neighbors who simply love their SCCY pistols.
The new DVG-1 is a departure for SCCY, not in terms of the value for dollars, but in the operating mechanism. Prior to the DVG-1’s introduction, SCCY’s other 9mm pistols were all hammer-fired. Like I said earlier, the DVG-1 is striker-fired.
The other big divergence from earlier SCCY pistols is that the DVG-1 is optics-ready. That means its slide has been cut for mounting a red-dot reflex-type optic, which is a feature that is in large demand these days. In fact, the DVG-1 can be had from the factory with a red-dot reflex optic already installed. But if you want to install your own, as long as it has the Shield footprint, you can get the DVG-1 without the optic for an MSRP that’s $100 less than the optic-installed model.
Another new characteristic of the new DVG-1 is that its slide has grasping grooves up front and at the rear. Previous SCCY pistols had them at the rear only. Also, the DVG-1 is slimmer in the grip area with a smaller circumference. For example, my SCCY CPX-2’s grip is 1.11 inches thick, with a circumference of 5.75 inches measured just below the trigger guard where the top finger groove is located. The new DVG-1’s grip is 1.09 inches thick, and its circumference is 5.5 inches at the same location.
Shooting Times received a brand-new DVG-1 RD with the optic already installed. It’s from Riton, and it is the company’s MPRD 2 red-dot sight. It features “Shake Awake” instant-on technology that preserves battery life, and it has a 3-MOA red dot. Power is provided by a CR2032 battery. The dot is adjustable for windage and elevation via easy-to-access adjustment screws on the optic’s body. The body is made of aluminum, so it’s rugged, and it has a built-in, fixed, backup rear sight. The notch is low, so low in fact that when sighting down it, you can only see about the top one-third of the front sight. The Riton red-dot sight is secured to the slide by two screws, and the unit has to be removed from the slide in order to install or replace the battery. The whole sight measures 0.95 inch wide, 1.60 inches long, and 0.94 inch tall.
In addition to the Riton MPRD 2 red-dot optic with built-in backup rear sight, the DVG-1 RD pistol comes with a plastic white-dot front sight. The front sight is 0.15 inch thick, and the rear notch is 0.18 inch wide.
The DVG-1 does not have any external safeties, and its profile is very sleek. The takedown pin is flush with the frame and requires a screwdriver blade or other such tool to pry it out for disassembly (more about that in a moment). The only control that sticks out is the slide stop, and it is contoured and covered with an overmolded polymer material to both extend it for easy operation and also to help prevent it from hanging up during a draw.
The stainless-steel barrel is 3.11 inches long, and it features the same locking system that other SCCY pistols have. The design is called “Roebuck Quad-Lock.”
Named for SCCY founder Joe Roebuck, the Roebuck Quad-Lock system locks the barrel at four areas: the rear of the chamber where it contacts the slide, two adjacent points at the front of the barrel, and at the link under the barrel where it snugs to the disassembly pin. Locking the barrel in four distinct places ensures that the barrel returns to the same location every time the pistol is in battery. There is no side-to-side movement of the barrel with this system.
The trigger is made of aluminum, and rather than the curved design found on other pistols, the DVG-1’s trigger is flat. It’s basically straight, although it does angle out at the bottom tip. And the face of the trigger is smooth. The trigger pull on my sample measured 6.75 pounds, according to my trusty old RCBS trigger pull gauge.
Also, the trigger is positioned farther back when at rest compared to SCCY’s hammer-fired pistols. That combined with the smaller grip circumference makes the DVG-1’s reach to the trigger less than on other SCCY pistols.
The pistol comes with two magazines that hold 10 rounds of 9mm ammunition. They have extended-grip baseplates, but the company includes two flat, flush-fitting baseplates if you care to switch them. I found the extended one to provide the most comfortable grip, but the flush-fitting baseplate reduces the height of the pistol by approximately a half-inch.
If you decide to switch out the magazine baseplates, it’s easily done. Just push in on the detent in the bottom of the baseplate with a small pin punch or similar tool to depress the internal spring enough to allow the existing baseplate to be pushed off the magazine’s body. Use your thumb to keep the spring and base together inside the magazine’s body, align the replacement baseplate’s grooves with the rim of the magazine body, and slide the baseplate into place. I think it’s noteworthy to mention the DVG-1 does not have a magazine disconnect, meaning it will fire with the magazine out.
As I mentioned earlier, disassembling the DVG-1 for routine cleaning and maintenance is easy. Once you are certain the gun is unloaded and the magazine has been removed, retract the slide and lock it back. Then insert the blade of a flat-blade screwdriver or the rim of a fired case into the slot on the left side of the slide just above the disassembly pin and pry the pin outward. Move the slide forward, squeeze the trigger, and finish separating the slide from the frame. Remove the recoil spring guide rod assembly and drop the barrel down, out of the slide. It takes less time to do than to read about it. Reassemble in reverse order.
Reviews in our sister publications Guns & Ammo and Firearms News show that their sample DVG-1 RD pistols produced five-shot groups ranging anywhere from about 3.0 to 7.5 inches at 25 yards. I wasn’t able to produce any 3.0-inch groups, but I did keep all of them under 6.0 inches. Overall average of my groups with five factory loads carrying bullet weights from 115 to 147 grains was 4.97 inches. That’s for three, five-shot groups with each load, for a total of 15 groups. The old standard is 4.25 inches at 25 yards, and while I didn’t achieve that, I came close enough for my own satisfaction. The details of all that shooting are listed in the accompanying chart.
I also did a few quick draw-and-shoots on a paper silhouette target, and at a close-up self-defense distance of seven yards, the DVG-1 RD put all rounds fired offhand in the head of the silhouette target as fast as I could work the trigger. And as has been said over and over, a face full of 9mm ammo is definitely going to put the hurt on a bad guy.
For those of you who are wondering how difficult the DVG-1’s slide was to operate (and by now we all know that a striker-fired mechanism’s slide is somewhat stiffer to operate than a hammer-fired mechanism’s), it was on par with other small, striker-fired pistols I have tested. Using an unsophisticated setup (a cleaning rod attached to my trigger pull gauge), I found that the DVG-1’s slide required 25 pounds of pull to manipulate it. That’s two or three pounds more than some of the other one’s I’ve measured but should not be a problem for most shooters.
The DVG-1 was comfortable to shoot. I have to say the trigger pull seemed a bit long at first, and at 6.75 pounds according to my trigger pull gauge, it was heavier than I prefer. But I got used to it pretty quickly, and most importantly, the pistol went “bang” every time I squeezed the trigger, plus it extracted and ejected every fired case without a hiccup.
There was one nuisance factor, though. The screws that hold the Riton sight to the slide worked themselves loose about halfway through my accuracy shooting. It wasn’t a problem for me because I had read that other evaluators also encountered it, so I was prepared to watch for that from the get-go. It’s a good reminder that with mechanical devices of all sorts, the operator needs to be mindful of the machine’s condition at all times. A serious tool for defending oneself and one’s family is not an exception and in fact demands that you pay attention to all the details, including the mechanical parts as well as your shooting technique and defensive strategies.
Given that the little S.F.O.R. SCCY functioned 100 percent of the time and that it has an MSRP of less than $400, I think the new striker-fired, optics-ready micro-sized DVG-1 RD pistol is worthy of your consideration.
SCCY DVG-1 RD Specifications
- Manufacturer: SCCY, sccy.com
- Type: Striker-fired autoloader
- Caliber: 9mm Luger
- Magazine capacity: 10 rounds
- Barrel: 3.11 in.
- Overall length: 6.01 in.
- Width: 1.24 in. (at slide stop)
- Height: 5.69 in. (base of extended magazine to top of Riton MPRD 2 red-dot sight)
- Weight, empty: 17.5 oz.
- Grips: Integral to polymer frame
- Finish: Black frame, natural stainless slide
- Sights: Riton MPRD 2 red-dot reflex optic with built-in backup rear sight, white-dot front
- Trigger: 6.75-lb. pull (as tested)
- MSRP: $399.99 (optic installed)