Lots of gun enthusiasts would like to add a pistol to their armory. But not all want to pay a heavy price for the pleasure. This is where low-cost handguns can solve the problem.
Shooters who are looking for inexpensive pistols will obviously see a low ticket price as an important factor. Having said this, accuracy, reliability, and ease of use are far more important considerations.
In our SCCY 9mm review, we will look at a pistol that certainly fits into this price category.
So, let’s see what the SCCY 9mm handgun has to offer…
Who are SCCY Firearms?
Over 20 years ago, Joe Roebuck recognized the American public’s need for a safe, simple to use, and above all, affordable firearm. With over 40 years of experience as a Tool & Die Maker and Mechanical Design Engineer, he felt well-equipped to meet this need and set about designing the CPX series of 9mm firearms.
In 2003, Roebuck founded Skyy Industries, LLC. This allowed him to progress with the production of the CPX line of handguns. The company is now known as SCCY Industries LLC. Their first manufacturing and office facilities were located in South Daytona, Florida. In 2010 they moved into their present 21,000 square foot facility situated in Daytona Beach, Florida.
In terms of manufacture, the barrel, slide, receiver, and all other major metal components are produced here.
On the right track…
There is no doubt whatsoever that SCCY are doing something right. To date, they have produced over 500,000 firearms, and their success shows no signs of being reined in. They have recently introduced their latest weapon: The CPX-3 .380 Automatic pistol. The company has also stated that new models will be progressively added to their line-up.
A Trigger Feature to Be Aware Of
Before getting into our SCCY 9mm review, we feel the two different types of trigger action available need explanation. This point is worthy of discussion as it relates to this pistol.
Single Action or Double Action Trigger
The majority of weapons shooters will come across are single-action (SA). However, there are some pistols and revolvers out there that are Double-Action only (DAO) or Single-Action/Double-Action (SA/DA).
The SCCY 9mm is Double-Action only.
So, What’s the Difference?
SA and DA relate to how the mechanism of a gun operates once the trigger is pulled.
The “Double” in DA weapons refers to the fact that the trigger performs two functions: Cocking and then firing the gun – The gun’s ‘hammer’ cannot be manually cocked back. It is only by pulling the trigger that this can happen.
Example of how the two mechanisms differ:
Here are some differences that shooters will find between SA and DA mechanisms with weapon examples of each:
Action on pulling the trigger
- With a DA weapon, the hammer is cocked and dropped. The weapon then fires.
- With a SA weapon, the hammer drops, and the cartridge in the chamber is fired.
- DA – Automatic action when pulling the trigger. This is up to the break point when the hammer drops.
- SA – This needs to be carried out manually prior to the 1st shot in auto-weapons and before every shot in revolvers.
- DA – Longer up to very long. In general, the trigger pull is much heavier than with SA triggers.
- SA – Around 4-5 lbs for a carry weapon. Lighter for a modified auto. Very light for modified hunting revolvers. This action is very short and crisp.
- DA is much faster to reload than a SA revolver. When comparing DA with SA in auto-weapons, it takes around the same time to load.
SCCY 9mm Review
There are currently four versions of the SCCY 9mm pistol available. These is the CPX-1 – 9mm, the CPX-2 – 9mm, the CPX-1RD (Red Dot) – 9mm, and finally, the CPX-2RD – (Red Dot) – 9mm.
We will be reviewing the CPX-2 model. It should also be noted that SCCY also produce a range of .380 pistols.
Let’s start by getting color choices put to bed!
Before diving into the specifications of the CPX-2 model, we should point out that color options galore are yours. There is a huge choice of 18 (eighteen!) grip color options. These range from standard black to moonshine toxic (for those interested, this is a shade of green!).
Female shooters may well be interested in the two ‘Muddy Girl’ colors. But, suffice to say that with such a wide choice, there should be a color to please everyone.
Once you have chosen your grip color, you can then decide on your slide finish. Here you get a choice of two colors: Black Nitride or Natural Stainless.
SCCY CPX-2 9mm Specifications
Here’s what you get when purchasing this model:
- Cartridge – 9mm Luger.
- Action – Semi automatic.
- Capacity – 10+1-round.
- Barrel length – 3.1 inches.
- Length – 5.7 inches.
- Width – 1 inch.
- Height – 4 inches.
- Weight – 15 ounces.
- Barrel – The barrel is machined from bar stock. It has seven lands & grooves coming with a 16-1 right hand twist.
- Receiver – Manufactured from 7075-T6 aircraft grade, heat treated aluminum alloy. Again, machined from bar stock.
- Grip/Frame – Manufactured from Zytel polymer. It comes with ergonomic finger grooves as well as an integral “re-coil cushion” on the back-strap.
- Recoil Spring System – Completely steel and fully encapsulated. This allows for ease of disassembly and reassembly.
- Slide Lock/Release – Steel with a Zytel over-molded polymer extension. The design allows for ease of operation.
- 3-Dot sight system – The rear sight is steel made. Adjustable for Windage only with locking screw.
- Hammer firing system – Double Action (DA) only. Internal hammer design with inertial firing pin. This is to prevent accidental discharge if the pistol is dropped.
- Double Action (DA) trigger – This is specifically designed for shooting comfort and accuracy. The design of the system allows for a smooth, effortless, and consistent 9 lbs trigger pull.
- Trigger guard lock – Custom designed to ensure the correct fit. Comes with two keys and is also child resistant
- Magazine – Two double stack 10-round capacity magazines come with your purchase. These have finger extension bases installed and two flat magazine bases included.
That is the ‘Official’ Specs. – But What’s the Reality?
The SCCY CPX-2 model is an improved design on the CPX-1 model. The major complaint of the CPX-1 was the manual safety design. The CPX-2 has modified this. It is a sleek-looking pistol that is fairly comfortable to carry. This is thanks to its weight of 15 oz and a total length of 5.7 inches.
And it should be stated that many shooters who own this pistol are more than happy with their purchase.
However, this does not tell the whole story…
While some owners are content with the CPX-2, others who have reviewed this pistol are of a different mindset. If you take a cross-section of SCCY 9mm reviews, it quickly becomes clear that there are two camps here. There are those that feel this inexpensive handgun does a fine job and those who do not recommend it at all.
During our research, we have found conflicting views. It really does seem that this is a pistol you will either love or hate.
Let’s take a look at two issues that show the deep divide between reviewers.
There are lots of complaints about the trigger. In part, this could be due to the fact that the CPX-2 has a long, heavy double-action trigger. This is not the type of trigger handgun shooters would normally choose as a preference.
However, even putting that aside, there were other trigger concerns voiced. A fairly common one related to issues with resetting the trigger and the fact there is no audible or tactile reset indication. To add to this issue, the return spring was considered too weak. So much so that it does not easily ‘jump back’ to its reset position.
The other side of this coin takes a more positive view. Some regular users of the CPX-2 pistol claimed that the double-action trigger was exactly what they were looking for.
Another moot point to be considered relates to those who are new to shooting, or those who have had little or no training. And it might (note the use of the word ‘might’) be better for this category of shooter to use a heavier trigger. The thinking behind this is that it could be a safer mechanism for them to use.
Whatever the arguments are, there is a feeling that other handguns in this price range offer better triggers.
Learn to Use Your Weapon Proficiently
With regard to the last point, we cannot stress strongly enough how important correct firearms training and regular practice is. It is imperative that anyone new to shooting should receive guidance and training for any weapon they own or use.
While the SCCY CPX-2 pistol is not exclusively marketed towards new shooters, this is certainly a significant target market. This means is that the pistol may well be a first purchase for many. There is certainly no issue with such a purchase.
However, if this is your first weapon purchase, you need to be fully aware of how important correct training is. It could well be the difference between life, serious injury, and even death!
Before getting into the accuracy debate of the CPX-2 pistol, let’s get one thing straight. Many users purchase this pistol for self-defense purposes. That being the case, accuracy in close-contact, self-defense situations should not be an issue.
Why is this the case?
By their very nature, close contact, self-defense encounters mean you will be close to your assailant. The typical distance between yourself and an assailant is between one and seven yards. This means that regardless of any pinpoint accuracy, you are so close that you are unlikely to miss your target.
Getting back to range target practice when using the CPX-2 pistol.
Some users claim that accuracy and shot grouping was absolutely fine. Indeed, it was better than they had expected from this pistol. Others did not feel it was accurate on targets over 10 yards.
This division of opinion once again highlights the love/hate relationship that shooters have with the CPX-2.
Here again, we have split opinions. Those in favor see the SCCY CPX-2 as functioning without an issue each and every time. Those against complained that the weapon simply does not function for more than a few rounds in a row. The argument about the quality of ammunition used could be considered a factor in this.
It appears that some shooters use a variety of different quality ammo without any malfunction issues. Yet some, who claim to use quality ammo, the same ammo as used in other weapons without problems, stated they suffered regular ‘jamming issues’ when using the CPX-2.
How large are your hands? It appears that hand-size has a lot to do with just how suitable this pistol is for you.
We had no issues (slightly larger than average hands!) However, some reviewers with big hands claim that the CPX-2 is too small for them to handle comfortably. They stated it was difficult to get a solid grip on the weapon. This was even when taking into account the finger grooves and extended magazine base plates.
There is one point that all those who own or have tested the CPX-2 pistol agree on:
Aftermarket accessories are pretty thin on the ground. This means you are very limited in terms of customizing this pistol.
Having said this, there is one customization that is possible. It is worthy of mention due to the conflicting views that shooters have relating to the CPX-2 pistol trigger.
An aftermarket short-stroke trigger and hammer kit
It is possible to purchase an aftermarket short-stroke trigger and hammer kit. This will certainly solve any trigger function issues.
The stumbling block
The cost of this customization will cost about a quarter of the amount you will pay for the complete pistol. This makes it unlikely that anyone looking at the CPX-2 as an inexpensive pistol purchase will be tempted!
Red Dot Optics Are Now Available!
There is a solution for any shooter who is looking to add a red dot optic to their CPX-2 pistol. This is the CPX-2RD version. SCCY have released their CPX-2RD model which includes the Crimson Trace CTS-1500 red dot optic. It comes with a 3.5 MOA built-in red dot with back up sights. There is also an auto-dimming feature to deal with ambient light conditions.
In terms of usage time, it is claimed you will get over 20,000 hours of use from the battery. This neat optic is also backed by the Crimson Trace 3 year warranty.
As should be expected from a red dot optic, the CTS-1500 model is compact and lightweight. It adds a mere 2.50 ounces to the standard CPX-2 pistol. This means the CPX-2RD model weighs in at just 17.50 ounces with an unloaded magazine.
SCCY 9mm Review Pros and Cons
- Solid feel.
- Huge choice of colors.
- Trigger reset is temperamental.
- Some users state it malfunctions on a regular basis.
- Magazine spring is overly strong.
- Rated for +P ammo only.
SCCY 9mm Review Conclusion
We need to make it absolutely clear that this gun is not for everyone. For example, it is certainly not a pistol that you would use for competition shooting.
However, that is not what it is designed for! New shooters who are looking to purchase a reasonably small pistol for self defense purposes will find the CPX-2 model a viable option. It will suit those who are on a tight budget and are looking for an inexpensive handgun. It’s price and functionality also make it a good choice as a back-up gun.
It is fit for purpose if you like having something tucked away and ready to use. Think vehicle glove compartment or tackle/toolbox.
Perhaps not the first choice for many in terms of home defense or concealed carry pistol, but certainly not to be shunned outright.