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Hi Point 916 C9 handgun and 995TS carbine, self defense on a budget

I have been in contact with Hi-Point about a self defense on a budget article for a few months now and getting some ideas on the best and least expensive way for someone on a tight budget to be able to have a handgun for legal concealed carry and something for home defense. After a few emails and some brainstorming my friend at Hi-Point suggested the 916 C9, a handgun chambered in 9mm Luger and a 996TS carbine also chambered in 9mm Luger. Combined MSRP is $486 for both. Now Hi-Point also offers the pistols and carbines in .40 Smith and Wesson and .45 Automatic but in keeping with the thoughts of the least expensive idea we went with the 9mm set. Hi-Point also produces a pistol in .380 Automatic for MSRP $151 but no carbine in that caliber.

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So, we had a plan and shortly thereafter I had the two test samples. The C9 holds eight plus one with a magazine holding ten rounds also available. The 995TS holds ten rounds standard. Now the cool part is the magazine for the carbine will work in the pistol but obviously will stick out the bottom a bit. Since the pistol magazine holds eight rounds it is too short to work in the carbine. The Hi Point pistols and carbines work on a straight blow back design, which is different than a locking breech design in that the recoil spring and slide mass is what resists movement during firing. The barrel is stationary which makes for a simple design that is not prone to problems that can happen to other link and linkless barrel designs.

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So, I will address the elephant in the room. The C9 is not a very attractive pistol to some, but as we all know, ugly folks get married everyday and are happy. I would take an ugly pistol that runs over a beautiful pistol that is unreliable all day long. Talking with Hi-Point about some of these points I learned that part of their mission as a manufacture is to provide firearms that are reliable and accurate at a price point where anyone could afford one. Yes, there are gun snobs that will run down the inexpensive firearms but to me that is an issue they have. Think of the kid just out of college waiting tables while they are looking for a job, or the single mother working two jobs to just make ends meet. They deserve viable options for reliable firearms just the same as anyone. All that plus Hi-Point firearms are made in America and have a lifetime warranty.

Initial Range Trip

I took both test samples out to the range with some of my reloads using a 115gr Montana Gold JHP and Unique propellant as well as some factory defensive rounds to see how they would cycle. I also wanted to get some numbers on the difference between a pistol and a carbine in the same round. I measured velocity difference and ballistic gel penetration.  Running several magazines through both samples I experienced no malfunctions. Sights were tried initially at twenty-five feet and they were right on. After a few magazines through each I loaded up a few Hornady Critical Defense 115gr, Hornady XTP 147gr, and Federal Guard Dog 105gr for the ballistic gel test.  You can see those results by following this link. Both the pistol and carbine ran just fine and gave no issues whatsoever. Recoil was very manageable with the pistol and almost nonexistent with the carbine. After about fifty or so rounds through each I decided to pack it in and get an early start on the next trip.

Second range trip

Clinton Jamieson, a fellow reviewer, and I set out to really wring out the carbine and pistol and get some accuracy tests done to see what these firearms are capable of.  This time we brought along defensive rounds, factory ball, remanufactured rounds from Fort Mill Munitions, and three different reloads. We had about 400 rounds total and intended to use them up. First we started out at twenty-five yards to shoot the carbine and pistol for accuracy and then it was game on loading magazines and running them dry as hard as we could go. As we were wrapping up and both satisfied the firearms were reliable and accurate there was a handful of one of the reloads left so we went to the 100 yard line to see what the carbine would do.

After the initial range trip, ballistic test, and accuracy test the round count was about 100 rounds per and no issues. During the course of the live fire Clinton and I ran another 200 rounds through the pistol and  220 through the carbine. If my math skills have not deteriorated through years of semi professional beer drinking that brings 300 rounds through the pistol and 320 through the carbine without issue. I went to the 100 yard line with the carbine and the reload 1 and was able to get a few three inch groups from a rest with iron sights.

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The accuracy chart. Reload 1 was a 115gr fmj loaded with 5gr of Unique and Reload 2 was a 124gr jhp loaded with 4.8gr of Unique. I do not have the propellant data on Reload 3 as they were donated but it is the same round we used for the 9mm Luger ballistic test. Accuracy chart is from 25 yards shot from a rest.

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Left side of the carbine, you can see the charging handle here as well as the safety just behind and down, which engaged firmly.  The magazine release is just behind the trigger, which broke at 6 pounds.

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Right side of the carbine, here you see the bolt and rear sight set up.

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There are several option along the bottom and back of the butt stock to add the sling swivel. There is also a spring loaded recoil pad that absorbed a great deal of the recoil. With the carbine chambered in 9mm Luger recoil was similar to an AR 15 in 5.56 so recoil was not great but the recoil pad makes a difference.

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The rear sight aperture adjustable for windage and elevation, marked clearly in yellow for reference.

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The front sight post well protected by a shroud. Anyone who has shot service rifle or has been in the military will be right at home with these sights.

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The contoured grip which was comfortable and a generous magazine well.

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Plenty of weaver style rails on the carbine. If you run out of room on the 995TS for your accessories, you have too many accessories.

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This was a stand out point for me, note the USA inscribed on the bolt handle and front sight fastener. The bolt handle can be used to lock the bolt to the rear by pushing in the charging handle in the opening at the end.  America!

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The C9 with the 995TS carbine magazine inserted. It hung out the bottom a bit but functioned perfectly.

Speaking of the C9

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Here you will see the contoured grip like the 995TS carbine that was very comfortable. The trigger, which also broke clean at 6 pounds and the safety just behind the trigger, engaged positively.

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The adjustable rear sight and the front sight. Highlighted with orange and yellow to index quickly and the top was serrated to cut down on glare.

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The muzzle, yep that is about all I can say about that.

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The rear of the slide, nicely serrated for cocking the slide even if your hands are dirty or sweaty.

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Optional extended magazine that holds 10 rounds.

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The magazine well, plenty generous.

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The slide locked back on an empty magazine. There is not a slide stop release on the pistol so the “sling shot” method is your only option for dropping the slide on a loaded magazine.

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And I saved the best for last, the tool that was included. I added it to my key chain right away. Not only did it work as a disassemble tool for the pistol and carbine, but it also had a cut out that fit the bolt handle on the 995TS, and could disassemble the included trigger locks it was a perfect punch to detail strip a Government Model, Glock, and my CZ75B. Hell, the tool is worth an extra $10 at least. Oh and I may of cleaned under my fingernails with it.


For the budget minded or for someone looking for an inexpensive firearm as a “truck gun” one thing has to be considered and that is, with all firearms, reliability. From what I have experienced with both of these Hi-Points that part is covered. They both also proved to be plenty accurate. The C9 is small enough it can be concealed but like any midsized pistol it takes a bit of planning. It’s sights were easily picked up on, even in bright daylight. Recoil was very manageable so quick follow up shots were not a problem. The C9 comes with an optional ghost ring sight that easily installs. That gives you options on rear sights but personally I preferred the standard rear sight installed in the factory. As far as the carbine, the 9mm Luger round did pick up some velocity and expansion out of the carbine, enough so to validate it’s usefulness. Not to mention with the longer sight radius and weight there was very little recoil.  The carbine has plenty of options for accessories such as lights, lasers, foregrips, and so on, making it ideal to customize for home defense. One thing to also think about is many indoor ranges do not allow rifle cartridges so with a carbine such as this you can utilize such ranges and not violate policy. With a defensive rifle training is a must and the reduced cost of the 9mm Luger round can ease some of the expense of practice ammunition. The triggers on the two were very similar enough that when you get used to one you will be used to the other. Another advantage to such a matched pair. So beauty is in the eye of the beholder and when I am holding a reliable firearm, that is a thing of beauty.

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Here is a shot on the C9 along with a Hi Point pistol in .45 Auto. I am about half way through with the review of the .45

C-9 Specifications

Barrel length: 3.5″

Overall length: 6.75″

Weight: 29 oz.

Frame: High-impact polymer

Finish: Black powder coat

Capacity: 8-shot mag standard (10-shot avail)

Sights: 3-dots, fully-adjustable rear sight

All Hi-Point handguns feature:

+P rated

High-impact polymer frame

High-impact grips

Durable, attractive easy-grip finish

3-dot, fully adjustable sights

Free extra rear peep sight

Last round lock open

Free trigger lock

Magazine disconnect safety

Quick on-off thumb safety

Operations & safety sheet

100% American parts & assembly

Lifetime warranty

995TS Specifications.

Barrel length: 16.5″

Overall length: 31″

Weight: 6.25 lbs.

Sights: Fully-adjustable

Capacity: 10-shot magazine standard

Stock: All-weather, black molded polymer

+P rated

All-weather, black polymer skeletonized stock

Sling, swivels and scope base

Internal recoil buffer in stock

Weaver style rails

Fully adjustable sights (“Ghost Ring” rear peep & post front)

Quick on/off thumb safety

Grip-mounted magazine release

100% American-made parts and assembly

10-shot magazine

Free trigger lock

Last round lock open

Optional forward folding grip

Optional flashlight

Optional laser


Hi-Point Firearms


Fort Mill Munitions

Gabriel Nelson f/stop Grooves Photography

Clinton Jamieson





By Hunter Elliott

I spent much of my youth involved with firearms and felt the call early on to the United States Marine Corps, following in my father's and his brother's footsteps. Just after high school I enlisted and felt most at home on the rifle range, where I qualified expert with several firearms and spent some time as a rifle coach to my fellow Marines. After being honorably discharged I continued teaching firearm safety, rifle and pistol marksmanship, and began teaching metallic cartridge reloading. In the late 1990s I became a life member to the National Rifle Association and worked with the Friends of the NRA. Around that time my father and I became involved with IDPA and competed together up until he passed away. I began reviewing firearms for publications in the mid 2000s and have been fortunate to make many friends in the industry. Continuing to improve my firearms skills and knowledge is a never ending journey in which we should all be committed. I am also credited as weapons master on a few independent films.

64 thoughts on “Hi Point 916 C9 handgun and 995TS carbine, self defense on a budget.”
  1. I have both the C9 and 995TS. These were my introduction to firearms (except for M14 back in Vietnam) and I got the shooting bug and now also have a Ruger American rifle 308, Beretta PX4 Storm (9mm), Mossberg Maverick 88 12 gauge and yes, even a springer air pistol [Hatsan 25 .177 supercharger, 700 fps pellet pistol – what a blast it is in the backyard] – I concur with everything you said in your review, the Hi Points are dependable, accurate, and a tremendous value – if the gun snobs don’t like it, they can just look the other way while I shoot my .5″ groups all day long at the range.

  2. Excellent review. I was curious about the HI Point after a friend bought one, so i decided to see what the scoop was on them. Your review was very well written.

    1. Thank you very much Maverick. I appreciate you taking the time to give me feedback.
      I was pretty impressed by the Hi-Points truthfully and though they may not win any beauty contests they certainly do work, and work well. In my opinion function over form.

    1. You are very welcome Mike.
      I was pleasantly surprised with the C9, especially for the money. It is a fine pistol. To be reliable, reasonable accurate, lifetime warranty, and made in The USA all at that price point is a great deal.

  3. Thank you for a great unbiased review of a truly great firearm. The hi-point carbine was my very first firearm I bought about 10 years ago. Flawless function and the only cleaning I did to it was spray rem-oil down the barrel and run a patch through it! I also own a C-9 pistol and true to hi-point it is also flawless. I’m truly upset about the snobbery in gun culture as a whole. Many people can’t afford to drop a mortgage payment on a handgun!! Also the ideology that if you spend less than 550$-600$ on a pistol you are somehow stupid and will certainly die if you attempt to use it in self defense. I own 5 handguns and haven’t paid more than 350$ for any of them. I have a Taurus millennium G2 that has 8500 rounds through it with ZERO malfunctions!! How is that a bad thing?

    1. You are very welcome Peter.
      I do hate to hear gun snobs run down a firearm that is reliable and easily afforded by most anyone. I appreciate your feedback sir.
      I bought the test samples and wound up transferring them to a friend who just had to have them. I hated to give them up but you know how it is. I still get to shoot them when we go out and both are still without issues.

  4. I have 2 c9s and have put more then 500 rounds through each. Most of them have been my reloads using different loads and bullets .they have functioned flawless. I did polish the trays and the slides on both when I received them.didn’t like the powder coating on the feed ramp and there was some coating on the frame slide. The wife and I have more expensive guns in the safe but we are having a ball with this ugly duckling, I just ordered a 995 carbine I think hi point has struck gold in the firearm industry.

    1. I agree, Hi-Point makes a fine firearm and the test samples which are still in use are performing excellent. Some may turn their nose up at a Hi-Point but such a gun snob is not an excellent source of information to begin with.
      Thank you very much for your feedback.

      1. Thank you for your articles and especially the Hi Point reviews. I have owned 3 of their firearms and still regularly cc my C9 in town. Out in the bush I prefer something a little more potent here in Alaska.

        1. Thank you very much Michael. I hate Hi-Point is looked down by so many, though they are a bit ugly they are reliable and pretty accurate. I am publishing the review of the .45 Auto pistol and carbine review in a few hours.

  5. I have been doing my home work on high point because I have been thinking about getting one and this was very helpful I well be purchusing the carbine 995 first then the c9

  6. Hi-Point is working on a .380 carbine! They debut it at the Great American Outdoor Show. I’ve not had any issues with my C9 and yes, it loves hot loads. Just recently purchased a 995TS too. To be honest, after watching IV8888 on Youtube do the torture test, I was sold and had to have one.

  7. i have the 995ts now and i love it for some reason every body told me not to get it and that hipoints were junk but its amazing ill probably end up with the c9 next and the 4595ts i only wish it came with more than a 10 round capacity mag but i figure that well come with time i ended getting another mag mag holder forward grip and condinser i love this carbine for the money you cant beat it and theres no better deal out there

    1. As you know, it pays to do your research and not listen to the internet commandos. I would like to see a larger magazine capacity on the carbine as well and i have heard rumors they are in the works but I cannot confirm.
      Thank you for your feedback Billy.

      1. I was also interested in a larger capacity magazine. I hope the rumors are true. Some states only permit limited capacity.

        1. They do have highgee capacity mags Don’t quote me but I think they are 15 rounds and I’ve seen them for sale for the 9mm carbine on Sportsmans guide. Not to expensive but I’ve heard their was some issues with the feeding lips
          ( saw it in a write up somewheres) but if SG sells them then they must be ok to use. Check it out they have extended carbine mags for 9mm. You can also find extended magazines if you search enough both for the 4o & 45

  8. A little background first, 7 years Army using M14, M60, and the AR15 first generation without the chrome chamber fix in two combat tours RVN. Then a career as a street cop, S&W 19-2 and then the Stainless 645 both used Speer safety slug, oh yea had an 870 in the unit also.
    For LEOSA I went to a .380 Bodyguard cause it was easy to hide. I think I know a bit about firearms.
    The wife wants to learn to shoot but wasn’t happy with my guns, she wanted a Hipoint 9. So against my better judgement I got her one, $157 out the door.
    I’m now a believer, 600 rounds downrange without an issue, no, none, zip, nada FTE or FTFs, its a brick! It goes bang when you want it to, it’s accurate, made in the USA and has a lifetime warranty, the only issue is she will not let me shoot “her” gun. My yearly qualification is next month and I’m gonna sneak it out of the house. I want to see the look on the “glock guys” faces when the old Sarge shows up with a pink gripped Hipoint….

    1. First of all, thank you for your service as a Solider and Police officer.
      As far as the C9 goes, I am in complete agreement with you Ed. It may not win any beauty contets but it runs. Please keep me posted on how the qual goes. Be safe.

  9. I own both the 995ts and the c9. My son and I enjoy shooting both very much. I did add a slip on tactical grip to the c9, not out of necessity, but I liked the feel and the finger “grooves” just give it a better look for me. Enjoyed your review, and I haven’t had any issues with either of mine. Wish they would hold more ammo, but I get to practice reloading, and extra mags from the company are cheap enough, so I ordered extras for both and received them in about 3 days. Great guns, great prices! Happy shooting!

    1. Awesome. I do agree though, it would be nice for a larger capacity magazine but all in all great firearms at a great price.
      Thank you very much for taking the time to let me know your thoughts.

  10. Thank you for your well rounded review.
    I own the hi point 9MM carbine. And love it , I have put over 600 rounds though it and have not had one feed or jam issue.without adjusting the sites I was able to hit targets at 100 yards with no problems. Great rifle for the price and intend to purchase another.

  11. Thank you I do love my hi point carbine 9 MM , would you recommend the hi point 9MM C9 hand gun

  12. Great review, wife received C9 Pistol from her father for home security (we have a Ranch) I wanted information on being able to use the same round with a riffle. 995TS does just that. and reading your review that the trigger pull is equal just make the rifle perfect for us. I’m saving now to put a 995TS high point in my home. thank you for the knowledge you share.

    1. Thank you Darryl for your kind words and taking the time to let me know your thoughts on the Hi-Point article. Please keep me updated on what you think of the carbine when you get it.

  13. i have seen and read many reviews on both the c9 and the 995. Those who have taken the time to truly test the firearms, really like them.

    My question in on the magazines being interchangeable. I have seen several reviews that flat out say that the magazines for the 995 will not work in the c9 (they will fit, but will consistently cause the c9 to jam, if theyworks at all). I have also seen many reviews, like this one, that say the magazines for the 995 have no problem working in the c9.

    Do the 995 magazines work in the c9 with no problems?

    Thank you for any advice and help. This is a excellent review!

  14. Thanks for the great info in your review. I have not had the chance to try the handguns as of this point. But, I have had 2 of the carbines. I really wish I had not sold the 9mm 995TS. That was so amazingly accurate out of the box.. I shot 1″ groups at 150 yards and was just mind blown by the accuracy and feel of it. I plan to get a couple more of them really soon.. I have to say I was not as accurate with the .40 cal carbine, but it was more than accurate enough for a defensive weapon and pest control. I really like the lack of noise from these little rifles. The 9mm was not as loud as my 1022 Ruger. But just as accurate.
    I wish they would make a 10 mm carbine, I think it would be a great large pest control rifle.

  15. Have owned. C9 , c40 for over 10 years and no problems, just hoppe’s down the barrel with a patch. Great guns, will match any pistol for accuracy. Now own 995ts and love this carbine. Just good USA products. Thanks for your great review.

  16. I wish they had a customer service email instead of just phone.
    I need to order the black cap for the mag release on my C9. Mine
    Came off and was lost.
    How about a 10mm. Their products are certainly beefy enough.

  17. Mr. Elliott I would just like to say thank you for opening up the minds of so many, about this awesome product. I’ve always been a fan of HI POINT…

    Great value and return on such a small investment. If Hi Point firearms was the stock market, everyone who purchased shares would be rich.

    Keep up the great work…

  18. Did a lot of online research. Have several 9mm hand guns, wanted a rifle in same caliber. Waited 4 wks to get 9 mm Carbine in basic black. Love it, love it, love it. I am 66 and have progressive bifocal glasses. The “ghost ring sights” are great. I can shoot at indoor range. 2 inch groups at 25 yrds is a snap, and I’m no Annie Oakley. Occasional miss feed on 147 gr 9 mm hollow points as they are a little longer than 115 and 125 grains. No problem. Easy to clean, no recoil to speak of. The accessories like embroidered carry case and 2 mags plus stock clip ons for mags and tool to help load last few rounds in the mags are Very reasonable. This rifle is just plain “fun to shoot” Only problem…The demand exceeds the rate of production. Build a bigger factory! My local stores in NJ can’t get them and they fly off the shelf the minute they get one.

  19. After reading all the reviews for the last couple of months, I get my new 995TS in ten days. Yes, I live in Kommifornia. At least we can still legally get them here (for now). Can’t wait to take it out to try it! Never been a gun snob and I have had more reliable fun with “affordable” firearms than some others that I spent a lot of cash on. I think I’m gonna have fun experimenting with different reloads with this. FMJ’s VS. HP’s? 115, 124, 135, 147 grain? Comments welcome.

    1. I am sure you will be happy with the 995TS. Though it is reliable with all 9mm Luger ammunition I tried for range use I would look for the least expensive. Please keep us posted on what you think once you get it to the range.

  20. I haven’t bought a HI-Point pistol but I do Have the Carbine in 40 cal. I was thinking of purchasing another Carbine in 9mm the ( muddy Girl) kind of a joke me being a guy and all. I love that they are American made and the warranty plus you can’t beat the price. Though getting the extra doo-dad’s I purchase my own. The only additions I got for my 40 cal Carbine was the collapsible for grip and I got it on special with the stock mounted magazine carrier! I did purchase the light but at 90 lumens was a waste of money and even worse I couldn’t return it and don’t know why but it kinda pissed me off other than that couldn’t be happier, the article was really good explaining etc though would liked to have had more info in sighting it in because of the front sight and the nut being used etc the directions don’t help to much. Maybe in the 45 article if you do the 45 carbine you might delve into the easiest and quickest way to sight it in at say 50 yds? Other than that top notch article

  21. I like high point cqc capability of the pistol round. But have hi point manufacturing thought about the 556 (223) round ? In a bull pup design ? I think hi pint would put a lot of manufactures in a panic like the dig 3 colt, smith, and ruger. Just saying I would but one.

  22. My C9 has to go back to the factory. Stopped firing after 3000 rounds. Installed new springs and firing pin. Still has a serious firing problem.
    Factory shuts down forctwo weeks starting the first of July so itcwilk be 3 weeks before I can use it again. Rats!!
    Thinking if pucking up a Taurus 38 Spcl Ultra Lite. Seems like a nice cc gun and though I’ve only put 50 rounds thru one it feels like it shoots well. 3″ at 10 yards. Any thoughts anyone??

  23. Vet and Retired LEO. I have several more expensive firearms with big names but My C9 and 995TS are go to firearms at home if needed quickly. Why? Because they always go bang! (even if dirty) Most people who knock them never owned one. Their brother’s, wife’s 2nd. cousin removed had one jam so they talk them down. Hi-Point makes it possible for anyone to afford something to defend their loved ones if ever needed.
    Great article.

  24. Love shooting my 9mm carbine.I usually shoot steel plates at around 60 yards dead on using my red dot. Works well shooting and moving with both eyes open with the red dot.

  25. Thank you for a great review. I own a 995ts and plan on acquiring another with 2 C9 as backup. You are correct in stating that they are ugly. I don’t care about that because everything I have is ugly except my wife. No divas in the gun rack.

  26. I think I’m going to pick up the carbine. After looking at the Carbine Conversion Units, and seeing that they want around $500 for them (and you “lose” your pistol frame in the process); then looking at the KelTec Sub2000 (which nobody can seem to find in stock, and has a few reliability issues); then the Beretta CX4 ($700… really?); I can find absolutely no reason at all NOT to go with the Hi-Point. I’ve got plenty of the “pretty” carbines, rifles and pistols, and in the past I’ve spent $1200 on both an auto shotgun that wouldn’t cycle any load, and a supposedly high-end .45 auto
    that choked and puked on anything and everything. Expensive does not equal quality, and “cheap” does not mean junk. I learned that the hard way.

    I really can’t see any downside to shelling out $300 or so for a 9mm carbine that I have yet to hear anything bad about. Well, maybe just the looks, but I couldn’t care less.

    Thanks for the write-up!

    1. Steve, I think you are on the right track. There are more expensive options but none that I know are more reliable. I think you would be well pleased with the Hi-Point carbine, yea they are a little ugly, but function over form.

  27. […] The Hi-Point C9 has made several appearances on rangehot, and with the new C9 Yeet Cannon G1 coming out not long ago, I had an idea of what to expect. After about 500 rounds, the pistol proved as reliable and accurate as of the original C9. You can read my review of the 916 C9 and 995Ts Carbine by following this link.  […]

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