Backwoods Home reader Ramie Pratt of Reno, NV writes, “I am considering buying a Hi-Point .45 ACP for home and personal defense. I haven’t heard of these before, however, the price seems to fit my budget. I was wondering if you or any of your writers had ever had any type of experience with the Hi-Point line of handguns.”
Solidly ensconced in the low price point end of the market, Hi-Point’s best firearm is their 9mm carbine, in my opinion. Their handguns are always worth a “flame war” when mentioned on Internet gun forums, with one side proclaiming them to be reliable and the other insisting that they’re jam-amatics that wear out prematurely.
Certainly, the massively heavy slide and strong spring the Hi-Point needs to function with the powerful .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) cartridge in a cheaply made blowback mechanism instead of using a more expensive-to-manufacture delayed unlocking system, require a great deal of force to operate the slide by hand in loading and unloading. This can make it a poor choice for the physically weaker members of the family who might be using it. Moreover, the factory itself strongly recommends that these pistols not be kept with a live cartridge in the chamber. This, coupled with the physical strength required to operate its slide, may make it a less than ideal choice for personal protection.
Suggested retail for the Hi-Point .45 is currently $186 (as per their website, www.hi-pointfirearms.com). For less than twice that, you should be able to buy a good, used Ruger .45 auto, either the aluminum frame P90 or the polymer frame P345. Both have earned wide acclaim for their outstanding accuracy and rugged reliability. Either is “drop-safe” with a live round in the chamber.
There’s certainly a place for a reliable sub-$200 handgun. Every type of sporting equipment and every type of tool has an “entry level.” That said, since guns are the most durable of durable goods and pass from generation to generation, it makes sense to spend a little more and invest in top quality.
Let’s hear from blog viewers as to their experiences with the Hi-Point handguns.