You may have seen the SCCY handguns and wondered what kind of gun they are; a cheap “Saturday night special” sub-par firearm or is it a real bargain, a diamond in the rough. Well hopefully after reading this review you’ll be well informed about just what this pistol is and what it is not.
So let us get into a little about the pistol. The SCCY (pronounced sky) CPX-1 and CPX-2 are all 9mm handguns. Anyone familiar with the Kel-tec and the Ruger LCP / LC9 series pistols will be familiar with this platform, as they are essentially a scaled up version of that platform. They straddle that line between a compact and a subcompact pistol. They have a stainless steel machined barrel and slide with a polymer lower frame and an aluminum and steel fire control system that has a DAO nine pound trigger, and come in many colors. Functionally, the pistols are all the same, the only difference being the CPX-1 has a manual frame mounted safety. All come with two double stack 10 round magazines one flush fit one with a finger extension. They also come with a box, a manual, and locking device. In my six months of extensive use, I have never had to use the warranty but it seems to be one of the best in the industry. The real world street price is around $250.00
I am very blessed to have many wonderful handguns; Glock, Smith and Wesson, and Wilson Combat, to name a few. All very nice reliable accurate competition and defence guns. If they were not, I would sell them and get something else.
So why would I ever use or carry a much less expensive handgun like a SCCY? Well that’s easy, because it works! I have tested them extensively for the past six months as a defensive gun and a teaching tool for firearms instruction.
With that said, let's get into testing and evaluation. I have certain standards that my defensive handgun must meet before I am comfortable carrying it. Dependability is, obviously, very important. This is where this budget gun shines the brightest; A++. In my six months of extensive testing with several of these pistols I don’t think I have ever had a malfunction. That’s almost unheard of. I wish that I had kept a round count but trust me it's up there. I have fed this handgun all manner of factory rounds. From FMJ and several defensive hollow points including +P+ federal 9BPLE that is rated high above the plus P pressure levels. Now, handloads are what my guns eat most of the time. I have loaded it with my competition load that is just making power factor for USPSA out of a 5 inch barrel, so I know it should be well under factory ammo levels out of the SCCY’s much shorter barrel. None of this ammo choked the gun. I have loaded from 115gr FMJs to 148gr lead poly coated bullets I have loaded them both longer and shorter than specified C.O.L. with zero malfunctions. I have fired it two handed, right hand only, left hand only, wet, dirty; I even threw one in the snow and mud and fired it without a cleaning. I have dropped it on both asphalt and dirt. Still no issues. This may upset some people but I have had Sigs and Glocks that have had more malfunctions. To put it simply: I have tested this thing for reliability and it passed.
After the gun fires, the bullet needs to hit the target. So next I'll cover accuracy. There are two types of accuracy I would like to cover. First is mechanical accuracy: how accurate the gun is with no human influences. Next, and more important, the personal accuracy: how well the shooter and the gun function together. My personal test for accuracy of my carry guns is the minimum capability to make 25 yard head shots every. This weapon can achieve sub 3 inch groups off hand at 25 yards. The point of impact varies depending on the ammo velocity, grain, etcetera, as with any Browning type lockup, tilt barrel design. This is where the pistol came the closest of not making the cut for me. With all the SCCY’s that I have tested the Point of impact is high at 25 yards. With the load I found that has the closest point of aim / point of impact (Federal 115gr 9BPLE) it’s still inside a USPSA head area at 25 yards, so it’s not a big issue. But with some loads the point of impact can be quite high. This just reinforces the importance of personally testing the gun and ammo you use to defend your life with. Still, these guns are capable of good accuracy; a caveat being that they have a long heavy double action trigger and that’s a hard pill for some shooters to swallow. I think double action only can be a good choice for a defensive trigger but if you are not used to it, it may take some training to be accurate. If you are used to a double action revolver trigger, it will be like an old friend.
After you have hit your target, you may want or need to hit the target again quickly. Therefore a reasonable rate of fire is important. I believe this defensive firearm with trained handler can achieve a reasonable rate of fire. For this to happen the shooter must be able to control the recoil of the firearm they are using. If the shooter has to readjust their grip after every shot, that will greatly hinder the speed of follow up shots. Now, as I stated earlier, this gun has a long heavy double action trigger. If you are looking for 1911 split times this gun, it will be slower. Also, this is a smaller, lighter gun and it has comparable amount of recoil for a gun of its size. I found the recoil substantial. More than my average carry gun. I would say more than an M&P, Glock 19, or 1911 platforms but less than Ruger LC9, S&W J frame or S&W Bodyguard. Physics being what they are, the recoil is on par with a smaller lighter 9mm.
So with the major things out of the way I will cover some other aspects of the SCCY. First off size, this handgun it about the same size as a Glock 26/27 without being as blocky, although I love my Glock 26, it’s a great carry gun I do find it uncomfortable to pocket carry. This one with a flush fit magazine I find pocketable. As a trainer I find that a lot of new concealed carriers get handguns that are too small. There are times when a super small micro .380 is all you can get away with. However for the most part a medium sized handgun in a service caliber is a more effective choice. This gun is on the “smallish” size but not to small to be effective. I feel that this pistol is a good size for all around carry.
So what’s the quality like on this sub three Benjamin handgun? The metal on this gun is machined well, the fit and finish is nicer than you would expect for the price. The springs seem to be of a good quality with a dual recoil spring. The barrel is good quality, one note is that machine marks can be seen in the lands of the rifling. I’m not sure that most people would even notice.
Now ergonomics are in the eye or hand of the beholder. That said here are some generalities. The profile of the gun it good overall. Most shooters should get a full grip on the gun. I think the finger groves will work for most people. The Polymer's grip texture is similar to other guns. I would like to see a more aggressive texture on a CCW gun, but I would say that for the majority of polymer guns out there. The controls will be familiar to users of other modern handguns. They are in the right place and the size and shape make for easy manipulation of the pistol.
As far as the sights, go they are the standard 3 dot sights that the shooting community has come to expect. The rear is metal dovetailed with an allen set screw, a nice feature. The front it a polymer press in like the old style Glock front sights.
The disassembly and assembly are super simple, which gets high marks from me. I would say that one reason that these guns are so reliable is their simple design. I mean, they make a Glock look complicated, and the insides of a 1911 look like a super computer.
Now before you think I’m completely smitten with this piece, there are some things that I would improve. First the trigger reach is quite long. I have medium hands (I wear a medium glove). The trigger reach is on the verge of not allowing me to properly grip and manipulate the trigger. So if you have very small hands, beware. I’m not an engineer but I would think they could made a different angle on the trigger to give it a shorter reach. I took a dremel to one of mine and cut some meat out of the backstrap to shorten it trigger reach.
Speaking of dremel tooling, I also undercut the backstrap on one of the pistols to get a better bore axis and there was plenty of extra material there so I think SCCY could lower the bore axis and improve the recoil impulse. I would also lose the finger grooves.
One thing about this gun is it’s not a Glock, so the aftermarket support is not there, as far a sights, triggers, or holsters. As I said before the front sight fits in with a hole drilled in the slide and pressed in, it seems to me it would be easy to make it Glock sight compatible; thus allowing owner to customize the sights.
With all that I might change there are things I really like about this handgun. Dependability: I can't over emphasise how rock solid reliable these guns have been for me. For a gun you may have to bet your life on, that's very important. It should be noted that this gun also has restrike capability, if that’s important to you. The next big plus is simplicity. Man is this thing is simple. The whole gun is simple and driving out two pins lets you pull out the fire control system like a Sig 320 / 250 but much simpler. Although the company does not market it as such, you could get other frames and it would be a modular platform allowing for more customization. The pistol comes with two good quality mags one with an extended grip.
Now where does this gun fit in? Well, for me, I carry a full size handgun, most of the time. I keep this one in a holster in my pack with a box of ammo. If i find myself in a situation where I can’t carry the larger gun I, grab the SCCY and I don’t feel neutered. I also don’t worry about it banging around.
For someone on a budget they can get a SCCY new, a decent knife, and a hardware store LED flashlight and have functional every day carry (EDC) kit for under three hundred US dollars. If later they want something else, keep it as a back up.
You may have seen the SCCY handguns and thought that it was probably a cheap “Saturday night special” sub-par firearm. To be honest, I had my reservations, at first but, after much testing and evaluation I have to say it’s a real diamond in the rough, and is now my go to for students who take my instruction and need a dependable handgun for training.
So to wrap up, the SCCY won't give you a crisp 1911 trigger, the customization of a Glock, or the buttery smooth recoil impulse of a Beretta 92, but for $250.00, boy it gives you a lot. More than any other gun in its class. For the price point, there is nothing else like it. This gun is truly a dependable CCW handgun that can be obtained brand new for around two hundred and fifty dollars.
Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points
Claim to Fame: An Affordable CCW Handgun
Target Market: (First time handgun buyers and those on a budget.)
- DAO Double Action Only
- 10 round double stack.
- 3 dot sights
- Stainless steel & Polymer Constructions
- Barrel Length: 3.1"
- Height: 4"
- Length: 5.7"
- Width: 1"
- Weight: 15oz
- MSRP $334
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: These pistols are available in many colors including black, tan, red, orange, blue, pink, and purple.
What others are saying: “So, if you want a reliable, accurate, low-cost, but rugged 9mm carry pistol, all made in the USA, there’s a new name you should know: SCCY.” – Patrick Sweeney, Guns & Ammo
MSRP = $334.00
Retail = $250.00
I need it now! Availability: (http://www.sccy.com/dealer-locator)
Our Rating: 8.0 Great
- Rock Solid Reliable.
- Good price point.
- Long trigger reach.
- Long Heavy DAO trigger