Well, he asked for my opinion. Ever been there?

Well, he asked for my opinion. Ever been there?

This is a discussion on Well, he asked for my opinion. Ever been there? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm trying to talk somebody out of buying what I'd consider not to be an ideal first gun. An old high school classmate of mine ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Well, he asked for my opinion. Ever been there?

    I'm trying to talk somebody out of buying what I'd consider not to be an ideal first gun.

    An old high school classmate of mine whom I still converse with via email and the like drops me a line he wants to buy his first pistol. He's not tottally gun ignorant, he does have a Marlin 336, but he's not as "devoted" as I am. And that's fine, I'm not as "devoted" as some of you may be (cheifly due to finances! :p).

    Anyway he horrifies me with this question about which Hi Point he should get. Anyway, I inform him that although I do not have experience with one, the overall consensus is largely negative. I also informed him that in my arrogant opinion, the specimens I have looked at personally seemed to have obvious workmanship issues.

    I did point out that although some people are happy with them, and they are combat accurate, and their customer service has a great reputation, I personally thought that it was just not a good choice for your only pistol. Will it work, yes there is no doubt in my mind that these pistols actually fire, but I explained that the mechanism uses a very heavy spring to snap a very heavy slide forward, and that it was an open breech straight blowback design that IMHO is inherently incapable of repeatedly firing meaningful quantities of ammunition.

    He emailed me back and asked me if he didn't plan to shoot it a lot would it be okay, and I responded well yes it probably would be, but if this is going to be your only handgun that's just not a very good idea at all.

    So he asks what his other options are, and I told him a few things to look out for in the lower end range and I even offered to sell him that CZ 75B for exactly what I paid for it. I figure that CZ would be a pretty respectable choice for your only handgun after all.

    And he has the nerve to come back and tell me he's getting the Hi Point anyway because he can't see spending $225 on something that is worlds better. That's a fine how do you do.

    Anyway I've dropped it. It's his butt and his bucks, and honestly I do see uses for Hi Point firearms. I'm not picking on them, I just don't think if you're only going to have just one handgun that they're not a very good choice. Even people that like Hi Points usually have one better handgun for social work.

    Ever tried to talk someone out of a gun mistake like that? Excercise in futility, or worthwhile?


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    personaly were he my friend , and from what i have read here , i would email him one more time and tell him to pick up a police trade in mod 10 S&W revolver or some such

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array jarhead79's Avatar
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    The price on a HiPoint is very luring. I almost bought one too. I ended up buying a Bersa Thunder .380 instead. Very nice gun. For the price, it's probably the best gun you'll get. At least 95% are perfect out of the box. No fluff and buff, no break in period. Eats just about everything you can put into it. VERY few hiccup on WWB.
    Have him look at one of these. Also have him go to www.bersatalk.com and www.geocities.com/bersa_thunder and do his own research
    www.ubgholsters.com short wait times. Use 'defensivecarry' as a coupon code for a discount to your order.

  4. #4
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    I too would have tried to up his ante a bit but - have to say that if folks are real tight on budget then the old Hi-Point is still better than zilch - certainly it is above the Raven/Lorcin category LOL!

    Sometimes folks ask for ''advice'' but have made up their minds anyways!

    Seems the Hi-Point can be well Ok - or a not so reliable gun. Matter of luck? Not sure.

    I know one thing, if I call my P series semi's ''fugly'' then the word for the Hi-Point is not even printable LOl - boy are they gross!

    It is tho to be hoped that when he gets this - he does at least ''prove'' it such that he knows it works - and not be someone who buys a gun, loads it - and then considers they have the ultimate self protection, by default!

    It is surprising how many people really do not think thru their first handgun purchase much at all.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  5. #5
    Member Array shooter1's Avatar
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    Exercise in futility. Let him learn for himself. You have done what a friend would do, you can do no more.
    str1

  6. #6
    Ex Member Array HollowpointHank's Avatar
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    I think I am eminiently qualified to speak to this toipic. My first handgun was a .380 highpoint with compensater! I also said it would be my first and last handgun! (hahahahaha) If your friend lives to be another year older, don't worry, he'll have another, better, handgun! All he has to do is log in to this forum and VOILA!!!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    that it was an open breech straight blowback design that IMHO is inherently incapable of repeatedly firing meaningful quantities of ammunition.
    Straight blowback is the simplest method of operation for an autoloader - you'll find it on all sorts of subguns all day long that digest thousands between cleanings.

    There's nothing inherently wrong with a straight blowback design, and as a matter of course, has less things to go wrong than tilting blocks etc.

    The Hi-Point *is* big and clunky. It has a lousy trigger. It's a pain in the ass to take apart. I've yet to see one fail on the range or have one come back to the shop in the cheap gun category.

    In this latter sentence, it's worlds above the Kimbers we've sold or the modern Dan Wesson autoloaders.

    Don't get me wrong - I don't love them. I haven't owned one personally in years.

    But the idea that the blowback action is fundamentally flawed is 100% wrong.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    I must pick your brain then good sir.

    I've always been informed that if we're discussing modern high pressure cartridges, designs like straight blowbacks and top break revolvers, etc. can't realistically stand up to the stress.

    Even on quality firearms that use lesser calibers which use that basic design principle, once you fire enough rounds out of it, you start to have problems. My Ruger 10/22 for example, once it goes through about 400 rounds, is just too dirty to function 100% reliably. Oh it does well indeed, but once every 50 rounds or so it will not function as it should even with factory magazines.

    My father's old .22 uses the same basic design, and it jams like crazy. It's also had thousands upon thousands of rounds through it however.

    There is no doubt in my mind that such a mechanism can and will function very well for the amount of rounds one would need to fire in self defense assuming the pistol was in proper condition and clean, but I do not see how this design is supposed to stand up to the hundreds if not thousands of rounds one should fire to gain some sort of competence.

    It may be tempting to think well it's only 200 rounds a month we need to put through it, it'll be fine, but my mind wonders how well this mechanism can hold up after two, three, or five years of this.

    I know for a fact that even the beloved Bersa Thunder 380 can shoot itself too loose to function after about 4,000 rounds. There's no guarantee this will happen, but I've met someone whose Bersa crapped out on him after 6500 rounds. The sucker just would not feed or anything. The fact that I've actually met someone that's happened to makes it a credible phenomenon too me.

    I think if you just fired it enough, say 200 times, to insure it was going to work and then put it away somewhere for a bad day, the Hi Point would be fine for the purpose. But that's assuming you had another gun to practice with consistently.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    I must pick your brain then good sir.

    I've always been informed that if we're discussing modern high pressure cartridges, designs like straight blowbacks and top break revolvers, etc. can't realistically stand up to the stress.
    Top break revolvers with old metallurgy, no. With extremely high-powered loads, most of the time, again, no.

    That said, I'm up to 1k of modern 45 LC loadings through my Schofield thing. They're not smoking, 454 class loads, but the usual Speer Blazer JHP Gold Dots mostly.

    Straight blowbacks do stand up to the stress - there are Uzis out there with million+ documented round counts. Ditto Thompsons and other NFA guns.

    Walther PPs don't disintegrate with the substantially hotter Euro-spec loads in their blowback .32s or .380s. The Makarov, with pressure exceeding the then-conventional wisdom that you couldn't do blowback past 380 safely, survives.

    The HK VP-70 handgun in 9mm was a blowback weapon. So are many others. It's not as common in 9mm and higher because the recoil can be unpleasant if the gun is not extremely heavy moreso than safety issues with modern metals, polymers, and manufacturing controls.

    Even on quality firearms that use lesser calibers which use that basic design principle, once you fire enough rounds out of it, you start to have problems. My Ruger 10/22 for example, once it goes through about 400 rounds, is just too dirty to function 100% reliably. Oh it does well indeed, but once every 50 rounds or so it will not function as it should even with factory magazines.
    And 22 is among the most dirty ammunition made. 400 rounds is also quite a bit of ammunition between cleaning for any realistic defensive scenario, especially for a sidearm.

    My father's old .22 uses the same basic design, and it jams like crazy. It's also had thousands upon thousands of rounds through it however.
    May be an ammo issue as well.

    There is no doubt in my mind that such a mechanism can and will function very well for the amount of rounds one would need to fire in self defense assuming the pistol was in proper condition and clean, but I do not see how this design is supposed to stand up to the hundreds if not thousands of rounds one should fire to gain some sort of competence.
    Why not? My Sig Mosquito #1 is now at 4.5k rounds through it, my new one at 1k - in 22LR on a poly frame. My PP has an unknown # of rounds through it from former police use plus a parade of owners and I've done hundreds. My personally owned (and since sold) Hi-Point in 380 digested many thousands of rounds. The first time I cleaned it was around the 1K mark - and it didn't miss a beat.

    I clean the Uzis once a year. This one has eaten cases since this time last year and the new one probably almost the same.

    It may be tempting to think well it's only 200 rounds a month we need to put through it, it'll be fine, but my mind wonders how well this mechanism can hold up after two, three, or five years of this.
    The same can be said of any handgun realistically. That's 2.4k rounds per year - more than the price of the Hi-Point. When you've spent more on ammo than on the weapon, you can realistically afford to replace it. I'd expect it will need some level of service by year #2 at that rate - but so will many guns statistically and if you believe what the parts manufacturers tell you. Recoil springs, extractors, etc.

    I know for a fact that even the beloved Bersa Thunder 380 can shoot itself too loose to function after about 4,000 rounds. There's no guarantee this will happen, but I've met someone whose Bersa crapped out on him after 6500 rounds. The sucker just would not feed or anything. The fact that I've actually met someone that's happened to makes it a credible phenomenon too me.
    Ok, so it crapped out after 6500 rounds. 380 is over $120 per k.
    The gun's a consumable at those round counts in all honesty, especially for the price point.

    That said, I have no idea what Bersa's warranty is like. Hi-Point can and will fix it if you shoot it that loose.

    6500 rounds is far more than the *vast* majority of gun owners will ever shoot in sum total in their lives.

    Blaming the blowback action for Bersa's issues with a particular gun, though, is a little unrealistic. Perhaps their implementation has issues.

    I've watched registered VP70s chew through 6500 in an afternoon or more at the bigger shoots, ditto Uzis and other bigger guns.

    I think if you just fired it enough, say 200 times, to insure it was going to work and then put it away somewhere for a bad day, the Hi Point would be fine for the purpose. But that's assuming you had another gun to practice with consistently.
    If you're going to practice that regularly, a second gun is a wise investment anyway. Parts do break. Springs wear out. It's a nature of the gun mechanism itself, not the action type or design.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

  10. #10
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    The arguement I have heard"how much is your life worth?" Nothing wrong with a cheap gun, but I don't trust my life with em.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky
    The arguement I have heard"how much is your life worth?" Nothing wrong with a cheap gun, but I don't trust my life with em.
    Given a choice, I don't either.

    But if it's all I can afford, it's the only cheap gun I'll trust to work.

    I'd much rather have my Sigs and HKs and long guns, but when push comes to shove, I'll be OK with anything that goes boom reliably when I need it to.

    I use what tools I can get, usually the best (for me) that I can afford and that I enjoy. Other folks don't have that luxury, and for them, it's a matter of gun or no gun.

    If they need a firearm to protect themselves or their family, I'd rather it be something that worked versus something that didn't. We wouldn't sell them at the shop here if they didn't - the guns I don't trust I'm up front with to the customer even though it costs us money.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Euc some times ya just cant talk sense into people .. kind of like my uncle who carrys a 1911 trp but swears his sigma is a great gun even with as many problems he has had with it

  13. #13
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    the guns I don't trust I'm up front with to the customer even though it costs us money.
    And that Robert I applaud - it is the way to go. Pity all gun stores do not follow the honest approach.

    I agree with your points on blowbacks, I think Euc is being overly pessimistic.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  14. #14
    Ex Member Array Phil Elmore's Avatar
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    I wrote of my experience with the 9mm Hi Point while running it through a four-hour intensive class with Chris Fry and Progresive FORCE Concepts. I mentioned it in passing to one of the students who was there today (at the Dec. 10th 300-400 level class, which was on handguns). "I couldn't believe that ugly thing worked and worked," I said.

    "Neither could I, frankly," he said.



    I am convinced, therefore, that the reports I have read elsewhere are true. I can say from personal experience that out of the box the weapon performs -- and it performs with reasonable accuracy and reliability. I can also say that it's full of sharp edges, awkward non-ergonomics, and rough workmanship. (The magazines are also a weak link -- you have to slap them good to make sure the rounds are angled properly and those rounds can get pointed down and cause a misfeed if you're not diligent.)

    Almost anyone can afford more gun if they save up over time. There are, however, people who cannot afford more right now as opposed to later when they've saved. Is it better to have no gun, or to have a cheap, ugly, uncomfortable gun? I'd say the latter -- but that doesn't mean I intend to spend another four hours letting this thing cut up my hands in repeated relays.

  15. #15
    Member Array Lawrence Keeney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Elmore
    I wrote of my experience with the 9mm Hi Point while running it through a four-hour intensive class with Chris Fry and Progresive FORCE Concepts. I mentioned it in passing to one of the students who was there today (at the Dec. 10th 300-400 level class, which was on handguns). "I couldn't believe that ugly thing worked and worked," I said.

    "Neither could I, frankly," he said.



    I am convinced, therefore, that the reports I have read elsewhere are true. I can say from personal experience that out of the box the weapon performs -- and it performs with reasonable accuracy and reliability. I can also say that it's full of sharp edges, awkward non-ergonomics, and rough workmanship. (The magazines are also a weak link -- you have to slap them good to make sure the rounds are angled properly and those rounds can get pointed down and cause a misfeed if you're not diligent.)

    Almost anyone can afford more gun if they save up over time. There are, however, people who cannot afford more right now as opposed to later when they've saved. Is it better to have no gun, or to have a cheap, ugly, uncomfortable gun? I'd say the latter -- but that doesn't mean I intend to spend another four hours letting this thing cut up my hands in repeated relays.

    There are SOOO many better handguns than any high point. For instance, I saw a years old Taurus 38 special version of the military and police in a gun shop for 120 bucks...with a holster. That gun would still be working when the pot metal Low Point POS gun is in a pile of broken guns somewhere.

    At our local shop, they had both model 10 smith police turn ins and CZ-152 pistols WITH AMMO for less than 150 bucks. Either pistola would be a good choice for a martialist on a tight budget.

    He could probably find a Kel Tec 9mm pistol for about 175 bucks used, and it would make a decent CCW gun.

    But, as many have said, you can't talk to some people. He will have to learn for himself.
    "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong." Denny Crane:

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