A few months ago I got interested in
cheap guns after watching some video reviews of the Hi-Point JHP45. I bought one about a month ago but I didn’t get a chance to shoot it until yesterday. It cost $166.98 (including shipping) so it’s definitely a cheap gun. I hope to do a full review of the Hi-Point JHP45 in about a month, but for now these are my first impressions.
Hi-Point JHP45 out of the box
Out of the box is literally “out of the box.” The Hi-Point JHP45 comes in a cardboard box. That’s not a complaint, just an observation because it’s the first time in awhile I’ve bought a handgun that didn’t come in a plastic hard case. Actually you can get the JHP45 with a factory hard case for $11 more than I paid, which is a pretty good deal. I decided to go as cheap as possible though…
The first thing I noticed was the looks. I’d seen pictures, but this gun is even less, uhmm, “aesthetic” in real life. The second thing is the weight. Almost all the weight is in the slide, which makes this gun feel really top heavy. The 2 color (red front, yellow rear) 3 dot sights are pretty easy to see, but the dots could be bigger. The front sight is part of the slide and not replaceable. The rear sight is adjustable and replaceable. In fact the JHP45 comes with an extra (“ghost ring”) rear sight. I haven’t tried it yet but it looks interesting.
The trigger feels about the same as all the other striker-fired pistols I’ve shot. Not as nice as a good single action trigger, but better than a DAO trigger. There’s a magazine disconnect safety that only works about half the time on my sample, and the gun comes with a single 9 round magazine.
Two things I really don’t like about this pistol are the safety and the ejector. The safety only blocks the seer, so if it fails the gun can fire even if the trigger isn’t pulled. The ejector in this gun is… the firing pin. If you rack the slide with a live round in the chamber, the firing pin WILL contact the live primer. If you’re going slow and careful it probably won’t be a problem. If you rack it a little too fast and hard though, the gun could fire. For these reasons I don’t think it’s safe to carry a Hi-Point pistol with a round in the chamber.
First time shooting
I took my Hi-Point out for the first time yesterday with three magazines of Winchester 230 gr. FMJ. Racking the slide takes a lot more effort than I’m used to which could be a consideration for some. Also, the first round on the first try was a FTF. Not a good sign, but once I messed with it a bit the gun functioned fine. I stepped up to the line and cut loose…
The first magazine was disappointing. I had a B-27 target set up at seven yards. Eight of nine shots stayed in the black. Meaning ALL the black. If this thing shoots that bad… I mean I’m not the world’s best shot but I’m not THAT bad… WTH is going on???
After the disappointment I decided to slow down and think a little. What went wrong? First, those 3 dot sights weren’t as easy to pick up when aiming at an actual target. Second, the JHP45 doesn’t track during recoil like my other pistols. Maybe it was just new gun jitters. For the second magazine I put on my reading glasses so I could see the sights better and slowed down a bit. This time all nine shots went into an area that could be called an actual group. Still not the accuracy I usually get from my Glocks though…
One thing that really surprised me was the recoil. I was expecting it to feel like something between a 380 and a soft shooting 9mm. Almost every comment I’ve read about the Hi-Point JHP45 says the heavy slide soaks up recoil like a sponge and makes it a very soft shooting gun. That wasn’t my experience. It doesn’t kick hard, but t doesn’t kick soft either. Feels about like my Govt Model 1911. Definitely more muzzle flip than my Glock 30 (a compact 45 ACP pistol).
Thoughts so far…
I didn’t have time to really wring this gun out. I wouldn’t carry it but it might make a good home defense gun. So far it seems reliable, and the accuracy issues I think are on me, not the gun. I’m looking forward to really putting this thing through its paces and seeing what it can do. I can’t recommend (or not recommend) this gun yet, but so far the Hi-Point JHP45 seems like a very interesting hand gun.