Hi-Point JHP45 first impressions

hi-point jhp45A 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.

Peace out,

Cheap guns

hi-point-cheap-gunsWhen I was a kid there were two kinds of handguns: ones that worked and ones that were cheap. I’ve pretty much lived my life believing that most cheap guns are junk. I always bought the best I could afford. For pistols, that usually meant Glock. The cheapest I’d go was an RIA 1911 pistol. Anything cheaper was junk in my mind. I was reading an article on affordable handguns though and it got me thinking – what if the day came that I needed to buy a gun but I couldn’t afford a Glock? Will I be stuck buying a total p.o.s.? I decided to start looking for cheap guns that weren’t junk. Surprisingly (to me at least) I found some that might be OK guns…

Cheap guns – what is cheap?

First, cheap is relative. Compared to my RIA 1911 GI model, a Colt Delta Elite is an expensive gun. Compared to a Les Baer 1911, the same Delta Elite is a cheap gun. That’s not the kind of cheap I’m talking about though. I’m also not talking about a cheap piece of junk that doesn’t work. A gun like that isn’t a cheap gun, it’s an expensive paper weight. I’m talking guns that are affordable and reliable, and I’m defining affordable as $300 or less.

It was an accident…

I got into cheap guns by accident. I was reading one of the Glock forums and someone was making fun of Hi-Point pistols. Someone else (a Hi-Point fan) posted a link to a torture test on YouTube. The way the Hi-Point in that video stood up to the abuse was really impressive. In fact, after watching the video I decided I had to have a Hi-Point…

I bought a Hi-Point JHP 45. I’m sure it will be reliable, but it has some other issues that I’ll address in a full review once I have a chance to wring it out. Lets just say there are certain things the JHP 45 is “not optimal” for. So I started looking for other cheap guns…

New, not used…

I don’t have anything against used guns. There is one problem with used guns though – it can take a long time to find the one you want. Besides, I want to test guns that anyone can find, not just bargain sleuths. So far things look promising. Some of the cheap guns I’ve found so far are the Taurus G2C, Kel-Tec P-11, and S&W SD9VE. I haven’t found a good cheap revolver yet, but I’ll keep looking.

So are all cheap guns junk? I’m starting to think maybe not. I can’t afford to test every gun that tickles my fancy, but I have the JHP 45 to test. When I’m done with that I’m getting a Taurus G2C. Hopefully my Glocks won’t get jealous…

What’s your take on cheap guns?

Peace out,

Feral Gardening

feral gardeningEvery month in The Backwoodsman there’s a little text box with requests from readers. A request I’ve seen in the past few issues is for an article on feral gardening. I decided to check it out. My raised bed garden was an epic fail this year, so maybe it’s time to try something new. I tried Googling “feral gardening” and got almost nothing (it’s strange when even Google has nothing). OK, so what is feral gardening? Well, I know what feral means so I’ll go with that. According to my dictionary, feral means “in a wild state, especially after escape from captivity or domestication” or “in an un-kept state.” So I guess feral gardening means growing a garden that takes care of itself.

A garden that takes care of itself?

That doesn’t make sense. I can’t get vegetables to grow when I try really hard to take care of them. How are they going to grow with no care? Then I remembered a house we bought a few years ago. It had been foreclosed on, and empty for 2 years. The lawn was dead from not being watered and the yard was overgrown with weeds. When we cleared the weeds though, we found 2 grape vines. They looked healthy, and even had a few grapes on them. I didn’t know it then, but this was an example of feral gardening.

The next summer I was pulling weeds. My wife told me to save some of them. Huh??? I took one of the ones she wanted me to save to work to ask a friend about it. Turned out to be something called red root pigweed. It grows very well with no care and people do eat it. I tried some and it didn’t make me sick. Tastes kind of like chicken (not really). This year we dedicated half of a raised bed to it. Other edible feral plants I’ve found in our yard are purslane and dandelions. The purslane is kind of slimy when cooked but dandelion is actually pretty tasty (a little bitter though).

What about real crops?

OK so weeds grow really good without any work. That’s not exactly a news flash. What about real food crops? Well, I know that grapes will grow well with little or no care. Salsify will too, and will self-seed every year. Blackberries and boysenberries will pretty much grow wild. I don’t know any others off the top of my head, but I’m researching it. I’m guessing that any open pollinated veggie plant that’s drought resistant would be worth trying. I’ll be playing with some varieties next summer.

I think the best thing about feral gardening is you don’t have to limit it to your yard. If you don’t need to water, you don’t need it close to a house. There’s a big field near my house and I plan on doing a lot of my experimenting there.

Peace out,