Prepper Budget Carbine Review – Hi Point 40 cal carbine
I am always on the lookout for quality firearms. I fully believe that when it comes to firearms, you generally get what you pay for. So I do not mind spending a bit more if I know that I am getting a well built, reliable firearm. And if there is a chance of getting a quality firearm on a budget, then I am certainly all in.
I have been looking for a pistol carbine for quite some time. I decided I wanted a 40 cal carbine since my pistols were 40 cal, and I have plenty of 40 cal ammo. Who doesn’t like the idea of having multiple weapons and weapons platforms that you can share ammo between?
I initially wanted to get a Beretta CX Storm. But the internal parts of that carbine are made of polymer, not metal. I have no issue with polymer framed firearms, like my Glock. But I’m a bit unsure of a firearm with polymer internal parts.
To replace those polymer parts with metal would double the price of the gun. That made it inefficient for me from a cost stand point.
I also was interested in a Kel-Tec Sub 2000 that took Glock 23 magazines. But I have yet to be able to find one. (At least one that wasn’t used AND double the MSRP.) I really want a new Gen 2 Sub 2000, but I doubt I will ever find one. 🙁
I checked other 40 cal carbines, but typically found something about them that did not appeal to me. Then one day I came across a brand new, still in the box Hi Point 40 S&W carbine. Now obviously, this gun is ugly. No, I mean UGLY! (What Hi Point isn’t?) But I had heard good things about Hi point’s overall reliability. And for the price I paid for it, (got a SMOKIN’ deal well under $300) I decided “What the hell!”
I took it home and noticed that there was going to be “some assembly required”. But not to worry. The assembly was fairly simple. I had to mount the knob for the slide release, and mount the grip handle. (I got the version with the vertical grip.) Really, this took me less than 5 minutes to complete. The carbine comes with the tool you need to put it together and to field strip it.
The carbine also came with a picatinny rail for mounting whatever accessories you might like. It can mount scopes, flashlights, or targeting lasers. And as I mentioned, mine also came with a folding grip handle that is easily attached and removed. There is a button on the side of the grip that allows you to lock the handle in place or fold it up.
The gun itself weighs about 7 lbs unloaded, and is 32 inches in length. The barrel is a black matte finish and 17.5 inches in length and comes with a 10 round magazine. The carbine comes in 9mm, .40 cal, and also .45 APC versions.
The magazine slides into the pistol grip, with the magazine release button by the pistol grip on the left side. I was pleasantly surprised at just how easy the magazine goes in and comes out of the grip. With the push of the button the magazine slides right out without any effort from the shooter. That makes quick reloads that much easier!
Out at the range on the first test I used Winchester 165 grain jacketed round. That day was EXTREMELY windy, with constant gusts between 30-40 mph. So my brother and I limited our range to 25 yards.
We put about 10-12 rounds though it, just to play with it. There is an internal recoil buffer in the stock, so the recoil was not bad at all, maybe comparable to the recoil of an AR-15.
The trigger was crisp, and I did not notice any trigger reset issues. The slide does lock open after shooting the last round.
As you can see, our shots where a bit to the left. But trying to hold the carbine completely steady in the powerful Oklahoma wind took a lot of energy. My brother then braced the carbine, and attempted to sight it in at 25 yards. As you can see, it was a pretty tight group, but the sights needed some tweaking.
We went back out a week or two later, when the wind wasn’t quite so bad. This time, we switched up and used PMC bronze 180 jacketed rounds. The carbine ate them like candy.
At 55 yards, we had no problem putting the rounds center mass from a standing position. (See pic below) But as you can imagine, this isn’t a sniper rifle! Then again, what pistol caliber carbine is?
I would like to test the carbine out at longer ranges, but currently the lay out on our homestead only allows for about 55 yards. I’m curious to see the carbine’s accuracy at 100 yard positions. I tend to think you will still get rounds on target, but don’t expect tight groups in the bull’s eye.
It is fun to shoot, and seems well-built. The carbines are rated +P and can take all kinds of brass ammo. Hi-Points have a reputation of being very durable! Like a “Timex”, they can take a lickin and keep on tickin!
Now for the record, our brother-in-law works for the state regulating pipelines. These are old metal signs he gets that are being thrown out. They make great plinking targets. So don’t think we just shoot random signs!
I wasn’t crazy about the fact that the carbine came with only a single, 10 round single stack magazine. Pro Mag makes a 15 round mag for these carbines. But I have read several comments stating that you have to file down a tab on the Pro Mag magazine to get it to feed properly. I also heard that using the Pro Mag magazine in the Hi-Point would void the manufacturer’s warranty on the carbine. But I was not about to rely on rumors off of the internet. So I called Hi-Point to ask them.
I spoke with with a Hi-Point customer service rep named Barbara. She told me that using a Pro Mag high capacity mag WILL VOID the warranty on the carbine. She stated that for the Pro Mag magazine to work, you have to not only modify the magazine, but also inside of the carbine. And Hi-Point could not guarantee their firearms after those modifications had been made.
I asked Barbara about Hi-Point making their own high capacity magazines. She told me that Hi-point did make high capacity magazines, but Hi-point would not sell them. She said that if Hi-point sold the high capacity mags, the carbine would be added to the US government’s “Tactical Weapons List”. If that happened, it would block their ability to sell the carbine in certain states. Apparently, some states use this list to ban sales of firearms in their state.
Hi-point is already having to modify the models they sell in California and other certain states. So from a business stand point, the money they would make off of selling high capacity magazines would not make up the amount they would lose if they were not able to sell in certain “Gun Restrictive” states.
Barbara did say that in the future, if there was a change in the leadership of the US government that would loosen some of the firearm restrictions, Hi-point would market the high capacity mags.
I also asked Barbara about the warranty. She did say it was a lifetime warranty. I told her that I had misplaced the tool I spoke of earlier. (I’m moving. Not sure what happened to it.) Barbara said Hi-point would send me a new one, free of charge! (Update note: Two of them arrived in the mail about a week later. How cool is that?)
The MSRP on my model, the 4095TS FG (Forward Grip) is $339 according to Hi-Point’s website. Brand new, in the box it cost me much less. For a prepper on a tight budget, this might be a decent alternative if you need a “long gun”. This is doubly true if you already have a .40 cal handgun and want another weapons platform that can share ammo.
There are a few drawbacks to this carbine. First, I HATE only having a 10 round magazine. But I understand Hi-point’s decision not to market high capacity mags. Hi-point employs about 50 full time workers, and losing the ability to sell their carbines in some states would certainly hurt their company economically.
Next, you will need that tool I mentioned to help break down your carbine. For a guy who is used to field stripping an AR-15 with ease, the Hi-point carbine takes some getting used to. I had to watch a few videos on YouTube to learn how to properly field strip it. I prefer firearms that are simple to field strip.
And yes, Hi-points are not necessarily aesthetically pleasing. They aren’t going to make their way into any Hollywood blockbuster films. James Bond and Jason Bourne will always carry something that looks slick and sexy.
But really, for me that’s ok. I will take an ugly but dependable gun ANY DAY over a “Super cool looking” gun that I may have to worry about.
There were several things about this carbine that I really liked. I was impressed with the carbine’s accuracy out to 55 yards. There were zero issues with the trigger, the recoil was not bad at all. It shot the different ammo I used flawlessly. I had zero issues, jams, or problems with this gun.
It is rugged and well built. I do not torture test my firearms since I am paying for all of them, but I have read several accounts that this gun is very durable. And I believe it.
For less than $300 you are getting a durable, easy to shoot pistol caliber carbine. And should you encounter any issues with it, all Hi-point firearms have a life time warranty that goes with the gun, not the owner! I liked their customer service too. I always give major bonus points for that.
My brother liked the carbine enough that he bought it from me. He has an AR-15, but decided he wanted a backup just in case.
In the end, I give this carbine my “Thumbs up!” If you are on a tight budget but looking for that “long gun” to add to your security plans, a carbine from Hi-point might be the way to go.
I have received a few emails asking about Hi-Point pistols. I have never owned one, but I found the following video to be pretty informative.
Stay safe out there!
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