Friday, January 30, 2015

Other Gun And Knife Reviews On This Blog

Some of my prior gun and knife reviews on this blog can be found here.

SCCY CPX-2 Review


  The 20-30yr old version of me was more likely to own a Sigma instead of a M&P, or a Bersa in place of a Kahr. This younger (and lighter) me had a lot less disposable income, but still loved his handguns.
  Fast forward to 2015. I can afford more expensive firearms today than I could in the 80s and 90s. Life is pretty good. However, like most of you I still enjoy a bargain.
 
  I think that the SCCY CPX-2 is a helluva good deal for the money. This weapon averages about $275 in my area. There's not a lot of quality budget guns out there that can beat it at that price point.
  I like this gun, but I don't love it. There's several reasons for that.
 
  Let's get the specifications out of the way.

 
SCCY CPX-2 Specs:
Barrel Length     3.1"
Length      5.7"
Height       4"
Weight      15oz
Width        1"
Trigger      Double Action (9lb)
Sights       3 Dot (Adjustable)
Capacity   10+1
 
  Of course you could have looked up the specs here instead. 
 
  Alright, let's get down to business. I stated that this is a budget gun, and I stand by that statement. It's doubtful that many Glock owners or M&P fans are gong to put aside their current self defense picks in order to carry a SCCY. I would suspect that this pistol is intended for novice gun buyers, those on a tight budget, or people looking for a "Truck" gun. That's fine. There's a lot of those guys and gals out there. Not everyone can afford a $550 Glock, or $650 Springfield. Americans should be able to exercise their Right To Bear Arms without having to live on Ramen noodles for six months (the Liberal elite might think differently).
 
  This model SCCY has a satin finished stainless steel slide. It's attractive looking, and I don't expect any corrosion issues (I'll keep you posted as I carry this through the spring and summer).
  It's a good looking gun overall, and unlike some of it's competitors there is nothing "Cheap" feeling about this weapon.
 The slide serrations are well done, and are very easy to grip. I had The Daywalker and The Daywalker's Mom rack the slide, and neither woman had any issues. Both women have average hand and upper body strength for females. This pistol's ease of operation will be appreciated by those looking for an affordable self defense gun for the family.
  The weapon has a dual recoil spring system that is fixed to the all steel guide rod. That will be a plus for those that dislike plastic guide rods, and cheap looking two piece recoil springs.

  The sights are the normal 3 dot fare that we see on so many handguns. The rear can be easily adjusted by loosening a set screw.
 The front sight is plastic while the rear is metal.
 
  The Zytel grip has a little bit of texturing on the sides. The cutouts on the back strap have an interesting purpose. They supposedly serve as a "Re-Coil Cushion," and I'd love to see some stats on how much recoil they actually reduce. I have my doubts about how effective they really are. Personally, I think that they're the only unattractive looking thing on this gun, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
 You've no doubt noticed that there are finger grooves along the front of the frame, and the trigger guard is slightly undercut (I wish everyone did that).
  The frame is one of the few things that I'd change about this firearm. While I don't usually care one way or the other in regards to finger grooves, I don't like them on this pistol. My medium sized hands feel a little cramped when holding this gun. It feels like the grooves are too close together, and too close to the trigger guard.  Perhaps if the undercutting on the trigger guard was a little higher the grip would feel better.
   As things currently stand, I don't think the grip fits me very well, and I'd give it a "Meh" for comfort. The grip isn't horrible, and I wouldn't have bought the gun if I couldn't work with it. It could, however, definitely be improved by taking away the finger grooves.
  I'd also like some kind of texturing on the front of the frame.  Some Talon Grips  are definitely in the future for this little gun.
 
  The slide lock and magazine release are easy to reach and operate. No unusual contortions or obscenely high amount of hand strength is required. As I said earlier, my wife and daughter could easily cycle the slide (worth noting since not self defense guns are purchased for big hairy guys).
  Magazines drop free easily. A firm slap is sometimes needed to fully seat a topped off 10 round magazine. That's nothing unusual.
  While I've only had this weapon for a couple of months, I've tried to carry it as much as possible. It's carried IWB, and there have been no issues with accidentally releasing the mag. The magazine release has never been accidentally pressed while shooting, or reholstering
  I know that it's probably at least 50% holster, but this handgun carries really well. The weight is very good. I don't usually carry a double stack semi auto IWB, but there's no problem with this weapon being too thick.

  Recoil, while not punishing, is heavy enough that many beginners won't like this handgun. My wife and daughter weren't fans of this pistol, and they shoot (M1911s mostly) more in a year than most people do in a lifetime. If you're buying this as your single home defense gun then it's worth considering how your spouse handles recoil. Unfortunately, unless you go down in caliber or up in the physical size of the gun it's hard to beat physics. Smaller guns are always going to kick more.
 I have to note that the SCCY has less felt recoil than J frame revolvers (which a lot of new shooters seem to end up with).

  We're told that the trigger pull is 9lbs, but I'd guess that it was heavier. There's about 1/8" of slack in the trigger before the long heavy double action pull begins. The trigger pull is very consistent throughout it's entire range. It's actually pretty smooth. 
  It's just too damn heavy.
  I love my Kahr CW9 (DAO). I really like my Ruger LCR (DAO), and don't have a problem dealing with double action only triggers on carry guns. I'm not a Glock fanboy bitching because everything isn't exactly like a G19. Anyone looking through my prior reviews will note that there is a nice mix of handguns in there, and firearms with DAO triggers are well represented.
  I just don't like this trigger. It sucks a lot of the fun out of shooting this weapon.
  The trigger reset is very long. You'll need to let it fully out after each shot. Yes, this slows down your follow up shots.
Of course this DAO hammer fired weapon has a second strike capability.
  A few hours ago, I was sitting around dry firing the SCCY and my LCR. The trigger pulls aren't that different, but I noticed that the trigger is much more rounded on the Ruger. It "Feels" better than the squared off trigger on the CPX-2. I know that the two firearms are apples and oranges. That's just my two cents.
  Nuff said about the trigger.

  The magazines are produced by Mec-Gar, and as expected, are very well made. The CPX-2 comes with two mags. Each one has a flush fitting baseplate for better concealed carry and an extended finger groove baseplate. That's a nice feature, especially since many manufacturers can't be bothered to even include a second magazine with their pistols.
  It's reasonably easy to top off the 10 round mags, and I doubt that many people will need a magazine loading tool.
  There are witness holes at the 5 and 10 round mark on the side of the magazines.

    The three things that most of care most about are reliability, accuracy, and price. I'll start off with reliability while my last range trip is still fresh in my mind.
  I've made three trips to the range with this weapon. So far it's had 300 rounds of WWB, 50 rounds of Remington 115gr, a few dozen rounds of 115gr Atlantic Arms, 50 rounds of Blazer Brass, and one box of Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P.  The round count is about 450 thus far.
  There was one malfunction during the 200 round break in period, and I'm not quite sure how to characterize it. I'll call it a stovepipe although that's not entirely accurate. At about 170 rounds there was one instance of a bullet sitting vertical in the ejection port instead of chambering. The slide closed on the bullet, and it looked like a stovepipe. I've never had this happen with a live round before. It's always occurred after extraction on other weapons. This malfunction was on the last round of the magazine. It hasn't happened since.
  At 450 rounds there was a failure to go into battery.
  There have been many instances of the slide not locking open on the last round. It's possible (hell, it's probable) that my thumb was resting on the slide lock. I won't ding it for the slide not locking open.
  Bear in mind that this CPX-2 got a very cursory cleaning before the first range trip, and no other maintenance in the first 450 rounds. It was truly filthy when broken down for cleaning tonight.
  I'll continue to update this post as more rounds put through the weapon.

  Take down is pretty simple. I'm not going to go into great detail describing the procedure since it's somewhat similar to most semi autos. A link to the manual is provided below.
  One difference with the CPX-2 is that you don't have to squeeze the trigger when removing the slide. That's a big deal to some, but isn't a plus or minus for me.
  When putting the weapon back together, make sure that it's pointed down and the barrel protrudes from the frame. You may have to rack it a couple of times in order to get the barrel to drop down. You'll lock the slide open at this point and then insert the take down pin.
  Some will ding this gun for not having a take down pin fixed to the frame. I don't really care about that. It's simply one more part to keep an eye on. Those of us with M1911s are used to having a loose take down pin on the table during cleaning.
  If you screw up the reassembly procedure, I suggest you visit the FAQ section on this site. 

  The instruction manual can be found here.


  I stated earlier that I carry IWB. Here's the gear used at this time.
  This magazine pouch is made by The Masters's Holster. I like them a lot, and have several of their mag pouches for my CCW guns.
  The holster is a Bianchi 6D ATB. I like the holster overall, and it gives good retention (as it should since there's a strap). There's a few things that I'm not crazy about, and I'll talk about them in another post.
  Pocket carry doesn't work for me with this gun. I can fit the CPX-2, and a pocket holster, into my jeans pocket but the bulge is too noticeable.

   I'll be honest. I don't know how accurate this 9mm is. It will take another day or two at the range to get used to that trigger. I'm happy enough with being able to get reasonable groups with it, but I know that I can do a lot better.

2" Bullseye
  This is the first 20 rounds that I shot through the SCCY CPX-2. The distance was 7 yards, and approx. one round per second was fired. The rear sight was drifted to the right. Another shooter tried the handgun, and actually shot a bit low. I wasn't very happy with this group.







  The target on the right was shot at 7 yards a little later in the day, most of my groups looked very similar to this. No, I wasn't breathing when shooting. That trigger was just kicking my butt. There were a lot of handguns brought to the range that day, and it was hard to get used to the SCCY as it had the heaviest trigger pull of the lot.

2" Orange Bullseye
  The targets on the left were from a week later. The SCCY was the only thing that I used that day, and I think that I did a little better this time.
  The left target was shot slow fire. Without the flyer, this group would be about 2".
  The right target was shot at a rate of one round per second. The distance was 7 yards.


 
  This target was from my last trip to the range. The group is 2.75", and 20 rounds were fired at 7 yards. There was approximately 1 second between each shot (with a slight pause for the mag change).

   Soooo... long story short, my shooting with this gun is OK. You have to work a little harder to shoot this weapon accurately than you will with some of the other CCW guns that I've handled over the last year. I know that with a little more practice I'll close up the groups. I think that this is a very accurate gun when I do my part, and concentrate on my trigger squeeze.
  It took a few hundred rounds to tighten up my groups with my Ruger LCR, and I can live with my current level of accuracy (for now).

  Moving on. Let's talk about price, and some of the other choices on the market.
  I've seen the SCCY CPX-2 listed for as $250 - $300 in my area.


  What you see is what you get. The cardboard packaging is not something that concerns me. I have some really nice Springfield gun cases in the top of my closet. The boxes provided by Kimber, Taurus, and S&W are also pretty good. None of them get used... ever. I'd rather save $15 (or get a second mag), and have a simple cardboard box. Kudos to SCCY for not charging extra for needless junk.

   I thought that I would give you a few pictures for a size comparison. The SCCY CPX-2 is slightly smaller than Kahr CW9. Of course being a double stack, it is a little wider.
  I can't pocket carry the Kahr either.




The Kahr is sitting on top of the SCCY











The CPX-2 is sitting on top of the CW9

 
  As you can see, there's not a lot of length/height difference between these two weapons. The Kahr CW9 sells for $340 to $400 in my area. Of course that's only with one magazine so add another $35 to the price of the weapon. The CW9 is probably out of the ballpark for a lot of SCCY buyers (as is the Shield, XDS, Nano, etc).
  So why even discuss it then? Well... it's priced in between the SCCY and the hugely popular S&W Shield so why not mention it? It seems to be the next step up in semi auto pricing for carry guns.

  What is in the SCCY price range?
  The very popular Kel-Tec PF9 comes to mind, but it's a single stack, and only has one magazine. The Kel-Tec P11 is about $260 locally, and also comes with a single mag (so tack on another $20 or so). The previously reviewed P11 seems to be the SCCY's closest competitor. While I think the pistol "Feels" a bit cheap, it does have one great selling point. You can get high capacity magazines for it (um... unless you live in one of the nanny states).
  Other than the P11, I really can't think of any other small double stack 9mm that's in the same price range as the SCCY.
 
  Alright then, what about a snub nosed revolver? As the Taurus and Charter Arms snubbies run about $310 locally, it's very likely that the SCCY shopper might consider one of them while shopping.
  Since I don't have a Taurus or Charter Arms revolver, I was forced to use my Ruger LCR for a size comparison against the CPX-2.



 
  Obviously there is a massive amount of difference between a 10+1 semi automatic and a 5 shot J frame revolver (I know that the LCR isn't a J frame). However, a lot of gun buyers are only going to be looking at the price and size of the weapon. Some might consider a revolver to be a better choice. I know people with hand injuries, weak hands, and even one individual that lost an arm. There are those that will never shoot a semi auto enough to be competent in their gun handling. There is no one size fits all choice for self defense guns. A .38 spl Taurus will trump a SCCY CPX-2 for some people.
  Soooo... as Taurus, Rossi, and Charter Arms snubbies are priced at around $300, it's likely that some shoppers will at least look at them when checking out the SCCY.

  And now for the anecdotes:

  I discussed the SCCY pistols with a couple of different salesmen at the local gun stores. I always like to pick their brains while waiting on my background check to come through. I've found that the clerks are much more willing to talk trash about a weapon/manufacturer once they've made a sale. It's interesting to talk to the people that are the first line in hearing complaints.
  I was told that they've seen a few CPX-1 pistols come back in with broken safety levers. SCCY has outstanding customer service, and a great lifetime warranty. I've never heard any problems with them not fixing an issue.
  A lot of people seem to think that the safety lever makes the grip even more uncomfortable. I'd guess that they have larger hands than I do.

  In spite of my earlier complaints I really like the SCCY CPX-2. I like it, but I don't love it. I've  tried to judge it as both a budget gun, and a concealed carry weapon. Concealed carry guns are always a compromise, and when one retails for under $300 it's ridiculous to expect perfection in every category. This handgun is affordable, probably more accurate than the shooter, and I expect it to be reliable with a reasonable amount of cleaning.
  I'd recommend the SCCY for those looking for a small, inexpensive (but not cheap) 9mm. As long as they realize going in that the pistol will have a fair amount of recoil, and the trigger is mediocre they shouldn't be disappointed.

Friday, January 9, 2015

In The News

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A Tale Of Two Tauruses
Gun Review: Kel-Tec PF9
.308 vs 7.62x51mm
More On .308 vs 7.62x51mm
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Blaming The Gun For Battle Losses
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Gun Trouble
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Managing The Trigger
Armed Criminal Killed By Police, The Usual Protests Ensue
Mob Violence Breaks Out All Over The Country
Yet Another Brawl At The Mall
Top Political Donors
CNN Pushes Racial Bias Fiction... Again
Panicked NYPD Rookie Kills Unarmed Man In Housing Project Stairwell
Mother Of 12 Y/O Killed By Police Wants Convictions, Why She Won't Get Them
The Truth Behind The Death Of Tamir Rice
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What The Stats Really Say About Racially Motivated Cop Killings
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Man Died After Berkeley Protests Delayed Help
Ferguson Witness Floats Bizarre Phone Tale
"Witness 40" : Exposing A Fraud In Ferguson
2014's Knockout Game Victims
"Witness 40 Is A Racist Liar"
NYC Protesters Chant For Dead Cops
Why Lying Witnesses Were Presented To The Ferguson Grand Jury
More On Lying Grand Jury Witnesses In Ferguson

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Past Gun And Knife Reviews On This Blog

Some earlier gun and knife reviews are here.

In The News

Short SCCY CPX-2 Review
CPX-2 Review From The American Rifleman
Another Good CPX-2 Evaluation
SCCY Forum
Finding Holsters For Light And Laser Equipped Handguns
Let's Talk About Handgun Stopping Power
9 Great CCW Belts
AR15 Torture Test - 15,000 Rounds And A Bag Of Sand
6 Reasons Modern Defensive Ammo Is Better Than Ever
7 Gun Myths, Attacked Head On
Stopping Power Series From Grant Cunningham
Environmentally Friendly Ammo - The Green Bullet
The M855A1 "Green" Round For Soldiers
Kahr CT380 Review
Fobus Any Tactical Light Holster
Hindsight Is 30/06
CCW Tips That You Probably Forgot
A First Hand Look Back At The LA Riots
So You Want To Buy A 1911
Common Hangups In Handgun Shooting
Pistol Training-The Basics
Ferguson Grand Jury Papers Full Of Inconsistencies
The Ferguson Riots Are Nothing Like The Original Tea Party Protests
FDNY Drops Physical Requirements To Boost Female Hires
No Coverage, No Riots
What We Didn't Hear In The Eric Garner Case But The Grand Jury Did
11 Facts About The Eric Garner Case
Gang Attacks Now The "Norm" In St. Louis
Prepping 101: Beans, Bullets, And Band Aids
Ferguson Witness Claims Brown Charged Officer
11 Facts About The Eric Garner Case The Media Won't Tell You
8-9 Million Assault Weapons In Civilian Hands
Dangerous Distortions About Cops Shooting Black Men
Some Of The Weapons That Special Forces Really Use
Latest Jobs Report Is A Joke
Obama Donor Indicted For Molesting Kids
Another Race Hoax. Media Largely Silent
Mike Brown's Stepdad Has A Police Record
Why Mike Brown's Friends Story Isn't Credible
USA vs England, Rates Of Violent Crime
Bomb Plots, Assasination Plots, But Only Gun Charges Filed By Feds
Many More Whites Than Blacks Killed By Cops Every Year

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

In The News

5 Crucial Pieces Of Evidence The Ferguson Grand Jury Saw
Witness 10 Backs Up Officer's Account - FSA Media Ignores Account
Understanding Why Wilson's Pistol Didn't Fire During The Struggle
When Europeans Were Slaves
The Ferguson Race War? Not Really
Ferguson Grand Jury Papers Full Of Inconsistencies
Ferguson Grand Jury Witnesses Often Cited Fear In Testifying
"Burn This Bitch Down"
Witness Claims Mike Brown Charged Wilson "Like A Football Player. Head Down."
Ferguson PD Botched Brown Investigation
"Hands Up, Don't Shoot" Was A Lie According To Testimony
Oathkeepers Protect Ferguson
Witness Claimed Brown Charged Cop
Militias Keep The Peace In Ferguson When Cops Fail
CNN Lies About "Peaceful" Ferguson Protests
Another Officer Was Punched (And Murdered) While Sitting In His Cruiser
A Punch To The Head Is Potentialy Deadly Force
Dem - Vote Multiple Times, You Won't Be Prosecuted
NAEP Achievement Gaps In School
The Brits Cook The Books Regarding Crime Stats
FSU Student Shot In Leg Had CCP But Not Allowed Weapon
FSA Bomb Plot Foiled Due To Maxed Out Credit Card
Al Sharpton Owes Gov $4.5 Million In Unpaid Taxes
How To Return NYC To The Street Gangs
The Most Violent Crime Ridden States In America
One Of The Real Causes Of Violent Crime
The Mind Of A Violent Criminal
Hunters Feed The Hungry
Stocking Up On Antibiotics Without A Rx?
Feds Withhold Data On CA Lead Ammo Ban
Springfield XDS Review
8 Uncommon Rifle Shooting Tips For Beginners
Bersa BP380CC Review
RIA 9mm TAC1911 Review
5 Reasons I Hate The .40 Short Bus
30 Signs That You're One Of Those Crazy Preppers
45 More Signs That You Might Be One Of Those Crazy Preppers

Friday, November 28, 2014

Very Timely Advice

Now more than ever, the wisdom of Chris Rock is needed. This video should be required viewing in our public school system. The first minute of the video seems especially relevant.