We had a saying back in the early 1970s when I was racing motorcycles: “If you have a $10 head, buy a $10 helmet.” The point was simply that if you valued your life, you should buy the best helmet you can find and not go cheap.
It’s the same thing with concealed-carry handguns. You get what you pay for, and buying a gun just because of its low price is a dangerous gamble.
But, there is at least one exception. The SCCY (pronounced “sky”) CPX-2 pistol has an MSRP of $314. At that price the quality of a gun might be suspect, but I have shot mine a lot and am happy to report that it’s very reliable. I have also toured the factory and seen the manufacturing process. They are doing it right.
Just as with any gun, mine needed a break-in period, but after that it ran fine. I now have about 400 rounds though my gun and am impressed enough with its reliability that I carry the gun for defense. That’s the highest praise I can give a handgun.
The SCCY CPX-2 is a sub-compact, double-stack, polymer-frame, double-action handgun chambered in 9×19mm Parabellum (or 9mm), the most-popular self-defense cartridge in America today. It’s a small, concealed carry handgun designed to be easy to hide, yet powerful and effective enough for personal protection. It’s easy to make a little gun that hides well, but a lot tougher to make one that is reliable and shooter-friendly. This gun hides easy, shoots well, and runs reliably.
The gun is a simple double-action design that stretches a long coil spring that is inside the grip behind the magazine well. Pulling the trigger rolls the internal hammer back, loading the spring until the sear releases and the hammer snaps forward to hit the firing pin. It’s a simple and effective design.
The barrel is 3.1 inches long. The overall length of the gun is just 5.7 inches and it weighs 15 ounces. The polymer grip is available in black, flat dark earth (brown), pink, and purple. The slide is available in black or silver.
The double-action trigger is patterned on the double-action revolver. That means the trigger pull is longer and harder than the more common striker-fired design used in most sub-compact pistols. SCCY lists the trigger pull at nine pounds, but mine measured a bit less at eight pounds, two ounces. The double-action-style trigger is considered by many to be an important safety feature on a carry gun as it’s hard to fire it without a very deliberate action, which reduces the possibility of an accidental discharge. Once you learn the shooting technique for a double-action trigger, the gun is still very “shooter friendly” in terms of being able to hit the target.
The steel magazines are a double-stack design, which means that the ammo is staggered in a wide magazine so that more cartridges can fit in a given vertical distance. They hold 10 rounds. The magazines have a finger groove extension to extend the length of the grip another half an inch. They also come with a flat baseplate if you wish to eliminate the extension and lessen the footprint of the handgun.
The grip is a little wider from front to back than a lot of sub-compacts because it must accommodate the hammer spring. Unlike a lot of other little guns, it actually fills your hand, which aids in control. The grip length with the magazine extension is enough to allow all your fingers on the gun, unlike a lot of other sub-compact handguns, where your pinky finger is hanging out there in space without a place to land. This aids in controlling the gun when shooting.
This pistol stands behind its marketing hype. Once I learned the trigger, this gun is fast and accurate for defensive style, close-range shooting out to 15 or 20 yards. The CPX-2 is rated for +P ammo, but only for limited use. So you can practice with standard pressure ammo and carry the more powerful +P ammo for self-defense. I shot the CPX-2 with a bunch of different self-defense style ammo, some FMJ practice ammo and handloads to test reliability. Most of my shooting was with 115-grain and 124-grain bullets. The gun shoots a little bit high with those bullet weights, but not enough to matter at defensive-shooting distances. Besides, other ammo with different bullet weights and/or velocity might impact lower. The front sight is fixed while the rear sight is adjustable.
Laserlyte makes a laser sight for the gun, and I put one on mine. I am a strong proponent of laser sights on all carry handguns, and they make sub-compact handguns easier to shoot fast and accurately.
The SCCY CPX-2 is not the most accurate handgun I have tested, but reliability trumps accuracy in a defensive handgun. If you want to shoot in bullseye competition, this is not the gun you are looking for, but it is more than accurate enough for self-defense.
One great feature that I don’t believe I have seen included with any other handgun is a lifetime, no questions asked, transferrable warranty. Even if the gun is stolen, they will replace it free. Where else can you find the promise that you will always have your handgun?
Model: SCCY CPX-2
Type: Semi-auto handgun, blowback design
Magazine: Metal, double stack, 10-round
Frame: Zytel Polymer
Slide: Machined steel
Barrel: 3.1 inches
Rifling: Broached rifling
Sights: Three white dot
Trigger Pull Weight: Advertised 9 pounds
Height: 4 inches
Length: 5.7 inches
Width: 1 inch
Weight: 15 oz.
Accessories: Extra double stack, 10-round capacity magazines with finger-extension base installed and two flat magazine bases included (included) MSRP: $314
– Black Hills 115-gr. Tac-XP +P – Average Velocity: 1092 fps; Average Group Size: 2.89 inches
– Remington Compact Handgun 124-gr. BJHP – Average Velocity: 1054 fps; Average Group Size: 3.98 inches
– American Eagle 115-gr. FMJ – Average Velocity: 1045 fps; Average Group Size: 3.82 inches
Velocity measured with an Oehler 35P with the first screen 10 feet from muzzle.
Groupings are an average of five, five-shot groups at 15 yards; temp. 75 degrees F.