Making fun of Hi-Points and their owners have become a bit of a pastime in the firearms community thanks to the poor reputation that the pistols have gained for an unknown reason. I had an opportunity to find out for myself if the Hi-Point pistol really does suck or we are elitest jerks when we make fun of those who own Hi-Points. I came into possession of a Hi-Point JHP chambered in .45 ACP a while back and finally decided it was time to review the chunky pistol.
Looking over the specs on the Hi-Point website the JHP .45 seems to have a lot going for it on paper, does this carry over to the real world?
Barrel length: 4.5″
Overall length: 7.75″
Weight: 35 oz.
Frame: High-impact polymer
Finish: Black powder coat with polished sides
Capacity: 9-shot magazine
Sights: 3-dots, fully-adjustable rear sight
All Hi-Point handguns feature:
High-impact polymer frame
Durable, attractive easy-grip finish
3-dot, fully adjustable sights
Free extra rear peep sight
Last round lock open
FREE trigger lock
Magazine disconnect safety
Quick on-off thumb safety
Operations & safety sheet
100% American parts & assembly
The JHP isn’t a small pistol by any means, the large blocky slide while unsightly is necessary to ensure the pistol’s function. The JHP uses a blowback design and relies on that considerable weight to make sure that pressures in the barrel have dropped to a safe level before allowing the breach to open.
The sighting system was a bit odd and seemed to buck the more common practice of using larger, easier to see sights for what looks like an adjustable rear sight with a fixed front post. Even though the sights are painted contrasting colors, I did find that they were a bit tough to pick up quickly at first. As the range day went on I was able to pick them up much faster and with practice, it would be second nature. I do appreciate that they included an adjustable rear sight at the price point the pistol is sold at, the ability to dial your sights in without the use of a punch is nice.
The safety, while working properly was a bit of a bear to disengage quickly thanks to its rather low profile. I am all for making a pistol holster friendly, but when it comes at the expense of the ability to get the pistol into action quickly it might be prudent to offer a more pronounced lever. On the plus side, it does its job and render the pistol safe when activated. Like the sights, I can see the safety being easier to use with some practice.
Grips on the pistol are simple and functional. I didn’t find them to be uncomfortable and well within what I would call serviceable. Functional and serviceable is a consistent theme with the JHP .45, even the injection molded trigger falls into the same category. The trigger pull feels smooth but has an unpredictable break and a long reset. It isn’t exactly a match trigger, but again it is functional and does what it is supposed to do.
My single complaint about the JHP .45 is the rail. I can’t think of a single reason it isn’t offered with a standard rail. Instead, Hi-Point molded in a proprietary section of rail on the pistol’s dust cover. I guess a rail is better than no rail at all, but I would have much-preferred something that met the industry standard.
Shooting the JHP .45, I found that it wasn’t that bad at all. Wait, what?
While the pistol’s individual parts might not be up to par with a GLOCK, HK or other manufacturer it still was a gun that can be bought under $200 new. The recoil was pleasant and gentle, the pistol’s sights settled back onto the target quickly, and it didn’t feel that bad in the hand. I was simply shocked that it performed as well as it did.
I decided to set up a target and give shooting a group a try. Sadly, today was not my day for shooting well and I shot a rather poor group through no fault of the pistol. Even with my poor shooting, I was able to produce some groups that were nothing short of passable. Given the reasonably crude design of the Hi-Point, it seems that while it isn’t a bullseye shooting pistol, it will hit what you are aiming for.
So what do I think about the Hi-Point JHP .45 after shooting it for an afternoon? I can’t hate it even though I want to. After 400 rounds of .45 between myself and my friend, we didn’t experience a single malfunction even though I tried to induce one and hit what we were aiming at as long as we did our part.
Would I hesitate to recommend a Hi-Point JHP .45? No. If all someone had to spend on a gun was $200 and they wanted to get into the shooting hobby or wanted a pistol for personal protection I think it is a solid contender. Sure, there are better options out there, but at a much higher price. Sometimes as shooters we forget that not everyone is willing to eat ramen for months to afford that fancy new pistol that we have our eyes on.
The Hi-Point JHP .45 carries an MSRP of $219 as tested, you can learn more about it on Hi-Point’s website.