In case you haven’t been paying attention lately, the economic situation in the United States has taken a nosedive. People are losing their jobs and just getting work is difficult; many have had to accept pay cuts to keep their employers’ doors open. This translates to lower family budgets and decreased spending, even for critical items. The old saying “What this country needs is a good nickel cigar” can also be applied to firearms for home and personal defense—what we need is a good, affordable weapon the legally armed citizen can use for protection. Fortunately, there are a few manufacturers out there who cater to those with reduced budgets; one of those outfits is MKS Supply, Inc. This Ohio-based company started out with a line of inexpensive semi-automatic pistols, then took their Hi-Point pistol, modified the slide, encased it in a stamped steel receiver, added a longer barrel and stock and came up with the Hi-Point Carbine. I tested one of these carbines out over a decade ago in 9mm Luger and later evaluated a second model in .40 S&W. I was always bugging MKS President Charlie Brown to make the Hi-Point Carbine in .45 ACP, and in 2010, that has finally happened.
MKS Supply has been around for over 20 years and their line of Hi-Point pistols come chambered in .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. As mentioned above, they also produce a carbine line that has 3 basic models with iron sights in 9mm Luger, .40 S&W and now .45 ACP; plus numerous variations differing in optical sight, laser sight, and tactical light configurations. You can also order accessories for your Hi-Point carbine separately and set it up the way you want it. You get a lot of value for your dollar with Hi-Point firearms. MSRP for the pistols range from $140 for the .380 to $199 for the .45 and the carbines start at $274 for the 9mm and go up to $449 in .45 ACP depending on the factory option package you prefer. They aren’t pretty, but the ones I have tested over the years have always been accurate and reliable. Hi-Point is so confident in their product that they offer a no-questions-asked lifetime warranty on each gun, no matter who owns it, and all of their firearms are 100 percent made in the USA.
I asked Charlie to send me a new Model 4595TS carbine and I wanted all the “bells and whistles” with it so I could try out most of the optional accessories now available. As I said before, the basic Hi-Point carbine comes with iron sights, which in this case is a fully adjustable peep rear sight enclosed in a protective mount along with an elevation adjustable front post sight that is hooded for protection. The old polymer stock that I used to think made the carbine look like a weapon from Planet of the Apes has been redesigned from front to rear. It now has a Picatinny rail on the bottom of the barrel, extending back from the base on the front sight to the fore-end. The fore-end itself has a short rail on the bottom with a vent rib on top. This becomes the forward attachment point for a longer rail that extends back almost to the rear of the receiver. Mounted on this rail is the rear peep sight unit and ahead of that is about 4 inches of usable rail space. The fore-end completely encloses the barrel and is ribbed and textured for a good surface to grip. It’s a two-piece affair and the bottom portion extends back below the receiver and encompasses the pistol grip/trigger guard and butt-stock. The pistol grip is also textured, with checkered panels on the upper portion, where the thumb and forefinger contact the grip. The butt-stock is skeletonized and has a cheek rest and a unique shock-absorber butt plate to help reduce recoil. You also get a black nylon sling and sling swivels as a standard feature and I installed them on my test gun. The finish is a corrosion-resistant, black powder coat application that goes well with the matte black stock. Attention to quality was evident.