For more than a century, self-defense-minded people have been searching for an inexpensive and reliable carry gun that won’t fall apart after firing a few rounds. When times are particularly tough and society is facing much uncertainty, this demand is even greater, so I was very interested to learn more about the new CPX-2 from SCCY (pronounced “sky”) Industries of Daytona Beach, Florida. Although not the first offering of this relatively new company that produced its first pistol, the CPX-1, in 2003, the CPX-2 is like the original except for the lack of a thumb safety—a feature that many will not miss.
We may live in the golden age of gun design and production. Because of new manufacturing techniques and materials, companies are able to produce improved versions of guns based on time-tested designs, but companies are also designing new guns to fill the so far insatiable appetite of the American public for firearms that will protect them and their families in an emergency. And more people are coming to the conclusion that they will have to rely on themselves in that emergency. As hard as the police try, chances are they won’t be there in those few seconds when a threat materializes.
These are just facts of life that thinking people—like the folks at SCCY Industries—understand. So, in keeping with the proud American way of combining innovation and a free market, SCCY decided to make high-quality, small 9mm handguns for discreet carry and sell them at a price lower than most other manufacturers charge. Building a cheap gun is relatively easy, but building an inexpensive, quality gun isn’t. SCCY may have succeeded, though. The company is confident about that because it offers a lifetime warranty on the CPX-2 that lasts for the life of the gun, not the owner. And that could be a very long time considering the company has performed several 5,000-round endurance tests with no breakages, and it has enough confidence in its guns to recommend changing springs at 8,000 to 10,000 rounds. That’s a lot more rounds than most people put through a gun in a lifetime. The company also advises that several law enforcement agencies are testing the pistols.
There is no doubt that the CPX-2 is inexpensive with a suggested retail price of only $299—and it will probably be priced by retailers for less. However, upon close inspection, the gun does not give the impression that it is cheap.
If you’ve ever handled a cheap handgun, you can pretty quickly tell without even shooting it that its quality is lacking and the gun is likely to quit working after only a few hundred rounds or less. It’s impossible to get a magnet to stick to the barrel or slide, indicating that the metal is of questionable origin and strength, and if you take one of those guns to a gunsmith, chances are he will refuse to make any repairs to it because it will likely break when he is working on it. However, the CPX-2 is not one of those pot-metal guns.
This 9mm Parabellum subcompact semi-automatic has a solid steel slide and barrel that are made in Florida by SCCY, along with all the other major metal parts. Even the recoil spring guide rod is steel—and some more expensive guns today utilize polymer for that part.
The 3.1-inch barrel is machined from a solid bar of stainless steel and then sandblasted. Inside the bore are seven lands and grooves making one right-hand twist in 16 inches. The slide is also made of stainless steel bar stock, is nicely machined with no blemishes and has been finely finished in a very hard and scratch-resistant black nitride, which is self-lubricating. The slide can be had in either black nitride or with a satin finish for those wanting a two-tone look. On each side at the rear of the slide are five deeply cut serrations to help in acquiring a solid grip for cycling the slide by hand. And the slide isn’t one of those tired, uninspired square-profile versions that print so obviously through clothing. Instead, it has angled corners that many will find attractive as well as practical. The only mark on the slide is the SCCY name, which appears on the left side. From its appearances, the CPX-2 seems to have been expertly manufactured, with no telltale machine marks that are often associated with inferior guns.
Atop the slide is a windage-adjustable, steel square notch rear sight with two white dots. The sight is held in place with a setscrew, making it easy to adjust without the use of a hammer and drift or a sight pusher. That’s a nice and welcome feature, and it differentiates the gun from many that require special tools in order to zero. The white-dot front sight is a squared, beveled polymer blade that is press-fit into the slide. Together, the front and rear sights create a very nice sight picture. Completing the barrel-slide group is the all-steel, captured dual recoil spring assembly.