Protecting yourself is an extremely important undertaking. Doing it effectively on a tight budget can be very hard. Obtaining a firearm, holster, ammunition and training can all be expensive. However, there are some good gun and gear options on the market that can fit even modest budgets. One of the guns worth considering is the SCCY CPX-2.
A double-action-only (DAO) pistol chambered in 9mm, the gun retails for a little over $300 and has an exceptional warranty. Due to the gun’s popularity, there are a number of accessories available for it that make it an even more interesting choice for self-defense on a budget. With this in mind, I wanted take an honest look at the gun’s suitability for self-defense and some of the accessories that can be paired with it. Is it possible to get a handgun, holster and even a laser for less than $500 in today’s market? As a matter of fact, yes.
Handgun, Holster, Laser
Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, SCCY Industries manufactures a pair of compact 9mm handguns: the CPX-1 and CPX-2. The guns are nearly identical ,with the sole exception being the CPX-1 has a manual safety mounted on the outside of the pistol. The CPX pistols are hammer-fired, double-action-only handguns with a long trigger pull that makes the safety lever superfluous.
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SCCY builds the CPX-2 with a polymer frame. The rear of the frame has what SCCY calls a “Re-Coil Cushion.” This section of the frame has oblong cuts into the polymer that presumably allow the rearmost portion of the grip to collapse and absorb rearward force under recoil, somewhat like a crush zone on today’s modern automobiles.
The CPX-2 has a 3.1-inch barrel and weighs only 15 ounces unloaded. While the width of the gun is a bit much for pocket carry, it does allow the magazines to hold 10 rounds each. Assuming you carry the second included magazine as a spare, that gives you a well of 21 rounds of your favorite hollow point from which to draw if faced with a deadly threat.
If you are planning on carrying the gun, the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 is a very comfortable holster that you might want to take a look at. Affordably priced, I’ve found the inside-the-waistband rig is equal to many carry holsters that cost significantly more money. The holster has a synthetic backer with a soft cushion that rides between the gun and body. It serves to drastically improve comfort and prevent body sweat from reaching the pistol. The belt clips can be adjusted to provide different ride heights and cants. Additionally, the synthetic shell can be adjusted to provide you with the exact amount of friction retention you desire. For less than $45, you get the holster with a 30-day test drive and a “forever warranty.”
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As it ships, the CPX-2 comes with three-dot sights. The sights are large enough to see easily. If you are interested in attaching a laser to your CPX-2, the ArmaLaser TR10 pairs nicely with the gun for less than $120 retail. The TR10 is a red or green aiming laser that attaches to the triggerguard of the CPX-2. It has a pair of gold-plated contacts that activate the laser when the gun is grasped, eliminating the need for a mechanical switch. Windage and elevation adjustments can be easily made, and the ArmaLaser TR10 unit has both a pulsating mode and a master switch to prevent the unit from turning on when so desired.
I wound up shooting two different CPX-2 pistols in this review. The first was returned after a systematic series of failures on the range. The second ran perfectly. I contacted SCCY about the problems with the first CPX-2. The company promptly sent me a shipping label and form that allowed me to detail the problems for the warranty department. Within a week of shipping the gun, I had a replacement pistol delivered.
I immediately took the gun back to the range. I rapidly fired 100 FMJ rounds without experiencing a single problem. I then worked through 11 other loads, and the gun functioned perfectly. I never found out what the diagnosis for the original gun was, but I know that the replacement was delivered promptly and worked exactly as it should.
I measured the trigger pull weight on the SCCY to be 8.75 pounds on an average of 10 pulls with my Lyman digital gauge. However, the pull seemed significantly heavier. The SCCY CPX-2 fills my medium-sized hands well, but the trigger reach is much too long for me. Only the tip of my trigger finger was able to properly address the trigger face, which may have contributed to the heavier feel of the trigger.
Additionally, the texture and edges on the trigger face are comparatively sharper than what might be found on other similar pistols. A slight rounding of the edges would go a long way to improve the feel of the trigger. I spoke with a local gun shop owner who sells many SCCY pistols. He told me that many of his customers like the guns, but complain about the sharper edges on the trigger and the weight of the pull.
While the recoil was perfectly manageable, the gun does kick a bit as one might expect with a 15-ounce handgun. I was unable to tell if the Re-Coil Cushion provided any measurable benefit, though my impression is that it does not. For my money, I’d rather the company eliminate this feature to provide a shorter trigger reach distance. That would improve my shooting experience substantially. People with long fingers may very well have a different view on the subject.
Getting a gun and the needed accessories is only part of the self-defense equation. Getting good training is the second, and most important, aspect of personal protection. I strongly recommend that everyone seek out good training from a reputable instructor prior to ever carrying a firearm for self-defense. That said, you will still need a quality handgun. Does the CPX-2 fit the bill?
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Like nearly everything else that you will buy in life, only you know if a particular gun will work for your needs. Although I had problems with the first gun I received, the second gun was perfect. Based on the feedback I have gotten from other SCCY owners, I daresay these guns have a good reputation for both reliability and service when things do go wrong. I believe that the CPX-2 provides an excellent value for self-defense.
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