Pronounced “Sky” after the original Skyy Industries founded in 2003 by CEO Joe Roebuck, the SCCY CPX-3 is the company’s first .380 ACP pistol and the first SCCY model to utilize the innovative new Roebuck Quad-Lock system for improved barrel stability and accuracy.
In creating the Quad-Lock system, Roebuck, who is also the company’s head of design and engineering, addressed a common problem with .380 autopistols as well as other semi-automatics using a locked-breech design. As Roebuck explained it, “Gunmakers have pretty much come up with their own solutions to locking up the chamber side of the barrel, however, from what I have seen, their lockup in the rear part of the barrel doesn’t always repeat. You have a lack of consistency. The Quad-Lock design offers a solution by which the barrel is going to consistently repeat when it is locked and unlocked by going into the same location every time.”
Lock It Up
The new barrel design makes its debut in the CPX-3. Distinctive in its design, the first half of the barrel lug is angled and then turns flat. At the rear there is a step or tang. Roebuck explained that the tang has a curved edge that marries up to the slide when the gun is fully locked.
According to Roebuck, “This occurs because the barrel’s cam system is radiused to rotate around the disassembly pin and push the back of the barrel upward. This forces the tang to engage the front port section of the slide.” That comprises two of the four lock-up points in Roebuck’s Quad-Lock design. The second part begins with the front of the barrel (muzzle) being pushed downward. This is where the real difference occurs in the Quad-Lock. In the various semi-autos that Roebuck studied, the barrels were loose around the muzzle opening of the slide.
RELATED STORY: Reach for the SCCY with the Compact CPX-1 and CPX-2
Since the barrel is already locked at the rear of the lug, the CPX-3’s recoil system forces the front of the barrel downward. It is this feature that uniquely defines the Quad-Lock. Looking at the CPX-3’s slide from the front, it has a crescent-shaped gap just above the barrel while the bottom of the barrel is sitting almost flush against the muzzle opening. It looks off center but it’s not, because the muzzle opening in the CPX-3 slide is not round.
“There are two angles that are 90-degree inverted if you come off the centerline at 45 degrees each,” Roebuck said, “and what happens is that when a round barrel goes into an opening that is a ‘V’ it will always center itself and always stay rigid, so long as there is pressure pushing down.” A CPX-3 barrel won’t move from side to side if you push it. It is locked in place. This “V” comprises the latter lock-up points.
As the gun is shot, the barrel is forced further into the “V” so it is locked up even tighter at the moment of discharge. The result of the Quad-Lock is a significantly more stabilized barrel and improved accuracy.
The .380 CPX-3 is a little larger than many subcompacts, but it is easier to handle and its recoil is lighter than most (size equals greater distribution of energy). This gun is small enough for pocket carry and certainly in any number of lightweight belt and inside-the-waistband rigs. The grip is short because the SCCY uses a staggered 10-round magazine, so with the flat baseplate, the little finger has to tuck under the magazine. This is alleviated with the finger extension, which provides a full-hand grip for most people. The SCCY CPX-3 is a little longer and a little wider than .380s like the Ruger LCP, even a bit more than a Colt Mustang, but in exchange you have a 10+1 capacity versus 6+1. This is the highest capacity of any of the top .380 ACP semi-autos on the market, and it may well be the most accurate.
The trigger pull on the test gun averaged 6.5 pounds. Travel is a full inch with no stacking and a crisp break. It does take nearly a full release of the trigger (0.75 inches) to reset, but the DAO has second-strike capability, a definite plus, along with no magazine disconnect, so it can fire a chambered round with the magazine removed.
Ammunition options for the SCCY test were a mix of Federal’s American Eagle 95-grain FMJ as a traditional .380 load and two personal defensive rounds, Sig Sauer’s 90-grain V-Crown JHP and Federal Premium’s Law Enforcement 99-grain HST Tactical. American Eagle clocked 861 fps average from the SCCY’s 3-inch barrel, Sig Sauer 921 fps and Federal HST proved the hottest and fastest round with an average velocity of 950 fps.
The test target was placed at a distance of 7 yards and all tests were fired off-hand using a Weaver stance and a two-handed hold. Ultimate accuracy comes down to the individual shooter’s abilities, but an accurate gun to start with is an asset. The SCCY delivered a best five-round group with Sig Sauer of 0.93 inches in the X. Federal grouped at 1 inch with three overlapping in the 10, and American Eagle produced five rounds into 1.125 inches in the 10.
There were no failures to feed or malfunctions with all three brands of ammo. As for recoil, even the heavy-hitting 99-grain Federal was more than manageable, and the pistol’s white-dot sights were quick to reacquire from shot to shot. The most impressive of all was the consistency and ease of trigger pull, which, combined with the SCCY’s Quad-Lock design, keeps this little .380 in the center of center mass.
There are a lot of skilled people at SCCY, from the workroom floor to the design lab to the marketing group. This company is truly a team that is dedicated to winning by doing what no American armsmaker has done before—build a semi-auto to exceed in performance, quality and features where no such expectations at the price point exist. Is this a $500 gun for a little more than $300? By today’s standards, it is certainly that and a bit more.
RELATED STORY: SCCY Introduces New “SCCY Blue” Frames
For more information, visit http://www.sccy.com or call 866-729-7599.