When you look at the history of the icons in the gun industry, SCCY is a relative newcomer. With its first pistol introduced in 2005, many folks who know guns can be skeptical on a new, start-up company. After all, we’ve all seen them before; they come and go, materials are shoddy, and even with the heavy demand for defensive handguns, they never seem to make it to the forefront of the knowledgeable gun enthusiast.
This new generation of handguns made by SCCY (known as “sky”) may be one of the best of the new breed of concealable weapons. Chambered for the 9mm, in the hand, the gun takes up a little more space than the 4×5-inch color transparencies I used to use for my commercial photography clients years back. More and more of these guns are rising to the top of the market, and with some of the problems we have in the States it’s no small wonder. They are handy to shoot and fit into a coat pocket or purse. With that kind of confidence, more people feel comfortable going out at night, especially to a strange place.
The gun was born to the right circumstances of events. In 1998, Joe Roebuck got the idea of a small, dependable and affordable gun mostly due to the climate in this country and its attitude against the influx in conceal-and-carry permits. Before that, Joe was in the manufacturing business for 39 years, most of that as a mechanical design engineer with a background as a tool-and-die-maker. Today, the plant has moved to a new 21,000-square-foot facility in Daytona Beach, Florida, where he is proud to say that from the time he founded the company over 150,000 firearms have been produced right here in the good ole’ United States. With his line-up of new CNC machines in house, SCCY is in position to design, produce and market additional handguns to fit the lifestyles of knowledgeable shooters.
In overall appearance, the gun has that modern look with rounded corners in two distinct models. One is completely shadowy from its polymer frame to its darkened stainless steel, nitride-colored slide. The other model of the CPX-2 has the same dark frame, but with a lighter slide in a more natural stainless shade that is finished by a ceramic abrasion process, resulting in a non-reflective finish. If I were to purchase this gun, this model would be my choice, as even in dim light the sights still seem to pop out for quick acquisition of my target.
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Looking at the gun closer, we find that, without ammunition, the weight of the piece is under a pound (15 ounces), which is still proportioned to the size and recoil of the 9mm cartridge. Working our way down, the top of the slide has more than ample sights with the rear sight harboring a set of white dots on each side of it’s very clear cut rear sight assembly. At the top of the slide, a narrow, flat surface would lead the eye naturally to the front sight and the target. Near the muzzle, the front sight has a single white dot. Placing all three in a horizontal position gives you a great sight picture. Personally, when in a tense situation, I don’t think you will line up the sights target-shooting style, but they are certainly there for deliberate shooting. In any event, depending upon the loading you favor, the rear sight is dovetailed into the slide and held in place with a setscrew. Considering the type of weapon the CPX-2 is, I don’t think there is much room for here for target accuracy on center mass. But if you do have to move the rear sight for windage only, loosen the screw and carefully drift the sight left or right.
From the muzzle back past the ejection port, the slide is relieved to offer less resistance to using leather gear or drawing from a more concealed position on one’s body. For strength and durability, the receiver (internally on the polymer frame) is machined from 7075-T6 aircraft-grade, heat-treated aluminum, all made from bar stock. The receiver is a very integral part of the gun as it houses the trigger, plunger, trigger cam, ejector, hammer and hammer spring, just to mention a few of the parts needed for the gun to function properly. On the rear of the slide, rakish cocking serrations fill this area; forward is an extractor aptly suited to pulling out the most stubborn spent cartridge. Within the ejection port and to the rear is the mechanical ejector sturdy enough to send those spent cartridges on their way.
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The barrel is just a tad over 3 inches long, measuring 0.5 inches wide for most of its entire length until it expands slightly at the muzzle (to .525 inches) to act as a barrel bushing, locking the barrel to the slide on closing. Like most parts of this gun, it is machined from bar stock with seven lands and grooves, producing a 1-in-16-inch right-hand twist. The feed ramp shows some human polishing, which added to the excellent functioning of the weapon with a variety of factory ammo. To make all this work, the recoil spring assembly located below the barrel is all steel, and is fully integrated to make disassembly and reassembly a snap.
When you consider the purchase of such a concealable weapon, size naturally enters into the equation. The CPX-2 has been designed to fit into the average hand, and I found it very comfortable to hold and shoot. The grip frame has finger grooves molded into the Zytel frame, a material that appeared in the Remington XP-100 back in 1963. Impervious to just about anything Mother Nature could dish out, this space-age plastic seems to go on and on without any bad results of abuse, weather or age. Though complete with the addition of a finger extension, it’s naturally still a little short, but not enough to lose sleep over. On the rear of the grip are what SCCY calls a “recoil cushion” on the backstrap, but, to me, it’s there for effect only. Since the Zytel does not give, the only thing I can figure out is that it allows the air to escape from within during shooting (and compression of the grip in your hand), giving you less of an apparent recoil effect while shooting.
The CPX-2 is set up for double-action-only (DAO). On my sample, the effort to pull the trigger back registered at 10 pounds with the usual stacking as the mechanism reached its most rearward position. It was very smooth, and I found that pulling the trigger back many, many times resulted in a very consistent pull. The trigger guard has a reverse curve up front as to allow the weak hand to brace the weapon in a now common Weaver stance. I also found there is enough room to shoot the gun with winter gloves on, although I would use only the lightest-weight gear I could find.
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Above the rear is the slide release (they call it the “slide hold lever”), which allows the slide to move forward with a slight downward motion. This release was well designed as far as placement, as I can push it down to release the slide without changing the position of my shooting hand. The magazine release is right behind the trigger; pushing it allows the magazine to drop with much enthusiasm. Every pistol shipped, two 10-round magazines, complete with flat and extension basepads. On the other side of the coin, the gun will fire without a magazine in the gun, which is something to consider when you are putting the gun away for storage. With a magazine inserted, the slide will stay back after the last round is fired, so that alone is a good indication the gun is empty. But, again, safety first, so check before you store.
With safety in mind, on their other variation (the CPX-1) there is an outside manual safety lever. On this updated CPX-2 there is no manual safety, however the hammer is well concealed within the slide/frame and has an inertial firing pin to prevent an accidental discharge if it falls to the ground. Even before we get to the range testing, all this and more comes with a defensive handgun that is currently listing for $299-339, depending of course on your friendly dealer and his attitude towards the current gun shortage. Oh yes, one more thing that will make this purchase easier…the gun has a lifetime warranty that stays with the gun, not with the original owner.
At the range, I was pleasantly surprised on shooting this gun. The current crop of 9mm ammunition has gone through a lot of research and development with some loads “hotter” than others, which is a good thing as it allows you to pick a loading with a comfort level equal to your abilities in any given situation. Since I consider the CPX-2 a practical defense gun, I set up targets at 7 yards and fired away. Even though the gun is small by some standards, it was easy to fire and comfortable on the recoil effect.
In the end, I really enjoyed reviewing and shooting this gun. It is made right from the beginning, using a clean slate when it came to its design parameters. It is accurate enough for any close encounter, but, most of all, that added bit of confidence of protection in your pocket could mean the difference between getting home safe or not getting home at all. Think about it.
For more information, visit http://www.sccy.com or call 866-729-7599.
This article was originally published in the December 2014 issue of COMBAT HANDGUNS. Subscription is available in print and digital editions below.