The absolute best gun you can have in an emergency is the one you are carrying. For many though, the idea of carrying a full-size pistol is simply a deal-breaker. From the guns being too big for a person’s frame to an unwillingness to make clothing changes to conceal the gun, the challenges are real. That is where concealed carry-friendly pistols, like the SCCY DVG-1RD, come in.
The SCCY DVG-1RD
In cases like this, I steer shooters towards a smaller-framed pistol that still has decent firepower but also has a smaller footprint than full-sized pistols. This market, however, is flooded with options, and it can be tough for the uninitiated to navigate it.
Another factor that must be considered is price. While it is easy for some to say just buy this or that, funding for pistols is a very personal challenge at times. This space in the handgun market has been the sole realm of SCCY pistols for years now.
SCCY has made a name for themselves with their popular double-action pistols available in about 700 colors. However, the team at SCCY has continued to push their designs and now offers their own striker-fired pistol. That new model is the DVG-1RD pistol chambered in 9mm.
Meet & Greet
The SCCY DVG-1RD is a 9mm sub-compact pistol with a 3-inch barrel. The first thing first is that this gun has an MSRP of only $389, which includes the optic. I found it interesting because it produced some very nice groups with a variety of ammunition.
The gun’s ability to shoot good groups repeatedly gave me a reason to pause. In most small guns of this nature, the lock-up is not exactly super consistent. As such, they tend to produce larger, inconsistent groups. The key to their exceptional lock-up is the innovative Roebuck Quad-Lock system. The primary goal of the design is to improve barrel stability and accuracy.
The DVG-1RD is really in a bit of a size class by itself as well. It is not quite a full-size, yet it is not a micro pistol either. What it is, is easy to handle. It has a good balance of weight and size that helped me manage recoil.
The grip on the gun follows this balance of size and houses a staggered 10-round magazine. This gives us a 10+1 capacity on a small easily concealed gun. With any handgun, you will more than likely need to dispense more than one round into an adversary to get the desired results. The fact that the DVG-1RD allows me to carry a 10-round staggered magazine is a plus on the tactical side.
Crimson Trace CTS-1500
As I mentioned, the pistol comes complete with an optic as opposed to iron sights. The gun I received included a Crimson Trace CTS-1500 factory-installed, red-dot optic, which features a 3.5-MOA aiming dot, 20,000-hour battery life and a three-year factory warranty. Since it is red dot sighted from the factory, there is no rear sight.
The inclusion of a red-dot optic on the gun is a tip of the hat to what I consider the future of handguns. An optic can be an excellent addition to a handgun because it can provide quicker target acquisition and a wider field-of-view downrange. It is also helpful to those of us with not-so-young eyes.
For those that have cut their teeth on standard pistol sights, it can be a bit of a clunky transition. But, with some training and understanding about how to maximize their effectiveness, anyone can learn to use a red dot.
I had the opportunity to run the SCCY DVG-1RD during the Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous in Idaho this year. This was a great setting to get some range time because it allowed me the opportunity to have face-to-face time with the SCCY team as well.
While we shot the standard plates and gongs at regular pistol range, we also took the opportunity to shoot at some steel at both 100 and 200 yards. No, the gun is not designed for that, yet we could not help ourselves. Much to the enjoyment of everyone shooting, we had numerous “dings” on steel at those distances.
Once I made my way back to Arizona, I received another pistol to allow me time to get a more in-depth look at the gun. On the range, I found the SCCY DVG-1RD easy and comfortable to shoot. This remained the case even in what turned out to be a high-round count day.
This is an important factor because if any gun is uncomfortable or not enjoyable, you won’t shoot it. This, in turn, leads to diminished skills and real danger.
Real World Drills
The pistol’s dimensions are 6 inches long by 5 inches tall by 1-inch wide. This makes it a good gun to conceal as well as shoot. While I would like to say I shot this little gem on a bench rest at 25 yards, I found that to be a bit unnecessary.
This is a small, concealed carry handgun meant for real-world encounters. Because of its intent, I would test it in that capacity. My target was set up at 7 yards, and all shots were fired off-hand.
I made minor adjustments to the red-dot zero and was soon getting good groups. My best was just over an inch, and all the others were close behind. Unlike their other DAO pistols, the trigger on this gun was not nearly as heavy. I measured it at just over 6 pounds, and it had a decent reset.
Finding Its Niche
The space that this gun occupies is the concealed carry zone. For those that may be new to concealed carry, this is the perfect opportunity for me to share a few things that will help you get set.
The first is to decide where you are going to carry. The current position du jour is appendix. This allows for quick access to your pistol and can be fairly comfortable with the right rig. If you are going to be seated a lot, this may be less than optimal. You can also carry at the two o’clock or three o’clock position inside the waistband. This is my preferred carry simply because it fits me well.
One position I discourage is the small of the back. It is slow to acquire and can be a problem if you end up on your back.
Next up is choosing the right holster. This can be a challenge because what may be great for your buddy, is a disaster for you. If at all possible, try to borrow holsters before you start spending your hard-earned money on them. I say that from experience as I have an entire locker full of various holsters.
I discourage you from buying a cheap one-size-fits-all rig. Take your time and spend a little more money on a holster that will serve you well.
One last point about holsters is maintenance. Yes, you need to take care of your holster. If it is Kydex, make sure you check the screws from time to time to make sure they have not begun to loosen. If it is a leather rig, then check for wear and looseness.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The last thing I will suggest is to practice. A good friend of mine shared that she did what she called “house carry.” She put her rig on and got used to carrying it in the safety and comfort of her own home. Once she felt confident that she was safe and truly concealed, she started carrying in public.
Practice also includes drawing from concealment. I would also suggest that you seek professional training in this arena. If things ever get to the point that you need your gun, it will be needed in a hurry. Knowing how to best clear your garment and get your gun into the fight is critical.
It is at this point that we need to address the 700-pound gorilla in the room. In so many cases, guns that we find in the SCCY Industries price range are less than optimal for serious use and carry. While I can’t say that one range session is a true endurance test, I did find the gun capable of performing at a pace equal to a gun almost twice its price.
So where is the magic then? Just how does a company make a good gun at such an affordable price point? The biggest contributor to the lower cost is the polymer frame. They are dramatically less expensive to make and allow for a consistent product.
It is not just a quickly poured piece of plastic though. SCCY pistols have an aluminum receiver machined from 7075-T6 aluminum billet that sits inside the frame. This makes it sturdy and long-lasting.
There are also no metal injection molded (MIM), cast or even forged parts on this pistol. All the flat metal parts are stamped. In the end, SCCY has done their homework and managed the production side of the house very well. We as customers get to enjoy the benefits of their labor by having access to a good 9mm pistol while not breaking the bank!
For more information visit SCCY.com.
SCCY DVG-1RD Specs
Barrel: 3.1 inches
Overall Length: 6.01 inches
Weight: 15.5 ounces (empty)
Sights: Crimson Trace CTS-1500
Finish: H&M Black Nitride
This article was originally published in the Personal Defense World Gun Buyer’s Guide April/May 2022 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions at OutdoorGroupStore.com. Or call 1-800-284-5668, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.