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Nice-Price Nine: SCCY CPX-2 Review

by Patrick Sweeney   |  February 14th, 2013 44

Despite the SCCY’s small size, you still get 10+1 rounds of 9mm in a 15-ounce package.

OK, it’s easy to get jaded in this business. Everyone has something “new,” everything has something that “hasn’t been done before,” and if I hear one more time the current en vogue business phrases of “next level” or “in our DNA” I’m going to hurl. Breakfast, objects, invectives, something, anything.

Well, I had a recent chance to actually see a case of someone being different. In this case, SCCY—pronounced “sky”—and their new handguns. What we have here, in the CPX-2, is a compact carry 9 with a 10-shot magazine. Both versions of the slide are machined from stainless steel bar stock. The black version carries a black nitride finish; the two-tone version is a stainless steel that’s been ceramic bead-blast finished by hand. The barrel is also stainless and machined from bar stock. The receiver, internal to the polymer frame, is 7075-T6 aluminum (the same heat-treatment that mil-spec ARs get) and is also machined from billet.

The receiver gets assembled into a Zytel frame, with finger grooves and a recoil cushion that is integral on the backstrap. Recoil spring? A captured assembly, so you won’t be launching parts across the room when you take it apart to brush out the dust bunnies. Three-dot sights, double-action trigger (with a thumb safety, too, if you want that, on the CPX-1 model) and an inertial firing pin so it is drop-safe.

So far, it sounds like a lot of other pistols. Then we get to the interesting stuff. First of all, SCCY makes their own magazines for the CPX-1 and CPX-2. The magazine is a crucial element of a reliable pistol, and SCCY designed, tested, tuned and then decided to make them in their own plant. It takes a big investment in stamping and folding machinery, welding fixtures and hand-assembly in order to make magazines, plus the cost of shipping them out to a heat-treat and black nitride facility. I was pleased to hear the last part. While it is a good thing to desire keeping your production all under one roof, it’s smart business to hand off the heat-treatment to someone else, someone who has the plant, furnaces and experience to do it right.

Given the capital investment and the operating costs, I can’t see how SCCY folks make money on magazines. They have to be losing a couple of bucks on each one, and they still pack each box with a pair of them.

Which leads me to the next big thing: Each box has the pistol, two magazines, a trigger lock, spare baseplates for the magazines in case you don’t want finger-groove plates—and this all has a suggested retail price of $319. You did not read that incorrectly, an MSRP that is a tray of lattes over three hundred bucks. And we all know what MSRP translates to on street prices, which means you’ll probably (almost certainly) be able to leave your local gun shop after spending less than three Franklins for the pistol.

An inexpensive carry pistol, in a real caliber and with enough ammo on board to be useful for three hundred dollars? It’s almost like winning the lottery. That is, if it works. So, I went to the range—with the usual ton of ammo in the range bus—to see.

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