The Covid-19 pandemic triggered an unprecedented run on firearms and ammunition by first-time gun buyers. Approximately 75 percent of firearm purchases in March 2020 were by people who didn’t own a gun. Not surprisingly, many of these new shooters gravitated towards the inexpensive and simple options available to them. Few guns better meet that description than those made by Hi-Point.
The 995 TS WC is an entirely American-made blowback-operated carbine that is easy to shoot. While it can be found selling for less than $300, it is not poorly made. Its blowback operation is one of the reasons that this firearm so inexpensive. The bolt is larger and heavier than what is commonly found because there are no locking lugs to hold it in place when chamber pressure drops. Instead, the bolt’s mass keeps it stationary long enough for pressure to drop before the action safely cycles. The absence of bolt lugs and lug abutments in the receiver minimizes the need for precision machining, which saves time and production costs. These savings are passed along to the consumer.
The bolt’s mass allows Hi-Point to use a reasonable spring rate for the recoil spring in the 995 TS. There is a reciprocating charging handle that protrudes out of the left side of the receiver that sees use when manually cycling the action. Thanks to the reasonable recoil spring, it is not difficult to cycle the bolt.
Locking the bolt to the rear takes some finesse. To hold the bolt in place, the shooter will need to pull the charging handle all the way to the rear and push the rotating handle into the receiver. It is certainly a simple solution, but it does require a small amount of dexterity to execute.
Like the bolt, the extractor and ejector are simple pieces that require very little fitting to function effectively. The extractor is a bent piece of spring steel, for example, and the ejector is fixed. Neither needs much maintenance.
While the Hi-Point 995 TS doesn’t cost much to make, it has a surprisingly usable trigger that is not too heavy. The trigger fired after 7 pounds, 8 ounces, which is heavier than what is normally found on a carbine, but it didn’t inhibit accuracy testing. The trigger does show some creep, but less than expected.
The 995 TS comes with what looks like Picatinny rails along the top of the receiver, under the handguard and along the barrel’s underside. However, looks are deceiving. All of these rails have Weaver dimensions and are incompatible with Picatinny-rail accessories. With the plethora of readily available accessories that use Picatinny rails, the use of Weaver rails adds some inconvenience and begs us to ask Hi-Point why they haven’t updated these rails.
The metal sights on the 995 TS are easy to use and adjust. They are also well protected. The front post is fixed and surrounded by a solid steel housing, although not adjustable. The rear aperture sits inside a stamped steel mounting plate that attaches to the Weaver rail with four screws. The screw directly behind the rear aperture also adjusts the sight for elevation. A small screw on the side of the aperture adjusts for windage. The rear aperture has a small opening that promotes precision.
“TS” stands for “tactical stock,” an update to the classic 995 model. The stock on the 995 TS is made entirely of polymer, which includes the integral pistol grip. The grip sees double duty as the magazine well.
The buttpad on the 995 TS is unique in that it includes a shock-absorbing system designed to reduce felt recoil. This feature will likely appeal to new shooters because it does reduce the small amount of recoil a 9mm cartridge generates is a carbine weighing just 6¼ pounds. However, the recoil reduction also induces a degree of rifle bounce that inhibits accurate rapid fire. Since this carbine is unlikely to see serious use in competitive shooting, the recoil reduction system could be a worthy benefit.
The 995 TS tested by Guns & Ammo came with a single 10-round magazine. The magazine and carbine proved reliable with one load tested, but did not function reliably with the Remington’s 124-grain jacketed hollowpoint (JHP) or SIG Sauer’s 147-grain hollowpoint.
Tested at 1.13 inches, the Remington load fared worse than SIG’s. The length of the cartridges, combined with the large opening in the nose, caused a few rounds to go nose-down instead of feeding into the chamber when the bolt came forward to pick up a new round. This isn’t to say that no JHP bullet would feed well in the 995 TS, just that the two tested here did not. Federal Syntech 130-grain synthetic-jacket round-nose (SJRN) bullet had no issues.
Shooting and handling the carbine was a simple affair. It is little surprise how many new shooters can learn this gun so quickly. Locking the bolt to the rear requires either an empty magazine in the carbine or the use of the charging handle, a TS feature. While it does take some dexterity to get the charging handle to lock the bolt open, a quick rearward tug is enough to release the bolt and send it forward.
The 995 TS’ one 10-round, single-stack magazine has witness holes along the side to easily determine how many rounds are available. Twenty-round magazines are offered on the aftermarket from Redball Sports (redballsports.net) for $25. They look like two 10-round magazines stuck together end-to-end by an adaptor.
The 995’s magazine release is a button found just behind the triggerguard, as is expected on most pistols. Activating the magazine release with the carbine shouldered requires large hands and extra-long thumbs. More than likely, it’ll be necessary to remove the carbine from the shoulder and rotate it slightly inboard to reach the magazine release.
The 995 TS safety is well designed. It is a two-position selector lever that sits just above the thumb of a right-handed shooter. It is easy to manipulate, even when the shooter shoulders the carbine. The safety is completely flat and stays out of the way, but deliberate effort moves it easily.
Hi-Point threads the muzzle of the 995 TS at a ½-28 pitch. The blowback action means there will be no issues due to increased bolt velocity, as can occur with other firearm designs.
The Hi-Point 995 TS carbine has low recoil, is chambered in a readily available cartridge, and is more accurate than many would expect when shot using loads it likes. It is a good choice for anyone in search of an inexpensive recreational firearm, or one for self-defense. However, any recommendation for using the 995 TS in self-defense includes a couple caveats. The shooter will need to spend time at the range to determine what ammunition feeds reliably from the magazine. Bullets with an round nose or full-metal-jacket (FMJ) profile will provide the best results.
Also, G&A suggests that you factor the price of more than one magazine as well as time at the range to ensure they function reliably. Once those conditions are met, the Hi-Point 995 TS could make an worthwhile firearm choice for a new shooter, or one on a limited budget.
Hi-Point Firearms 995 TS Camo WC
- Type: Direct blowback, semiautomatic
- Caliber: 9mm
- Capacity: 10 rds.
- Barrel: 16.5 in.; 1:12-in. twist
- Overall Length: 31 in.
- Weight: 6 lbs., 4 oz.
- Length of Pull: 14.5 in.
- Finish: Matte blue (steel)
- Sights: Fixed post (front); adj. aperture (rear)
- Trigger: 7 lbs., 8 oz. (tested)
- Safety: Two-position selector
- MSRP: $373
- Manufacturer: Hi-Point Firearms, 419-747-9444, hi-pointfirearms.com