February 07, 2020
Despite being a relative newcomer, SCCY Industries has managed to carve out a slice of the competitive world of economical concealed carry pistols. SCCY recently introduced their fourth and newest semiautomatic double-stack, the CPX-4. The CPX-1 and CPX-2 are both chambered in 9mm, while the CPX-3 and new CPX-4 feed .380 ACP. All offer a magazine capacity of 10 rounds.
The CPX-4 follows the form and function of the CPX-3. The difference between the two is that the CPX-4 comes with a manual safety. Each of the CPX models closely resembles the others and operate utilizing a double-action only (DAO), hammer-fired design.
Like the others, the new CPX-4 has a long trigger stroke, but is relatively smooth. Pivoting from the frame, the compact hammer is enshrouded within the slide, which is said to prevent it from hanging-up when fired.
For those accustomed to any of the popular striker-fired guns, the SCCY’s trigger will feel heavier. Guns & Ammo’s sample measured 8 pounds, 6 ounces. For certain shooters and those who this pistol is marketed to, the extra trigger-pull weight isn’t necessarily bad for a carry pistol. A heavier trigger can add a layer of security against negligent discharges. The trigger’s reset is long, also. If you can put aside your initial assumptions, you’ll find that the SCCY’s trigger pull is rather smooth and even. In fact, after some time, a person can even learn the pull well enough to recognize its break point.
Until recently, the trend for .380-chambered pistols has been to shrink the gun. Some guns are so small that they can be concealed under light clothing.
The Kel-Tec P3AT ($338) holds six rounds in the magazine and weighs 7.7 ounces. The original Ruger LCP ($259) also holds six rounds and weighs just 9.6 ounces. If you have size Large or larger hands, these other DAO .380s may be easier to pocket carry, but they are not as easy to shoot accurately or as comfortably for some shooters as the CPX-3 and -4. The larger grip circumference seems to improve comfort and recoil management. The CPX-4 ($305) is larger, measuring 4 ½-inches tall, 5.3-inches long and weighs 15 ounces when unloaded. The CPX-4’s added weight with ammunition noticeably reduces felt recoil, also.
Most .380 ACP loads are not hot. The average pressure of a typical .380 load is 21,500 pounds per square inch (psi). By comparison, a 9mm averages 35,000 psi and +P loads up that number to 38,500 psi. Still, a defensive .380 round can cause the really small pistols to jump.
The double-stack SCCY models offer a wider pistol grip than most of its competitors. Though its textured surface is not aggressive, the CPX-4’s finger grooves allow us to hold firmly. The triggerguard’s undercut and the beavertail on the back of the frame improve our leverage to the bore axis and helps to make this a comfortable .380 to shoot.
Like the CPX-3, the CPX-4 includes three, 10-round magazines. Two have flat bases, while one mag offers a finger extension. The 10-round magazine is made of steel and offers sufficient spring pressure to keep cartridges moving up without being so stiff that it is difficult to load.
The polymer grip is made of Zytel and is 1.1-inches wide, which is .16-of-an-inch wider than Remington’s six-plus-one round RM380 ($328). The CPX-4 carries like these subcompact, but shoots as if it were a larger compact.
The CPX-4’s slide and barrel are machined from 416 stainless steel bar stock. These slides sport five curved serrations at the rear for racking, and none at the front.
SCCY offers the choice of a black nitride finish or a matte stainless slide. Unlike most modern polymer-framed semiautos, the SCCY has its serialized receiver machined from 7075-T6 billet aluminum that is installed into the frame. This is a robust grip frame, a design developed by SCCY’s Founder and President Joe Roebuck.
Roebuck also incorporated his so-called “Quad-Lock” system. It’s one that locks the barrel into four places within the slide for stability and consistency. Upward pressure on the chamber locks the muzzle into a V-shaped groove and creates four distinct points of support. When lockup occurs, the barrel is stabilized in this position. There is no play between the barrel and the slide. It’s a simple system that’s cost-effective and improves the CPX’s accuracy. Controls are simple and easy to operate. On the left side of the gun is the slide stop lever and the magazine release button.
The CPX-4 adds an ambidextrous safety to its feature list. The small safety lever pivots down to fire in the manner of a Model 1911, revealing a red dot that indicates the safety is disengaged. This safety is a great feature for those that prefer to conceal carry in the appendix position.
It’s currently popular for carry guns to possess a minimalist approach to controls with an aim for a pistol that’s not much wider than 1-inch-wide. The intent is to minimize the risk of snagging and make it less noticeable that you’re carrying a pistol. However, the tradeoff is that minimized controls can be difficult to find and operate. In contrast, SCCY offers more pronounced controls on the CPX models. The overall theme of the gun seems to be that it is large enough to use comfortably, but not so big that it’s an imposition.
Disassembly is fast and easy. With the gun unloaded and the magazine removed, you simply lock the slide back and pull the takedown pin from the left side of the frame. SCCY recommends using a flat-nosed screwdriver or a .380 case, but we figured out that a used .22 LR case worked well.
Inside the slide, the CPX-4 returns the slide to battery with a steel, encapsulated recoil spring and guiderod assembly underneath the 2.96-inch stainless steel barrel. Up top, three white-dot sights guide the eyes to align the sights. The rear sight is dovetailed into the slide and is drift-adjustable, while the post front sight is pinned. The slide also features a glare-reducing serration that runs between the front and rear sight. You can’t help but to notice that there are five, distinct white lines that works to index the rear sight when making left and right adjustments.
Carrying the CPX-4
The SCCY is easy to conceal. Even fully-loaded with 11 rounds, the CPX-4 weighed just 20 ounces, so it was no burden to carry. The CPX-4 doesn’t have a particularly large footprint, and at 4½-inches high and 5.3-inches long, it doesn’t require a large holster, either. The CPX-4 isn’t as concealable as small, lesser-capacity .380s, but most shooters find that it can be easily hidden under most clothing types.
Moisture and perspiration can take a toll on carry guns. The CPX-4 tested by G&A’s staff featured a black nitride finish on the slide. Sweat can make the grip of any handgun slippery, but the texturing on the sides and backstrap, combined with the deep finger grooves, improved our confidence in control during rapid fire.
At The Range
The grip design promotes good hand position for a fast draw and maximum control over the pistol. With its 2.9-inch barrel and basic three-dot sights, the CPX-4 clearly isn’t meant to be a target pistol, but it still managed to print groups between 2½ and 4 inches from 25 yards. For a short-barreled .380, that’s more than acceptable.
G&A’s sample produced a point of impact at that range measuring 3-inches high and slightly to the left, but the drift-adjustable rear sight allowed us to center the gun’s point of impact.
Having a DAO trigger and a manual safety is too much safety for some, but there are many shooters (including some who carry in the appendix position) who don’t feel comfortable carrying a loaded, chambered gun without a manual safety. For them, the CPX-4 could be ideal.
Magazine changes and slide drops are easy with the CPX-4, and the slide is easy to rack. This is a major concern for shooters with weak hands or dexterity issues. Try the SCCY. Overall, it’s easy to operate.
During testing, we experienced two failures while firing 600 rounds, half defensive, and the remainder from our range lot. Functionally, the CPX-4 performed quite well. With its long trigger pull, it’ll never outrun a striker-fired gun on a timer, but the CPX-4 allowed us to place accurate shots on target at least as quickly as a small revolver while having more capacity.
SCCY has distinguished the brand by miniaturizing the CPX-1 and -2 model to run .380 ACP. When com-pared to other .380s, the CPX-4 will tempt the concealed carry crowd. If you’re searching for a .380 carry gun with a little more size and the added security of a manual safety, then the CPX-4 is certainly worth a closer inspection.
SCCY CPX- 4 Specs
- Type: Hammer fired, recoil operated, semiautomatic
- Cartridge: .380 ACP
- Capacity: 10+1 rds.
- Barrel: 2.96 in.
- Overall Length: 5.70 in.
- Width: 1.26 in.
- Height: 4.9 in.
- Weight: 1 lb., 1.2 oz. (tested)
- Finish: Black nitride (tested) or natural stainless steel
- Trigger: 8.4 lbs.
- Sights: 3 white dot; post (front); drift- adjustable notch (rear)
- MSRP: $305
- Manufacturer: SCCY Firearms, 866-729- 7599, sccy.com
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