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on time-tested designs, but companies arealso designing new gunsto fill the so far insatiable Photos by Steve Woods publicfor firearms appetite of the American that will orotectthem and theirfamiliesin an emeror more than a century self-defense- gency. And morepeople arecomingto the conminded people have been searching clusion thattheywill haveto relyon themselves for an inexpensiveand reliable carry in that emergency. As hard as the police try, gun that won't fall apart after firing a chancesare they won't be there in those few few rounds.Whentimes are particularly tough seconds whena threaimaterializes. and societyis facingmuch uncertainty, this deThese are just facts of life that thinkmand is evengreater, so I was very interested i n g p e o p l e - l i k e t h e f o l k s a t S C C Y to learnmoreaboutthe new CPX-2from SCCY Industries-understand. So, in keep(pronounced"sky") Industriesof Daytona ing with the proudAmerican way Beach,Florida. Although not the first offering of combining innovationand a of this relatively new companythat produced free market, SCCY decided its first pistol,the CPX-1 smal , in 2003,the CPX-2is to make high-quality, like the originalexceptfor the lack of a thumb 9mm handounsfor dissafety-a feature that manywill not miss. creet carry and sell We may livein the golden ageof gun design them at a price and production. Because of new manufacturing techniques and materials, companies are able to produceimproved versions of guns based fact u rers

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polymer griphascomfortable TheGPX-2's Zytel grooves, andrecoilonthesides finger lexturing onthebackstrap. holes absorbing

of thereis plenty kiggerguard, Witha fairlylarge hasa finger, Thewidetrigger room for a gloved pullbefore let-off. long,9-pound charge. Buildinga cheap gun is relatively easy, but building an inexpensive,quality gun isn't. SCCY may have succeeded, though. The company is confident about that because it offers a lifetime warranly on the CPX-2 that lasts for the life of the gun, not the owner. And that could be a very long time considering the company has oerformed several 5,000-round endurance tests with no breakages, and it has

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enough confidence in its guns to recommend changingsprings at 8,000 to 10,000 rounds. That's a lot more rounds than most people put through a gun in a lifetime. The company also advises that several law enforcementagenciesare testingthe pistols.

Gun Details
There is no doubt that the CPX-2 is inexpensive with a suggested retail price of only $299-and it will probably be priced by retailers for less. However, upon close inspection,the gun does not give the impressionthat it is cheap. lf you've ever handled a cheap handgun, you can pretty quickly tell without even shooting it that its quality is lacking and the gun is likelyto quit working after only a few hundred rounds or less. lt's impossible to get a magnet to stick to the barrel or slide, indicaiingthat the metal is of questionableorigin and strength,and if you take one of those guns io a gunsmith, chances are he will refuse to make any repairs to it because it will likelybreak when he is working on it. Howevel the CPX-2 is not one of those pot-metalguns. T h is 9mm Pa rab ellum s ubc om oac t semi-automatichas a solid steel slide and barrel ihat are made in Florida by SCCY along with all the other major metal parts. Even the recoil spring guide rod is steel-

and some more expensiveguns today utilize polymer for that part. The 3.1-inch barrel is machinedfrom a solid bar of stainlesssteel and then sandblasted. Inside the bore are seven lands and groovesmakingone right-hand twist in 16 inches.The slide is also made of stain-

less steel bar stock, is nicely machined with no blemishesand has been finely finished in a very hard and scratch-resistant black nitride,which is self-lubricating. The slide can be had in either black nitride or with a satin finishfor those wanting a twotone look. On each side at the rear of.the

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slide are five deeply cut serrations to help in acquiringa solid grip for cyclingthe slide by hand. And the slide isn't one of those tired, uninspired square-profileversions that print so obviously through clothing. Instead, it has angled corners that many will find attractive as well as practical. The only mark on the slide is the SCCY name, which appears on the left side. From its appearances,the CPX-2 seems to have been expertly manufactured, with no telltale machine marks that are often associated with inferiorguns. Atop the slide is a windage-adjustable, steel square notch rear sight with two white dots. The sight is held in place with a setscrew, making it easy to adjust without the use of a hammer and drift or a sight pusher.That's a nice and welcome feature, and it differentiates the gun from many that require special tools in order to zero. The white-dot front sight is a squared, beveled polymer blade that is press-fitinto the slide. Together, the front and rear sights create a very nice sight picture.Completingthe bar-

Witha recessed hammer, thereis little chance of it snagging TheCPX-2's rearsightis onclothing. for windage andmade of steel. drift-adjustable rel-slidegroup is the all-steel,captured dual recoil spring assembly. The long external extractor does a fine job of pullingfired casesfrom the chamber, and the fixed steel ejector does an equally fine job of flingingspent brass clear of the gun through the very wide ejection port. Although there is no passive firing pin block or safety,the company says that the

ACCURACY

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g r i p a n d t h e t r i g g e r g u ar d ,a n d th e sl i d e catch on the left side above the grip. The steel catch is over-molded with a wide Zytel shelf to provide plenty of surface for thumb contact when activating it. The magazine release positivelycapiured the s t e e l , d o u b l e - s t a c k m a g a zi n e a n d a l lowed it to drop freely when pressed.The gun is supplied with two magazines,and for the convenienceof the owner, SCCY provides two flat baseplatesand two finger-extension baseplates. They are easy to swap, so the shooter can mix or match the magazine bases. Thai is yet another feature not normallyfound on inexpensive g u n s . B e s i d e s t h e t w o m a g a zi n e s a n d four baseplates,the gun also comes with a trigger lock and two keys. T a k i n g d o w n t h e g u n fo r cl e a n i n g i s easy and will be familiarto those acquainted with modified-Browning-actionguns. First, make sure the gun is unloaded and steel theCPX-2 withtwo 10-round, SCCY ships andflat baseplates the magazineis removed.Double-checkit. magazines andbothextended Then lock the slide back and, using a flator matched. for each sothattheycanbemixed blade screwdriver,pry the iakedown pin ineriialfiring pin prevents accidentaldis- from ihe left side of the gun. Next, carefully the slidecatch while holdingthe disengage charge if the gun is dropped. The serial-numbered receiver is ma- slide firmly againstthe recoilspring and let chined from a solid bar of 7075-T6 aircraft- it slide off the front of the frame-receiver grade aluminum and is held firmly within assembly. Once this is done, the recoil the Zytel polymer frame by two steel pins. spring assembly can be removed from the The receiver'srails are about 3.5 inches barrel,which allows the barreland slide to long and provide plenty of bearing surface be separated.Assembly is in reverseorder. the gun, take care to on which the slide runs. This is a double- When reassembling gun, but the grip is still snap the takedown pin firmly in place. stack-magazine-fed only a littlewider than an inch. Still,il proRange Time vides the shooter with plenty of area to get A huge concern normally associated a solid grip on the gun. Helpingto secure the shooter's grasp are a textured back- with a handgun in the price range of the strap and side panels along with two finger CPX-2 is reliability.Does it work and does it work all the time? This gun is built for grooves on the frontstrap.There are five oblong holes on each side of the backstrap self-defense, and every instructor as well that the company explainshelp to cushion as everyone I know who carries a gun for as the number one against recoil.Although the effect is subtle, a living rates reliability inAs such, I was particularly I think that they do make recoil less notice- requirement. able-for a small, lightweightgun with a terested to see if there would be any malfunctionsonce I got it on the range. short grip, it was comfortableto shoot. with Afterfiringthe gun to gain familiarity The wide, serratedtrigger is surrounded by a triggerguardthat is large enough it, I tested it for accuracy at 7 yards, which to accommodate a gloved trigger finger. is the standard distance prescribed for subcompacts by Combat Handguns magAfter a long but fairly even stroke of about 9 pounds, the trigger on the test gun al- azine.Using a pistol rest at the Scottsdale lowed the internal hammer to fall after Gun Club, every one of the four loads just a bit of stacking near the end of the tested averaged about 2-inch groups for stroke. This makes precision shot place- five shots. Most people would agree that is an acceptableresult for a small 9mm gun ment a challenge,but the gun was not dewith a sight radiusof only 4.5 inches.More signed for that task. the gun never failed to fire or SCCY molded the frame with finger importantly, grooves at the top of the grip on each function properlyduring testing.This says side to add a bit of comfort, and there are a lot about the pistol and its maker. The CPX-2 and SCCY are newcomgrooves on each side of the dust cover that make a nice indexingpoint for the trig- ers to the firearms industry, but both bear ger finger when it should not be insidethe watching. Although the CPX-2 only has triggerguard. Those are pleasing details an MSRP of $299, there is nothing cheap about the pistol. lt is probably going to that one would not ordinarilyexpect on a find a market with those who are seeking gun that is priced so economically. B e s i d e s t h e t r i g g e r , t h e o n l y o t h e r value in a capable self-defensehandgun. visit sccy.com or call controls are the magazinerelease,which For more lnformation, a 866-729-7599. is a square button at the junction of the . February 2013 16 COMBATHANDGUNS COMBATHANDGUNS.com