The “Best” First Gun — Hi-Point Firearms


It’s estimated that in the U.S., over 12 million guns were purchased from January through July of 2020. That includes almost 5 million first-time gun owners! If you are a first-time gun buyer, welcome to an enthusiastic group of target shooters, hunters, and self-defense minded citizens. Whatever you reason for buying your first gun, you’ll be in good company.

What should I buy as my first gun?

“What should I buy as my first gun?” That’s a question I get a lot, and I’ll bet many of you do too. What’s your go-to answer? I am sure there are plenty of SIG 365, Springfield Hellcat, Glock 19, and other proven choices. Likewise, there will be plenty of recommendations for a particular caliber over a platform i.e., .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, 10mm…

Bob Campbell shooting the Hi-Point C9 9mm over the hood of a truck
Firing over cover, the pistol performed well.

I got to thinking about it. While all of those are valid choices and great guns, are they really what most gun buyers choose for their gun? Maybe. To be honest, if you ask any major gun retailer (and many local shops) new shooter’s do not buy the best gun as their first gun. Instead, they shop by price — the lowest price.

It makes some sense. Should a new driver learn to drive in a Ferrari? Would you recommend a $350 fishing rod with a baitcast reel to teach someone to fish or the $35 Zebco combo? On the other hand, that fact that you’re unlikely to be depending on a fishing rod to defend your life is a valid point.

So, what should you pick or recommend as a first handgun? To be honest, the gun you have in your hand is better than wagging your finger at a bad guy and hoping they go away. There are a lot of price-point guns that are reliable and will more than get the job done, but there are a few factors to consider.

Choosing Your First Gun

First, do you plan on buying the gun and keeping it in your home for self-defense, for concealed carry, target shooting, or a combination of all three? There are features on different guns that are favored for one discipline over others.

I cannot argue that top tier manufacturers such as Springfield, SIG Sauer, Smith and Wesson, and a host of others are all great choices. However, in my experience, I’ve found that new shooters and first-time buyers select a gun more for price than function, and that’s not an all bad idea. Before you drove a car for the first time, you may have been fawning over certain models (muscle car, luxury model etc.) for years, but that was strictly for looks, peer pressure, and marketing jibber-jabber. But, how much first-hand knowledge did you have?

Nighthawk 6-inch Echelon 1911
Guns such as the Nighthawk 6-inch Echelon 1911 are absolutely at the front of the pack but looks, style, machining, and accuracy enhancing features come at cost. Most first time gun buyers would not be about to shoot well enough to take advantage of all of the upgrades right away, but if you have the budget…

Why Choose a Hi-Point?

Read the internet forums or listen to shooters at the range and you’ll find your share of haters. What you won’t find are many with any actual experience with a Hi-Point. Like I said, for hundreds of thousands of shooters, the Hi-Point was their first gun. New shooters make often make two mistakes that cause a malfunction from a semi-automatic handgun. First, they fail to achieve a firm grip. The error is called ‘limp wristing.’

Second, a proper two-handed grip for a semi-auto has both thumbs pointing forward. A semi-auto blowback system uses the gases created from the cartridge being fired to propel the slide backward against the springs. The energy of the springs being compressed then pushes the slide forward loading the next cartridge.

New shooter’s often get a thumb too high on the slide causing it to drag, which in turn causes a failure to eject or failure to chamber a new round. The manufacturer’s reputation takes the blame, but it was the shooter that caused the problem. The moral of the story is ‘buying a new gun is not enough. Get some training as well.’


One of the most popular handgun brands sold today is Hi-Point. Often you can get into a Hi-Point C9 or Yeet Cannon, for about $180, cheaper on sales.

Hi-Point C9 Yeet Cannon, left profile
THe Hi-Point Yeet Cannon is an upgraded C9 that is more than work a few dollars more.

Hi-Point YC9 and Yeet Cannon

  • Threaded 1/2 x 28 barrel
  • +P ammunition rated
  • High-impact polymer frame
  • High-impact grips
  • Aggressively-styled slide design and serrations
  • 3-dot, fully adjustable sights
  • Free extra rear peep sight
  • Last round lock open
  • Free trigger lock
  • Magazine disconnect safety
  • Quick on-off manual safety
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 1913 accessory rail

The Hi-Point is far from a SIG or Glock, but it will serve just fine as a first gun. Given the cost, every member of your family could own a Hi-Point for the cost of a high-end SIG or Springfield. Other Hi-Point handguns are chambered for .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and 10mm.

Just because it does not bust the budget does not mean it can’t have a little bling to it. Want something a little flashier, check out Hi-Point’s Sparkle series.

Home Defense — Carbines

At times, you may want more than a handgun for hoe defense or predator control around the ranch. While Hi-Point’s handguns have suffered from a meme or two, its carbines are another story. Available in .380 ACP, 30 Super Carry, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and 10mm, Hi-Point is sure to have a carbine that not only fits your budget, but the firepower you desire as well. Best of all, if you get a pistol and carbine in the same caliber, they use the same magazines.

Hi-Point 995 9mm carbine on a wooden palate
The author had no issues with JHP or FMJ rounds, even a few remanufactured rounds went through the gun just fine.

You don’t have to have the most expensive or most popular gun to have a reliable gun. I own custom handguns that start at about $3,000 and work their way up from there. To be honest, they are the ones I carry most often too. They are reliable, accurate, lightweight, and smooth with great triggers. However, open my safe and you’ll also find more than one Hi-Point gun as well. I did not start high priced gun, and have written more than once about my affinity for “cheap” guns.

Have you fired a Hi-Point pistol or carbine? Which caliber do you prefer for concealed carry or home defense? Share your answers in the comment section.

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