I hated small car pistols up to the SCCY CPX-2
Matt Korovesis 9/30/15
The world of small carry guns is crowded and dominated by a handful of well-known manufacturers. If you ask a shooter what they’re wearing, you will likely get an answer with one of the following brand names: Glock, Smith & Wesson, Ruger, Sig Sauer, Beretta, or Kel-Tec. Each of these companies offers a range of different compact and small arms to suit the needs and tastes of almost every shooter.
One name that has gradually worked its way into this storied bunch is SCCY (pronounced “heaven”). SCCY focuses exclusively on making affordable, reliable, and well-made carrying pistols. His first offer was the CPX-1, a small, only double-acting 9×19 mm semi-automatic machine that came onto the market in 2005. The CPX-2 was presented five years later. Since the manual safety of its predecessor is missing, the CPX-2 is perfect for those who do not want to mess around with levers when drawing their weapon.
After touring SCCY’s facilities in Daytona Beach, Florida during this spring’s Big 3 East event, I had the opportunity to try out one of the company’s CPX-2s. This is the part in the review where I claim that I was initially skeptical of the product for some silly reason, such as the fact that it comes with a purple or orange frame. But aside from the color options, the CPX-2 didn’t have any weird quirks to belittle other than the fact that it was a small car gun – and I just fucking hate small car guns. That’s why I think of most pocket pistols like this:
- They’re incredibly no fun to shoot (I know, I know – gun shooting isn’t supposed to be fun. But how can you practice with a gun that is physically uncomfortable to shoot?)
- They are overpriced
- Their grips are way too tight (which adds to the fun shooting experience described above)
- Your triggers are too heavy even if they have manual fuses
For me, shooting with guns is mostly a pastime. I shoot for fun (and work) and small car guns aren’t much fun. Even when I carry it, it’s usually a full-size pistol or slightly under the size of a pistol in an IWB holster under a large coat – I’m just more comfortable with shooting and rely on these types of guns.
The CPX-2 is available in different frame colors. Purple is clearly the best choice.
Despite my concerns, I decided to give the CPX-2 a try. It was cheap, I could get it purple, and I thought I still owe the small car world another chance. After five months of photographing and wearing it, I just want to say one thing: I really like the SCCY CPX-2 and will be wearing it every day of the week.
Before I go into any further detail, here is how the gun breaks in terms of specs. Its dimensions are very similar to those of other small cars.
- Caliber: 9x19mm
- Length: 5.7 “
- Height: 4 “
- Barrel length: 3.1 “
- Yaw rate: 1:16 “
- Width: 1 “
- Weight: 15 oz
- Frame material: polymer
- Reviewer’s Weapon Frame Color: Purple
- Receiver material: 7075-T6 aluminum alloy
- Capacity: 10 rounds (double-stack magazines)
- Trigger: Double action only, about 9 pounds
- MSRP: $ 314 (can be found online for $ 275 or less)
While the CPX-2 has a heavy double-action-only (DAO) trigger, it is the only DAO semi-automatic I have ever shot where the trigger feels perfect. The 9 pound pull is smooth and requires just the right amount of force for a safety-free carry pistol. It also has one of the most positive resets I’ve ever felt on a small car. The generously palpable reset facilitates quick follow-up shots.
The CPX-2 (above) and a Ruger LC9.
The handle of the pistol sits incredibly well in my hand and is correspondingly wide – I don’t scratch my first thumb knuckle with the trigger finger as I do with pistols with narrower handles. This also made the gun more controllable and easier to land follow-up shots, as I didn’t subconsciously struggle to correct my grip after each shot.
When you buy a new CPX-2, it comes with two 10-round double-stack magazines. The magazines are equipped with finger extension bases that can be exchanged for flat bases (also included). I never felt the need to put the flat bases on, as the CPX-2 with the extended bases was still easy to hide, easy to draw and easy to shoot. Pull-and-shoot exercises with the pistol were quick and easy, especially due to the lack of manual safety devices.
I ran about 700 laps through the CPX-2 and I didn’t notice a single error. I am convinced of its ability to function reliably when needed.
I have not performed any accuracy tests on the test bench with the CPX-2 – it did not seem necessary. When shooting human-shaped targets at distances between three and ten meters with commercially available ammunition, the rapid-fire groups were sufficiently narrow (two or more shots within five inches).
An overhead comparison of the CPX-2 (left) and the LC9. The CPX-2 is only a tenth of an inch wider than the LC9, but can carry three more laps and, in the author’s opinion, offers a significantly better grip.
Ultimately, I actually enjoyed the range with the CPX-2, something I had not experienced with any other small pistol that I have shot.
It is very comfortable to carry the CPX-2 concealed. I carried it both in my pocket and in IWB holsters with no problems. A number of manufacturers, including Alien Gear and DeSantis, offer great holsters for the CPX-2.
I’ve been wearing the CPX-2 for most of the past summer in Detroit. Even though I lived in a nicer area, it was still a good idea to be armed if possible. The CPX was easy to wear for walks down the street to the liquor store, long walks around the neighborhood, and bike rides – I wore shorts and a light t-shirt during most of the time.
Maybe I just like my CPX-2 because it’s purple. Maybe I just like it because it’s cheap. Or maybe it’s just a hell of a good gun for the price and actually fun to shoot.
The CPX-2 is fun to shoot, reliable, affordable and easy to transport – what more could you want from a carrying pistol?
The CPX-2 is now my favorite piece and always ends up in my range bag, which I have never been able to say about a pocket pistol. It covers all of my general criticisms of carrying guns and more.
If you’re curious, try renting one from your local range. You could get addicted too.