Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Guns: Sccy CPX-2 review

INTRODUCTION

When it comes to firearms, you usually get what you pay for. If all you can afford is a $100 handgun, so be it. It's (usually) better than nothing...just don't expect reliability, accuracy, or comfort.

Thankfully, most people can drop a little more dough on their pistol, though they still might be unable to pony up the $500+ for GLOCK or M&P. Kel-Tec, a firearms manufacturer based in Cocoa, Florida, has made a healthy business selling to budget-minded consumers; most of its pistols, like the popular P3AT and PF9, have street prices under $300. So does the subject of today's review, the Sccy Industries CPX-2:


DISCLAIMER: Unlike the other guns reviewed here at Shangrila Towers, I didn't buy the CPX-2 with my own money. Bob, the proprietor of my Friendly Local Gun Shop, allowed me to borrow the gun (which he purchased off the shelf) in order to test it. Despite the freebie, I vowed to do an objective review of the gun's performance. So, without further ado...

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The CPX-2 comes in a striking red cardboard box. It almost looks like something you'd find in a gaming store:


Inside, the pistol is protected with nicely-cut foam, and comes with two magazines (incredible for a pistol at this price point), extra flat baseplates for the magazines, a trigger lock, and a manual. The CPX-2 is one of the only guns I've ever seen that comes with the trigger lock already in place - likely becase the box is too small to have the lock floating around as a separate piece:


The darn thing is small - about the same height, length, and weight as a 5-shot .38 Special snubnose revolver. It's a bit thicker overall, but slimmer than the revolver's cylinder:


The muzzle is very Kel-Tec-ish. Think of the CPX-2 as the Mirror Universe version of the Kel-Tec P11:


CONTROLS

The CPX-2 ditches the awkward manual safety from its predecessor, the CPX-1. Most people never used the safety in the first place, and I've read anecdotal evidence that it could inadvertently engage during firing, causing a malfunction. The gun is also equipped with a slide lock/release, which worked fine during testing.

Bob pointed out that the CPX-2's magazine release extended a little too far out of the frame, and we agreed that the magazine release spring was a little too weak compared to most pistols. Now, to be fair, I didn't experience any instances of the CPX-2's mag falling out, but I could see people having that problem, especially if the gun was exposed to the jostles and jolts of daily concealed carry:


The CPX-2's true double-action only trigger pull is quite heavy and "crunchy" - very similar to the awful trigger found in the Kel-Tec P-11. The actual pull isn't as long as the P-11's, but there's more staging and creepiness through the pull. The hammer is not precocked or preloaded by the slide in any way - each pull of the trigger cocks and fires the CPX-2 ("second strike capability," as it's known in gun ads).

RANGE REPORT

Recoil from the CPX-2 is pretty jarring, like with most pistols this size. The relatively wide double-stack grip ensures the gun won't jump out of your hand like a flyweight .380, but it's still not a pleasant experience. The slide movement was so violent that, after about a hundred rounds, I noticed the frame pins were walking out. Over the next two hundred rounds, I had to push them in with the end of the magazine to keep shooting the gun - not exactly something that gives you confidence in a gun:



Despite all this, the CPX-2 was actually fairly accurate - if I concentrated, I could empty entire magazines into index card-sized groups at 7 yards. Not the equal of a standard service pistol (my M&P9C can throw out a 1" group at that distance), but decent considering the price.

Now the bad news: out of three hundred rounds of factory ammo (Winchester, Federal, and Remington 115 grainers) I experienced at least six light firing pin strikes. Granted, all but one of the rounds could be fired with a second strike from the hammer, but this is plainly unacceptable in a defensive pistol. Aside from the light strikes, I counted one failure to feed and one failure to extract in the three hundred rounds set.

After the course of fire, Bob examined the gun and noted excessive wear in the guide rod - not what you want to see after only 6 or so boxes of 9mm. Aside from the guide rod, the rest of the pistol seemed to be in good shape.

CONCLUSION

I really wanted to like the Sccy CPX-2. It fits well in hand, comes with two magazines, and even looks pretty handsome considering the roughly $250 street price (for those keeping score, that's basically half what a new GLOCK 26 or S&W M&P9c costs). Though I did have the one FTF and the one FTE, the basic design looks sound enough, given enough tweaking to the hammer and firing pin to eliminate the ignition problems.

At the same time, however, I have to review guns as they are, not as I'd wish them to be. Frankly, I would never carry the CPX-2 for self-defense; the light firing pin strikes and other stoppages I experienced are unacceptable in something you're betting your life on. Last I heard, Bob's sending this gun back to the factory - hopefully everything will get sorted out. I'll post an update if we have any luck.

43 Comments:

At 10:50 AM, Blogger roger said...

Interesting. i have 2 Gen 2 SCCY's and have none of the issues you mention. Of course you are a gun expert.

 
At 7:50 PM, Blogger Mulliga said...

I don't doubt there are Sccys that run well - as I said in the review, the basic design seems okay. Heck, I may have gotten one with an out of spec firing pin or something. I'm hoping Sccy can work these bugs out, eventually.

 
At 9:24 PM, Blogger coolfez said...

The reason it is similar to Kel-Tec is because the Sccy was started by former Kel-Tec employees.

 
At 9:19 PM, Anonymous saberg said...

Thanks for the review. You hit all the points that I would want to know about any weapon before I purchase.
For the price I think I will get one. I would like to know if Bob had any luck sending it to the factory. You know I am more willing to take a chance on a gun that's "quality" might be hit or miss if the company has a rep for good customer service.

 
At 3:47 PM, Blogger Mulliga said...

I don't really know whether the Sccy I reviewed came back with a clean bill of health. I do know that the factory took it back and fixed it without much fuss, so there's that.

 
At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am a ffl dealer in south florida and i have probably sold 25 or 30 of these cpx-2's. i have only had one person who has had a problem with it. and that was with a bad part in the trigger group. the gun carries a lifetime guarnatee and sccy repaired it and had it back in 3 days. eveyone who has purchased one from me has told me the gun is accurate, functions well. i have one and i have tested it with 300 rounds of winchester ball ammo. i had one stove pipe. the only complaint i have had from anyone is that the magazines are hard to load out of the box. they say the springs are a littel heavy. sccy recommends loading them and letting them set for 2 weeks to relax the springs. personally, i just clipped one coil off mine and they work like a charm. it's a great gun for the money. for someone on a budget or for someone that doesn't want to spend $500 on a 9mm, it's your gun!

 
At 8:44 AM, Blogger BillyBob said...

I have been considering a new CPX-2. I have read some of the same concerns you had from others. I wonder if some polishing and buffing of the internals would help with some of the trigger feel and light strikes?

The recoil concerns me a bit as this would be for my Wife.

 
At 9:50 PM, Blogger Mulliga said...

I'm not sure whether the trigger and firing pin would respond to gunsmithing - and of course it's dangerous to do so unless you know what you're doing.

In terms of recoil, the CPX-2 felt a lot like a PF9/P11, though the slide cycling felt a bit more "wild" than the Kel-Tec pistols (for lack of a better adjective). If your wife can handle the recoil of a PF9, she should be able to deal with a CPX-2, but it's not a soft shooter by any stretch of the imagination.

 
At 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have enjoyed mine alot its just what u like u can always sell it if u dont like it

 
At 6:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We just bought one of these and i havent been able to find the safety on it...is there one?

 
At 5:44 PM, Blogger Mulliga said...

The CPX-1 has a safety. The CPX-2 does not.

 
At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These guns are terrible! Do not waste your money. Failure to extract on all kinds of ammo! The frame pins walk out of the gun while firing. you will need a new guide rod with every new box of ammo. Hard to immagine a worse product. Their customer service is great but I do not see how they can stay in business with their quality issues. RUN AWAY!

 
At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only advice I have for you is to not buy your wife a pistol unless she has picked it out. Women are very particular. I'm sure she wouldn't be happy with a purse if you picked it out for her. I am a women and I own a accuse cpx-2 generation 2 its a great gun and I love it but with a 9 pounds trigger pull its pretty hard to pull the trigger and actually hit. I know personally I have decided to trade mine in on one with a lighter trigger pull. As for the recoil, it wasn't bad, as long as you were holding it right. What sucked was pulling the trigger, it hurt my finger, cause not only is it a heavy pull but a long one. This is a gun I would not suggest for any women.

 
At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just bought the cpx-2,stove pipes,jams failure to eject,weak hits on primer.sad i love the look ,price and feel :(

 
At 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I own a Cpx-2 and I havent had any problems with ftf or ftf but I use 9 mm Luger amo per owners manual not +p as that amo will damage the gun.

 
At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a women, I love this gun. Unfortunately I haven't had it that long so I can't talk much about any issues. Trigger pull is not that bad, weight is great, recoil minimal. I have a harder time loading the clip than anything.

 
At 12:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have one of these little monsters. Trigger group has been polished, feed ramp polished, front strap of the grip has been drooled and the guide rod polished. I am a gunsmith and completed this work myself. Not one problem with this gun. I have put about 500 rounds through it and it has been good. For someone looking for a inexpensive gun for self defence or home protection. I feel it is not a bad choice.

 
At 3:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

U just sed ur a gunsmith, n u did all that to ur gun, I'm not n woulnt be able to do all that, so will it still work with out a problem for me with out all that work u did to urs, I'm not sure what gun I want to buy, the sccy cpx2 gen2 or the melted pf9

 
At 3:11 PM, Blogger Mulliga said...

Yeah - 12:30 AM, that sounds like a fair amount of gunsmithing, considering the gun itself is worth about 200 bucks. ;-P

 
At 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not sure about the function of this gun, but I purchased this gun anyway.I owned many a weapons,Muliga,you said that the gunsmith did a lot of work to the cpx-2, any gun guy could do this simple amount work to this, I have done all this to my guns, accept drooled part. With a dremel tool this can be done in ten minutes. I recomend to everyone to do this and oil first before u fire. Why u say, do this to new gun. Its medal. parts aint smooth yet. and thats that. If you don't anything about guns, leave them alone, and stay home. You will get hurt or worse! I fair amount of gunsmithing, really lol!! I think not sir. have nice day:) I could do it my sleep. 11:51P.M post time!

 
At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and do not operate firearms while under the influence :)

 
At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have put 550 rounds through my CPX-2 and have had zero problems.
No misfires, no light strikes.
The recoil was NOT that bad for me but I work with my hands and am perhaps a little stronger than most. Would buy another without thought.
I have been using the Federal 9mm Luger ammo 115 grain FMJ RN
Guide rod issue has been corrected.

 
At 1:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have one and so far no problems. Have not shot it a lot though. Comfortable to carry and nice sights. I wish it has a loaded chamber indicator though. Trigger pull is a little heavy but, good for safety to some degree. I wish it came in a case instead of a box though. Better than Hi-Point for only slightly more money.

 
At 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

b4 buying my cpx2 i called sccy talked 2 tech. he said buy black box as any updates are done. as with all guns ..its ongoing. was also told lifetime follows gun not original owner. i'm 200 rounds in. that's fmj and defensive rounds and yes +p 135. not a glitch. i polished my feed ramp,cleaned and oiled inside clips that made loading easier. trigger has lightened some but it's what you pay for a no safety gun.

 
At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought one fired around 100 rounds though the cpx2 and it broke. It cost me a whopping 65 dollars to send it back. They sent me a new one. and I have fired less than 100 rounds and it jams repeatedly.Or I have to lock it into position to extract spent shell. When cleaning I notice spring is bent. I'm going to return it again and sell the new one.I have replaced it with a better weapon. not happy junk if you ask me.

 
At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

J Cip
I was worried about the price being so low. I tried out a number of different guns in this category. The grips on most were flimsy and uncomfortable. A Sig P938 had a pretty good feel but the CPX2 felt and functioned like the P938 at half the price. I also want to say that I just purchased a S&W M41 for a thousand dollars and have had a lot of problems with it (ammo feed). So, do you always get what you paid for....I don't always think so.

 
At 10:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are the magazines the same as keltec p11

 
At 4:08 PM, Anonymous BUCKNAKEDBULLFROG said...

I recently got a CPX-2 in a black box.I have run 100 rounds of Magtech 115fmj and 50 rounds of American eagle 115fmj thur it no prolems.

 
At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Park said...

I have a cpx-2 for about a month. Carry it regularly. About 200 rounds through it. Not a problem anywhere. Breaks down and cleans easily. Only issue is the springs are tight in mags when you first load. Let them sit full for 24 hours and problem goes away.

 
At 9:41 PM, Blogger jose said...

Can you use a 9mm luger bullet on a 9mm cpx 2 gun

 
At 5:56 PM, Blogger cmonster said...

This gun is very good for what you pay for it and the job it was designed for. (11 rounds in a package that fits in a pocket without printing and if you learn how to shoot it will deliver all 11 where you want them to go) I carry a CPX2 for CCW and shoot IDPA with a Sig p226. Let me compare. When you pay 900.00 for a handgun, you expect it to be perfect out of the box. The sig was not. When you pay 250.00, you can expect that fit and finish might be average or less. The CPX-2 was just that, average. Were the mags stiff and sticky, yes. Some 400 grit to the sharp edges on the followers with some dry lube, now smoother and easier to load. (After two weeks of being kept loaded, they are much easier to load) Was the factory lube on slide, and internals "iffy" on the CPX2? Yes. Took it apart, cleaned it, properly lubed it (I use "Tetra") and it has functioned perfectly for 300 rounds so far of mixed hollow points, WWB and some reloads (all JHP). (I did polish the feed ramp but the original finish on the ramp was fairly smooth already.) Some folks assume that a gun (cheap or expensive) should function perfectly "out of the box". If your life depends on it, change the assumption. Take it apart, get to know how it is put together, clean, lube and figure out how it works so that when you do it again, you can see if problems are about to occur. If I had run the Sig "out of the box" without doing the above, I would still have a creepy trigger, a rough slide and a number of other things that were corrected simply by field stripping and cleaning. Would I rather have three or four CPX2's instead of the sig? No. Are both guns very good at what they are designed for? Yes. Try hiding a 226 in your pants...

 
At 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a CPX2 purchased in the black box. I have 2000 rds through it without an issues.The gun was origanaly a CPX1 but I hated the safety digging into my hand. Sent it to SCCY they changed it to a CPX2 at no charge to me. I carry this gun everyday and have no issues with depending on it to save my life it needed.

 
At 12:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a helpful review. I saw one today at the store and I couldn't believe the price. The problems that have been described I have experienced with many other so called high quality guns. For a few hundred dollars it seems like it would be a good purchase.

 
At 2:08 PM, Blogger Joshua Hill said...

I have had none of these issues with my gen2. I guess I should ask...did you oil and lubricate this firearm before shooting? I always do, as I have realized the factory almost always suger coats the outside, but not always the inside.

I myself having big hands like the feel. I carry a 9mm s&w 9voe and love it. I just cannot carry it concealed with the big 16 plus 1 . I personally thing the grouping at 20yrss was ttotally accepteble. All 11 woukd have stopped a bear in the groupings.

Also I refer to the trigger pull. Maybe it was just my ocd of oiling and lubricating but I did notice that smoothed out considerably as well as the gurgling spring sound from the slide.

I fir the price like it. It is good to have reviews as yours so we as owners may look for areas to tweek. Also if they read reviews, and hopefully they do...

Maybe the ones coming off the line have been better inspected for accuracy. Keep reviewing, I as a gun enthusiest always look forward to a REAL REVIEW as yours and not one of gun passion...lol

Thanks for the info. I will keep an eye on mine for issues you described. Thanks

 
At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

28 year police officer small department carry Glock 34 long slide in 9mm needed a small back up gun in left pocket for duty that did not cost an arm and a leg, and something to throw in the pocket on short trips into town etc.. With the recent gun scare in congress all prices have gone through the roof. Make sure you DO NOT use +P type ammo, stick around the 115 grain what every. Hollow point for people mixed with solid ball for penatration if you need it. And yes take it to the range and shoot it a lot make sure its going to work if you are going to bet your life on it. If your scared of recoil and don't like the kick then get something else like a 22. If you can't hit what your aming at then you out of luck spray and pray is never going to work, especailly with a small magazine. Always if possible always carry two spare mags, good luck and get the NRA CCW insurance for the day you that you hope never comes.

 
At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

24 years law enforcement retired. I carry the CPX2, easy to hide very reliable. Haven't had one single problem after 600 rounds. I bet my life and my wife's life on this weapon. Buy it, conceal it and rest easy. Great gun at any price...........it's my baby Glock.

 
At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a woman and I love my cpx2. Why? Because it hits the target every time! I've tried many others, but this gun fits my hand perfectly. I never really gave the recoil a thought. It's a non issue. Easy to conceal. I did hate the fact that at first I couldn't load the mag!!!!! Bought one of those loader things so now that's not an issue either. I carry this gun every day and trust it.....because it hits the target!!

 
At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a problem with the take down pin coming lose or coming completely out after shooting a clip.Sometimes after putting another clip in i can't advance the slide to load and have to fiddle with the pin and make sure it slides back in.

 
At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had nothing but trouble with my CPX2TT 9mm. Misfires,jams, clips nearly impossible to fully load. I am waiting for a return label now so that I can send it back for the third time.I would not bet my life on this gun and I would not recommend it to anyone.

 
At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bought yesterday (gen 2) and went to Range immediately. No cleanup or prep. Wanted a cheaper ammo range gun and/or carry gun. Shot over 100 rounds-115 and 124 grain bullets. HAD NO PROBLEMS!!! Repeat, NO PROBLEMS!!! Good quality-I can compare to my Glocks, Colt, Rugers and Smith and Wessons. Has a VERY even and smooth trigger pull and an expected break. DA feels exactly like my S & W Bodyguard .308 trigger pull. Both great. I like the pull amount for safety reasons. LESS recoil snap than my Glock 27 (.40)!!! Same snap as my .380. Shot all 3 guns at same session so could compare. Shot all at 7 yrds and then went to 10 yrds--every shot put in chest-head areas!! From ALL guns. No difference in accuracy. No hand discomfort after 1 1/2 hr at range. Got home and field stripped and was very clean and was lubed good from factory and looks nearly like my glock in quality. Mags were stiff to load but went home and used UpLULA and put all 10 in without any drama. Will leave in few days to see how spring loosens up.

Was worried about buying because of other reviews. Glad I bought it!!!! Thus, this gun exceeded by expectations. In my opinion, I will use as a range gun and as a carry gun. How can you go wrong for $250. Also don't forget lifetime guarantee.

This is my first ever comment to any you tube video, wanted to give my experience in detail, so sorry for the length.

 
At 4:24 PM, Blogger Gary Klein said...

Bought yesterday (gen 2) and went to Range immediately. No cleanup or prep. Wanted a cheaper ammo range gun and/or carry gun. Shot over 100 rounds-115 and 124 grain bullets. HAD NO PROBLEMS!!! Repeat, NO PROBLEMS!!! Good quality-I can compare to my Glocks, Colt, Rugers and Smith and Wessons. Has a VERY even and smooth trigger pull and an expected break. DA feels exactly like my S & W Bodyguard .308 trigger pull. Both great. I like the pull amount for safety reasons. LESS recoil snap than my Glock 27 (.40)!!! Same snap as my .380. Shot all 3 guns at same session so could compare. Shot all at 7 yrds and then went to 10 yrds--every shot put in chest-head areas!! From ALL guns. No difference in accuracy. No hand discomfort after 1 1/2 hr at range. Got home and field stripped and was very clean and was lubed good from factory and looks nearly like my glock in quality. Mags were stiff to load but went home and used UpLULA and put all 10 in without any drama. Will leave in few days to see how spring loosens up.

Was worried about buying because of other reviews. Glad I bought it!!!! Thus, this gun exceeded by expectations. In my opinion, I will use as a range gun and as a carry gun. How can you go wrong for $250. Also don't forget lifetime guarantee.

This is my first ever comment to any you tube video, wanted to give my experience in detail, so sorry for the length.

 
At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have 300 rds thru my cpx2..no problems at all..I know a blog site is where most come to vent..mags were very tight at begining but now load 9 without much effort..soon expect 10.. Problems with pins backing out probably due to using +p loads...if you are having problems read manual again and find out what you are doing WRONG..

 
At 12:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lhshtist, just bought the sccy gen2 and will test it this weekend. I own some big name pistols with big prices and every one of them required some kind of gun smithing and tuning. This new nine will also, no doubt require something. Be safe out there, watch you back.

 

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