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Hi-Point 10mm Carbine – Quality Garbage

This article originally appeared in CONCEALMENT 10

HI-POINT’S 10MM CARBINE EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS

If you choose cheap, skunk wine over the primo stuff — then the Hi-Point 1095TS 10mm might be your soulmate gun. We, on the other hand, laughed at the thought of reviewing this pistol-caliber carbine. But here we are.

It’s easy to poke fun at Hi-Point, because they make guns we’re unlikely to carry — but we’re not Hi-Point’s target market. The company knows its customer base and caters to them very well. With a lineup of pistols that meet the mark for throwaway guns, we think this 10mm carbine has more potential.

THEN AND NOW

There’s been an increase in the popularity of pistol-caliber carbines over the last couple of years. In 2016, the U.S. Practical Pistol Shooting Association officially recognized PPC as a division.

“The first ever USPSA PCC-only Area Championship had over 300 entries with one third of them unclassified in PCC division,” said Mike Foley, USPSA president. “In October of 1976, IPSC cofounder Rick Miller wrote [in] Guns & Ammo magazine, ‘We decided to leave the word pistol out of the title because, at some point in the future, we may wish to promote practical rifle shooting.’ The future is definitely here, and PCC is growing exponentially.”

The 10mm Auto is a round that’s developed a cult-like following. It’s no wildcat cartridge though, as it’s tested and approved by SAAMI, the firearm-specific standards organization that validates the safety of a cartridge and sets forth industry-wide standards.

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Polymer rails don’t lend to precision, but we didn’t expect precision from a Hi-Point.

Developed in the early ’80s and adopted as the FBI’s duty round in 1989, the 10mm had a short life in the professional arena. The FBI eventually shifted to 10mm’s little brother, the .40 S&W in 1997. The reason for dumping the 10mm Auto was excessive recoil.

With a PCC, though, the recoil concern is negated because the gun is shouldered. Even though 10mm is making a comeback, the memo hasn’t reached mainstream. Availability of 10mm ammo is sporadic, for instance, we couldn’t find any on the shelves at a few Walmarts in Georgia, but we did find a few variants at Cabela’s.

In recent years, the 10mm has gained ground as a hunting round. Many states allow straight-walled cartridges for hunting. For example, Ohio approved the use of straight-walled cartridge rifles ranging in caliber from .357 to .50 for the 2018 hunting season. Before this change, hunters in Ohio could only use muzzleloader rifles and shotguns or handguns with a straight-walled cartridge.

LOOK AND FEEL

Hi-Point’s 1095TS 10mm carbine is the epitome of “you get what you pay for.” It’s no secret Hi-Point makes budget guns. “You have to take into consideration the entire Hi-Point line of firearms were built to be affordable for anyone, including the poor,” said David Kiwacka, social media director of MKS Supply, the sales, marketing, and fulfillment arm of Hi-Point.

At first glance, the 1095TS looks like a chunky toy gun found in the clearance aisle of Dollar General. With so much plastic making up the carbine, it doesn’t look like a high-end firearm. Hi-Point stayed within its low-cost manufacturing niche with the carbine models, using die-cast metals and polymer.

All Hi-Point firearms use a simple blowback system. The heavy slide on Hi-Point pistols is a necessity because its weight keeps the breech closed during ignition. The carbine is essentially a Hi-Point pistol with a long barrel. From the action to the grip, the carbines were conceived from the pistol line’s design elements. For the 10mm carbine, Kiwacka told us the internals are more robust due to the higher pressure of the cartridge.

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This gun isn’t a looker, but that just makes her try harder.

Knowing blowback pistols are heavier, it wasn’t surprising the weight of 1095TS is noticeable. In comparison to other PCCs and rifle-caliber carbines, the 1095TS just feels heavy. But when the 1095TS is shouldered, the excessive weight is better balanced and it’s quickly forgotten.

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If you plan to rely on the iron sights, use a dab of blue Loctite on both screws to keep the front sight in place.

For small hands, the ribbed fore-end isn’t pleasurable and is difficult to grasp. Its large diameter and rails prevent you from getting a good support handgrip. Rather than using the support hand for rearward pressure to mitigate muzzle climb, that job gets relayed to the dominant hand by pulling back on the pistol grip. This technique isn’t ideal because your support hand, being closer to the muzzle, is a better candidate for this duty. Hi-Point and aftermarket accessory companies offer forward grips that can be placed at the 6 o’clock position of the fore-end. But any device placed on the 6 o’clock rails could affect your point of impact, because, unlike a free-floated barrel, the barrel of the 1095TS comes in direct contact with the fore-end.

Understanding the felt recoil could be rattling, Hi-Point included buttstock features to help negate it. A rubber cheek rest sounds like a good idea, but the material it’s made from quickly collects all the debris that touches it. We’re also told that it rips out beard hair.

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Recoil reduction springs on the recoil plate are counterproductive. They make shouldering the PCC in a repeatable and consistent manner difficult. If you want to rapidly burn down steel and are used to firmly shouldering a rifle to do so, the springs of the buttstock prevent the feeling of a rock-solid hold. It’s as if no matter how much rearward pressure is applied, there’s still opposing force from the springs.

The 17.5-inch barrel has .57×28 muzzle threads, and comes with a factory thread protector. Putting a compensator on a recoil-beast briefs well, but we expect the pressures at the muzzle are too low for the brake to have much of an effect. Because the simple blowback action is a no-shit internal explosion, only held in place by the weight, you’re going to feel that recoil no matter what. Theoretically, a suppressor would emphasize the felt-recoil and increase the cyclic rate.

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The 1095TS comes with fully adjustable irons sights, but it’s hard to beat a red dot.

Seeing the top rail on the 1095TS was exciting, because having options for mounting optics right out of the box is ideal. A red dot was the go-to. But, to our disappointment, we instantly learned the gun sported a Weaver rail instead of the more popular Picatinny rail spec. Generally speaking, optic mounts with more than one recoil lug or screw will likely not fit a Weaver rail. Of the red dots within reach, an EOTech XPS2 and a Leupold LCO, both fit. The height of the LCO prevented co-witnessing of the iron sights. There’s irony in running an optic that costs more than double the price of the gun. A selection from the Walmart firearm aisle might better align with the price point of the 1095TS. Or, if you don’t want to get modern, the included factory iron sights will do.

CRANKING OFF ROUNDS

Eyesore aesthetics of the 1095TS are overshadowed by performance on the range. First impressions lowered our expectations of the carbine. But it performed well. We accuracy tested using SIG SAUER’s Elite Performance FMJ 180-grain 10mm ammo from a distance of 50 yards with five-round groups. The best group using the iron sights measured 3.68 inches. After mounting the LCO, the group tightened up to 2.54 inches. This grouping at 50 yards, with a pistol cartridge is acceptable. Whether you’re shooting targets or an animal, you should be able to make hits from 50 yards.

After accuracy testing, it was time for blasting. We shot steel measuring 3 to 8 inches from 25 to 50 yards. Paper IPSC targets were shot from 7 to 25 yards. Ringing steel and burning through paper is always fun, but the 10-round magazines limited how long we could shoot before being forced to reload mags. Twenty rounds. That’s how much shooting could be done because the gun comes with two mags.

Split times between shots depended on how close we were to the target. Because there’s undeniable muzzle rise, we needed extra time the further we got from the target. At 25 yards, the muzzle rise pulled the dot completely off a full-size IPSC target. No matter how intensely we fought that movement, it remained. Taking that into account, you just need to allow for a little extra time between shots.

The reciprocating bolt handle wasn’t noticeable while shooting, because its position is far forward. Speaking of the bolt handle, it’s pretty much just a long screw with a separate collar for easier grasping. That collar, oriented as intended by the manufacturer, was uncomfortable thanks to sharp edges that felt like tiny puppy teeth each time our hand touched it. A simple solution to a simple problem was flipping the collar around. The tradeoff was that those tiny teeth wore into the stamped metal receiver shroud instead.

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Far forward is a theme of the 1095TS because both magazine release and safety cannot be manipulated with the gun shouldered. To flip the left-sided safety or push the mag release with your dominant hand, the left side of the gun needs to be angled closer to your body. Quick reloads are impossible due to the location and design of the mag release. When inserting a new magazine, it gets caught up in the pistol grip on the magazine release. To correct for this, you can either use force or finesse. Slamming the bottom of the magazine forces it to seat, or you can push the mag release button to internally allow for the magazine to slide in.

The bolt locks back on an empty magazine. After reloading, the only way to put the 1095TS into battery is to pull the bolt all the way back and let go. Just like racking the slide of a pistol, releasing the bolt handle forward picks up a new round.

Pulling the trigger of the 1095TS is akin to pushing your foot into a new boot until you’re surprised by it popping into place. A long trigger pull makes you think you’re almost there multiple times until it finally releases. We measured the trigger pull weight at just over 6 pounds, but the pre-travel and trigger weight could cause someone to jerk the trigger by anticipating the shot. For defensive use, there would be so much going on that the trigger nuances shouldn’t be an issue, and the heavier trigger pull helps prevent negligent discharges.

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We shot just under 500 rounds and didn’t have a single malfunction. Rounds were fired as fast as we could reload magazines, and the fore-end stayed cool while the chamber was smoking hot. The only problem we found afterward was that the two screws securing the front sight had loosened. We didn’t notice this while shooting, since we used the LCO.

FINAL THOUGHTS

We’re not completely sold on the idea of a 10mm for everyone, mostly because the availability of ammunition is limited. If this were the .40 S&W or the 9mm Hi-Point carbine, we’d tout this as a gun for everyone.

Non-ergonomic features and right-handed bias of the Hi-Point 1095TS are outweighed by its performance and low street price of just over $300. As with the other 10mm covered in this issue, this PCC can pull multiple duties if you want it to. There are plenty of ammo options from hunting, home defense, to general range shooting available online. So, if you only care about function and a stop-them-in-their-tracks caliber, the Hi-Point 1095TS 10mm carbine might fill a special void in your heart.


Hi-Point Firearms 1095TS Carbine
Caliber: 10mm Auto
Barrel length: 17.5 inches
Overall length: 32 inches
Weight (unloaded): 7 pounds
Magazine capacity: 10 rounds
Sights: Fully adjustable iron sights
MSRP: $390
URL: www.hi-pointfirearms.com

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