Hi-Point 4095 .40 S&W Carbine

(my first gun)

A review by Tim Pearce

I don't claim to be an expert on everything, everywhere. There are a great deal of firearms I have no shooting experience with, and others that I haven't even ever had in my hands. But, being a gun dealer for two and a half years, at the time of this writing, has exposed me to a great deal of what is out there. Since it is, as one might expect, often a "kid in a candy shop" sort of situation for a gun enthusiast to be surrounded by hundreds of firearms day in and day out, I have a bit of a collection, myself, now. So, while I may not have the ability to recall the days when they introduced the .44 Magnum to compare it with the introduction of whatever new cartridge that's been produced, I am, in my humble opinion, far from ignorant or inexperienced when it comes to firearms. Thus, while this is not the writing of a Gun Guru, it is based upon experience.

Way, way back in the heady days of 2004, I first became a gun owner. I had yet to inherit my brother's Ruger, which had been the first gun I'd fired in some ten years, and the first handgun I'd ever fired, but had been the launching pad for my enthusiasm for guns. I could probably borrow any of my brother's guns, or go to the range with him to use them, but I wanted one that was mine.

I was, at the time, rather limited on my finances. This is a nice way of saying I had no income, even if I had a job at the time. I had a few hundred, or perhaps had been loaned a few hundred, so what I needed was something cheap, but fun.

Scouring the websites of every gun company out there showed me that cheap wasn't terribly popular, but it wasn't devoid of options. It also caused me to discover my inexplicable attraction to rifles that fire handgun cartridges. Maybe such guns, which don't really fit in well in either the company of rifles or handguns, were like a kindred spirit to me, who doesn't really fit in well with much of the world. Who knows?

The search for something cheap and fun lead me to a little company called Hi-Point. They produced handguns, but they also produced pistol-cartridge carbines, in 9mm Luger, and had just released some in .40 S&W for the first time. I was thinking I might use this for home defense, so I went with the more potent .40 S&W. At times, I wonder if I wouldn't have been better off with the 9mm Luger one, but hindsight is 20/20. I was nervous, I screwed up the 4473 form at least three times before calming down and doing it right. The ATF probably pays this price daily for being anal retentive about people spelling out things like St. Louis, MO on the forms they provide dealers for free.

To be blunt, the 4095 isn't pretty. But, the names Weatherby, Winchester, or even Ruger, appear nowhere on this gun, so it's not like it's supposed to be a grand and elegant piece of precision craftsmanship that will be passed on from generation to generation until my great great grandson wins World War 12 with it. Nope, it cost me $200, and I knew what I was getting: Cheap and limited.

But, this isn't to say Hi-Point wasted good steel making this gun. Hi-Point merely didn't use anything like modern and expensive machining processes to make this gun. The action of the gun is basically a slab of steel wrapped around the barrel. It isn't pretty, but it works, and I have confidence that it will continue working for my lifetime, and likely beyond. Even if there's a long list of things that could make it better, I like it. It's a fun gun to shoot.

If you buy one of these critters, when the manual says to disassemble it for more invasive cleaning every thousand rounds, you'll find that you really don't want to do it more often than that. It's a pain in the neck. The first time you do it, do it over a tarp or something, and keep a magnet on a little pole handy, because it seems that the first time you disassemble one of these, little parts sieze their opportunity to go flying in random directions (it doesn't happen that much after that first time, though). You'll get, as one person described it, "a crash course in firearms function" while you try and get everything back into place. I really dreaded doing this process the second time, but, it wasn't as bad the second, or third, time.

A quality problem arose with the particular one I have: When the gun was originally assembled, one of the screws holding the rear sight assembly had been put in wrong, at an angle. Thankfully, my brother had the tools necessary to rethread the hole and mounting the scope rail didn't run into any serious snags.

I've also noticed that the spray-on coating that was applied to the feed ramp of my gun is flaking off, which causes some hickups with hollowpoints. At some point, I'll need to remove the rest of that coating and hope the thing doesn't rust.

The "recoil compensator" that took forever to find doesn't have a noticable impact on felt recoil, in my experience, and it's made of pot metal that actually tore when I first attached it. Eventually, that lead to a point where I shot the thing off, and I still didn't notice any change in recoil.

A company called ATI makes a replacement stock for the 995, which is the 9mm Luger version, but sadly it won't work on my gun. This makes the Hi-Point carbine considerably more aesthetically pleasing. Enough so that I somewhat regret having gotten the .40 S&W version.

Accuracy isn't too terribly bad, as I recall. I believe I even had all of my shots hitting paper at 100 yards. There probably isn't much to be done to improve the accuracy, considering how little powder is held in the cases, but someday, I intend to try.

But, despite it all, I don't really regret getting this gun. I've shot thousands of rounds through it, and it hasn't misfed very often.

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