Throwback Thursday—The SCCY CPX 2

By Bob Campbell published on in Firearms, Reviews

The inexpensive handgun market is crowded and, by and large, you get what you pay for. The first consideration is reliability. Next, the pistol should fit your hand well. The trigger action should be controllable, the pistol should feature good sights and there should be good support from the manufacturer. The finish and the accessories are less important than reliability and suitability for defensive use. A pistol that I have fired with a wide variety of ammunition to prove its reliability is now part of my family’s defensive battery. This is the SCCY CPX 2, chambered for the 9mm Luger. I have fired a number of these handguns with good results.

Two-toned SCCY CPX 2 with black handle and silver slide on white background.

The SCCY pistol is a remarkably clean design with much to recommend.

Features

The SCCY got off to a rocky start a few years ago. The original CPX featured a manual safety. This safety was often engaged by the firing hand, preventing the handgun from firing during a string of shots. SCCY redesigned the pistol and while the original is still offered with a redesigned safety, my personal choice is the CPX 2.

While I usually prefer a manual safety, the SCCY features a true double-action only mechanism with a long trigger press that breaks at just less than nine pounds. There is also a positive firing pin block often referred to as a drop safety. True safety is between the ears, so keep your finger off of the trigger and use a holster that encloses the trigger guard. However, the long trigger action of the CPX 2 is a sufficient safety feature for my use. As the late, and much respected firearms authority Major George C Nonte opinioned, “Simple readiness demands the pistol be ready for action without cocking a hammer racking a slide or any other action.” Many agree as the popularity of the Glock pistol shows us.

As for the pertinent dimensions, the CPX 2 weighs but 15 ounces, stands 4.25 inches tall, has a 3.1-inch barrel and is just over an inch wide. The pistol is a remarkably clean design. It draws quickly from concealed carry. I like the size and weight very much because I carry a light handgun (and sometimes a heavier piece) when hiking, walking and jogging. (When jogging, a good holster and a positive firing pin block are good to have!)

With proper choice in ammunition and a loading that demonstrates an adequate balance of expansion and penetration, the 9mm Luger is a realistic minimum for personal defense. The CPX 2 gives 10 rounds of that ammunition in the magazine.

The pistol has a snag free profile. The slide lock and magazine release are unobtrusive. Dropping the magazine inadvertently would be a big problem in a defensive situation so the magazine latch design is appreciated. Speed loads are probably not going to be required. The pistol doesn’t feature a polymer frame, but rather it is of rugged Zytel. The receiver is actually steel and embedded in the frame—a good system.

A black SCCY CPX 2 with a silver slide, muzzle pointed to the left side on a gradient gray and white background.

The SCCY is a slick side design but take in not allowing the thumb to bump the slide lock in recoil.

The slide is steel. In the case of the two-tone pistol illustrated, the slide is stainless. The slide is properly machined and is pleasantly angled to allow smooth holstering. The slide window, sometimes called the ejection port, is large enough to reliably allow ejection of a loaded round during a clearance drill or regular handling. The grip frame is well shaped for the average size hand. The frame is stippled in the right places for good adhesion.

There are cut outs at the rear of the frame that give a bit during recoil and claim to alleviate recoil shock. I can neither confirm nor deny this claim, but they do not hurt anything and just may be effective. My hand fits the pistol well with the supplied magazines, which have a finger extension on the base. The SCCY box is appointed with a spare magazine, a trigger lock and two flat-base pads if you prefer a lower profile. Quite possibly purse or pocket carry might be best served with the lower profile magazine base.

It is important that a handgun have good sights and the SCCY features usable sights with the white three-dot outline.

A black-handled SCCY CPX 2 emphasizing the finger grooves on a light gray background

The finger groove grip frame is user-friendly and aids in control.

Pistols should be supplied with a minimum of two magazines, and not only does SCCY supply the CPX-2 with two magazines, it provides both flat and extended finger-groove magazine base pads. I commend the company for this. For just a few pennies over $300, you are getting your money’s worth with this pistol.

Firing

When I began dry fire practice with the CPX 2, I first removed the magazine and triple checked to be certain the pistol was unloaded. The CPX 2 is not a striker fired pistol. but features a hammer. The double-action trigger both cocks and drops the hammer, which is a good system for a pistol to be carried close to the body. The double-action press is long and requires a long reset.

The firing pin is the inertial type and there is a firing pin block that retains the firing pin until the trigger is fully pressed. The trigger is smooth enough and with some acclimation, I was able to bring the hammer back, stage a shot and connect at longer ranges. The preferred cadence of fire is to press the trigger and allow about the same time in reset as you do in pressing the trigger. The cadence of fire isn’t set by how quickly you are able to press the trigger but by how quickly you are able to recover the sights after each shot. By firing quickly in double-action pairs, good combat shooting is possible to 7 to 10 yards. By staging the trigger, you may connect with a man-sized target at 25 yards.

Prior to the firing evaluation, the pistol was lubricated along the long bearing surfaces. The barrel hood and the bell of the slightly belled barrel were lubricated as well. While modern handguns are often designed for a minimum of lubrication, the CPX 2 features steel-on-steel slide-to-rail contact and lubrication is advisable.

The initial firing tests were uneventful. Dry fire practice paid off. The pistol was fired with inexpensive Black Hills ball ammo during the evaluation stage. The goal was to quickly present the pistol from concealed carry and drill the target in the center of mass at five to seven yards. This was handily accomplished. Center of mass, remember, isn’t the area between the shoulder blades or any other such ideas fostered by gun writers that have only faced targets of paper on gun ranges.

The grip of the SCCY CPX 2 laying on it's side on a gradient gray and white background

The indentations in the rear of the frame may limit recoil. The grip is very comfortable.

The center of mass is the center of the target that is presented. If the target isn’t perfectly squared to you, as it is on the gun range, don’t be caught flat-footed. If your target is bladed or angled or only a portion of the target is presented with the rest behind cover, aim for the direct center of the target in order to get a hit.

That being said, much of your practice should involve small targets at known and unknown ranges. When you concentrate upon the sight picture, sight alignment and trigger press recoil isn’t noticed as much. And the SCCY CPX 2 does recoil, the laws of physics demand that a 15-ounce 9mm pistol kicks a bit.

The company doesn’t recommend +P ammunition, and the short barrel probably doesn’t do much to develop the top velocity the +P is noted for. I have fired the pistol with +P loads and the firing was uneventful. There was greater recoil energy and higher slide velocity. A +P load will not blow a gun up, of course, but wear on small parts is accelerated. Frankly, in a pistol this size, in 9mm Luger, a standard pressure load is indicated.

You must be careful to preserve the balance of penetration and expansion—penetration cannot be compromised. A full metal jacketed bullet may simply slip past tissue. Even a bullet with modest expansion will do much more damage if the projectile upsets at all. Shot placement is vital but the ammunition choice is important. At present, the pistol is deployed with the Black Hills 124-grain hollow point. The loading exhibits high quality and good accuracy. Recoil is modest and the load breaks over 1,000 fps 50 from the CPX’s short barrel.

The SCCY was fired for accuracy from a solid benchrest at 15 yards. Forty-five feet is a long distance in personal defense but the pistol was test fired for accuracy at this distance. As of this date, with several hundred rounds fired, there have been no malfunctions attributable to the firearm. A number of shooter errors were addressed with a change in grip style and by keeping the finger away from the slide lock! The usual 25-yard distance for a service pistol test just didn’t seem to make sense for this pistol. The handgun fared well. Overall, the CPX 2 is a credible defensive handgun at a fair price.

This is all we can ask.

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Accuracy Results, Two Five-shot Groups, 15 Yards

 

Group Inches
Black Hills 115-grain FMJ 3.5 inches
Black Hills 124-grain JHP 3.65 inches
Wolf Performance Ammunition 124-grain FMJ 3.8 inches

SLRule

Bob Campbell is a former peace officer and published author with over 40 years combined shooting and police and security experience. Bob holds a degree in Criminal Justice. Bob is the author of the books, The Handgun in Personal Defense, Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry, The 1911 Automatic Pistol, The Gun Digest Book of Personal Protection and Home Defense, The Shooter’s Guide to the 1911, The Hunter and the Hunted, and The Complete Illustrated Manual of Handgun Skills. His latest book is Dealing with the Great Ammo Shortage. He is also a regular contributor to Gun Tests, American Gunsmith, Small Arms Review, Gun Digest, Concealed Carry Magazine, Knife World, Women and Guns, Handloader and other publications. Bob is well-known for his firearm testing.

View all articles by Bob Campbell

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Comments (37)

  • Jerry Howell

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    I have two CXB-2s. I can’t remember a malfunction with factory ammo, and I have 600 rounds in each over the last three months. Can’t say enough good things for this pistol! Had a local holster maker form a holster and it’s my EDC weapon.

    Customer service is top notch. Both pistols shot 3-4″ high at 5 yards. A quick call and I had two lower rear sights sent to me in less than a week.

    If I may, a few suggestions about the pistol and shooting them:
    1) Use a grip equal to strangling a cat! A very firm grip due to the light weight. It’s only 3 ounce more than a SW Airweight snubbie! Failing to do so may result in FTE or FTRB.
    2) Yes, it’s a DAO trigger, get over it! Every time a Person moans and complains about the trigger, a kitten dies. Seriously, it’s not better or worste than a DA revolver, and works just as well. Just shoot it and save money. Of this pistol was a brand name that rhythms with Block, the fanatics would be making excuses and singing praises for it. Just think of it as a 11 round 9mm revolver with quicker reloads.
    3) Have fun! You just got a great weapon at a great price! Hoping this starts a trend of inexpensive weapons with a heavier, long DAO trigger and streamline them.

    Reply

  • Peter

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    I bought a Hybrid Tactical OWB holster online.

    Reply

  • Peter

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    I purchased the CPX 2 about 3 months ago. Nicely built and well finished.
    The trigger and trigger guard finish is patterned and is very abrasive on the trigger finger. Using 600 wet/dry these areas were smoothed out – big improvement. The trigger pull was somewhat gritty. After dry firing it about 300 times and using lithium lube it is now very smooth. The rear site was off set about 1/8″ from centerline. After two minor adjustments it is spot-on. I have had 2 double strikes and two fail to batteriy early in the “break-in”. Recently, no problems. At 20 yards, I am able to hold a 6″ pattern. This did require about 500 dry fires and fine tuning of the grip. I have arthritis and three formerly broken fingers so my grip is unique – but works. My right hand middle finger is place in front of the trigger guard, extended between the left hand middle and index finger, as I cannot close the grip with my right hand middle finger.
    Remarkably, this provides a very tight box around the pistol and a very steady sight picture. I am now very pleased with the SCCY CPX 2. A great value for a fine pistol.

    Reply

  • Patrick

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    I bought my SCCY CPX -2 3 years ago and love the gun. I usually carry it in my pocket- easy concealment – However, I would love to find a a holster similar to a Fobus that would fit this gun properly. I cannot find one. Does anyone have any suggestions?
    Thanks

    Reply

    • Peter

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      Sorry. Misplaced my response. I bought a very nice OWB holster online for my CPX 2. Perfect fit.

      Reply

    • Peter

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      The website that I posted was deleted so here is the holster info:

      “Top of the Line Holster for SCCY CPX-1/CPX-2 9mm” by Hybrid Tactical.
      About $25. Very well built.

      Reply

    • Dave Dolbee

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      Sorry, this we can let through, but not the name and URL as was previously submitted.

      Reply

  • Hal

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    Quite a gun! I’ve had mine for about 2 years now. It’s my EDC. “Don’t leave home without it.” Impressed, I got one for my son last year for Christmas. It has become his EDC as well. Great gun! I can conceal in a pocket holster, hit what I aim at (with the help of the laser), and it goes BANG everytime I pull the trigger! What more can you ask for? Paid $315 for mine, $300 for his. Rural King advertised them last week for $199, in 4 colors. They keep them for about $275 everyday.

    Reply

  • Stvenkng

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    In this price range.. Got mine for $289.00… There is no comparison, the first time I fired the gun, or should I say attempted to fire a CPX1, it failed, the external safety broke off and created a situation that separated the hammer from the trigger and put in a constant state of fail to fire. Since it had been a year since I bought it and had never taken it out of the box I assumed the party was over before it started, but I sent them an email anyway. Surprise, I received a reply almost immediately requesting that I return the gun so they could look at it. Since I lived about 20 minutes away I decided to visit them and return it in person. The guy took the gun to the back and a few minutes later came back to ask me if I was “In love” with the external safety and after a few minutes discussion it was determined that the gun would be converted to the new CPX2 and I could pick up the gun in a couple of hours. It looks like they removed the block with the serial number from the old CPX1 and installed it on a new CPX2 basically giving me a brand new gun (which works flawlessly) that has become my primary concealed carry piece and I never leave home without it. I have every confidence in the world as well as “The Best Warranty” in the history of business. They cover every conceivable potential possibility… including losing it. That’s right, break it, take it apart and reassemble it improperly and break something, my dog eats it or some monster drags me into an alley after knocking me out with a 2×4 and steals my SCCY 9MM they will replace it, beat that for under three hundred dollars? no way. A small company in Daytona Beach Fl. that just flat does business the way business should be done and produces a reliable, accurate, lightweight piece. I carry one, keep one in the lock box next to the bed, my wife carries one as does my Sister, her husband and my Brother. I stake my life on this company and their product on a daily basis, ’nuff said.

    Reply

  • Pro2aGuy

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    Kel-Tec has had quite a few companies essentially copy their designs which is flattering to be sure but very bad for their bottom line…But yes, I’ve shot this gun as I know 2 guys that have had both Gen 1&2 and they are solid performers for a rock-bottom price.

    Reply

  • Adam

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    There’s a lot to recommend about the SCCY pistols. They’re basically the only pistol in that price range with a nitride finish for superior corrosion protection, and they’ve fit a double-stack magazine into a very slim frame.

    My only serious issue is with the trigger. If they made a striker-fired model with a 5-6 lb trigger they would really take the market by storm.

    Reply

  • Mel

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    Looking to buy a 9mm The CPX -2 has the right price.. Can it be fitted for a laser? I need all the help I can get, I was think[ng of Crimson Trace as I have one with good results on a Ruger 38 LCR. Please reply. Thank you.

    Reply

    • Steven

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      TR10 provides a trigger guard mounted laser that is SCCY CPX specific and is activated by contact that occurs normally at the intersection of the grip frame and the trigger guard… I got mine at Amazon.com but CTD may carry it as well, there is also a concealed carry inside the waistband holster made specifically for this combination. Both have performed flawlessly with my all black CPX2 for nearly two years…

      Reply

    • maxwell carter

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      check sccy’s website..they actually have a laser for their guns..i think they are made by laserlyte. and the carry holsters they have are designed to fit with or without the laser as well..

      Reply

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