Firearms

Review: Hi-Point Pro Carbine .45 ACP — Budget-Friendly Home Defense

Bob Campbell shooting the Hi-Point Pro Carbine chambered for .45 ACP with an extended magazine

I am pretty hard on firearms and like to give them as thorough a test as feasible. Firearms have evolved in the Darwinian sense. The best designs and those best suited to warfare, surviving and earning military and institutional contracts.

In my opinion, modern manufacture and cloning of previously splendid pistols, notably the 1911, has lessened the fitness of the type for service use. Some have become so ubiquitous as to be worthless. However, I am here to open a subject for discussion, not shut it down.

Hi-Point Pro carbine with red dot sight and extended magazine
With an ergonomic recoil-absorbing stock, forend grip, and credible red dot, the Hi-Point is ready for home defense.

While cheapening a well-made firearm results in a less desirable tool, often a purpose-designed firearm built from the outset for inexpensive manufacture may prove suitable for home defense. I may offer advice on firearms while some make poor choices. I have learned to give them the dignity of their own experience. A firearm I have come to respect as a viable choice for those on a budget is the Hi-Point carbine

Hi-Point Pro Carbine

Many folks need a suitable home defense firearm but cannot afford some of the higher quality firearms, including an AR rifle. There are many obstacles to firearms ownership when the budget is limited.

Family responsibility comes first. But defending the family is important. By the same token, you cannot afford to make a bad choice. Hi-Point firearms has manufactured guns for well over 20 years. The price point is attractive. The firearms don’t win beauty contests, but serve a real purpose.

Competition, hunting, and concealed carry don’t fit the role of the bulky Hi-Point pistols. The carbines are a different matter and have earned a decent reputation for reliability. There are more AR rifle makers than I could name, and many have come and gone. Hi-Point has proven it has staying power.

I don’t think the looks of the carbine are a valid criticism. It isn’t built to impress, but to operate. The .45 caliber Hi-Point Pro Carbine is similar in some ways to the Hi-Point pistol, but it differs as well. The grips are not removable. The safety locks the trigger. The striker-fired carbine is a blowback action.

safety and bolt handle on the Hi-Point Pro PCC
The safety and bolt handle are easily manipulated.

The receiver is a cast type of nonferrous alloy. The gun features a bolt handle on the left side. For most shooters, this is handier than the usual right-hand bolt handle. The furniture, grips, and stock are what the company calls high-impact polymer, it seems to just be hard plastic.

The carbine has a lot of room for mounting red dot sights or a combat light. The barrel is 17.5 inches long. A receiver-mounted rail features an adjustable rear sight. I mounted a Barska 30mm Red Dot sight. This 1x30mm red dot has ½-MOA adjustments. The reticle is 5 MOA.

The Barska is worth the money, even if it isn’t a high-grade red dot. It stayed sighted in during the test program. The only real complaint was despite the settings, the red dot didn’t get noticeably brighter as I cranked the dial up. Just the same, for test purposes and even for home defense, the Barska fell into the OK-for-the-money category.

Redball 20-round .45 ACP magazine, vertical
A total of four Redball magazines were tested with good results.

The rifle is supplied with a 9-round magazine. The stock on the Pro version is different for certain. The stock fits most shooters well and offers a good line of sight. At first, I thought it featured an adjustable recoil pad. This feature is actually a recoil buffer.

A .45 ACP carbine isn’t a hard kicker, but there is some thump. The recoil buffer system gives a little as the rifle fires. You may compress the stock and buffer pressing it into the shoulder. This is a well-designed system.

The carbine isn’t a heavyweight at 7.75 pounds. The trigger is manageable, but is mushy without a detectable reset. The trigger break averages 7.2 pounds.

two Redball magazine in cordura pouches
The author used this Redball magazine carrier during the test program.

Range Results

Before the firing tests, I obtained two Redball 20-round magazines. This ups the ante for personal defense and offers a good reserve of ammunition.

At the firing range, I lubricated the bolt liberally. The magazines were loaded with Remington 230-grain FMJ. Hardball is the load most .45 ACP pistols are designed for, and this load is proven in combat and many competitions as well.

The carbine was fired in the initial stage at 7 yards — a common engagement range. I began with the magazines fully loaded. I brought the carbine to eye level, cocking the bolt as I did. I centered the red dot and fired for the X-ring. I progressed to firing double-taps, then triples, and finally hammers. Hammers are two shots as quickly as I can fire two rounds.

The carbine is surprisingly lively in the hand, easily coming on target. The trigger was controlled by simply mashing it to the rear and then moving the finger forward for reset. There isn’t a lot of feel in the trigger, but it works well enough for good control. The X-ring was torn to shreds.

The carbine handles well in fast defensive firing. Moving to 10 yards, it was much the same. At 15 yards the carbine was effective. I simply slowed down a little, taking more time to aim and press the trigger for good results.

Redball magazines really added to the carbine’s versatility. It is asking a lot for a magazine to feed from full compression to almost no compression. These magazines were not difficult to load to fully capacity, but feature a strong magazine spring that feeds with real reliability.

Blue skeltal target with multiple .45 caliber bullet holes
If you miss, it is because you got ahead of yourself with too much speed!

The extended length of the 20-round magazine is easier to remove and replace quickly than the 9-round magazine. During the test program, a 50-round ammunition box was dropped, and a tab broken. I inadvertently loaded a piece of the plastic magazine carrier into the magazine. It was peeking out under a Remington cartridge. Perhaps out of meanness, I left the plastic tab in the magazine. The Hi-Point simply snapped the plastic to pieces and fed normally.

A short-range reactive firearm for home defense should be simple to operate and simple to use. The Hi-Point carbine meets those criteria. I also wished to confirm absolute accuracy by firing at 25 yards.

Many shooters cannot hold a pistol close enough to the point of aim to be credible shots at this range. A five-inch offhand group isn’t good enough for consistent fight-stopping accuracy at this range. Firing the carbine offhand, it isn’t difficult to keep five shots in three inches at 25 yards.

25-yard paper target showing a three-inch group from a Hi-Point Pro PCC
Standing at 25 yards, the author put two into the small target and then blew the others out by running fast — good performance.

Moving to a solid, braced, benchrest firing position, I added another load. The Remington 230-grain Golden Saber brass jacketed hollow point is proven for effect and accuracy. Firing carefully with every advantage for accuracy, the carbine put five shots of the 230-grain FMJ Remington into two inches and five shots of the Golden Saber into 1.9 inches. That is good accuracy for the type and a long stretch for home defense.

The Hi-Point would be effective in clearing coyote or pests from the homestead. I like the Hi-Point Pro Carbine. It is easy to use and easy on the wallet. While I have quite a few carbines, the Hi-Point is well worth a look — regardless your budget!

Specifications

Model: 4595TS Pro Carbine
Action: Blowback-operated semi-auto
Caliber: .45 ACP
Barrel: 17.5-inch blued steel
Trigger: Single-action striker-fired
Stock: High-impact polymer with recoil buffer
Front Sight: Hooded post
Rear Sight: Adjustable peep sight
Overall Length: 32.25 inches
Weight: 7 pounds, 13 ounces
Capacity: 9+1 rounds

A Note on Ammunition Performance

In a carbine-length firearm, pistol calibers gain a measure of velocity. The 9mm is a high-intensity loading that may gain 150–200 fps in a carbine compared to a handgun, a useful increase. The .357 Magnum with its relatively heavy charge of slow-burning powder generally gains 400–500 fps or more in a carbine.

Bob Campbell shooting the Hi-Point Pro Carbine .45 ACP carbine using the extended foregrip
The Hi-Point Pro Carbine easily moved between targets with real speed.

The .45 ACP uses a modest charge of fast-burning powder. This means a full powder burn and low pressure as well as limited muzzle signature. In the Hi-Point carbine, in common with HK and Auto Ordnance carbines, the velocity increase is limited. The average is 40 fps increase, with a +P loading perhaps 50 fps.

Have you considered a pistol caliber carbine such as the Hi-Point Pro Carbine for home-defense or pest control? What about duty as a truck/trunk gun? Would you prefer one in .45 ACP or another caliber? Share your answers in the comment section.

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.


Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Handloader
Rifle Magazine
Handguns
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns



Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (17)

  1. I have the very same setup. I have it as my prime home defense weapon. I think for a nonprofessional typical homeowner it made more sense than a shotgun or pistol.
    From a rest at 50 yards, which I think is the maximum practical range I can get 4-6 inch groups

  2. I wonder if this will stop a wild hog between 50 and a 100 yards. With 230 FMJ. If it does it might be a great “long gun” for a hiking trip. I have a Springfield xd. 45 and I also own the HI Point. 45 carbine.

  3. Recently got the 995ts, and after 300 rounds downrange I love this gun…it just works…I’ll keep the factory sights, can hit steel at 100 yards…and I’ve bought two more magazines to add to my fun…the gun is a minor chore to break down, about 10-15 minutes, but doesn’t need to be super cleaned that much…I just run a bore snake, spray a few drops of oil, and call it good…getting ready to test hollow points, and if they run okay the gun will be added to the HD…wondered about the Hi Point carbines for years, I should have bought one sooner…

  4. Clamshell-with-screws construction is cheap to manufacture but a bear to maintain because of all the extra work to get at the parts that need the maintenance. And it’s easy to crossthread those soft brass bushings if you’re in a hurry and don’t make sure that the screws are starting square. Handing the job off to a gunsmith could easily eat up any money you saved on your budget gun, especially if he charges by the hour.

  5. I would give the Hi-point a shot if it offered real high capacity magazines
    They should have made the pro model Glock 21 mag compatible then I would buy one right now

  6. I own a Hi-Point carbine and pistol in .40 S&W and have the confidence in it to keep it in first position for home defense over an AR-15, A Diamondback DB-15 in 300 AAC Blackout, and a .22 LR Ruger 10-22. The pair was chosen to be like the Old West of having the pistol and carbine both firing the same ammo, so no confusion exists. As a deputy sheriff, I carried a Dan Wesson .38/.357, then when the department authorized semi-autos, I went to an S&W 4506 for duty. When I left the department, I carried a Springfield .40 for a while, then went to the SIG P365XL, and may go to the P365Macro

  7. I purchased my Hi-Point Carbine and Handgun both in .45 ACP at the same time. My big seller was I wanted Pistol and a Carbine and two I wanted One Round something “universal” per say but I didn’t want one round for this another round for that and another round for the other. So that was a big seller also the round I wanted good stopping power all world into one.
    Since the beginning no cleaning just a few extra magazines and two Redball’s for the carbine and just as easy as point click and shoot. No hangups no feeding problems nothing just flawless work from both. If you’re on a fixed income like me and disabled they’re hard to beat. Definitely recommend

  8. as a .45 affectionado since viet nam, id have to say that a model in 10mm would the best choice more knock down power and velocity past 75 yards

  9. I purchased a new 4595TS when they first released them…..I watched a disassemble/cleaning video and it’s no easy task….even the guy that made the video said it was not fun/nor easy….so, I oiled it up without breaking it down and put it in one of my gun safes…….never fired….forgotten about..a safe queen all these years…..I will never shoot it. Too many more since that purchase.

  10. Well, I dont own own of these Hi Point carbines. But I live in Los Angeles and my house aint big so I have a XD Springfield 9mm for home defense. A carbine is much too big and cumbersome for home defense in my opinion. Maybe if you have a large house on an acre or such I could see it, but in cramped spaces–thats where pistols shine.

  11. Have had a 9mm version that I used in my job as animal control (retired). The gun was very accurate and reliable. Not something that I was happy to do but had dropped a stray dog killing sheep at approximately 30 yards that was on a dead run. It would be great for home defense if you practice some.

  12. I absolutely loved the handling of my Hi-Point but ultimately sold it because it is impossible to take apart easily and clean…

  13. I have this Hi-Point Carbine in 10mm. I do enjoy it!! I had a Bushnell red dot on it but I took it off and use the iron sights.
    They are adjustable and I do need to tweek them. Fieldstripping them is a BIG issue, BUT this gun does not need cleaning very often. I plan to pay a gunsmith later to break it down.
    I still highly recommend it! I actually find it fun to shoot as long as I can afford the ammo.

  14. I think Hi-Point is missing a real opportunity here. If they “beefed up” some of the components, they could market this design as the “modern day” Thompson. Just my thought on the matter.

  15. I have owned Hi Point weapons for a few years…..to include the carbine. While many shooters laughed and mocked the Hi Point brand……I knew better. Even some of my Ranger brothers who have fired my Hi points were surprised at accuracy and reliability. It’s a cheap but reliable brand. Pretty…….no. But is being pretty more important than accuracy? Not in my book……

  16. I appreciate Bob’s review of the Hi-Point carbine. I have used them for home defense for years. I own one of the original versions in 9mm and one of the newer ones in .45 and they both are very easy to manipulate in close quarters and have been very reliable. If you are on a budget or just want a very reliable pistol caliber carbine, get a Hi-Point.

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