Concealed Carry

SCCY CPX-2RD — Best Value Under $400

SCCY CPX-2RD pistol with extra 10-round magazine

I once wrote an article titled “I Love Cheap Guns…and I Am Not Afraid to Admit It!” That was a true statement when I wrote it in 2014, and it is still a true statement today. I own Hi-Points, a Raven .25 ACP, a Tanfoglio Excam .25 ACP, a .380 Cobra, a single-shot shotgun that was ordered from the Sears catalog over 60 years ago, early examples of the Diamondback .380 and DB9, and enough .22 rifles to arm a Cub Scout troop. Dig deep enough in my safe and you’ll find an old Mosin Nagant I bought from a cousin for $10! (I have been planning to restore it for over three decades.) Recently, a SCCY CPX-2RD followed me home. This review will determine whether it will earn residency status.

I feel it necessary to explain what “cheap guns” means to me. Just because a gun doesn’t set you back a mortgage payment on a mansion does not mean it won’t serve reliably for home or self-defense. The SCCY CPX-2RD exemplifies this fact perfectly.

SCCY CPX-2RD pistol left profile with Riton 3Tactix mPRD2 red dot optic
You would be hard pressed to find a better firearm with two magazines and a quality red dot sight for anything close to the price of the SCCY CPX-2RD!

I would never rely on a gun for concealed carry that I had not thoroughly tested first, but I also put a lot of stock in how a gun runs straight out of the box. I’ve tested guns the manufacturer recommended field stripping and lubing first. Others have warned that you may need to run a box of ammo through the gun to break in the pistol. That’s all fine and good, but if it runs straight out of the box, the manufacturer has paid attention to the details — that offers a level of confidence.

As it was out of the box, I dry fired the CPX-2RD about half-dozen times and quickly noted that I was a little too eager. I went to a safety bench, installed the battery for the red dot, and eyeballed a couple of quick sight adjustments. During this time, I had a minute to think about my dry firing. Due to my writing and testing, I shoot and carry several guns a year. At a little over 8 pounds, the trigger was certainly heavier than I am used to and did not inspire hope.


I have hands, not paws, so the CPX-2’s grip fit my medium-size hands perfectly. This was thanks in part to the pinky extension on the two included 10-round magazines. The CPX-2’s grip isn’t wide, but it feels long. Laying a Glock 19X (without any of the additional backstraps installed) over the CPX-2 made it clear that the grips were similar in size — save the CPX-2’s finger grooves. That being said, due to the location of the palmswell, the CPX-2 feels meatier. Shooters would not be wrong in saying it feels larger. That’s not a deal breaker, just an observation.

As you can see in the photos, the grip is lightly textured. Some shooters I know prefer a light texture. Another group of friends would throw a fit if the texture was not rough enough to permanently alter a palm print with every shot. There is a case to be made for a slightly more aggressive texture. However, few of us will ever be in such a situation for the grip texture to make that kind of difference.

Glock 19X over a SCCY CPX-2RD comparing the grip size
Although the CPX-2RD feels beefy in the hand, it is actually about the same size as the Glock 19X.

SCCY CPX-2RD Magazines

The second feature I looked at was the magazine. The SCCY CPX-2 comes standard with two 10-round magazines. I inserted an empty magazine firmly enough to ensure it was seated and pressed the magazine-release button. Next, I swapped magazines and repeated the test. Unloaded or loaded, both magazines dropped freely. This is highly desirable and allows for faster reloads as well as the ability to drop a mag and reload the gun one-handed if necessary.

Next, with a loaded magazine, I shook the gun (forcefully) side to side, up and down. I noted an audible rattle that was also present when shaken with less enthusiasm. I quickly determined the culprit was the barrel. With it holstered in a Sticky IWB, I made a few trips up and down a flight of stairs. I could not detect any rattle that could give away the fact that I was carrying concealed.

There is a cost to keeping manufacturing expenses to a minimum, and sacrificing a tight fit can be one of them. This is telling, so it is a test I perform on every handgun. However, a rattle is not an indicator of how the gun will shoot. After all, the AK47 is preferred because of its loose tolerances.

rear view of the SCCY CPX-2RD pistol showing the sight picture of the Riton red dot sight
A red dot offers some terrific advantages, but where concealed carry is the mission, the author demands iron sights as a backup.

Sights — Red Dot With Irons

Sights are an important feature on most any gun and particularly noteworthy on a gun designed for self-defense. For this review, I chose the SCCY CPX-2RD but only after inspecting the design of the red dot.

The CPX-2RD comes with a Riton red dot. Since its introduction, Riton has taken the optics market by storm, with quality offerings at affordable prices. The red dot on the CPX-2 has a rear notch built into the unit. This setup made going from the red dot to the iron sights quick and intuitive. If I were to find any fault, it is my preference for 3-dot sighting systems. The rear sight notch is a black, low-profile design. I foresee a trip to one of my favorite gunsmiths soon to find a fix.

The advantage of a red dot is the ease it offers — simply put the dot on the spot and control the trigger through the break. Many, wisely, have a distrust of electronic sights for carry guns. There is always a fear that a battery will go out at the wrong time. For a carry gun with a red dot, the ability to use the irons sights as a backup is a must.

slide stop on the SCCY CPX-2RD pistol
The slide stop was proud enough to be easily manipulated, but well designed to be snag free for concealed carry.

Trigger — Practice, Practice

If there is a feature of a gun that will be a deal breaker quicker than any other, it’s the trigger. I checked the trigger on my SCCY CPX-2RD with a Lyman digital trigger scale. The scale reported a consistent 8.2 pounds. The trigger also has about a half-inch or so of travel.

While long, the trigger pull was consistent and smooth. One of my favorite carry guns is the Kahr K9 Elite that has a similar heavy, long, and smooth trigger pull. Sure, I would prefer something under 6 pounds on the range, but when the adrenaline is flowing in an emergency situation, the heavier trigger with a long pull makes a lot of sense.

SCCY CPX-2RD on the Range

The features of a gun are similar to the looks of the person across the room you want to date. They are the initial attraction, but you really need time spent together to know whether you are a match. My initial range session with the CPX-2RD was underwhelming, to be honest. It almost didn’t get a second date. The gun shot fine, and sight-in was easy, but I left with a feeling of indifference. I was not for or against keeping the gun. I need a reason to keep a gun before I am willing to open my wallet.

Dave Dolbee shooting the SCCY CPX-2RD handgun at an outdoor shooting range
After sufficient dry fire practice, the SCCY CPX-2RD proved its mettle on the range.

Over the next two weeks, I kept the gun within arm’s reach. Working at home from a computer gives you plenty of time for dry-fire practice. I started with dry fire and before long, I moved to the penny drill. The penny drill is where you balance a penny on the front sight, bring the pistol up to your sight line, and squeeze the trigger. The object is to do this without the penny falling off, working to increase the speed you can successfully come through the trigger. Next, I moved to a laser trainer for the additional feedback of showing where the shot broke.

This is a routine I go through with any pistol I plan to evaluate or carry. The only addition to a carry pistol that I add is work from the holster. I do not carry guns with optics, so I was able to forgo this holster work.



Magazine: Two double-stack, 10-round magazines with finger-extension
Barrel: Seven lands and grooves – 1:16 right-hand twist
Receiver: 7075‐T6 aircraft-grade heat-treated aluminum alloy
Slide: Stainless steel – Black Nitride finish
Grip and Frame: Zytel polymer – Integral “RE-COIL CUSHION” backstrap
Red Dot: Riton 3 Tactix MPRD 2

The CPX-2RD Earns its Place

After a couple more range sessions, I had a new appreciation for the little gun. Its initial lackluster impression was behind me. The gun is too small for meaningful work on paper to measure group size. The CPX-2RD simply was not intended to be a target gun. Instead, I opted for the steel course. From a low ready, hits on 8-inch steel plates were quick and easy. As expected, going from my first mag to the second was easy.

During the shooting evaluation, I took a turn on the steel dueling tree. The long, heavy trigger pull proved to be the difference, as my opponent was shooting a full-size 1911 with plenty of custom work. However, the duel saw both of us requiring a reload and emptying both of our spare mags. At the end, he had two extra plates flipped to my side. Given the advantage he started with, I am still calling the SCCY CPX-2RD the winner.

Don’t discount performance just because a gun’s price tag does not hurt your wallet. The SCCY CPX-2RD offers premium performance at an affordable price.

Have you fired a SCCY pistol and have a review to share? Are you a fan of “cheap” guns like the author? Share your answers in the comment section.

  • top down view of the Riton 3Tactix mPRD2
  • SCCY CPX-2RD pistol with extra 10-round magazine
  • Glock 19X over a SCCY CPX-2RD comparing the grip size
  • slide stop on the SCCY CPX-2RD pistol
  • Dave Dolbee shooting the SCCY CPX-2RD handgun at an outdoor shooting range
  • rear view of the SCCY CPX-2RD pistol showing the sight picture of the Riton red dot sight
  • SCCY CPX-2RD pistol left profile with Riton 3Tactix mPRD2 red dot optic
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 (22)

  1. I have a cpx2 with red dot also. Similarly unimpressed for the 1st 50 rds. Once i got used to the trigger i could hit a 4inch circle fairky quickly at 15 yards. Installed an mcarbo trigger kit and man this thing is smooth. Easy to shoot and reliable. No malfunctions in about 500 rounds of various ammo. Great buy.

  2. Carried a SCCY for years runs great. The trigger can be taken down to 3 to 4 lbs in ten minutes with a 25 dollar spring kit from MCARBO. Very easy anyone should be able to do with a simple punch kit. Makes all the difference in the world for accuracy. Makes the pistol much more pleasurable to shoot also. Finger fatigue is just about nonexistent when shooting a couple hundred rounds.

  3. I have a SCCY CPX2 Great gun, always goes bang. Only problem, slide does not always stay open after the last shot. Got a tour of the Daytona factory a few years ago. Fascinating! It is so clean that you could eat off the floors. My wife wants a SCCY DVG-1 RD. I can’t find one anywhere. Even called the factory and was told they are out there.

  4. I bought one for $325.
    I know two people that have one and are happy with it.
    Im a Glock guy and bought this for my wife because it is pink. I really like it!
    It jammed with reloads but factory ammo was fine.
    I put in new trigger springs and cut the pull in half.
    Very good gun for my wife.

  5. I got my SCCY around 2017 or 2018 after the ” WALKING PINS ” started staying were they were supposed to!! I put a couple hundred rounds though it without any real problems with it except for my trigger finger getting sore from hitting the front “inside” of the trigger guard!! Fixed that with a little sanding for a little more room for my finger! What always bothered me were the walking pins alot of people were having! I was walking through DICKS SPORTING GOODS and passed by all ammo they had stacked on the floor and noticed some 9mm 124gr NATO 50rd boxes for $15 a box! To make a long story short I bought 2 boxes and ran all 100rds through the SCCY as fast as I could with not one problem and the pins never moved and my B27 target didn’t have a chest area anymore!! Had 2 guys come over to find out what I was shooting and were impressed with the gun and my shooting at 15yds

  6. I have been eyeing the little firearm and collecting info the sccy. Some reviews are great some are horrible. For me it starts as out my wife bought me a Keltec p11 when they first came out. A 9mm in a 380 frame,WOW. I have a love – hate relationship with my little friend. I have large hands and it chews my thumb up and the trigger thou it is smooth it is very long. With the other fine expensive pistols I have collected since then I found my self carrying that beat up p11 more then any of them. I bet I have but 5 thousand rounds thru it with only mishap by shooting +p. I knocked the trigger spring off the trigger bar. Small stuff. Enough on the p11, they call the sccy a p11 a knock off and that is fine with me as long as it is as good. And with a red dot which is a lure to me with my aging eyes and a price tag of 299 at a local store I am going for it. Thanks for your article Dave

  7. This is one of the best gun articles I’ve ever read. I am the same way. I believe the same way as well. It’s like people who go out and spend thousands of dollars on golf clubs and yet their game never improves. I have an appreciation for every firearm.

  8. not impressed with the failure to feed
    Tried 3 different brands of ammo and second round failed to feed on all 3 brands
    Not much good in a self defense situation

  9. I have owned a SCCY and used it as one of my two main carry guns for about 5 years. I love my SCCY and enjoy shooting it. All of my friends that have tried it out have also found it comfortable to hold and enjoyable to shoot. I have run, easily, several thousand rounds through the gun and it still shoots like the day it was brand new, actually better since it was a little stiff at first. I highly recommend SCCY weapons.

  10. I have a SCCY CPX2 and a CPX1.
    Obviously no red dot, but no problems at all. Bought both on sale for under $200 each at the time. That is cheap! Lifetime warranty. Call them and see how they respond. Fantastic customer service. I called with a question about a rebate. Super nice, super helpful.
    Like mentioned above, very well machined, very dependable. Outstanding value.

  11. Hello Sir, i to have purchased the SCCY pistol, the original and now their new offering, I am a machinist by trade, to make the story short, we disassembled the original CPX-2 Very impressed with the machine work that we saw, no chatter markers etc, moving along, i purchased the new CPX-2RD again totally disassembled, inspected, measurements compared to the original sccy tear down, very tight tolerances, i carry this gun daily and have complete confidence that it will never be a problem. I look forward to them offering larger caliber guns in the future, yup i will tear them down and inspect. Thank you for your time.

  12. I have owned my CPX-2 approximately 8 years now. With nearly 2000 rounds fired and countless dryfires. I’ve experienced only 2 problems. First was the slide not locking back when last round fired. This was due to the spring, in both magazines, being installed backwards. Easy self fix. Second issue had to do with the front frame pin walking out while at the range. Contacted customer service and was told they offer a set of oversized pins and I can send it in or they will send them to me. I have yet to have it fixed, but still carry it as my primary concealed. The long trigger pull bugged me at first, but like the original reviewer mentioned is actually comforting in a high stress situation.

  13. while I appreciate the price of the gun. I am currently looking at getting another weapon right now. but I have seen on a couple of forums where the magazine release has malfunctioned. did you have any problems with the magazine dropping out?

    1. No. I made three trips to the range and 15 minutes of dry fire and tap-rack-bang drills a day for month without an issue. ~Dave

    1. Does it also include a quality red dot for the price? I was referring to the entire package, not just the gun. ~Dave

  14. I have a SCCY CPX2. The heavy trigger pull makes it harder to accurately hit targets but aside from that the gun runs flawlessly. The author noted a noise in the barrel — the barrel does have a large hole that the retainment pin fits into which would account for the rattle, though have never noticed the noise when carrying. Fine gun for the price — I wish they would reduce the trigger pull which I understand they have addressed with their new line of striker fired pistols.

  15. I own several cheap guns as well. I also own a SCCY CPX2 which is pretty much my everyday carry. Thanks for the article I do plan on purchasing another SCCY in the near future, just trying to decide which one.

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