February 29, 2020: USA Entry Level Semi-Automatics

A roundup of entry level semi-automatic pistols made in the USA. Criteria: Personal Protection in the Home, MSRP less than $499, minimum 3.5″ barrel, chambered for 9mm, 40 S&W or 45ACP. Data as of February 2020.

ManufacturerModelBarrelCapacityMSRP
DiamondbackAM23.5″12 + 1 or 17 + 1$339
Hi PointC93.5″9 + 1$199
FMK9C1 G24″14 + 1$409.95
Kahr ArmsST94″8 + 1$456
MossbergMC2c3.9″13 + 1 or 15 + 1$490
RemingtonRP94.5″18 + 1$418.09
RugerSecurity 94″15 + 1$379
Smith & WessonSD9 VE4″16 + 1$389

DIAMONDBACK Firearms (diamondbackfirearms.com) was established in 2009. The manufacturing facilities are located in Cocoa, in Brevard county Florida. The AM2 was introduced in May 2019. The Limited Lifetime (LL) warranty is expressed to the original puchaser (OP) for Material and Workmanship (M&W). The sights are stated as being “Glock compatible”. The trigger pull weight is stated to be between 5 and 6 pounds. Diamondback Firearms is one of several firearms manufacturers located in Brevard county Florida.

ManufacturerDiamondbackModelAM2 (DBAM2)
WarrantyOP LL M&W MSRP$ 339
Barrel3.5″ StainlessSlideStainless
Length6.49″Sights3 Dot
Height4.6″/5.6″FramePolymer
Width1.09″Accessory RailPicitinny 3 notch
Weight 1.375 lbsMagazine1×12,1×17 rounds

Hi Point Firearms (hi-pointfirearms.com) was founded in 1993 by Tom Deeb. Manufacturing is done in Ohio. The first gun offered was the C-9. Hi Point offers a Lifetime warranty on their firearms. The gun comes with one magazine, so you’ll need to factor in purchasing a couple more at 16.50 for the 8 round or 19.50 for a 10 round. Taxes and shipping may be additional charges. Models chambered in .40 S&W or .45 ACP are also available at an MSRP of $219. These are larger guns with 4.5″ barrels.

ManufacturerHi PointModelC-9
WarrantyLifetimeMSRP$ 199
Barrel3.5″SlideZinc-Alloy
Length6.75″Sights3 Dot
Height5″FramePolymer
Width1.5″Accessory RailNo
Weight 1.81 lbsMagazine1×8 rounds

FMK Firearms (fmkfirearms.com) was founded in 2006 by Jim Pontillo in Placentia California. The 9C1 G2 was introduced in 2016. The website lists a package with 2 magazines in a lockable hard case. I’ve seen a model in cardboard box with one magazine and a sticker price of $249. Since that is not a product offering on their web site I didn’t include it as an option. The warranty is to the original purchaser (OP). Lifetime for Material and Workmanship (M&W) for guns registered within 30 days of purchase.

ManufacturerFMK FirearmsModel9C1 G2
WarrantyOP Lifetime M&WMSRP$ 409.95
Barrel4″SlideHigh-Carbon Steel
Length6.85″Sights3 Dot
Height5.09″FramePolymer
Width1.14″Accessory RailPicatinny 1 notch
Weight 1.46 lbsMagazine2×14 rounds

Kahr Arms ( kahr.com ) was founded in 1994 by Justin Moon. The manufacturing facilities are in Worcester Massachusetts. The corporate headquarters are located in Greeley Pennsylvania. The ST9 has an MSRP $7 more than the CT9. One difference is the ST9 has the accessory rail. If you chose this model of Kahr, spend the extra $7 and have the options an accessory rail provides.

ManufacturerKahr ArmsModelST9 (ST9093)
Warranty5 year LimitedMSRP$ 456
Barrel4″SlideStainless Steel
Length6.5″Sights3 Dot
Height5.08″FramePolymer
Width.9″ SlideAccessory RailPicatinny 3 notch
Weight 1.29 lbsMagazine2×8 rounds

O. F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc ( mossberg.com ) was founded in 1919 by the Swedish immigrant Oscar Frederick Mossberg and his sons Harold and Iver. The business started in New Haven Connecticut. Their first gun was a four shot, .22 Long Rifle chambered pistol named the Brownie. It was the only handgun produced by Mossberg until they released the MC1sc in January 2019. The larger MC2c was released in January 2020. While most of Mossberg’s manufacturing has been moved to Eagle Pass Texas, the marketing for the MC2c doesn’t state it is made in the USA. That lead me to speculate that some of the components are made in Turkey. While the warranty for most of the shotguns and rifles Mossberg produces carry a 10 year warranty, a call to Customer Service confirmed the MC2c warranty is a one year Material & Workmanship to the original purchaser.

ManufacturerMossbergModelMC2c (89012)
Warranty  OP 1 year M&W MSRP$490
Barrel3.9″ StainlessSlideStainless
Length7.1″Sights3 Dot
Height4.9″FramePolymer
Width1.1″Accessory RailYes, 1 notch
Weight 1.31 lbsMagazine1×13,1×15 rounds

Remington Arms Company, LLC ( remington.com ) was founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington II in Illion Gulch New York. Originally a barrel maker, he moved to Ilion New York in 1828. The company made their first complete gun in 1845 for the U. S. Ordance Department. Remington also has firearms manufacturing in Huntsville Alabama. The RP9 was introduced in 2017. The similar sized RP45 was introduced in 2018. The RP9 has a Limited Lifetime (LL) Material & Workmanship (M&W) to the Original Purchaser (OP) warranty.

ManufacturerRemingtonModelRP9 (964662)
WarrantyOP LL M&WMSRP$418.09
Barrel4.5″SlideSteel
Length7.91″Sights3 Dot
Height5.56″FramePolymer
Width1.27″Accessory RailPicatinny 3 notch
Weight 1.65 lbsMagazine2×18 rounds

Sturm, Ruger & Co, Inc. (ruger.com) was founded in 1949 by Alexander McCormick Sturm and William B. Ruger in Southport, Connecticut. The Security 9 was introduced in December 2017. It is a hammer fired Single Action (SA) in contrast to the Striker fired Dual Action Only (DAO) guns in this category. Ruger also has manufacturing facilities in Prescott Arizona. No Warranty is stated, call Customer Service from the numbers listed on the web site.

ManufacturerRugerModelSecurity 9 (3810)
WarrantyMSRP$379
Barrel4″ Alloy SteelSlideAlloy Steel
Length7.24″Sights3 Dot
Height5″FramePolymer
Width1.02″ SllideAccessory RailPicatinny 4 notch
Weight 1.49 lbsMagazine2×15 rounds

Smith and Wesson (smith-wesson.com) was founded in 1852 by Horace Smith and B.B. Wesson. The company has been making the SD pistol since 2010. It was reintroduction in 2012 when the Sigma product was discontinued. It is also available chambered in .40 S&W. Read a review at http://keepandbear.us/reviews.htm#H

ManufacturerSmith&WessonModelSD9 VE (223900)
WarrantyOP 1 year M&WMSRP$ 389
Barrel4″ Stainless SlideStainless Steel
Length7.2″Sights3 Dot
Height5.53″FramePolymer
Width1.29″Accessory Rail Picatinny 2 notch
Weight 1.42 lbsMagazine2×16 rounds

The list of excluded American manufactureres is longer than the list that was included in this category. They were not in the list either bacause of size or price point, or both.

Bond Arms (bondarms.com, Granbury, Texas) Bullpup 9 misses the size and price point with a 3.35″ barrel and an MSRP of $1,099. Walther (Fort Smith, Arkansas) PPK misses the size, price point and caliber with a .380 ACP chambered 3.3″ barrel with an MSRP of $849.

Kel Tec (Cocoa, Florida) and SCCY (Daytona Beach, Florida) miss on size. Their semi-automatic pistols are designed for the concealed carry market.

Beretta (Gallatin, Tennessee); Colt (Hartford, Connecticut); Dan Wesson (Norwich, New York); Ed Brown (Perry, Missouri); FN America (Columbia, South Carolina); Glock (Smyrna, Georgia); Heckler & Koch (Columbus Georgia); Inland Manufacturing (Dayton, Ohio); Kimber (Yonkers, New York); Les Baer (LeClaire, Iowa); Magnum Research (Pillager, Minnesota); Nighthawk (Berryville, Arkansas); Sig Sauer (Newington, New Hampshire); Springfield Armory (Geneseo, Illinois); Wilson Combat (Berryville, Arkansas) miss the price point.

Taurus (Bainbridge, Georgia) opened the facility in December 2019. Aside from a run of promotional TX22 models, I haven’t been able to determine which, if any center fire Taurus handguns are being made there.

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