Hi-Point Firearms, also known as Beemiller (distributed by MKS Supply), is a firearms manufacturer based in Mansfield, Ohio. However only the CF.380, C9 9mm, and the carbines are made in Mansfield. They manufacture low-cost pistols and carbines, in .380 ACP, 9×19mm Parabellum, .40 S&W, .45 ACP.
Hi-Points have received notoriety for being common in gang-related crimes and the pistols are commonly regarded as ugly. However, Hi-Points are viewed as inexpensive pistols with few moving parts, low recoil and considerable reliability by firearms enthusiasts. Hi-Points have left gun owners almost completely polarized on their views. Some turn their noses up for being involved with criminals as well as ugly, others appreciate the cost and low maintenance. One thing is certain; few other firearms companies have divided people more than Hi-Point.
Hi-Point magazines are metal, with plastic bases. They are available in 8-round and 10-round capacity for the 9mm pistol, 9-round capacity for the .45 cal pistol, and 10-round capacity for the .40 cal pistol. The 9mm carbine has a 10-round capacity magazine, and the .40 cal carbine uses the same 10-round capacity magazine as the .40 cal pistol. The .45 cal carbine magazine has a 9-round capacity. The 9mm pistol magazine cannot be used in the 9mm carbine, though the 9mm carbine magazine can be used in the 9mm pistol, however, this is not recommended, as the carbine magazine will have some play in the pistol's magazine well, possibly leading to misfeeds and other stoppages. Larger capacity magazines are available from other manufacturers. Thomas Deeb, president of the company, has stated many times he has no interest in his company producing higher capacity magazines for any of their products.
Hi-Point firearms have a manual thumb safety and an integral drop safety that prevents firing in the event that the firearm is dropped. Until recently, all Hi-Point products except the 995 (9mm) carbine had a last-round lock open and magazine disconnect safety, preventing firing unless a magazine was in the gun. With the replacement of the original 9mm carbine with the new 995 TS model, all pistols and carbines now have these features. It has received some criticism for being difficult to operate.
According to the company's website, as of 2008, all Hi-Point firearms come with a lifetime "no questions asked" warranty. While older manuals have stated that the lifetime warranty is available to the original purchaser only, Hi-Point has since retroactively extended the warranty to include subsequent owners. Under the warranty, Hi-Point firearms are repaired free of charge. All Hi-Point firearms can be sent back to their respective factories and will be repaired and shipped back free of charge.
Hi-Point semi-automatic pistols are polymer-framed and generally regarded as simple, inexpensive handguns, which trade-off aesthetics for lower manufacturing cost. Based on a simple blowback design, Hi-Point pistols do not have a breech-locking system like most handguns. Instead they have large, heavy slides that hold the breech closed through sheer mass. The result is a heavier gun, for its size, that is bulkier and may be less aesthetically appealing than designs employing recoil operation. Pistols that use a blowback action in the calibers that Hi-Point firearms are chambered for are somewhat rare. While making the pistols heavier, this design also makes them mechanically simple and easy to maintain. Hi-Point recommends hosing out the action with a powder solvent like Break Free Powder Blast, Rem Oil or another aerosol solvent, then every 300-400 rounds running a cleaning brush through the barrel.
Most self-loading pistols can be field-stripped without the use of any tools. However, Hi-Point pistols require a punch or a small screwdriver to remove a pin in the receiver, in order to permit slide removal (and thus enable field-stripping). Hi-Point products generally retail for one-half to one-quarter the cost of a comparably chambered gun from most other manufacturers.
The slide is die cast from a zinc-family alloy that includes aluminum, magnesium, and copper and is called Zamak-3, rather than machined from forged steel. When asked why die-casting was chosen as a manufacturing technique, a Hi-Point representative responded, "In the area of Ohio where we are located, there are many shops that specialize in die casting for the auto industry. We utilize this resource." Uncommon for this construction, they are rated for +P ammunition in calibers up to .45 ACP. Blowback designs are generally simpler in design and easier and cheaper to manufacture than locked-breech recoil-operated firearms. Though the fixed barrel generally will contribute to improved accuracy, blowback guns often are larger and heavier for a given caliber.
Hi-Point carbines use a polymer stock, stamped receiver cover, and a receiver and bolt cast from zamak-3. The barrel is steel and button rifled using a 1-10" right hand twist.
Hi-Point carbines have a generally better overall reputation than the pistol line, although the pistol line has been gaining popularity, and are fairly popular with budget-minded firearms enthusiasts.
Some people are wary of Hi-Points because of the use of zinc alloy (Zamak-3) castings in much of their construction. However, parts made from Zamak-3 in Hi-Point guns, (receiver and bolt/slide), are low-stress components that do not require the strength of steel. Higher stress components in Hi-Points, like the barrel, chamber, breech and other small parts, are made of steel.