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Handguns

SCCY CPX-3 Preview

shooting the CPX-3

SCCY will officially announce a new .380 ACP pistol at the 2015 NASGW Expo & Annual Meeting. Called the CPX-3, the new handgun will be slightly smaller than the existing CPX-1 and -2 pistols with some upgrades that make it the best shooting gun in the company’s current line-up.

Let’s take a look at the gun and its new features…

Factory Tour

As many of you know, I am a regular contributor to several of the gun magazines produced by Harris Publications. SCCY invited several Harris Publications writers to the company’s factory in Daytona Beach, FL for a tour and early look at a new pistol. I was one of those writers.

While at the factory, I had a chance to meet and spend time with Wayne Holt, the president of SCCY, and Joe Roebuck, the company’s founder and CEO.

CPX-3

The CPX-3 is a new gun that looks similar to the existing pistols from the company but incorporates things like a lighter trigger and a new action. These are hammer-fired pistols, with the hammer concealed in the slide so that it will not snag on clothing, etc.

new CPX-3

As stated above, the gun is slightly smaller than the existing 9mm pistols, but it is not what I would call a subcompact pistol. According to SCCY, the company did not want to release a handgun so small that it would be abusive to the shooter or difficult to operate. As a guy who’s shot a lot of handguns over the years, I can attest to the fact that tiny .380 pistols can be a pain to shoot. Sure, a Ruger LCP can be hidden virtually anywhere, but you sacrifice accuracy, capacity and controllability to get there.

Since the company was not focused on shrinking the CPX-3 to a tiny footprint, the gun has a relatively high capacity for a .380 ACP handgun: 10+1 rounds. This is the same capacity as the 9mm CPX-1 and -2.

These new handguns will not have the external safety lever found on the CPX-1 pistols. While market demands can certainly convince the company otherwise, there are no immediate plans to introduce a thumb safety version of the gun.

Other guns in the company’s line are offered in a range of colors. However, the initial models of CPX-3 will be offered with a black frame only. As time goes on, I would expect these pistols will have the same frame color choices that the other guns currently have.

Sights are a 3-dot pattern similar to what the existing SCCY guns use.

Roebuck Quad Lock System

Roebuck designed a new system called the Roebuck Quad Lock System. A simplified explanation is the system uses the tension on the rear of the barrel to press the front of the barrel into a V-channel. This eliminates virtually all barrel wiggle that is common on most, non-fixed barrel pistols. The theoretical result is a gun that is more accurate, but still operates for the user like a typical locked breech pistol.

new SCCY CPX-3 380 ACP pistol

Due to the way the system works, the slide is very easy to manipulate. The prior SCCY pistols use a heavy recoil spring that can be difficult for novice and weak shooters to manipulate. The CPX-3 is completely different. Gone is the heavy pull, and it is replaced by a smooth, light ride on the rails. For this reason alone, the CPX-3 is a significant improvement over prior models.

Range Time

I went with the SCCY crew to the nearby Hotshot Indoor Range for a chance to shoot the new pistol. SCCY brought two of the CPX-3 prototype pistols that they had been running for several months to test the design’s reliability and endurance.

SCCY employees encouraged us to shoot the guns as much as possible, and they were not stingy with the ammunition. When the other shooters and I seemed done, they nearly begged us to shoot more. They were certainly not afraid of us running the guns hard.

I found the CPX-3 to be very easy shooting. The grip was large enough that I could wrap both hands around the pistol and easily control recoil. For me, the gun pointed well with the sights in nearly perfect alignment the first time I brought the pistol up into my line of vision.

Recoil was very mild.

SCCY CPX-3 at the range

The CPX-3 had a long, smooth trigger pull. While the pull was longer than I liked, I could feel no stacking and the pull seemed to be very consistent. Compared to a CPX-1 or -2 pistol, the trigger on this gun was noticeably lighter. I was told by a SCCY employee that the CPX-3 trigger pull ran about 6-7 pounds while the pull of the original guns was several pounds heavier.

One of the things I did not like about the trigger is that you have to let the trigger ride all the way forward before you can shoot again. As the gun does not have a strong trigger return spring to forcibly push the trigger back to the forward position, it is possible to short-stroke the trigger during rapid fire.

This did happen to me once during the shooting. In fairness, I’ve experienced the same thing with other handguns such as the Ruger LCR. I prefer the harder push, like that on Smith & Wesson revolvers, to return the trigger to the fully extended position if it requires a full ride before the gun will fire again.

Excluding the short stroke, which is a shooter error, I only observed one malfunction with the guns. Another writer had a stovepipe malfunction on the last round in a string of shots. I can’t say what caused the error, but the shooter was very experienced and I don’t think it was a limp wrist induced error.

Accuracy seemed very good. All of my shots went where I aimed, and none of the writers seemed to have any problems placing rounds on target. Several of us made impressively small groups with the guns in the 7-15 yard range. It will be interesting to get a production gun and see exactly how accurate these pistols can be.

Final Thoughts

I want to be very clear: the guns we shot were pre-production pistols. I am not going to give the new SCCY CPX-3 a recommendation until I shoot a production gun and am convinced of its reliability. However, I did like the guns and suggest that you shoot one once they hit the market.

The new pistol promises a number of advantages that you may not find in other concealed carry guns. Considering how affordable the SCCY pistols are, the new CPX-3 may be one of the best buys on the market when it starts shipping.

Disclosure

As with my product reviews, I am disclosing all potential biases related to the preview of the CPX-3. This allows you to critically evaluate my statements and determine what information is most helpful to you.

SCCY invited me as a writer for Harris Publications to visit the company’s factory as described above. SCCY paid for a room at a hotel for a single night, plus bought me lunch. I paid for my own transportation costs. The company also gave me an embroidered SCCY polo shirt and some other nice knick-knacks with an estimated total value of $50 or less.

All of the SCCY officers and staff were friendly and seemed to be very honest and candid about the company’s products and development. No one requested or suggested I write about the company, much less do so in a positive light. No monies or other items of value (not described above) were exchanged or offered.

I do not have any investment or other interest in SCCY or any other product mentioned in this article. If you are interested in other SCCY pistols, check out my article SCCY DVG-1: Striker-Fired 9mm Pistol.

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

44 replies on “SCCY CPX-3 Preview”

I’m thinking I’ll have to give SCCY another chance. I bought the CPX-2 a year and a half ago since the price was so good, but was pretty turned off by that heavy trigger pull. I’d be interested in buying a CPX-3 just to check it out!
Great overview, thanks for sharing!

I checked out the CPX-1 and CPX-2 at a gun shop at least 3 times and was definitely NOT impressed. The design looks and feels CHEAP like Hi-Point pistols. The trigger pull is too long and the magazine release is sometimes hard to release. It feels more like a cheap toy than a functional weapon. I would consider the new CPX-3 ONLY if they offer a manual thumb safety at some point in the future.

When will the Cpx 3 be availed for us to purchase?
I own both the Cpx 1 and 2 and am absolutely in love with the performance and accuracy. I have many other handguns and actually prefer to carry it over my Glock 19 or my 23…..I can’t wait to add the Cpx 3 to my arsenal. ….please let me know when I can get it.Would love to be a field tester for it

Hi Garry,

SCCY pushed the release date back to early 2016. They will likely show them at the SHOT Show in January. For what it is worth, they sent me a pre-production gun that I am testing. So far, it is running well and has an improved trigger pull when compared to the CPX-2.

Richard

I have a CPX2tt and love it. The long trigger pull and heavy slide don’t bother me but my wife struggles with it. The CPX3 sounds like just the weapon for her. Counter to what a lot of others are saying about the long R&D time involved, I appreciate any manufacturer that takes their time with product testing prior to releasing a product instead of using me for their test subject.

Wow !!! I am shocked that some of you prefer the CPX -1 and CPX-2 over any Glock firearm. I certainly don’t think that any SCCY product is on the same quality level as Springfield Armory, Ruger, Glock, Bersa, Smith and Wesson, Sig Sauer or Beretta. I have a Bersa Thunder 380 Plus and its a much better weapon than any SCCY products in EVERY way.

Glocks are great guns. I have a Glock 21 myself. While the 21 is obviously not a gun you would use as a CC, the Glocks that can be used as CC seemed too fat for me to do that. The SCCY is a great gun and works nice as a CC. I just got my SCCY 3 weeks ago so I’ve run only 500 rounds through it so far but I haven’t had 1 problem with it. None at all. And it is one of the easiest guns I’ve ever had to break down and clean. Shoots accurate too.

Quality of materials appears to be up there. Design will have to prove itself it hasn’t already. I find it curious people make assumptions around quality and price. The relationship isnt always linear.

The frames break and when they do the metal looks of very poor quality. I personally would buy a surplus radom before I messed with anything from bersa.

Have to agree 100% with George, Garry, Gary, W.C., & Rick…absolutely love my CPX-2. Heading to the range in a couple hours to fire off some more rounds. As DaraHolsters says…the trigger is a bit heavy at first…but, to me at least, it just takes some getting used to and then it’s fine. I stumbled upon this article and comments looking for something else and it could not have been better timing. Getting ready to buy my wife a handgun and she was leaning towards the S&W MP 22 or Ruger SR22, but now we may wait until this SCCY 380 comes out. Thanks for the great write up on it Richard.

Thanks Steve. SCCY has pushed delivery of this gun back a bit. Right now, it is looking like maybe Spring 2016. The company sent me a prototype a few weeks ago, and based on the gun I have in my hands right now, they still have some work to do. It is a functional system, and I think it will be better than the CPX1/2, but its not quite ready I think.

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