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No Bark But Plenty Of Bite: Hi Point Carbine Upgrades

Pistol-caliber carbines (PCC) are either loved or hated. Outside of fun at the range, most of the time if there’s going to be a carbine or a rifle used, it’s going to be in an actual rifle caliber. 

As it’s not 1876 anymore, it’s not always necessary to carry a handgun and rifle with a shared caliber. If you’re hundreds of miles from civilization, with no internet, mail, or form of supply train, then maybe having ammo commonality between the two makes sense. In the practical, real world, it’s really more about cost savings for gaming.

But still, there’s that whisper. The one that says you can and should justify it. It can come up with rationales for you to repeat like, “Maybe I need something straight wall for hunting,” or “A semi-auto with a decent power factor could be good,” or “It’s 10mm! Just get it!” The real lesson is that you don’t really need a reason, aside from mere desire. 

Hi-Point’s 10mm carbine seems to scratch that itch for most people. The company is known for inexpensive but safe and reliable blowback-operated handguns and carbines. Heck, we covered the introduction of their 10mm carbine back in CONCEALMENT Issue 10, and even went behind the scenes to see how the sausage is made for their 10mm pistol in RECOIL Issue 68.

Ergonomically, it’s not bad, but pull it out of your safe to take it to the range and you might feel like you’re taking your sister to the prom. This example is finished in a hydro-dipped Realtree Edge Camo scheme and looks just as bad as the basic black. No, function isn’t a problem for this carbine, but there is another: it’s just so damn ugly.

HIGH TOWER ARMORY

However, in today’s day and age, we have American entrepreneurs who will build things to help us out. High Tower Armory (HTA) manufactures replacement bullpup stocks for Hi-Point’s series of carbines, and also the Ruger 10/22, in Black, Tan, and OD Green.  Here we have an OD Green MBS 95 stock to replace Hi-Point’s factory version.

On the plus side of the original, the camouflage makes it easier to lose in the woods.

Out of the box you can tell that this is a well-built unit, and installation only took about 20 to 30 minutes but only because this was a foreign platform for us and we needed a little help. If you’re familiar with the Hi-Point carbine and its quirks, it might take even less.

The MBS (Modular Bullpup System) 95 from HTA gives shooters the ability to bring improved ergonomics, serviceability, and maneuverability to the rugged simplicity of the Hi-Point Carbine. The MBS 95 is a radical deviation from other bullpup conversions, thanks in large part to its modular design. 

It’s a durable, glass-filled nylon stock with two CNC-machined aluminum rails, aluminum bedding blocks, an internal recoil reduction system, and a hardened steel trigger linkage. Internal steel components are coated in Melonite to offer the very best in corrosion resistance, and the aluminum rails are hard-coated anodized for durability.

After installation, field stripping the carbine takes less than a minute without the use of tools. The stock is fully ambidextrous, complete with a reversible forward-mounted charging handle, forward magazine release, and a shell deflector for left-handed use. Eight M-LOK slots allow for the addition of extra rails and other accessories such as QD sling mounts, lights, and lasers. Don’t try for the HK slap routine to charge the rifle on the 10mm version, because the springs are very strong and a full dynamic charge is needed.

You may be a bit apprehensive at the thought of a blowback-operated 10mm carbine. However, hefting this rifle gives the feeling of substantial construction. There was nothing functionally wrong with Hi-Point’s stock; this was just a way to dress it up a bit.

Bullpups aren’t usually known for ergonomics but HTA did a lot of heavy lifting here. After conversion, your 10mm is fully ambidextrous.

The trigger doesn’t have the weird, long feel of most bullpups, but the Hi-Point doesn’t have a great trigger to begin with. Apart from that, the new overall length of the carbine is 28.5 inches. If you’re in a locale that has a longer overall length restriction on rifles, you might have to extend the barrel.

THE SILENCER

There aren’t a lot of purpose-built silencers intended for 10mm, because by its nature it’s a supersonic round. The 10mm achieved most of its popularity as replicating the ballistics of a .357 Magnum when fired through a semi-auto pistol, and there were very few carbines chambered in this cartridge prior to the Hi-Point. The FBI did use an MP5 variant in 10mm known as the MP5/10 with a suppressor that’s pretty much unobtanium. 

The good news is that most silencers rated for .45 ACP will work with the 10mm. You should check with the manufacturer if you have any questions.

Here we went with a Bowers ASP 45, which is 7 inches long with a diameter of 1.5 inches, but only weighs in at 5 ounces. It’s constructed of rugged aluminum with an anodized finish to increase durability and also some stainless steel. 

This makes the Bowers ASP 45 one of the smallest and lightest .45-caliber cans on the market. In fact, it’s so light that it cycles reliably on semi-auto pistols without the use of a booster, piston, or Nielsen Device. It’s designed to be run wet with either water or some other ablative like wire-pulling gel to aid suppression, but the one drawback is that it’s a sealed unit and isn’t user-serviceable.

While lightweight cans of this nature are great on pistols, they work extremely well on rifles, especially a hunting-type firearm that you may need to maneuver quickly because there’s no excessive weight at the muzzle. It balanced well with this Starship Troopers version of the carbine.

The Hi-Point 10mm carbine was first loaded with 200-grain hard-cast lead bullets loaded to 1,000 fps to get this setup as quiet as possible. Without a sound meter on hand to measure a true decibel rating (for as much as those are really worth), it was found that the 10mm subsonic has a similar sound signature to a suppressed .45 ACP. Surprisingly, the factory [supersonic] loads weren’t much louder. 

In any event, it was a lot quieter than expected, and if you’re a fan of big-bore pistols and rifles, it’s one you should probably have. The ASP 45 is very versatile and can move to another firearm with a different thread pattern by changing the ATAS (All Tactical and Stuff) mount. There are no pistons, springs, or fixed-barrel spacers to worry about.

Note that the increased back pressure may cause accelerated wear on blowback-operated carbines. The use of lead projectiles, even hard cast, may cause undue leading in the can as well. The good news is that Bowers will service the ASP 45 when needed, as they have a great lifetime warranty. If you’re running subsonic loads and notice an increase in sound signature, just call Tom or Dorothy at the Bowers Group and arrange to send it in.

PERFORMANCE

After running the handloads downrange, we had the urge to shoot more. There was half a case of SIG Sauer 10mm ammunition sitting in the garage, so we pulled a few boxes of 180-grain Elite Performance FMJ.

According to the chronograph, we were averaging 1,484 fps. This is comparable to the ballistics of a 6- to 8-inch .41 or .44 Magnum revolver. The 10-round single-stack magazines functioned flawlessly. At 50 yards, we were getting one-hole groups with a Primary Arms red dot. We found the sight quick and easy to pick up.

DOWNSIDES

The only real issue we found with the entire thing was with the magazine. That’s not to say that it didn’t function flawlessly — because it did. Aftermarket magazines aren’t too expensive either, but it’s single stack. This is one carbine where we’d really like to see a double-stack design, preferably with 10mm UMP or Glock magazines. Maybe Glock so our handguns can eat from the same while we pretend we live at the end of the 19th century. 

Their company, their rules. With the low cost of magazines, not to mention the cost of the rifle itself, 10mm shooters can afford them easily. Or if you can’t, you have no business owning a 10mm anyway. 

LOOSE ROUNDS

Shooters looking for a good quality and highly reliable carbine for a reasonable price in 10mm will find a lot to like about this model. If you can’t get past the look or want a more easily maintainable carbine, you have an outstanding option with the High Tower Armory MBS 95 stock.

Admittedly, we were a bit skeptical about the Bowers ASP 45 mounted on the Hi-Point 1095, due to its light weight and having only used it on a 1911 and a lever gun in the past. However, those reservations were completely unfounded.

There were some minor complications during this build. A thread adapter from Bowers was required, and there were initially some problems installing the stock — HTA responded immediately and fixed the problem.

That’s the greatest part about dealing with American companies — modern communication, quick help, and fast parts procurement. No, 1876 it ain’t. 

SPECS

Rifle:

  • Hi-Point 1095,
  • RealTree Edge
  • Barrel: 17.5 inches
  • Thread pitch: 0.578×28 TPI
  • Caliber:10mm
  • Overall Length: 32 inches
  • Weight: 7 pounds
  • Capacity: 10
  • MSRP: $439 (Realtree, shown), $390 (standard)
  • URL: hi-pointfirearms.com

Stock

Silencer

  • Bowers ASP 45
  • Weight: 5 ounces
  • Length: 7 inches
  • Diameter: 1.5 inches
  • Material: Aluminum, stainless steel
  • Mounting: Direct thread
  • Rating: 45-cal bore (9mm, 10mm, .44 Special, .45 ACP, .45 Super and no barrel length restrictions)
  • MSRP: $825
  • URL: bowersgroup.com

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