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THE HUD­SON H9’S IN­NO­VA­TIVE DE­SIGN MAKES FOR AN EASY-FIR­ING 9MM HAND­GUN

Concealed Carry Hand Guns - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - STORY AND PHO­TOS BY BOB CAMP­BELL

The Hud­son H9’s in­no­va­tive de­sign makes for an easy-fir­ing 9mm hand­gun.

By Bob Camp­bell

The Hud­son H9 9mm is a dis­tinc­tive hand­gun in ap­pear­ance, yet the mech­a­nism is tra­di­tional. While the de­sign fea­tures are proven in other hand­guns, the con­flu­ence of de­sign is ex­tra­or­di­nary in many ways.

The pis­tol elic­its di­verse re­ac­tions. I have shown it to friends and pro­fes­sion­als and there have been many com­ments. While a few felt the pis­tol looked odd, oth­ers find the pis­tol looks fu­tur­is­tic. The pis­tol may have a mod­ern ap­pear­ance, but it also looks like a pis­tol that may have been de­signed at the turn of the last cen­tury.

The Hud­son H9 is ad­ver­tised as a mix of the best fea­tures of the 1911 hand­gun and mod­ern striker-fired hand­guns. This is true to an ex­tent. The sin­gle-ac­tion trig­ger of­fers a clean break that isn’t found with dou­ble-ac­tion only or safe ac­tion pis­tols. Yet the pis­tol may be car­ried safely with­out a man­ual safety.

The pis­tol is Brown­ing like in many ways and I feel that it is more sim­i­lar to the Brown­ing Hi Power than the Colt 1911. With the Hi Power out of pro­duc­tion this year, it seems that we have been given an al­ter­na­tive. With all re­spect to the Hi Power, the Hud­son is the su­pe­rior com­bat gun as my fir­ing eval­u­a­tions have shown. The Hud­son is a de­sign that should be re­spected by Glock fans and the 1911 en­thu­si­ast alike and at the same time it should stand on its own mer­its. One of the pri­mary rea­sons is how low it sits in the hand.

LOW BORE AXIS

The H9 is fairly slim and compact, but with a bul­bous nose that the ca­sual ob­server might think houses a com­bat light or sup­pres­sor. That mono­lithic dust cover con­tains the re­coil spring in a novel ar­range­ment. By keep­ing the re­coil spring un­der the slide in this man­ner, the bore axis of the pis­tol is ef­fec­tively low­ered. This re­sults in su­pe­rior shoot­ing qual­i­ties as demon­strated dur­ing the fir­ing rests. The lower bore axis and the straight to the rear re­coil spring mo­tion also re­duces felt re­coil.

The pis­tol fea­tures a light rail, which few 1911 hand­guns and no Hi Power 9mm hand­guns do. While the low xxxx bore axis re­sults in low felt re­coil, it also re­sults in a low hang­ing com­bat light. It is dif­fer­ent, but still use­ful for home de­fense.

Some­times there is a lag time for hol­ster mak­ers to get up and run­ning on mak­ing holsters for a new hand­gun. The Hud­son I have per­son­ally tested is de­ployed in a PHLster hol­ster. They are first with the most. This is a Ky­dex in­side-the-waist­band (IWB) de­sign with good fea­tures, such as an anti-roll­out at­tach­ment for use as an ap­pen­dix hol­ster. I would think this was a dif­fi­cult piece to de­sign a hol­ster for, but PHLster has done an ad­mirable job.

NICE FEA­TURES

The bal­ance of speed and re­ten­tion is good. The Hud­son H9 is flat enough and bal­anced well for con­cealed carry. The grip is thin enough for most hand sizes to ob­tain a good grip.

“WHEN AD­DRESS­ING DRY FIRE SCE­NAR­IOS IN A DARK­ENED ROOM, I FOUND THE PLACE­MENT OF THE SIN­GLE FRONT DOT HELPED IN WORK­ING WITH BOTH EYES OPEN.”

The pis­tol is sim­i­lar in feel and size to the Brown­ing Hi Power and the grip ac­cepts a 14-round 9mm mag­a­zine. This mag­a­zine is unique to the Hud­son. The grips are well done and are re­cessed into the grip frame. The grip tex­ture of­fers a good bal­ance of ad­he­sion and abra­sion. The front strap is check­ered in cus­tom style but it is ma­chine check­er­ing. The check­er­ing isn’t as sharp as a Dan Wes­son or Les Baer but well done and of­fers a good grip­ping sur­face.

Just be­hind the trig­ger guard is a de­pres­sion sim­i­lar to the Colt En­hanced treat­ment. This fur­ther low­ers the bore

axis. The pis­tol fea­tures a beaver­tail grip tang. There is no grip safety. The main­spring hous­ing is nicely check­ered. The mag­a­zine well is slightly beveled.

The con­trols of the pis­tol are well de­signed. The am­bidex­trous slide lock is pos­i­tive in op­er­a­tion and eas­ily reached by the fir­ing hand thumb. The mag­a­zine re­lease is pos­i­tive in op­er­a­tion.

The mag­a­zines are ta­pered at the top like all high ca­pac­ity 9mm mag­a­zines. This makes for good speed in mag­a­zine re­place­ment. The pis­tol is sup­plied with three mag­a­zines, a good thing. They were very stiff to load dur­ing the first range out­ing. Af­ter a dozen load­ings or so they loos­ened to an ex­tent.

This pis­tol calls for a mag­a­zine loader. I used the Black­hawk! mag­a­zine loader dur­ing these ex­er­cises. Even to­day with some 1,400 car­tridges fired, the mag­a­zines are dif­fi­cult to load to the full ca­pac­ity. They are pos­i­tive in op­er­a­tion and feed re­li­a­bil­ity is high.

TRIG­GER TREAT­MENT

The mag­a­zine re­lease is eas­ily changed from right to left hand. The trig­ger ac­tion is clean and breaks at 4.5 pounds. How­ever, the trig­ger safety dif­fers com­pletely from most and may give some shoot­ers trou­ble. Ac­tu­at­ing the safety is a nat­u­ral move­ment, but the trig­ger shoe that acts as a safety lever is hinged at the bot­tom. The safety isn’t a small lever in­set in the trig­ger face but cov­ers the en­tire trig­ger. As slack is taken up in the trig­ger shoe, the trig­ger shoe closes on the trig­ger face and the trig­ger is pressed to the rear.

The trig­ger is smooth, very crisp, if not quite as well re­fined as a Les Baer or high-grade Colt. How­ever, the trig­ger safety is dif­fer­ent than other de­signs and re­sults in some shoot­ers fir­ing low. By care­fully work­ing the trig­ger to the rear and at­tempt­ing to man­age the trig­ger safety with­out af­fect­ing trig­ger pull, the shooter will be on tar­get.

Also, you should be cer­tain to dig into the dip in the front strap to prop­erly man­age shot place­ment.

The night sights are a great ad­van­tage in per­sonal de­fense or home de­fense. The rear sight is a ser­rated unit with a wide rear notch that al­lows the front Tri­ji­con HD to come into fo­cus quickly. The HD type self-lu­mi­nous iron sight fea­tures an or­ange dot that is highly vis­i­ble in any type of light. By us­ing the or­ange dot rather than the top of the sight for sight­ing, I was able to keep on track and get the pis­tol to fire to the point of aim. When ad­dress­ing dry fire sce­nar­ios in a dark­ened room, I found the place­ment of the sin­gle front dot helped in work­ing with both eyes open. That is an ad­van­tage over most sys­tems.

SHOOT­ING IM­PRES­SIONS

The pis­tol shoots low with most shoot­ers. All who fired the pis­tol noted its straight to the rear re­coil. This is a com­po­nent of the re­coil spring re­coil­ing

more to­ward the grip frame than the slide. The pis­tol shoots flat at long dis­tances, per­haps due to lim­ited muz­zle rise. By ap­ply­ing the best tech­nique pos­si­ble to the pis­tol and con­cen­tra­tion on the fun­da­men­tals, I was able to af­fect a grip and sight pic­ture that proved ac­cept­able for ac­cu­rate fire and with a bet­ter cor­re­la­tion be­tween the point of aim and point of im­pact.

As for re­li­a­bil­ity, the pis­tol has fired well over 1,000 rounds with­out a prob­lem since the ini­tial fir­ing pro­gram. Dur­ing the first box of am­mu­ni­tion, the striker failed to re­set. Be­yond that there have been no mal­func­tions. I have used a good quan­tity of Black

Hills Am­mu­ni­tion in this hand­gun, begin­ning with the 115-grain FMJ load­ing. This is a train­ing load with good ac­cu­racy and a clean pow­der burn.

The Black Hills Am­mu­ni­tion 124-grain JHP at 1,100 fps has given good re­sults. This load of­fers a good bal­ance

“...THE HUD­SON IS AC­CU­RATE ENOUGH FOR PER­SONAL DE­FENSE AND MOST FORMS OF AC­TION COM­PE­TI­TION.”

of ex­pan­sion and pen­e­tra­tion and is pleas­ant to fire in any 9mm, but es­pe­cially the Hud­son H9. For a duty load, I would move to one of the Black Hills Am­mu­ni­tion +P loads, the 1,300 fps 115-grain or the 124-grain +P 1,200 fps load­ing. While they re­coil a lit­tle more, the 35-ounce Hud­son doesn’t ex­hibit much muz­zle flip.

As for ab­so­lute ac­cu­racy, the Hud­son is ac­cu­rate enough for per­sonal de­fense and most forms of ac­tion com­pe­ti­tion. I fired sev­eral five-shot groups of 2.5 inches at 25 yards from a solid bench rest. Most have been larger. The pis­tol is ser­vice-grade ac­cu­rate, which means most groups with qual­ity am­mu­ni­tion will be un­der four inches at 25 yards.

HIGH QUAL­ITY, BUT DIF­FER­ENT

Hud­son went to a great deal of trou­ble to de­sign the pis­tol and then com­bined top grade man­u­fac­tur­ing process with forged steel and good com­po­nents. The re­sult is a pis­tol that works well, is ac­cu­rate enough for de­fense use, and which is among the rare in­no­va­tive hand­guns to come along in some time. The Hud­son H9, how­ever, isn’t for every­one. The Hud­son is an in­ter­est­ing hand­gun and pos­sess good fea­tures. Whether it is right for you is a per­sonal de­ci­sion. CC

“THE HUD­SON H9 IS AD­VER­TISED AS A MIX OF THE BEST FEA­TURES OF THE 1911 HAND­GUN AND MOD­ERN STRIKER FIRED HAND­GUNS.”

A new ver­sion with threaded bar­rel should be ship­ping soon. Hud­son Man­u­fac­tur­ing photo

A bul­bous dust cover is a trade­mark of the Hud­son pis­tol. Hud­son Man­u­fac­tur­ing photo A tri­tium front sight in­sert of­fers ex­cel­lent hit prob­a­bil­ity.

The slide lock is easy to ma­nip­u­late. Note that the trig­ger safety op­er­ates dif­fer­ently than those on other pis­tols.

This is the Hud­son chas­sis be­tween two frames. Hud­son Man­u­fac­tur­ing photo

The Hud­son H9 is an in­no­va­tive de­sign with a very low bore axis. Hud­son Man­u­fac­tur­ing photo

A bul­bous dust cover houses the re­coil spring.

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