Editors note: Below we originally covered the release of the H9 at SHOT Show 2017 and gave our initial impressions. Hudson Manufacturing, the manufacturer of the Hudson H9, recently filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is more than likely in response to their troubles with vendors and payments. Cambridge Valley Machining has sued Hudson over unpaid debts after being contracted to machine parts for them. Hudson Manufacturing has officially started the bankruptcy process, so as of right now there are many unknowns as to what will happen with warranty and maintenance claims for owners of the H9.
In a land dominated by CZ and Glock I can understand how something new and outside the box can be exciting. The Hudson H9 initially sparked my interest when I heard about it. 15 round magazine, low bore axis, and all steel construction sounded pretty neat. However people have been claiming that this gun is the cure-all for everything that ails the modern pistol shooter. It’s not the gun gentlemen, it’s the shooter. I have little doubt that the low bore axis (height of the barrel above your grip, basically) will aid in mitigating recoil. However due to some design elements the front rail sits extremely low which will make actuating a weapon mounted light difficult compared to most modern handguns.
The Hudson H9 should shoot flat, it weights 34 ounces unloaded. Let’s take the Glock 19 and compare it. The Glock 19 comes in at around 23.65 ounces unloaded. When you add a Surefire X300 Ultra, you add 4 ounces, add a Trijicon RMR and you add another 1.2 ounces (with the battery installed) which brings us to a grand total of 28.85 ounces. With these accessories we have a much more effective weapon that can be shot just as “flat” as the Hudson H9.
Let’s add price to the equation. The Hudson H9 costs somewhere over or around $1100. For that price you could easily purchase a proven 9mm of your choice (Glock 19, Walther PPQ, HK VP9, CZ) and have the money for a weapon light and some 1500+ rounds of 9mm ammunition. It’s an interesting design, but as far as its practical uses I believe it is somewhat limited. I think that this model could be the stepping stone to greater designs but as it stands right now, the price doesn’t justify the performance.
I like innovation, and I like different. However I think it’s important that we’re real with ourselves about what this pistol is capable of and what its downfalls might be. I look forward to seeing further innovations along the Hudson H9 route but I do not believe that this is the pistol to end all pistols. Buy a less expensive gun, buy ammo, train and shoot. This will get you shooting flatter and faster.