When the H9 from Hudson Manufacturing first released it made a big splash. There was a lot of talk about how the H9 would be the flattest shooting handgun because of its unique design. Early models did have some issues but bugs are to be expected with new platforms. I recently picked up a more recently produced model to see if the hype was real and to see if the kinks had been worked out.
What the hell is it?
The H9’s design derives from the 1911. The steel frame has very similar profile and weight as the +108 year old firearm but has some obvious changes. The big differences are that it is striker fired instead of using an external hammer. It also is a double stack chambered in 9mm. The recoil system makes a chunky front end but allows for a very low bore axis. The trigger is very similar to a 1911 but does have an integral safety like most other striker fired handguns.
The Hudson H9 came with 3 metallic 15 round double stack 9mm mags. I love when manufactures give you more than 2 magazines when you buy their gun. It sets you up for success right out of the gate without having to make another purchase. The mags blasted out of the gun upon hitting the texture mag release and the beveled mag well made inserting a fresh mag painless.
A great out of the box feature to note was the sights on the H9. The front was a high vis orange with tritium insert. The back was a blacked out u-notch. I have a partial preference to high vis fronts and blacked out rears but I would imagine that majority of people would end up keeping these “stock” sights on the gun. These sights did not limit me at all when I started to shoot the Hudson at longer distances.
Ergonomically this gun was everything and more the hype led me to believe. Yeah… it is hard to find a person that does not like a 1911 grip angle and a good pair of g10 grips. That was “low hanging fruit” to incorporate those features. But the impressive part was how flat this gun was to shoot. The high beaver tail combined with the very low bore axis makes it easy to shoot the H9 flat and fast.
What is the H9’s role?
As much as I liked shooting this gun, I would not carry it on an everyday basis. It is just too heavy. The weight unloaded is 32 ounces. To give you a little perspective a Glock 19 is 21 ounces. There has been talk that future versions of the H9 will come in an Aluminum frame which will definitely save weight. It does have a rail for a weapon light but it sets the light way to low making it almost useless. For now I would use the current steel framed H9 (in conjunction with a hand held light) as a night stand gun if we are talking about personal defense.
The Hudson H9 would be a very fun gun to shoot in competition. The sights, trigger, and barrel make this gun plenty accurate and like previously stated you can run it very fast with minimal effort. Reliability was not an issue either. As always l like to run a buffet of 9mm rounds through my handguns. Everything from steel cased to sub-sonic ammo worked in the H9.
This is not a gun that will win a lions share of the market but I do believe Hudson’s design is on to something. It is outside the box thinking like the H9’s design that will lead to future firearms that do become the “standard”. If you are a collector the H9 would be a good one to pick up to save as an “origin gun” for 20-30 years down the road. In the mean time shoot it! You will not be disappointed.
NOTE: Guns.com originally scheduled to publish this article and video in January, but we delayed it as news developed about Hudson Mfg’s financial issues. With clearer answers known about the company’s future and product availability, we decided it was time to publish the article.