The Hi Point series of pistol caliber carbines have been on the market now for almost 20 years. In that time, they have won a hard battle to be accepted as a reliable gun for target practice and personal protection. With that being said, can you hunt with one?
Pistol caliber carbines are a rare creature in the firearms world. They are rifles, but chambered to shoot much smaller handgun ammunition. As such, they are light, have exceedingly low recoil, and are far more accurate than a handgun firing the same ammunition. This is because the longer barrel of the carbine gives both a longer (and hence better) sight radius which improves the chances of hitting a target, and gives the propellant charge of the cartridge longer to burn, producing a higher velocity on the bullet when it leaves the chamber. It is not uncommon to hit a standard notebook paper (8.5x11-inch) target at 100-yards with a Hi Point carbine as long as you do your part.
Now that we got the argument out of the way, what could you hunt with it?
In most states, hunting small game such as raccoon, fox, opossum, beaver, bobcats, rabbit, coyote, and squirrel as a separate "small game" season. Some of these animals are even classified as nuisance animals that can be shot year round with any caliber round. Of course, be sure to check your local regulations as this varies widely from state to state. If you can't find the answer to if you can hunt legally with your carbine in your area, call your local game warden. A well-placed 9mm, 40S&W, or .45ACP round will stop any of these small critters out to and including 50-yards. Of course, it may be overkill for squirrel and small rabbit, and destroy any meat value, but if you are shooting for depredation and the protection of your local crops, garden, or pecan trees, that may not be a concern for you.
With a mug like this, be sure you bring enough gun.
Feral hogs are fast becoming popular sport across the country. These swine are a menace to crops, natural resources, and native wildlife. With their numbers growing, local conservation officials are posting increasingly lenient rules on the taking of these invasive beasts. While there size range wildly from state to state with hogs in swampy areas with little grub coming in at just 60-pounds on average, to large porkers who haunt soybean fields and grow to 600. With such a wide range in size, find out what you are facing before you head to the woods. If all anyone has ever seen is small critters, grab your Hi Point. If there are rumors of a big boy, pick something else or at least stick close to someone with some legit heavy artillery. In either case, stoke up with hard, cast-lead rounds rather than JHPs, as they will penetrate the hard hide of these mobile bacon wagons to get to the sensitive insides.
Powerful enough for deer?
While there is no magic number to guarantee any round can kill a whitetail deer, the benchmark seems to be a round that produces at least 500 ft. lbs of energy at the muzzle. This figure is often quoted and is even mentioned in the Illinois state conservation laws. With that in mind, think about how much Barrel length of the Hi-Point 995 is 16.5-inches while the .40S&W Model 4095 and the .45ACP caliber 4595 both have 17.5-inch barrels. Ballistics by the Inch tested ten different 9mm rounds from a 16-inch barrel carbine (the KelTec Sub 2000) and found that from that length gun, the muzzle energy of those rounds ranged from 400-600 ft. lbs at the muzzle. When they tested 10 different .45ACP loads from a 16-inch barrel Vector Kriss Super-V, they found energy approaching nearly 800 ft. /lbs at the muzzle. The same groovy field testers ran 11 various .40S&W loads through a 16-inch barreled Ruger PC4 carbine and found that some ran well over 800.
So yes, your Hi-Point Carbine, especially the larger caliber ones, when loaded with premium +P jacketed hollow-point ammunition, can take down large whitetail deer. However, be well aware that after about 50-yards, the power of your pistol caliber rounds will nose dive and be ineffective, so stick to close range shots, typically under 25-yards and always be sure of your shot placement. Again, be sure to check to be positive that your gun is the legally that your state law requires as a minimum caliber for deer. While some states allow 9mm/40/45 to be used, some implicitly do not.
In the end, no matter if its deer, hogs, coyote, or random vermin in the night, be sure you obey your local hunting regs, take good and deliberate aim at a vital area, and don't bite off more than you can chew. If you keep this in mind, your Hi Point carbine can put dinner on the table and the wolf away from the door.