We all know and love Hi Point firearms for what they are: simple, affordable, and accurate handguns that are short on bells and whistles but long on value. However, do you know that long before the C9, the same company (more or less) marketed a long-slide 9mm pistol that was simpler? We give you the Beemiller JS-9
What is Beemiller?
Predating the MKS-marketed Hi Point Company was Mansfield, Ohio-based Beemiller. Incorporated in April 1988 by local resident and former TV-technician Thomas Deeb, the Beemiller Distributing Company sold the guns that after 1993 would be rebranded as Hi-Points.
Mansfiled-located Maverick Arms (not to be confused with Mossberg's bargain shotgun outfit of the same name in Texas), run by Edward Boyd Stallard had in 1987 come up with a single-action, striker-fired, steel framed (did we say steel frame?) 9mm pistol that used a single-stack 9-shot magazine.
With a blowback action, the already heavy (41-ounce, although some report weights of up to 56-ounces!) handgun needed an oversized slide to help retard the backward recoil of the round when fired. This gun, marketed by Beemiller under the names Stallard and Maverick, became the JS-9.
MrEdgar49 reviews the JS-9, "Recoil is almost non-existent"
Differences old and new
MKS/Hi-Point introduced the half-inch shorter JS-9 Compact Model in 1993, then gave it a redesign in 2000, renaming the new version the C9, at which point they stopped production on the original JS-9.
(Schematic from Numrich gun parts. Note the simple design with fewer parts than a Glock, and a rugged alloy frame)
When compared to today's C9, the JS-9 was a larger gun with a lot of beef to it. At first look, the older gun seems to be easily recognizable as a Hi-Point. On closer inspection, this 'pre-HP' model is a super-sized handgun when compared. Keep in mind these older guns used alloy steel frames instead of polymer, had checkered grips, rough textured slides in a blued or military-style finish, and European-style a heel release magazine latch.
(These guns have very basic sights)
They have a heavier, less finished feel overall than the more modern decedents but they also feel rather 'solid.'
Spec wise, there is a noticeable difference between the two platforms
Getting your own
Discontinued nearly 15 years ago, these old JS-9 "Longslide Hi Points" are dwindling in numbers. Since their resale value is low ($75-$125) tragically these pistols are often turned in during so-called "buy-backs" sponsored by gun control groups, as they pay more money. Once the gun grabbers get ahold of these guns, which actually have a bit of collector's value among Hi-Point fans, they are shredded or melted down.
This fact means the pool of available JS-9s are growing smaller every day. With that being said, if you come across ne in working condition for a decent price (under $150), evaluate it for your collection. Numrich stocks a good bit of parts for these guns.
Oh and Beemiller? They are still around and currently do most of the heavy lifting for Hi-Point, being responsible for new construction and warranty work on all of the carbines as well as the 9mm and 380ACP handguns.
Which means if you have an old JS-9 that needs work-- Beemiller is the company that will do it. We just refer to them as "Mom."