The Hi Point of Revolvers
[Ghetto Glock meet Ghetto Colt]
I love cheap guns. It is an addiction that the forum members here enable constantly. Recently I took another “hit” and purchased a Rock Island Arms M206 revolver. It’s cheap - mine was 251.37 out the door. Knowing that many here have the same addiction I do and having heard that this is the “Hi Point of Revolvers”, I thought I might do some testing and report back on my findings. Is this really comparable to our beloved Ghetto Glocks?
First, what about customer service? We know that Hi Point cannot be beat for customer service. Period. Armscor seems to run a close second. While I have no personal experience with Armscor Customer Service, a quick internet search will turn up numerous anecdotal testimonials to the excellence of the customer service. The company offers a “limited lifetime guarantee” that is similar to Hi Point, though it does list a number of conditions that could void the warranty. Still, for a six shot snub nose revolver priced around $250.00, the warranty and customer service appear to be quite good.
[Like Hi Point, they don't win beauty contests]
Next, let’s talk appearance. Even die-hard Hi Point fanbois will admit that the pistols lack a certain...visual appeal and they are heavy. So too the M206 revolvers. The revolver is parkerized and mine is rough. The barrel is advertised as being “fully shrouded”, but my barrel protrudes from the shroud at least ½ an inch. Frankly, I like that. I think it gives the revolver a Cool Kid look, but it ain’t a Colt or a Smith (or even a Taurus). And it is heavy for its size. Armscor says about 21 ounces unloaded and mine weighed in right on the money. Again, I like the extra weight over the plastic micro revolvers because it cuts down on recoil, but it does make it less comfortable to carry.
Finally, we come to the crux of the matter - performance! We know Hi Point performs. We also know the weak point is the magazines. The M 206 also has both pros and cons. Let’s start with the latter. The cylinder latch is rough - VERY rough on mine. At this point I find it difficult to operate using my forefinger alone (I’m left-handed). The cylinder chambers also appear to be rather tight. I had problems chambering ammunition that works perfectly in my Rossi, though, to be fair, the rounds ARE reloads. And the trigger is a bit gritty. Shot with the wood grips pictured here, I find that the trigger guard bangs my middle finger enough to be annoying after a dozen or so rounds.
[For @ $250, Armscor may have a winner]
On the plus side, this revolver is accurate. First cylinder out of the box I got a 2” group at 10 yards. Shooting 158 Berry bullets over Green Dot, Unique and True Blue I constantly got the same size groups, even when firing double action (I DID stage the trigger). With properly sized ammunition, it ate what it was feed with no complaints. With Remington factory loads, there were no problems at all. Changing to the rubber grip that comes with the gun also cured the slap from the trigger guard. For the first time out, I was happy. Oh, and did I mention the M206 hold 6 rounds instead of the more common 5? It also works on a transfer bar, so you can keep all six loaded.
So, is the M206 to revolvers what Hi Point is to pistols? Both fill a niche, both will protect your family, both are affordable by most people. Bottom line, in the words of on prominent Youtuber “You be the judge.”