After several years of keeping their standard pistol caliber lineup set at 9mm-40SW-45ACP, Hi Point is breaking the mold to go with a downsized caliber rifle as a complement to their CF380 pistol, the 3895.

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What we know

The annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show-better known as the SHOT Show, put on by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is the showplace that gun makers from around the world come to every year to introduce new products. Typically, the global firearms industry keeps their latest and greatest under wraps until the show, and then announces them with a bang. This year MKS/Hi-Point/Beemiller of Ohio arrived with a few new goodies in tow to include a few prototypes of a rifle they are calling the 3895TS Carbine.

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This gun, will be chambered in .380ACP, will follow the second generation TS styling that has been standard on Hi Point's carbines for the past several years, and be priced about the same as the 995TS series (which have a MSRP of $297-440 spread across 9 variants). Expected ship date is sometime in March.

The company feels that its a great transitional weapon moving from .22 to larger calibers:

The upside

As with the other Hi-Point carbines, the rifles in general can use the same magazines of the company's pistols of the same caliber. For instance, the 40SW JHP pistol magazine and that of the 40SW Model 4095TS Carbine can be swapped. This would lead one to speculate that the 8-round mag used by the Hi Point CF380 would be used in the new 3895TS. Either that or the carbine would come with an extended mag that could be used in the CF380 but not vice versa. This is the same thing that occurs with the 995TS magazine, which is 10-rounds and will fit both the C9 pistol and the rifle while the handguns shorter mag will not lock into the rifle.

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However, keep in mind that the CF380 also has an optional factory 10-round extended magazine, which could power a new 3895.

Moreover, the 3895TS would be a rather unique rifle on the market as there are very few out there. In fact about the only one we can think of is the old Cobray CM-12 carbine (a MAC-10 clones with a buttstock and a 16-inch barrel made in the 90s). With a longer barrel, the propellant has more time to burn and thus pushes the bullet faster, which translates to better accuracy and more energy down range. In fact, tests from Ballistics By the Inch show that a .380 fired from a 16-inch barrel gains a very respectable 300-400fps in velocity over one fired from a 3-inch.

The down side

As anyone with a CF380 will tell you, .380 ammo is kind of hard to find and the loads are limited. Try its yourself, go to your local big box, and peruse the handgun ammo. You will see a half dozen offers in 9mm and 38, half as many in 40, 45, and .357, and, if you are lucky, one sad box of .380ACP. This drives you to look online for a better selection/deal. Even then, when comparing prices, the round is kinda high. Gunbot's Good deal" threshold on 9mm is 28 cents per round while .380 currently runs 35 cents per round.

Export market?

One place where .380ACP is in huge demand is in Latin America. From Mexico to Argentina, most of these countries have very strict gun control, which places limits on gun calibers for civilian use at a maximum of .380, arguing that anything more powerful is restricted to military and law enforcement use. That's why many South American gun makers, such as Bersa and Taurus, make so many guns in that caliber and also why Euro makers such as Glock long sold .380s overseas and not in the U.S.

So with that in mind, is Hi Point looking to sell their carbines south of the border?

Beemiller made 36,300 Hi-Point carbines of all calibers in 2012 (the most recent BATFE Manufacturer data available) but, like their handguns, did not export any overseas. Therefore, based on past experience, this new theory is unlikely, but maybe there had been a change of heart?

Regardless, you can be sure that Hi Point lovers in this country (and maybe others) are waiting to get a closer look at a 3895TS.