It’s funny how things work out sometimes. Whether it’s due to cosmic powers of the universe, fate, or divine intervention, things sometimes just come together better than expected at just the right time. I’m not talking about the long awaited Yeet Cannon, but at the same time I am. Let me backup a little and tell a story. I’ll try to keep it brief, but I’m not making any promises.
It learned about the Hi-Point Firearms C9, the predecessor to the YC9, early in my journey as a pistolero. It was, and still is, one of the lowest priced pistols on the market and carried with it a “you get what you pay for reputation”. Although, there are some dissenting reviews that concluded that was a reputation it didn’t deserve as it was a reliable handgun albeit unrefined and a bit rough around the edges. Nevertheless, I always admired Hi-Point Firearms’s mission – manufacturing guns that are built tough and affordable for the people who work hard on the lines every day. About half a decade ago, Hi-Point let the internet name the C9’s successor. It was quite the hoopla and many of us in the community saw it as the day the internet won. We, the community, named it and I decided the YC9 would be my first Hi-Point. As the years passed, I began to doubt that YC9 would hit the market. I thought perhaps the project was abandoned during the Covid lockdowns. I didn’t know, but Hi-Point was pretty silent about it. However, the YC9 finally hit the market about a month or so again and I stayed true to my word and bought one.
While waiting for the YC9 to arrive at my FFL, I played the role of assistant instructor at a local entry level pistol class where a student brought a C9. It was what he could afford while still having enough money to get some training. It was a responsible and admirable decision. Unfortunately, he struggled to keep up with the class. Operation was a little different than the pistols usually seen in class, as such some of the instruction didn’t translate directly. To further complicate things, the student experienced many malfunctions. Thankfully, we had enough instructors present and the student received some personalized one on one instruction instead where we worked through many of the issues and got to a point where he could shoot the pistol semi reliably. He also concluded that the C9 was not the gun for him and would be trading it in towards one of the other low cost options recommended by instructors in the class that he got a chance to work with. Granted those low cost options are close to double the price of the C9 and the YC9. This experience provided some much needed perspective for this review. I want to give the YC9 a fair shake, but I’m impartially critical. The reputation and how the gun got named are irrelevant. I want to know whether or not this pistol can be relied on or not.
Right around the same time, I got connected with the good folks at TargetBarn.com. As we were chit chatting about the things we have going on, I shared with them that I was about to begin my review process of the Yeet Cannon, how it came about, and the question that I set out to answer. They brought up a very good point that I had not considered. Folks with financial constraints who are considering the YC9 as a defensive tool are also likely to use the lowest priced ammunition available to practice with it. This is not ammo that I typically keep on hand and they generously offered to sponsor this review by providing several boxes of the lowest priced ammunition they sell, which, of course, I accepted.
All of these things happened within the same calendar week and so here we are. Let’s take a look at the YC9 starting with what one gets for $175:
- A cardboard box,
- a manual,
- a trigger lock,
- a warranty registration card,
- a ghost ring rear sight,
- a yellow chamber flag,
- the Yeet Cannon (YC9) pistol,
- and one ten (10) round magazine.
Before I start walking the pistol, I think it’s worth noting that the manual is among the best manuals that I have seen included with a pistol. It has really good images and diagrams that support the clear and easy to follow operation and maintenance instructions. It’s also relatively thin and well organized which I think are great attributes for a manual. I think a manual like this is very valuable when considering the YC9 is probably a person’s first pistol and likely their first firearm. Now I may be projecting a bit here, but I don’t see the YC9 being an addition by folks who already have one or more quality defensive pistols.
The business end of this 34.2 ounce pistol begins with a fixed 4.12″ threaded barrel and the 1/2 x 28 thread protector. I honestly can’t wrap my head around why a pistol at this price point has a threaded barrel, but I suppose at some point the owner may want to put a compensator or silencer on it.
Regardless, the barrel leads us to the massive slide which is adorned at the top by a short yellow colored ramp style plastic front sight which can be replaced by aftermarket Glock compatible front sights. The front of the slide features serrations along both sides which are marketed as aggressive and do provide some grip for slide manipulations, but I wouldn’t call them aggressive myself. Continuing back along the slide we find the ejection port along the right hand side which is followed by the external extractor. The rear slide serrations follow on both sides. The rear top of the slide is adorned with a fully adjustable notch style plastic rear sight with a red dot on each of the notches. The rear sight can be removed and replaced with the included ghost ring sight, a purchasable optic adapter plate, or a purchasable Picatinny rail plate making the YC9 an optic ready pistol. I’m not a fan of the sights at all and I’ll explain why a little later when we get into how the gun shoots.
Under the slide we have the high-impact polymer frame which begins at the front with an accessory rail. That raid is followed by the trigger guard which features a flat front that can be used to rest the support hand index finger for those who prefer that style grip. The trigger guard isn’t very big and may be problematic for folks with large hands who are attempting to operate the pistol while wearing thick gloves. The plastic trigger is just a heavy mushy pull which makes it near impossible to find a wall. It just breaks and the over travel continues with that same heavy mushy feel. The trigger has to be let all the way out in order for it to reset. The front of the stock has a subtle trigger guard undercut and a subtle single finger groove shape to it along with some added lines which add some texture. There are grips screwed to the sides of the stock that are made from what feels like a different polymer than the frame. There is a beaver tail like shape to the rear of the stock where a grip safety is found. Moving from the beaver tail towards the heel we find a textured backstrap that has a rubber like feel to it.
The magazine well has a slight bevel to it which might help with reloads. However, getting the magazine to sit and lock in place takes some coercion. The push button magazine release takes even more coercion as it must be pressed all the way in before it will release the magazine. At least the magazine drops freely once it is released.
I would summarize the Yeet Cannon an ugly and heavy pistol that is unbalanced and feels kind of gross in hand. Everything about it screams budget in terms of how it looks and feels. Yet, part of me likes it. Or at least, part of me wants to like it. Honestly, I could overlook the look and feel, assuming it ran reliably and that’s a perfect segue into how it performed at the range.
As I mentioned, the folks at TargetBarn.com supplied some of their lowest priced 9mm ammunition along with a box of premium defensive ammunition for the review. This included:
- Wolf steel cased 115gr FMJ ammo,
- Blazer aluminum cased 115gr FMJ ammo,
- Federal American Eagle brass cased 124gr FMJ ammo,
- And some Hornady Custom 147gr XTP ammo.
Aside from the mushy trigger and stubborn magazine, the first thing I noticed at the range was that the sights were incredibly small and not very visible even though red and yellow colors were used. The red dots on the back made it nearly impossible to pick up the yellow front sight when using a flash sight picture or while remaining target focused. Additionally, the point of impact was several inches above the point of aim even at close range. It didn’t take very long to adjust my point of aim, but it became more problematic as the target distance increased. While it was difficult to use the sights to shoot accurately, the pistol was far more precise than I expected for the money.
The large and heavy slide had a noticeably long cycle time. The movement of that much mass along with the high bore axis made the muzzle rise noticeably with every shot. To counteract the muzzle rise I attempted to increase my grip pressure with the hopes of being able to increase the rate of fire while still maintaining acceptable accuracy. However, the increased grip pressure appeared to start introducing failure to feed malfunctions. Loosening the grip allowed the YC9 to cycle reliably. However, too loose of a grip led to stove pipes or failures to engage the grip safety. The number of malfunctions were frustrating. I might even go so far as to say it became infuriating. After experimenting with several magazines of the different types of FMJ ammo, I learned that shooting the YC9 one handed with my strong hand led to the most reliable operation. The problem with that is that shooting one handed is slower and more difficult than shooting with two hands.
Even though I found a way to run the YC9 reliably, albeit suboptimally, I have to take yet another issue with it. The gun isn’t just difficult to learn to operate reliably and shoot accurately, it also helps the owner to develop some marksmanship habits that can inhibit their ability to shoot well, such as developing the habit of using a loose grip. To make matters worse, the YC9 contains a magazine disconnect safety which is a feature no longer found in modern defensive semi automatic pistols and makes dry fire practice discouragingly annoying.
To be fair, my initial experience with the YC9 is entirely anecdotal, but it is supported by the previously mentioned student’s experience which I witnessed. I haven’t entirely given up on the YC9 yet. At this point, I plan on contacting Hi-Point Firearms and see what they have to say about it. Perhaps, the YC9 I got is a dud with some defects? As I’ve said already, I want to like the YC9, but at this moment in time I can’t recommend the pistol for defensive use. I think anyone who is on a tight budget and looking for a defensive pistol would be much better served by saving a bit more money and picking up a Taurus G3, a PSA Dagger, or CZ P-10 Series pistol (which have been heavily discounted recently with the introduction of CZ’s new 2023 P-10 variants). At the time of writing, all of these pistols, which have better aftermarket support than the YC9 can be found for roughly $225-$400.