GUN TESTS GRADE: C
The SCCY DVG-1 is a development of the SCCY CPX 9mm pistol. The original pistol, designed by Joe Roebuck, was introduced in 1998. The SCCY 9mm was intended to give shooters on a budget a handgun that was useful for personal defense. The pistol was a double-action-only hammer-fired type with polymer frame. Shooters we know who own this pistol have, for the most part, commented favorably on the pistol’s reliability. The pistol’s shootability is more mixed. Some of the original pistols with a manual safety had a tendency for the safety lever to move to the Safe position during a firing string. The pistol is about affordable protection, and it is intended for short-range use. The original price 25 years ago was close to $200. Today, everything costs more than in 1998, but the pistols are still priced under $300 at most outlets, as was our new DVG-1 purchased at retail.
The DVG-1 features several improvements over the CPX. There seems to be subtle differences in the grip frame because it feels thinner than the original. There are finger grooves in the DVG-1 9mm front strap. The slide features forward cocking serrations. We liked the cocking serrations on such a compact handgun. They made racking the slide easier than grasping the rear cocking grooves. Most of the raters appreciated this feature. The sights do not appear different than on the SCCY CPX, but the company tells us the new dovetail design accepts Glock 43 sights. With Hi-Viz, TruGlo, XS, and others offering aftermarket sights for the Glock, this makes for good utility. (Remember, the Glock 43 isn’t the same sight set as the Glock 19 and other larger pistols.)
|Action Type||Single action|
|Overall Length||7.25 in.|
|Overall Height||4.4 in. to 4.6 in.|
|Maximum Width||1.3 in.|
|Weight Unloaded||15.2 oz.|
|Weight Loaded||22.6 oz.|
|Slide Material||Stainless steel|
|Slide Retraction Effort||16.0 lbs.|
|Front Strap Height||1.8 in. to 2.2 in.|
|Rear Strap Height||2.6 in.|
|Barrel Length||3.1 in.|
|Grip Panels||Textured polymer|
|Grip Thickness (Maximum)||1.2 in.|
|Grip circumference (Maximum)||5.8 in.|
|Magazines||(2) 11 rounds|
|Rear Sight||Fixed slot|
|Sight Radius||4.5 in.|
|Trigger Pull Weight||7.0 lbs.|
|Trigger Span||2.6 in.|
|Safety||Firing pin block, trigger lever|
In front of the ejection port, the slide is scalloped or dished out. The scallop is designed to allow easy extraction and ejection of a loaded cartridge. This is a nice touch. The pistol is supplied with two 10-round magazines. The magazines are delivered with finger-rest base pads. Two spare flat magazine pads are also supplied with the pistol, along with a gun lock and instruction manual. During the test, we fired the pistol with both the flat base and finger-rest magazine base pads.
The rear of the slide is nicely capped with a polymer insert. The left side of the pistol’s slide is marked “Roebuck Quad-Lock.” This is to proclaim the new four-point lockup improvement of the DVG-1. Intended to increase the pistol’s accuracy, the Quad-Lock uses the muzzle barrel hood and locking lug as lock-up points. The tighter the lockup of a handgun, the greater accuracy potential, as a rule. But that wasn’t true with our SCCY pistol samples, it turns out.
The DVG-1 never failed to feed, chamber, fire, or eject, so the tighter lockup did not affect reliability compared to the older CPX pistols. The slide lock is easily manipulated and falls under the thumb without shifting the firing grip. We found the slide lock especially easy to use for a small pistol. The magazine catch works as designed. Take down is simple enough. Be certain the pistol is unloaded. Remove the magazine and lock the slide to the rear. Butt a screwdriver tip into the take-down pin, remove it, and run the slide forward off the frame. The trigger must be decocked to allow disassembly.
The primary difference between this pistol and the older SCCY handguns is the striker-fired action and single-action trigger. The pistol features a flat or blade-type trigger. The trigger is decent, and perhaps even good. There is take up, a wall, and a break at 7.1 pounds. At the end of the test, trigger compression was 6 pounds. Reset is predictable.
Beginning the test, we assembled a likely supply of ammunition, primarily an inexpensive Turkish load. The ZSR brand burned clean and gave good results. We also used Red Army steel case. We fired 40 rounds of the Red Army and experienced three failures to fire, each case being bad primers, not the fault of the gun. We later included Black Hills 115-grain EXPs and Winchester USA 115 FMJs in the accuracy test. We ran into a problem when loading the SCCY magazines. They were very difficult to load past eight rounds. One of our stronger raters managed nine rounds. After a break-in period and the end of the test, loading nine rounds was easier, but we were unable to manage 10 rounds in either magazine. After 90 days of the magazines sitting loaded, we were able to finally get 10 rounds in the magazines, but with considerable effort.
Accordingly, most of the runs on the combat course were done with the magazines loaded with eight rounds. The pistol was fired at standard silhouette targets at 5, 7, and 10 yards. Combat shooting results were good at the shorter distance, with most hits in the X ring. At 7 yards, it was more difficult to achieve center hits, and most shots were in the 6, 7, or 8 ring. Another problem was that the pistol pinched the bottom of the palm when using the finger-extension magazine pads. The pinch was sharp when firing the pistol. This differed depending on the size of the rater’s fingers. We changed out the magazine pads, and that solved the problem. The pistol was not appreciably more difficult to fire with the flat magazine pads. Also, the SCCY DVG-1 exhibited the greatest felt recoil of the pistols tested. All in, we judged the SCCY pistol in this test to be the most difficult to use well. The trigger was easier to use than previous DAO hammer-fired SCCY pistols. We would rate this pistol to be a 7-yard handgun for most shooters — which is the design.
Firing for accuracy at 15 yards, we used an MTM Case-Gard K-Zone Shooting Rest. We fired three types of 9mm loads. Results were poor. The average group was 4.5 inches. Two experienced raters fired the SCCY just in case one of the raters wasn’t getting the hang of the pistol. Both achieved similar results. The likelihood of standing and firing with two hands and connecting with a threat past 7 yards is low, in our estimation. The pistol is accurate enough for home defense and most situations, but it is not as accurate as we would like. On the plus side, the SCCY DVG-1 never failed to feed, chamber, fire, or eject. Workmanship is good, and there were no blemishes or tool marks of any type.
Our Team Said: Failures to extract were the main problem with the gun tested in the September 2022 issue, but the grades are the same. In this gun, magazines never really became broken in to allow loading to full capacity, even three months after the initial test. The SCCY’s tendency to pinch the palm with the finger extension magazines is a demerit as well. This handgun was the least accurate tested. The pistol would be at a disadvantage in an emergency due to its low accuracy potential past 7 yards. The SCCY is reliable, but we like the other pistols better.
9MM Luger Range DataWe fired groups at 15 yards from a bench rest using an MTM Case-Gard K-Zone Pistol Rest. We used a Competition Electronics Pro Chrony to measure velocity. The chronograph was 10 feet from the muzzles.
|Black Hills 115-grain EXP||FMK 9C1 G2||SCCY DVG-1||Taurus G3X|
|Average Velocity||1180 fps||1139 fps||1160 fps|
|Muzzle Energy||356 ft.-lbs.||331 ft.-lbs.||344 ft.-lbs.|
|Smallest Group||2.4 in.||4.0 in.||1.9 in.|
|Average Group||2.8 in.||4.5 in.||2.3 in.|
|Winchester USA 115-grain FMJ||FMK 9C1 G2||SCCY DVG-1||Taurus G3X|
|Average Velocity||1158 fps||1144 fps||1150 fps|
|Muzzle Energy||342 ft.-lbs.||334 ft.-lbs.||338 ft.-lbs.|
|Smallest Group||2.3 in.||4.0 in.||2.4 in.|
|Average Group||2.9 in.||5.2 in.||2.7 in.|
|ZSR 124-grain FMJ||FMK 9C1 G2||SCCY DVG-1||Taurus G3X|
|Average Velocity||1167 fps||1137 fps||1155 fps|
|Muzzle Energy||375 ft.-lbs.||356 ft.-lbs.||367 ft.-lbs.|
|Smallest Group||2.8 in.||3.9 in.||2.0 in.|
|Average Group||3.4 in.||5.0 in.||2.5 in.|