Hudson Manufacturing unveiled changes to its striker-fired H9 at SHOT Show 2018 designed to reduce the weight and cost of its innovative 1911-style pistol.
The company introduced the H9 at last year's show. The radical design extends the front of the frame almost flush with the bottom of the trigger guard to house the recoil spring and locking lug in an attempt to create a flatter-shooting pistol.
The gun features an all-steel chassis and G10 grips.
The new H9A model has an aluminum grip, polymer lower back strap, and polymer upper back strap -- reducing the pistol's weight from 34 ounces to 26 ounces.
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"What that accomplished is we carved a half pound out of the pistol," Cy Hudson, chief executive officer of the start-up company, told Military.com.
The H9A also costs about $200 less, bringing the price down to about $947 on this version.
"This was always the plan," Hudson said. "We planned on doing lighter versions and bringing the MSRP down. We started with our flagship model. We kept 80 percent parts commonality ... Then we lowered the price point by moving to a fiber-optic front sight and the polymers.
"The reason we did that is we want to open it up to the broader market," he added. "Some people prefer a heavier pistol; some people prefer lighter pistols."
Hudson said the $1,147 price tag has not affected demand for the original H9. In fact, he said the company is backlogged trying to fill orders.
"I have quadrupled production; last week, I shipped as many as I did the entire month of October," he said.
The reason, Hudson maintains, is that the H9 design is a solid value.
"I will say that though it is not cheap, the all-steel construction with the Trijicon front sight ... for that price, there is no other value like it on the market," he said, comparing the H9 to the Sig Sauer 229 Legion or 226 Legion, which run about $1,438.
"They are made out of aluminum with HD-style sights, so we actually took a whuppin' on our margins and on our price to make sure that we didn't niche our product and not try to get too much. And as a start-up company, that was a big, tough pill to swallow."
Hudson is still humble about his company's success and pledged to do more to make his designs attainable.
"Last year was our starting point, and we've got a long way to go," Hudson said.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.