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What Happened to the Hudson H9?

In a new series here on Pew Pew Tactical we dive into some firearm designs that started but never quite made it and answer the question...what happened?
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    Rarely does a gun from a new company appear and take the world by storm. Yet, at 2017’s SHOT Show, the world couldn’t get enough of the Hudson H9. 

    Hudson H9
    Hudson H9

    Small companies with small booths are always worth checking out, but the buzz around the H9 brought people from all over the show to this one little booth.

    It was tough to just walk down the aisle, much less get hands-on with a Hudson H9. 

    SHOT Show (Photo: NSSF)

    It became the darling of SHOT Show 2017, and that carried into 2018, but in 2018 things started to go south for Hudson.

    So what happened to the Hudson H9? 

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    All About the Hudson H9 

    The Hudson H9 looks pretty standard on paper as a striker-fired, double-stack 9mm. But a closer look shows the H9 wears a metal frame that’s a little different…

    A big bulge in front of the trigger guard holds the recoil spring, and it’s sunk insanely low. This allows the shooter to have a higher grip. A higher grip allows for more control and helps fight recoil.

    Hudson H9
    Hudson H9 (Photo: gar2chan)

    Bore axis is one of those things a lot of people give way more credence to than necessary. It rarely makes a difference unless you sink the bore axis super low, like the Chiappa Rhino, the Laugo Alien, and to an extent, the Hudson H9. 

    Beyond the metal frame and cool recoil spring location, the gun was plenty modern. A 15-round magazine provided plenty of ammo. The straight-pull 1911 style trigger gives you a short and light trigger pull with a very positive reset. 

    Chiappa Rhino
    Chiappa Rhino, for comparison

    From a metal-framed firearm, the gun was fairly light, but not polymer frame light.

    At 34 ounces, it’s not quite light but lighter than the CZ-75 SP01 and the classic 1911. Like almost every gun produced post-1911, it uses a short recoil operation. 

    How It Handled 

    I never owned an H9, but I got my hands on one through a friend. He loved the gun, and so did I in my short period with it. A 34-ounce 9mm doesn’t result in a whole lot of recoil, and the placement of the low recoil spring and high grip helped a lot. 

    The weapon handles well. Its recoil felt very light, the trigger was amazing, and it’s a gun you couldn’t help but go fast with.

    The big downside to me was accuracy. I seemed to hit low. Normally, I wouldn’t blame the gun and accept my lack of skill. However, no other gun I’ve handled hit this low this consistently. 

    Once you knew where the rounds would land, it was accurate enough to ring steel. The weapon was fun to shoot, but I couldn’t be convinced to spend over a grand on one.

    If I spent that much money, I could get a CZ Shadow and have an accurate, easy-handling gun. 

    1249
    at Primary Arms

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

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    Yet, they sold. In fact, they apparently sold a lot…at least at first.

    By the beginning of 2018, the company introduced a new model — the Hudson H9A. (“A” standing for aluminum.) This model promised to be much lighter. 

    People got excited, and the sales of the H9 slowed. In fact, they slowed a lot. 

    Hudson H9A - Recoil
    Hudson H9A – Recoil

    What Happened to The Hudson H9? 

    The Hudson H9A happened. People were willing to wait, and big names talked about how much lighter and better the H9A would be. Sales of the H9 slumped. 

    In August 2018, a company Hudson contracted to machine the part filed a lawsuit against Hudson. The company, Cambridge Valley Machining, alleged that Hudson had an unpaid balance of almost $400,000

    They also wanted to be paid another $184,070 for parts that had been built but not delivered due to the outstanding balance. Also, the contract stipulated interest, and CVMI wanted lawyer fees, late fees, and more.  

    Bugs Bunny Money

    In December of 2018, a court filing by Hudson accused CVMI of providing substandard parts. Hudson couldn’t produce the H9, so they had cashflow issues. They also stated since the parts were inadequate, they were not obligated to pay for the parts. 

    With all this occurring, Hudson was in a precarious spot when the guns started breaking. Apparently, the H9 had numerous durability issues, and Hudson couldn’t replace or repair the guns being sent to them.

    Owners began getting feisty. 

    Old Boy Fight Scene

    According to H9 owners, their emails and calls were going unanswered, and Hudson abandoned their social media pages. A number of people had sent their firearms back to Hudson for repairs and never heard back. 

    Hudson was slated to appear at SHOT Show 2019, but an empty floor space sat where their booth should have been. That didn’t bear well for owners, and shortly after, in mid-2019, Hudson filed for bankruptcy. 

    Double-Decker of Pain
    We would have preferred if these were missing from SHOT Show instead.

    In those proceedings, it was discovered that 86 customer H9s were at Hudson and had been completely disassembled. Due to a lack of parts and safety concerns, they were stripped down to their core and sat as parts. 

    Hudson cited the liability of sending an unsafe gun to customers as the reason why these had not been sent back to the owners.

    As of this writing, it’s unclear if the owners ever received their pistols. 

    The Future of the H9? 

    The Hudson H9 seems deadish.

    Hudson Manufacturing H9A
    Hudson Manufacturing H9A

    A year ago, Daniel Defense sent out a survey asking about interest in a potential pistol known as the H9A and H9P — P possibly standing for polymer. But we’ve heard nothing yet…

    Did you ever get your hands on the Hudson H9? How was your experience with it? Tell us all about it in the comments below. This is a new series for PPT so be sure to also let us know if you’d like us to keep this going and check back next week for another What Happened.

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    12 Leave a Reply

    • Commenter Avatar
      Isaac

      I bought one in June of 2019 shortly after Hudson went under. I was going to Trinidad State Junior College for gunsmithing at the time and wanted it to be my first handgun purchase after turning 21. I really found it to be both pleasing Aesthetically and mechanically. Great shooter, accurate, and pretty good trigger pull all things considered. I hope Daniel Defense ends up pushing the design back out as I would love to carry a polymer one and keep my H9 as a collectors piece.

      Plus, it was kinda cool to flex on my friends by having one. Lord knows they did the same to me about their collection.

      October 11, 2022 12:22 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Kay Bee

        Yeah, I bought for the cool factor and am hoping someone buys the design. To date I haven’t been wanting to shoot it more in fear of any hard to find parts and potential collector’s piece. I would buy a new one and shoot the snot out of it.

        October 20, 2022 4:16 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Kay

      I own one and I’d buy another. It would sell.

      October 2, 2022 10:53 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Meat Face

        Me too

        October 20, 2022 8:28 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      ACC

      Don't buy a 1st gen gun? Tell that to the people selling Bren Tens for close to $20k these days. Sometimes you gotta take a shot. I did just that and bought an H9 for $599 right as the bankruptcy news was breaking. Now just 3 years later they are regularly selling for $1000 - $1500 on GunBroker. Sometimes you gotta take a swing.

      June 20, 2022 8:39 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Aaron Short

      I really enjoyed reading about this article. I have always enjoyed reading about firearms history. especially when its a new manufacturer, but at the same time it is sad to hear about a manufacturer that is actually on the cutting edge, and innovative go bankrupt. That is what is lacking in the firearms world is innovation and a manufacturer that is not scared to produce something new and and innovative especially when it comes to futuristic aesthetics, and to get away from the same tired looks of the past, just because it works.

      June 20, 2022 3:36 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Chris

      Loved the article. Fun to hear about what happened.

      June 19, 2022 5:18 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mike

      And this is why you don't buy a 1st generation anything.

      June 18, 2022 7:02 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Mikial

        Agree completely. Go with something that has at least a reasonable amount of reliable history rather than rushing out to have the latest, greatest trend setter.

        June 19, 2022 6:37 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        stepan korova

        If nobody buys a 1st generation product, there is no 2nd generation.

        June 19, 2022 7:49 pm
        • Commenter Avatar
          Charles Finney

          Thank you Stepan for for proving there are still intelligent people out there. Unlike Mike and Mikial.

          August 22, 2022 8:55 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Isaac

        Really it just comes down to whether you believe the product is good enough for more generations and if you have expendable income to support a company's endeavor. It's always a risk, and some people just don't like taking risks on things.

        October 11, 2022 12:25 am
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