The real steel H9 made my Hudson Mfg was first showcased during the 2017 SHOT Show and it featured a few innovations that has caught the eye of gun enthusiasts. It sort of having a go at trying to combine the classic look of the 1911 and the modern pistols of today. Unfortunately, luck wasn’t on the Hudson Mfg side. As of March 2019, the company filed for bankruptcy. So the H9s, at least those that didn’t break, that are out there will be the only H9s that will ever exist. Well…until they all break and stop working.
Anyway, the EMG Arms or Evike Manufacturing Group have released the licensed airsoft GBB or gas blowback version of the Hudson H9 and we have one courtesy of Gunfire.
The first thing that anyone will notice about the H9 is its look, especially its front section. From what I understand, Hudson’s aim was to create a pistol with a low bore axis wherein the barrel is right above the grip. And with the recoil spring located in front of the trigger, the recoil impulse is directed straight into your hand leading to a much less recoil and muzzle rise when shooting. So this feature created this very futuristic looking gun with some saying that the front looks like the Scream movie mask.
The gun does look different but not ugly. I actually like how it looks. The frame and slide are both metal giving the H9 a nice heavy feel to it. On closer inspection the gun does kind of resemble a 1911 and feels very comfortable to hold. The somewhat oversized looking front doesn’t really seem to add any weight and does not make the gun feel front heavy. Aiming is comfortable and the sights are easy to see when pointing the gun towards the target. The slide is very ergonomic with the side corners being rounded giving it a more compact look. From the back, the gun looks like a Glock with it internal hammer. The slide has serrations towards the front and rear for easy grip when pulling it back. Both rear and front sights are easy to aim with. The pistol grip on the H9 feels like it is more vertical making the gun easy to point at the target.
The H9 features a trigger safety that is similar to the Glock. But what I noticed with the H9’s design is that the safety mechanism needs to be engaged on the higher part of the trigger rather than the lower part line the Glock. I am not sure if this is the same with its real steal counterpart as I have not tried one. My personal issue with this is that because I’m an airsoft Glock user, I have gotten used to the trigger pull of the Glock and when I tried to fire the H9 for the first time I was not able to press the safety mechanism properly hence the gun failed to discharge. Now I think this is partly because I have skinny fingers and my trigger finger does not fill the entire trigger surface so I needed to move my finger higher onto the trigger to disengage the safety.
The gun comes with 1 magazine and a thumb safety lever that can be installed really easily. The thumb safety adds another safety feature to the gun. To install it, simply detach the slide, locate the small grub screw on the right rear side of the frame. Unscrew this and then remove the bits that are covering the space where the lever with go into. Install the lever assembly and then replace the grub screw.
The EMG Hudson H9 shoots very well. The blowback I find to be pretty decent and it gives a nice kick. Since the gun is of all metal construction, it feels solid and has a very good weight on it. As I said previously if you have small or thin fingers and is used to pulling the trigger from the bottom end, you will need to readjust your pull location a little bit higher.
The low bore axis designed for the real steel isn’t really that relevant to airsoft as airsoft GBBs don’t really have that much muzzle rise. Well, at least on my part, I did not find any noticeable difference.
The H9 also performed well when it came to accuracy and I was using 0.20 with WE green gas. The gun can easily empty a full mag. I would recommend charging in between reloads as it will use up all its gas towards the end of your second set of BBs.
What really drew me to the H9 is its looks, nothing else. I did not read any reviews or watched any videos before acquiring the pistol. And I think this will be the same for other players who want to have something different from the Hi-Capas, the Glocks and the 1911s. But for hard core old schoolers, it may be a bit difficult to swallow.
Aside from the looks nothing pulls the H9 apart from other high end GBBs which is a good thing. I think it will stand on its own when put side by side with its competitors. Long term performance is still to be seen and performance on warmer weather should be better. The all metal construction gives it that solid feel that a lot of players are looking for and it takes away that toy gun feel that you see on other non metal body models.
Big thanks to Gunfire for providing us with the H9 and the WE green gas used for this review.