Chambers Custom My Hudson Journey

Joe C

Pass the mustard
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Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
124
I’ve had a Hudson H9 now for a couple of months. To start off, in all fairness, the pistol I acquired was not new. I took it in trade from a young man who wanted a Chambers Custom WMG. The claim was that the gun had a couple hundred rounds through it, which based on the wear patterns I would believe. Also it should be noted that my gun is a no letter prefix sub 075 serial number gun. Cy tells me it is actually one of the first 50 guns that were ever put together and sold so that’s pretty neat!

When I first saw the H9 in pictures I was very excited. The idea of having such a pistol with the combination of features like it had seemed quite enchanting. No external hammer, 1911ish trigger pull, grip safety, replaceable grips, decent sights, high cap 9mm, steel frame. What more could a fella want! Well, a .38super with aluminum frame body but, you know how it is.

Then I got one. I’ve spent a pretty good amount of time carrying it in various positions, shooting different ammo through it, watching friends shoot it, heck, I’ve even begun customizing it. So this will be a write up full of first impressions, minor experiences, thoughts and opinions from me.

No reason to lie here, after first getting my H9 I was disappointed in two things. First, it isn’t light in weight. Coming in at right around 3 pounds with a fully loaded mag is more than I expected. But, I do occasionally carry a full size 1911 .45 Auto with 9 rounds of 230g ammo, so it wasn’t that huge of a deal.

The second thing was my own fault, due to a preconceived notion based on pictures that the gun had a grip safety. I was utterly shocked that the gun didn’t have this feature. Call me a fudd, old timer, traditionalist or whatever you will, I was kind of excited about the idea of a grip safety on the gun. And the pictures made it look like, in my mind, that there was one. Alas, my inner 1911 self got all worked up over nothing.

The lack of a thumb safety wasn’t really a big deal to me. After all, JMB didn’t design the original 1911 with one either. But there is just something about a gun that only has a trigger safety that makes me cautious about trying to carry it in any way other than OWB. Good thing my trade deal included five holsters in various configurations!

The trigger pull on the gun I got wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. It was around 8 pounds with a fairly crisp break. The reset was short and concise. But the trigger fit to the frame was a bit looser than my liking having a bit of vertical play (ok, those of you who know me caught me, I’m being kind here). This is pretty common in production type guns so it wasn’t completely unexpected. I’m working on a solution to the vertical play.

The front sight on this particular gun had been replaced by someone with a fiber optic front. That was a nice bonus since my eyes are not getting any younger. I have found the rear U notch easy to align. The only issue I’ve had is the front sight shifted and when I tapped it back in place I found out that whomever made this front sight made it out of mud because a brass punch should NOT mush real steel like that.

The slide action is very smooth. It’s not as smooth as one of my custom 1911’s but it is far smoother than many production guns I’ve had over the years.

The grip fits nicely in the hand and allows for a very pointable gun with a low bore to hand axis. I do find the grip to be a bit slick on the front and back. The checkering on the front and back is a tad fine for my taste but it also isn’t prone to snagging or hanging up on a cover garment. So that is a plus. I have since remedied that by grinding off the anemic checkering and stippling the front strap.

The controls on the gun are something I like very much. The fact that the mag catch can easily be switched for a lefty is a great feature. The ambi slide stop is well placed and functioned quite well until I broke the left side of mine off. In all fairness, we’ve been shooting a steady diet of NATO powered 125 grain loads through the gun for several weeks and at some point, it simply disappeared. No worries though, a new one is on the way!
 

Joe C

Pass the mustard
Custom Builder
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
124
Shootability… So far myself and some buddies have shot about 400 rounds through the gun in the past few weeks. The first time I shot it my impression was wow, that is a flat shooting gun, but it really pops in the hand. Keep in mind my comment above about the ammo we are shooting. Upon trying some lighter loads the gun has, as you might imagine, a much softer recoil impulse. But, I’m not going to lie and tell you that it is as soft as a properly built 1911 in 9mm because it isn’t. It is however, softer than many of the other types of guns I’ve compared it to with the same ammo, and because of the bore axis to hand design it stays very flat.

Cosmetically the gun looks odd to people. The low bore line necessitates that the recoil spring/rod be located low in front of the trigger. Personally, I like the look. It reminds me of the competition guns you see on the line at Camp Perry during center fire day. It is totally out of the norm. Unfortunately, it had a light rail on it, and most of you know how I feel about light rails on guns. In the case of the H9 the light rail seems, to me, to be somewhat of a “meh” addition.

The gun also has front cocking serrations on the slide which I find to be extraneous. I don’t use them on guns and find that they generally take away from the clean look that could be there. Alas, they are tastefully and properly done, inset lower into the slide and prevent tearing up a good leather holster. It is my opinion that a nice BHP style cut would have done just as well and looked nice to boot.

So you might ask, “Well Joe, how accurate is it?”. I’ll put it this way, I wouldn’t take it to a bullseye match to shoot at 50 yards. But I also wouldn’t stand in front of someone shooting it at that distance either. In other words, I find it to be on par with other guns of it’s nature. I’m working on a few ideas to tighten the barrel fit up a bit but will keep those under wraps until time permits me to try them out and vet them properly.
 

Joe C

Pass the mustard
Custom Builder
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
124
On to the mechanics and mods. Now I’m going to say this upfront, I do NOT recommend you buy a H9 and start modifying it like I talk about below. Doing what I have done and will be doing moving forward to my H9 WILL ABSOLUTELY VOID THE WARRANTY. And if you don’t study and understand the mechanics of the gun before making mods it could cause you serious problems with the gun and could even make it unsafe.

After shooting a few mags through the gun it was evident I would want to mod a few things right out of the bag. Those that know me well know how picky I am about ejection and trigger pull.

So, the first thing I did was take the gun apart. Much to my joy I found the trigger mechanism was powered by a sear spring that is very akin to that in a 1911. The gun also has a sear and disconnector that are very similar to a 1911 and a striker assembly very akin to, well, all the striker fired guns made since JMB first used the design idea in the early 1900’s.

Please don’t ask me to describe all the workings of the design as that would take more time than you or I have. Needless to say, I found it fascinating how it all works together so nicely. Doing a trigger job and some sear spring tuning didn’t take me long and shortly I had a very nice 3 pound 8 ounce pull with a clean break, light pretravel and short reset. In the near future I will be addressing the vertical play in the trigger shoe itself, but for now having a decent pull does suffice.

The next thing I addressed was the ejection. The first time I shot the H9 the ejection was much like many other production guns, all over the place. Upon inspection of the ejector I saw why. It was, in my opinion, the wrong length and angle. I ground what I thought was a good angle, based on what I know about ejectors and their function and took it out to shoot. I’ve been slowly moving it back and with recent mods it is now dropping brass at the 3:00 position very consistently. The plan is to keep moving it back until the ejection is at 4:00 or the gun stops working…whichever happens first.

The third major thing I did was polishing the chamber. These guns have a finish on them very similar to many other popular polymer guns today. That leaves the chamber a little rough. It was nothing a bit of polishing with the Foredom tool and a cotton bob with compound couldn’t fix. It’s a simple step to ensure smoother feeding and ejection.

Up next will be the extractor. Those in the know typically agree that the nose of the extractor should never touch the case. Doing so makes for inconsistent extractor tension, even in external extractor designs. The H9 suffers from this issue. The round should be held by the rim of the case and the flat inset cut of the extractor for best consistency which leads to best functioning and accuracy. It will be an easy fix but I won’t do it until a spare arrives.

After that will be the recoil spring. It is my opinion that the H9 could greatly benefit from having a stouter spring in place. Mine currently has a 16 pound spring in it and could benefit from an 18. It will no doubt have to be a flat wire for the cycle length but adding a few pounds to it should soften the blow to the rear just a touch while still keeping the gun flat in the hands.

Lastly, I’ve ended up doing some cosmetic changes. I got bored last night and needed a break from 1911’s so I took a small amount of time to grind the light rail off and reshape the dustcover. I actually dropped a couple of ounces from the gun by doing this and have come up with some ways to shave more weight in the near future.

I’m considering installing a buried adjustable DDS rear sight. And as aforementioned, I already started fixing the front strap. And who knows, perhaps I’ll even polish it up a bit on the outside. Or I might just leave it the matte two tone finish mine is now.
 

Joe C

Pass the mustard
Custom Builder
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
124
My overall synopsis of the Hudson H9 is as follows.


I like the gun, a lot. Part of that is because I just really like innovation and people who are not afraid to push the limits. The H9 certainly does that. Cy and his team have done a great job, in my opinion, of pressing forward and combining some tried and true ideas that have been around for over 100 years with some newer technology to come up with a cool looking, good functioning, fun shooting pistol.

Is the gun a little heavier than it probably needs to be in my opinion? Yes. But so what. Buy a good belt and holster from someone like Carl Collins at Exodus Gun Leather and carry on. Or you could wait to buy one when they come out with a LW model, which I hope happens.

Could there be a little bit better trigger pull and ejection? Sure. But those are things that could be worked out fairly easy by either Hudson themselves or a certified custom shop outside of Hudson.

Is it worth the price tag out of the box? I think it is. There are a lot of 9mm production 1911’s and other guns out on the market in the same price range or higher that don’t look near as cool. Nor do some of them function as good as this gun has for me with a wide range of ammo.

Does it fill a void? No, not really, unless that void is that you like a solid double stack 9mm pistol that has a cool design with a sprinkling of new ideas, then yes…yes it does. Or if you just want a gun that your buddy or neighbor is sure to not have yet.

Would I buy it again? Most definitely.

Kudos to Mr. and Mrs. Hudson for thinking outside the box, putting their money on the line and bringing the firearms world something new and refreshing.
35476445_1126541260830693_4474105580142723072_n.jpg
 

FWoo45

Well-Known Fanatic
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Messages
223
Liking this way more as a two tone without the rail. Thanks for the write up.
 

boatdoc

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Joined
Jun 9, 2018
Messages
908
how ironic ,I have one on order(needs 10 round mags). thanks for this great,in depth write up Joe. sure makes me want one more.

will you be customizing them in the future for us owners?
 

alias

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Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
19
Very cool write up Joe. Look forward to seeing what you do with it from here.
 

David D

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Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
34
New forum member...first post. I know this topic hasn't had any action for months, but I wanted to share my experience with Hudson for anyone still thinking about it.

One caveat, in the interest of brevity, I have documentation to back up my story, which I will gladly share on request.

I purchased my Hudson H9 on July 28th of last year. I own and shoot 1911's and CZ's almost exclusively. I have one tuned up M9 that shoots well to that I throw into the mix. These types of pistols are what I know, can work on, and shoot accurately and precisely so I stick to them. I saw the Hudson and on a good friends recommendation bought one.

My first impression was that for a striker fired pistol the trigger pull was short, crisp, and light. Mine measured 5.5lbs. The big orange dot and the u scoop rear made for quick and fun shooting. It also shot amazingly flat with very little felt recoil and super quick return to baseline. I used it at the range for a total of three trips or 750 rounds of factory 115 fmj (probably remington umc).

I quickly noted several problems. The sights were way off for point of aim/impact at anything beyond 30ft. The pistol hit six inches low at 25 yards. The popular opinion on the web is/was that a Hudson is "combat" sighted and therefore needed adjustments for greater distances beyond 10yds. This was not cited from an authoritative source or Hudson but all I can say would be reread the first sentence of this paragraph. Patrick Kelley (out of the box and to the match guy on Youtube) noted the same issue with the Hudson he bought and reviewed. Second, the spring regulating the extractor arm was so stiff that it would fail to go into battery sometimes and I would have to stop shooting and manually push it into battery. Third, and this is the biggest one and started me down the Hudson path of no return is that when I took it apart to clean after the third range session, the fixed guide rod would freely move around as half of the base that secured it to the lower receiver had cracked. Let that sink in, after 750 rounds of range use only with factory ammo the guide rod broke off part of its base.

So I went to the website, registered my gun, submitted a claim, and then proceeded to wait for a month while customer service told me "They were talking with the design team and figuring out the best way to handle my claim". Four weeks later an email with a return label came to send the Hudson in for repair. One month after that (October) an email came, supposedly with a letter written by Cy Hudson the Owner, stating that they were having issues with their suppliers and needed to bring a lot of manufacturing in house to prevent poor components and that any warranty work would have to wait until they had the situation sorted out. This letter pissed me off because they were putting new pistols ahead of past customers. (Which makes me think they are hurting financially...I have no evidence of this other than my gut and previous experience with getting the run around on warranty work) The next month (November) another email came stating that my pistol was back at quality control while they determined the best way to fix the pistol.

I sent an email and let them know they had three options, fix it, replace it, or refund my purchase. Radio silence. I have noticed that a lot of people on bookface have had the same warranty issues with theirs. Some people actually love their Hudson's and I can see why in some respects.

I think most of these pistols are under a grand now, if I ever get mine back I am immediately trading it in for another 1911 or CZ-75 to customize.
 

boatdoc

Well-Known Fanatic
Joined
Jun 9, 2018
Messages
908
welcome david. nice write up. considering my experience with them. I am surprised they even responded. shot mine once and it is a safe queen...for now.
 

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