By Will Dabbs, MD
The SCCY Firearms DVG-1 takes SCCY pistols to a place they have never been before. Featuring a proven rugged polymer frame, state-of-the-art manufacturing, cutting-edge materials science, groundbreaking design and a name that has become synonymous with both reliability and value, the DVG-1 incorporates all that is righteous and wholesome about the storied CPX line of pistols into something even better. Now, the new DVG-1 adds an Information Age striker-fired trigger to the mix as well.
Like any deep cover revolver, the previous CPX pistol used a long, heavy double action trigger as its primary safety mechanism. This system worked well, but it was designed for down-in-the-dirt combat, not target shooting on the range. Whenever I exercised my CPX I would generally get a couple dozen rounds through it and be ready to take a break. The new DVG-1, however, has a markedly more refined comportment. How SCCY got to this point is indeed a fascinating tale.
Most gun companies offer a wide variety of handguns in a wide variety of calibers. Some even offer .22 Rimfire up to .500 S&W Magnum with everything in between. They say variety is the spice of life, and most manufacturers of firearms remain quite spicy. There is, however, a gleaming exception.
SCCY makes one single chassis very, very well. In 1998 Joe Roebuck, the human nuclear reactor behind SCCY Firearms, saw a need for a reasonably-priced, top-quality defensive handgun. The marketplace was littered with rarefied iron that might cost a working man a week’s pay. On the other end of the spectrum were pot metal death traps that would render only marginal service as paperweights. What American shooters needed was a quality defensive pistol that was dead nuts reliable but would still leave enough left over at the end of the month for diapers and baby formula.
Joe and Company succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. When I toured the SCCY plant several years ago they were the fifth largest producer of handguns in America—and they only made that one gun. In 2016, in the midst of the Trump-induced handgun slump, they still sold 160,000 firearms.
The original 9mm CPX could be had either with or without a manual safety in at least ten different colors. The subsequent CPX-3 and -4 were the same guns chambered in .380 ACP. All four models come with two 10-round magazines and interchangeable floorplates, both flat and extended.
Joe Roebuck might have trust issues. People’s lives ride on the reliability of these guns and the SCCY crew takes what they do very seriously. In the case of these handguns, every single component is made in-house, including the magazines. SCCY cuts and rifles their own barrels, mills their own slides and fire controls and presses out their own magazine bodies. That way Joe’s mob retains complete control of every aspect of the manufacturing process.
The heart of SCCY is actually the tool room. SCCY makes the tools that make their parts. Joe’s people keep their fingers on every single piece of this pistol. If something goes wrong, they don’t have to go looking around for someone else to blame. It is simply that nothing ever seems to go wrong.
To understand the mindset behind this new gun we need to roll the way-back meter some 3,000 years to a verdant part of Israel called the Valley of Elah. The Army of Israel under King Saul was encamped on one side of the valley. The hosts of the Philistines occupied the opposite ridge. There resided in between the very real prospect of an epic bloodbath.
While both armies were formidable, the Philistines possessed a secret weapon. Towering above their armored warriors stood a legitimate giant. According to some period texts the giant Goliath stood nine feet, nine inches tall. In the context of the day he was considered invincible.
For obvious reasons, the Philistines felt it might be a good idea to decide the outcome of the conflict via single combat. They suggested that the Israelites should field a champion to engage the brute Goliath mano-a-mano, winner take all. To this end, they occupied themselves shouting epithets and curses at both the Israelites and their ethereal, invisible God.
No one among the armies of Israel felt up to the challenge save a ruddy teenager named David. Thin, young and rangy, David was a shepherd by trade and knew self-reliance. When first David volunteered to fight Goliath, King Saul was amused. Saul offered the child his heavy armor, but David demurred. He was a woodsman and would face the giant with nothing but his shepherd’s sling.
David retired to a small creek and selected five smooth stones of appropriate caliber. When eventually he faced the giant, his first shot sunk deep into the leviathan’s forehead, dropping him where he stood. David then retrieved Goliath’s heavy sword and relieved the fallen giant of his head. The fact that David took five stones into the fight does not imply a lack of faith. We find in 2 Samuel 21 that Goliath actually had four brothers.
The epic battle between David and Goliath has been immortalized as one of the greatest examples of martial prowess in military history. The details are chronicled in both the Old Testament scriptures and the Quran. When Joe Roebuck was looking for a novel name for his new, inexpensive striker-fired defensive gun, he chose DVG-1. DVG stands for David Versus Goliath.
The beating heart of the DVG-1 is the tested, proven and patented Roebuck Quad-Lock System. This operating system guarantees reliable function with a variety of ammo types under any and all reasonable conditions. The basic recoil-operated action is adapted from the apparently perfect design John Moses Browning and Dieudonné Saive built into that first Browning Hi-Power pistol.
The polymer grip module is impervious to sweat and corrosion and features finger grooves that interface perfectly with the human form. The magazine release and slide stop are both located in the expected spots on the left side of the gun. The slide has aggressive gripping grooves, both front and rear.
The striker-fired trigger has a flat face for enhanced leverage. This makes the 5.5-pound pull weight seem all the more comfortable. The initial take-up is quite smooth and the reset is delightfully short. At first the break was a bit gritty. However, I cleared the gun three times, verified that there was no ammo within fifty feet of where I sat, pulled up Netflix and pointed my DVG-1 in a safe direction. About one hundred trigger manipulations later, it had smoothed out quite nicely. While the trigger’s personality was initially a wee bit crunchier than that of a comparable Glock or HK VP9, the gun costs literally half as much. Play with it once over a movie and the DVG-1 trigger will love you for it.
Sights are steel and indestructible. For an extra C-note you can get the gun equipped with a splendid Crimson Trace™ CTS-1500 Red Dot sight. The whole pistol breaks down with either a case rim or a healthy fingernail. You’ll legitimately not find better value anywhere.
The DVG-1 feels oddly different from other, more expensive guns. For starters, it’s nice and short. The frame is just long enough to fit the human hand without protruding unduly. The finger rest magazine floorplate accommodates my fifth finger beautifully. The gun comes with two 10-round magazines and interchangeable floorplates, both flat and extended.
The 3.1-inch barrel is perfect for easy concealment and near-range engagements. If you want to ring steel a kilometer distant you need a different tool. If you want an utterly reliable defensive gun that packs eleven rounds onboard while remaining sufficiently small as to hide in a proper pocket, this is your iron.
As the point of this exercise is to prove that a guy on a budget can remain just as prickly as his wealthy counterpart, I landed a no-frills polymer IWB (Inside the Waistband) holster off of Amazon for $20. The holster hood is too high to accommodate the red dot sight, but that is an easy enough fix. I marked out the material that needed to be removed with a Sharpie and then carefully cut it out with a fiber-reinforced cutoff wheel on my Dremel tool. I then touched up the area with a sanding drum. The end result works perfectly and looks factory.
The DVG-1 is one of the easiest serious guns in the world to pack. Little .25 ACP mouse pistols might be easier to hide, but this thing offers proper 9mm pain on tap. Stoke it with some serious social bullets and the DVG-1 should be able to address any reasonable threats, along with most of the unreasonable sorts as well.
Like most all striker-fired guns, there are no external manual safeties on the DVG-1. Keep your finger clear of the trigger until you are ready to shoot and you will be fine. The DVG-1 carries and presents like a gun costing hundreds more.
The DVG-1 trigger is a delightful improvement over the long double action sort. The predictable take-up and benign break actually conspire to offer some exceptional accuracy. The DVG-1 was naturally reliable with everything we fed it, from lightweight 65-grain polymer Inceptor® rounds all the way up to heavy 147-grain ball.
This is a tiny gun firing a serious round, so it has some recoil. However, the broad back end of the frame distributes the chaos nicely. Magazines fall away freely when the catch is stroked. I found that I could actually make fast combat reloads with this compact gun as well, something that is fairly rare in the world of true deep carry defensive pistols. Unlike most pocket guns designed for deep concealment, shooting the DVG-1 is actually fun.
If I took my time, I could keep my rounds inside of a juice can lid at twelve meters. Moving with a purpose, I could still keep everything inside a standard silhouette out to twenty or so. If that kind of performance won’t solve your problems, you need some different problems.
The SCCY DVG-1 is the little gun with a big heart. Joe Roebuck and his crew set out to do this one thing very well and they have pulled it off with the DVG-1. This well-executed deep carry pistol will do everything the Big Guys’ guns will at literally half the price.
You may have more money than you could ever spend. You might bind your cash up in bricks and use it to form a stable for your modest herd of albino unicorns. For the rest of us, however, money is something that reflects toil, sacrifice and pain. I want mine to go as far as possible. In the DVG-1 from SCCY you get reliability you can bet your life on, along with truly exceptional value.
SCCY DVG-1 SPECIFICATIONS
- CALIBER 9mm Parabellum
- BARREL LENGTH 3.1in
- OVERALL LENGTH 6.01in
- WIDTH 1.0in
- WEIGHT 15.5oz
- MAGAZINE CAPACITY 10+1
- COATING H&M Black Nitride
- MSRP $299.99 / $399.99 with Crimson Trace CTS-1500 Red Dot Sight
SCCY DVG-1 PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS
- Load Group Size (Inches) Velocity (fps)
- ARX Inceptor 65gr Polymer 0.75 1,664
- Black Hills 100gr Honeybadger 0.8 1,142
- Winchester 115gr FMJ Active Duty 2.0 1,172
- SIG 115gr JHP V-Crown 1.5 1,077
Group Size is best four of five rounds fired from a simple rest at 12 meters. Velocity is the average of three rounds fired across a Caldwell Ballistic Chronograph oriented ten feet from the muzzle.
The kid had never before touched a firearm. He was a responsible young man who held down a job as a clerk at a local convenience store. For his 21st birthday his dad bought him a SCCY CPX 9mm pistol. His application for a concealed carry permit was pending and he had not yet had time to complete the required training.
The young man dropped the gun in its original container along with an unopened box of ammo into his book bag before reporting to work. Once at the store, he stashed the bag in the break room. He and his partner were facing a long shift.
The armed robber surprised the young man and his terrified comrade, marching them both back to the break room and binding them up with duct tape. The thug explained in no uncertain terms that he was going to go clean out the register and then come back and tidy up the loose ends. The kid realized he had just minutes left to live.
The clerk worked feverishly to get his arms free from his bindings. Rushing to his bag he took the NIB SCCY pistol out and thumbed a handful of 9mm rounds into the magazine. He then stepped back into the store to confront the aspiring killer.
In the gunfight that followed the young man fired four rounds, the first four of his life. Two of them connected. When the cops arrived moments later, this awesome kid was doing CPR on the murderous thug who had just tried to kill him.
As is always the case in situations like this, the police took the young man’s gun as evidence. When the dust settled, the kid’s dad contacted SCCY to thank them for saving his son’s life. When the dad told them the cops took his son’s pistol, Joe flew the two of them out to Daytona Beach, FL, to meet his employees and take a factory tour. The kid left with a brand new pistol, free of charge. If you ever wondered why we take concealed carry so seriously, that’s the reason.
Joe Roebuck is a mechanical savant. He was an introverted only child whose parents were well-educated immigrants. They inculcated into him at a young age a refined sense of hard work. By his 13th birthday, they had equipped a modest machine shop back behind the house. Joe toiled out there every evening and every Saturday producing parts for contracts his mom drummed up for him with local customers. He never saw a dime of the proceeds.
Joe learned to fly an airplane at age fifteen. By the time he graduated from high school (a year early at seventeen) he had earned about a quarter of a million dollars in his little shop. His parents presented this to him when he left home. A self-taught engineer, Joe eventually became head die maker for Schrade Cutlery. Using that cool quarter mill as seed, he then branched out a bit.
Joe designed the device used to emplace cardiac stents. Anyone who has ever had eyeglass lenses ground while they waited had them done on a machine Joe designed as well. After starting, growing and then selling several different companies, Joe Roebuck threw himself into designing and producing the best value-priced handgun on the planet. The end result is the new SCCY DVG-1. This gun is the culmination of Joe’s remarkable vision. sccy.com
This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V25N7 (August-September 2021)