Table of Contents
Initially, two questions popped into my mind when I saw and heard the terms “SCCY” and “DVG.” I had heard of SCCY, but my first question was “What is the meaning and history behind the SCCY name?” The second was “What does the DVG in the model name mean or represent?
A tool-and-die maker and mechanical design engineer from Long Island, NY, named Joe Roebuck, founded his gun company in 2003. Initially, he chose the name Skky Industries because of his love of aviation, but an established vodka maker wanted that name, so he instead chose the name SCCY Industries. He wanted to avoid lengthy and costly trademark discussions and avoid confusion for customers. And SCCY can be pronounced like “Sky.”
DVG Model: What’s In A Name?
The focus initially by SCCY was on manufacturing double-action, hammer-fired pistols chambered in 9mm Luger and in .380 ACP. The goal was (and still is) to create durable, value-priced handguns in a wide range of colors to match the individual personalization desires of customers. Joe Roebuck recognized that heavy and long double-action hammer-fired triggers are not for everyone, so he created the DVG-1, a striker-fired SCCY sub-compact, lightweight 9mm model holding 10 rounds with a 5.5-pound trigger press.
What does the acronym “DVG” stand for or represent? When I talked with Joe Roebuck, I was surprised when he told me it stands for “David Versus Goliath.” I completely understand this choice, since at the start-up then he was the “new kid on the block” so to say because he was David battling toe-to-toe with a quasi-Philistine giant Goliath to become a champion. He wanted to price his new gun low so many people could afford to own it for their self-defense.
Surprise! With attention to customers, inflation, and the present economy, SCCY has actually lowered the 2023 MSRPs on the DVG, as well as other guns, like the CPX-1, CPX-2, CPX-3, and CPX-4. For example, the DVG-1 is priced at just about $300. Let me repeat that again “about $300.”
Made in America: SCCY Industries & Founder Joe Roebuck
SCCY Industries manufactures its 9mm and .380 handguns in Daytona Beach, FL. Their firearms focus is exclusively on making budget-friendly, reliable, value-priced pistols for concealed carry, with a lifetime guarantee even for various owners.
I made a general inquiry to SCCY and was surprised when their Founder and Chief Executive Officer Joe Roebuck contacted me. This man is very busy, so I was surprised when he talked with me for about half an hour on the phone. And we had three or four follow-up phone conversations and several emails. I learned much about this self-made, very successful innovative man and all his many inventions, designs, skills, and accomplishments. He is a pilot who flies himself for business.
Joe Roebuck worked 40 years in manufacturing. As a mechanical design engineer, he designed and SCCY uses all their own machines to make their guns based on his designs. Almost all their parts, the barrel, slide, receiver, and all other metal parts are manufactured in-house and so their guns are truly Made in America. So, they have the flexibility to quickly react to market supply and demand.
He also designs and manufacturers small turbine engines, is the Founder and CEO of another company Mass Propulsion Labs, is the Founder and CEO of Jo-V Technologies, invented a cardiovascular stent, invented a lens-making machine, has skills in precision tooling, is a tool and die maker, and has general machining skills.
In-House Manufacturing of Handgun
When I mentioned his DVG-1 9mm striker-fired pistol, Joe Roebuck’s exuberance was readily apparent. He described their attention to quality and standing behind their guns with a helpful Customer Service Department and lifetime guarantee.
He said SCCY Firearms designs, manufactures, and assembles almost every component of their pistols in-house to ensure all of their products meet exact specifications and live up to high standards. Joe Roebuck estimates 98% of the handgun is made in-house, short of springs, with hardly any outsourcing. This helps to avoid expensive production stoppages and slowdowns, since any part or component-related issues can be resolved quickly rather than waiting for external vendors.
Their original handguns, the 9mm CPX-1, and CPX-2 were excellent sellers as hammer-fired pistols. Although they have heavy about 9-pound trigger presses, they are well-designed, sturdily built, and priced right for what you get. They and other models include Joe Roebuck’s unique “Quad Lock” four-point barrel lockup design, several colors, are lightweight at less than a pound empty, and have an incredibly low price of about $300.
Roebuck Quad-Lock System
The Quad Lock tilt-barrel system is named for Joe Roebuck and his unique design locks the barrel in place in four areas. This stability ensures that the barrel returns to the same location every time the pistol cycles and comes into battery. The goal of this design is to eliminate any movement or play in the system, to improve accuracy potential, and reduce pistol wear. And also reduce felt recoil.
Joe Roebuck said he would send me two of his pistols to review and asked me what I wanted. This was a difficult decision for me because I knew his guns came in 10 grip/frame colors and two slide colors (black and natural stainless.) You can get the DVG-1 and others in Crimson, FDE, SCCY Blue, Orange, Pink, Purple, Lime Green, White, Sniper Grey, and Black grip/frame colors. I chose the last two color options with black slides.
SCCY states on its website that they “believe everyone deserves accessibility to personal defense. It is a right that should not be reserved solely for those who can afford it. Through our proprietary manufacturing process, we’re able to offer unrivaled quality and performance in our pistols at affordable prices.” Their value prices are industry-leading, but price is just part of the consideration.
So this sounds great, but I had to shoot these handguns and learn some things for myself:
- Is the budget-priced, lightweight, striker-fired DVG-1 reliable?
- What features does it have for that low price?
- Is the trigger press really 5.5 pounds or close?
- How does the warranty read and what does it cover?
- How are its ergonomics and feel in the hand?
- Does the flat-faced trigger work well and is it acceptable?
- What cost-savings and design features allow this low price?
SCCY DVG-1 Specifications and Features
- Excellent Overall Ergonomics, with Thin Profile for Concealed Carry
- Edges Rounded for Comfort, Smoothness, & for Holstering
- Made in the U.S.A.
My Criteria and Considerations
Here are the 10 criteria and factors I use for evaluating any handgun, so I will use them for the SCCY DVG-1 sub-compact 9mm pistols. In addition to my criteria, there are other subjective features that may be appealing for some, like smooth rounded corners, a certain style or design, mag release location, action, caliber, appearance, number of mags included, type of sights/modifications, bore axis, rail, grip angle, non-porting or porting, included extras like a holster and pouch, customer service, etc. So, I combined these into my last “Miscellaneous” criterion. I must admit that all gun-choice decisions involve tradeoffs, but I really want all of my criteria to be ideally met. I assigned a total possible point score of ten points for each of my ten criteria for a total possible score of 100 points. And a “Recommend” or “Not Recommend” at the end of my review. You can certainly add your own additional criteria, and preferences or subtract any of mine.
Recognize that there are several features, characteristics, pros and cons, and personal criteria to include and consider. You make your own tradeoffs according to your priorities, preferences, goals, defined needs, and use.
Concealed Carry Drill
I use my standard “Col Ben’s Concealed Carry Drill” to test and evaluate any handgun after I initially thoroughly clean it. You can use my basic Concealed Carry Drill to test and evaluate your handguns. I like the realistic 7-yard distance best to match the common distance for personal defense.
You can download and print “Col Ben’s Concealed Carry Drill” and targets by clicking on the link at my website at www.FloridaHandgunsTraining.com. Go to and click on the “More” Section on the far right of the Home Page and then click on “Carry Drill.” Drag a corner in to resize Drill to full coverage and print on full-size paper. Free to use, but just give me a credit line and mention when used.
FIRST Shots: SCCY DVG-1 9mm Range Field Test Results
As I do with all handguns I test, I want to include a mag change in my drill. Since the pistol comes with two 10-round mags, this worked out fine to shoot and time the 15 necessary test rounds for my drill.
As you see in the above photo, 14 of the 15 total hits with mag change were inside the 5 circle targets at 7 yards in 20 seconds. I bypassed the 3-yard and 5-yard trials for more of a challenge. And I missed one hit in the 2.5-inch circle at 7 yards. Close but no cigar! No excuses, but I had to rush my mag change and that affected it. And one hit on the 3-inch circle had a hit touching the line, but that counts. So if this was a real-life deadly force encounter, because at least all 15 shots were very close on target at 7 yards, I feel comfortable. And chances are I would not need to fire 15 shots for the high probability of only one attacker. But you never know, so I must practice more and with time goals. This also reinforced the need to practice a mag change.
Practice… Practice… Practice.
I shot about 250 rounds of ammo (125 rounds for each gun) and I landed all 15 hits on target with one mag change with my one Drill that counted, within the time goal of 20 seconds. Not bad for an old geezer.
TIP: For multiple attackers, malfunction, and stoppage possibilities, faulty ammo, and other emergencies, it is important to carry and practice with at least two mags.
Field Test Ammo
To field test these pistols, I used the new 1776 USA 9mm lead-free ammo, a Full Metal Jacket substitute, that has a velocity of 1,350 feet per second and a 90-grain weight. A sincere “Thank You” to 1776 USA and SinterFire for supplying this high-quality ammo for this field test.
I shot the 1776 USA ball-substitute lead-free ammo with the DVG-1 and it performed excellently. I also shot a box I had on hand of Fiocchi 124 grain JHP with 1,100 feet per second velocity, including self-defense ammo.
All the ammo performed excellently and I did not have any malfunctions, stoppages, or failure to perform with any of the ammo used. All 1776 USA lead-free ammo was extremely reliable. The increased velocity from this ammo helped with accuracy and I did not notice any increase in felt recoil. The SCCY DVG-1 9mm sub-compact performed well with both the lead-free ball-substitute ammo and the Fiocchi JHP ammo.
Use my drill at various appropriate distances for yourself, e.g. 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 yards to challenge yourself and assess skill-level improvements, as you progress. At first, do not time yourself but safely practice, until you feel comfortable and safe with the drill. Be certain to use mag changes while timing your drills to shoot 15 rounds per drill. Hope my Concealed Carry Drill helps you.
SCCY DVG-1 Range Results: Opinions and Rating for Each Criterion
After live-fire shooting with the SCCY DVG-1 9mm pistols, here are my opinions and rating for each of my ten criteria, for a concealed carry pistol.
Accuracy and Reliability – Score: 9
The SCCY DVG-1 9mm’s accuracy was well-above average and acceptable. With the fine trigger, I was expecting almost perfect results and was close, but not quite. I guess shooter error could explain this. The hits grouped together nicely on the target. The Point of Impact was close to the Point of Aim almost all of the time. The reliability of this pistol was very consistent and I had no complaints at all with it for the rounds I fired. Very good reliability, with no malfunctions or stoppages. I noticed for me that the gun was accurate with the 1776 USA 90 grain, 1,350 feet per second 9mm rounds. And I felt comfortable with the lead-free rounds and no increased felt recoil.
Trigger Press – Score: 9
Out-of-the-box the trigger press averaged 5.75 pounds without modification for the SCCY DVG-1 9mm, with 10 readings with my electronic trigger pull gauge. This is close to the factory spec and is what I wanted and expected for a polymer striker-fired sub-compact 9mm pistol. I am used to shooting single-action and double-action 9mm pistols with around 4.5 to 5.5 pounds of press. For carry, I do not want a trigger press of 6 pounds or more. I am spoiled by my 1911s and their 4.5 to 5 pound or so presses. Since this DVG-1 is a new pistol that is not “broken-in” yet, certainly with more ammo down-range, the press should improve and be lighter. The break was crisp and smooth. Certainly, this trigger press will get the concealed carry job done safely. And it will improve after more rounds downrange.
Trigger – Score: 9
The SCCY DVG-1 9mm aluminum trigger overall was consistent, crisp, and smooth. It is a big improvement over some of SCCY’s earlier pistols. The trigger was not stiff and was consistently effortless. The trigger was pleasant, consistent, and smooth to shoot, certainly for a budget-priced gun. The face of the trigger was smooth and some serrations would help. A key trigger feature is that since it has a pre-loaded striker bar, less pressure on the trigger is necessary to draw the sear out of the way to fire.
Barrel Length – Score: 8
Short-barreled, smaller pistols with less than 4-inch barrels like this one are a challenge to shoot well. Yes, short barrels decrease velocity. But this pistol was not that much of a challenge. Although its shorter sight radius makes it somewhat harder to shoot it accurately, I had to grip it firmly and focus on sight alignment and trigger control.
TIP: As a general guideline, an inch less barrel will reduce a bullet’s velocity by roughly between 25 and 50 feet per second. Of course, this varies on powder volume, its burning rate, and other things.
Generally, the more powder and the slower its rate of burning, the more barrel length needed to burn it, affecting velocity. Velocity helps a bullet go farther before dropping, which makes it easier to hit your target
Keep in mind that a shorter-barreled handgun like this SCCY DVG-1 sub-compact has the advantage of being easily carried and concealed.
Sights – Score: 9
The standard sights for the SCCY DVG-1 are 3-dot white sights with a rear adjustable sight. The front sight is made of plastic. Wish it had Tritium Night Sights, but that option was not available for this budget-priced pistol as you would expect. These 3-dot sights are certainly more than acceptable. The front dot was just the right size for proper aiming.
Proper Gun Weight – Score: 10
The SCCY DVG-1 9mm’s weight was just right for carry at 15.5 ounces, unloaded. The weight did not make the felt recoil unmanageable and did not interfere with carry. This pistol can easily be used for concealed carry and its weight is not a detriment at all, but an advantage.
Caliber – Score: 10
The 9mm caliber for this DVG-1 was comfortable and not unpleasant to shoot. I gripped the gun firmly and managed the 9mm felt recoil well. I strongly favor shooting the 9mm caliber for self-defense and home defense. It has the muzzle energy and muzzle velocity to get the job done, without severe felt recoil pain and with sufficient control by the user. Of course, shooting 9mm ammo is much less expensive than most others and modern ammo with improved ballistics work fine… if you can find it now for a decent price. I prefer the lessened felt recoil and reduced movement for improved accuracy with the 9mm caliber. And this lead-free 1776 USA ammo with 1,350 fps velocity was very accurate and helpful. 9mm loads typically demonstrate better ballistic properties and performance in short-barreled guns. The specific ammo and its proven ballistics certainly matter.
Capacity – Score: 9
The standard capacity of the SCCY DVG-1 is 10 rounds and that is certainly acceptable. However, 12 rounds would be better, just in case there are multiple attackers and other threats. But I would not pay extra for two more rounds. However, two extra rounds can be a very significant advantage in self-defense and concealed carry. This heightens my point that for personal protection, self-defense, and concealed carry, defenders must have at least a second mag.
Ergonomics – Score: 9
The Ergonomics of the SCCY DVG-1 sub-compact 9 mm overall were good and I was easily and comfortably able to reach all controls. This pistol sat low in my hand and had a slightly undercut trigger guard. Not much, but helpful for a value-priced handgun. The grip was comfortable and the stippling was acceptable, but for me, I like more texturing to help with a firm grip. Of course, this can always be remedied with grip tape.
The side panels needed a little more texture FOR ME. As you can see from the above grip image, the rear backstrap was smooth, there are front finger grooves, and the side stippling is not aggressive at all. Of course, this is a personal preference. Keep in mind that most self-defense encounters do not involve shooting 100 rounds or so of ammo and you can probably have a firm enough grip for shooting the rounds in one mag. Again, personal preference. Note the helpful grip indentation. The magazine release is left-side only. Overall, the grips worked for me and my medium-sized hands.
Miscellaneous – Score: 9
The matte Black finish and the Sniper-Grey finish of the two pistols are very nice. Having the ten grip/frame options and the two slide color options demonstrates the company’s aim to please and be flexible to various preferences. The rounded corners and edges of the gun really enhanced its concealability and ease of carry. The handgun looks great and is very appealing to the eye.
I easily cleaned and field stripped the SCCY DVG-1 9mm before I shot it and that helped since there were no malfunctions and stoppages. Takedown was simple using a small tool to bump the takedown pin out, then press the trigger. The included Operating Manual was succinct and helpful. No problems at all taking it down or cleaning it. You must press the trigger to disassemble it and some do not like that, but self-discipline is key. It comes with a clamshell-type trigger lock with two keys. It does not have a magazine disconnect, which means the gun will fire with a magazine out. There were no flush-fit base plates for mags which help carry concealability. But, flush base plates will be sent to me. This is a well-made, lightweight, and reliable concealed carry striker-fired pistol with a very good trigger, especially for the excellent budget price.
Easy DVG-1 Disassembly
First, remove the magazine, check for an empty chamber, and lock back the slide. Insert a small, flat-head screwdriver tip (or the rim of a fired cartridge) into the slot of the takedown pin. Then pry outward to remove the pin. Apply just a little rearward pressure to the slide, press the trigger, and pull the slide off the front of the frame.
SCCY DVG-1 Review Final Score
TOTAL POINTS = 91 out of 100 Possible. RECOMMEND.
1791 Gunleather IWB-OWB Holster
The 1791 Gunleather 4-Way Concealment and Belt Leather Holster has high-quality craftsmanship with an extremely versatile design. And it is made of 100% Certified American Heavy Native Steerhide, reinforced and double-stitched. It is designed to allow four possible carry positions: Vertical, Horizontal, Cross-Draw, or Inside-the-Waistband. The way you carry your gun can change with the day, use, or situation, so this holster provides maximum flexibility with IWB and OWB carry positions in one sturdy, leather belt holster. It is an ideal balance of protection, comfort, and flexibility. It has a sturdy steel clip and its hand-molded exterior provides superior retention and reliability. It comes in Classic Brown, Signature Brown, Stealth Black, and Vintage colors. It is reasonably priced at less than $50.
Clinger’s Comfort Cling IWB and Pocket Holster
Clinger’s Comfort Cling IWB and Pocket Holster uses a soft gel-like cushion material for very extra comfort. It has a thin design and is a high-quality pocket-concealed holster. Its design uses friction to comfortably hold the holster inside the pocket and/or IWB. There are no belts to fiddle with. It easily swaps from left-hand to right-hand and has a full sweat shield to protect the gun. This soft pocket holster does not slip like some others holsters. And it protects the trigger, helps maintain the correct gun orientation in the pocket, and stays put in the pocket upon draw. It is reasonably priced at only $27.97. Be sure and mention you read Col. Ben’s review with this holster on USACarry.com.
The SCCY sub-compact striker-fired DVG-1 9mm pistol is a very good budget-priced pistol and I recommend it. It is inexpensive and value priced, but not “cheap.” While it has a basic, no-frills design and a low cost, it has nice features included, like a very good flat trigger with a light press, front and rear side serrations, and easy-to-use sights and magazines. It looks great, has smooth edges, and is lightweight for carry. And it does not sacrifice performance, accuracy, and reliability. It might make a good pocket pistol for some folks.
Manufacturing cost-saving methods include CNC machining a heat-treated, aircraft-grade aluminum alloy receiver from bar stock that is then mounted in a molded Zytel polymer grip frame, instead of machining the entire grip frame and receiver as one unit. It has a slightly undercut trigger guard that allows the shooter to have a somewhat higher grip on the pistol to improve stability and control. The only thing I would change is to have a more aggressive grip texture for a more solid grasp of the gun, but grip tape helps here. The dual recoil spring assembly makes the gun’s height lower for carry because the springs are smaller in diameter. The Roebuck Quad-Lock System allows for greater accuracy potential and a tighter lockup results in less excess motion for improved felt recoil.
A lightweight, short-barreled striker-fired sub-compact 9mm pistol like this fits right in with a lot of folks’ carry style for ease of carry and for personal protection. I probably would use it occasionally as my primary carry gun tradeoff, after more rounds downrange. The reliability is definitely there. Its very good, consistent and smooth flat trigger is a nice advantage, given its less than 6 pounds trigger press. The nice front and rear slide serrations are helpful for slide manipulations. The white 3-dot iron sights were nice and I could pick them up easily, but as always I want Tritium Night Sights for concealed carry. For me, the night sights and second mag are very important necessities for concealed carry and self defense.
I heartily recommend the fine holsters and ammo I personally chose to include in this gun review, since they are quality products. The 1791 Gunleather 4-Way IWB-OWB holster and the Clinger Comfort Cling pocket/IWB holster all work excellent with this pistol and I recommend these quality holsters. And the high-quality 1776 USA 9mm ball ammo performed outstandingly, with no malfunctions or stoppages. You can trust this premium ammo with a high velocity of 1,350 feet per second to be very reliable, to get the job done, and I recommend the 1776 USA brand and lead-free ammo used in this review. I am extremely grateful to 1776 USA for supplying the fine lead-free ball ammo and for 1791 Gunleather and Clinger Holsters for their excellent holsters for this review.
Continued Success and Be Safe my Friends!
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
1791 Gunleather Holsters
Miami, FL 33142
Clinger Comfort Cling IWB/Pocket Holsters
Van Buren, AR 72956
Photos by Author.
* This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney for legal advice and your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense and concealed carry. It should not be relied upon as accurate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever.
© 2023 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at ColBFF@gmail.com.
Accuracy and Reliability