Re: Best Handgun For The Money
Ammo does go bad! I have been actively shooting, hunting and competing since 1979. I have owned just about every conceivable type weapon under $5k that anyone would want. That was back in the days when life was good!
I had a stash of .22 ammo going back 25 years or so. Its been kept in a sealed, water tight container. I found nearly 30% of the ammo would not shoot in a semi auto pistol. Glad I did not find out had I depended on it. On the other hand, I have reloads from 1980, have not had one issue with any of it, and I still use it. I used to shoot 50k rounds a year, so I had quite a lot.
The easiest to use for a beginner or someone that does not have the convenience of a local range for regular practice, is the most simple to operate. That without question is the revolver. There are many that can not manually operate the slide on a semi auto, have no clue how to clean one, and MANY people I know that do own one, would not know what to do if there was a problem with it.
Without having to spend a small fortune trying belts, holsters, & clothing that will fit, the small revolver fits just about anywhere, fires any time when needed, does not need to be loaded and unloaded and worry about changing mag springs.
I have had a couple of dozen failures in 30 years of shooting a revolver. All were due to hand loads. One I missed a powder charge and the bullet lodged in the barrel. The others were a high primers on the cases and the cylinder would not rotate.
You can also fire a hammer less revolver from inside you pocket or purse. There are many documented cases of people that have been defended themselves, without the gun ever having been seen.
I have had MANY MANY MANY failures of all types of semi autos, which have cost a small fortune. These were name brand, semi autos costing more than $1500! More so since the late 90's to present, and the honest dealers will tell you time and again how many are sent back for some type of warranty necessary repair. Only need to read some of the gun forums to see all the problem encountered, and get an idea of all the money wasted testing semi autos for carry, which were quickly traded for something else.
The only 4 firearms I've owned since the mid 90's that I have not had / needed a trigger job done on, were the S&W, two Kimbers and the Bushmaster AR.
We have a fairly hefty S&W Mod 60 .357. Pleasant enough with .38's, but absolutely brutal with .357's. Try shooting just about any gun without hearing protection, and you may have a different idea on what your hearing is worth. When I was about 14, a friend and I found some old WWII .50 cal casings. We had no idea the primers were still active. One exploded in his basement, the shrapnel went through his arm, and I could not hear for about three days.
Not every situation demands split second defense for an immediate shot. I always carry ear plugs, just in case. I've seen men not be able to hit a 4'x4' back board with a target dead center, at just 15' using a 1911.
Just about all the really outstanding firearms I had bought were from the early to mid 80's. Those are all gone now, and the replacement items I bought after 2002, have been for the most part, junk.
Springfield Amory's TRP Champion has been the worst by far. I spent a small fortune on two of those. The first was eventually melted down, the second was sent back at least ten times, and still could not be depended on to fire.
A Bushmaster AR Super V-match had to be returned no less than six times for failures to function. I wasted more than a case of ammo on that, just to make sure it worked. Three red dot sights did not work.
North American Arms makes a handy .22 Mag, which I find most useful for daily carry. If I had the money, a S&W revolver would be my choice for daily carry. Having put my eggs in one basket and only the means to have one quality pistol, I opted for the Kimber Grand Raptor .45 with Crimson Trace laser grips carried in a Wilderness Tactical Safepacker. You can take that anywhere and no one will question you. The draw is extremely fast, under any condition.
I did not buy that with any intent to carry, so the 5" I find a bit much trying to conceal otherwise. On the other hand, you can charge the gun with one had, which is much more difficult to do with a 4" or smaller semi auto.
Beretta makes a few that load with a flip top opening, so there is no need to pull the slide back.
Many of the guns hyped in the mags and on tv, have proven NOT to be dependable, with many recalls. SIG was one company that put out a POS, and were replacing certain models, at no cost.
If at all possible, try to find a friend that has something you might like and try it out.
I had a Beretta 84 .380 and the 92 9mm, neither of which ever jammed in the fifteen years I used them, weekly.
I had many outstanding firearms, all of which were either given away to family or sold after my cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, no one has used them since. What a waste. If I had an idea I was going to live this long, I would have kept them.
The Crimson Trace is just outstanding. If you intend to carry, I can not say enough about that laser. You can make shots not otherwise possible, no matter how good you are. If you want to make shots of any distance or enjoy shooting at the range, a really good trigger is vital. Buy in in expensive pistol, and you will regret all the money you waste on ammo.
There are plenty of older shooters that are either selling or would be willing to sell, if asked. There are a lot of great 1980's models of all kinds, that are far better than just about any piece you will find for sale today, with some exception.
Revolvers leave no evidence, should they be needed. Legal council is very expensive and can easily run $500k. It would be foolish to voluntarily put yourself in that situation if it can be avoided.
The Guardian pepper spray from Kimber is a great alternative, as is the $280 laser readily available.
Many excellent books at Amazon by Massad Ayoob will set you in the right direction, and save you a pile of money, before you purchase.
If you listen to all the hype, you can never have too large a gun, or two many. Many folk have defended themselves with the .22. Easy to shoot, saves your hearing, easy to carry, and inexpensive.
Night sights are a big plus, a small but very mighty flashlight such as the Fenix L2D is essential, knowing how to use them all, is priceless.
Once you decide to carry, it does become quite a challenge making sure you know where the gun is at all times, and that it is always safe. Back when I first started to carry, my buddy (6'4" and 250 lbs) carried a gun on his belt when we went fishing on what we thought was a pretty much isolated and deserted island. A group of inebriated young men came up to us, one behind him and took his weapon. You just never know what to expect, and its always best that your firearm not be see by anyone.
There are many photos on the web showing accidental discharge pics and a lot of personal injury as a result.
The one Springfield I had jammed so badly, the entire gun would have to be taken apart to get the jammed parts disassembled.
If you can afford it, the S&W Nightguard is an excellent choice for all conditions and available in a number of excellent calibers. It is not very likely you will find one on a dealers shelf. That would need to be ordered.