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post #1 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 7:24 am Thread Starter
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Best Handgun For The Money

With the start of my own business and dealing with strangers in remote areas it's time I get my concealed handgun lic.I had rifles and shotguns all my life so I know gun safety. I also have 2 antique revolvers and Sammie has a 380 I bought her when I was trucking across country. What I'm looking for is a small but powerful handgun that is easy to hide and get to but will not cost me an arm and a leg. What caliber ,brand is recommended? Best place to buy and so on.

Stevie Shreeve
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post #2 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 7:36 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

The best one is one you are and can afford to stay proficient with. I would not be too worried about caliber and such, but much more how proficient you are with the type of gun.

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post #3 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 8:11 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

My son-in-law, the police detective, carries the Glock G-26 "Baby Glock." Says it conceals well and still has the power he needs, should he need it.

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post #4 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 8:15 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Its going to be a "trade off"

the bigger and more powerful a handgun is,
the "harder" and more "uncomfortable" it is to conceal.

Chances are if you should ever "need it"
you'll be very close to your "attacker"

This is my "preferred" carry piece, light and "easily" fits into any pocket.

http://www.sigsauerpro.com/category/...p_Pistols.aspx


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post #5 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 8:43 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Stevie,

The answers to your questions are even more varied than oil for scoots.

Since you don't have a great deal of experience with handguns and want it for self defense, I would probably recommend a small light weight revolver. Charter Arms or Taurus are good brands that don't cost as much as Smith & Wesson and if you don't plan on shooting them a lot will last a long time. Keep in mind small revolvers are not necessarily fun to shoot. Nothing smaller than a .38 caliber and if you happen to get one that will handle .357 make sure you fire a few before you decide to carry it with them. Can be a little hard to handle for a novice.

Next up would be some of the easy to operate smaller auto-loaders like Glock, Beretta or Springfield. These will cost a little more, but have higher capacities in the magazines. They are a little more fun to practice with and have less felt recoil to your hand than the small revolvers. These are great auto-loaders for novice shooters because they, like the revolver, are simply a point and shoot after you get them loaded. On the street you won't have to worry about fast reloads, because it will all be over by the time the first mag is empty or sooner. With the above you don't have to worry about turning off a safety to engage as you do with some of the other auto-loaders out there. I wouldn't go smaller than a 9mm or larger than a .40cal at first. If you plan to shoot a lot (I should say SINCE you plan to shoot a lot of practice rounds), 9mm is cheaper ammo.

Then you have to decide where and how you want to carry. Hip holster or shoulder holsters are great, but you have to wear some type of cover, which is difficult in the heat. Fanny packs are great, although somewhat obvious, but allow you to wear it any time. How ever you decide to carry it make sure you practice getting it out and back in without having to look at it over and over and over and over.

The best place to buy is at a gun show. Prices are about 15% less than at a gun store and you can put your hands on lots and lots of guns to see if one feels better to you than another. There are some guns that just feel great in everyone's hand, like the Browning Hi Power, but that is certainly not for the novice shooter and requires a lot of gun smithing before hitting the street. Pick up the guns and see which feels best in your hand. There is a huge difference in the grips of small revolvers and small auto loaders so you want to make sure yours fits.

I would highly recommend going to the gun show with someone who knows guns, not to tell you what to get, but point out the features, advantages or disadvantages of the guns you look at. When you pick out the weapon you like buy lots of ammo for it and practice practice practice. I would be happy to tag along. Best advice is find the weapon you want first then go table to table looking for the best price before you buy.

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post #6 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 8:52 am Thread Starter
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Thanks Jerry, very good advice as I knew it would be. I may be calling you soon for more advice.

Stevie Shreeve
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post #7 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 8:57 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Kahr Arms PM9, PM40 or PM45. They Weigh less than a Walther PPK or any of the "baby" Glocks and are slightly smaller than both. Great concealability, DAO (basically same as the Glock safe-action), and ample firepower. Downside is they are a little expensive. I carry mine as a back-up to my duty weapon and as my off duty weapon. If size or weight is not an issue I would also consider the Glock.

Jerry's got some good advice. You'll find just about everything under the sun at a gun show. You can handle each one and determine which one suits you best before making a decision. You'll probably get a plethora of opinions in here (some good, some not so good) so consulting someone you trust regarding firearm type, caliber, etc. is also a good idea.

Mike

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post #8 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 9:26 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Kel-Tec makes a light and easy to conceal double action 9MM - PF-9. While it is not gem quality, it will do the job. It is not made for constant +P ammo but should handle it in small doses. If you have large hands, you may find it a little hard to shoot well so close range would be its best use. Up the scale is the S & W M & P Compact in 9MM or 40 Cal - much better made and a solid work horse. The other posts on ammo cost are correct. The 9MM is less expensive and easier to find.

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post #9 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 9:29 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Light, easy to use and easy to conceal (not terribly cheap though) Kimber Ultra CDP II. Its what I carry. It comes in 9mm and .45ACP. Its a sweet piece on which all edges are chamfered or bevelled so it wont catch on clothing or "print".


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post #10 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 10:06 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Another vote for the Kahr 40. Grif told me it tasted really good, so I bought one based on his recommendation.


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post #11 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 10:55 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

If you want maximum concealability at a very affordable price, it's hard to beat the Ruger LCP .380 Auto. List price: $320

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post #12 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 10:59 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

You really have to spend sometime with a gun to discover what suits you. My son carries a Glock 40, he is deadly with it! I cant hit the side of the barn with it. I carry a Ruger P-345, I can do amazing things with it, my son cant hit the side of the barn with it! Each piece is different, you have to handle lots of them, to discover which one is for you.

Then spend lots of time with it! Try different loads, and get to know it intimately.

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post #13 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 11:15 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Quote:
Originally Posted by katnapinn
With the start of my own business and dealing with strangers in remote areas it's time I get my concealed handgun lic.I had rifles and shotguns all my life so I know gun safety. I also have 2 antique revolvers and Sammie has a 380 I bought her when I was trucking across country. What I'm looking for is a small but powerful handgun that is easy to hide and get to but will not cost me an arm and a leg. What caliber ,brand is recommended? Best place to buy and so on.
there are more opinions than you can ever want on this subject, one that is solid though, make sure the gun fits you correctly be it revolver or semi auto,

and stay away from cheap guns particularly if a larger caliber semi auto

Tom

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post #14 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 11:49 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

When you qualify for you Texas CHL, you will be licensed with a revolver only if that is the gun you use. I suggest that you qualify with an automatic, that way you can carry either.

I have a 40 Cal Beretta that I carry. Here is a review on it.

http://www.centerfirecentral.com/pro...000sreview.htm

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post #15 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 12:01 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdog
If you want maximum concealability at a very affordable price, it's hard to beat the Ruger LCP .380 Auto. List price: $320

I also like the LCP. As small as it is, I find it more comfortable to fire and more accurate (for me) than a Walther PPK.

Coupled with a holdster, it is very easy to carry and conceal.

That said, it is also hard to beat a Kimber Ultra.

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post #16 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 1:21 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy
Coupled with a holdster, it is very easy to carry and conceal.
Thanks for the tip, Randy. I'm going to give one a try.
Quote:
That said, it is also hard to beat a Kimber Ultra.
Those look great. Of course they're bigger and veeery expensive.

Cheers,
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post #17 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 1:31 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Thanks for all the advice. This is my next step I will see what gun soots me and try it out here
http://redsguns.com/facilities.html

Stevie Shreeve
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post #18 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 1:57 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

I carry a GLOCK 40 also. I used to have a Dan Wesson 357 and a Ruger 44 magnum both of which were to large to be concealed. I am happy with my Glock.
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post #19 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 2:23 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Bersa Thunder .380 a great little gun for the $$$$$
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post #20 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 2:54 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

I guess the best answer to your original question is like the answer to what is the best helmet to buy. It come down to what is comfortable and what do you feel your head worth.

If you carry for protection, what is your life worth? The LEO instructors I have listened to suggest the largest caliber pistol you can conceal, shoot well and will function reliably when you need it.

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post #21 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 3:21 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lnowell
I guess the best answer to your original question is like the answer to what is the best helmet to buy. It come down to what is comfortable and what do you feel your head worth.

If you carry for protection, what is your life worth? The LEO instructors I have listened to suggest the largest caliber pistol you can conceal, shoot well and will function reliably when you need it.
Bingo!!!

Be very careful with recommendations from LEOs. They carry 24/7 both open and concealed, and have the "opportunity" to practice regularly. Unless you are one too, you need something that is very simple to operate (revolver), can be easily concealed, can be reasonably accurate with, and will be reliable when you need it. Therefore, I recommend something like the Ruger sp101 in 357mag. It can be concealed; using 38 Special rounds it is fun to shoot; it is fairly accurate; and it is deadly reliable...remember, you may be in the dark and have just awoke; can you remember how to release the slide, load, take the safety off, or are you just able to pull the trigger?

Any gun you choose must become a second nature to you...that's why all the good recommendations above about practicing regularly and often. You might then want to keep an eye on ammo costs these days as a purchase influence. Too small and they are worthless...borrow someone's Kel tec and take it to the range...its a joke. 9 mm are very suspect for actual use in stopping a target. Too large and heavy, and you will not wear it, so it is also worthless. Test, test, test, and realize that you may not get it right for you the first or second time. What fun!

BTW, if you are just looking for home defense, I recommend a street sweeper (12ga.) Slamming a shell in the breach will give them a heart attack, and pointing in the general direction with OO buck will send them scurrying. No ultrasonic uranium powered sights required. No apologies needed to the neighbor to repair his bathroom window, and easier to patch up your own drywall!

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post #22 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 3:35 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Stevie, call me and we'll go to the range with a variety of flavors and rounds. Kind of like test riding a bike. You can plink with them, I'll 'splain the advantages and disadvantages of each and you can make an edjoomacated guess.



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post #23 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 4:25 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

+1 on the Kimber Ultras. (I also prefer the full size Kimbers as well as they are in my opinion the best value for the money) I prefer .45ACP so I can keep my range/home defense weapon and carry weapon ammo constant with the only real change being the difference in size/weight between the platforms.

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post #24 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 4:52 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Smith & Wesson 500, .50 cal. Can be a bitch to find an ankle holster, though...






To be serious, great advice above. The "best handgun" is the one that fits YOU best, and the one that you'll be comfortable with. Some like the "baby glocks," some like the shrouded hammer revolvers, some are comfortable with full-sized Beretta 92's or Sig P226's, others like something in-between like a HK USP Compact.

One thing I would disagree with (well, not necessarily disagree, but perhaps add to?) above is about gun shows. First off, I've NEVER seen a bargain at a gun show, let alone 15% off, unless it was a used and abused weapon or one that was stolen. Often, they are more expensive than a local shop or chain sporting goods store.

The other disadvantage is, what if you have a problem with the gun after you buy it? Are you going to chase down the guy who had a booth? Me, I'd rather know that the receipt I got was legitimate, and that I have options.

But gun shows are generally a neat way to see, hold, fondle, whatever a lot of different weapons that your local shop might not have. Find what you like, then see if you can order what you like. I see you're in TX, Academy Sports has really decent prices and can get damn near anything, might be worth looking into as well.

Oh, and always wear/use a holster. Last thing you want is to make that decision to go for a weapon to defend yourself and have it get hung up in a pocket or waistband or plain fannypack--or worse, not be able to retain it if you get in a scuffle or when you're riding or active.
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post #25 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 5:27 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

I admit, I know squat about guns. However, I'd like to offer for consideration the Rohrbaugh R9. A buddy of mine owns the company and helped to design this bad boy.

It's the smallest 9mm on the market. Hell, if it's good enough for an accomplice of 007, it should be good enough for your wife.




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post #26 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 5:48 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
Stevie, call me and we'll go to the range with a variety of flavors and rounds. Kind of like test riding a bike. You can plink with them, I'll 'splain the advantages and disadvantages of each and you can make an edjoomacated guess.
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post #27 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 6:17 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

If you get a chance, try a Springfield Armory XD out. They call it "point and shoot" because of it's characteristic of being quite accurate by ... pointing and shooting.
I have to say, I agree that most people can shoot very well (accurately) with this firearm. And it's a breeze to clean, etc. I'm familiar with the 4" service model. The ultra compact, as with any ultra compact, can affect accuracy (negatively) in a quick-reaction situation. But, that's where practice, practice, practice helps.
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post #28 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 7:19 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Nothing smaller than a .40 or .45 - Sig or Glock.

Remember , inside your home = shotgun , not handgun. Less accuracy required ( better at nite)
and less penetration into the next room.

Standard shot, not 00 buck. Jacking a pumpgun in the dark is a BIGTIME deterrent to most intruders.

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post #29 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 7:24 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

I used to carry a Glock 30 (baby .45). I just upgraded to a Glock 36 (thinner baby .45).

I bought my dad a S&W .38 P+ Airweight for Christmas.

I've got a new Sig 556 SWAT on order.


My local gun dealer accidentally double ordered my last ammo order. He said he was sorry for the delay in delivery because he needed to get his staff to split out my order. I told him to just send me the whole thing. He gave me 10% off for doing that.


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post #30 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 7:30 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

........and remember , the average gunbattle is over in 1.5 rounds.
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post #31 of 57 Old Nov 18th, 2008, 10:59 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Quote:
Originally Posted by katnapinn
With the start of my own business and dealing with strangers in remote areas it's time I get my concealed handgun lic.I had rifles and shotguns all my life so I know gun safety. I also have 2 antique revolvers and Sammie has a 380 I bought her when I was trucking across country. What I'm looking for is a small but powerful handgun that is easy to hide and get to but will not cost me an arm and a leg. What caliber ,brand is recommended? Best place to buy and so on.
For easy concealment, Kahr P9. I have one and my wife has a CW9, which is identical to the P9 except for non-removable sights. Both are reasonably priced. For a bit more stopping power, Kahr also makes a P40 (.40 cal).


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post #32 of 57 Old Nov 19th, 2008, 1:13 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Quote:
Originally Posted by katnapinn
With the start of my own business and dealing with strangers in remote areas it's time I get my concealed handgun lic.I had rifles and shotguns all my life so I know gun safety. I also have 2 antique revolvers and Sammie has a 380 I bought her when I was trucking across country. What I'm looking for is a small but powerful handgun that is easy to hide and get to but will not cost me an arm and a leg. What caliber ,brand is recommended? Best place to buy and so on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy
The best one is one you are and can afford to stay proficient with. I would not be too worried about caliber and such, but much more how proficient you are with the type of gun.
What Andy said! A .357 mag is an excellent man stopper. You can easily conceal a 2 inch with a bobbed hammer. .38 special rounds are cheap and excellent for practicing with it. I would try several different bullet weights in the .357 caliber. They are available from 110-180 grain. I like the lighter weight bullets cause they have less kick and fly faster. Available for a song at practically any gun store or pawn shop.

If you're thinking S/A, I would check out a Springfield Armory 9mm. Excellent gun and the price is right.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjessen
....you need something that is very simple to operate (revolver), can be easily concealed, can be reasonably accurate with, and will be reliable when you need it. Therefore, I recommend something like the Ruger sp101 in 357mag. It can be concealed; using 38 Special rounds it is fun to shoot; it is fairly accurate; and it is deadly reliable...remember, you may be in the dark and have just awoke; can you remember how to release the slide, load, take the safety off, or are you just able to pull the trigger?....
Sounds reasonable!

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post #33 of 57 Old Nov 19th, 2008, 5:46 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Quote:
Originally Posted by mljmd7
Nothing smaller than a .40 or .45 - Sig or Glock.

Remember , inside your home = shotgun , not handgun. Less accuracy required ( better at nite)
and less penetration into the next room.

Standard shot, not 00 buck. Jacking a pumpgun in the dark is a BIGTIME deterrent to most intruders.
I agree with that............the only sound in the universe that transgresses all known linguistic barriers;

B-Safe; and practice some more; Jim
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post #34 of 57 Old Nov 19th, 2008, 6:18 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Too many options to list, but I carry a Keltec 40 Cal. Easily tucked away. Good knock down power. Light. Hope I never have to use it.

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post #35 of 57 Old Nov 19th, 2008, 6:28 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

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Hope I never have to use it.

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I agree!!! The Keltecs get a little frisky when putting rounds thru them.



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post #36 of 57 Old Nov 19th, 2008, 6:42 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

AUTO vs. REVOLVER

I've got a question and this seems to be the place for answers ...... Automatic vs. a revolver, advantages and disadvantages? If this is a "hijack" I can move to a new thread..... Seems that most of the guns mentioned are automatic.

I own a 30+ year old Browning 9mm and generally keep the clip about 1/2 loaded assuming that if kept fully loaded with maximum spring compression, it might fail when needed. I don't carry the gun and it simply sits in a drawer. The gun is not fired very often, I'm not what I would call current.

Seems that maybe a revolver would be better for a "home" gun as there is no spring to compress and get week from fatigue?

If there is a fatigue factor with the spring in a clip, how ofter should it be exercised? Is this a problem?

Dano
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post #37 of 57 Old Nov 19th, 2008, 7:50 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Revolver--Six rounds or so, but you don't leave any casings.

Automatic--More fire power, but more work for the LEO to mark where the casing fell.

I like the automatic. 10 in the clip and one in the chamber.

Ride 'em if you got 'em.
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post #38 of 57 Old Nov 19th, 2008, 8:38 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Dano,

Buy another magazine and about once a month swap the rounds out of one and put in the other. This will keep your springs in shape. This is what I did with all my duty rigs. I had two complete sets of magazines for everything I carried and just emptied and swaped once a month. Never had a spring go bad on me. Also once a year (two at the most) buy new ammo, cause that stuff will go bad. I can't think of any sound worse than pointing a loaded weapon at someone willing to take your life and hearing "CLICK" on a round that didn't go off, or hearing a fizzle sound (more often with shotgun rounds). Anyone else who keeps a gun in a drawer make sure you swap out your ammo, and if it is turning green, it is time to re-clean the weapon (assuming you cleaned it when you put it in there )

Jerry
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post #39 of 57 Old Nov 19th, 2008, 8:38 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Just got the Thunder CC this past weekend. Looking forward to trying it out.

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post #40 of 57 Old Nov 19th, 2008, 11:26 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Quote:
Originally Posted by dandiver
AUTO vs. REVOLVER

I've got a question and this seems to be the place for answers ...... Automatic vs. a revolver, advantages and disadvantages? If this is a "hijack" I can move to a new thread..... Seems that most of the guns mentioned are automatic.

I own a 30+ year old Browning 9mm and generally keep the clip about 1/2 loaded assuming that if kept fully loaded with maximum spring compression, it might fail when needed. I don't carry the gun and it simply sits in a drawer. The gun is not fired very often, I'm not what I would call current.

Seems that maybe a revolver would be better for a "home" gun as there is no spring to compress and get week from fatigue?

If there is a fatigue factor with the spring in a clip, how ofter should it be exercised? Is this a problem?
Dan, there is no right or wrong answer to your very good question. It just depends on the amount of work you wanna do.

A S/A has more firepower and more moving parts--more to go wrong. You have to be proficient at disassembly, reassembly, and malfunction drills. All very easy, but requires a little practice until it becomes second nature.

A Ruger 6 inch .357 mag for home use is flawless and an excellent man stopper. Really up to you.

I've NEVER had a spring problem on any S/A mag and I do not do anything special--including rotating mag's, etc. I DO NOT use aftermarket mag's, however, so I cannot vouch for their reliability.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #41 of 57 Old Nov 19th, 2008, 11:42 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewuff
Dano,

Buy another magazine and about once a month swap the rounds out of one and put in the other. This will keep your springs in shape. This is what I did with all my duty rigs. I had two complete sets of magazines for everything I carried and just emptied and swaped once a month. Never had a spring go bad on me. Also once a year (two at the most) buy new ammo, cause that stuff will go bad. I can't think of any sound worse than pointing a loaded weapon at someone willing to take your life and hearing "CLICK" on a round that didn't go off, or hearing a fizzle sound (more often with shotgun rounds). Anyone else who keeps a gun in a drawer make sure you swap out your ammo, and if it is turning green, it is time to re-clean the weapon (assuming you cleaned it when you put it in there )
Jerry,

Thanks for the tips. I'm guilty of most of your points and will use your advise. I must have some 9mm amo that's' at least 10 years old! Did not think it could go bad. Whats the best way to dispose of it? Shoot at the local range? Probably time for me to get in a little practice too.

Dano
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post #42 of 57 Old Nov 19th, 2008, 11:58 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

"Also once a year (two at the most) buy new ammo, cause that stuff will go bad."

I've heard of freshness dating on beer - I always thought quality ammo was good to go for a looooooong time (as in decades) as long as it was kept dry.

I guess if I was carrying for a living it would be prudent - one dud could ruin an otherwise fine day.




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post #43 of 57 Old Nov 19th, 2008, 12:09 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Quote:
Originally Posted by dandiver
....I must have some 9mm amo that's' at least 10 years old!....
I have ammo that's near on 20 years old now and it fires perfectly. Like you said, great for the range.

I would not use ammo over 5 years old around the house, however.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
....I guess if I was carrying for a living it would be prudent - one dud could ruin an otherwise fine day.
No more than 1 year old for duty ammo. Always better safe than sorry.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #44 of 57 Old Nov 19th, 2008, 1:05 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

I have never seen anyone put a "Use By" date on ammo, but we burned our carry stuff up yearly (that which was still left after a year ) and put in the fresh stuff. I honestly have no idea how long good quality ammo will last, I just know that when you need it and your ammo goes bad so will your day (as Ron said). I do know that I had a case of Winchester 9mm that I bought new, put in my garage, and fired it a couple of years later and ruined a brand new Beretta 92. Fortunately I sent the weapon back to Beretta and because they could tell by the powder I was using factory ammo and the weapon was new, they replaced it. The ammo had been sitting in the heat and it did a number on it.

Dano, I would take the old stuff to the range and fire away. Buy a new box and put a few rounds of it through your pistol (and your new magazine) just to insure your weapon will feed the rounds properly (especially if you use hollow points) then load up a mag, clean your weapon and put it back in the drawer. You have that piece for self defense, so there is no reason to risk your life on old ammo.

Jerry
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post #45 of 57 Old Nov 19th, 2008, 1:40 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewuff
I have never seen anyone put a "Use By" date on ammo....
Maybe it was just the beer goggles?!

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post #46 of 57 Old Nov 20th, 2008, 9:44 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Re: Old ammo

In the early 70's a guy I had purchased a couple of nice guns from decided to save some money and bought a thousand or so rounds of surplus 9MM Italian machine gun ammo. It took multiple strikes to get some of the bullets to fire because of the very hard primers used in machine gun bullets. About every tenth bullet would not go bang - but made a kind of "poof" sound. The "poof" sound just meant the bullet was driven about an inch into the barrel and had to be driven back out with a ram.

The reason I mention this is that if you have a "poof" at a bad time, you are out of business in a very bad way. Newer is probably better.

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post #47 of 57 Old Nov 20th, 2008, 10:32 am
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Quote:
Originally Posted by dandiver
AUTO vs. REVOLVER

I've got a question and this seems to be the place for answers ...... Automatic vs. a revolver, advantages and disadvantages? If this is a "hijack" I can move to a new thread..... Seems that most of the guns mentioned are automatic.

I own a 30+ year old Browning 9mm and generally keep the clip about 1/2 loaded assuming that if kept fully loaded with maximum spring compression, it might fail when needed. I don't carry the gun and it simply sits in a drawer. The gun is not fired very often, I'm not what I would call current.

Seems that maybe a revolver would be better for a "home" gun as there is no spring to compress and get week from fatigue?

If there is a fatigue factor with the spring in a clip, how ofter should it be exercised? Is this a problem?

Hey, Dan,

If those are the ORIGINAL magazines (i.e. if they are 30 years old) I'd seriously consider either replacing them, or at least replacing the SPRINGS in them. Your local gun shop should be able to order replacement springs and show you how to disassemble the magazines, oil the springs, and inspect them to keep them in proper condition.

Replacement magazines for a Hi-Power (and I second the comment above NOT to go with anything but original manufacturer) might be as much as $45 each...replacement springs might only be $5, and you won't have to be concerned about whether humidity, years of compression, and metal fatigue might lead to a failure.

Just an idea.
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post #48 of 57 Old Nov 20th, 2008, 3:08 pm
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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.
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post #49 of 57 Old Nov 20th, 2008, 7:54 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

yechave, Great to hear your choice words based on nearly 30 years of experience. Many of us will hear you loud and clear. Thank you.

My point earlier was that if you carry all day every day, any automatic pistol can be tolerated, but if you are the average citizen, you won't practice, you won't keep it clean, you will not know how to remove the clip, you won't remember (or have the power) to slam the slide, take the safety off...and so on. The revolver will always be there for you.

I don't anticipate the price of guns or ammo to go down anytime soon. Get your basic system, and get in the routine of practicing regularly. JMHO

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post #50 of 57 Old Nov 21st, 2008, 8:12 pm
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Re: Best Handgun For The Money

Best handgun for the money?

Ruger would get my vote.

Not expensive, well made, made in the USA and reliable.

The 2 worst things that can happen with a firearm, it goes bang when it shouldn't ot it goes click when it shoud go bang.

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