Best off brand handgun you've ever owned?


January 21, 2007, 05:06 PM
Let's turn the other question around somewhat: What's the best "off brand" handgun you've ever owned (assuming you've ever owned one).

Mine would be the Llama Comanche III 4" .357 I bought new when I was 17 (my mother did the paperwork thingie). Wal Mart still sold pistols then (it was 1985), and they had a Smith 19 for around $235 or the Llama for $176. Being a nearly broke teenager, I opted for the Llama, and it turned out to be a very good revolver. Was nicely blued, perfectly timed, pretty accurate (I once shot a skunk with it, rapid fire double action, at about 50 yards, and hit him 3 out of 3 shots -- I can't shoot better than that with any gun), and it had a nice cam system that prevented the hammer from contacting the internal firing pin when it was at rest.

I eventually sold it to my brother, who still has it and uses it as a vehicle gun, keeping it in the pickup he uses to check the gas wells he's responsible for.

What's the best off brand handgun you've ever owned?

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January 21, 2007, 05:16 PM
Pre Taurus Rossi M971. A clone of a .357 Magnum K frame Smith and Wesson essentially. Easily the best off brand handgun I've ever had.

January 21, 2007, 05:21 PM
Erma KGP-68A .380 it was a sweet little 3/4 scale copy of the German PO8 Luger. Got rid of it because I am stupid sometimes.


January 21, 2007, 05:25 PM
EG Makarov import.

Gawd that thing is like the Energizer bunny.

January 21, 2007, 06:46 PM
I've never had any luck w/ off brand handguns...all have had issues and all have gone bye bye

January 21, 2007, 07:01 PM
I wouldnt exactly call a Makarov an "off brand" :p

January 21, 2007, 07:21 PM
I dont know if you would consider it an "off brand" but one of my favorite
guns is a Firestar M-40. It shure is not a common piece and I shoot it
as well as my Kimber Custom.

January 21, 2007, 07:27 PM
Well, I'd have to say Llama...
had a MaxI in .45acp for quite a few years and only replaced the extractor.
lots and lots of rounds fired thru it. traded it for a EAA witness .45

have a Llama .380 (since 1986) use it as a carry weapon. very happy with it.

January 21, 2007, 08:00 PM
Charter Arms .357 Bulldog. I bought it used back in 1986. Best $148 gun I ever owned. It fits me better than a S&W Model 60.

January 21, 2007, 08:07 PM
Star Modelo B (

January 21, 2007, 08:33 PM
I have always heard bad things about Rossi revolvers, but a couple of years ago I bought a used 720 (.44 Spl). I was very impressed with the fit and finish and absolutely delighted with its accuracy; this three incher shoots like a target gun! It's the lower one in the pic.

January 21, 2007, 09:14 PM
CZ52. Made in 1954 at a Warsaw Pact state run gun factory by people who knew what they were doing! Neat gun.

January 21, 2007, 09:20 PM
FEG .380 years ago. Its since gone down the road traded. But it was my pocket ccw for a few years.

January 21, 2007, 09:52 PM
Maybe because it was the first handgun I learned to shoot but of all the 1911's I have owned/shot since, none have been any better.

January 21, 2007, 09:55 PM
Depends on the definition of off brand. I would say the EAA I had or the Taurus PT100 I had. Both where good but the EAA left when I left communist NY and the Taurus went so It could help buy my Kimber

January 21, 2007, 10:05 PM
The Bersa Thunder I just picked up.

January 21, 2007, 10:40 PM
Astra Constable in .380. Walther PPK/s look alike. It was a great little pistol.

Charter Arms 'Undercover' in .38 Spec. Nice little .38. It'll get your attention if you shoot a couple of +Ps in it! (No steady diet of them, that's for sure!)

January 21, 2007, 10:42 PM
Both the Llama semi autos I've owned were pretty decent guns for the price. Don't own any now but they were decent.

January 21, 2007, 11:18 PM
The Makarov PM 9x18, in the Western hemisphere this was once a odd ball gun and round, And still is for some.

January 21, 2007, 11:19 PM
My Star Firestar in 45 acp. It always shoots smaller groups than my series 70 Gold Cup.

January 21, 2007, 11:50 PM
my stoeger luger in .22lr, accuracy is on par with the shorter ruger mark II's has fixed sights, but shoots straight and i can normally hit a 1'x1' target 10 out of 10 times at 50yds, I just about always bring this to the range with my bigger guns, and it will rapid fire all 10 rounds faster than any other pistol I have ever fired pictured with my p22

January 21, 2007, 11:54 PM
Ruger :)

January 22, 2007, 12:41 AM
Bersa 380

Harry Paget Flashman
January 22, 2007, 12:58 AM
Polish Gward .38 revolver. Armscor Model 200 .38 revolver.

January 22, 2007, 01:33 AM
For sure its my Bersa Thunder .380....great guns made even better by the price tag.

January 22, 2007, 01:43 AM
Can Bersa really be called an "off brand" anymore ? I'm not sure really. They're become a huge seller. If so, I'll stick with the Bersa as my answer.

January 22, 2007, 02:02 AM
I always though of locin,jenning's and
bryco's as off brand guns.Bersa's,star's
rossi's,astra's,llama's were lower end
guns that didn't kill your budget.

I owned a few of the lower end guns and
didn't have problems with any of them.I
really liked the astra A-75 and star fire-
star line of pistols,i'am a little surprised
that another company hasn't picked up
those designs.

January 22, 2007, 02:47 AM
For me, there are 2.
1. If defining "best" as "best quality, fit, finish, and feel" in an inexpensive firearm, the award goes to my Bersa Thunder .380
However, Due perhaps to my guardian angel wishing for more firepower, I can't seem to shoot one without a severe slide bite. It was a very nice gun, but did not fit my hand at all. As such, it was traded.
2. If defining "best" as "best suited to the purpose I bought it for" then the honors go to my Keltec P11.
Some Keltec P11s (one of mine included) come from the factory in desperate need of a "fluff-n-buff", however, being able to conceal 11 rounds of 9mm in any attire, for around $300 in my opinion is well worth the time and energy I invested in slicking it up.

By the way, anyone wishing to learn about slicking up their Keltec P11 will find ( useful.

January 22, 2007, 03:25 AM
Astra A-75 40 S&W, takes everything with no problems. Very nice little gun.

January 22, 2007, 04:14 AM
FEG is a classic 'off brand' that no one here knew much about. Probably my fave of the former easten bloc imports.

January 22, 2007, 08:11 AM
Hi-Point Comp-9. Shot great right out of the box.

January 22, 2007, 12:34 PM
Like my Bersa Thunder . 380 better than the Walther PPK/S I previously owned - and MUCH better than the Colt .380 Mustang, I also owned.

(Don't wanna argue the finish, value, quality, etc. - just like the Bersa better for accuracy, ergonomics, and it was at least as reliable and trouble-free).

January 22, 2007, 05:53 PM
Rossi M88, never fails and shoots like it has alot more than 2 inches of barrel.

Pheonix HP22, Bounced around in my tackle box for 2 years and dispatched many snakes, turtles, frogs, pop cans, sticks, you name it. Should have never traded it off.

Keltec P11, Son and I put it thru a massive torture test, we were beat, the gun kept on. If it hadn't been a 9mm I would still be carrying it.

Grendel P10 and P12, had both, both were flawless once I got the P12 a new mag.

Mitchell Trophy II, Everyone I know has problems with this HS copy, mine was like a fine tuned target pistol.

Been many many more, but maybe I'm just lucky.

January 22, 2007, 06:10 PM
I have 3 Firestar Handguns that I think are great! :) One in 9mm, with the Starvel finish, and 2 45acp's one Black and one in Starvel finish. They have been fine handguns with no problems and I even carry the Black 45 as my primary carry piece!!! :)
Also mentioned are the Phoenix 22's, I have a few of these little handguns kicking around and have found them to be pretty good and pretty reliable little handguns. I've even shot a few rabbits and a couple of squirrels with mine. Good for "off Brand" handguns!!! :)

January 22, 2007, 06:35 PM
Norinco copy of a Browing .22 - with a 4" silencer.
Got the pistol for about R250 and the silencer was another R100 total of about $75USD.
Took down many impala with it. They are really dumb and come right up to the car....more than that I can't say without getting into legal trouble :)

January 22, 2007, 07:06 PM
Pre 1980 Charter Arms Bulldog .44Spl. 3" - Stratford, Conn.
It's been with me 27 years, 2000+ rounds -- No problems of any kind. :)

Sterling Arms model 302 .22LR Auto - Lockport, NY.
Bought this one somewhere around 1978 NIB and over a 10 year period my son and I put thousands of rounds of the cheapest .22LR I could find through it with only an occasional jam that apparently was caused by a dirty gun as a good cleaning always resolved the problem. I let this one get away many years ago. :(

I wish I still had it! :banghead:


January 22, 2007, 07:49 PM
For me it was a Rossi 971 and 88 before Taurus bought them out. Before that it was a Bersa 83 from back when Bersa was still an off-brand.

January 23, 2007, 03:11 PM
I still kick myself for selling my EAA witness 9mm. I have not found a gun since that I am as fat /accurate with and as reliable. 10,000 rds and 0 malf of any kind. It shot whatever I put through as well as one or two double charged 9mm rounds ( reloading accidents when I was a newb) and all that happened was the gun kicked hard as hell with the double loaded rounds. Funny on the range you hear bang, bang, bang, BOOM, bang, bang. AHAHAH

January 23, 2007, 04:37 PM
Definitely my Norinco 1911A1. It was so good that I bought another. :)

January 23, 2007, 04:48 PM
.22lr and a second cylinder for 22mag, it has the best trigger of all my guns,out of the box, and its not a tack driver but 15yrds i can hit a playing card all day.:) gun only cost 115 dollars brand new.

January 23, 2007, 05:58 PM
I'm with everyone on the Bersa .380. Probably have my sister pick one up for her first gun. I by no means swear by Bersa. I had the .45 which broke the seccond time i took it to the range.

January 23, 2007, 06:01 PM
Charles Daly Empire 1911

Shoots accurately and consistently. A good gun.

January 23, 2007, 08:15 PM
many moons ago I got an Astra A-100 in .40. I have taken 2 CHL classes with it, and my dad has used it for CHL once. Still one of my favorites to shoot.

BTW, I have never seen another A-100 around.

Black Snowman
January 23, 2007, 10:44 PM
Easily my Dan Wesson Model 15 revolver. If that's too mainstream then my Polish TT38, if that's to C&R, then I'm lost. Because the next closest brands would be CZ and Taurus.

January 24, 2007, 01:00 AM
Israeli Arms International (long since defunct) M5000.
A Combat Commander clone.
I picked it up for $200 and with the new sights and zebrawood grips I had put on, have $275 invested in the gun.
It's turned out to be every bit as good as my Springer!! :evil:

January 24, 2007, 02:33 AM
For me its Bersa all the way baby. I love the deap roll marking and cary it most of the time

January 24, 2007, 09:56 AM
Norinco 213A which still have. it shoots everything you can put through it, and I shoot it better than I do my Sig 226 (which I shoot well). I truly love to shoot it, and it goes to the range with me every week. I paid $89 for this gun with its scratched "patina" finish, and after a few new mags, have had no troubles at all (except having to put the safety back on--an after thought on this gun any way--when it loosend).

If by 'off brand" you mean Raven (MP-25), Phoenix (HP22), and Jennings (J22)...well, I have all of those and once you tweak them enough,or find the right ammo, they do just fine for sand pit recereational shooting. My J-22 is one of my favorite tin can killers. NOt in the same league as my Buckmark, but still fun and problem free. Guess I got a good one.

January 24, 2007, 10:20 AM
byf43 said;
Astra Constable in .380. Walther PPK/s look alike. It was a great little pistol.

Charter Arms 'Undercover' in .38 Spec. Nice little .38. It'll get your attention if you shoot a couple of +Ps in it! (No steady diet of them, that's for sure!)

Astra Constable is my choice. I ruined my Charter Arms 'Undercover' using +p ammo. Got my attention using wadcutters.:D These were my first two carry weapons.

January 24, 2007, 10:27 AM
Bersa Thunder 9.

swan hunter
January 24, 2007, 10:30 AM
I saved up and bought a 2" RG .38 snubby. My father was a back door gun smith and found an old 4" barrel that would fit on it. The fixed sights lined up remarkably well. I never got to shoot it allot as we were poor but, it seemed like I couldn't miss with that thing...I loved it!
My dad traded it toward a bill he owed without my knowledge...He did things like that:fire: :(
I have lots of guns now but would really like to have that little cheap thing back!:rolleyes:

January 24, 2007, 03:52 PM
I have 2 off branders that have turned in highly impressive performances. First off is a pre Braztech Rossi model 720D .44 special revolver with adjustable sights. Other than having a plastic front sight, I don't have a single issue with the gun. I had heard how terrible Rossi's were, but I fell into it cheap and figured why not. As far as accuracy, it holds it's own with anything in it's class and has outshot a number of pricey guns. It's a tackdriver for a 3 inch barrel. Great timing, solid lockup, and a little trigger work put it in line with a tuned S&W. I know I just got lucky on that one.

The other is a Llama .38 super from the early '70's. For all the crap guns that Llama has put out, this one is a jewel. It has never malfunctioned, is fairly accurate considering the old .38 supers used to headspace on the semi-rim. The gun has had many thousands of rounds through it, including some overly hot, sloppy handloads from when I was a brainless 12 year old learning to reload. It has never loosened or had any issues. It also has as good of fit and finish as any gun of the era and the bluing and metal work are quite nice. From what I've heard about Llama guns over the years, this is certainly not the norm.

January 24, 2007, 04:04 PM
FEG PJK 9HP the BHP knock off. I also own an Argentine FM M95 Classic Technically not a knock-off as it is Licensed. These are both excelent and "Off Brand" handguns.

January 24, 2007, 09:56 PM
I would concur on the FEG PJK 9 HP. Very well made . I have a East German Makarov and its is super smooth, the workmanship is topnotch.

1911 guy
January 25, 2007, 02:09 AM
Have to be the Charles Daly 1911 pattern handguns. I've got two and they run great. Reasonably accurate and have some basic mods that are nice changes from the stock 1911A1.

John C
January 25, 2007, 02:18 AM
My best off brander is an FIE TA-90. It's imported now by EAA as the Witness. It's the exact same pistol, made by the same company, Tanfolio. I picked mine up for $215, 9mm full size and ported. It shoots as well as my SIG P226.

The second best, may become the best, is a Star Model B is 9mm luger. Picked it up for $75 OTD and $34 for the mag, and it shoots fantastic. I love cheap, off brand guns that perform.


January 25, 2007, 02:43 PM
Rossi 461 2" in 357mag....$150 used,great gun that I bought for a knock around gun.It's so accurate,I use it in IDPA.

January 25, 2007, 02:51 PM
I had one of the mid-70's vintage Charter "Bulldog" 44 Spl. Decent gun, good shooter, but that .44Spl ammo was PRICEY...about double what the .44Mags cost.

January 25, 2007, 02:53 PM
I third the early 70's charter arms bulldog .44 special. Same weapon the Son of Sam killer used in the 70's. (not a good point, but interesting trivia) I keep mine in the drawer beside the bed.


January 25, 2007, 03:12 PM
Another vote for FEG. Mine is a PA-63 in 9x18 and it's as accurate as could be.
Aluminum frame and a blowback system makes it kick, though.

January 25, 2007, 11:14 PM
Kareen copy of the basic 1935 Hi-power. Later they started offering Hi-power clones all foo-fooed up and two-toned but this one is a plain Jane GP1935 copy. Never seen it catalogued anywhere but it's been stone reliable.

January 26, 2007, 12:55 AM
Also try the Rock Island 1911 .45, pride of the Philippines.

P. Plainsman
January 26, 2007, 01:08 AM
Can Bersa really be called an "off brand" anymore ? I'm not sure really. They're become a huge seller.
Yep, that was my quandary.

If so, I'll stick with the Bersa as my answer.
That's my pick. Does exactly one irritating thing -- the grip screws start to loosen up after around 20 rounds. Loc-Tite them in place or take a screwdriver to the range.

Otherwise: $250 pistol with a nice DA/SA trigger [!] and good practical accuracy. Looks good, feels good in the hand, runs reliably. Great buy. If only it wasn't such a pain obtaining extra magazines. I guess that's a second irritant. The Argentinians don't seem to have picked up yet that here in 'Merica, son, :cool: we shoot our guns a lot. Bring on the spare mags!

January 26, 2007, 01:10 AM
My most obscure gun was a Miruko .38spcl revolver (6 shot, 2" snub). Sold it for fear of parts breaking and not finding parts. I traded it for a Keltec P3AT.

January 26, 2007, 12:34 PM
Ruger is off brand?????? Well, I guess, to a brand snob, anything non-Smith and Wesson or PERHAPS Colt, is off brand. :rolleyes: If Ruger is off brand, then by all means RUGER!!!!! My P90, heck, every Ruger I've ever owned has been excellent. If Ruger is main stream, then I'd have to go with either Taurus or Rossi. I have two Taurus M66 and they're both extremely accurate and with good fit/finish and good triggers. I have a M85 with a VERY nice trigger that's as accurate as any 2" .38 snub I've shot. All the Rossis I've owned, I'll have to say, were amazing for the money. They were all accurate and reliable. If you're picky about DA triggers, well, they wouldn't measure up, but they were all servicable and quite shootable. I have one excellent Kel Tec, as well.

I really have a thing for Rossis, but their selection leaves a lot to be desired now days. Their variety has dwindled since Taurus took 'em over. They're still quality guns, just wish they offered more variety in barrel lengths, sighting, etc.

January 26, 2007, 07:59 PM
My best off brand pistol, is without a CZ99. It's a SIG clone, but shoots as well, never hic-cups, has standard night sites, and is collectable.

January 26, 2007, 08:45 PM
My little Astra Constable in .380 (Walther clone) is a sweet little pistol. DA/SA option and it shoots very accurately at 15 yards. The grips kinda' suck but everything else is great.

January 27, 2007, 08:11 PM
Armscor (RIA) 1911 Practical
BERSA Thunder 380
REXIO .38 snub

All dirt-cheap and seemingly bombproof in the crunch.

January 27, 2007, 09:19 PM
EAA Witness compact steel in 40 caliber and an Auto Ordnance 1911A1 mil-spec. Both have been perfect.

January 27, 2007, 09:34 PM
RIA Govt .45
Rossi 720
Hi-Point C9

January 28, 2007, 01:45 PM
My cheapest off brand gun is a Star, Firestar, sold by Interarms. I purchased this .40 single stack, SA 1911 model about 25 years ago. I found the grips to be a little short and my pinkie finger hung below it so I purchased a couple 7 shot magazines. These magazines added one more round and extended below the grip about ½". This was just enough to keep a firm grip without my pinkie slipping off the grip. This gun would shoot ANYTHING in .40 caliber that I could load into it. It shot the steel cased Wolf ammo just as well as the expensive stuff. In the 25 years I have owned this gun, it has NEVER had a FTF or FTE. I don’t carry this gun any longer, but I still shoot it every couple of weeks. I would guess that I have well over 10,000 rounds through this gun and have never replaced any parts. I found a Firestar in 9mm last week, but it didn’t have a single stack magazine so I passed on the deal. A couple days later I reconsidered and was too late. I will be looking for another Firestar soon.

January 28, 2007, 02:51 PM
Plink had a good comment. I purchased my Llama 38 Super in November of 1970 (paid $83 tax included). My dad had his S/W 38 spec. and I my Llama as we went to the Long Beach pistol range many a weekend to target shoot. I have fired way more reloads than factory loads and have never had an incident with the weapon. It is relatively accurate and fun to use. Still operational.


January 28, 2007, 06:48 PM
I recently purchased a norinco copy of a colt commander. It is the "enhanced" version with a cheap looking three hole trigger and a beavertail. I was shocked when I took it out to the range. It shoots great, 2 inch groups at ten yards, 4 inch at 20 yards, no jams or anything. So far I've put about 1000 rounds of handloaded 230gr lrn through it without a single jam.

Even the trigger pull is pretty good, about 4.5 pounds and pretty sharp.

The finish is a bit rustic, and the inside looks like a hammer and chisel were applied to it, but you can't beat the price, 400 bucks (canadian bucks mind you).

January 28, 2007, 08:47 PM
It was an AMT Hardballer longslide. Reliable, accurate, lots of velocity, and never jammed for me. Unfortunately, I was just getting into muzzleloader hunting and traded it for a muzzleloader. Wish I had it back.

January 30, 2007, 09:30 PM
Best off brand handgun I have is a FEG. PJK. 9HP. Hi-Power clone. I bought it a few years ago to replace My first handgun, a Browning Hi-Power, Target that I foolishly traided away years ago. what a great gun. shoots straight, has great blueing and the fiting is outstanding. I put the old cherry wood grips I still had from my first Hi-Power and other than the sights, hammer and the markings. you can't tell the differance. I paid $229.00 out the door. this is one of the few guns I bought new, and it is worth every penny.

January 31, 2007, 08:52 AM
Firestorm "compact" (4.5" bbl) duo-tone finish .45acp 1911.Had it for about 4 years and fired I dont know how many rounds of any and all ammo.Only failure EVER was from 2 reloaded rounds from a friend, they stovepiped.Great gun, couldnt be happier or trust it more.

January 31, 2007, 08:52 AM
Gotta agree with the Phoenix HP-22. That little POS is amazingly accurate, and very reliable, as long as you keep it clean.

Sniper X
January 31, 2007, 12:27 PM
Norinco 1911, and a (not Handgun) Norinco 870 knockoff which consistantly outshot the other guys at 3 gun till one of them bought it for twice what I paid and to this day does better at 3 gun then he ever did before.

January 31, 2007, 06:05 PM
I had an EAA Witness Sport .45acp, stainless bottom, blue top. The factory adjustable sights could be moved from side to side for more than a half an inch on either side so I shimmed it up with some thin steel sheeting. Stopped the movement but I was never really comfortable about it and intended to have it smithed.

The thing could shoot half dollar sized groups at the bench at 15yards and moving back to 25 didn’t open the groups up very much! (That was with some old Frontier 230 grain FMJ truncated cone factory ammo that I had once purchased a truckload of.)

I thought they all would do that, so when cajoled into letting a good friend have it, it got a new home. The replacement some months later was a blue standard model that rarely shot into a double fist sized group at 15 yds.

No good deed ever goes unpunished…

February 2, 2007, 10:58 PM
I couldn't resist posting to this one. I'm hung up on the old Fiala Model 1920 pistols made in New Haven, Connecticut for just a few years in the early 1920s by several different owners. Any one of FOUR different brand names may be found on them: Fiala, Columbia, Schall, and Botwinik. Rumor has it there may even be a Blakeslee out there. I reckon any of these would be considered off-brand.

I took the picture below earlier today of my stocked pistols wearing their 20" barrel. Each of the top five guns have a 3" bbl for concealed carry, and a 7 1/2" bbl for range, plinking, etc.. The 3-bbl sets were available in a hard, fitted case with lock/latches to keep the kiddies out. These walnut buttstocks are detachable, of course. The pistol at bottom is a "Special Order" 12 1/2" barrel.

These pistols pictured are ALL marked Fiala Arms & Equipment Co.

Fascinating old guns. ---45Broomhandle
February 12, 2007, 09:18 PM
firestar .45 but wear ear plugs. extremly loud

February 12, 2007, 11:03 PM
HP-22 phoenix arms. cheap, accurate, fun.

Tanfolio Witness P, compact. short 45acp that shoots accurate now - 2500 rounds with 2 FTB, which I think were limp wrist caused. Great little gun.

February 12, 2007, 11:10 PM
FEG PA-63 9x18 makarov. great gun. paid too much for it though.

February 12, 2007, 11:54 PM
Llama .22. Don't recall the model # but it looked and functioned like a half-size Colt 1911 with a vented rib, they made the same model in .380 cal. Regret trading it in, it was allot of fun to shoot.

February 13, 2007, 02:09 AM
Taurus PT99

February 13, 2007, 02:18 AM
Norinco Tokarev.

February 13, 2007, 02:22 AM
Bryco Model 59 9mm.

Takes anything I feed it with the sole exception of Wolf. Easy to clean, easy breakdown, not the most accurate in rapid fire, but 10 stopping hits with 13 shots at 15 yards are not at all uncommon.

February 17, 2007, 10:06 AM
jrfox HAS MY FIRESTORM. I am convinced the short life of the gun-type was because after the cessation of the STAR operation, they decided to use what capacity they had remaining to consume the last of their resources, and used that to the make a single run of FIRESTORMS and then quit the plant for the receivers.

They appear to have done it with some pride. Mine is idiot proof and is easy to use and clean and shoots excellently.

I fell in love widdit at the show and it hasnt received as much attention it deserves, for it is an accurate dependable gun, but dividing up my time between it, and another .45 acp oddball (FEG GKK .45 acp) and my home made .45 on a DoubleStar Frame gives it merely a place in the stable waiting its turn.


February 17, 2007, 10:45 AM
A great but tough poser. My candidates are the Norinco 1911A1, Bersa Thunder 380 and 45, Star BM, and Ballester-Molina. These pistols have all amazed me with their reliability, accuracy, and ergomics. If you haven't tried them, give them a shot. Regards, Richard:D

Norinco 1911A1:
Bersa Thunder 380:
Bersa Thunder 45:
Star BM:

February 17, 2007, 11:06 AM
Ruger P85 9mm. Total POS. Inaccurate and weighed about as much as a boat anchor. It handled like a brick. Seemed like a high school shop project. Others also had AD's at the range when dropping the hammer due to some firing pin problem. Then Ruger became part of the Brady Bunch to boot. I was glad when we later switched to a 92.

2nd choice- Davis .380. At least it has some usefulness as a pocket pistol or "Oops. I lost it but don't really care gun."

February 17, 2007, 11:30 AM
That's funny, cause my P85 is 100 percent reliable with anything I feed it and 2.5" at 25 yards accurate. It's heavy, but with Hogue grips, it handles GREAT! Just goes to show, some folks will badmouth even the best. :rolleyes:

February 17, 2007, 11:34 AM
Ruger P85 9mm. Total POS. Inaccurate and weighed about as much as a boat anchor. It handled like a brick. Seemed like a high school shop project. Others also had AD's at the range when dropping the hammer due to some firing pin problem.

I won't deny my P85 is chunky and not as ergonomic as other pistols but you've got to admit that's a subjective complaint not an objective knock. There is also a fix for the problem you speak of.

Remember, the P85 was the first of the series, it's the one that has all the bugs. Mine outlasted its first owner, and I think it's gonna outlast me too.

February 17, 2007, 01:06 PM
FM Hi-Power, the M95 "Detective" model.

February 17, 2007, 10:04 PM
I won't deny my P85 is chunky and not as ergonomic as other pistols but you've got to admit that's a subjective complaint not an objective knock. There is also a fix for the problem you speak of.

Remember, the P85 was the first of the series, it's the one that has all the bugs. Mine outlasted its first owner, and I think it's gonna outlast me too.

I swear it said worst off brand handgun this morning. I'm gonna have to get more sleep. I don't think inaccurate is a subjective. That was odd because it was a good sized gun with a long site radius. Chunky definitely is subjective. And I think the firing pin problem was well documented. And objective. Definite POS. I'm glad its gone. The newer ones may be better, but I don't buy guns from Sturm Brady Ruger. :mad: That's my choice and your mileage may vary.

February 18, 2007, 12:14 AM
Another vote for the .45 Firestar - I used one for my carry gun in a Milt Sparks IWB for several years from about 1990. Solid, reliable - I traded it on a Glock 27.

I still have a 9mm EAA Witness Compact that I paid about $225 for years ago. It had some kind of clunky smooth wood grips on it, so I put some slim, checkered grips on. That is one heck of a fine little gun; solid and dependable, good shooter.

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