Best value handgun?


July 2, 2007, 01:34 PM
Which handgun in your opinion offers the most value for the price.

This is not a poll for the best handgun or the least expensive, but the handgun that gives you the most bang for your buck.


- What you consider adequate stopping power
-inexpensive and available ammo, for target practice and self defense
-inexpensive and available magazines / speed loaders
-warranty if any
-easily available spare parts
-accesories (holsters and what not)
-easy to field/detail strip

Remeber if you like 1 gun and it cost $250 and another that cost $500, ask yourself, is the $500 gun really twice the gun the $250 one is?


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July 2, 2007, 01:35 PM
Ruger and Taurus.

July 2, 2007, 01:41 PM
Remeber if you like 1 gun and it cost $250 and another that cost $500, ask yourself, is the $500 gun really twice the gun the $250 one is?

Probably yes, without even naming the hypothetical gun. This has to do with the price point you chose.

A $1000 gun vs. a $500 gun? Probably not quite. But many guns in the $250 range have flaws, some of them serious functional flaws.

July 2, 2007, 01:44 PM
In my mind (yes, a scary thought indeed), value is really subjective. A $50 wheelgun that is never used is a pretty expensive piece while a $1000 pistol that is used with confidence and is 100% reliable might be looked at as a great value.
For me, taking into account your criteria, I'd probably say either my 92fs (paid $400) or my S&W mod 19-3 (pd $200). Both have been great performers & 100% reliable. :D

July 2, 2007, 01:45 PM
RIA 1911A1 .45acp
S&W 642-2 .38 spl +p
Bersa Thunder in 380 or .45acp

Black Majik
July 2, 2007, 01:47 PM
S&w M&p

July 2, 2007, 01:49 PM
CZ-82 Anyone

I also saw a slightly used Bersa at a gunshow for $179. My loss.

July 2, 2007, 01:50 PM
This only breaks down to personal preference. Past that and the "feeling or emotions" one has for the particular branding, asthetics, and personal appeal the firearm possess then cost is a huge factor as it is easily quantifiable. A good deal on a firearm could be that turning point for most in this forum as long as it falls in the category above and passes those constraints that we place on the purchase.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) weapon manufacturers have great million dollar marketing campaigns which prints those onto us the consumer. Everything down to the caliber and stopping power is so much a debate with the consumer that it drives both production and sales in addition to these forums :D
So that is my thought process behind EVERY one of my purchases that involve firearms. Yep its a bit much but I can tell you it has saved me from some potential rediculous purchases! But you are correct when you put together that checklist and it really would help someone who is on the fence or just starting out looking for their firearm collection to have a system of checks to help aid in their purchase so it is not an impulsive one.

Good Luck!

July 2, 2007, 01:55 PM
Based on personal experience, I vote for the:

CZ-75... seems to fit everyone, still reasonable prices available
FNP-9 or 40... Lot of people like this platform, Ive never had a problem with mine, very reasonably price on gunbroker for a new one

July 2, 2007, 01:57 PM
Police surplus revolvers are high on my list for bargains. You can get fantastic P&R'd Smiths, fine Colts and excellent Ruger Sixes for under three bills. People don't understand how good these firearms are. They think bottom feeders are the only way to go. So the price remains low.

July 2, 2007, 02:01 PM

- What you consider adequate stopping power
-inexpensive and available ammo, for target practice and self defense
-inexpensive and available magazines / speed loaders
-warranty if any
-easily available spare parts
-accesories (holsters and what not)
-easy to field/detail strip

Can't beat a CZ75.
My son bought a new one for $300. at a gun show. It meets most if not all of the criteria that you mention (except maybe adequate stopping power - for all of the 9mm bashers out there :rolleyes: )
I'm not sure of the warranty.

July 2, 2007, 02:13 PM
witness,ruger p-series, walther p1

July 2, 2007, 02:17 PM
What you're describing sounds like a Glock 17/19 to me, especially when it comes to availability of spare parts (and the ease of replacing them yourself), weight and durability. Warrantee would not be an issue for me with a Glock since it's so easily repaired yourself and parts are cheap.

Personaly my choice is a H&K USP .45, because it's light, reliable, durable, accurate and probably will never need spare parts and I roll my own ammo. I consider it a better value than other pistols I've owned because I'll never have to put another dime into it and it will outlast them all. Can't say that about a 1911.

I do own one Glock, a 17L longslide, and it is everything you describe, that's why I can't part with it. I know I could bury it in the backyard if I had to, dig it up a year later, and repair it if needed with parts scavanged off ANY other Glock with nothing more than a nail as a tool. No fitting of parts is ever needed.

July 2, 2007, 02:29 PM
OK OK I give in and I will play my favorites! The best firearm used or new (IN MY OPINION AND PERSONAL FINDINGS) for the money (considering you dont run into any deals on your way) is a Glock 17 ($480-500 NIB / used??? ).

The best brand deep CCW gun for the money Kel-Tec P3AT ($230-270 NIB). The Kel-Tec is lifetime guaranteed, hides in any pocket, and with corbon ammunition you will reach the 200lbs and 11" of penetration required by the FBI. They have great customer service and a really reliable firearm with the generation II models that just came out.

As for the Glock... well its a Glock and thats enough said for the quality (its practicably indestructible and I would bet my savings account on my G23's performance) You can also go with a lasermax laser and plenty of cool-guy add-ons if you so choose :D

But like i said its your personal choice and there are PLENTY of choices out there. H&K, Sig, Colt, all have legendary names and will serve you as well. hehe good luck!

July 2, 2007, 02:33 PM
I would either say either Glock 17 or 22....or a Ruger 100 series revolver.

July 2, 2007, 02:54 PM
used, GP-100, 6", blued, in .357 was $347.75 OTD.
Good luck.

July 2, 2007, 03:00 PM
Bersa Thunder in any caliber. The only drawback is the price of magazines and the fact that they only ship with one.

July 2, 2007, 03:06 PM
Glocks. That's why I bought it, for the price/balance/reliability...etc. Did I mention the price?

July 2, 2007, 03:10 PM
Makarovs are still a good value, though not as good as they used to be.

Got mine for $160, and has been completely reliable, has enough stopping power IMO, is accurate, easy to clean, and parts are available. Downsides are that there is no warranty, and tactical accessories (if you're into that sort of thing) are not really available.

Purchased my 1911 GI used for $380, and I feel that's a pretty good deal. Never had a problem with that one either, but it has a warranty, parts and accessories are readily available, and it has enough stopping power.

July 2, 2007, 03:12 PM
EAA Witness

July 2, 2007, 03:31 PM

One more important criteria for me: Resale Value.

Smith & Wesson


July 2, 2007, 04:03 PM
Ruger and EAA Witness. If you like gambling, then maybe Taurus... I'd steer clear of the bull with my money though.


1 old 0311
July 2, 2007, 04:31 PM

July 2, 2007, 04:35 PM
Used Glocks can be had for under $400 if you look enough and they are fantastic weapons.

July 2, 2007, 05:24 PM
Probably a good used S&W 686 revolver in a 4 inch preferably without a lock.

Versatile on ammo, .38, .38spl, .357.

Sweet action, well balanced, fun at the range, good for home defense, easy to clean and maintain, holds its value.
Lifetime warranty.

Not a bottom feeder.

What's not to like.

July 2, 2007, 05:31 PM
Taurus Mil Pro PT145/PT111/PT140


Ruger p-Series

Both offer exceptional bang for the buck.


July 2, 2007, 05:46 PM
- What you consider adequate stopping power
-inexpensive and available ammo, for target practice and self defense
-inexpensive and available magazines / speed loaders
-warranty if any
-easily available spare parts
-accesories (holsters and what not)
-easy to field/detail strip
-Resale Value

There are many contenders, but when it comes to the absolute best value for your handgun buck, there's only one.........Smith & Wesson Model 10, used.

The above revolvers cost $179 and $159.
Very Accurate.
Extremely Reliable.
Fantastically Durable.
Adequate stopping power.
Inexpensive ammunition.
102 years worth of accessories.
No need to field strip.
If you ever need it, they can be worked on by any competent gunsmith, or by Smith & Wesson. Buy wisely, and you will never need to have the gun worked on.
Fantastic ergonomics. If you don't like the ergonomics change the grips for a totally different feeling gun.
Resale value? In five years, assuming you bought wisely, and took care of the gun, you can sell it for more than you paid.

Now that's the best value for the price!

July 2, 2007, 05:59 PM
This is only my opinion and there are plenty of brand bashers and snobs on this board that will post otherwise, but:

Autos... Ruger and Kel Tec. Both factory supported, though the Kel Tec is beyond the pale, lifetime of the gun, not the owner, and I hear fantastic things about customer service, though I've never had to use it. They make the little CCW autos that Ruger doesn't.

Revolvers... Taurus and Rossi and for a little higher price, Ruger. The Ruger is a bargain to me considering quality and especially strength. Things are super strong designs, a little heavy, but strong to take anything you feed 'em. Rossi is an inexpensive revolver with a slightly rougher trigger than the higher priced stuff, but fully functional as an inexpensive option and lifetime warranty and this IS a thread about value, right? Taurus, higher grade Rossi and very nice triggers to boot and lifetime warranty. Ruger, well, it's a Ruger, nuf said. It's a little higher priced, but still a tremendous bargain considering the gun you are getting for the money.

Again, all JMHO and it's worth about what you paid for it. I, obviously, didn't consider resale value in this. However, I like guns with low resale like the Taurus and Rossi that I can find good examples of used for cheap, cheap compared to Smiths which seem more expensive used, down here, than new. Price a 3" M19 sometime. :rolleyes: Made of gold, are they? The M66 Taurus is a GREAT gun and can be had for under 200 bucks in excellent like new condition if you look around and you don't need look very hard. Down here, a comparable M19 is 400 and up, maybe a little cheaper except for the 3" I was looking for at the time.

July 2, 2007, 08:35 PM
There are so many, BUT......

My lastest purchase of a great value is a Springfield GI Champion (4")

All steel, lifetime warranty, parkerized with holster/mag holder.

New for $489 plus tax.

And it is of course powered by the legendary 45acp :D

Great value? You better believe it - I sure do.

Black Adder LXX
July 2, 2007, 09:05 PM
Revolvers- Ruger GP100 and sp101 - no locks
on pistols, THE DEAL seems to be the M&P with the free 2 mags and bag.
I also agree on the CZ82.

July 2, 2007, 09:12 PM
Others have already said it. Ruger and Taurus.

July 2, 2007, 09:15 PM
GLOCK.........Some have lasted for over 100,000 rounds fired. Thats a lot of gun for the money!!!

lee n. field
July 2, 2007, 09:29 PM
Which handgun in your opinion offers the most value for the price.

What you consider adequate stopping power
-inexpensive and available ammo, for target practice and self defense
-inexpensive and available magazines / speed loaders
-warranty if any
-easily available spare parts
-accesories (holsters and what not)
-easy to field/detail strip

Even at it's current prices, the Makarov still does pretty good on everything but adequate stopping power. Don't need no stinkin' warrantee.

July 3, 2007, 12:13 AM
+ 1 on the EAA Witness

Ala Dan
July 3, 2007, 01:46 AM
My West German SIG-SAUER .45 caliber P220A~! ;):D

Price? $639.95 NIB; complete with extra magazine, manual,
factory fired test target, and hard case. And w/o rails~!

July 3, 2007, 12:15 PM
I would say Ruger Revolver would be the winner of the wheelgun catagory.

SA XD would be the winner of the Semi-Auto.

Neither are a real favorite of mine. Although I do own both. But they would be my best Value for any firearm.

July 3, 2007, 01:45 PM
No one mentioned Hi Point, yet? Winner of the butt ugly bargain category? :D

July 3, 2007, 02:00 PM
-What you consider adequate stopping power-9mm and up
-inexpensive and available ammo, for target practice and self defense-$25 for 100 rounds
-inexpensive and available magazines / speed loaders-$15 dollars for mags
-warranty if any-lifetime warranty
-easily available spare parts-Don't know, I haven't needed any
-reliability-goes bang every time so far
-durability-Don't know
-accuracy-More accurate then me
-ergonomics-Fits well in my hand
-accesories (holsters and what not)-I can't find a holster for it
-easy to field/detail strip-piece of cake
-weight-fine with me

July 3, 2007, 03:45 PM
As others have said previously in this thread: Auto...Taurus
without a dobut, the best value for your money.

Anna's Dad
July 3, 2007, 04:27 PM
I have a Ruger P345 that was proabaly $350-ish. I just bought a S&W M&P for $399.

Both are excellent guns in terms of reliability, durability, accuracy, etc. The M&P is 9mm (and the M&P 45 is more $$) so if that's not enough stopping power for you, the Ruger would be a great choice. The M&P has a better warranty and better customer service (from what I've read) and superb ergonomics. Couldn't tell you about parts availability as I've never needed a part for either one! Resale value of modern guns (particularly plastic guns) isn't important to me. I own them to shoot them.

I have $500-$600 guns that don't measure up to even the $350 Ruger in respect to many of your criteria, but I like variety and enjoy them all enough to keep them.

Price isn't my only factor since I've been blessed with the resources to afford multiple guns. If I ever had to sell off my collection for financial reasons, however, I would be very satisfied with my inexpensive (not cheap) Ruger or S&W.

July 3, 2007, 04:55 PM
IMO, the S&W Model 10 for a revolver. XavierBreath said it best, so I won't repeat what he said.

For an auto, I would say either a CZ-75 or a Makarov.

July 3, 2007, 07:05 PM
Can't carry concealed in New York. The most fun I've had at the range is with my Ruger Mark II .22lr

July 3, 2007, 07:12 PM
Ruger semi-autos
Taurus revolvers
Smith & Wesson value pistols (908, 910, 410, 457...)

I can't afford expensive firearms, but I can afford quality firearms that aren't too expensive.

July 3, 2007, 07:27 PM
Glocks. That's why I bought it, for the price/balance/reliability...etc. Did I mention the price?

It is the Cheapest, most Reliable auto I own.

Nomad, 2nd
July 3, 2007, 10:56 PM

July 3, 2007, 11:16 PM
compact CCW = Kel-Tec

revolvers = Ruger

auto = SA XD

Come to think of it, I already took my own advice,and I love 'em all. :D

July 3, 2007, 11:29 PM
revolvers : used smith .357s can be picked up around here for $300 (did it today with a 19-3)
that's the most stopping power, most utility and best bang for your buck, things are dead-nuts reliable, and very accurate. Did I mention it has great adjustable sights and can shoot easy .38s or brutal .357s?

Autos: right now the CZ82s for $200.

Redneck with a 40
July 3, 2007, 11:33 PM
I would chose a revolver, a good 357 Mag from Ruger, Smith, or Taurus. 38 special for target practice, ammo is cheap. 357 for self defense, although some current 38 special ammo is quite good in this role as well. I don't think you can beat the versatility of a good 357 revolver, and if you need more than 6 rounds in a gunfight, then you've bit off more than you can chew.:neener:

If it were a semi-auto, then I agree, its hard to go wrong with an XD.

July 3, 2007, 11:50 PM
If it's a CCW piece, the Kel Tec P11 with a belt clip is hard to beat.
Parkerized (so you don't have any corrosion issues with sweat etc)~$260 plus a SS belt clip ~$15 add a 12 round LEO clip & you have 13 rounds of 9mm ammo (considered the minimum self defense ammo by many) in a very concealable package for a total of ~$300.
It's not a pretty gun, but very reliable & the smallest 13 round 9mm I know of.
I own several guns & the P11 is the one I wind up carrying the most.

If you will be shooting alot for fun, 9mm ammo is the least expensive (other than a 22) & readily available.

July 4, 2007, 12:13 AM
Nailed it!!

July 4, 2007, 12:14 AM

When I bought mine the value was unbelievable - $120 for an unissued Bulgarian milsurp. I bought 3 of them.

Even today at about $150 or so, they are still a fantastic bargain.

Tom Fury
July 4, 2007, 07:06 AM
Glock 17
Ruger P series
Taurus (92 or 99)
Star Firestar
EAA Witness (cheaper than CZ)
S&W 59 or 69 series
Argentine BHP
Kel Tec 9

Cheers, TF

July 4, 2007, 07:51 AM
especially when it comes to firearms. I have bought lots of guns that were great bargains and most of them were great guns. When it comes to handguns however, the only guns of any value are the ones that you can "depend" on to save your life. There are many fine handguns out there that are quite reliable and the prices vary greatly. In my opinion, and it is just that, an opinion, the Sigs and the Glocks are 2 of the most reliable guns on the planet. I know there are a lot of 1911 owners screaming BLASPHEMY right now but in my experience they are finicky. I currently have 2 handguns which I use for self defense and they are both Glocks. It is the only gun that I know of that I can buy for less than $500 NIB, stick it in a holster on my hip and be 99.44% confident that it will work when I need it to with out ever firing a round through it. No, that is not a good idea and I do shoot my guns often as possible and they are practically flawless. I can not say that I have never had a problem withem but the ones that I have had were easily trceable to my reloads or in one case a bad magazine.

July 4, 2007, 08:46 PM
"A $1000 gun vs. a $500 gun? Probably not quite. But many guns in the $250 range have flaws, some of them serious functional flaws."

Can you provide some examples behind that statement or provide us with the data?

July 4, 2007, 08:51 PM
Kel-Tec P-11 you can get it for around $350...VERY RELIABLE and the company stands behind their guns 100%......The Company's Customer Service is well recognized around the industry. So far I have 7000+ rounds through it and not one (I man not one) jam or issue... Great now that I said that something will go wrong with it...Old Murphy....

Having said that if you looking for a gun….You’ll get a full range of input to your question (like I listed above) however my input is to go to a gun show then over to a vendor with a LARGE selection of guns then without looking too hard at the gun feel them in your hand...I've always found that if a gun doesn't fit you well it doesn't matter how big the cal or type of gun in the end you wouldn’t like it.

Then AFTER you find a few that feel real nice go home and do your homework on the particular guns that felt the best in your hand...Google the makes and models for reviews.

In the end, everyone who recommends a gun to you has a bias…They like it and think it’s the best. Maybe for them it is but it may not be right for you.

That’s why I like the blind fit test

July 5, 2007, 11:13 AM
i made a list prior to a recent purchase in order of value for dollars and my choices were:
czPO1-unavailable in maryland
taurus pt99-bought one
xd-just over my price limit
used glock.
i researched for more than 2 months before purchase. looked at many forums, reviews, asked questions.
reasonable cost is important to me. i have a kid in grad school, 1 in jr college, and one at home.
ammo cost and availability was the second issue.
cz 82/83 is an appealing gun, but 9x18 is a mail order round. i have determined that 38/357 and 9mm is most available to me and most reasonably priced.
i have a cz 52 and laid in a store of ammo for it already on the cheap when prices were down.

July 6, 2007, 03:29 AM
XavierBreath is right. A used S&W model 10 beats all comers in bang-for-the-buck. You can find them for under $200, and can easily sell it for at least that much later on. The model 10 does not have the sexy Hollywood cache a Glock does, but you can buy 2 used model 10s for the price of a used Glock, or one model 10, a case of ammunition, and a nice holster!

- What you consider adequate stopping power - .38 Special is a good round, and modern bullets make it even better.
-inexpensive and available ammo, for target practice and self defense - .38 Special is one of the cheaper choices when it comes to factory ammo, and it is available everywhere
-inexpensive and available magazines / speed loaders - Speedloaders for the S&W K frame are by far the cheapest and most common available.
-warranty if any - S&W's customer service is the yardstick by which all others are judged.
-easily available spare parts - They made something like 50 gajillion of them, (and still are) so I suspect model 10 parts will be available long after the sun burns out.
-reliability - In a word, YES.
-durability - Many, many examples, some up to 100 years old are still going strong
-accuracy - They used model 10s with adjustable sights for bullseye competition back in the day.
-ergonomics - More different grips are made for the S&W K frame than any other gun, but if you can't find one to your liking, you can even make your own fairly easily
-accesories (holsters and what not) - As XavierBreath said; 102 years worth
-easy to field/detail strip - You will never need to.
-weight - 30-36 ounces

July 6, 2007, 05:43 AM
For revolvers, I agree with Xavierbreath in particular and Cosmoline in general. For autos, I think that the Ruger P-Series are about the best value there is, particularly when purchased used.

July 6, 2007, 08:54 AM
Revos- Ruger GP100/ SP101
Autos- CZ 75B

July 6, 2007, 11:40 AM

July 6, 2007, 11:50 AM
forgot to mention good values available right now

the CZ40b CDNN has been selling for $289 and the number of FN-branded HP's that are selling for $400 lately.

July 6, 2007, 02:01 PM
Ruger P-series are the best handguns for the price, VERY accurate, feel awesome in your hand, TONS of accessories, Ruger has awesome customer service if something should go wrong with your firearm, magazines are everywhere and cheap (unless you buy a ruger factory mag), field strips in seconds, oh yeah and did i mention ACCURATE, now i prefer the older ones that are all aircraft grade aluminum, as apposed to the newer models with the polymer frame

July 6, 2007, 02:12 PM
S&W 457

Ruger p series

Tuarus revolvers

Rex B
July 6, 2007, 03:29 PM
Sign me up
S&W M10 in the office, Ruger P89DC by the bed.

July 6, 2007, 03:35 PM
Makarovs are way up there as best-value handguns, though due to price increases this is less true now than in the past. I'd give the CZ-75B high marks as well--it's a world-class pistol and generally priced right.

July 6, 2007, 03:43 PM
If you like gambling, then maybe Taurus

What a load of crap. Apparently someone here has no idea about Taurus other than what they read on line. Go and shoot one and them tell me if you're gambling. Or do you not have the cahones to shoot one, because you are gambling.

Baba Louie
July 6, 2007, 04:12 PM
Best Value Handgun hmmm? There's been some good choices listed so far.

Reckon I have to agree with XavierBreath on the slightly used S&W Model 10 or M&P (as 'twas originally known). Fits all the criteria listed, and even if you buy a horribly used one that's been rode hard and put away wet more than once, since S&W's still making 'em, they can pretty much bring one back from the near dead.

But... they's ol' timey and only shoot 6 slow pokey little .36 caliber pills, and, well, they ain't very sexy or new or modern... they just keep chugging along, getting the job done for about the last century I reckon.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with their newfangled younger stainless steel brother, the 64, some would say. (well, they ARE kinda shiny as well as ol' timey)

July 6, 2007, 06:00 PM
Taurus Raging bull Revolvers

July 6, 2007, 10:57 PM
EAA Witness Elite Match, reliable, very finely finished, incredibly good trigger right out of the box, more accurate than anything under $1200-1500, and costs $399-$429. I've got one in .40, going to look at another in 9mm tomorrow.

The only down side is it's really too big to be a CCW, you could do ok if wearing a jacket all the time but it's really a large frame gun. I bought my .40 for IPSC, but have been shooting it in IDPA, now I'm going to pick up a 9mm for a dedicated IDPA gun.

July 7, 2007, 12:48 AM
Best value revolver would be a Taurus or Ruger.

Best value semi-auto would be a Springfield XD.

July 7, 2007, 01:54 AM
CZ75B- Got mine for $350 new and I can't think of a 9mm pistol that could do the job better than this one dose at any price.

evan price
July 7, 2007, 11:46 AM
If by best bang for the buck, we're talking about someone who could only have one gun.
I agree with Xavier.
A good S&W M&P/Mod 10 would be ideal. So would a Colt Trooper, or a Ruger Something-Six.
I remember you could get state patrol trade-in Colt Trooper with the rubber grips, holster and a box of ammo for $200.
I've seen Model 10s with the finish all gone to brown and lot's o'rounds out the pipe that locked up tight.
I've never seen a Ruger Whatever-Six that was worn out.
All great choices.

If you HAD to have a semiauto. Well, for sheer cost, 9mm would be the best price point for practicing with. Ruger P89DC can be had for under $275 used. Police trade G19s are around $330 or so. Those two guns, in terms of cheap magazines and ammo, and generally not going to be shot out, are probably the best deals out there for a semiauto. Neither have "safeties" to worry about and a revolver user would transition in quite nicely.

And bash them though we will, Hi-Point pistols are a great choice for a budget. Yes, they are ugly, top heavy, and have the striking good looks of a city transit bus. But they do the job they were designed for at a price that those who can't afford a $300 Glock will appreciate. A good solid 9mm pistol for $120 or so beats the hell out of facing a home invader with a nail file.

July 7, 2007, 01:06 PM
I am going to have to say that my Ruger P89 is the best value/dollar i could find.

great reliability, easy to take down, cheap to shoot, and accurate. I have never had a FTF, FTE or any other problems with either of the ones I have had no matter what ammo I fed it.

I really love my gun alot and am glad I got it.


July 7, 2007, 08:41 PM
Even though we see several guns repeated here, I'm surprised that so many different makes were listed. And for the most part, I can see the point of view of everyone. I'd have to list several with caveats:

GLOCK: used police trade-ins are inexpensive and as reliable as Rosie O'Donnell
Makarov: three years ago, I'd say they were the hands-down choice
CZ-82: three years later, they could easily be argued to be the choice
S&W revolvers: used, they are as good as they were the day they were built

I also have a Taurus auto and a Ruger revolver and I wouldn't count them out for sure.

Oh yeah, and I carried my Kel-tec P11 and P3AT today. They sure seem to be great values too, and I saw them listed today for less than $250.

Basically, there're just some really good values to be had in some fine handguns.

July 7, 2007, 10:23 PM
Revolver: As said before, the Smith Model 10. They were used everywhere for 50 years for a reason.

Auto: I am big on warranties and like companies that stand behind their product. With the current free mag deal the Smith & Wesson M&P Auto's are hard to beat.

July 7, 2007, 11:10 PM
Glocks 17/19 9mm or 22/23 .40 cal. Taurus 24/7 Pro 9mm.

July 8, 2007, 05:53 PM
People are obviously going to put different weights on the different criteria. But I'll do my best here to go through what, from my observation, works. I'm going to use a 10-point rating system. Nothing under 6 points counts.

- What you consider adequate stopping power

.45acp (9), .40sw(8), and 9mm(8) are all adequate - ditto for .44 mag(10), .357 mag(9), and .38 spec (7)

-inexpensive and available ammo, for target practice and self defense
.38 spec(10), .357mag(9), 9mm(9), .45acp(7)

-inexpensive and available magazines / speed loaders

additional criteria: under $30
-warranty if any
(not really aware of warranty because I've not got the exp with needing one)
-easily available spare parts
taurus(8 or 0 depending on how you look at it)

this category is subject to individual exceptions, but my observations follow:
1911(9 depending on brand)
taurus(9) (personally flawless, but I've eard of others having problems)

... and, I went on down the list and did the rest in my head, because it was taking too damn long.

What it comes down to in my mind, is either a low-end, inexpensive revolver (probably from Taurus), a low-end 1911 like a Springfield or RIA, a Ruger (I didn't mention 'em in the list because I wasn't personally sure - and I hate their ergonomics),or a Taurus PT111/140/145 or 24/7 (both getting big points for ergonomics, weight, price, and durability/reliability in my experience). To the exception of the 1911s or a new S&W revolver (used .38s can be had for under $400 and used .38 or .357 taurus revolvers for $250 or less), they're all in the same price range ($300-400). When a person considers that, short of the 'excessive' shooter and the rare scenario where a part breaks, they'll never need replacement parts or warranty...

So, in short, it seems to me that the best recommendation you could give someone who "just wants a gun for self protection and occasional shooting/practice" the best suggestion would be a used S&W revolver, a used Taurus, a Ruger, or a new Taurus. Given the fact that revolvers typically work for everyone's hands (at least one of the frames will, at least) and the same can not be said for pistols, then the obvious choice is a revolver. Doubly so due to their ease of use.

And this isn't even considering milsurps or older guns, like the S&W mod10, Star BMs, Makarovs, CZ82s (or 83s for that matter!), a PA63, and a number of others... once you get down below the $200 mark with older yet reliable and well-made firearms, you really can't say "you can only have one" because the value to price is just so damn high! :P

July 8, 2007, 06:15 PM
How about my little HERITAGE ARMS 22 combo. Built like a tank. Little six-shooter revolver w/ Bird heads grips and a saftey to block the hammer . :cool: Has two cylinders, one 22 lr, 1 22 magnum. :fire: I use CCI shot shell in it for snakes. It will shoot any size 22 round. From 22 shorts to 22 lr mini mags and CCI Stingers. Change the cylinder and go for 22 magnum. That is one bad little round w/ those Hornaday 49 gr expanding hollow points.

Bought on sale for $99. :D

July 8, 2007, 06:20 PM
check out some previously owned firearms, you can get a much more expensive gun for the money, a good value firearm will shoot reliably, function when dirty and not jam despite shooting cheap ammo. There is a multitude of great weapons for under 500 bucks. 250 for a new one though, you are taking a bit of a gamble.

my 2 cents

July 9, 2007, 01:57 AM
S&W M10 police trade-ins, followed closely by any other S&W .38/.357 police trade in. Followed very closely by any Ruger "Six" DA revolver.

For the previously stated reasons.

The horrible truth is that any decent example will do just about anything the average person needs to do with a handgun.

"Wants" are an entirely different thing...

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