Inexpensive new 9mm for range & carry?


April 14, 2008, 06:45 PM
OK, let's say you've got, oh, $400 to burn and you want to get a new 9mm pistol both for personal defense and range shooting. It's not really for concealed carry, though it would be nice if that were an option.

A quick run down to local shop (or internet vendor) turns up the candidates listed in this poll. Which to get, and why? Please pick only one and make your case for it.


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April 14, 2008, 06:59 PM
Taurus PT 24/7 small enough to conceal big enough for range carry and cheap...Although the Bersa would not be a bad choice either
Kel tec isn't horrible but i think you get more for the money if you go with taurus or bersa

ruger is a little bulky to carry but is still a good gun.....

really all of the ones you have listed are good go choose the most comfortable one...for the the Taurus PT 24/7 is very very comfortable.

April 14, 2008, 07:08 PM
Oh well, so much for "please pick only one and make your case for it."

You didn't vote, 308sc!


April 14, 2008, 07:10 PM
I love both my Bersas. I have a 380 and the 9mm. The are great guns for the money accurate and well made. I am considering the 45 but really want something bigger than the compact frame they now offer.

April 14, 2008, 07:23 PM
EAA M88 if you can find one? :)

EDIT - OK fine. if limited to the ones you listed, I'd probably get the bigger Bersa.

April 14, 2008, 07:30 PM
M&P w/ the Spring rebate gets you darn close to $400

April 14, 2008, 07:44 PM
I thought maybe the kt's would have lead that price range, guess people know more than I give them credit for..

April 14, 2008, 07:49 PM
I have been recently impressed by Ruger and having read several reviews of this one it is what I would chose. One of the reasons is that your specifically did not seemed concerned about concealability. It that were more of a concern I might change my choice. The Ruger can be concealed just takes a little more work.

April 14, 2008, 07:51 PM
I think you can get a k/t for just over $300. Most of the p11's work just fine and are easy to conceal.

April 14, 2008, 07:53 PM
As soon as this recall is over I think my SR-9 is going to be a great gun for both.

April 14, 2008, 07:59 PM
Keltecs have a short lifespan, according to their website. They are carry guns, not really plinkers.

What about a P225 ( Used but in good condition, and $100 under budget.

Detachment Charlie
April 14, 2008, 08:01 PM
Get a Sig P6 (225). These are all over the web seller sites ranging from $259 -- $350 -- and it's a Sig.:neener:

April 14, 2008, 08:38 PM
I know the title said new and isn't on the list but I would probably look for a good used Glock in that price range. If the list is the only consideration I would look at Taurus.

April 14, 2008, 08:48 PM
Picked up a Mil Pro PT111 a couple of months ago for the right price
($319 new with stainless slide) and havent been let down yet in over 1000 rounds. Accuracy is great for a compact out to about 25' but after that it starts to stray a bit. Goes bang every time I pull the trigger though, regardless of what I put in it.

April 14, 2008, 08:55 PM
For a primary office carry gun, that I can drop into the slacks I am required to wear, my KelTec P-11 fits the bill quite nicely. In a Uncle Mikes pocket holster, it disappears.

I agree that it is a self defense gu and not really a plinker. I have put over 1000 rounds through mine and after a couple of mags it is unpleasant to shoot. It is however accurate and reliable and easy to draw from concealment.

April 14, 2008, 09:25 PM
What no G19 choice? I picked up a used one for $399. I shoots well and conceals IWB just fine.

April 14, 2008, 09:31 PM
Stoeger Cougar gets a +1 from me!!!

The Lone Haranguer
April 14, 2008, 10:06 PM
Does it have to be new? A used S&W "third generation" (their "old-school" metal-frame auto) is a fine gun. Many can be had for well under this figure.

April 14, 2008, 10:10 PM
m& mine for 379, after rebate and 2 spare mags! deal o the century, i love it .... try o e out and a glock 19 which u can find lightly used for under 400....

April 15, 2008, 12:46 AM

April 15, 2008, 01:42 AM
I Love My Bersa!!!
500+ rounds 100% bang

April 15, 2008, 02:00 AM
for under $400.00

2.p1 or p38 (i swear mine was new)

of the ones on the list i would go with one of the bersas just because they are walther clones

April 15, 2008, 03:03 AM
Thanks, all, for the input and, yes, which used gun to buy is an entirely different thread. If you're wondering about the options listed, I just went to and listed 9mm under $500 list price, which I though should give me near to $400 retail price. Since CCW is not my major concert, I was leaning towards the Ruger P95 in that price range.

I would particularly like to hear from any Bersa Thunder 9mm owners, however, as that seems like a good option, too.

The Kahr CW9 was not on my list because it didn't show up on my search, but, of course, it should have been in the mix.

EtdBob, that's a Zastava pistol, right? Basically a single-action Browning design, like the old Colts? Anybody have any experience with those? It appears to be single action, but cocked and locked or learning to cock the hammer for the first shot doesn't bother me.

Keept those votes and comments coming!

April 15, 2008, 10:51 AM
I voted Bersa Fullsize. Mine has 5K through it and has been 100%. 1K of those rnds were fired with no cleaning or maintenance what so ever. My two compacts have been equally reliabe.
The trigger on my fullsize has smoothed out so well that I would say that it has the best trigger of all my DA/SA pistols.

April 15, 2008, 10:59 AM
I voted Ruger.

If you plan to take it to the range a lot AND rely on it to save your life, that means a lot of rounds through the gun. It's gotta take a lickin' and keep on tickin'.

But my preference as far as value (high quality, low price) would probably be a CZ75.

April 15, 2008, 11:10 AM
of the ones on the list i would go with one of the bersas just because they are walther clones

only the bersa .380s are walther clones, not the 9mms

April 15, 2008, 11:27 AM
I voted the Sigma since you said this would mostly be a range gun. I think S&W is running a promotion right now where if you buy a Sigma, you get 50 bucks cash back and 2 magazines. The Sigma is a solid pistol.

The other choice you have, the Ruger, is a solid second. If Ruger had the same promotion going on, I'd recommend that one wholeheartedly.

Stay away from Taurus's autos, revolvers, or rifles. They have a tendency to produce solid junk.

As for Bersa, I don't know much about these.

If you can do used, take a look at the S&W 3913, or any of the 3rd Generation Smith and Wesson pistols. They are a little on the hefty side, but the 3913 is a great carry and range gun. The frame is made of an aluminum alloy, and the slide is Stainless Steel.

April 15, 2008, 12:10 PM
Taurus pistols are very good bang for the buck right now. I had a 24/7 in .40 that I gave to a friend who was starting into firearms. While I had never had a FTF/FTE other then a few during the break-in. Trigger pull is a bit mushy, but thats true of any spring-gun out there, glocks are even worse about it. I've so far yet to own a single pistol that didn't experience some sort of malfunction during break in. After about 200 rounds or so, it was shooting great. Main reason I gave it to him is the grip heel didn't fit my hand very well, but fit his like a glove. The manual thumb saftey and second-strike capability gave me a very good piece of mind as well.

Reliability wise, mine had been 100% with no issues, and that's essentially the same story I've head from all 24/7 owners that are out there.

But hey, even high end pistols have issues, I've heard of people going through 2-3 FN FNP9's that broke within the first mag with their receivers cracking in half, or of people's Kimber 1911's crapping out and welding themselves shut in the first 100 rounds. Judging by the number of posts about these varied issues, Taurus can claim no lead in the lemon-gun category at this point.

I'd say stay away from the P95, its a solid gun, but its big. If you want to CCW it one day, unless you're a rather large person or have a propensity to wear robes all the time, you're going to have trouble concealing it. The slide is something like 1.4" or more in thickness. That said they are damn tough pistols.

Sigma's are good, from what I hear trigger pull tends to be long, and sometimes rather gritty. Although there are some simple fixes to get the trigger to smooth out.

Also, you might want to look into a CZ or an EAA Tangfolio series pistols, also the AR-24 series. All are great guns, very reliable, and tack-drivers at 25 yards. Best of all they are in the low-mid $400 range.

April 15, 2008, 12:17 PM
The Ruger P95 would be my pick.

April 16, 2008, 12:53 AM
the ruger p95 is a great option but with the possibility of needing o carry than that really wouldn't work out as well as some of teh others. i can't believe that i amdoing this bu from your list i would reccomend the sigma. i don't really like them thatmuch but they are reliable, and with workig theh trigger and time, you will get the trigger pull down and you can get very accurt with it.

also i am not a da/sa fan, and i don't require an external safety on my handguns so out of the list i would go with the sigma.

Dollar An Hour
April 16, 2008, 01:27 AM
Ruger P95... Not the sexiest, but Ruger offers excellent customer service should you need it, and they are very reliable pistols. American made is nice as well. :)

April 16, 2008, 01:44 AM
S&W M&P 9mm. Buds gun shop has them for $439 delivered. After the rebate, your lookin at $389 and you'll have four hi-caps. I don't see how you can beat that deal. Can't wait till mine get's here! Just remember, you only have until April 30th to purchase if you want the rebate and free mags. -Ian

April 16, 2008, 02:23 AM
ruger p-95 or p-89

Kind of Blued
April 16, 2008, 02:48 AM
I'd personally go for a S&W M&P Compact 9mm!

April 16, 2008, 02:57 PM
I'm not 100% sold on them, but from the list,the Millenium would be my choice. They fit my hand so they point well and the controls are well placed. I have short thumbs and have some trouble reaching mag drops. Carry is a breeze for my physique.

April 16, 2008, 03:02 PM
Ruger, hands down.

April 16, 2008, 03:05 PM
CDNN has Ruger KP95 DC'S for $279

April 16, 2008, 03:07 PM
Gonna go ahead and vote on the CZ 75, especially the PCR I just bid on. It runs a little more than $400 but not an outlandish amount of money.

April 16, 2008, 07:12 PM
I love my P95 and for the price you can't beat it.
Too big for carry.
I carry my taurus mod 85.

April 16, 2008, 07:15 PM
Sig 225/P6, great gun for the money. i have aquired 3 in the last week as you can find them for around $300.

April 16, 2008, 07:49 PM
It's already been mentioned, but I don't know why the Stoeger Cougar's not on that list. It's only $350, so you could theoretically spend the extra $50 on Gummi Bears. I love my Cougar, and it feels like it's worth about 700 bucks (the original price when it was called Beretta Cougar). I'm seriously looking to buy a new 9mm that I wouldn't be afraid to beat up in carrying it, throwing it in a glove box, etc. Of course all the guns I'm looking at are 100 bucks more than the Cougar. So I think, "It's less expensive, don't worry so much about banging it up." But I love the gun, it's so smooth, looks nice, feels great. It shoots great and feels like a pop gun with that rotating barrel.

April 16, 2008, 07:57 PM
S&W Sigma, although with the rebate offer on the M&P you could get one of these instead and be under your $400 limit after the rebate.

People complain about the Sigma trigger, but once you've mastered it you will be able to shoot anything well!

In either case the extra two free magazines really sweetens the deal -- offer runs thru April.

The Taurus 24/7 would be my second choice from your list. The Millennium would be better for carry but the short sight radius is a definite handicap at the range.


April 23, 2008, 11:49 PM
I voted Ruger.

If you plan to take it to the range a lot AND rely on it to save your life, that means a lot of rounds through the gun. It's gotta take a lickin' and keep on tickin'.

The Ruger is a tank and will be great for lots of visits to the range. It is a bit large for a CCW, but not impossible.

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