The $600 Question


February 24, 2009, 04:03 PM
I know I asked about the M&P in the other forum but this is a somewhat different question. I am considering the M&P 9mm with Night Sights for $560. I have a total of $600 that I am willing to put into this. I prefer to not go over but if I do I have a NIB Weatherby Vanguard .257 WBY Magnum that I will trade in since I am not fond of $2 per round ammo... I like 1911s but didn't think I could get a decent one for $600ish. I want the gun to go bang when I pull the trigger and I want it to hit roughly in the same zip code by the way...

I want an autoloader that can be used for CCW, HD, and Range fun... I don't really want a revolver at this point and time but probably will get one in the future. This is my first handgun purchase... I have experience with them but never actually owned one since I am 23 and the past 2 years didn't really allow for the extra cash to blow on it... Now my gf is pregnant so I figured I better use my extremely small window of opportunity to buy a handgun lol.

I just want some ideas on what I should look at since my purchase will be made in a few weeks... I may sound like a broken record BUT I am looking for as much info as humanly possible before I drop the cash into it. I already have experience with the XD line as well and if I go poly it will more than likely be to S&Ws M&P... I don't have a range nearby to rent from either so I am putting full faith into you guys to not steer me wrong... I will try before I buy if possible but for the most part I will only be able to handle and not fire.

Sooo let the knowledge flow...

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February 24, 2009, 04:16 PM
Well, first off, congrats on being pregnant! :D Seriously, we need you young guns out there making babies as fast as possible. The population is dwindling.

Now about your first handgun purchase. For HD any otherwise acceptable gun will do just fine. As to the range, the purpose of your practice should be to increase your competency for CCW and HD purposes. So, that leaves CCW as the critical factor. I recommend that you get the largest caliber that you can comfortable control and shoot. If you're comfortable with a .45, then by all means get one. Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with smaller calibers down 9mm. I would not go smaller than 9mm. Now the consideration is weight and size. You probably don't know how heavy and uncomfortable carrying a gun around all day can be. So, I recommend you stick to something Colt Officer size, and with an alloy frame to reduce weight. There are a lot of good choices out there that meet that criteria. Enjoy, and be safe!

February 24, 2009, 04:31 PM

I have two M&Ps and a Glock 17. I have the M&P45 which while technically CC-able, would be pretty tough going without a jacket. I also have an M&P 9c which might well be the perfect carry weapon. 12+1 rounds of 9mm, very ergonomic, such that it feels like a bigger gun in your hand. I am a big fan of the M&Ps. There are going to be a lot of folks who won't like the .45 compact. The .45 ACP was really meant to shoot from a 5" barrel and doesn't, apparently, do very well out of 3ish barrels. On the other hand 9mm and .40 do quite well in the short barrels. Others know much more about this than I. I perfer my .45s to be big so I won't find out for myself.

Then there are Glocks. The G17 is 17+1 rounds. That is a lot of rounds and a g17 is pretty flat...not small by any means but not big either. Then there is the Glock 19 which is like 15% smaller, I think 14+1 or 15+1 of 9mm. That might be a great compromise...without having to compromise...almost a full sized service automatic but with just enough size reduction to make it handy.

XDs are very well thought of. I have seen and handled the compact and I think it is kind of big and bulky for a compact...I hear it is a suberb firearm and would be CC-able.

If you can take a look at a Stoeger Couger...those are nice...and I believe a lot less that $600.

The Glocks, M&Ps, and XDs are going to run you about $600...probably a little less.

Once you start talking Sig, Berretta, H&K, you're more in the $800 territory...and while great, are not that much better.

February 24, 2009, 04:33 PM
I prefer not to go over the 4" mark on barrel length. I am extremely picky about that... 4"-4.25" is where I want to go... I was really considering a .45 for the single stack just because my dad and neighbor keep saying the same thing... "There is nothing wrong with a glock but they are a little too bulky for CCW." I never wanted a glock really but the same would be true for the S&W that I was looking at.

The reason I keep coming back to the 1911 is because I really like the single stack .45 profile. I also like the looks and all but I keep thinking if I am only putting $600 into a gun I would be better off with the M&P or other polyguns because they are cheaper and reliable... I am just afraid a cheaper 1911 is going to be lacking somewhere... I also prefer new... I want to know anything that happens to the gun is my fault and not something someone else did and tried to hide.

I was looking at the Beretta's and Sig's but in the end I decided if I am to go into that price range I want a 1911 since I really do intend on buying one eventually... I also plan on buying a revolver eventually but right now I am looking for a practical "well-rounded" gun... 9mm-.40 is probably the round I am going for since those tend to be $11-17 a box for ammo which isn't too insanely expensive for range fun.

Hungry Seagull
February 24, 2009, 05:10 PM
I recently purchased a M&P .45 ACP and found it to be just over 630 dollars.

It came with a case, three different grip sizes, tool for changing etc, extra mag of 8 rounds. Night time tri dot combat sights, rear set apparently adjustable.

Topping off the gun, there is a small hole in the chamber top to verify a round is present or not. It saved me already once when I was wondering about that 5th round.

I fired it with 230 grain speer lawman rounds FMJ 10 for today it functioned as advertised with no errors in performance. When empty the gun slide locks open and stays.

That is my story on a handgun that is pretty close to what you are considering.

February 24, 2009, 09:55 PM
You really cannot go wrong with an M&P. This brand of pistol has been the most successful new gun launch in Smith & Wesson's history.

The M&P has won over 370 new LE agency "issued sidearm" contracts since it was introduced in 2006. These new contracts have primarily been at the expense of Glock and Sig Sauer... Sorry Springfield, the XD has no "issued weapon" contracts to lose.

I do love my 1911's and no longer own any Glocks, but I have become a true fan of the M&P semi-auto. My M&P9 Pro Series is by far the straightest shooter in my collection... Scary accurate.

My experience with the M&P:
M&P40 FS
M&P357 FS
M&P9 c
M&P9 Pro Series

February 24, 2009, 10:06 PM
I think anyone shopping for a new pistol under $600 should consider the FNP.

February 24, 2009, 10:21 PM
For a 1st gun the M&P would be great. I carry one as a duty weapon and the full size .40 still conceals pretty well. I would recommend the 9 if you have any concerns about shooting costs, it can be expensive, but the .40 is not too much more. That being said I do shoot my XD45compact faster than the M&P, even with the short mag. I personally feel for a first gun you would be better to bypass the 1911's just because they do take more time and commitment to train and operate than the M&P or similar striker fired guns. Their are quite a few of the polymer guns out there that you should be able to shoot before you make your decision, I would recommend trying as many different flavors as possible before you make a decision because we have all bought something and then said "Oh I wish I would have bought......instead." Hope this helps.
Good luck and be safe!

Big Bill
February 24, 2009, 10:38 PM
For about $400 you can buy a Stoeger Couger 9mm or .40. It's a rotary bolt gun and very accurate. It's a very reliable and accurate gun for the money. They are the same gun as the Beretta Couger that was so popular for years.

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