This is pretty broad, but...


January 8, 2011, 09:54 AM
I'm looking for a 9mm or .45 in the 300 dollar range. I've been looking at a few Stars, but there's not too many around. I like the exposed hammer type guns. I like being able to decock it with 1 in the chamber. I'd like to stick to a 1911 styled gun, but again I'm open to suggestions. I'd like it to be ccw friendly too. Here is what I've seen around my neck of the woods in that price range:

1. Kahr CW45
2. S&W SW9VE
3. Taurus PT111 PRO
4. Taurus PT745 PRO
5. Star Firestar Plus
6. Kel-Tec P11
7. Ruger P90

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January 8, 2011, 11:02 AM

$300 has you pretty limited. You might want to consider waiting until you have more money saved up. Otherwise you could end up just wasting the money.

Consider a used gun.

January 8, 2011, 11:03 AM
I'd add the Kel Tec PF9 to that list. Better grip and trigger than the P11, although less capacity.

The Kel Tecs are hammer fired, but cannot be decocked like you are thinking. After the slide cycles, the hammer is held at a half-cock position and they fire DAO. The half cock is supposed to be low enough that there isn't enough energy to set off the primer if it were to slip somehow.

January 8, 2011, 11:08 AM
Thats my biggest complaint with the PF9 is capacity, although I've never shot one so I may not like it in general.

January 8, 2011, 11:14 AM
Damon, 300 gives me quite a few options for decent used guns. The S&W SW9VE is a consignment gun I found at a local gunshop for 275.

January 8, 2011, 11:18 AM
I think the Smith is a decent weapon too. The one I tried had a trigger that took a come-along to pull.

Mike J
January 8, 2011, 11:31 AM
The Kel Tec P-11 is a true DAO. It has a looong DAO trigger pull of 8.5 pounds. The little Kel Tecs are good little carry guns but if you are wanting to spend a lot of range time with it I would pick something else. You can research them at

The Ruger P-95 can be had for right around $300 dollars NIB. It is a smaller then the P-90, chambered in 9mm, & has a polymer frame. DA/SA with exposed hammer.

I had a Star in 9mm Largo years ago. It was a nice little gun but from what I have seen posted lately it seems parts availability might be an issue if you go that way.

January 8, 2011, 11:49 AM
Damon, I like the Smith, but not a fan of the trigger. I don't like their version of a safety trigger. :(

January 8, 2011, 11:50 AM
Mike, funny you should mention the P95. 1 was just posted for sale in my area on lol.

January 8, 2011, 12:19 PM
A used stoeger cougar will put you back around $300 I have one and it is one of the finest firearms I own

January 8, 2011, 12:33 PM
If you need to keep the gun budget down odds are you also will want to keep the ammo bill low. 9mm it is then. In the $300 range Taurus makes some good semi-autos. I think my PT845 was $320 out the door at my local shop. It was on special of course. But Taurus and KelTec can be found pretty regularly at $300-350. Of the weapons on the list my initial nod would go to the pt111, but I would recommend checking out the others in-person to see what feels best in hand and how they take down for maintenance.

January 8, 2011, 12:43 PM
It's not so much that I need to keep the budget down, but I'm just not quite ready to shell out 5-600 bucks for a gun. I figure I can come up with something decent for 3-350 and shoot the crap out of it, then trade up once I'm more comfortable. I really want a compact 1911 in .45, but it'll have to wait.

January 8, 2011, 04:00 PM
If you toss in a $350 Mil Pro PT145 on the table, you'll get a compact 10 round, double-stack 45ACP that'll digest anything you feed it and accurate for carry-able 45ACP (I can group 2" offhand at 7 yards fairly rapid fire) with natural pointing grip and good ergonomics. No FTF/FTE after several thousand rounds of factory and reloads. It'll feed 200 gr LSWC like butter.

Make sure you get the Gen3 SA/DA model (No "Pro" next to "MILLENIUM" on the slide).

I used the Fobus paddle holster ( with adjustable tensioner (same one as XD holster) and you are good to go.

January 9, 2011, 08:10 PM
The Cobra Patriot .45 comes in around that price, and is getting decent reviews. I find it intriguing myself, but have not gotten to check one out. It is a DAO, though; since it cannot be cocked, it cannot be decocked.

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