Back up Semi-auto


Fat Boy
November 10, 2013, 10:35 PM
I have been searching for a 9mm. There are 3 in my price range

1. S&W 39-2
2. Tanfoglio (cz 75 clone)
3. FEG Hi Power clone

This will be a range gun, and could be a ccw. I like the S&W but want to be sure I am getting the best gun for my money.

What would you recommend and why? Thank you

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November 10, 2013, 11:02 PM
Holy Cow what are these backing up ?

When I think "BUG" I generally think of a smaller gun than the primary, like a Glock 26 as the backup to a Glock 19 although I can see if someone uses something like a Kahr PM9 for their primary, a Kahr CM9 for the backup would make sense too.

But anyway, you might want to actually try to manipulate the controls on the guns and see what you think of them. I took a pass on 3rd gen Smiths and Berettas because I didn't like frame mounted safeties that flipped up.

November 10, 2013, 11:06 PM
Personally from that bunch I would go with the Tanfoglio, I've had excellent service from the ones I owned and still shoot a Elite Match in .40 for competition.

November 10, 2013, 11:23 PM
That is an interesting group of finalists.

The S&W is a single-stack, so only 8+1. Finding one that is in the same price as the other two means its finish must be pretty rough or you found a really good deal. Even though it's old, it might be the easiest to get parts for.

Tanfoglios may or may not be EAA imports; you don't specify. If it is older than EAA, finding parts will be very difficult. If it is an EAA import, you have to deal with EAA, but it will be a newer gun and probably in better shape. EAAs can be very reliable but may need a little fluff and buff to get them going. Easy to get magazines for them.

The FEGs have a good reputation, but there were several styles imported and all called the same thing, so be sure of what you are buying. The best are a true knockoff of the Browning HP. But, along the way, they made changes to the slide stop and other parts. They are out of business so finding parts would be tough.

My $.02.

PS. You might keep an eye out for a true CZ--the ones that say Made In Czechoslovakia, also called CZ 75 Pre B. They aren't common, but they aren't particularly rare, either. Later ones have a wider magazine well to take the standard CZ magazines. Earlier ones can be modified with a dremel if you are a do-it-yourselfer or a fairly easy gunsmith job. These should be in the price range of the Tanfoglio. You might also consider one of the Turkish clones--they've gotten good reviews.

November 11, 2013, 12:00 AM
I'm with you Zero. OP are you in any type of Law enforcement? What has happened in your life where you feel the need for a back up, much less wanting a BU that most people you consider their primary.

Fat Boy
November 11, 2013, 08:40 AM
My apologies - I was a bit confusing in my question; I meant by back up a gun that I could use if my primary had a breakage or other issue and was waiting on repair or in the shop. not a second gun carried along with my primary such as a snub-nose revolver
I am not in LE-

DT Guy
November 11, 2013, 08:51 AM
Those are three distinct operating systems, there:

S&W 39: TDA, or "Crunchenticker"
Tanfoglio/CZ: DA/SA capable
FEG: SA auto

What are you backing up, and how do you normally carry that weapon? If it's a TDA, the 39 will be most similar; if it's an SA auto, the Tanfo or FEG will allow condition 1 carry.


November 11, 2013, 09:02 AM
Personally I'd go for the Tanfoglio if it's in good conditions: very good ergonomics, shoots very well, easy to be accurate with it. It's also a very solid firearm often used for competition, so it can tolerate a bunch of range shooting. It holds 15 or 16 rounds and it's SA/DA. Only drawback, it's a full size, long and heavy gun.

P.S.: nothing wrong with the other two, I like them also; for a collector it probably have been S&W or FEG.

November 11, 2013, 09:16 AM
My choices from the three listed:

1) FEG Hi-Power copy. Highly serviceable and fairly well built copy of the Hi-Power. Ergonomics are great for me and I prefer the single action trigger and frame mounted safety.

2) S&W Model 39-2. Quality construction and a well thought out design. Lower magazine capacity and the DA/SA trigger set-up along with a slide mounted safety make this gun slightly less desirable (to me), compared to the FEG Hi-Power.

3) Tanfoglio CZ75 copy. Depending on the possible model this could be a DA/SA design with a slide mounted safety/decocker. As with the S&W Model 39, not a set-up I like as much as a SA trigger with a frame mounted safety.

November 12, 2013, 12:23 AM
39-2 will carry the best. Single stack, alloy frame, tons of cheap, available parts, easy to fix, etc. most of the modern Tanfoglio guns use a the large frame and will be much more bulky, though you can carry them cocked and locked, uncocked, or uncocked and locked. I don't know enough about the FEGs to give an opinion.

November 12, 2013, 12:13 PM
Just my opinion. A back up pistol should accept the mags your primary carry pistol takes. I carry a Glock 23 with extra mags, but also have a Glock 22 as a "Texas Reload" near almost always. I stoke the Model 23 with Model 22 mags and a collar to fill the gap. What I do may only make sense to me. As I'm no expert in the combat arts. Your experience and opinion may be better than mine. All I do is shoot a lot (or used too before ammo cost went up).

Fat Boy
November 12, 2013, 08:34 PM
Ok, don't laugh- my primary (at this time) is a Ruger p95- I can shoot it accurately, it fits my hand, I like it. It seems big but I am willing to deal with that.

I like the Smith 39 but am unsure about the grip frame as I like the Ruger which is a bit larger in the grip

November 12, 2013, 09:04 PM
Hey I'm not laughing, the P95 is a great gun. I've never got the "if it's bigger than a glock 26 you can't carry it" while I know not everyone can carry a full size pistol. It drives me crazy when people get upset when they find out someone carries a full size pistol. Sorry for the rant.:uhoh: Since you have a P95 I would go with the 39-2. It may or may not feed JHPs, so you may have to have some work done on it, or you may get lucky and get one that will. What ever you get have fun with it and stay safe.

November 13, 2013, 01:18 PM
Why not another P95? Same ammo---mags and holsters that you have already

Blue Brick
November 15, 2013, 12:47 AM
^^^^^^^^^ +1

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