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Best handgun for under $100?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by joey93turbo, Sep 24, 2004.

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  1. joey93turbo

    joey93turbo Member

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    One of the girls I take shooting regularly wants a handgun for Christmas so I'm gonna buy one for her. Thing is, I dont have alot of money. She wants an autoloader and it will be her first gun. I need some recommendations. Under $100 please...
     
  2. Denmark116

    Denmark116 Member

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    Super Soaker

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...UN6WX5RRO2AG&vi=pictures&img=14#more-pictures

    All kidding aside, that is a tough order....

    best inexpensive gun I can think of is the Bersa Thunder .380 and that will run you at least 200.00 new....

    Maybe a Mak can be had for that price....

    http://www.southernohiogun.com/surplus_hand.html

    Has the Mak for 129.00 and a CZ-52 for 99.00

    Neither would be considered a ladies gun, but I am sure that I could get blasted for such a comment. The Mak would be better then the CZ I think for your purpose.

    Denmark
     
  3. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Less than a C-Note

    Howdy Joey,

    If this was 1964 instead of 2004, ya might have a prayer of findin' a decent
    pistol for that price. 'Fraid you're outta luck on your search. Not sure, but I think even Lorcins are a litlle past your limit...if they even still make'em.
    Search the gun shows for a used Lorcin, Raven, or Jennings...but Caveat Emptor on any of those. Quality was hit and miss...but mostly miss.

    Luck!

    Tuner
     
  4. joey93turbo

    joey93turbo Member

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    Yah, the Mak and the CZ52 are what I was lookin at, mostly the CZ. Why do you say they're not ladies guns?
     
  5. Scottmkiv

    Scottmkiv Member

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    I would definitely choose the mak over the CZ-52 for this purpose. That being said, she may find the makarov's recoil to be unpleasant. It is pretty snappy, and my girlfriend fired a couple mags through it and decided it was too much for her.

    Any chance you could hunt around for a police trade in revolver or something? It would be tough below 100, but should be doable for 150-200
     
  6. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Member

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    The CZ-52 has a rather large grip and is just a big gun over-all. A duty size rather than a CCW. Plus with the firing pin and decocker wear issues might not be the best choice for a defenisve arm. Fun to shoot though :)
     
  7. m39fan

    m39fan Member

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    The CZ-52's are LARGE guns and have a lot of recoil/noise for a newbie. That may be what he was refering to. The Mak would be a better choice (smaller, less "scarey") and since it's double action instead of single like the CZ, it might be safer depending on its usage. Another possibility is a Star BM. Being 9mm Luger, ammo's easier to find. Bad news - it lists $40-50 above your spending limit.

    Check pawn shops, flea markets, etc. A lot of great deals are out there, you just have to look. You may find any or all of the ones mentioned within your budget. I found a S&W Chief's Special in good condition for $45.00. No, it's NOT stolen just not valued by its previous owner. Good luck and remember, the hunt's part of the fun!

    Take Care,
    Mike
     
  8. joey93turbo

    joey93turbo Member

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    Why would the Mak be better for her than the CZ?

    I tried to talk her into a revolver but she isn't budging. Unfortuantely the first handgun she fell in love with was my Sig P226 .40, out of my price range by about $400.
     
  9. joey93turbo

    joey93turbo Member

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    Now that you mention Star BM, I've thought about pickin one of them up. I guess I could splurge another $50 if it would open more options...
     
  10. White Horseradish

    White Horseradish Member

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    A. It's smaller
    B. It's much easier to find ammo for it
    C. CZ 52's have issues with brittle firing pins and decockers not working

    The firing pin and decocker problems aren't a big deal to a moderately experienced person, but would be tough for a newbie. A CZ with an improperly functioning decocker would be downright dangerous for someone to whom muzzle control is not second nature because a bad decocker can fire the pistol when attempting to engage the safety.
     
  11. joey93turbo

    joey93turbo Member

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    sounds like the CZ is a no go then :)

    I thought I saw Star BM's for $129 somewhere, not sure though. They're pretty good guns right? decent for a newbie?
     
  12. DDGator

    DDGator Member

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    I don't think you are going to find anything she wants for under $100...

    You can buy some quality used guns with slightly under $200 -- like a Kel-Tec or an older revolver -- I know you said autoloader though.

    I think it would be a better gift to her to wait until you could spend a bit more.
     
  13. Denmark116

    Denmark116 Member

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    Guns, like many things in life, should not be rushed nor skimped on....

    You get what you pay for.... With very few exceptions...

    Exceptions being the Bersa and few others....
     
  14. joey93turbo

    joey93turbo Member

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    Ok, i'm pretty sure i'm gonna go with a Star B or BM 9mm. Where's the best place to buy?
     
  15. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

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    Strong recommendation for the Mak here. As Marko said, it's a pre-Glock, Glock. :)
     
  16. joey93turbo

    joey93turbo Member

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    Is Mak ammo pretty spendy? I'm thinkin a 9mm would probably be better for her...
     
  17. AZ Jeff

    AZ Jeff Member

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    Many of the posters here have chimed in with a variety of CENTERFIRE pistols, but I will be odd-man-out here: I recommend a .22 RIMFIRE pistol. Here is why:

    1. The $100 price tag for a decent centerfire is tougher to reach than with a rimfire. A used Ruger Mark I, Mark II, etc. "might" be able to be had at this level, if you shop carefully.

    2. Small (read that cheap) centerfire pistols tend to have LOTS of recoil, due to the relationship between cartridge power and pistol weight. That makes lots of shooting unpleasant, unless you are immune to recoil. Most newbies are NOT immune to recoil.

    3. If the buyer is limiting themselves to $100 investment in a pistol, I assume they are on a tight budget. That means they will be on a tight budget for AMMO once they acquire said pistol. A given amount of money will go LOTS further on .22 rimfire ammo than on ANY centerfire ammo. More ammo means more practice. More practice means more FUN, skill acquired, etc.

    4. Many of the pistols mentioned (CZ-52, Makarov, etc.) are notorious for being difficult to use easily. (I carry a Mak for CCW, so I know from where I speak.) These pistol tend to slap your hand pretty good, or generate some pretty ferocious muzzle blast with cheap ball ammo. I consider them to be pistols best used by those who are familiar with centerfire pistols, and are accustomed to blast/recoil/etc. Asking a newbie to use one of these as their first gun is asking for them to become frustrated or scared of the pistol. That's not a good outcome.

    It's pretty hard to start out investing in shooting handguns with only a $100 investment. Trying to do it with a centerfire gun is just making it that much harder for the reasons above.
     
  18. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    If the budget can be stretched to slightly over $100, my suggestion would probably be for either a Mak or the Star. I've seen the Stars range from very good condition to looking like they were 'dragged behind a truck for several miles' condition. :p I'd greatly prefer to see a variety of them with my own eyes and pick the best from there. They are a quality piece that should be cherished for years to come and it's a full power 9mm.

    The Mak is a great gun though certainly snappy. My small-ish wife shot one with no trouble though I doubt she'd want to put 200 rounds through one in an hour.

    If it must be under $100, I'd probably go for a 9mm Hi Point. Some will knock them, some will call them crap, but for a brand new gun, under $100, the Hi Point is hard to beat. Certainly better than any Jennings, Bryco, Lorcin stuff I've ever seen. If you stick with FMJ ammo, it should be very reliable though pretty clunky feeling... And probably not ideal for smaller hands. For defensive use, I'd imagine the Golden Sabers would feed smoothly as anything else though you'd want to put several mags of them through the gun before they were to be relied upon.
     
  19. joey93turbo

    joey93turbo Member

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    This pistol is only going to be used for recreational shooting, no defense and no carry. I wanted her to get a .22 but she says they're not powerful enough. She didn't like shooting my Ruger MKI.

    I think I should probably look for a good used Star B/BM in 9mm.
     
  20. Golddog

    Golddog Member

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    Star BM. Southern Ohio Guns and J&G have had them for $129. They fit smaller hands well, have nice triggers, generate little recoil, and have a slide that's easy to rack (very important for many women). Neat little guns. I should have kept mine.

    The Hi-Points are awkward, top-heavy, hideous, and develop much more recoil because of their blowback design. Other cheapo brands are unreliable and prone to break. Makarovs can be excellent little shooters, but some have crappy triggers or wretched quality control. If you find a decent one, they're a great buy.
     
  21. joey93turbo

    joey93turbo Member

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    What do you think I'd expect to pay for a Star B/BM in a gun shop or show around the NW?
     
  22. Mad Man

    Mad Man Member

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    I think you should explain to her that her expectations may be unrealistic.

    The .22 was a good recommendation, as was the search for used police revolvers.


    UPDATE: While I was trying to find the price of the CZ-70, since they seemed to be available earlier this year for under $100.

    You might want to read the small caliber board at CZForum.com

    The trigger is not exactly pleasant.

    [​IMG]


    If you want to spend up to $200, you can get a Helwan (which is an Egyption copy of the Beretta 1951). SOG has them for $160 (wholesale dealer's price).

    [​IMG]

    The surplus ones that were available about 10 years ago were in pretty bad shape (several of my friends had them). I don't know anything about the new ones.


    UPDATE: Ditto what DDGator said below.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2004
  23. Ross Man

    Ross Man Member

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    Try a Phoenix Arms .22 pistol. SOG has them NIB for $100. I must confess, I don't have one, but have read positive reports on them and am considering getting one for my wife. Some complain that they have too many safety features...but I don't see how that would be a problem for a new shooter who just wants to target shoot.

    I have a Firestorm .22 which I really like. It cost a little over $200. Being a relatively light gun, it does have a little recoil for a .22 LR which makes it fun to shoot. I imagine the Phoenix would be similar.

    http://southernohiogun.com/new_hand.html
     
  24. cls12vg30

    cls12vg30 Member

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    A vote for the Makarov here, if you can spend a bit more, they're tough to get without spending $150, when you work in FFL transfers, etc.

    The recoil is sharp, but a rubber grip such as a Pierce grip can help with this. My Mak is a carry gun, mostly because my experience with it and analayzing its design has given me a high level of faith in it to go bang every time I pull the trigger, without question. I haven't been able to get the thing to jam or malfunction even when I've tried.
     
  25. DDGator

    DDGator Member

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    A "first gun" that is difficult to shoot with a horrible trigger and barely useable sights is unlikely to inspire a lifetime of shooting as a hobby...

    I still say you have to spend more $ on this project.
     
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