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Choosing a cheap gun...not by choice...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Xyas, Dec 21, 2009.

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  1. Xyas

    Xyas Member

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    Let me start by saying that I am on clinical rotations right now and am working at pharmacies all over, hospitals, community, etc. I just received my CPL but have yet to buy a firearm due to costs, graduate school is very expensive and I can't afford the firearm, training, and holster at this time. I recently had a rotation at a walgreens in a bad area of town. During the rotation I noticed someone stealing something and I told the pharmacist. He told me that in this area of town, you shouldn't notice anything and just keep doing what I normally do. This was kinda disturbing to me and I always worried about walking out to my car at night if someone was going to be waiting or something like that. It made me reconsider getting a firearm right away.

    So here's my dilemma. I only have about $300ish to spend on the firearm itself. I have already put aside money for training which I will not carry a firearm without as well as some money for a good holster and belt. This has only left me with $300 for a firearm, however, so my choices are pretty limited. Right now the only real carry guns I can find for that price are a taurus or a makarov. I was trying to find a springfield xd subcompact for about that price or a CZ but am having a hard time doing so. My question is...what would you rather carry, a taurus, or a makarov? I know taurus don't have a good rep around here for being dependable, but will a makarov be enough of a bullet seeing as it's only 9x18? I'm just torn trying to decide between these two.

    I should also note that the firearm will be replaced as a carry gun in about 5 months when I graduate and get a nice sign on bonus. It's more of a temporary thing than anything. Any thoughts, recommendations, and comments are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. david_the_greek

    david_the_greek Member

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    plenty of reliable options in that price range. If you do a bit of searching I'm sure you'd find a used .38 special in the price range. Other options include the Bersa line of firearms which have an excellent reputation and can be had for very reasonable prices. If DEEP concealment is a concern then perhaps a keltec, which again used or new are pretty reasonable. I'm no expert with the laws though, but I would probably very careful about where you are carrying. Hospitals as far as I understood were OFF LIMITS. I could be wrong on that, though I'd rather play it safe than sorry. Check your local laws before you carry anywhere!
     
  3. Xyas

    Xyas Member

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    Yup, hospitals are off limits and I probably won't be carrying while on my rotations seeing as how it's school related and I don't want to mess that up. But during that time...basically to and from as well as going to other places such as the convenience store at night I would like to have a firearm as a "life insurance policy". Thanks for the consideration on that though!
     
  4. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    I think hospitals are a state-by-state thing.

    Download the CDNN catalog, you might have to bust a few bucks out of your training budget for an FFL transfer with your price range, but that's not too major, not aas big a deal as getting the absolute most gun for your money is. Local establishments may not have anything satisfactory in your limit, while the internetz is a great place to find deals but then you gotta pay the transfer cost.


    I think Bud's gun shop has new Glock 37 (full size .45 GAP, everyone I know of who OWNS a .45 GAP has nothing but good things to say about them) pistols for $379, that's a bit over your projected budget but there is no question that .45 GAP is an adequate defense round and there is no question that Glock makes an adequate defense pistol.

    There are certainly other great guns out there, I got a pair of CZ 40Bs from CDNN a while back for $289 each, and an FNP-9M (probably perfect for what you need IMO) for $369 or so.
     
  5. kayak-man

    kayak-man Member

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    The only Taurus I've shot was a .22 revolver, and I've never fired a Makarov, so I can't really answer that part of the question.

    The one time I shot my Dad's High-Point, I really liked it, and they tend to be really inexpensive. Its a full sized .45 for around $200. They make them in 9mm and .380, too, but I'm not sure how easy to carry they would be.

    For another fifty or so bucks you might be able to pick up a Kel-Tec or a used Ruger LCP.

    I know that your original question was about the Taurus and the Mak, but I hope this helps too.
     
  6. docnyt

    docnyt Member

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    I love my Bulgarian Mak - bought from Southern Ohio for $289 + shipping and FFL fees. Shoots well and very concealable.

    As pointed out, you do have other choices. You can even get a 1911 for close to that price. A CZ in .40 or 9 mm is a good choice as well.
     
  7. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    Smith and Wesson Sigma meets your criteria.
     
  8. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    Kel-Tec P11 or PF9 as well.
     
  9. Xyas

    Xyas Member

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    I could probably scrounge up some money to like $350 give or take a few tens of dollars if that helps people give some recommendations at all.

    The recommendations so far have been great and I GREATLY appreciate them. Thanks again everyone! I should mention that I"m not a big fan of the glock grip angle so I definitely would not be getting one of those.
     
  10. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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  11. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    Also, if you buy the Sigma by 12/31 you get $50 off or two free magazines your choice.
     
  12. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    Yeah getting another pair of magazines or $50 back would certainly make it easier to justify the purchase. And the Sigma is definitely a reliable, useable firearm.
     
  13. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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  14. nwilliams

    nwilliams Member

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    +1 for the Sigma

    Not the greatest trigger in the world but I've shot more expensive guns with triggers worse than the Sigma. They are quite reliable and comfortable to shoot which is important and as far as value for your money goes they are hard to beat.

    Another option to look at is the Ruger P/KP95. They are incredibly reliable, accurate and built like tanks. The only real problem most people have with them is that they are rather bulky. All things considered they are still one of the best guns for the money and most people who own them are extremely satisfied.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  15. zombienerd

    zombienerd Member

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    On a $300 budget, I could think of plenty of options besides a Taurus or Makarov.

    LCP
    Keltec P3AT
    Bersa Thunder .380

    Those are just a few of the most popular carry guns in your price range.
     
  16. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    what kind of "training" do you think you'll need?

    what it really boils down to is your ability to handle your firearm. Can you hit what you're aiming at in typical self-defense scenario distances? (we're talking close, 3-7 yards) Do you know how to operate the gun in its entirety? (loading/unloading, safeties if applicable, decocker if applicable, field stripping, clearing malfunctions).

    If you can do all of that, you're fit for carry. It's not rocket science. All of the above-mentioned skills can be self-taught, or you can pick up helpful hints with a little reading. I think all of this advanced training stuff is a gimmick. You're not going to have to clear buildings, pursue active shooters, or have to take on a clan of bad guys in full tactical gear (in 99.999% of self defense situations). You might have to draw, perhaps even shoot at somebody who's danger-close. At that point, all that matters is that you can draw and fire as quickly as possible. You can learn that all by yourself.

    I know that people on here are going to get riled up about what I've said. But that's the cold hard truth. Save your money and choose a gun that you're fully comfortable with carrying.
     
  17. Homerboy

    Homerboy Member

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    I agree with Craven,

    How much is this training going to cost you? And you can get a decent holster for less than 50 bucks. Get the gun, go to the range, watch for more experienced shooters, and ask a few questins. Do you know anybody else who shoots? I have taught several people to shoot, and it didn't cost them a dime.

    If you are very hesitant to carry a gun until you have been trained by some official NRA instructor, get yourself a used S&W or Ruger revolver. Point and shoot.
     
  18. Big Bill

    Big Bill Member

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    I also vote for the Sigma or the money. Shop for one like crazy, take the lowest price and then get the rebate. You'll still have two mags and a good reliable handgun with great customer support.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  19. Quack

    Quack Member

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    TopGunSupply has Sig P225 police trade-ins for $369 if that floats your boat.
     
  20. chaim

    chaim Member

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    I've had good luck with Taurus handguns. I've had several revolvers with no problems and my PT140 Millennium Pro has been a great gun.

    In your range there are several great choices (many already covered):

    -Bersa. May not be what you want for the rest of your life, but for an inexpensive, reliable, defensive pistol they are good choices. Most Bersas sold are probably the Thunder in .380, but you can also go 9mm, .40S&W and .45ACP.

    -Several Taurus options (my choice would be, and was, one of the Millennium Pro series in 9mm, .40S&W or .45ACP).

    -S&W Sigma. The first generation gave them a bad rep, but that was well over a decade ago. They are good, basic, defensive handguns. The trigger is the drawback, but if you need a reliable, inexpensive, carry pistol, it would be hard to go wrong with a SW9VE or SW40VE. The two free mags or $50 off would be nice as well (for a carry gun I think I'd go with the mags).

    -A number of revolver choices. A new Taurus small frame or medium frame revolver in .38 or .357 would be a good $300ish choice. A Rossi would work as well. Used you can go S&W or Ruger.

    -If you go up $50-100, or go used, a Ruger P95 may work. It may be a tad on the large side, but they are reliable and could hold you over until you have more money for something more suitable.

    -Kel-tec. The PF9 or P11 are 9mm, they are highly concealable, have a decent rep for reliability (fit and finish, not so much), but won't be that much fun at the range.

    For an inexpensive, but well made, holster I would recommend High Noon Holsters. They make a good holster, and several models are quite reasonable in price.
     
  21. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    European Mag release. I would not recommend it as a defense gun.

    For the money it is hard to beat the Sigma if that is the max for your budget. They have gotten much better. The other thing to do is if you have a friend who is an experienced shooter have them help you pick out a used gun.

    IMHO save your money until you have $400. At $400 the choice really open up. I see a FM hi power in the classifieds for $375 shipped. There are tons of used Glocks around for $400.

    CDNN has the Sig P2022 for $399 + shipping and transfer so you might be able to score a used on for $400.
     
  22. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    First things - does it have to be new?

    Does it HAVE to be a semi?

    $300 can buy some nice used guns, both semi and revolver.

    And as mentioned, if you can wait a paycheck or two and make it $400, your choices start to blossom.

    Remember, this isn't some fun gun - you're willing to stake your life on it. How much is that worth to you?
     
  23. Gryffydd

    Gryffydd Member

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  24. bestseller92

    bestseller92 Member

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    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  25. steveracer

    steveracer Member

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    I would go with a Sigma and make sure you have a total of at least three magazines. This brings you to about $330. Not bad for a very reliable/shootable pistol in a great caliber and easy to carry/shoot/maintain.
     
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