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looking for cheap CCW weapon

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by spartan20, Sep 4, 2007.

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  1. spartan20

    spartan20 Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    I've finally decided to take the plunge, get my CCW license and start carrying.
    I know I want an IWB holster if that matters. Looking to spend less than 4 bills if possible. Probably something used.
    Nothing smaller than 9mm. I don't care about size or weight so much.
    My preffered choice would be a 1911 of some kind, probably an RIA/Amscor or Norinco, because of the price, plus a .45 would be nice.
    If there is anything else out there with a grip saftey I'll definatly take a look. I also really like the SFS safety system on my FN Hi Power, but my girlfriend is going to use that as her CCW weapon. Not a Glock or Sig, I want a saftey of some kind, just to play it safe, at least at first, as I get more comftorable that may change.

    Is there anything out there that fits the bill besides a 1911? What are your thoughts?
    Thanks in advance.l
  2. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

    Mar 30, 2006
    Rocky River, Ohio
    Norinco M1911s are starting to get scarce.

    If you like High Powers, you might want to think about the Charles Daley.
  3. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

    Aug 28, 2006
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Are revolvers an option? If so, you can get a lot of used K-frame Smiths in .38 Special or .357 Magnum for under $400.
    Springfield Armory's XD line uses a grip safety... around $500 brand-new, you might be able to find cheaper ones used.
  4. BigBlock

    BigBlock member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Recently I've been looking at CCW guns under $400 too. I spent a lot of time researching Taurus Millennium pros and 24/7s in 45ACP, (although I decided on a revolver) both look like great guns and get great reviews all over. Budsgunshop.com has them both for $3-400 new.
  5. DaleCooper51

    DaleCooper51 Member

    Sep 30, 2006
    Eastern PA
    If this is primarily a ccw piece, why not get a snub. I used to carry a full size 1911 and it got old after a while. A nice j frame will slide in your pocket or just disappear in a belt holster under light clothing. For a carry piece they are hard to beat. They take practice and aren't always the most fun to shoot, but do a heck of a lot more good than a full size duty gun at home in the safe.
  6. Zen21Tao

    Zen21Tao Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Gainesville, Fl
    Expect to hear a lot of "how much is your life worth" type questions when you set such a limit on a concealed carry piece. I don't say this to be mean, just to stress that durability and reliability are extremely important considerations to make in a concealed carry weapon.

    In regards to durability and reliability, the Norinco is a great choice. IMHO, it is a much better choice than the Rock Island. Norincos are made of very strong solid forged steel and have superb accuracy for the price. In fact, my Norinco is every bit as accurate as my higher dollar 1911s.

    Also, if you are able to save up as little as an extra hundred dollars, a lot more options open up for you in used guns. For example, you may be able to into a Glock, a S&W M&P, a number of CZ models (40, 75B, 2075, SP01, etc) or, as Geronimo suggests, a Springfield XD.
  7. markmc753

    markmc753 Member In Memoriam

    Jul 3, 2006
    CDNN had/has some Steyr M40 A1's for 350ish!!! Great weapon.
  8. spartan20

    spartan20 Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    Zen-I sent you a PM.
  9. armoredman

    armoredman Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    proud to be in AZ
    A CZ-75 can be had used for about $400. Buy good leather, the nylon stuff just really isn't that good.
  10. RyanM

    RyanM Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    $400 is plenty for a reliable piece. Though if you're set on a 1911, you should know what you're getting into. PM Old Fuff or 1911Tuner or one of the other 1911 experts, and ask about maintenance. I believe Norinco internals aren't quite up to spec, so you can expect to spend more money on new parts and gunsmithing to have them hand fit. You can also expect to be replacing a couple small parts about every 10,000 rounds, to keep the gun running at its best. 1911s aren't as high maintenance as many people will claim, as long as you've got forged, hand-fit internals, but they do require parts replacement more often than the modern designs.

    If you get a Browning High Power, be aware that they are one of the shortest lifespan handguns on the market. A 9mm BHP will usually exhibit frame cracking around 35,000 rounds, though they'll occasionally last longer. .40 S&W ones, I don't know. But given that 9mm Glocks last about 150,000 rounds before needing an upper replacement, while .40 cal ones only last 20,000 to 40,000, I wouldn't be optimistic about a .40 BHP's lifespan.

    Of course, 35,000 rounds is more than most people will ever fire in their lifetime. But it could be an issue if you plan to shoot a lot.
  11. wally

    wally Member

    Jan 2, 2004
    Houston, Tx
    IMHO in a carry gun this is over rated. It must reliably fire all the ammo you plan to carry, beyond that only really matters at the range or in zombie fighting fantasies.

    The first rule of a gun fight is "HAVE A GUN". The compromises needed to make a powerful gun that is light and compact so its easy to have it on you, means durability will be reduced and reliability suffers as the gun gets dirty. Springs may need to be replaced fairly often.

    If you are on a budget and can really carry it, the RIA should serve you well both at the range and on your person. My oldest RIA has over 11,000 rounds thru it and routinely goes a couple of thousand rounds between take downs for cleaning.

    If you need some thing small and light in you under $400 price range, look at the Kahr CW9 or CW40. Good for a few hundreds of rounds before cleaning is needed, but may require some "break-in" to loosen it up enough to be reliable. Unfortunately a fair number have problems initially and need to go back. My CW9 was one, but its been fine since its return.

    Taurus has several choices in your price range that are smaller than the RIA but larger than the Kahr.

    Depends on your lifestyle, but I couldn't conceal any of the good leather holsters even without the gun in it!

    I clean my carry guns after every outing, my range guns generally just get wiped down and put away until I've had a problem the last outing.

  12. Socrates

    Socrates Member

    Mar 25, 2006
    Shop for a Glock...then put a Wolf trigger safety on it.
  13. MPanova

    MPanova Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    Houston TX
  14. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    For reliability & convenience a Glock 26 or S&W 642/442 would be between $400 & $500 each
  15. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    Curmudgeon Checking In

    I bet a Coke he says what he normally does...


    How would you like to tick off a lot of folks and save both money and headaches at the same time?
    Figured you would.
    Whelp. You are in luck! I got my PhD in Ticking Folks Off at age 3.
    I fast tracked a bit, and gave up any chance of Sainthood, still this Degree of Ticking Folks Off has come in handy all my life, and being honest - lots of fun and more fun to come.

    Don't buy a gun - yet.

    Invest in the Software not Hardware.

    Go attend the class first, and get the noggin' edjumacted.

    Gun fit to you is critical, so actually handle and shoot a variety of guns to see what fits you.
    It does not matter whatever anyone has, or chooses, the reality is, none of these folks are going to be at your gunfight.

    So go attend the class, with an open mind, and willing attitude.
    If there are guns to try, pay attention to what Instructors have to share about the pros and cons.

    I would pay attention to seasoned folks and latch onto them for quality instructions on gun fit, and assisting you in trying various guns - even if this means having to go to a range and rent some.

    Some folks in previous replies, have hit on what I suggest.
    Like Revolvers.
    If a revolver fits you, and you do best with the Higgenbotham drill, then...
    Well...Revolvers are not dependent on ammunition to run, they allow a variety of ammunition to be used, and while one would most likely buy a Speedloader, or Strip, one does not "have to" and them magazines can get a bit pricey.

    $400 bucks, a good used police trade in Model 10, and money left to get whatever holster, you tried and found to fit you, the belt, some ammunition, and then even perhaps a speed loader, Speed Strips.

    Revolver is going to work, whether you have a speed loader , speed strip or not.

    Nothing wrong with a Semi, and Like 1911s, still the gun has to run, and the magazines are a part of what makes any Semi Auto run.
    Being New to CCW, all sorts of new Life Changes are going to take place and you do not need the hassles and big question marks, "is my gun going to run"
    Too many folks have bought guns that did NOT fit them, then had to take a loss getting one that did.
    Or they got caught up in Equipment [Hardware]

    Just ask how many folks have a drawer full of holsters that did not work.
    $20 nylon to $200 real nice and that is a lot of money alone, that could have gone toward lessons , ammo and range time.

    Ammo: I like 45ACP, still the suggestion is 200 rounds through a gun of carry loads, including the carry magazines.
    Money adding up right there.
    Magazines, well let us say these are $20 each, easy to get $80 tied up in mags.

    If I have seen it once, I have see it - seriously- at least a thousand times over the years, folks get all caught up with the gun, holster, accessories and you name it.
    I've seen folks that spent money, and did not have the money to take a class, or send in the fees to get the License/Permit.

    9mm and 38spl are less monies to shoot. With the price of ammo, folks are concerned about ammo to carry and to practice with.

    Dedicated 38spl revolver is going to shoot 158 gr POA/POI, over 90% of the time , especially Police trade ins and older guns, as they were designed and set up to do so.
    Just shoot to double check, get used to these Carry loads and good to go...unlike 200 rounds plus to see if a slide gun runs, and with mags, and if not how much to fix so it will.

    Reloading will save money, especially with .38spl target loads, and 9mm target loads, heck CCI Aluminum Blazers allow one to take lessons and do quality practice.

    Software not Hardware.

    The way I was raised and was born in the mid 50's, and the way I/we do new folks, and did the CCW when I assisted-
    Lots of guns for folks to shoot, and various ammo, grips/stocks, holsters, and we did the Higgenbotham Drill.

    The paper don't lie, it will tell a person what they shoot best.

    Most everyone shoots a BHP well, so some saved up, and added to that $400 budget.
    Some on tight budgets, accepted the fact the Model 10 , the other one most folks shoot well, was best for them at that time.
    Later on, money saved up, get that BHP, or 1911.

    4 guns fit 90% of all hands IME/IMO
    1911, BHP, K frame and Colt D frame.

    Similar guns like Smith 3913, another great gun in 9mm that can be found used. We used to get these as Police trade ins, with spare mags and holsters that fit folks.
    Ladies run these down to a shoe shop, and that fellow altered the holsters to fit the ladies better.

    We had six exact Model 10s, except each had a different grip/stock.
    Not to mention other stocks, and other guns folks brought out.
    Same gun, and folks would shoot and find the stock, that fit them from the get go.
    Saved some money right there for some.
    Ask how many folks have a bunch of extra stocks, along with extra holsters and whatever they bought and did not work.

    $400 bucks.

    For us the bone stock Springfield is running out of the box. Sells for about $458 , or so dollars.
    GI looking and the factory mags are 7 rd with the dimpled follower.
    Now these guns run, still some want to replace internals, and the mspg .

    Point being, set the budget, and if it is best to go over to get quality, then that is a personal matter, still the bottom line is - what are you getting for monies spent.

    You don't want someone elses problems, especially if they monkey-ed with a 1911 .

    Software Not Hardware.

    Nobody is going to be at your gunfight but you - Awerbuck
    Get what you want, listen to whom you want, just remember not even I am going to be at your gunfight.

    Software Not Hardware.

    Again, lost count over the years and years, but someone comes in with a gun, or daddy, husband , BF "said" they had to have a certain gun and got them one for a CCW class, and the person, men and women hated that gun, it did not fit them, and it was NOT the gun for them.

    We had 8 folks show up with Glocks folks "Said" they had to have, or they read "this is THE gun".
    About half was .40 cal.
    Nobody liked .40cal, not even the LEO that had carry the thing and used our range.

    8 folks got rid of Glocks - that day. Seems we had 18 folks and the other "gotta haves" were Sigs and the folks hated the DA/SA, and the one HK , the fellow lost confidence in, as we had to knock cases out of the chamber.
    WE even cleaned the thing, just a fluke, still he lost confidence.

    Don't buy until you try...please.
  16. mrcpu

    mrcpu Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    At my CC class, the instructor brought a variety of weapons, and let people shoot them, both pistols and revolvers. In fact, him letting me shoot his Ed Brown 1911 is what got me buying 1911's now. I can't stop. Can't get enough.
  17. Zen21Tao

    Zen21Tao Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Gainesville, Fl
    Norinco Steel Quality


    Here is what an engineer had to say when he compared a Norinco 1911 to a Colt 1911:

    As for the rest of the Nork, it is my understanding that it is completely made to mil spec standards. I haven't had to replace anything in mine but I have read that anything that will drop into a Colt 1911 will drop right into a Nork. Of course, a minor amount of fitting may be required, but this is due to the minor machining differences of the individual gun not the gun being out-of-spec. Besides, minor fitting is often to be expected with a parts swap on any model 1911, even a Colt.
  18. Whirlwind06

    Whirlwind06 Member

    Feb 20, 2006
    North East Ohio
    You can get Ruger pistols new in your price range.
    Solid and reliable.
  19. fletcher

    fletcher Member

    May 19, 2004
    Greensboro, NC
    A Kel-Tec PF-9 is fairly inexpensive, small, and in 9mm. Try centerfire systems for RIA 1911s.

    You could get a Makarov and holster for well under $400. Probably under $300 if you shop around. Great gun, but "under 9mm".
  20. tnieto2004

    tnieto2004 Member

    Jan 15, 2007
    Sounds like your looking for a CZ 75
  21. James NM

    James NM Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Lets see.....

    Cheap, and size and weight don't matter.

    That sounds like an ad campaign for Hi-point.
  22. Exmasonite

    Exmasonite Member

    Sep 4, 2006
    +1 on the taurus line

    I'd also look at the bersa/firestorm line. their .380 runs for <$250 new but that's too small caliber for your requirements. I can't imagine the 9mm or .40 is above $400. great guns.
  23. crankshop1000

    crankshop1000 Member

    Apr 17, 2007
    My goals when I got back into CCW (former LEO) were the same as yours. My ever humble opinion is that you can get quality,reliable and powerful guns for $400. My first purchase was a S&W 642 airweight.It is the best selling gun on the market for a reason. It's lightweight,compact,powerful and is likely to get carried because it is simply the right size.Add a $15 Mika round bottom pocket holster and you have the setup. My second purchase was a Rock Island Armory 1911A1. At $379 for a quality 1911 that actually works, it's a steal. The Rock is also available in "Tactical" for a little over $400 if you want the upgraded sights and beavertail safety. The 1911A1 is mil spec and built from quality materials.Their factory service is second to none.A real representation of what made the 1911 the legendary combat weapon that it truly is. Chuck.
  24. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    Autos....Kel Tec...PF9

    Revolvers....Rossi....M461 .357 magnum snubbie or a .38.

    This is about as cheap as reliable, accurate firearms get IMHO. Oh, yeah, well, you could go with a Hi Point I guess, if you were desperate. LOL! I'll never be THAT desperate, especially for a carry gun.

    In the 350 dollar range you can get a good Taurus or you can even get a M642 Smith and Wesson. Just depends on how cheap is cheap by your definition. The KT or the Rossi 38 will set you back about $250 plus or minus. I saw the Rossi 461 at Academy the other day for 320. For that price, you're getting into Smith 642 territory, a better quality gun (well, some don't like the lock), but the Rossi is a .357 and it's a reliable, accurate revolver that will serve well.

    All JMHO of course. I have Rossi, Taurus, Kel Tec, Smith and Wesson, and Ruger firearms in my collection. What gets carried most is my Kel Tec P11, my Taurus M85UL, and lately my Ruger SP101 in thunderwear. I can carry these without resorting to IWB which is a hassle for me for daily, though I can wear IWB on trips okay. My Ruger autos are bulky and require IWB carry in a Sparks Summer Special. Your mode of carry will also determine your gun to an extent. I'd advise NOT getting any 1911 sized gun until you get something more compact that you know will be with you every day. 1911s, Ruger P guns, service size guns are once in a great while guns on my hip. Daily, I'll carry something a lot smaller out of necessity.
  25. kludge

    kludge Member

    Jun 15, 2006
    +1 for the PF-9 from Kel Tec. Also check out their P-11. I paid about $250. I have the P-11 and I carry it 50:1 over my Springfield XD-40 Service Model. It's 100% reliable and accurate enough for CCW.

    I also picked up a beautiful 4" Ruger Service Six in .357 for $235. I consider it a deal though, and most I see are ~$300 give or take. The 4" is perhaps a ted too long for IWB, but you can also look at GP100 and SP101.

    Smith and Wesson also has a hammerless .357 steel frame revolver (my buddy has one). I think the barrel is 2.5" to 3" or thereabout. Looks like a Model 60, but hammerless like a 442.
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