This is a discussion on Looking for 1st CCW that is accurate, reliable, and fun-to-shoot in $250-300 range. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by MitchellCT Increase your budget or lower your expectations. I must agree. Save to you can get to the $500 range. Then look ...
Unfortunately, there isn't anything worth owning in your price range unless you get really lucky and get a great deal. Looking at the J frame S&Ws was your best idea but these usually go in the $350-450 range. They are well worth the price. Stick with a used one that doesn't have that useless key lock. Key locks are ALWAYS a bad idea on a firearm. The Ruger SP-101 is also a nice gun and is closer to your price range than the S&W models. It is available in both 2" and 3" models.
I always recommend revolvers for beginners because of their user-friendliness, safety, reliability, and simplicity. (When my police department switched us from revolvers to autoloaders in the 80s we had many problems for years afterward because of the increased complexity and maintenance requirements of the autopistols.)
I also always advise a .38 Special or 9mm Parabellum cartridge as they are the least expensive centerfire cartridges, are available in a wide variety of loadings, are available almost everywhere, and are more than adequate for personal defense. While some cartridges have a bit more "stopping power", you will pay for that with increased recoil, increased expense, decreased availability, and, usually decreased variety of loadings available to select from. The increased recoil will slow your follow-up shots quite a bit. When the PD went from 9mm to .40 S&W caliber (in the same gun model) we saw our number of "problem shooters" more than double and I found that it took me as long to get 3 xring hits with the 40 as it did to get 5 with the 9mm. While some armchair commandos will jump up and yell about not needing follow-up shots with bigger calibers that isn't always true and doesn't take into account the ever increasing likelihood of multiple attackers.
A 2" J frame is not the most accurate gun but I've been qualifying with one at 25 yards several times a year for almost 30 years and if I can do it then I'm sure you can too. Years ago, before my eyesight started fading, I would routinely outshoot officers firing their full size auto pistols with my 2" model 36. All it takes is practice and if I can do it then just about anybody else can also. These little revolvers suffer from small sights and a short sight radius. Going to the 3" barrel makes a big difference if you stick with the fixed sights and a tremendous difference if you get one with the adjustable sights. Remember to try before you buy and good shooting!
pt145 mill pro love mine 0 problems about 350 after tax
Sportsterguy-NRA Life Member
Join the NRA today, or don't complain when your guns are taken away!
Also, regarding automatics, I just found out that pre-1994 mags over 10 rounds are legal in New York State.
That could open the door for some other 9mm possibilities if there was some way of knowing (proving?) if a higher capacity mag was mfg. before that date. Any suggestions?
Several of you have recommended CZ-82's (which all seem to have 12 round mags). How can you know if a CZ-82 mag was mfg'd before 9/13/1994?
J&G sales has used S&W M-64's 4in bbl DAO starting at $230. Add your FFL fee and a box or two of ammo and you should be right at $300.
Either you are a weapon and your gun is a tool or your gun is a weapon and you are the tool.
I paid a little bit more (about $325) for a Sig P225/P6. I think you can get them for $350 now. It was German police surplus and it works perfectly.
I might get flak for this, or it may have already been mentioned, but what about a Makarov? Compact enough to ccw, but not so small it's not fun to shoot. They're rugged, easy to clean and accurate enough for self defense and target practice (though you won't win any competitions with it). The only issue is the 9x18mm is a bit harder to find than the 9mm luger. You can find plenty in your price range, in great condition.
I recently bought a used Taurus model 85 stainless ultralite for $250 OTD its a 5 shot J-frame sized snub nose. It has a nice lock up and is rated for +P ammo as well. A used smith J-frame is about $100 more give or take,but used snub nose revolvers seem to be right within your budget.
Maybe a used Keltec .380 as well might work for your needs,I can't imagine then being more the a $250 used either.
Snub nose revolvers,the original concealed carry guns.
I love my CZ82. Fun to shoot, Cheap to shoot, Very acurate, But it is not a pocket pistol. I carry mine in a belly holster with an extra mag.
"A free people ought to be armed." - George Washington
I would also look at a Ruger LCP. I carry mine all the time in my pocket, forget it's there sometimes. Will handle +P rounds for SD. They are selling them here in CT for $269.00
I believe it is the best small "mouse gun" on the market (considering price and reliability) for a pocket carry application.
Plus .380 ammo is starting to become more available. I found some in Wally world last week...the first time in over a year!
"A free people ought to be armed." - George Washington
Your idea of a Makarov is a very good one.
Get a nice Bulgy, a bunch of ammo, and shoot it. Shoot it a lot.
You'll have no problems keeping minute of woodchuck at 25 yards with one.
There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH
...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper
There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm
With a little bit of practice, virtually any firearm will be accurate to however far you want to shoot it as long as you are inside the effective range of the cartridge, you just need to know how to shoot YOUR gun. I tend to think that when a gun is called "accurate" it simply means that any person can pick it up and go with it. Granted, that is a great quality in a gun, but there aren't many guns in your price range that fit that, and even fewer that meet your other requirements.
I can safely recommend the Kel-Tec PF-9 wholeheartedly. Granted, it's not a target pistol, it won't win any beauty contests, and the trigger takes a little getting used to (grease the linkage with silicone paste..it's works wonders), but I have yet to find a pistol as reliable, concealable, and for under $300 as the PF-9. It's a great gun, I have had 2 malfunctions in over 1000 rounds, and I can do 4-5" groups at 20 yards (which is the maximum distance at my local range), and I'm sure that, given the range space and practice, I could probably replicate that out to 30 or 40 yards.
No, you can't pick this gun up like, say, a top dollar Wilson Combat 1911, and shoot the wings of a fly at 30 yards, but it will do a perfectly serviceable job, and given practice, you could easily take out a woodchuck at 25 yards.
If you do get one, make sure you get one put together no later than May 2009, and you will have all the updates, and a pretty good gun. Combine the great price with the lifetime warranty and great kel-tec service, and you have a winner.