This is a discussion on Best gun for under $200?? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by archer51 Of the guns mentioned, I vote for the Bersa 380. No experience with the Hi-Point, for some reason can't get past ...
You might want to add the Ruger P95 to your list. Typical prices around here are closer to $250.
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Id go Hi-Point. My buddy has a .380 and a .40 he likes them both. I've seen him fire both without reliability issues, and they are INEXPENSIVE.
Bersa, but I'd keep looking and save up a few more bucks while doing so. If I could find good, reliable handguns for <$200, The BATF would be asking why I was making so many purchases.
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I'm a bit hoo-doodled by the notion of keeping it "locked in the truck 99% of the time" as a pretty good argument could be made against the practice in favor of being properly responsible for the handgun. That's one's own business though if no law is being broken.
A used Smith & Wesson Model 10 was mentioned earlier and that would be my choice over any on the list in the original post. I'd gain more comfort from relying on even a well-used double-action revolver of quality make than anything else that could be had for $200 or less. I'm willing to keep a small supply of such revolvers on hand as spares and unwilling to own any described on that list. There are a lot of serviceable if ugly Colt and Smith & Wesson revolvers out there if one keeps his eyes out.
Have acquired the following just within the past few years and more in the past. Others just like them may be seen in shops, gunshows, or found on Gunbroker right now.
Smith & Wesson Model 10 .38 Special 4-inch blue tapered barrel: side plate turned brown due to neglect Local pawn shop purchase $150
Smith & Wesson Military & Police: (pre-Model 10) configured as above. Auction description as a high-count gun range "rental" GunBroker $120
Colt Police Positive Special .38 Speical 4-inch blue: Shabby finish/sound mechanically Dallas Market Hall Gun Show purchase $60
Cleaned, inspected, and lubricated, all three could still hold up to a steady diet of reliable shooting service. I'd much rather depend on any of them for the long haul than any new $200 handgun.
“No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”
Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893
I know this gun isn't on your list, but it is hand's down one of the best sub $200 dollar guns you can find - CZ-82 in 9x18 caliber. Anyone else agree with that?
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I'm sorry, but I cannot recommend the Hi Point. Yes, there are people that swear by them. They have great customer service. If you ever have a problem they will make it right, no question. But pot metal and pistols just don't match up in my mind.
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Inexpensive, reliable, big, heavy, not concealable at all, 45 acp makes big hole, 8 + 1, simple blowback design, adjustable sights.... never had a malfunction with it yet. keep mine bedside i trust it that much.
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Any sub-$200 gun (except maybe a Hi-Point) is most likely going to be old, beat-up, neglected, abused, or some combination thereof. I'm mostly a semi-auto guy myself, but for a cheap knockaround gun, I'll take an old, beat-up revolver to a semi-auto any day. Wheelguns hold up to abuse a lot better, and if there IS a problem, it's likely to be a lot more obvious. You can carefully inspect and dry-fire a revolver, and walk out with a 99% certainly that it'll work when you need it. With a SA, you can't be sure until you've run a lot of ammo through it.
I've paid less than $200 for 3 guns and really liked all of them. Used KT PF9 and P11 and a new HP22A. Even new the KT's are only $260. Think I paid $140 for the Phoenix. All of them work great. If I was going to lock one I my truck it would be the P11. some people have bad luck with KelTec but that wasn't my experience.
i like the idea of the traded in 38 special also.
I've picked up two guns for $200 or under: a Feg PA-63 (9x18 Mak) and a Rossi M68 (5-shot, 38 Spl). There's deals to be had, but like KW3 points out, a lot of $200 guns are going to be beaters.
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Truck gun. AKA "gun waiting to be stolen and used in a crime."
If you insist on doing this, I hope you have a budget for a decent vehicle gun safe.
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