CCW Tools for (Almost) Everyone

CCW Tools for (Almost) Everyone

This is a discussion on CCW Tools for (Almost) Everyone within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; For $500 to $1000, you can outfit yourself with a very nice, name-brand pistol. And for people with $500-$1000 to spend on a handgun, it's ...

Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    3,213

    CCW Tools for (Almost) Everyone

    For $500 to $1000, you can outfit yourself with a very nice, name-brand pistol. And for people with $500-$1000 to spend on a handgun, it's a good situation. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to simply ring up a brand new H&K P7 on the ol' credit card. Whether you're a PTer on a limited income, a nearly broke college student, or simply have fallen on hard times, there are still viable options out there for you. So let's take a look - how much handgun can you get for $200 or less? Before we begin, though, let's set some guidelines.

    What do I want a handgun for?
    If you're on a tight budget and looking for a competitive target pistol, you're out of luck. While there are some bargain target pistols, they're all still fairly expensive. I'm sorry, but you'll have to save up more money or arrange to use/borrow/rent someone else's. If you're looking for a hunting weapon, you're also out of luck. The bargain rifles on the market are far better suited for hunting use (and cheaper than the pistols, too). That leaves us with only one more possible purpose for a bargain handgun: self-defense. Fortunately, this is a task that an inexpensive pistol can perform quite well.

    A defensive pistol should be really small, right?
    Not necessarily. A small pistol offers only one advantage over a larger model: easier concealability, and this advantage is often overestimated. Appropriate methods for concealing a pistol obviously vary with climate and social standards of dress, but in general, a medium sized or large pistol can be concealed without much difficulty. This is easier in colder regions, but can be done in nearly any environment with some creative thinking.

    Keeping in mind the one advantage of a small pistol, consider the disadvantages. Smaller guns are more difficult to operate than larger guns. Small pistols have small controls (safety, magazine release, and the like) and small sights (assuming they have any sights at all). Clearing a malfunction in a small pistol is much more difficult (particularly under stress) than clearing the same malfunction in a large pistol. The same general rule applies to reloading - it's easier with a bigger gun (and its correspondingly larger magazines and magazine well). Because of these factors, a small pistol is significantly more difficult to manipulate under stress than a large pistol.

    Furthermore, small pistols use small cartridges. Common small pistol cartridges like .22LR, .25ACP, .32ACP, and .380 can undeniably kill a person, but they will not reliably stop a person. The goal in a defensive shooting is to cause your attacker to cease attacking as quickly as possible. A large caliber can do this reliably; a small caliber cannot.

    The only reason to purchase a very small pistol is if you need a weapon immediately and nothing else is available. Several of the pistols we will look at here are not much larger than the vest-pocket .25s and .32s, but pack much more punch and are much easier to operate efficiently.

    Is there really anything good under 200 bucks?
    Frankly, yes and no. For this kind of price (and keep in mind that prices vary from place to place), you will not get a superb pistol. It won't be particularly accurate and it certainly won't win any beauty contests. But it you choose carefully, it will be comfortable to shoot, accurate enough for all practical uses, entirely reliable, and durable enough to last you a good many years.

    As is to be expected, not all pistols under $200 will be functional, much less desirable. Much of the time you get exactly what you pay for, and worthless guns are common in this price range. Rather than examining every pistol that you might find (a task worthy of a lengthy book, considering the number of different pistols made now and in the past) I've concentrated on the best and most common makes.

    So why is it that so many pistols fetch prices of $1000 and up when a quite function piece can be had for less than a fifth that cost? Well, basic handgun technology is nothing new. The Colt 1911 was designed nearly 100 years ago, and is still one of the most common handguns around. Double-action revolvers date back even farther and are still ubiquitous today. New innovations are relatively few and far between, and none of them have rendered older weapons ineffective. A Colt Peacemaker will kill you just as dead as a Glock will.

    One quick note about calibers - there are several different common cartridges which are 9mm in diameter, but differ in length. The standard 9mm known as 9mm Luger and 9mm Parabellum) is 9x19mm. Slightly shorter is the 9mm Makarov cartridge, which is 9x18mm. Shorter still is the .380, which is 9x17mm. None of these cartridges are interchangeable with each other.

    Now that we've got all these factors in mind, let's have a look at some pistols.

    Star Model B, Model B Super
    Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
    Capacity: 8+1
    Approximate Price: $150-$200+

    The Star Model B and B Super are Spanish-made loose copies of the Colt 1911. Few parts are interchangeable between the two, but the ergonomics are very similar. It has a slightly longer grip than the 1911, as it was initially designed for 9x23mm ammunition, but thanks to its single-stack magazine it is still comfortable even for people with smaller hands. Major differences from the 1911 include an external extractor, no grip safety, and a magazine disconnect.

    The Good:

    * Because they have the size and weight of a full size .45 but fire 9mm, the Stars are very comfortable guns to shoot. Recoil and muzzle flip are light, allowing for fast follow-up shots.
    * The 9mm ammunition they fire is the cheapest centerfire pistol ammo on the market.
    * Accuracy is pretty good - no prize-winning groups, but shooting one ragged hole at 7 yards isn't uncommon for a Star in good condition.
    * Their reliability is excellent.

    The Bad:

    * Being originally military sidearms, Stars usually won't feed hollowpoint ammunition.
    * Spare parts are very difficult to find, as Star has gone out of business. Your best bet for spare parts is to simply buy two Stars of the same model.

    A Good Buy? Yes.

    Jennings Model J9
    Caliber: 9mm
    Capacity: 12+1
    Approximate Price: $50-$100

    Jennings is one of several manufacturers of very cheap pistols. They also offer smaller pieces in .22, .25, .32, and .380, but those are too small for our requirements.

    The Good:

    * They look halfway decent.
    * In an emergency, you can distract an attacker by throwing your Jennings at him.
    * They're just about the least expensive new-production handgun around.

    The Bad:

    * Reliability is a term that generally does not apply to Jennings pistols. Don't expect any of them to cycle a whole magazine without malfunctioning.
    * Durability is also an attribute ignored by Jennings. These pistols are made out of weak zinc alloys, and break in all sorts of interesting (and catastrophic) ways.
    * Even if you can get your Jennings to fire multiple times, you'll still have nothing worth speaking of. Accuracy with Jennings pistols is poor to abysmal.

    A Good Buy? No.

    Makarov
    Caliber: 9x18mm Makarov
    Capacity: 8+1
    Approximate Price: $100-$200

    The Makarov (mah-KAR-ohv) is a Cold War era Warsaw Pact military issue sidearm. They were manufactured and issued by several nations, including China, the USSR, Bulgaria, and East Germany. The best quality are the East German ones, but they are more expensive. The best buy today is a Bulgarian one - quality is quite good, and they are the most easily available. These are simple and fairly small weapons, and very popular with their owners. There are some Russian commercial Makarovs available that have widened frames and use 10- and 12-round magazines, but not very many. There are also a few available in .380 caliber. Skip these for ones chambered in 9x18 Makarov.

    The Good:

    * Accuracy is usually very good with these pistols
    * Makarovs have an excellent reputation for reliability, with both FMJ and hollowpoint ammunition.
    * Their small size makes them more easily concealable than many other pistols.

    The Bad:

    * Their 9x18mm ammunition is the weakest caliber I would recommend for
    * defensive handgun. It will suffice, but even 9mm Parabellum is more potent.
    * Some shooters find the Makarov uncomfortable to shoot. Others find it just fine. Handling or firing one before buying is always a good idea, but particularly so for a Makarov.

    A Good Buy? Yes.

    FEG PA-63
    Caliber: 9x18mm Makarov
    Capacity: 7+1
    Approximate Price: $100-$150

    The FEG PA-63 is a Cold War era Hungarian pistol. FEG originally made copies of the Walther PP and PPK in .32 and .380, but later diverged a bit from the PP design and introduced the PA-63 in the 9x18 Makarov caliber. This pistol looks similar to a PP, but has a few differences. It was used for some time as a standard Hungarian military and police sidearm, and now many are available on the surplus market in the US.

    The Good:

    * Small and concealable - the PA-63 is smaller and lighter than most other pistols in 9x18 caliber, including the Makarov.
    * Being based on the excellent Walther PP design, the PA-63 is a very reliable gun.

    The Bad:

    * Like the Makarov, the PA-63 uses 9x18 ammunition, which is not a very potent cartridge. Better than .32 or .380, but not by too much.
    * Because of its light weight, the PA-63 has stiff recoil. While some shooters may not mind this, shooting comfort is an important issue for a defensive weapon.
    * PA-63s often have stiff and heavy triggers, making accurate shooting more difficult.

    A Good Buy? Yes.

    CZ-52
    Caliber: 7.62x25mm Tokarev
    Capacity: 8+1
    Approximate Price: $100-$150

    Another Cold War pistol, the CZ-52 was introduced in Czechoslovakia in (as the name suggests) 1952. It is a big hulk of a pistol, and fires the 7.62x25mm cartridge, a high velocity bottlenecked round. It utilizes a roller-locking action, rather than the straight blowback mechanism common in Warsaw Pact handguns. Some were converted to 9mm Parabellum, but these are much less common than the original 7.62 versions.

    The Good:

    * Reliability is generally quite good with these pistols.
    * Their long sight radius (the barrel is 120mm/4.75" long) makes aiming a CZ-52 easier than smaller pistols.
    * The 7.62x25mm cartridge is definitely a step up from 9x18mm in power.

    The Bad:

    * The ergonomics of the CZ-52 are about what Ayn Rand would expect from a bunch of communists. They're blocky and awkward to handle.
    * There are several weak part in the CZ-52, particularly the firing pin and rollers. Both can be replaced, and should be if you plan to trust your life to the pistol (new manufactured parts can be purchased through Makarov.com, at http://www.makarov.com/cz52/index.html).
    * The CZ-52 is a large and bulky pistol, not well suited for concealed carry.

    A Good Buy? Yes.

    Hi-Point pistols
    Caliber: 9mm Parabellum, .40 S&W, .45 ACP
    Capacity: 10+1, 8+1, and 7+1
    Approximate Price: $100-$175

    Hi-Point manufactures a line of very inexpensive pistols including four models which meet our criteria - a 9mm, 9mm compact, .40S&W, and .45 ACP. They are all straight blowback operated, a mechanism generally considered appropriate only for calibers weaker than 9mm. Because of this operating mechanism, the slides of Hi-Points must be large and massive, resulting in uncomfortably top-heavy weapons. The opinion of most experienced pistol shooters is that a Hi-Point is no better than a Jennings, and only one step up from a surprise meeting with a gang of ATF goons. However, those who own and shoot Hi-Points almost always have good things to say about them. They are not inherently inaccurate pistols, although their ergonomics hamper good shooting. If a Hi-Point is all you can get it will certainly be better than no gun - but almost anything else will be easier to shoot well and more durable in the long term.

    The Good:

    * .40S&W and .45 ACP variants are two of the few inexpensive pistols in major calibers.
    * oint offers a very good warranty - they will fix any broken pistol free of charge.

    The Bad:

    * oints are made out of a zinc alloy which is not particularly durable. Expect some parts breakage is you put more than a few hundred round through one in a year.
    * ergonomics of these guns are pretty abysmal. They are all blowback operated, and have huge slides in order to function properly. As a result, the balance and feel of a Hi-Point is quite poor.

    Good Buy? Yes, barely.

    Ballester-Molina
    Caliber: .45 ACP
    Capacity: 7+1 or 8+1
    Approximate Price: $200-$200+

    The Ballester-Molina was developed as a military and police service pistol in Argentina in the late 1930s. The pistols were made between 1938 and 1953. Contrary to the false rumors that they were made using steel salvaged from sunken German warships, these Argentinean weapons are of quite high quality. They are a rough copy of the Colt 1911 - the main changes involve the removal of the grip safety and some modifications to the trigger mechanism. As a result, only the barrels and magazines are interchangeable with standard 1911 pistols.

    The Good:

    * Ballester-Molina is chambered in .45 ACP, which is an excellent and powerful cartridge.
    * It shares the Colt 1911's excellent ergonomics. Unlike many inexpensive pistols, the Ballester-Molina's controls are very well suited to combat use.
    * Another result of its 1911 lineage (as well as being made with fairly loose clearances) is very reliable.
    * As with the CZ-52, the long sight radius of the Ballester-Molina allows more accurate shooting.

    The Bad:

    * Parts (other than barrels) are difficult to come by for these weapons.

    Good Buy? Yes.

    Revolvers
    Caliber: .38 Special, .357 Magnum
    Capacity: 5 or 6
    Approximate Price: $150-$200+

    The different makes and models of revolvers are functionally very similar (and there are a lot of different models), so I won't break down the specific models here. The best of the bunch are Colt and Smith & Wesson guns, closely followed by Taurus and Charter Arms. Rossi revolvers are also good, although not quite up to the level of the other makers. The Spanish Astra revolvers should be avoided. There are a number of other smaller manufacturers, but stick with a Colt or S&W if possible - they're easy enough to find that it's not worth the risk of buying a revolver of unknown quality. While they are available in many calibers, the only two you are likely to find under $200 are .38 Special and .357 Magnum. The Magnum is a better choice (and often more expensive), as it can fire both .38 Special and the significantly more powerful .357. They are also available in a variety of barrel lengths, most commonly from 2.5" to 4". I would suggest a 3" or 4", as the really short snubbies can be difficult to shoot accurately, due to short sight radii and heavy recoil (particularly in .357).

    The Good:

    * A revolver is simpler to operate and simpler to maintain than a semiauto.
    * A revolver is a more versatile weapon than an auto, as it can be loaded with a wide variety of ammunition (birdshot, wadcutters, hollowpoints, etc) without any functionality problems.
    * A .357 Magnum revolver offers about the most powerful cartridge available in a very inexpensive handgun.
    * Without recoil springs, magazine lips, and feed ramps, there are a lot fewer things to break on a revolver, leading to better reliability than inexpensive autos. This is not to say that a revolver can't malfunction, but they will do so less than comparably priced autos.

    The Bad:

    * Revolvers can hold only 5 or 6 cartridges, as compared to 9 in most of the autos we're considering. (Taurus makes a .357 Magnum titanium revolver chambered for seven rounds. It's great fun to shoot!- Ed.)
    * In addition to a smaller capacity, revolvers take longer to reload than magazine-fed automatics.

    Good Buy? Yes.

    Where do I find these pistols?
    Because cost is the biggest factor, gun shows are your best bet for finding one of these weapons. Buying at a gun show allows you to avoid having to pay for shipping or transfer through an FFL (interstate pistol transfers are legally required to be made through a licensed dealer, who will charge about $20 for the service). As an added benefit, gun shows allow the possibility of buying from a private citizen rather than a dealer, thus avoiding (in many states) a government record of the sale being made. If gun shows aren't an option or don't pan out, other options include (this is not a definitive list by any means, but it should get you started):

    Online gun auction sites -

    * www.gunbroker.com
    * www.gunsamerica.com
    * www.auctionarms.com

    Surplus gun dealers -

    * southernohiogun.com
    * www.jgsales.com
    * www.aimsurplus.com

    Private sales through internet forums -

    * www.thehighroad.org
    * www.ar15.com
    * www.glocktalk.com

    Auction sites and major online forums are quite safe from scams, contrary to what you might think. Standard practice is for the buyer to send money, and the seller to send the weapon upon receipt of funds. One way to save some time is to open an account at http://www.paypal.com and transfer money through it - many sellers will accept PayPal transfers as payment. And - before anyone asks - don't expect to find a seller willing to break the law by selling to you from another state without going through an FFL. Whether or not the danger is real, most sellers are too wary of ATF stings to be willing to break the law on an internet sale to an anonymous buyer. If you want to avoid government paperwork, gun shows are a far better alternative.

    Gun shops are another possibility, although they have a number of disadvantages. Forst of all, you'll definitely have to go through all the legal paperwork (aka de facto gun registration) involved in buying a handgun. Also, gun shops have a significant overhead expenses, which they afford by charging more for guns than sellers on the 'net. On the other hand, it can be possible to find good deals at gun shops, particularly on used and consignment guns.

    So, which pistol is best?
    There is no such thing as a universal "best" firearm. Several important factors vary from person to person - what fits your hand the best, what you can find for sale where you are, and simply personal taste. Even so, some of these guns are generally regarded as better than others. A used Colt or Smith & Wesson revolver will be a very good quality gun. Makarovs in particular have an excellent reputation. Of the guns I have listed, I would feel uncomfortable only with a Jennings or Hi-Point. Why? Because in order to keep costs low on brand new guns, these manufacturers have to cut corners and use cheap materials. A used or surplus gun was built to higher standards, and is cheap because it is no longer as desirable as it once was.

    Any of the pistols I've recommended will serve you well enough to get by. I strongly recommend that anyone considering one of these pistols save up a bit more money and buy a better gun - but if you can't, I hope I can help point you toward the best of what you can afford.
    Taken from:

    http://www.doingfreedom.com/gen/0103...inpistols.html

    Folks I've got a bone to pick with some of you, and I of course speak not to you my good reader.

    There's long been a consensus in the firearms culture that only a select few guns are actual "weapons" worthy of "combat". I submit this whole idea is fundamentally flawed.

    All wealth is relative I suppose, but the fact is some of us can throw down more money than others. That's how our country works for better or worse. I feel that a lot of people look at the sticker price of most guns and immediately dismiss the whole idea as being unaffordable.

    Now do not get me wrong. You do get what you pay for. You should buy all the gun you can afford. But the fact is that the software is more important than the hardware.

    The first rule of gunfighting is have a gun. This is something I believe most people are capable of and they don't even realize it. I think a workable gun can be had for under or right at $200. I've seen a Taurus Model 84 for $125, $100ish if you paid cash. The finish looked like crap but the lockwork was in good shape and the frame was fine.

    Now are these kinds of guns my first choice? Goodness no. But are they a lot better than a can of spice or an empty fist? I think so.

    At the $300 mark there's a lot more options, and they're reasonably attractive ones. I've seen a lot of police trade in S&W 9mm semi-autos around the $250-$280 mark. Police trade in = Carried much, shot little.

    At 400-500, you are really in the market for the better part of the handgun market if you're patient and careful.

    Time is money. I plan any gun purchases out months in advance so that I know who sells it and for how much. When I start getting almost as much money as I need put away, I begin to search in earnest for a good or at least decent deal and I don't buy until I find it. Heck, I spend 4+ months figuring out exactly what I want before I ever set aside a single dollar for it normally.

    The more time you invest in finding your gun, the better the gun you will get no matter how much money we're talking about.

    I personally sing the praises of the Rossi line as the penultimate budget gun.

    http://www.rossiusa.com/products/pro...egory=REVOLVER

    This can be yours for $250 or less brand new in most locales if you shop around, especially if you get one in blued finish. I have lots of experience with Rossi. No they're not as smooth or sexy as Smiths but they work and work well. Who here will stand up and say that any human being is worse off for owning this gun compared to owning no gun at all?

    I will caution here: In my experience, when you're talking about the low end of the handgun market, you often find more for your money in a revolver than a semi-automatic. You also are going to be very likely to find something in one of the less effective calibers.

    However if 38 Special, 9x19, and .357 Magnum are the kinds of less effective calibers we're referring to in some cases, these are still quite viable self defense tools. .38 served the LEOs of this country well for darn near 100 years and no one seemed to complain until a rash of hysteria erupted. They didn't have +P rated Speer Gold Dots either. 9x19 is used by the U.S. Military for Pete's sake, and 125 grain JHP .357 catridges rival any load out there on the market well enough for my tastes.

    Now this isn't to say you should expect your economy handgun to rival a more expensive one, and you shouldn't expect .38 to perform like .45, but rather you should acknowledge that any gun is often a huge step up, even if it doesn't say Para-Ordnance on the slide.

    CCW is something I must admit I have a problem with on one level because it precludes anyone who can't pay $300 for the applications, classes, and associated fees. Just because someone cannot pay it means they don't deserve a chance. That's the message the state is sending us with the CCW law.

    Coupled with that is this general level of snobbery I've seen all my life. I've heard "If it's not Brand X it's crap" many times. I fall into it myself sometimes. In my tiny circle I often am the gun nut, and the fact that I have friends who drool over my guns like I drool over some other people's is an ego stroker.

    I think this is an elitist attitude however. Just because you don't trust a $250 Rossi as a carry piece because you can do better doesn't mean that someone who can't belt out $700 for a new Kimber should immediately pack up and go home.

    Now I will apologize and say it's not fair of me to assume things about you, but I know I've done this "Well a real gun costs at least $X" bit myself. If our intended purpose is self defense for the masses, we must examine all viable tools even if they are less than ideal. Dollars spell out the bottom line in our lives more often than anyone would like to admit.


  2. #2
    1952 - 2006
    Array acparmed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    1,371
    I agree with most of what you say Euclidean, I guess in my old age I've become a bit of an....an...Oh God!!...an elitist, damn I hate when that happens.

    My original carry gun was a 4" S&W Mod 10. Then I graduated to a 4" Colt Python, after that I carried a 6" S&W 686. (yes you can conceal one, I did in LA for 10 years w/o a permit).

    I then tried autos, my first was a miserable experience an Astra A-80 45ACP. The sights were wrong for the gun, out of the box it shot 6" low at 10 yards. Accuracy and reliablity were ok if you wanted to sight at the head to get a COM hit. If I remember right it cost me $325. I sold it about 2 weeks after I bought it. I then bought a Walther PPK/S and it wouldn't feed ball ammo without jamming every other magazine load.

    So in the end I decided to go with what I shoot now, well built custom 1911's.

    My point here is I have tried all the inexpensive options and for one reason or another they didn't work for me.

    I don't feel that 380, 38 Special or 9 m/m have enough stopping power (am I ever going to get blasted for that statement) (tho I understand that any gun will do if you do your job and place the shots correctly) and that the 357 Magnun has too much muzzle blast and flash for effective CCW purposes.

    My opinion for an effective self-defense handgun cartridge is big, heavy and slow. ie. 45ACP.

    I know, I know, I'm a dinosaur. But this combination has been proven effective for 94 years. If I were to carry a revolver for CCW it would be either a 44 Special or a 45 Colt. S&W make both guns in these calibers.

    Now that I have ranted, I'm going to sit back and get my body armor for all the flak coming my way over this post.
    Heroes are people who do what has to be done, when it has to be done, regardless of the consequences

    "I like when the enemy shoots at me; then I know where the ******** are and can kill them."
    ~George Patton

    DE OPPRESSO LIBER

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Away - Health Problems
    Posts
    17,353
    First the bad the guys is saying a jeenings/hi point is a good buy ??? needs to stop smoking crack...


    The Guy i do agree with you on your post no your defensive pistol doesnt have to be 1K ... Ive carried a ruger police service six 357 mag plenty of time OTD 220$ used ...


    Have i got to a Gun snob Eliteist attiude ... id like to think so But you wont hear me to tell anyone to shy away from say a ruger or a smith ...


    But the other stuff i usually dont have a good opinion of tarus wheelies ive had and shot just didnt give me good impressions all are gone and any of the cheep com block pistols well i just dont trust um ...


    But there all kind of things out there i dont like you ight ... Different strokes for different folks.. Me ill stick to one of the Big 3 or 4- or 5 gun makers if im looking for a sub 5-6 $$$ pistol and if its a wheelie ya can go wrong with the cheep prices on rugers and smiths if you can find them

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array Prospector's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    615

    Red face

    Nothing like doing some homework...informative post Euclidean, thanks! I don't like "standing on the fence" on topics but I also understand where ACParmed is coming from. I started out with a Mauser Hsc in .380 cal for years (my first semi-auto). I was "given" a brand new Beretta 92SF by a Navy friend for keeping his vast coin collection while he was assigned overseas....so I moved to using it (still love my Beretta, always reliable). I used it until buying the Kimber Eclipse last year. Like others, I prefer to use any gun I own, so I occasionally swap out my carry gun, or at least keep one as a backup in the truck.

    Point I'm "slowly" getting to is that for me it has been a matter of "affordability" over the years, and I just like certain guns that seem to be just beyond my financial reach. But like Euclidean, I usually ponder for several months (saving my pennies) and go to a lot of gun shows to handle the weapons before buying one. I was telling Bumper that I have really been thinking about the Llama micro max, which is a .380 for about $210. I like the looks and feel, it's in a caliber I'm completely comfortable with, and it's cheap.

    Buying a firearm is a personal endeavor, and I respect everyone's personal choice and reasons why....having said that, I also welcome constructive criticism on that choice.......THanks!

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Away - Health Problems
    Posts
    17,353
    acparmed ... boy i hope ya pput on your nomex ...lol

    (kicks a rocks and dirt on ground grumbling... 38 not enough 9 mm not enough ... Huh)

    on that well have to disagree i agree its not the best but a good comprmise espically for me i dont trust sub 4" 1911's and a snubbie 2 inch alum framed 38 makes a real small carry package smaller than my xd 9mm sub compace when your not supposed to be carrying well ya get my point...


    I would prefer a full size or commander size 45 every day but not a reality at work neither is my glock 17.. Dont plan on getting into a fire fight but when ya work detroit ya never know whats gonna happen love them streets ya go down with onoly one house stilll in decent shape rest burnt out and theres a gang hanging out at what looks like a crack house...

    38 sucks for that 9 mm sucks for that even 45 sucks for that give me a shoootie if im gonna have to use soemthing or a ar-15 ... but im running away with the post

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    3,213
    Bud, it's hard to see without the original bolding of certain words but the author of the article trashes Hi Point and Jennings and rightly so. His point is that these guns are not viable, but something like a Makarov is and they cost about the same.

    I don't want to turn this into a "My caliber is better than your caliber" war, but the fact is that calibers you don't like are still useful tools in many cases. Now is .44 Magnum a more potent catridge than .380? Of course. But which one is more affordable?

    My carry gun is .38 Special and +P rated, and it is loaded with Speer Gold Dots. It's right on the desk right next to me as I type this. I do not pretend for a second that it is comparable to many other calibers. I do believe however two or three of these going through some thug's chest are going to create sucking wounds that will ruin his day. Now of course I'm looking at this as my boot gun and want to get something more effective, but being able to spit out 5 rounds of .38 is a huge step up from not being able to shoot at all. Going to a better gun in a more effective caliber is just gravy.

    Now would I tell anyone who could do better to buy a gun like one of these? Not unless I didn't like them. But if that little bit of scratch was all you had, you shouldn't feel precluded from the firearms market.

    A better gun is simply that; a better gun. In most cases it doesn't do anything that a gun that's not as good can't do, it just does it better.

    Should we condemn anyone for playing golf with clubs that aren't made out of graphite and titanium? Is it somehow unsafe to play baseball with a wooden bat instead of an aluminum one? Is it not okay to drive a Chevy when there are Cadillac's available?

    If our purpose is self defense, it's actually not that hard for most people to find something useful for that purpose.

  7. #7
    Assistant Administrator
    Array P95Carry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    South West PA
    Posts
    25,484
    Euclidean - good post - covers a lot.

    This is all to with, available budget and personal choice etc. I try not to be a ''snob'' - tho I do admit to likings for what I regard as guns that are ''up there'' in quality - which usually means cost too!

    I certainly don't feel there is any minimum to be spent, in order to have a suitable carry piece. My first was actually a Taurus M85 snub - which now is my wife's purse gun - and she would not have it if I did not feel it would go bang every time! So there we have a sub $200 but very useful tool.

    I upped my own snub level to SP-101 ... I wanted stainless, and I added CT'
    s .... that made for a more expensive package on my hip. I have also enjoyed carrying my BHP Practical - that takes things a bit higher up cost ladder again. Now - of late - I carry SIG 226ST with its CT's ... as I mentioned on the other thread ..... I am carrying about a grand in firearm real estate!

    The ''value'' on my hip has nothing to do with ego - but what it does do is give me a platform in which I have greatest confidence and ability - within the limitiations imposed by clothing and seasons. I could even now strap on the M85 again and feel well prepared - that ''devaluing'' my tool 'value' standard by a whopping 80% .... but no way would it worry me just because I had ''gone cheap''.

    Another point I made before - is the potential ''loss factor'' in the event we use and lose the piece. Some folks will purposely buy cheap just because if they have to give up that piece for legal reasons, then they don't want to ''lose too much''. I don't think that is a good way forward. I would hate to lose my SIG but - were it after a successful attempt at saving my own life and those of family - I would suck it up - feeling that this was in effect, a small price to pay for still being here!

    Final thought - I will say and have - to folks after Pistol courses ... get the best you can afford and what suits you ... meaning what they can shoot with well (adequately even) and what suits their concealment options. There is no - ''you must spend this much'' ........ but their investment must however at least guarantee reliability.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  8. #8
    DC Founder
    Array Bumper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    20,045
    Do I have preferences in caliber, make model, construction material, fit and finish? Yes.

    Am I an elitist? No.

    Do I apologize for having the money to buy what I want? No.

    Carry what you can afford and/or what you are comfortable with in the brand/caliber that you trust. What we think of yours doesn't matter, what you think of ours don't matter.....
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array jdsumner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    riverview, fl
    Posts
    765
    I think most of us could get by with a $400 gun. And, then, spend the other $600 on ammo and range time. But, some of us simply chose to make a larger investment for OURSELVES in a $1k gun, and then the $600 plus in ammo and range time. I imagine most of us purchase at least one handgun dedicated to carry purposes. And for that, we were willing to drop a little more coin for something more 'personal'.
    What I hope I am saying, is that based on the posts I read here, you guys could make a three hunnert an fitty dollar jframe do in a pinch. But, chose to buy something that fits you a little better. Finances are a large factor, but, as you've followed Bumpy's pursuit of the perfect 1911, he chose to surpass his original monetary restriction to get the perfect pistol (for him).

    Dan

  10. #10
    DC Founder
    Array Bumper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    20,045
    Quote Originally Posted by jdsumner
    I think most of us could get by with a $400 gun. And, then, spend the other $600 on ammo and range time. But, some of us simply chose to make a larger investment for OURSELVES in a $1k gun, and then the $600 plus in ammo and range time. I imagine most of us purchase at least one handgun dedicated to carry purposes. And for that, we were willing to drop a little more coin for something more 'personal'.
    What I hope I am saying, is that based on the posts I read here, you guys could make a three hunnert an fitty dollar jframe do in a pinch. But, chose to buy something that fits you a little better. Finances are a large factor, but, as you've followed Bumpy's pursuit of the perfect 1911, he chose to surpass his original monetary restriction to get the perfect pistol (for him).

    Dan
    Yup, you're correct. I felt perfectly safe with my Springfield XD .40, Glock 30 and my S&W 5904 9mm. I approach this differently than "just a tool". My 1911 is more than that to me. It meets all my criteria for a functional tool and a work of art. It will get well worn over time as I will use it, not put it in the gun safe and be satisfied with looking at it occasionally. Over the next year it will probably get 10-12k rounds through it, get to know dirt, grime and sweat. But I will take are of it the same way I do my other guns.
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    1,771
    I didn't have a lot of money when I went to get my concealed carry permit so I bought a Bersa thunder .380. the price was under $300. It's never malfunctioned and at 10-15 yards it'll cut a ragged hole. I think most would agree the .380 is on the small size but it's an excellent weapon for the money! I for one have to admit that I just appreciate the feel and look of a fine weapon. I can appreciate a friends old .22 and I think my S&W J frame .38 is a fine little weapon as well. I guess you're blessed if you can afford that $1000+! And I think we're blessed just to be able to buy them and carry!

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    3,213
    Gideon that's my point exactly! If everyone had your attitude and bought a gun or two and learned to shoot it we would all be better off.

    My point wasn't that you are doing something wrong or offensive by having a nice gun just like you aren't doing something wrong or offensive by having a nice car. Odds are if you have that kind of money you work pretty darn hard for it and you deserve such things.

    My point is that sometimes I've seen people project their preferences, ideas, and biases onto others. I've seen this movement in the gun culture, and yes it is a culture, all my life that tries to intimidate newcomers or assert only the finest guns are useful.

    I got to play with an H & K USP earlier this week. Man that is a NICE gun. It is a nicer gun than I have ever had or probably ever will. It was a treat to to decock it, rack it, etc. To be perfectly honest, it was such a nice gun I'd surrender any of mine for it in a heartbeat even though it's a format I don't prefer.

    I carefully showed the owner the chamber was cleared and the magazine ejected, and then put it back in its case and returned it to the owner and complemented the owner for his excellent taste and I was glad that he had such a fine gun. He's a good guy and he will use that gun to protect himself and his lady.

    But as much as I admire that HK, as much as I throw my hands up and admit it's a better tool than anything I have, I scoff at the notion that such a gun is the bare minimum it takes to successfully defend one's self.

    If there is to be a time all citizens carry guns without ridiculous permit systems and other gun control measures in place, we must look at every gun in existence from the top to the bottom even if it's not idea. The right to bear arms is for everyone in every income bracket.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array jdsumner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    riverview, fl
    Posts
    765
    Right, that was what I hoped my long winded post was saying. As long as its reliable, most situations in which a firearm is used usually boils down to software, not hardware.

    Dan

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Pocatello, Idaho
    Posts
    940
    I'll be crucified, I'm sure, but in the time I've handled Hi-Points they do in fact run and run reliably, typically to the tune of several thousand rounds. The factory's claims re: durability and no need for detail strip prior to that point have held up in my experience. Of all the cheap guns out there, it's the one I'd recommend if forced to offer a sub-$200 choice.

    The reason ultimately is that a good dealer will provide product support and advice on a new weapon generally more than a used one - as a first budget type gun, I don't recommend the Makarovs and other Eastern bloc imports as much as I like them.

    Yes, they're bulky. Yes, they have lousy trigger - but I've found they do generally shoot to point of aim within reason. They're no bulkier than the budget revolvers mentioned, however.

    Also, the PA-63s have a tendency to crack frames if the two I've seen are typical - they're a little too light for 9x18 by most opinions.

  15. #15
    Member Array armoredman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    484
    I have to insert my own $.02, if it is in fact worth that much!
    One budget gun I loved was my CZ70. Yeah, it's a .32, but it was reliable and accurate, and beat harsh language hands down. When I bought mine, it cost me a screaming $100 in like new condition.
    The used revolver is still the best deal yet - good used 38s out there for way under $200, sometimes as little as $100. Nobody wants a 4 inch 38, nope, gotta be a 357, etc. A 38 with good ammo will do the job just fine. I carried one for a while, and was quite happy.
    Right now I carry my CZ PO1, a great little 9mm, and it will put that fast moving little pill right where I want it, ever time. Current price is about $450, but worth every penny....
    If I had to go back to a $200 38 revolver, I wouldn't feel too bad....whilst I was saving up for another CZ PO1!
    If total government control equals safety, why are prisons so dangerous?

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. dedicated FoF tools?
    By razor02097 in forum Defensive Carry & Tactical Training
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: April 19th, 2010, 09:43 AM
  2. Tools and Their Uses‏
    By JD in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: December 24th, 2009, 09:32 PM
  3. Understanding Tools
    By Kicker96fs in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: August 23rd, 2009, 12:33 PM
  4. New tools
    By Jeremiah in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: August 18th, 2008, 04:06 PM
  5. The Right Tools for the Right Job
    By limatunes in forum Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: March 10th, 2007, 06:35 AM

Search tags for this page

8 rd mag in my ballester-molina 45
,
arizona firearms ballester molina
,

ballester carry gun

,
ballester-molina custom defense gun
,
budget ccw
,

ccw tools

,
concealed carry ballester
,
defensivecarry argentine ballester molina
,
para ordnance ccw .45 for sale gunbroker gunsamerica
,

reliable ccw pistols under $200

,
star model b for ccw
,
whats better llama or ballester molina
Click on a term to search for related topics.

» Log in

User Name:

Password:

Not a member yet?
Register Now!

» DefensiveCarry Sponsors