Best Handgun around $300

This is a discussion on Best Handgun around $300 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey guys I'm looking to buy my first handgun. Any size is welcome, but I do not want a revolver just yet. I just want ...

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Thread: Best Handgun around $300

  1. #1
    New Member Array Howdy's Avatar
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    Best Handgun around $300

    Hey guys I'm looking to buy my first handgun. Any size is welcome, but I do not want a revolver just yet. I just want one to keep in the truck and go to range basically. I've been doing a lot of research lately and this seems to be a great non biased site. I want to get the best "bang for the buck". Durability and accuracy are a must. I plan on getting many more, but I want this one to be somewhat of a learner handgun if that makes sense. I do not like the way the Glocks feel in my hand so please do not recommend them lol. I love the way 1911 models feel though, but they seem to start around the $500 range. I know nothing on handguns and what brands to look at besides what I've read in the past few days. I would prefer a .45, but at my low price this seems hard to find.

    Some guns I've looked at but not held or shot are:

    Taurus Millenium series
    S&W Sigmas
    Bersa's
    Kel-Tec's
    Ruger LCP and P95


    Thanks guys.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    The Kel-tecs are not a range gun they have pretty good felt recoil and usually after 20 or 30 rounds of 9mm I'm done shooting it,just enough to stay proficient.I had a taurus 40 calibre and traded it I didn't like the long trigger pull.never owned or shot a sigma it depends who you ask some people like em some don't.The Bersa's are pretty good AFAIK the only downside is high priced magazines,The LCP is a closeup SD gun not really a gun you want to put a lot of rounds thru.IMHO I would pick a bersa or a taurus
    Last edited by dukalmighty; January 5th, 2009 at 12:04 AM. Reason: I think you need to try them out at a range that rents guns and find one you like
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  4. #3
    New Member Array Howdy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    The Kel-tecs are not a range gun they have pretty good felt recoil and usually after 20 or 30 rounds of 9mm I'm done shooting it,just enough to stay proficient.I had a taurus 40 calibre and traded it I didn't like the long trigger pull.never owned or shot a sigma it depends who you ask some people like em some don't.The Bersa's are pretty good AFAIK the only downside is high priced magazines,The LCP is a closeup SD gun not really a gun you want to put a lot of rounds thru.IMHO I would pick a bersa or a taurus
    Thanks man. The list I came up with is just what I've seen in that price range. Feel free to add to it or suggest any other gun.

  5. #4
    New Member Array SMGausch's Avatar
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    If you are looking for an all metal gun that shots well and can be had for around $300 the pre-owned Sig 9mm's are quite nice. The sell just around $300 maybe a little higher. The Bersa Thunder .380 shoots well too and are small enough to concealed carry if you choose to. Firestorm also part of the bersa line offers a twenty two the same size which would be cheap to shoot and low-reoil. The Kel-tec PF-9 is another gun in this range that can serve double duty and shoots the 9mm. Both the bersa and kel-tec can be had for around $250 i've seen both used for $150-180. The will be a decent compromise between service and smaller size. I've shot both and know friends who swear by their reliability. The Ruger LCP is another option which i happen to own and carry every day. This gun is a pocket pistol and meant for deep concealment and not as a range gun. It shoots well and does not have bad recoil, i'd even say it is very accurate with-in its stated purpose. At 15 yards or so i can put shots touching, but farther than that it goes from a fist size group to much larger. I hope this may help you in your decision making process.

  6. #5
    Member Array Reicher's Avatar
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    i have a ruger p89 9mm with two mags and a new barrel, will sell for $275. with background check etc.. let me know
    "Manners are good when one may have to back up his actions with his life" Robert Heinlein"

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array BradyM77's Avatar
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    I can only speak for the Sigma since it's the only one I've fired and own. If price is an issue right now you might want to stick with a 9mm since the ammo is alot cheaper and being new to guns you should try to put alot of cheap ammo downrange as possible. The Sigma 9ve is a great gun IMHO, it shares ALOT in common with the Glock (S&W was actually sued over copyright infringement because of it). It has the same reliability and you can feed it just about any type of ammo and it will just ask for seconds. The grip is thinner than a Glock's so you might find it more to your liking. The only rub, so to speak, and why many people don't like the Sigma is the trigger. It's heavy, and "grainy", (although after 4-500 rds the grainy does go away I heard and the pull loses about a pound) and it's a long heavy, grainy, trigger pull. It actually doesn't bother me that much so that's why I have it and recommend it. Supposedly S&W is offering a trigger fix which smooths it out and lightens it and offer free shipping both ways when you send your gun in. I'm going to call tomorrow about that.. Also you might want to find a range that offers rentals and after you narrow your choices down to a couple go and fire off a few boxes of ammo with each gun. Most likely you will walk away with a favorite.
    "I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, you can't prove anything!" Bart Simpson

  8. #7
    New Member Array SMGausch's Avatar
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    The Sig model that I've found cheapest is the P6, but their are others you can find deals on as well. Alot of the used guns in this price range are glocks or glock copies, or guns i've shot and cannot recommend.

  9. #8
    New Member Array Howdy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMGausch View Post
    If you are looking for an all metal gun that shots well and can be had for around $300 the pre-owned Sig 9mm's are quite nice. The sell just around $300 maybe a little higher. The Bersa Thunder .380 shoots well too and are small enough to concealed carry if you choose to. Firestorm also part of the bersa line offers a twenty two the same size which would be cheap to shoot and low-reoil. The Kel-tec PF-9 is another gun in this range that can serve double duty and shoots the 9mm. Both the bersa and kel-tec can be had for around $250 i've seen both used for $150-180. The will be a decent compromise between service and smaller size. I've shot both and know friends who swear by their reliability. The Ruger LCP is another option which i happen to own and carry every day. This gun is a pocket pistol and meant for deep concealment and not as a range gun. It shoots well and does not have bad recoil, i'd even say it is very accurate with-in its stated purpose. At 15 yards or so i can put shots touching, but farther than that it goes from a fist size group to much larger. I hope this may help you in your decision making process.
    Thanks man

    Quote Originally Posted by BradyM77 View Post
    I can only speak for the Sigma since it's the only one I've fired and own. If price is an issue right now you might want to stick with a 9mm since the ammo is alot cheaper and being new to guns you should try to put alot of cheap ammo downrange as possible. The Sigma 9ve is a great gun IMHO, it shares ALOT in common with the Glock (S&W was actually sued over copyright infringement because of it). It has the same reliability and you can feed it just about any type of ammo and it will just ask for seconds. The grip is thinner than a Glock's so you might find it more to your liking. The only rub, so to speak, and why many people don't like the Sigma is the trigger. It's heavy, and "grainy", (although after 4-500 rds the grainy does go away I heard and the pull loses about a pound) and it's a long heavy, grainy, trigger pull. It actually doesn't bother me that much so that's why I have it and recommend it. Supposedly S&W is offering a trigger fix which smooths it out and lightens it and offer free shipping both ways when you send your gun in. I'm going to call tomorrow about that.. Also you might want to find a range that offers rentals and after you narrow your choices down to a couple go and fire off a few boxes of ammo with each gun. Most likely you will walk away with a favorite.
    Yeah I need to find a range that rents guns. The main reason I don't like the Glocks is because of the thickness. Thanks for the info.

  10. #9
    Member Array Darth AkSarBen's Avatar
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    My Bersa Thunder is a real shooter! Reliable, and does well for protection in it's own right, given the proper ammo (helps)

    This is a 5 shot group from the Bersa .380.


    My primary carry gun is a Taurus 24/7 pro in .45 ACP. Worth the extra few dollars above the $300 to find one. Holds 12 .45 ACP rounds plus one in the barrel. I really like the long take up as the first shot is Single Action rather than Double Action. Each shot after that is single action as well, but it can recock and strike the primer again in the event of a primer failure by simply re-squeezing the trigger. Feeds everything, and no FTF or other jams.
    Comes with 2 magazines, so if you figure the cost of buying another magazine with another gun, then it's in your price range. Lifetime warranty.
    It is a good accurate shooter as well! This is also a 5 shot group.


    You can buy the Bersa Thunder .380 new for around $250 at most stores. It is one of the gun shops hottest sellers!
    Vern
    http://Taurus45ACP.com
    My wesbsite with many pro-gun links.
    Carry Taurus 24/7 Pro in .45 ACP

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    I'll second the Bersa Thunder .380. It's a very reliable, durable gun and for the money a real bargain. I traded mine for a Makarov, and while I loved the Mak while I had it, I regret ever getting rid of the Bersa.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    Well, if you can find one used, Taurus is a good choice. Lot of people warn that you should not buy a Taurus because the re-sale value drops more then other brands. If that is a true concern, then maybe a used Taurus is a good buy, as the used demand does not equal the true value.

    I have always been tempted to get a Bersa (given the cost). I have heard mixed results and would need to own one and take it to a range a few times before I would trust it as a CC / SD.

    Save a little more and get a gun in the $500 to $700 range. I know you stated no Glocks, but until you shoot the Glock, you will not understand it. For some (including me) the Glock did not feel good in the hand. After shooting it, it felt perfect in the hand shooting. I strongly suggest shooting any firearm you buy. Find a friend who has the firearm you are thinking about and join him / her at the range. Some ranges will let you rent a firearm. From your OP, looks like revolvers are not part of the mix. Just semi-autos in the $300 range.

    However, if you go the low cost route (just to save money), I can almost assure you could very well learn you made a mistake and should have held out for a little better firearm. That said, I understand the need to be armed.

    Good luck.

    My $.02

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array BradyM77's Avatar
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    Also if you find a range that rents firearms. They most likely have a layaway program of some kind. Usually 20% down and 2% fee a month. You could slap the 300 or so down and within a couple of months cover the rest of a higher priced handgun.
    "I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, you can't prove anything!" Bart Simpson

  14. #13
    New Member Array Howdy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth AkSarBen View Post
    My Bersa Thunder is a real shooter! Reliable, and does well for protection in it's own right, given the proper ammo (helps)

    This is a 5 shot group from the Bersa .380.


    My primary carry gun is a Taurus 24/7 pro in .45 ACP. Worth the extra few dollars above the $300 to find one. Holds 12 .45 ACP rounds plus one in the barrel. I really like the long take up as the first shot is Single Action rather than Double Action. Each shot after that is single action as well, but it can recock and strike the primer again in the event of a primer failure by simply re-squeezing the trigger. Feeds everything, and no FTF or other jams.
    Comes with 2 magazines, so if you figure the cost of buying another magazine with another gun, then it's in your price range. Lifetime warranty.
    It is a good accurate shooter as well! This is also a 5 shot group.


    You can buy the Bersa Thunder .380 new for around $250 at most stores. It is one of the gun shops hottest sellers!
    How far were those made from?

    Quote Originally Posted by matiki View Post
    I'll second the Bersa Thunder .380. It's a very reliable, durable gun and for the money a real bargain. I traded mine for a Makarov, and while I loved the Mak while I had it, I regret ever getting rid of the Bersa.
    Thanks man.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanis View Post
    Well, if you can find one used, Taurus is a good choice. Lot of people warn that you should not buy a Taurus because the re-sale value drops more then other brands. If that is a true concern, then maybe a used Taurus is a good buy, as the used demand does not equal the true value.

    I have always been tempted to get a Bersa (given the cost). I have heard mixed results and would need to own one and take it to a range a few times before I would trust it as a CC / SD.

    Save a little more and get a gun in the $500 to $700 range. I know you stated no Glocks, but until you shoot the Glock, you will not understand it. For some (including me) the Glock did not feel good in the hand. After shooting it, it felt perfect in the hand shooting. I strongly suggest shooting any firearm you buy. Find a friend who has the firearm you are thinking about and join him / her at the range. Some ranges will let you rent a firearm. From your OP, looks like revolvers are not part of the mix. Just semi-autos in the $300 range.

    However, if you go the low cost route (just to save money), I can almost assure you could very well learn you made a mistake and should have held out for a little better firearm. That said, I understand the need to be armed.

    Good luck.

    My $.02
    I plan on getting more expensive ones for sure, but for now the funds are going elsewhere if you know what I mean. Are there any "cheap" 1911's? Thanks.

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    Member Array MadDog's Avatar
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    The cheapest 1911's that I have seen are rock islands. I have seen them priced at 450-600 bucks. I am not sure how good they are quality wise. I own a Kimber classic 1911 and I payed $350 for it (used) so I would check around for people at a range or somewhere where someone may need cash and willing to sell one to you. Best of luck

    And for what it's worth, i was not a "glock guy" myself until I bought a g26 and shot it.... all I can wonder why didn't I get one earlier
    I believe in gun control...... Thats why I use TWO hands.

  16. #15
    Member Array firestarplus's Avatar
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    I just bought a new P95 for $300. I like it alot, it shoots very well. The only negatives might be the size (depending on your size) and the trigger isnt exactly "competition ready". Anyway it exceeded my expectations!

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