Inexpensive starter

This is a discussion on Inexpensive starter within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm looking for an inexpensive starter pistol for two purposes: CC for me, and training (and eventual CC) for my wife. A big key here ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Random's Avatar
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    Inexpensive starter

    I'm looking for an inexpensive starter pistol for two purposes: CC for me, and training (and eventual CC) for my wife. A big key here is the "inexpensive" part. We both plan to move up eventually, but I don't want to wait much longer to save up.

    I read the recent Guns & Ammo (I think) article about "beer-budget .380's" and was thinking that the Ruger LCP looked like a good choice. I can find those all over the place for around $300 - which is right in the range I'm comfortable spending right now.

    Would anyone have any other thoughts or recommendations in a similar price range?

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    I would seriously reconsider the LCP, or Keltec, or any other very small .380. Not that they don't serve their purpose, but they are not fun range guns for most people, especially women, IMO.

    I would look at other larger sized pistols for your needs. The S&W Sigma's, or maybe a Taurus would be a better bet in my book for what you say you want it for.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  4. #3
    Ex Member Array MadMac's Avatar
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    Hello from a fellow North Carolinian.

    My wife and I stepped into the pool last year.

    Here's my advice (and it's worth everything you paid for it):

    A concealed carry weapon is not something where you use the operative word "inexpensive". If treated well, a good firearm will last you your whole life. If you are planning to carry for personal protection, you don't want to whip out a cheapie and hope it works.

    For a "beginner" a good, used wheel gun is probably something to consider. I'll let the more experienced posters place their opinions on make and model.

    The missus and I got some Ruger .22s for range practice and plinking, but decided to get well-made weapons for personal defense.

    My experience is that handguns are items whose price truly reflects their value.

    Good luck!

  5. #4
    Member Array GlockGal's Avatar
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    +1 on that. Those little pistols, even in a small caliber such as a .380 are going to have some snappy recoil that will NOT be fun for your wife and probably not for you either. Definitely not a good starter pistol IMHO. Do some more shopping around and maybe consider a used weapon to begin with. Also, .380 ammo can be difficult to find right now which would also seriously limit your practicing. Consider something in a 9mm and compact version.

    PS.

    I HATE revolvers. I know a lot of women like them but personally I can't stand the trigger pull on a revolver. Just my .02
    Last edited by GlockGal; August 11th, 2009 at 10:49 AM. Reason: added .02

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    If you're just getting started, a .380 is not such a good choice. Among other reasons, the ammunition is expensive and not always available.

    Pick a good .22, such as a Walther P22, Browning Buckmark, or Ruger Mark III. They'll be a good intro to a semi-automatic pistol. Very comfortable to shoot hundreds of rounds in a session with ammunition cheap and readily available. If your goal is to carry a revolver, there are lots of those out there, too, such as the S&W 317, or a used K22.

    Part of the process in getting acclimated to shooting and carrying for defensive purposes is to shoot a lot. Once you get comfortable, you'll be in a lot better position to make an informed choice for your CCW. I'm not recommending a .22 for defensive purposes. Choose a quality centerfire handgun in at least 9mm for semi-auto, or .38 Special for revolvers.
    Cheers,
    Rod
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  7. #6
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    The Kahr CW series has some excellent CC weapons that are equally fun to shoot. The CW9 is a very good SD choice and wont break the bank. I carry mine daily and also use the LCP .380 as a bug. I agree about the Ruger LCP. It's a very snappy little pistol and isn't fun to shoot at all past the first couple of mags. I don't think you can go wrong if you add it to your line up, but there are some other good options as well. Good Luck
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

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  8. #7
    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Kel-tec PF9...maybe? The kahr CW series are very nice for the money. You might also try looking at summitgunbroker.com he has some nice used stuff. Police trade-ins and such for very reasonable prices.
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  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    For carry and range on a budget, I almost always recommend a Bersa in .380 or 9mm. Probably 9mm.

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Here is a list of guns from a seller in your area that are in the 300-500 price range. This is a pretty good site in order to find out just what things should cost, or what you can get for your money. There are a bunch of other retailers on this site that you can check prices for.

    GalleryOfGuns.com - Retailer Near You

    This list is from Personal Defense and Handgun Safety Center.


    ATIG92 American Tactical Imports AT92F DA PST 9MM 4.9B 15RD 8 next day
    $440.95 *

    ATIGC92 American Tactical Imports AT92C DA PST 9MM 4.3B 15RD 7 next day
    $440.95 *

    TISG1102 American Tactical Imports HP9 DA PST 9MM 5B 20RD 39 next day
    $340.95 * 08/11/09

    T9MP10 Bersa THNDR 9MM UC DA 10R M RAIL 0 contact retailer
    $350.95 *

    T9MP13 Bersa THNDR 9MM UC DA 13R M RAIL 0 contact retailer
    $350.95 *

    T9MPHC Bersa THNDR HC 9MM DA 17R M RAIL 0 contact retailer
    $359.95 *

    T9NPHC Bersa THNDR HC 9MM DA 17R N RAIL 0 contact retailer
    $368.95 *

    CDGR7300 Charles Daly CD9 9MM DA PST 15RD M 0 contact retailer
    $350.95 *

    91186 CZ-USA CZP07 DUTY 9MM BLK 16RD 28 next day
    $448.95 *

    999101 European American Armory WITNESS 9MM DA WF 18RD 1 next day
    $419.95 *

    999099 European American Armory WITNESS CMP 9MM DA WF 13RD 0 contact retailer
    $419.95 *

    350000 European American Armory EZ9 FULL SIZE 9MM DA B 15R 28 next day
    $442.95 *

    FS9MP10 FireStorm 9MM MINI DA M 10RD W/RAIL 0 contact retailer
    $320.95 *

    FS9MP13 FireStorm 9MM MINI DA M 13RD W/RAIL 0 contact retailer
    $345.95 *

    FS9DTP13 FireStorm 9MM MINI DA C/M 13R W/RAIL 0 contact retailer
    $350.95 *

    FS9NP13 FireStorm 9MM MINI DA NKL 13R W/RAIL 0 contact retailer
    $355.95 *

    FS9NP10 FireStorm 9MM MINI DA NKL 10R W/RAIL 0 contact retailer
    $355.95 *

    47829 FNM FNP-9 9MM DA 10RD BLK 4 next day
    $499.95 *

    47828 FNM FNP-9 9MM DA 16RD BLK 31 next day
    $492.95 *

    47830 FNM FNP-9 9MM DA 16RD SS 2 next day
    $499.95 *

    47831 FNM FNP-9 9MM DA 10RD SS 0 contact retailer
    $499.95 *

    17002-10 Glock 17 9MM PST 10RD FS 0 contact retailer
    $489.95 *

    PI-17502-03 Glock 17 9MM PST 17RD FS 14 next day
    $489.95 *

    PI-17572-03 Glock 17 9MM PST 17RD FS OD GRN 12 next day
    $489.95 *

    PT-17502-01 Glock 17 9MM PST 10RD FS RTF2 0 contact retailer
    $489.95 *

    PT-17502-03 Glock 17 9MM PST 17RD FS RTF2 0 contact retailer
    $489.95 *

    19002-10 Glock 19 9MM PST 10RD FS 21 next day
    $489.95 *

    PI-19502-03 Glock 19 9MM PST 15RD FS 16 next day
    $489.95 *

    PI-19572 Glock 19 9MM PST 10RD FS OD GRN 12 next day
    $489.95 *

    PI-19572-03 Glock 19 9MM PST 15RD FS OD GRN 2 next day
    $489.95 *

    PI-26502 Glock 26 9MM PST 10RD FS 0 contact retailer
    $489.95 *

    PI-26572 Glock 26 9MM PST 10RD FS OD GRN 0 contact retailer
    $489.95 *

    CW9093 Kahr Arms CW9 9MM DAO 7RD SS FS 0 contact retailer
    $410.95 *

    MPA30T-A MasterPiece Arms MPA30T-A SEMI 9MM 30R BLK 99+ next day
    $335.95 *

    MPA30SST-A MasterPiece Arms MPA30SSTA SA 9MM 30 B W/SC 99+ next day
    $384.95 *

    MPA930T-A MasterPiece Arms MPA930T-A MINI SA 9MM 30 B 99+ next day
    $355.95 * 08/31/09

    MPA930SST-A MasterPiece Arms MPA930SSTA MINI 9MM 30 TB 99+ next day
    $403.95 *

    P95PR Ruger P95PR 9MM DA SFT 10RD B 0 contact retailer
    $306.95 *

    KP95PR Ruger P95PR 9MM DA SFT 10RD SS 0 contact retailer
    $327.95 *

    P95PR15 Ruger P95PR 9MM DA SFT 15RD B 21 next day
    $306.95 *

    KP95PR15 Ruger P95PR 9MM DA SFT 15RD SS 99+ next day
    $320.95 *

    3301 Ruger SR9 9MM PST 17RD SS 99+ next day
    $393.95 * 08/31/09

    3305 Ruger SR9 9MM PST 17RD B 99+ next day
    $430.95 *

    3307 Ruger SR9 9MM PST 17RD B/OD GRN 46 next day
    $426.95 *

    3309 Ruger SR9 9MM PST 10RD 4.14SS CA 68 next day
    $426.95 *

    3310 Ruger SR9 9MM PST 10RD B 99+ next day
    $430.95 *

    3311 Ruger SR9 9MM PST 10RD B/OD GRN 3 next day
    $425.95 *

    120025 Smith & Wesson SIGMA SW9VE 9MM DAO 4SS FS 95 next day
    $366.95 *

    220025 Smith & Wesson SIGMA 9MM DAO 4SS 16RD 99+ next day
    $366.95 *

    XD9801HCSP06 Springfield Armory XDSC 9MM 3B 10/16RD FS Allocated contact retailer
    $462.95 *

    XD9801SP06 Springfield Armory XDSC 9MM 3B 10RD FS 0 contact retailer
    $462.95 *

    XD9811HCSP06 Springfield Armory XDSC 9MM 3B 10/16RD OD/F 0 contact retailer
    $462.95 *

    XD9811SP06 Springfield Armory XDSC 9MM 3B 10RD OD/F FS 0 contact retailer
    $462.95 *

    XD9101HCSP06 Springfield Armory XD 9MM PST 4B 16RD FS 95 next day
    $462.95 *

    XD9101SP06 Springfield Armory XD 9MM PST 4B 10RD FS 0 contact retailer
    $462.95 *

    XD9121HCSP06 Springfield Armory XD 9MM PST 4B 16RD FS DE 0 contact retailer
    $462.95 *

    XD9121SP06 Springfield Armory XD 9MM PST 4B 10RD FS DE 0 contact retailer
    $462.95 *

    XD9201HCSP06 Springfield Armory XD 9MM 4B 16RD OD/F FS 0 contact retailer
    $462.95 *

    XD9201SP06 Springfield Armory XD 9MM 4B 10RD OD/F FS 0 contact retailer
    $462.95 *

    XD9701HCSP06 Springfield Armory XD V10 9MM 4B 16RD FS 0 contact retailer
    $488.95 *

    XD9701SP06 Springfield Armory XD V10 9MM 4B 10RD FS 0 contact retailer
    $488.95 *

    XD9704HCSP06 Springfield Armory XD V10 9MM 4B 16RD OD/F 0 contact retailer
    $488.95 *

    XD9704SP06 Springfield Armory XD V10 9MM 4B 10RD OD/F 0 contact retailer
    $488.95 *

    1-709031 Taurus 709 SLIM 9MM DA 7RD B 0 contact retailer
    $348.95 *

    1-709039 Taurus 709 SLIM 9MM DA 7RD SS 0 contact retailer
    $361.95 *

    1-111031P-12 Taurus PT111PRO 9MM PST 12RD B 68 next day
    $337.95 *

    1-111031P-CA Taurus PT111PRO 9MM PST 10RD B CA 0 contact retailer
    $337.95 *

    1-111039P-CA Taurus PT111PRO 9MM PST 10R SS CA 0 contact retailer
    $348.95 *

    1-111039P-12 Taurus PT111PRO 9MM PST 12RD SS 68 next day
    $348.95 *

    1-111039PTI-12 Taurus PT111PRO TITNM 9MM 12R BLK 0 contact retailer
    $469.95 *

    1-911041-15 Taurus PT911 9MM DA PST 15RD B 3 next day
    $467.95 *

    1-911049-15 Taurus PT911 9MM DA PST 15RD SS 2 next day
    $478.95 *

    1-909041 Taurus PT909 9MM DA PST 4B 17RD 5 next day
    $467.95 *

    1-909049 Taurus PT909 9MM DA PST 4SS 17RD 0 contact retailer
    $478.95 *

    1-247091P-17 Taurus 24/7PRO 9MM DA PST 17RD B 0 contact retailer
    $361.95 *

    1-247099P-17 Taurus 24/7PRO 9MM DA PST 17RD SS 24 next day
    $373.95 *

    1-247091PDT-17 Taurus 24/7PRO DT 9MM DA 17RD B 0 contact retailer
    $373.95 *

    1-247091PC-17 Taurus 24/7PRO-C 9MM DA 17RD B 52 next day
    $361.95 *

    1-247099PC-17 Taurus 24/7PRO-C 9MM DA 17RD SS 25 next day
    $373.95 *

    1-247OSS9T-17 Taurus 24/7OSS 9MM DA SBRWN 17RD 2 next day
    $467.95 *

    1-247OSS9B-17 Taurus 24/7OSS 9MM DA BLK 17RD 8 next day
    $467.95 *

    1-247OSS9S-17 Taurus 24/7OSS 9MM DA SS 17RD 34 next day
    $451.95 * 08/31/09

    1-809041 Taurus PT809 9MM DA PST 17R B 32 next day
    $495.95 *

    1-920151-17 Taurus PT92 9MM DA PST 17RD FS B 8 next day
    $423.95 *

    1-920159-17 Taurus PT92 9MM DA PST 17RD FS SS 0 contact retailer
    $438.95 *

    1-920159GR-17 Taurus PT92 9MM DA 17RD SS/G RSWD 0 contact retailer
    $492.95 *
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  11. #10
    Member Array Random's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMac View Post
    A concealed carry weapon is not something where you use the operative word "inexpensive".
    Fair enough, and a good point. I'm planning on getting something else in a few months. It's going to take a couple months to get the permit anyways, so at that point the issue may be moot. But my wife hasn't shot anything other than our 10/22. She's seen me shoot a .38spl snub-nose and is disturbed by the blast it has.

    I used to have a small, cheap .380 about 15 years ago - don't remember the brand. But I DO remember that it wasn't all that bad to fire. I seem to be hearing something else from you guys here.

    So let's get off the CC part for now, then - what about recommendations simply for something to get her more used to shooting?

  12. #11
    Member Array Random's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    Here is a list of guns from a seller in your area that are in the 300-500 price range.
    Wow - great resource! Thanks!

  13. #12
    Member Array i10casual's Avatar
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    I would wait a little longer and get a glock. You can beat the snot out of it and they don't seem to jam too much.
    If I were you I'd sell a few items around the house on ebay to make up the $200 difference.

  14. #13
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    To get her used to shooting and develop confidence, I'd vote for a .22. My personal preference is my Ruger Mark II Bull Barrel. Inexpensive to shoot and good to learn the basics on. Browning also makes an excellent .22 in the Buckmark. Once shes gotten confident with it move her up to a bigger caliber. I'd stay away from the snubbies and sub compacts. The felt recoil is more substantial in a smaller gun. Get her something with a 3-4" barrel recoil is manageable and still easy to conceal.

  15. #14
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    In the price range you are looking at, I would check out the S&W Sigma line, they can be had new in these parts for around $340.00
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  16. #15
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    You're getting some pretty good advice here. Let me add mine (y'all can decide its value). Sounds like you're a novice, but aspiring, pistolero. Welcome, welcome. We're proud to have ya'! Training (and practice) never, EVER ends. Gaining & holding handguns skills aren't like the ability to stay upright on a bicycle. They must be continually maintained. So the CCW for you & the training handgun for Mrs. Random are likely NOT the same pistol. If your current budget only allows for a single choice, make it one with which both of you can gain maximum skill-honing benefit. That means a .22. Don't go tiny (LCP) quite so fast. The smaller/lighter the handgun, the more difficult it is to shoot well. That flattens & adds expense to your learning curve. It could also develope some bad shooting habits & confidence issues. Here's an idea, buy a used $400-450 GLOCK G19. It's small enough to carry but big enough to shoot. Then (most importantly) add an Advantage Arms .22 conversion. That way, you both get a training .22 AND a well-respected CCW. If there's only $300 in the gun-fund, buy a nice used Ruger Mk? or a Browning Buckmark. I don't know anyone who's regretted buying either. If you've got to be patient on buying a gun, make it your CCW, and practice (practice, practice...) .22 LR. THAT'S the place to be frugal. Then, cancel your Premium Cable subscription (there's little worth watching anyway) for 6-8 months and buy TWO serious fightguns.
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