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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have heard the old sayin "you get what you pay for" a thousand times over. That being said, I would like to have an open discussion about cheap / dependable concealable pistols.

I am a father of 3, so i am on quite a fixed budget. I just took my CHL class last weekend (passed with flying colors) and am in the market and looking to buy a good daily carry weapon. My first choice would be a Ruger LCP or LC9. I have also had my eye on the Taurus PT738 or the PT709. Taurus looks like it may be my purchase being as how i can pick up a brand new one from Academy for $199 for the .380 and $299 for the 9mm.

I am looking for a really slim profile (like the LCP) but mainly looking for a gun i can trust when / if the chips fall. A buddy that already has his CHL told me you can get about the same knock down power out of a .380 depending on the loads you buy. If this is the case, I am thinking about buying it instead of the 9mm. I have plenty of guns that i travel with. My Ruger 357 fits nicely in the glove box and it is the pistol that i am most familiar with. I am just looking for a good gun that i can trust for a carry around gun. I have also looked into the Kel-Tec model 9mm. Looks a little bulky.


As a side note, I live in Texas. This means i will not be wearing a jacket 98.8876% of the year. I will need the gun to be small enough to conceal with just a t-shirt. Let the games begin :yup:
 

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I have a Sccy 9mm. I really like it and I think it is within your budget. They are made in USA and come with a lifetime warranty that goes with the gun, not the owner. Their CS is top notch. They are basically a Keltec knock off. SCCY Industries I paid under $300 for mine out the door.

I have about 300 rounds through it with no FTF or FTE. Can't say much more than that.
 

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one of my carry guns is an lc9 and it is a very small compact (am I even carrying right now? why yes there it is) hand gun. The only down side to it would be the trigger pull, at 7lbs you will want to do one of two things, although you should be doing one of them anyway. The first is practice with it enough so that the trigger pull doesn't bother you and you get used to it (should be doing anyway). Then there are plenty after aftermarket ways to lessen the trigger pull, as well as the surprisingly strong recoil that little gun packs. all in all I like it, am comfortable shooting it, and it sees more carry time then my full size carry options.

You mentioned you have children. There is a ridiculous number of safety features with the lc9, to include a build in trigger lock (key included). Definitely a good option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for the insight 031131. I have been wanting to talk to someone that actually owned an LC9 to get their opinion. I have read lots of reviews, but you can never tell if it may be a "padded" review to boost sales. Anyway, thanks again. I will be putting the handgun in be gun safe (on the nightstand) so a trigger lock won't be needed. As for the rest of my weapons. I think the gun safe does a good job of keeping their booger picking fingers off the guns until it is paper killing time =-). All 3 of my kids have been raised with an extreme respect for all weapons. This include our sword / axe / knife collection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
still havent heard anything about the pros and cons of carrying a .380. Seems like a perfect pocket pistol
 

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From one father and Texan to another, please steer clear of Taurus. I'm sure you'll hear several people say they love theirs, but the rate of issues with all types of their guns is worth the extra money to shop for another brand.

Your life and the lives of your family are worth the extra money, so don't let your budget dictate everything.

Don't trust built in safeties when it comes to your kids. Invest in a quick-access bedside safe ($25-$45) to lock it in whenever it's not on your waist.

Try finding local groups to go to the range with (TGO has monthly meet-ups in each city. Reddit might have meet-ups. Check the Meet up section of this forum as well.) and try out different guns.

I have a few handguns if you're ever in Houston. (Just bring your own ammo.)
 

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My Taurus .38 special Airlite revolver was a good price and has never failed me.

My Taurus PT-145 was a piece of junk!
 

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...please steer clear of Taurus. I'm sure you'll hear several people say they love theirs, but the rate of issues with all types of their guns is worth the extra money to shop for another brand. Your life and the lives of your family are worth the extra money, so don't let your budget dictate everything.
Right on BlueNinjaGo!
 

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Yes, there are limits to what you spend on a gun, but let's look at the true cost of gun ownership (and I'm staying out of the .380 caliber debate - not a fan personally, but if you shoot it well, go for it). So, let's say you pay MSRP for one of the following pocket-sized pistols (and recognizing you can get one for less than MSRP, as you've found on the Taurus):
~$300 Taurus PT738
~$350 LCP
~450 SW J Frame (642ish)
~$500 LCR
~$650 P238

You buy a no-frills quality pocket holster, say $50, and a belt holster for another $60. You forego a new gun belt because it's a tiny pistol (though you'll buy one of these later).

Another holster because you find out you hate the first one: $60.

Two spare mags/speedloaders: $40-60

Six trips to the gun shop ($30 in gas and oil) to score 4 boxes of ammo for the range at $80, and two 20rd boxes of carry ammo for another $60.

So that first month, you're in for almost $400 in non-gun purchases.

So would you rather spend $700 and have a Taurus which might be a peach or might be a maintenance nightmare? Or spend $750-950 and have a gun that's going to be reliable, and in the off-chance it's not, has outstanding customer service like Ruger or Smith?

BTW, if you're going to practice even a box a month with it (and little guns need more practice than big guns, imo), the relative difference in budget outlay is going to get even smaller. Might even justify the Sig if you like it a lot.


...and btw, you can conceal a lot more than a pocket pistol with just a T-shirt.
 

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.380 is not and will never be equal to a defensive 9mm load. The only real commonality is the .355" bullet diameter. .380 has a lighter bullet moving at a slower speed. The .380 Gold Dots I carry in my LCP have a mass of 90gr and a velocity of about 900 feet per second. Cheap plinking 9mm ammo is typically a 115gr bullet at around 1130fps. An example of a standard pressure 9mm defensive load are 147gr Gold Dots at 985fps. The 147gr+P Federal HSTs I carry chronograph at about 1050fps.

I would have a hard time recommending a pocket sized .380 to anyone for a first handgun. Because it is so small it is difficult to have a firm and proper grasp, the size makes it more difficult to manipulate than a compact or full size firearm, recoil is severe because of the platform and .380 ammo costs more than the more powerful 9mm. My Ruger LCP shooting 95gr FMJ range ammo has more felt recoil and muzzle rise than my full size M&P .40 (180gr bullets) because the pistol is so light and small. I love my Ruger LCP as it does it's job as a back-up/non-permissive environment carry gun very well but after gaining confidence in it's reliability, it's a gun that is carried a lot and not shot so much.

Avoid Taurus. I know they have been known to occasionally make some good guns, but for me to gain confidence in the reliability of a Taurus piece, I would be running a lot more ammo through it than something like a Ruger or S&W which both have an very good reputation for quality, reliability and awesome customer service.

If this handgun you're looking for is going to play a home defense or primary carry gun role, don't get a .380. 9mm is where you need to be. I recommend the Ruger SR9c and at the smallest, maybe an LC9. The SR9c can be found for $400.

If this handgun is specifically for pocket carry, non-permissive environment carry and close encounters and you understand the limitations of the .380 caliber and the disadvantages of a small, light weight firearm like an LCP, go with a Ruger LCP. I don't think anything carries as well as an LCP in the front pocket.
 

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I owned an LC9. It was not a bad gun. It kicked a little, but nothing serious. Put 100+ rds through it at the range each time I went out. The trigger was what bothered me as my finger began to wrap around the trigger as it was so long. I would carry it again, but prefer the J frame for a similar package.

My SW442 is always with me and is the easiest gun to carry for me yet. They run about $400.
 

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After owning the kel tec pf9 and now my lcp I day go with either the lc9 or the lcp I love my lcp and I think I would like the lc9 also. I had the pf9 for about 4 months and put around 600 rounds through it. Then parts started breaking so I fixed it and traded it in for my lcp I have around 300 rounds through my lcp right now with zero problems. That being said I will probably go for a g26 for my next sub compact 9mm not much harder to conceal with a very good reliability record and you can get all kinds of accessories for them.


Sent from my iPhone 4 using Tapatalk
 

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...I would like to have an open discussion about cheap / dependable concealable pistols...
...My first choice would be a Ruger LCP or LC9. I have also had my eye on the Taurus PT738 or the PT709. Taurus looks like it may be my purchase being as how i can pick up a brand new one from Academy for $199 for the .380 and $299 for the 9mm...
...mainly looking for a gun i can trust when / if the chips fall...
...I am just looking for a good gun that i can trust for a carry around gun... I will need the gun to be small enough to conceal with just a t-shirt...
I'm mostly a semi-auto guy, but I'd take a cheap revolver over a cheap semi-auto any day. When I see "cheap", "dependable" and "concealable" in the same sentence, the only gun that comes immediately to mind is a .38 snubbie.

Having said that, there's nothing wrong with a .380 - It's just that the good ones aren't cheap.

If you must have a semi-auto, the choice between a Ruger and a Taurus is a no-brainer; get the Ruger, even if it busts the budget a little. Smith & Wesson Sigma series is another possibility that would be preferable to a Taurus, and only slightly more expensive ($20 more at Academy).

I still maintain that a .38 snub is the best choice, given your criteria of cheap, dependable, and concealable. A Charter Arms Undercover used to be a "best value", but they're not as cheap as they used to be.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Rossi or Taurus .38 snubbie. Another contender in the budget category is the EAA Windicator. It's a very well-built gun, but a little bigger than the others I've mentioned. Basically a copy of a K-Frame S&W; 6-shot rather than 5.

Good luck in your search. Ignore the brand snobs, but be wary of small, cheap semi-autos.
 

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From one father and Texan to another, please steer clear of Taurus.
As the father of 6 and a Kentuckian...Amen!
 

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On the used market, you can occasionally find a Kahr CM9 9mm for ~$350-400.

Ditto on the idea of a decent revolver. If you're willing to consider pre-owned earlier models as well, you can find some for quite a price. A decent .38 revolver might do you very well. Nowhere near as slim as the mouse guns, no, but tried-and-true. (ie, S&W Model 60, S&W Model 36.)
 

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On the used market, you can occasionally find a Kahr CM9 9mm for ~$350-400...
Shop around carefully, and you can find a NEW CM9 for <$400. My impression was that the OP was looking for a cheaper gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
well....... now don't i feel welcome?:danceban:
thank you guys for all the input. I think after much reading and rationalizing I am going to just bite the bullet and get what my heart is telling me to get. I will be purchasing a Ruger LC9 as my daily carrier. My favorite handgun (that I own) is my Ruger GP100. It has served me well for many years now. I wish i could find someone (hint hint) that would be willing to trade one for my Bond Arms 45 / 410 Derringer. This is the gun that i bought to become my carry pistol. I love the gun, but i want more than 2 rounds to protect myself. I would keep it, but my budget (and wife) won't allow it lol.

i like this place. hope you guys have room for one more to be hanging around here :AR15firing:
 
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