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Actually, I just went through much the same thing with my father. He has only ever owned a .22 H&R Sportsman 999 as far as pistols go. He was interested in a pistol for defense and asked my opinion. His criteria were as follows: Semi-auto, .45acp, a legal barrel length for hunting (>4"), and affordable. A notorious cheapskate, he considered $200 to be unreasonable for any pistol.

I tried for the longest to get him to relax on one of his requirements. He wouldn't budge. I even considered giving him my SA GI. :blink:

Then he calls me up one day and asks about a Hi-Point. I was kinda dumbfounded since it was not a brand I'd ever considered. I could tell he was fairly excited. He kept going on over the price, the warranty, and the looks :gah: of the gun.

I thought for a second about talking him out of it but I remembered that the gunstore owner where I do most of my business had said good things about them. So I encouraged him to look into them.

He started looking around for a dealer and come to find out, the plain .45 version is kinda difficult to find around his parts as they get snapped up pretty quick. He finally went to Food Giant (a local grocery store!) to find one.

When I last went home, he and I took it out to shoot. Now, it'd been a good long while since I'd been able to practice with any regularity. I moved across the state not too long ago, just graduated, and started my first professional, full-time job. So I know I'm gonna be rusty. But I'll be danged if he didn't outshoot me and did a darned good job, too. We shot from about 20 feet at some soda cans. I hit maybe 50% and shot around them the rest. He hit about 75% and was keeping all the shots to within about 1.5" of the cans.

I was really expecting a lot less out of the pistol. I'd heard the things like "it has a crappy trigger", "the spring's too heavy to easily pull the slide back", etc. I thought that apart from the weight, it was a decent enough gun, especially for $150. I honestly was surprised at just how good the trigger was. My Charles Daly 1911 lemon had a substancially worse trigger. And the thing ran through 100 rounds with absolutely no hiccups. That's not something I can say about all of the handguns I've owned or even the majority.

In short, I had worried that my dad was cheating himself out of a good thing by going the cheap route, yet again. But I think he ended up doing just fine.

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