Budget pistols (semiauto)

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Irksome
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Budget pistols (semiauto)

I am looking to get a pistol.  I am not looking to get serious with a gun hobby, I want a reliable weapon locked up in case of disasters or social unrest.  I will occasionally take it to a range to maintain familiarity with it, but that's about it.

There is a huge price difference between the cool guns and the budget guns. Much as I like the Glock and the HK USP, I like the price of the Ruger options.

My goal is a 9mm or .40 cal semiautomatic.  I want high reliability, with low usage intended.  I kind of like the idea of two identical guns so I have both a spare weapon and a set of spare parts in case one breaks.

I know many of you are knowledgeable, and I was hoping to get opinions of going with the cheaper options, and of them, which would best suit my needs.

Edited by admin on 11/08/2014 - 06:06
SilverFocker
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Rugers

You can't go wrong..........I have a 44 mag, P89, SR9 and just purchased a SR1911. I also have a few Ruger long guns.

For price quality, you will not beat a Ruger..............With all the new home and personal defense ammo mostly by Hornady, it really doesn't matter between a 9mm or a 40.

Mostly you need to find a gun that fits your hand grip, if it doesn't feel good in your hand, put it back and move on.

You may also want to look into the Keltec PMR 30..........This is one sweet gun in 22 mag, with 30 rounds at your fingertips........If you can find one. 

Irksome
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Thanks for the response! I'm

Thanks for the response!

I'm going to go try a few, see if any feel good.

That Keltec is kinda cool, but I think I'd rather have a dozen fatal shots than 30 annoying-to-a-big-guy shots...

Hold over
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I dont want to pee in your

I dont want to pee in your cornflakes , but in case of civil unrest your going to want to have a large capacity carbine. Remember your life depends it. So If I asked you which weapon you would rather have in a life and death situation , a cheaply built 10 shot pistol good out to 40-50 yards , or a well made , highly accurate semi auto carbine effective out to 300 yards, I would hope you would choose the carbine. 

Look at it as an insurance policy, you hope you'll never have to use it , but if you do , your glad you have it. 

I was trained by some of the best pistol instructors Uncle Sam has. Ill quote him....

""A pistol is a weapon of convenience, if your going into a gunfight bring a carbine or shotgun."" ......"" you only use your pistol to fight your way back to your rifle""

That's coming from a real life no bullshit  been there gun slinger . I have  highest respect for the man. 

God forbid if you ever have to use a cheap hand gun in a real situation, it wont seem like such a bargain then . Your last thoughts shouldn't be "" SHIT! I should have got the carbine""

For home defense a pistol is serviceable,(still not my first choice) but if the shit goes South , and Shit hits the fan big time, your better off with more gun than you need rather than less gun than you need. 

All guns are not the same, each type has its own specific purpose,  and what it was designed to do. My advice would be to spend  the extra dough,  get a good general purpose semi auto carbine preferably an AR or AK , 

The nice thing about guns is that they appreciate in value , in a few years you can sell it for the same or more money than when you bought it . 

Dont be cheap about weapons , buy the best you can afford. If some thing ever does  happen , its a come as you are party. 

Irksome
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I didn't ask any questions

I didn't ask any questions about long guns because I have already made my choice there (Mossberg shotgun).

I am not going to look at rifles at this time, as I am unprepared to fully learn how to use them and gain enough skill to be effective with them.  But I may change my mind once I've gotten what I consider my primary needs:  shotgun and handgun.

As far as handguns, are you suggesting that the Ruger is a 'cheaply built ... pistol'?  This was the purpose of the thread, opinions about handguns, particularly at the low price points.  I am not looking to buy a piece of crap, but I also do not want to buy a gun that has a high premium for non-utility reasons (looks, brand, really big holes, whatever).  I'm looking for high quality, reliable, functional, without paying for premium stuff.  Sort of like buying Levi 501s versus Gucci jeans:  They both cover my ass, but I can buy 10 Levis for the price of 1 Gucci, and the Levis are going to be far more practical.

Hold over
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""As far as handguns, are you

""As far as handguns, are you suggesting that the Ruger is a 'cheaply built ... pistol'? "" 

No , But you stated :

""There is a huge price difference between the cool guns and the budget guns.""

"I was hoping to get opinions of going with the cheaper options, and of them, which would best suit my needs.""

So thats why I was advocating  a better gun is all. It sounded  like you were looking to buy a budget gun . 

This was the purpose of the thread, opinions about handguns, particularly at the low price points. 

Ok but when you stated :

""I want a reliable weapon locked up in case of disasters or social unrest.""

I was addressing why  you wouldnt want a pistol for this type of thing .

But do what you want to, what the hell would I know? 

Irksome
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Uh, I AM asking people like

Uh, I AM asking people like you, because I think you do know.

You seem to agree that a pistol has a role to play, but not the primary role.  You argue that a long gun is a better choice, which I already agreed with, and outlined that I had chosen a long gun option already (not your preference, but one of the two that you suggested).

I am seeking recommendations for a high quality, low price handgun.  I do not intend to enter into shooting competitions, I don't need a gun with cool gizmos and gadgets, and I don't want to pay extra FRN for a 'cool' factor.  And, I don't want to buy a cheap gun that is going to break, jam, or otherwise disappoint me during what could be the most important moment of my family's life.

Anyway, I'm not trying to pick the fight you seem to think I am, and if you know stuff about handguns (which based on your posts I bet you do), I'd love to hear your opinions on handguns.  I'm betting that in addition to all your long guns, you also have a handgun or two, which makes you more informed than me.

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Simple misunderstanding , no

Simple misunderstanding , no problemo. 

Im not a real hand gun aficionado myself .  Although I carried one on duty. It was a   Barretta 92 F .40 cal. It was a bear of a gun to lug around . A lot of the guys prefered the Sig Sauer . the .40 cal hollow point is also a good round.  I had a couple of handguns but I sold them. I Don't shoot competition, and for home defense I have a shotgun  and various rifles , so I didnt really see the need  for it myself.

But like I said, I never really was a hand gun guy. So Im not the right person to steer you in the right direction. 

Loud Noises
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Irksome wrote: I kind of like

Irksome wrote:

I kind of like the idea of two identical guns so I have both a spare weapon and a set of spare parts in case one breaks.

This statement reflects such great forethought that I hope you apply the same to the entire handgun equation. From experience, if you really want to feel prepared for the situations you mentioned, you will want to practice quite often.  Often enough that you should be prepared for this to become a new hobby.  I went from wanting A gun for dire situations to getting spare parts, spare guns, carry permit, stocking up on ammo, etc.  All from that first thought.  Just something to consider.

I spend my money on Glocks, personally.  A $500 Glock is no small purchase for me either but it's what is right for me.  I think Ruger's current offerings may be just as capable but none has yet proven itself to the extent that Glocks have.  I don't think you would be wasting your money on a Ruger firearm though.  If you can manage an extra $100 per gun then I suggest you look seriously at the Springfield XD and Glock.  If your budget is extremely tight you can still get a reliable 9mm Hi-Point for around $170.  In the end only you know what suits your criteria.  Make sure you get to feel it in your hand before you buy, whatever you choose!

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Irksome wrote: Thanks for the

Irksome wrote:

Thanks for the response!

I'm going to go try a few, see if any feel good.

That Keltec is kinda cool, but I think I'd rather have a dozen fatal shots than 30 annoying-to-a-big-guy shots...

Do NOT, sell this round short..............a 22 mag is very capable of taking down thick skinned big game, let alone a 300 lb thin skinned man..........As I said, with all the new ammo out there, things have greatly changed in the capability in what was once a round to small to inflict sufficient damage.

The other factor is the amount of rounds per clip, Plus weight......30 22MAG's is no slouch when you are in a tuff situation.......then the ammo cost as you are going to need to practice.

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Get a Glock. You don't have

Get a Glock. You don't have to clean it. It just works. It's like an AK. You can abuse it and it still goes bang. The last thing you want is a temperamental handgun.

Get a G23, which is a .40 caliber. Brand new it will run you $475-500. You can find a used one (maybe police issue) for $150 cheaper.

Don't skimp on this, even though it is in our nature to look for bargains. After you get one, save up and get another in the same caliber. That way two of you can make use of your ammo. Just my thoughts.

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I prefer a Springfield Armory or Glock...

Look into buying a like new Glock or Springfield Armory.  Surprisingly, you can pick up a Glock .40 cal for around $425-$450, and a Springfield Armory XD (9mm, .40, .45) for about the same.  I'm not sure what state you live in, but obviously if private sales are frowned upon and you have to go to a dealer the prices could be a bit higher.  .40 cal is not the first choice among many gun owners as they consider it a compromised round.  I disagree - it's a plentiful and easily available caliber since most law enforcement and DHS stock .40 cal ammo.  Fortunately, it's because of this aversion to .40 cal guns that you will find this particular caliber a bit cheaper on the used civilian market.

Ruger makes a decent gun, but frankly I like the breakdown ease that Glock and SA offer.

One word of warning.  It takes practice to become an effective handgun shooter.  While your plans are to put it away for future use, I would highly recommend budgeting for training, ammo and range time so you can become reasonably proficient.

Buying two of the same type is a good start.  Glocks and SAs, as well as most brands out there with high name recognition are highly reliable.  But they will break eventually - generally due to parts failure after thousands of rounds have been fired.  You can also just buy and stock spare parts.

I won't get into the debate about pistols vs. ARs, but I wholeheartedly agree with the comment that pistols are really just insurance to give you a chance to go get your AR.

Remember to buy plenty of extra magazines.

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Mike7.62
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Irksome, If you're set on a

Irksome,

If you're set on a semi auto handgun, my recommendation is a Glock 17 or a Glock 19. Since you haven't mentioned concealment, I would go with the G17. The main reason that I would recommend it is because it has a proven track record, has a very high capacity, is in 9mm which is one of the most common calibers, can be purchased used for about the same price as a new Ruger, and it has no magazine disconnect feature. 

I have five Glocks, and you can literally run over them with a tractor and they will work, plus they are the most common firearm used by PD's in the states and have a real historical record of reliability in actual duty use.

The mag disconnect feature on the Ruger may seem to be a minor inconvenience, but one of the things that you will need to learn is called a magazine exchange. It's when you take a partially used magazine and replace it with a fully charged one, most times when covering a threat that you may have taken out and are looking for others to present themselves. The mag disconnect does not allow the weapon to be fired when the magazine is out of the weapon. What that means is that you have a very expensive club in your hand as you exchange magazines. Personally, I would never carry any pistol that has this feature, and ALL Ruger semi autos with the exception of their 1911 clone have it.

You specified a semi auto in your OP, so I suppose that a revolver is not in the cards. Personally, if I were you and were not going to invest a great deal of time in training, I'd stick with the wheelgun option, simply because it is ultra reliable, relatively inexpensive,  requires no clearing procedures in the case of a misfire or malfunction, and can be had in a solid defense caliber such as .357 Magnum, which can also shoot .38 Specials. A Ruger GP 100 or a S&W Model 586/686 are very good handguns, and will cover just about any situation that you will ever encounter.

I can guarantee that if you decide on the semi auto for defensive purposes, and you do not practice malfunctions on a routine basis, you WILL screw it up WHEN one occurs, which in a semi auto of any type WILL happen, and usually at the most inopportune time. Murphy rides with all of us. There are too many variables in a semi auto such as ammunition anomalies and magazine malfunctions, so failures to feed, eject ,and extract are certain at some point in time. Not practicing them on a regular basis is asking for trouble. You can take it from those of us who've been fooling with weapons for our entire lives, and some of us who carry them every day in our line of work, or you can learn the lesson on your own. Just remember, experience is a very harsh teacher. She gives the test first, and the lesson afterwards. You learn the lesson if you survive the test.

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