The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Semi-automatic Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 7, 2012, 08:11 PM   #1
deucelee
Member
 
Join Date: December 26, 2011
Location: WI
Posts: 28
What is the bang for the buck of handguns?

100% new to handguns. Looking to purchase something for home protection and sometime I can take to the woods with me and protect myself in case I get chased by a bear.

I would like something that is
1.) Semi-auto
2.) Be able to fend of a big bear
3.) The ammo is cost effective

Cost effective example: 22LR are fine for squirrel hunting. So is a WMR or HMR. However, WMR or HMR ammo cost 3-4x the cost of 22LR. I don't mind paying for a good handgun that can take care of business. I'd rather not pay 3-4x for something that is overkill thought. If caliber A and B does almost the same thing but B is 2x the cost, I'm going to go with A.

Budget is $400. So when I say bang for the buck, I'm not talking just about the gun itself, but the ammo. If stretching the price to $450 or $500 will get me something significantly better, I'm ears. Thoughts?

Googling $400 handguns says .45 and 9mm's can be had for around this price.

Again, sorry for being vague but this is my first attempt at trying to figure out what I can get for a handgun. thanks in advance
deucelee is offline  
Old August 7, 2012, 08:17 PM   #2
Crankgrinder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 24, 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 662
thats a tall order. as you go up in caliber which is necessary for bears ammo becomes severely less cost effective. Im sure one will suggest a glock 10mm though i dont know of its effevtiveness against bears. A 44. mag comes to mind but again you say semi auto. Desert eagle .50 ae maybe but cost effevtive? hardly. Looks to me you might be stuck with 10mm.
Crankgrinder is offline  
Old August 7, 2012, 08:20 PM   #3
deucelee
Member
 
Join Date: December 26, 2011
Location: WI
Posts: 28
thank you crankgrinder...i'm really looking to get educated since I know almost nothing about handguns...from my readings, it looks like i was talking out of my @ss when i said a .45 was worth considering, further reading states that it's 2x the cost of the 9mm. So I'll read into the 10mm and the .40. Any other suggestions?
deucelee is offline  
Old August 7, 2012, 08:22 PM   #4
sigarms228
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 29, 2011
Posts: 640
Honestly I don't know of any pistol that meets your criteria.

For a big bear I would want 10MM or .44 magnum as a minimum and such ammo is not what I would call cost effective.

Lets see what others have to say.

Good luck!
sigarms228 is online now  
Old August 7, 2012, 08:28 PM   #5
power5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 21, 2012
Posts: 166
9mm is the most cost effective ammo. 40 is between 9 and 45. Goes about like this. 9mm= $10/50, .40 is about $14/50, .45 is about $18/50. Not retail prices, online. Have to pay shipping for all of those. I buy 9mm winchester VP at WM for $23/100 to give you an idea.

None of those are recommended against a "big bear". Better to have a rifle. Dump enough 9mm+ heavy grain into the correct spot of the bear and you have a good chance. Better see him a ways off and not miss too much though. Unless you know you are going to be the exception to the handguns aren't for bears rule.
power5 is offline  
Old August 7, 2012, 08:48 PM   #6
Cheapshooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 2, 2007
Location: Missouri
Posts: 4,245
A Ruger SR9 and a can of bear spray!!!
__________________
Cheapshooter's rules of gun ownership #1: NEVER SELL OR TRADE ANYTHING!
Cheapshooter is offline  
Old August 7, 2012, 09:00 PM   #7
ohen cepel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 1999
Location: Where they send me
Posts: 1,013
I would say a CZ82 and always take a slow friend with you into the woods.

Really, I don't think you will find something that fits that budget and will defend against a bear in a sane way. Anything that will stop a bear is costly to buy and to feed.

Seriously though, the CZ82's are great pistols for the money. Not bear medicine though.
__________________
He who dares wins.

NRA Life Benefactor Member
ohen cepel is offline  
Old August 7, 2012, 09:08 PM   #8
CWKahrFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 3, 2010
Posts: 1,792
If relatively low-cost ammo is priority, how about a Ruger SR40 ?...With transfer you're looking at @ $430... Buds is very reputable BTW... Click:

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/69980

15 rounds of hot .40 is quite formidable... But of course it's not a .44 Magnum.

This is just an idea... You have to find your own balance between your wallet and your safety comfort level... And, yes, knowledgeable experts I've read on the net mostly concur that a good bearspray is the firstline defense vs. bears.
__________________
What did Mrs. Bullet say to Mr. Bullet? ... "We're having a BeeBee!"...

IF THE SHOE FITS, WEAR IT!... IF THE GUN FITS, SHOOT IT!

Last edited by CWKahrFan; August 7, 2012 at 09:33 PM.
CWKahrFan is offline  
Old August 7, 2012, 09:09 PM   #9
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,157
Define "big bear". (I don't think there are any grizzlys in WI)

You're still better off with a revolver. .357 Magnum minimum.

OTOH, you might can find a 1911 chambered in .460 Rowland. That would do it.
__________________
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is offline  
Old August 7, 2012, 09:10 PM   #10
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 2,986
Thanks for asking our advice

Good woodscraft is better for keeping you out of trouble than ANYTHING you can carry. Knowledge. That's the key.

I was going to say that an 18" 12 gauge meets your three criteria, but isn't a handgun. Shot sized to not penetrate your outer walls too easily will do a magnificent job for home defense, is easy to aim and not very expensive. For Bears, Brenneke slugs are highly respected.

Also, about the only thing that gets under your budget is the 12 gauge.

But Cheapshooter beat me to the correct answer. Bear spray is more effective at preventing human injuries than firearms, easier to aim and does not involve nearly the same amount of after-action trouble (defense shootings of animals puts a number of legal responsibilities on the shooter, if uninjured).

When in the woods, I carry 454 Casull and bear spray. If only one, the spray. But a shotgun (some loads) is a more effective than the 454 and easier to aim. It is just not easier to carry.

If you are concerned about ammunition cost, 9mm is the cheapest centerfire, but for social work (human to human), I like bigger bullets.

If only one gun, then the 45 Colt (in the models that can take the heavy loads, usually designated "Ruger Only"), 454 Casull or 44 Magnum plus a reloading setup. 44 Mag is ok for bears which have WAY too much penetration for people, but it can shoot 44 special. 45 Colt (in a strong enough gun) or 454 Casull can shoot 45 Colt which is reasonably powder for social shootings. Loading your own practice ammo keeps the cost down.

9mm is adequate for people and maybe for smallish bears, but you mentioned big bears.

Good woodscraft is better for keeping you out of trouble than ANYTHING you can carry. Knowledge. That's the key.

Good luck,

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old August 7, 2012, 10:22 PM   #11
jfrey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 16, 2008
Location: Coastal South Texas
Posts: 549
Unless I've forgotten something, I don't believe the gun you are looking for even exists. You need a big gun and bullet for any bears and semi's that handle those loads aren't cost effective. I would suggest you look more toward an old model Ruger Vaquero so you can shoot .45 LC +P loads. Ammo ain't real cheap and it ain't a semi, but it will work on bears. A G20 might work but it is still above your budget unless you can find a good used one.
jfrey is offline  
Old August 7, 2012, 10:53 PM   #12
Flyboy_451
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 30, 2008
Location: Missouri
Posts: 132
Best solution I can think of...

Buy a nice but inexpensive .22 (Ruger MkIII or similar) and a good pair of outdoors boots. These should be comfortable and light weight, providing good traction in various terrain.

Any time you trek into bear country, make sure to bring along a co-worker that you are not particularly fond of. If Mr. Bear comes along and gives chase, shoot your co-worker in the knee and then run like mad! Hopefully, between the knee injury to your co-worker and the large piles of excrement that you will be leaving behind, the bear will either be unwilling or unable to pursue you effectively.

Honestly, there is nothing available that meets all of your criteria. Handguns, particularly in the hands of an inexperienced shooter, are small comfort when faced by a bear of any size. Large caliber (generally expensive) and lots of practice offer the best chances of successfully defending against any large predator. The best plan is to avoid contact in the first place as another poster has already said.

JW

JW
Flyboy_451 is offline  
Old August 7, 2012, 11:37 PM   #13
Dondor
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2006
Posts: 223
Item 2 and Item 3 on your list are not agreeable with each other.

Me personally. If I am going to trust my LIFE to a sidearm against a bear, I don't care what the cost of the ammo is, or for that matter limit myself to the cost of a gun.

Seems you are only valuing your life at $400

Rule 1.. Bring enough gun.

Side note regarding bears and handguns. No handgun would be 100% effective at fending off bear. Some might come close... .460 or .500, but nothing will be 100%

Bear dispatching for me would mean that short barreled .500 S&W Mag, with more bullets than the 5 in the cylinder.

And that would be AFTER I emptied 5 shots of .30-06 into it.
Dondor is offline  
Old August 7, 2012, 11:58 PM   #14
TheRaskalKing
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2012
Location: The Hometown of JMB
Posts: 212
Well said, Flyboy!

Best bear defense is bear spray, luck, and somebody slower than you are.

As far as firearms go- I wouldn't feel comfortable in serious (read grizzly) bear country without a rifle in something big like 45-70 and a sidearm in at least 10mm. And of course, bear spray. But that's me, and I'm hardly an expert.

I'm not sure what your area is like, but are bear attacks very common, or common at all? I understand the sentiment of wanting to be prepared, but if you're concerned, I'd just get some bear spray.

For all practical purposes, and the best bang for your buck, I'd get something in 9mm. Cheap practice ammo, good performance/penetration, higher capacity than other calibers... I think a lot of people pay far too much attention to the naysayers of the 9mm. We've come a long way since the Miami shootout. +P loads/good JHPs will do you fine for SD/HD. Specific guns that come to mind are the Ruger SR9, CZ-75, Springfield XD series, and Glock 19 if the much debated Glock grip/hump works for you. The Ruger would be my personal choice. Most of the aforementioned guns can be had used for $400-500

And isn't it funny that the minute any of us reads anything with the words bears and guns in it, we immediately run with it?
__________________
"Freedom and reason make us men; take these away, what are we then?"
-Sometimes your best defense is a good reminder of your common sense-
Springfield Loaded 1911 - HK USP Compact 9mm - SA XDM 4.5 .45 - Browning Medalist .22 - Ruger 10/22 - Browning Superposed O/U - Remington 1100 - Remington 720 .270
TheRaskalKing is offline  
Old August 8, 2012, 12:11 AM   #15
JimDandy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 8, 2012
Posts: 2,405
Not everything that glitters is gold,

And not everything that's chambered for .45 always has to shoot .45. Or .40, or 9mm, or... well, you get the idea. There are companies out there whose sole product line are conversion kits. There are firearms companies that make their own conversion kits. I've heard Kimber makes one for the 1911 platform. I've had the Advantage Arms kit recommended by my gun guy. Sig Sauer makes caliber X-Change kits for a many of their non-1911 pistols.

With that said, it may actually be cheaper, in the case of the 1911 frame to buy a 1911 frame in .45, 10mm or what-have-you, and a second one in .22.
JimDandy is offline  
Old August 8, 2012, 12:44 AM   #16
CDR_Glock
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 30, 2010
Posts: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by deucelee View Post
100% new to handguns. Looking to purchase something for home protection and sometime I can take to the woods with me and protect myself in case I get chased by a bear.

I would like something that is
1.) Semi-auto
2.) Be able to fend of a big bear
3.) The ammo is cost effective

Cost effective example: 22LR are fine for squirrel hunting. So is a WMR or HMR. However, WMR or HMR ammo cost 3-4x the cost of 22LR. I don't mind paying for a good handgun that can take care of business. I'd rather not pay 3-4x for something that is overkill thought. If caliber A and B does almost the same thing but B is 2x the cost, I'm going to go with A.

Budget is $400. So when I say bang for the buck, I'm not talking just about the gun itself, but the ammo. If stretching the price to $450 or $500 will get me something significantly better, I'm ears. Thoughts?

Googling $400 handguns says .45 and 9mm's can be had for around this price.

Again, sorry for being vague but this is my first attempt at trying to figure out what I can get for a handgun. thanks in advance
$400
Can fend off a bear
Cost effective

Try a 12 gauge pump shotgun. Semi-auto? Move up to the Mossberg 930 SPX.

Otherwise, you'll need to double your requirements to raise money. 44 Magnum is it. To get a Semiauto, you're stuck with a Magnum Research Desert Eagle. Those are around $1200-$1600. Ammo is NOT cost effective. Some say 357 Magnum is minimally acceptable. You're better off with Bear Spray and avoiding bears. My Coonan 1911 357 Magnum does 7+1 of 357 Magnum. This will run you about $1200-$1400. Next step is finding a used Magnum Research Desert Eagle 357 magnum. They are not cheap but cost less than a 44 Magnum or 50AE.

If you take out the bear requirement, then a used Striker Fire pistol like the Smith and Wesson M&P, Glock, or Springfield XD/XDM. They'll run you $425-$475 used. Retail is around the $525-$600. If you're LEO, Homeland Security or military, then you can get a Glock discount.
CDR_Glock is offline  
Old August 8, 2012, 01:05 AM   #17
willmc33
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2012
Location: Mobile,Al
Posts: 473
EAA Witness 10mm or used Glock 20?

A Glock 29 10mm is my woods gun but I surely would not consider the ammo cost effective. A cost effective autoloader that can handle a big bear is an order that cant be filled I feel. A EAA Witness 10mm is about as cheap as I think you could get something that has potential to handle a bear. Black and Brown Bears however are 2 totally needs to take down. A EAA Witness 10mm or used Glock 20 or 29 10mm is about all I can think of. I have said this many times before but I think the best bang for the buck is the Smith & Wesson 5906 9mm. The quality you get for the cost is off the chart. Second best bang for the buck is the Sig Sauer SP2022 9mm. 9mm however would be a distant choice for me if bears were a factor.
__________________
"Perfection is the enemy of good enough"
willmc33 is offline  
Old August 8, 2012, 01:31 AM   #18
shuler13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2011
Location: Austin
Posts: 156
The three most cost effect guns I have bought (all 399 or less) were 9mm (not beary scary) but here goes:

Sig 2022
S&W 5906 (used)
Caracal C.

Of those listed I would hike with the caracal as it is the lightest and I'm not worried about messing it up.
shuler13 is offline  
Old August 8, 2012, 01:41 AM   #19
Justice06RR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 21, 2010
Location: Central FL
Posts: 1,261
HD and bear protection? Get a shotgun! if you don't plan to Conceal carry a pistol then the shotgun should serve your needs well.

Otherwise if you want a pistol, I suggest at least a 40 or 45cal. Ruger sells SR40 and SR345 pistol.
Justice06RR is offline  
Old August 8, 2012, 06:49 AM   #20
akguy1985
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2012
Location: Claremore, Oklahoma
Posts: 179
LE trade in glock 22. Its semi auto and with good ammo you could easily fend off a bear.
__________________
Marksman of the mezzanine
akguy1985 is offline  
Old August 8, 2012, 07:17 AM   #21
silvrjeepr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2009
Posts: 213
Cost effective: ruger 22

In the budget home defense: glock 17 9mm on sale or used

To heck with the budget I want stopping power for whatever walks the woods: 10mm glock 20

Yeah I like the glocks. They're as reliable as they are ugly.
silvrjeepr is offline  
Old August 8, 2012, 07:37 AM   #22
pturner67
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 26, 2006
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 656
In spirit of the "Lesters" ammo signs, it's best not to go cost effective if you really are worried about a big bear.
pturner67 is offline  
Old August 8, 2012, 07:44 AM   #23
buckhorn_cortez
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 30, 2010
Posts: 390
Lowest cost and effective protection from a bear are mutually exclusive - unless, of course, you can put a price on your life. If you want protection from a bear - buy it.

Here a link to the .50 Caliber built by Guncrafter - that's where I'd start.
buckhorn_cortez is offline  
Old August 8, 2012, 11:26 AM   #24
rx7kevin
Junior Member
 
Join Date: August 7, 2012
Posts: 1
The EAA witness fits your bill. 10mm auto w/ 1911 ergos & cocked & locked carry. Conversion kits available for 9mm, 45acp & 22lr.

Buds has them for $416.
rx7kevin is offline  
Old August 8, 2012, 11:39 AM   #25
481
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2011
Posts: 469
I think that the Glocks (regardless of caliber) are some of the best values out there.
__________________
My favorite "gun" book -

QUANTITATIVE AMMUNITION SELECTION
481 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13742 seconds with 9 queries