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Old October 22, 2012, 10:11 PM   #1
Thunder Struck
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Looking to buy my 1st gun

Hey all,

I am looking to purchase my first handgun. I will use it mostly for range shooting and target shooting in the woods. I doubt if I will conceal/carry.

I've done some checking and have a few guns in mind, but wanted the experts opinions.

Budget is a big concern, so I have to stay under $350 if possible.

The guns I have interest in are:

1. Bersa Thunder 380

2. Smith & Wesson SD9 VE (9mm)

3. Ruger P95

I hear the S&W is a vast improvement over the Sigma series, that the Bersa is really a very well made gun and that the Ruger is as solid as they come.

I am looking for opinions on the guns mentioned as well as any suggestions on other guns in the same price range.

Thanks
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Old October 22, 2012, 10:19 PM   #2
willmc33
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Another 2 guns to highly consider well within that price range are a Smith & Wesson 5906 and CZ P07. Both are excellent guns. I had a very bad experience with a SD series Smith. Others have had better luck but for what they cost the 2 I mentioned are hard to beat. For alitlle bit more you could add a Sig SP2022 to the list and have some real contention going on. The Bersa Thunders are really good guns for the money but .380acp isnt as economical as 9mm is so I would exclude that (if it was me). Of the 3 you have listed I would say the P95 but if you are open to other suggestions I would put the 5906 and P07 at the top of the list and the SP2022 3rd because its alittle more.
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Old October 22, 2012, 10:26 PM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestions. Are both of those guns still being manufactured?
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Old October 22, 2012, 10:32 PM   #4
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The 5906 is not. The P07 and SP2022 are to the best of my knowledge.
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Old October 22, 2012, 10:34 PM   #5
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I'll second the P07, or...and this is controversial...the Caracal. Despite being manufactured in the UAE, it is reportedly a fantastic gun, no matter the price.

I also understand Bersa makes a 9mm version, probably close to your price point.
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Old October 22, 2012, 10:36 PM   #6
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Thanks.

I have a few things I have to consider. The main one is my right hand (dominant hand) was damaged in an accident so I do not have a very strong grip. So kick/re-coil is a concern.

Also, I do not live near a gun range to try different guns/calibers out, so I am dependent on why I learn online.

Again, I must stay below $350.
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Old October 22, 2012, 10:36 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forums Thunder Struck...

I'd have to agree with willmc33 as regards both the P95 and CZ P07 for centerfire handguns in your price range. The CZ in particular is an excellent gun for the money.

Quote:
I will use it mostly for range shooting and target shooting in the woods.
IMO... In reality, a gun that would provide you with the most pleasure for the least cost would be a .22LR with adjustable sights... followed by a 6 shot revolver in .38 Spcl. There are far too many guns in these categories to mention, so I won't.

Cheers,
C
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Old October 22, 2012, 10:39 PM   #8
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Thanks Creeper. I may conceal/carry, so I do want a smaller gun just in case. I guess I am looking for the perfect gun at the perfect price
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Old October 22, 2012, 10:47 PM   #9
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You have alot of factors to throw in here. The P07 would still be at the top of my list providing you do still have the hand strength to manipulate the slide. The grip has very aggressive serrations that lend itself to any grip basically. For a semi auto 9mm I think it is one of the best options out there. Creeper does bring up a good point about a .38 Special its not as economical but still a good viable option depending on the extent of your injury. Alot easier to operate in terms of force needed. The trigger pull will tend to be stronger however. If you go that route then take a good look at a used Smith & Wesson Model 10 or Ruger Security Six.
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Old October 22, 2012, 10:48 PM   #10
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One gun to suit all needs doesn't really exist. What is concealable for you? What is acceptable accuracy for you? What is fill in the blank for you?

Step 1. Get a gun... learn how to clean and care for it. Learn how to be safe with it. If you choose to carry concealed, take some training courses... not just "get my CCW" classes, but real training.
Step 2. Get another gun. One that is more specific to a want or need.
Step 3. Repeat steps above until fully satisfied with gun collection, knowledge and skill set... which will be never.

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Old October 22, 2012, 10:55 PM   #11
Thunder Struck
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You guys are great. I do need to be more specific I guess. I realize I need proper training and I will pursue that.

What online reading I have done has made me lean heavily on the Bersa 380. I know the ammo is a bit higher, but the gap is closing I think from where it was even a year ago.
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Old October 22, 2012, 11:00 PM   #12
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It can be hard to find sometimes also. There are a TON of LCP's, P3AT's, Bersa's etc... that need to be fed.
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Old October 22, 2012, 11:43 PM   #13
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I got my P-07 for $400.00 OTD... I would have to second that gun. I also had a Bersa Thunder (ok it was my wifes) but 500 rounds down range without a problem... I love my P-07.
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Old October 22, 2012, 11:58 PM   #14
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I like the Bersas too:

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/25373

For a similar size/power gun which is double-stack (12+1) you also MIGHT want to consider one of these used milsurps... I have a really nice one and after I put on some new aftermarket grips (which I bought direct from CZ) it's a very nice-looker. I absolutely love mine for the price... fits my hand perfectly... has polygonal rifling. And, it's a CZ!

New 9x18 ammo is being produced by 3 or 4 different companies now and it's ballpark similar to .380 in performance and price. If you decide to go for one of these, I recommend paying the extra $10 for hand select:

http://www.classicfirearms.com/hand-guns/cz-82-pistols

There's a pic of mine in this old thread:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...04#post5120204
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Old October 23, 2012, 12:04 PM   #15
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I don't know if it was suggested, and I know it's not a gun you've listed, but have you thought about a Ruger 22/45? They're a blast to shoot, and ammo is dirt cheap. You can find them new for about $300, and used for half that even. I know you mentioned later you might decide to carry later, but I still think this might be a better idea for you. If you decide to carry later, then you can think about picking up something more suited for that. You can sell or trade the Ruger if you have to in that case. Again, I know it wasn't in your list, but for someone on a budget, who is primarily looking at something to plink with, you really can't go wrong here. Something to keep in mind, and has been mentioned, there is no such thing as a perfect do-all gun. I do not plink, or recreationally shoot my carry guns (except I might do IDPA with them). I have other guns specific to that purpose. Of course, I will train/practice with them, but that's to become better with their primary purpose.

I want to make it clear, however, do not use this gun as a carry piece. Although the old adage of a well placed .22 is better than a missed .45, the .22 just doesn't have what you need in a defensive firearm. Anyway, hope I could help or at least give you something else to think about.
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Old October 23, 2012, 12:07 PM   #16
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Glock makes a good utilitarian gun. Looks for a used Glock 17 or Glock 19. 9mm should do everything you want and should be cheap enough to have fun with. You can pick them up in great shape for $350.00
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Old October 23, 2012, 01:46 PM   #17
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Tauris makes guns comparable to the S&W line at substantially less money. 9mm is much cheaper to shoot than .40, .357 SIG or .45 ACP.

While I personally wouldn't own a Hi-Point, those that have them report remarkable reliability for such an inexpensive gun. For plinking and target shooting, it may be all you need. For self-defense, I'd want something better.

As for Sigmas, I think that with proper maintenance and factory loads, these too would suit you just fine.
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Old October 23, 2012, 02:04 PM   #18
Thunder Struck
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Thanks for all the suggestions.
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Old October 23, 2012, 04:41 PM   #19
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the bersa is a nice little gun, but the 380 ammo prices will hurt you in the long run.

the s&w sd series is a minor improvement over the sigma. still crappy.

the p95 is a good choice as long as it's just for target shooting (bulky for any thoughts of carry)

p07 is nice for the money (used under $350).

sig is very nice for the money (used under $350).

kahr cw9 is another option (possibly new under $350).

ruger sr9c is another option (used under $350).

beretta px4 storm is another option (used under $350).

i'd stay away from taurus, keltec, or any mouse guns myself. quality just isn't there.

it really is amazing what you gain by adding that extra $50 to your budget to bump you to $400
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Old October 23, 2012, 04:46 PM   #20
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I am going to add a non-gun suggestion.

If your injured dominant hand limits you, and especially since you are new to handguns, learn to shoot with your weak hand.

Limitation resolved.

A lot of us train to shoot with either hand. A lot of cross dominant people (EG, right hand and left eye dominant) find shooting weak hand is easier than aligning dominant hand with opposite eye.
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Old October 23, 2012, 04:47 PM   #21
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As this is going to be a range/target gun, I'd suggest a .22. The Ruger MK III, Browning Buckmark, or S&W 22.
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Old October 23, 2012, 07:45 PM   #22
Thunder Struck
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I had no idea there were so many options. Too many options really. The more I try to educate myself, the more I seem to get confused. Someone will say "This is a great gun" and the next person will say "That gun sucks!".... I realize you can't please everyone, but man I had no idea how difficult this decision is.
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Old October 23, 2012, 08:07 PM   #23
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Quote:
"This is a great gun" and the next person will say "That gun sucks!".
Opinion and knowledge are, quite frequently, two different things... stick around long enough and you'll be able to tell which is which pretty quickly.

If you have questions... sometimes it's smarter to PM those you think are objective and even-handed with your questions, rather than toss them out to one and all.

C
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Old October 23, 2012, 08:08 PM   #24
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Cougar 8000f is a 9mm, but $375 on Buds. Plus FFL fees. That's brand new though.
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Old October 23, 2012, 08:19 PM   #25
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Well $350 limits your choices a bit.

Start haunting the gun shops. Try on a bunch of different guns for size. If you can, rent some guns at a range and shoot them.

It's not a race and there's really many more good choices than bad.
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