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Old October 23, 2012, 09:55 PM   #26
marine6680
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Cost of ammo is important in the long run...

If you are budget limited at $350... and find $400 a stretch... you will have issues keeping a .380 fed enough for any real range time. I find the .380 costs about an extra $5 or more per box than 9mm.


I second the Sig 2022, and the CZ P-07. The Sig will push up about $100 more out the door, and the CZ will be about $50 more out the door than your $350 price point. The CZ you may need to get online to get the best price. I have seen the Sig going for $400 before tax at local shops, same as online.

Another is the Ruger SR9 or SR9c... both about the same price as the Sig and CZ. Really good pistols for the money.

You really gain a lot by adding the $50-100 to your budget. (keep in mind, the Sig comes with only one magazine)


Being as you may be recoil sensitive... and you say your main uses and want is a plinker on the cheap...

I also say a good 22lr pistol is a good choice, as they can be found cheap, and can be feed for relatively very cheap. (500 rounds for around $20) A Ruger Mark III, 22/45, or SR22 can be had for under $350 easy. (the Mark III and 22/45 can be more for the high end models)

The Mark III and 22/45 are very accurate and very mild recoil due to the weight. Getting a bull barrel version (large diameter, non-tapered barrel) adds to this effect.

I would suggest the SR22 as a really good pistol for your purposes. Good accuracy, low recoil, reliable, well built, less than $350.

Its not very large, so CCW could be done easily if you so choose... though 22lr is not the best defense caliber, it beats your fists. Use quality high/hyper velocity ammo round nose for best effect. I would use CCI Velocitors. They penetrate 16 inches in gel tests out of the SR22, from what I have seen.

After you get practice, trigger time and training... you can look into getting something more suitable for defense and CCW. Hopefully by then, you will have been able to better understand what you really want/need and can have saved up some more cash to make it happen.
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Old October 24, 2012, 12:58 AM   #27
Thunder Struck
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marine6680 - Thanks for such a detailed response! I did check prices online and the 9mm you mentioned are closer to $75-100 over my budget.

I have no interest in a 22, but thanks for bringing them up.

I guess I am going to check deeper into the Ruger P9 and the S&W SD9. The online reviews I have seen on the S&W SD9 have been very good. They have fixed the trigger issues they had with the Sigma line and the price is right where I need to be.
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Old October 24, 2012, 07:02 AM   #28
loose_holster_dan
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toss the kahr cw9 into the mix. it CAN be found for $350 (before tax or shipping and transfer). it will definitely be a bargain tho if you can find it locally for that.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=313147601

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...Frame+%26+Stai
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Old October 24, 2012, 07:39 AM   #29
bossman
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I never had any problems with the S&W Sigma, it runs 100% all the time. You just have to get use to the long pull of the trigger. More like a DA revolver. I havn't shot the S&W SD9 but if it's anywhere close to the Sigma it would be a good choice. The 9mm is a fine round and is sold about everywhere.
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Last edited by bossman; October 24, 2012 at 08:13 AM.
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Old October 24, 2012, 08:03 AM   #30
Tinner666
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I'd rethink the idea of target shooting with the .380. And all of them I've ever fired are light enough to have significant recoil. I carry and even shoot one at times, but only enough to stay competent with it.

A 9mm would be a better choice in compact or full size.
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Old October 24, 2012, 11:56 AM   #31
MLeake
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Bersa Thunder or CZ83 should have fairly light recoil. Same with Beretta 84/85. Not all .380 pistols are tiny.
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Old October 24, 2012, 03:40 PM   #32
JimDandy
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The first thing I suggest is getting your CPL before you buy your gun. Chances are you'll eliminate any waiting period, and they usually have a unique identifier to help you pass your checks. I always prefer walking out with my purchase to walking out with a promise to come back in a few days while they keep my money.

The second thing I'll suggest is you reconsider a 22LR pistol for target shooting- a 1911-22 target pistol is wonderfully fun to shoot, and the little bitty round in a frame that substantial won't feel like much at all when it goes off. Additionally a box of ammo (say .45ACP since that's what I hunt Walmart for) will run $30-33ish for a 100 round Federal value pack... IF you can find them. Basically every time you pull the trigger take a dime and quarter out of your pocket and tdrop them in a wishing well. I think a 550 pack of 22LR is about 6 bucks and change... Fire twice and drop three pennies on the ground. Use the money you save to buy a SD pistol when you're ready to carry. After you use the first couple 20's you save to buy a boresnake type cleaning device, and combination cleaner/lubricant/preservative type cleaner generically called CLP, not necessarily the brand name CLP- and whatnot...The gun isn't expensive, it's maintaining the gun and your range time that gets you.

Since your right hand is less than 100% keep that in mind as you buy your first gun... safety? No safety? (I wouldn't recomend it, but it's your choice) Ambidexterous safety? If 350 is a hard limit, you don't have the money to pay for an aftermarket gunsmith-installed modification so it should come with the safety style you want/need.

Additional costs: A holster for concealed carry when you're ready. Expect to drop at least 100 on a conealable holster. For maximum concealability, you want an Inside-The-Waistband or IWB holster, or a pocket holster if you get a snubby little thing. Do not get a wallet holster with an opening for the trigger if you get a baby pistol, that becomes an "Any Other Weapon" and you have to pay extra to the ATF for that, or pay a LOT extra when someone finds it on you...

If you get something big enough to wear on a belt, get a gun belt, whether you use IWB, or Pancake, or Paddle. You can get a Gould and Goodrich fairly cheap on Amazon. Yeah, finally we luck out somewhere. Though it doesn't look great, it doesn't look bad, and great costs a hundred or better. Shoot an C pasters from Amazon for the easy to discern target shooting results are also cheaper on Amazon.
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Old October 24, 2012, 06:53 PM   #33
Thunder Struck
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Once again, thanks for all the feedback. I am taking notes and you have opened my eyes to a few guns I didn't have on my initial list.
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Old October 25, 2012, 08:13 AM   #34
Deegee
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I second the Kahr CW9. It would be a good range gun and concealed carry weapon.

My wife has a Bersa Thunder .380 as her primary. It is a joy to shoot but .380 ammo isn't as powerful as 9mm. I carry a S&W Bodyguard 380 as my pocket gun/backup gun. The .380 round is basically a short 9mm but ammo costs a lot more per box. 9mm ammo is the cheapest to shoot at the range except for .22 which is dirt cheap but isn't a defensive round at all. If the only purpose is range gun get a .22 not a .380.

Therefore the Kahr CW9 wins in my book that meets your criteria and within your budget.
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Old October 25, 2012, 05:51 PM   #35
aschwabe
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+1 on used smith & wesson 5906. Especially for a range pistol, it is built like a tank, super accurate, reliable, easy handling, and cheap. It doesn't matter that it isn't being made anymore, because there are a ton of them out there, and a ton of accessories, parts, etc.

CDNN has police trade-in 5906's for $349 I think, a really good deal.
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