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Old July 10, 2013, 03:26 PM   #1
Waspinator
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Done my Revolver Rersearch, Now Semi's

Hi all,

I'm in the market for my first handgun. As the title states, I have already done extensive research for revolvers and have models (new and used) to look out for while shopping. Now, I want to research semi-autos. I am open to go either way, so I want to make sure I am well informed.

I have shot a couple of semi-autos and found I like some things, so I have been researching models that have the things I like. I wanted to run some models by you and see if anything should be dropped from the list. I would also like to know if there are other models out there that I have overlooked.

Things I like:
Steel/alloy framed pistols
DA/SA hammer fired
3-dot sights (nightsights a plus)
Compact size (not pocket-pistol size, but not full size. Plan to carry IWB)
decocker or decocker/safety combo
Prefer 9mm

Considerations:
I live in CT: (So, I would want the pistol to either come with 10 (or under) round magazines or have the ability to purchase magazines in that round count.)
Budget: Like to keep it at $600 or under, but willing to go a bit more for the right pistol.
Single stack/Double stack: Up in the air, Single would be better, but I'm willing to go double stack.
I originally fired a Sig Sauer P232 .380 and really liked it, but considering it's size, I think I can go with a 9mm and stay approx in the same size category.

Models that I researched so far:

CZ-75D PCR
CZ-P01
Bersa Thunder Ultra Compact Pro 9mm
Stoeger Couger Compact (unclear on 10-rd magazine availability. Clarification welcome)

Added from Suggestions:
MR Baby Desert Eagle II Compact

Budget Buster, but looks nice (think the only single stack I could find):
Sig Sauer P239

Thoughts on the above models?
Any Brand/Model out there that's not on the list that meets my "Likes"?

Comments welcome,
Thanks,
Wasper

Last edited by Waspinator; July 11, 2013 at 07:52 AM.
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Old July 10, 2013, 03:36 PM   #2
ScotchMan
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Steel/alloy frame and DA/SA makes you a Sig or CZ guy. 3rd generation S&Ws are highly thought of, but no longer produced. Classic Berettas work, the 92 Compact might be around 10 rounds. The 10 round thing sucks (NYer here). Makes the P239 a great choice. Check out the P224 for a subcompact option, holds exactly 10 if I remember correctly. Felt nice in my hands, but a little heavier than my polymer.

If I were you I'd probably end up with a P229, P228, or P224. I don't have any time on CZs, but people love them.

If you're willing to compromise on the metal frame, or the DA/SA action, either would open up a ton of other options.
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Old July 10, 2013, 03:57 PM   #3
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Try to find a place that rents them.

I have looked at guns, handled them in the shop and read the specs and thought they were it, Then shot them and found out I didn't like them. I have also shot guns that I didn't think I would like and feel in love with them.
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Old July 10, 2013, 05:48 PM   #4
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A vote for the CZ 75.
Best of many worlds.
DA/SA or SA cocked and locked, in the same gun.
10 rds to 17 rd mags available.
You might not live in tyranny forever.
Double stack, but still slender and ergonomic.
And within your price range.
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Old July 10, 2013, 06:02 PM   #5
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Don't forget the Berettas! A used mini cougar or stoeger cougar L would fit the bill.
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Old July 10, 2013, 07:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Don't forget the Berettas!
If your talking the 92 compact they cost more than the full size. Might be a bit over budget but I like the Idea.

I have a world of interest in the CZ's and between them I would go with the 75 unless you wanted a rail like the p01. They get good reviews and I am a metal frame lover so I can't wait to see your range review.
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Old July 10, 2013, 07:18 PM   #7
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What gun you buy may depend if it is a home gun or a carry gun. For a home gun, if no children or nearby neighbors, consider a home alarm system and a 18.5" 12 guage shotty w/ #4. For a carry gun, start w/ something that you will actually carry any time of the year (especially on a hot summer day in shorts and a T. The hotter weather really narrows the search. A new Ruger 380 Gen 2, the Kahr cw380 or something along those lines may fit that bill. They have a long dao trigger pull for the safety. A 9mm usually stays home when the shorts and T are worn. That or hotter clothing to cover up the printing issues of a larger pistol.
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Old July 11, 2013, 04:13 AM   #8
Waspinator
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Quote:
What gun you buy may depend if it is a home gun or a carry gun.
This will be my first handgun. So, I would like something big enough that I will enjoy shooting at the range while being small enough to carry eventually.

Quote:
consider a home alarm system and a 18.5" 12 guage shotty w/ #4.
Have both already. This will be my first handgun, not my first firearm. And I prefer to load 00, thank you very much

Quote:
A new Ruger 380 Gen 2, the Kahr cw380 or something along those lines may fit that bill. They have a long dao trigger pull for the safety.
I have shot some of the smaller pistols at the range and did not like them at all. I gravitate towards a bit larger handgun, not necessarily larger caliber. Like I wrote in the first post, I really did enjoy the Sig p232 in .380 , but it was pointed out to me that the p232 is just about as big as smaller 9mm. I figured it would be better to have a compact 9mm then a large .380. Hence my looking into 9mm as a caliber.
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Old July 11, 2013, 07:11 AM   #9
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It is my experience that a subcompact doublestack 9mm can be carried in any attire, including shorts and a t-shirt. I do it all the time, and I am extremely sensitive to printing living in a anti-gun state. Sig P239, P224, would both be very easy to conceal in hot weather for me, with the P224 probably being the easiest since grip length is more important than thickness for concealment.

I don't really see a purpose for the .380 round these days. My girlfriend is in the market for a .380, because she genuinely can't conceal a tiny 9mm. But women have very different body shapes than men. I think a man carrying a .380 is just lazy, and could make a 9mm work.

But, they are still carrying a gun and are way ahead of most people.
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Old July 11, 2013, 07:33 AM   #10
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I like the baby eagle/jericho's. Even the compact models are a bit heavy though. They are a CZ-75 clone.

Hard to go wrong with a cz-75 or sig though.
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Old July 11, 2013, 07:51 AM   #11
Waspinator
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Quote:
I like the baby eagle/jericho's. Even the compact models are a bit heavy though. They are a CZ-75 clone.
Interesting. Never even thought of looking at Desert Eagles. I just checked it out and the Baby Desert Eagle II Compact 9mm w/10-round magazine looks like it checks off all the "likes" I had. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

Baby Desert Eagle II Compact
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Old July 11, 2013, 08:08 AM   #12
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both those cz's and the sig are great guns. easy to shoot. very accurate. but i think you're wasting width if you only need 10 rounds. if you've never carried before, even medium size gun is going to feel like you're smuggling a solid lead 2x4 in your pants. however, since i'm assuming you're new to shooting as well, a tiny gun is going to be hard for you to get accurate with.

they aren't made anymore, but see if you can find an old p225. it's a single stack sig.

and for a far left field suggestion, take a look at the hk p7. it's also not made anymore, and fetches a hefty price tag, but it's one of my favorite guns ever made. you can find some with a little more wear on them in the $600 range, and if you're lucky, you can find one at $700 in near mint condition like i did. while not a true DA/SA pistol in the classic sense, the manual does reference DA and SA firing. it operates on a "squeeze-cocking" method. when you grab the grip, the front of the grip squeezes into the frame, thus cocking the pistol and putting it into SA. when you release the grip, the pistol safely de-cocks itself and will not fire. the size is great for carry. it is a bit heavy, but with the right holster and belt, it's manageable. IMO it's the easiest gun for a beginner to look like a pro. it's intuitive point-shoot aiming is unmatched. it also boasts a gas blow back recoil management system. a major disadvantage is the EXTREMELY high cost of extra mags. you'd be lucky to find one for $50. $70 is standard.
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Old July 11, 2013, 11:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waspinator
Budget Buster, but looks nice (think the only single stack I could find):
Sig Sauer P239
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotchMan
3rd generation S&Ws are highly thought of, but no longer produced.
My thoughts exactly.

The full-size Models 3904 (matte blue, alloy frame) and 3906 (stainless, steel frame) are slightly larger than the P239, and are generally quite reasonably priced, but are scarce because they did not sell well and were only made for 3 years.

The compact Model 3913 (stainless, alloy frame) and 3914 (matte blue, alloy frame) are smaller than the P239 and were produced in much greater numbers for a longer period of time. However, they are quite sought after, and asking prices generally reflect this.

The "Value Series" 908S and 908 are similar to the 3913 and 3914 respectively, with some features deleted to reduce the MSRP.

The double-stack equivalents of the compacts are the 69-series. They are generally cheaper than the single-stacks due to higher production numbers and a recent abundance of LE trade-ins, but are normally over the 10rd limit (12+1); however, you should be able to find 10rd mags without much trouble, as these guns were primarily produced during the original federal AWB.
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Old July 11, 2013, 01:55 PM   #14
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You've just described a 3rd gen S&W. Great buys right now.
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Old July 11, 2013, 02:12 PM   #15
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I carry a full sized Beretta inside the waist. So a compact should fill your needs

I can dress how I wish in hot Texas summers as well
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Old July 11, 2013, 02:33 PM   #16
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Perhaps on the esoteric side, my vote is the Walther P5. 3.5” barrel, hammered, DA/SA and decock. And has a firing pin block, something that wasn’t common at the time. Roughly the same size as the 9mm Glock 19, slimmer at the grip (single stack) than the Glock (double stack) but the slide is wider than the Glock. It was rather pricey during its time new at around $800 (late 70’s, 80’s) or more. Low-end price used is perhaps around the $500 area. Ex-Dutch police were available a while back.

Mags are pricey at around $70-$100 and not common. They are not the same as the Walther P-38, not interchangeable. P5 means fifth/last generation of the P-38.
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Old July 11, 2013, 06:03 PM   #17
Waspinator
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Just checking back in.

Quote:
3rd generation S&Ws are highly thought of, but no longer produced.
Quote:
The compact Model 3913 (stainless, alloy frame) and 3914 (matte blue, alloy frame) are smaller than the P239 and were produced in much greater numbers for a longer period of time. However, they are quite sought after, and asking prices generally reflect this.
The "Value Series" 908S and 908 are similar to the 3913 and 3914 respectively, with some features deleted to reduce the MSRP.
Quote:
You've just described a 3rd gen S&W. Great buys right now.
Thank you for the suggestions. I will surely keep my eyes open for these. I did get to shoot ,what I beleive to be, a full size S&W 5906 during my CCW class months ago. It was stainless steel and had these metal uprights on either side of the rear sights. It was my first time shooting a semi-auto. I was about 15 feet from the target and did better then I thought I would. (I took a pic of the target: Link)

I thought it was a nice pistol.. I didn't realize they had them in compacts. I will definatelt keep my eye out for some 3rd gen compacts.
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Old July 11, 2013, 07:38 PM   #18
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The single stack 3rd gen SA/DA Smith and Wesson in 9mm would be the 3913 (in a couple of configurations). Below is my 3913LS -- that stands for the Lady Smith but it is a heckuva' good gun. It has a 3.5 inch barrel and carries 8 in the mag and one in the pipe.



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Old July 12, 2013, 07:41 AM   #19
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Try to take a look at the SW 6906. This is a smaller version of the 5906 you had mentioned. The barrel is 3.5" vs. 4" and it has a 12 round capacity but 10 round magazines can be found (although not easily right now). I recently picked one up for $350 and it turned out to be a very good shooter. I have seen them at several Cabela's stores recently for $450. I assume they got a bulk buy on some police trade ins. If you have a Cabela's in your area you might give them a look.

As much as I like the 6906, I would love to find one of the 3913s like KYJim. A friend of mine used to have one of those back in the 90s and it was a good shooting pistol and a really nice size. The 6906 might be a little chunky but the 3913 does not suffer from that.
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Old July 12, 2013, 09:20 AM   #20
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Quote:
P5 means fifth/last generation of the P-38.
Where did you read that BS? I guess the P1 is the first generation of P.38 then?

P5 was the designation given to the pistol for the German polizei trails in the 70's when the PP and PP Super were being replaced. The P6 was SIG-Sauer's entry and H&K fielded the P7.
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Old July 13, 2013, 12:54 PM   #21
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Might be bigger than what you are looking for, but you might consider a used Colt Double Eagle if you can find one. They came in full size, Commander and Officers models.
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Old July 14, 2013, 03:21 AM   #22
Stringfellow
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My vote is for a SIG P225. There are lots of great suggestions. But this is an especially sweet pistol, and highly regarded. It is single stack, and I believe 8 rounds. Given your criteria, that would be my choice above all else.

Depending on the condition, you can still get them even now for barely $400.

Go Huskies!
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Old July 14, 2013, 05:03 AM   #23
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I know you don't like plastic but HK makes guns that are arguably better than anything mentioned thus far. Of note the P2000(SK) and USP Compact are extremely high quality DA/SA guns.
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Old July 14, 2013, 02:25 PM   #24
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You might want to look at that Bersa again. I have the Thunder, in .380 though. No troubles, is steel,accurate, and does not weigh a lot. The price will allow for lots of practice ammo too, even in 9mm.
If you are not opposed to going .45, then for not a lot of money you can get a Tanfoglio(EAA Witness) combo for just under 400. The combo has two barrels and slides: a .22 and a .45. Essentially two guns for the price of one.

Just my .02
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Old July 14, 2013, 04:00 PM   #25
Stringfellow
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Wideners now has them in stock at $379. This is a no-brainer IMHO.

http://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.c...=700|1012|1026

This is a classic pistol that you will likely never get rid of.
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