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Old December 15, 2013, 12:42 PM   #1
centralmainehunters
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small budget handgun collection expansion

Not a carry guy, but love shooting and have a 5 kids and a girlfriend into shooting. What are the best options for someone budget conscious that wants to be able to shoot in volume while still having defense capabilities as well and teach and train affordability? 9mm and 22lr used to be the best options, but affordability and availabilty of these staples is now an issue in my area. Any calibers i'm not thinking of? Any suggestions on a brand caliber combination?
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Old December 15, 2013, 01:38 PM   #2
Colt46
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.38 special

Affordable, easy recoil and a perfect gun to learn on. Used Smith and Wesson is a perfect option. There are other makers that offer good double action revolver choices as well.
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Old December 15, 2013, 01:41 PM   #3
lee n. field
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Quote:
.38 special
Affordable, easy recoil and a perfect gun to learn on. Used Smith and Wesson is a perfect option. There are other makers that offer good double action revolver choices as well.
Not to mention easy and inexpensive to handload, once the initial necessary equipment has been acquired.
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Old December 15, 2013, 01:44 PM   #4
jglsprings
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Quote:
.38 special
Affordable, easy recoil and a perfect gun to learn on. Used Smith and Wesson is a perfect option. There are other makers that offer good double action revolver choices as well.
I would always recommend 38 special, but around here (Colorado) they are more scarce than 40,9mm or 45 acp and expensive as well.

I believe that current supply and demand issues will continue to make the 38 a hard one to find.

YMMV
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Old December 15, 2013, 05:17 PM   #5
g.willikers
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On my last trip to the local range, .38s were five dollars more per box than 9mm.
And revolvers were more expensive than many of the autoloaders.
The world is getting confusing.
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Old December 15, 2013, 06:35 PM   #6
centralmainehunters
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confusing world

I agree. Ammo is definitely an issue for non re-loaders as far as price and availability. I never thought a day would come when you had to travel around to find a box of .22lr or 9mm. You don't shop around for a bulk price, you shop around for any at all, its crazy.
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Old December 15, 2013, 06:39 PM   #7
WaltherRuger
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I also recommend reloading if you have some attention to detail and safety.

I went with a Lee Classic Turret and .38 special dies to start. I can usually load for about 1/2 the cost of purchased ammo, even with the prices coming down. I slowly got dies for 9mm, 45acp, and just recently .380 acp.

I just bought a used 19 oz .380 pistol, which is fun to shoot, and only takes 3 gr of AA#2 powder for each round. I just calculated that it takes me about 12 cents a round to shoot .380acp using plated bullets, CCI primers and AA#2 powder; I can usually get brass from other folks who don't reload. Or I save the occasional purchased brass. Doesn't take long to recoup your reloading equipment.

The only other consideration is the time it takes you to reload. If you're real busy, it's hard to carve out the time. If the kids are old enough, it's good showing them how it all works.

Sorry my post got so long.
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Old December 15, 2013, 06:40 PM   #8
jglsprings
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Quote:
lee n. field
Quote:
Quote:
.38 special
Affordable, easy recoil and a perfect gun to learn on. Used Smith and Wesson is a perfect option. There are other makers that offer good double action revolver choices as well.
Not to mention easy and inexpensive to handload, once the initial necessary equipment has been acquired.
Mr Field has the best suggestion so far. Take the money and invest in a starter kit for reloading...
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Old December 15, 2013, 06:52 PM   #9
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With 22lr harder to find and going up in price, the 7.62x39 surplus ammo is a good option. 9 mm is a close 2nd. A beater SKS & HiPoint are easy on the budget firearms.
7.62x39 is one of my favorite rounds for volume shooting
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Old December 15, 2013, 06:53 PM   #10
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Reloading is definitely an option, but another one is to buy a CO2 pistol. There are a number of those that mimic "real" revolvers and auto pistols. Pellets cost a fraction of even the cheapest .22's, and the CO2 cartridges are pretty cheap. Plus even the top line guns run well under $100.

And they can be fired indoors with a minimal backstop, making them ideal for winter practice and family fun. Google "CO2 pistols" or "Crossman" for more info.

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Old December 15, 2013, 06:53 PM   #11
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In your situation I'd recommend either a 38 Special or a 9mm Auto. Both are easy to load ammo for. (A necessity if you wish to have ammo enough to train and enjoy for & shooters)
The revolver has the advantage of not having to Hunt for brass after you fire it, and the auto has the advantage of having les recoil.
Both 9mms and good 38 revolvers can be had for around $300. I sometimes see used S&W revolvers go for about $250 to 275, but 9mms seem to cost a bit more as a rule. Not much, but enough to make a difference if you needed to buy 7 of them.

Before the "mass rape" started in pricing 22 LR ammo I would have recommended you look at them too. These days the reloaded 38 may be cheaper.
The 22 is not a first rate defense round, but don't think it's a joke either. If the shooter is good with his tool a 22 handgun can be a formidable weapon and they are very good for small game and fun shooting.
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Old December 15, 2013, 10:54 PM   #12
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22, 38, 9mm, and 45ACP are the cheapest priced rounds you can get in the firepower ranges they offer.

You can get into reloading your own for around $450, that is a decent press, dies, powder, brass, bullets, primers, etc., for one caliber.

The CO2 pistol is a great idea, especially if you can get one to match one of your existing pistols.

For budget austerity, a few bricks of 22LR is a good choice. The thing to do is to make it a monthly budget item, and make the purchases as opportunity arises. Winter is a good time to stock up.
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Old December 15, 2013, 11:21 PM   #13
.38Catt
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Ruger P95. Quality brand name gun can be found NEW in my area for under $300.00 (blue). Use the savings to buy ammo.
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Old December 17, 2013, 05:37 AM   #14
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I'd get a cheap revolver, rifle, and semi all in .22.
Shoot for cheap and get good at aim, draw, speed, and safety.
Then each person can decide on what they want to spent their money on in a larger caliber.
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Old December 21, 2013, 10:52 PM   #15
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In my area 38 Spl are much more expensive than 9mm, (harder to find as well). .22lr ammo is sparse because of the hoarders.

For a family outing it is pretty easy to shoot a hundred dollars worth of ammo. (about 200 rounds here).

I like the pellet gun idea, (JamesK post #10). I have a pistol and a rifle in single pump versions. Maybe I will break them out tomorrow.
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Old December 22, 2013, 07:25 AM   #16
Garycw
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[QUOTE=DannyB1954;

I like the pellet gun idea, (JamesK post #10). I have a pistol and a rifle in single pump versions. Maybe I will break them out tomorrow.[/QUOTE]

That is a viable option for short range shooting on a low budget. I noticed there's still lots of pellets and Co2 cartridges in stock. .
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Old December 22, 2013, 05:51 PM   #17
weblance
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Look for a Ruger P90 or P97. These are 45acp, offer excellent accuracy, are extremely well built, and are soft shooting. I paid $340 for my P97 recently, and its basically in new, unfired condition. 45acp is relatively inexpensive in FMJ(Full Metal Jacket), and offers excellent defensive capability.You can find factory ammo for under $20 for 50 rounds. My LGS has reloads for $13, for 50. With Self Defense ammo, there isnt much better than a 45 for effective stopping power.
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Old December 24, 2013, 06:10 PM   #18
BigJimP
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Stay with the 9mm ....its by far your most affordable and most available option.

If you're not going to reload ....then buy your ammo in case lots / gunshows in my area, have the best deals. Buy the lighter weight bullets / like 115 gr FMJ in 9mm...they'll be cheaper than 124 gr FMJ in 9mm ( bullets make up most of the cost on new ammo - and on reloads).

Sig and others make conversion kits for some of their guns ...but .22 ammo in my area is getting more expensive and harder to come by than 9mm is.
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