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Old March 23, 2020, 01:57 AM   #26
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Either a S&W M&P9 or .40 2.0, $399, according to GunBroker.
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Old March 23, 2020, 08:11 AM   #27
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I bought my FEG Hipower clone for $225.00 and so far FN parts have all fit. Plus this leaves me $200.00 for mags and ammo. All steel, shoots great and actually quite easy to carry. Otherwise in a new modern gun it would have to be a Ruger. But if I could find a S&W model 67 for this price I’d snatch it in a moment and be perfectly satisfied.
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Old March 23, 2020, 09:14 AM   #28
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Reality? Wilson EDC X9. Once I got mine the rest of my pistols all were demoted to "on the chopping block" potentially.

For this thought experiment?

Beretta APX would do it. Modular so I can have some flexibility, reliable, accurate, good trigger, under $400.

It'd need new sights and I'd have to adapt to the megafat slide for carry, but I'd find a way.
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Old March 23, 2020, 11:12 AM   #29
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I can’t bear this thread for several reasons:
1. I would be miserable without a .22 target pistol
2. A fella needs a hunting handgun
3. We need one more. For some it’s to carry, for some it’s for sport.
4. A well built handgun can last three generations, maybe more. I don’t mind paying a bit more for quality tools that will last.

The obvious answer is Ruger, because they are the Toyota of the gun world in America.
1. Ruger Mark IV for a target pistol, put an Ultradot on it. Target, plinking, small game
2. Ruger Blackhawk 5.5” in .44 or .45. Deer through Dinosaurs.

For .22 and single action, Ruger has pistols I do actually want to own.

For anything else... not so much. I could live with their other offerings.

But what if I say something like Norinco? I am keeping my Olympia clone forever and I hear their 1911 clone has an excellent frame for custom work.. I’m sure they have something interesting I would want if we could buy them.

Baikal? If you can get the huge Baikal .22 target pistol, buy it. It’s as good as a Hamerli. I bet the Russians make a nice makarov, too.

These are other “cheap but good” options.

In the end, I’m gonna add the Bersa Thunder .380 as a fun centerfire pistol at any price.
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Old March 23, 2020, 11:54 AM   #30
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Probably one of the CZ clones like the Tanfoglio Witness.

I have seen them as cheap as 250 and they take CZ-75 magazines.

I am most familiar with CZ-75 style DA/SA type operation of firearms.

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Old March 23, 2020, 03:24 PM   #31
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I’d go M&p
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Old March 23, 2020, 03:28 PM   #32
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Used S&W Model 10 .38 special....4 inch barrel.
Me too.
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Old March 23, 2020, 07:53 PM   #33
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$400, eh? S&W SD9, an extra mag, & a couple of boxes of ammo.
Simple as ABC . . . Always Be Carrying
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Old March 23, 2020, 07:56 PM   #34
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The answer is easy as pie.... a Makarov

There isn't a more reliable, rugged, simpler, accurate, easy to shoot, easy to maintain and service pistol.
That is inexpensive to own, inexpensive to practice, inexpensive to maintain.
100+ years from now they will still be in use somewhere.
The proverbial "AK47" of the pistol world.

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Last edited by TBM900; March 23, 2020 at 08:06 PM.
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Old March 23, 2020, 08:54 PM   #35
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My handgun priority is self defense and the gun has to be able to be concealed and carried under virtually any circumstances. Assuming a new purchase:

For me a S&W shield.
All that is neccessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
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Old March 23, 2020, 10:03 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by TBM900 View Post
The answer is easy as pie.... a Makarov

There isn't a more reliable, rugged, simpler, accurate, easy to shoot, easy to maintain and service pistol.
That is inexpensive to own, inexpensive to practice, inexpensive to maintain.
100+ years from now they will still be in use somewhere.
The proverbial "AK47" of the pistol world.

DING, DING, DING! We have the winner! Never entered my mind but you are so right. Great post!
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Old March 24, 2020, 12:48 PM   #37
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Old March 25, 2020, 12:03 PM   #38
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Smith and Wesson SD9VE.

I think I paid $250-275 (used) not too long ago. It would do anything I wanted a handgun for.

I'd really prefer a revolver, but that $400 limit keeps it down to something like this. Maybe an old Taurus 66 if I could find one.
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Old March 25, 2020, 05:10 PM   #39
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I would look around for a used S&W model 64 and if I got exhausted doing that then I would get a model 10 either one with a 4” barrel.
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Old March 26, 2020, 07:17 AM   #40
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M&P9c for an auto

Taurus 66 for a wheel gun

SAR K2P 9mm for what I already own that fits the criteria

EDIT: I'd be pretty peeved to have to give up my MkIII 22-45/w red dot
22lr, 20 gauge, 8mm Mauser, 35 Remington, 30-06, 5.56x45/223, 9mm, 380acp
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Old March 27, 2020, 05:49 AM   #41
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new and under $400?

Man - I don't know - - maybe a dozen Hi Points?

Opps - I forgot - only 1.... .

I'm with a lot of the others. That $400 is killing me.
I just bought a S&W M69 snub (.44 magnum) - that could easily replace every gun I have for every purpose - - But - with tax and holster & a box of JHP's it set me back $1000.
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Old March 27, 2020, 08:54 AM   #42
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You can see answers all over the place here. I guess some people are VERY optimistically estimating how low they may be able to find gun prices, others may be basing it off prices from years ago, while some areas may have VERY low gun prices. Based upon local and recent prices (within the past year, not the past few weeks with panic buying), I don't think I could buy 1/2 of what people have put on this list with an under $400 limit. Though, at least 1/2 do seem to be realistic choices (and many are very good choices).

Strictly keeping by the set limits, I'd be looking at:
  • Bersa Thunder .380. The size and caliber aren't ideal, but they work. They are a little big for a small .380 carry gun, but it works (and can work well) in all except the most discrete carry situations, but is big enough to run a couple boxes of ammo through it at the range without too much discomfort. The caliber isn't ideal for defense, but is workable, it is a little expensive for a lot of range practice, but isn't too bad.
  • The new Taurus 856 Defender. J-frame sized, 3" barrel, 6 round .38spl. Get it in steel and not aluminum and it would be OK at the range (especially with a full grip), though their website lists it up to 35oz (no way it is that heavy) it would also work CCW. The cheapest runs at a $425MSRP, and the most expensive at $477 (all with night sights), so they'd likely all run at or under $400 at the store (maybe the most expensive would be out of the price range).
  • S&W M&P40c. Around here you should be able to get a 1st gen for under the $400 limit, good luck finding a M2 anywhere near that. My 1st gen M$P40c is comfortable at the range, and when in a carry state, I can conceal it well and it is comfortable to carry.
  • S&W SD40VE. Inexpensive, proven, reliable, reasonably accurate, a good intermediate size for both CCW and the range.
  • USED Taurus 65 or 66 (preference to the 7-shot 66 over the 6-shot 66). There is no way anyone is getting either for under $400 around here new, but used that may be possible (though one is more likely to find the 6-shot 65 at that price). Medium frame, 4" revolver, would be possible to CCW, though not ideal. It would be a great HD and range gun.
  • Used RIA 1911. It might be possible to get for under $400 in decent shape in most areas of the U.S. An Officer sized or Commander sized gun would carry well, even if all steel, and a Commander sized lightweight aluminum gun (likely not to be found under $400 though) would still be comfortable at the range.

I think my first choice on the above list is the M&P40c, but all would be strong contenders.

Now, a more realistic scenario, and less arbitrary, should the current situation lead to enough of a personal economic/financial catastrophe that I need to sell everything off, but want to keep one, which would I go with. It likely wouldn't be a gun that sold for less than $400, though I wouldn't keep one of my more expensive guns since they'd bring me more money (that I'd probably desperately need at that point). The S&W M&P is still high on that list, but so is my Officer sized RIA 1911, my CZ 75B Compact, my .40S&W SIG P229 (bought used and only in fair condition cosmetically for $499), my S&W 65LS (though it is worth enough that in such dire financial straits it may have to go), and my CZ PCR. There is a slim chance that I'd go with my Taurus 85CH, not ideal at the range (but doable since it is all steel), I'd hate to only have 5 rounds, but it isn't worth much (so I wouldn't get much for selling it) and it is 100% reliable. If I had to choose right now and not spend time thinking about it, it may be the 65LS only because it will be the hardest to replace later (appreciation and increasing scarcity). If I had to grab one that would most likely come with me if I had to leave my home right now (and thus abandon and not sell my other guns), that would be my CZ PCR, P01 or 75B Compact. Due to lower cost ammo (an important criteria if I was in such bad financial shape), one of the 9mms may win out from that angle as well (thus if I kept my M&P40c, I may try to trade it on a 9mm version).
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Old March 27, 2020, 08:59 AM   #43
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A used S&W .357 or 38.
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Old March 27, 2020, 01:15 PM   #44
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By the way, I have to ask, the $400 limit is BEFORE TAX, right?

Because that makes a big difference.
.40 S&W is the perfect example of a Zombie Cartridge. Allegedly it has been dead since 2016, yet it continues to walk among us.
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Old March 28, 2020, 07:04 PM   #45
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Maybe a Les Baer.

I know...”only $400” but hey, it’s your scenario; I’m just explaining what would really happen. Everyone can only ever own one gun. There would be a surplus of used guns on the market. Supply and demand would force prices to drop.

“It’s the economy, stupid” - James Carville.
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Old March 28, 2020, 09:35 PM   #46
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M&P 9
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Old March 28, 2020, 10:18 PM   #47
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There was a time, a few decades ago when I made exactly such a decision. At that time, I purchased a Ruger GP100, new, for just under the stated price limit.

I don't think it was a bad choice, but there are so many other options now that I doubt I would make the same choice again if I had to make it today. Besides the fact that it wouldn't be simple to find a GP100 for $400 or less these days.

From what's available today, I would probably look at trying to find a good quality CZ75 Clone. Tanfoglio is still making them and it should be possible to get one for under the price limit.
Do you know about the TEXAS State Rifle Association?
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Old March 29, 2020, 11:53 AM   #48
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No one else taking future breakage into account (in the OPs scenario), huh?
For that reason, I would go with either of my .40 caliber flintlock pistols.

If the lock on my pistol goes bad, I can just keep on shooting, albeit using a match to fire the pan.
By placing the match under the frizzen, the gun would be capable of being aimed until the match hit the prime.
That would allow accurate fire.
How many of the previous posters can say the same about their choice?

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Old April 10, 2020, 09:45 AM   #49
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S&W Shield with money left over for a holster and ammo.
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Old April 12, 2020, 11:22 AM   #50
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There is no new $400 gun that I would want. Even used $400 puts a crimp on you. The good guns bring more than that used. 1911 starts out about $700 used, I have no idea what S&W revolvers are these days new. I know what used ones go for. Adj sight models going over $400 used, N frames $1k. I guess best option would be LE trade in S&W revolver m10. I don’t by plastic or second rate firearms.
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