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Old January 17, 2019, 08:57 AM   #51
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I bought a lightly used Canik 9mm and it turns out to be one of my best shooters, great trigger.. $275. I own Colt, Sig. Para. Glock, CZ, SW..Ruger..So....
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Old January 17, 2019, 12:37 PM   #52
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Cheapskate is right
Cheapskate? LOL
Cheapshooter's rules of gun ownership #1: NEVER SELL OR TRADE ANYTHING!
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Old January 17, 2019, 01:22 PM   #53
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Way back in 1980 I purchased a S&W Model 19 357 magnum. Beautiful gun and very accurate and powerful. Then we had our 3rd child and we were living in a small ranch house with drywall boarded walls. One day I realized that I was over gunned. That if I were to shoot at an intruder in the living room these bullets could easily pass thru 3 walls and into one of the children's bedrooms. We now live in a house that the neighbors on each side of us are less than 25' away. I don't need to shoot my children or my neighbors. I would rather pepper the intruder with many smaller rounds than one big magnum round.
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Old January 17, 2019, 06:00 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by chris in va View Post
Let me clarify...

I'm no stranger to firearms, note the post count. I already have my own guns covered.

However it's been a few years since I purchased anything (save for my P365) so I'm just wondering what the current crop of budget guns is decent these days. My stepdaughter is looking to get a smallish HD 9mm, she's just strapped for excess funds right now...but needs something.

She really likes the p365 and the 938, but $500+ is out of the question.
Ok, that tells me-

go with the Star BM from Centerfire. She wants 9mm, that's what it is. She likes the Sig P938... there's a P938 at my local range, as well as a 1911 Commander. The BM sits about midway between the two.

It's "smallish" but heavy, and that translates to easy shooting. Since she's looking home defense (I assume that's HD), you don't have to worry about the weight for carry.
Also due to the weight, I find it's one of the easier-to-rack 9mms, a factor that would be of use to some women.

Used, warranty, etc... I've ordered 2 of these from other vendors (Classic and I think Gunprime). One came in pristine shape, the other was worn but attractive... but then I noticed a small crack on the slide. No matter, I sent in an email and we had a painless exchange. And got another pristine one in return.
Parts- due to the large amount hitting the market, there's actually parts right now. Numrich has the firing pin (this is the only common breakage, from dryfiring without a snap cap).

The grips are fine for OEM plastic, and there's some really nice wood ones on the market. At that point, the gun looks a lot nicer than most anywhere near the price point, and my experience is that they shoot just fine. Mags are getting tight, but there's still some around if you look.
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Old January 17, 2019, 06:44 PM   #55
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My Star BM has been excellent. The fit and finish are very nice. Some officer carried it and took very good care of it. Doubtless he felt well-armed.

My BiL is a firefighter who lives way out in the country and bought a Taurus G2 on the recommendation of a LEO friend. His has been flawless. I bought mine due to his good experience. Mine has also been flawless. It's worth it to pay the extra $25 or so for the stainless slide, since the blued finish isn't that good. The trigger is kind of odd, but I shoot mine well. Mine really was an excellent bargain for $225 brand-new with a stainless slide. It seems to be exactly the same size as my Glock Model 26. They can use the same holsters.

The S&W SD-whatever is an inexpensive entry-level pistol. I bought the 40 caliber version used for $200. The trigger kind of sucked, but it was completely reliable.

If you can find a surplus/used S&W 915, those are some nice pistols. They are kind of medium-sized with an aluminum frame. They're basically a "budget model" S&W third generation with simple sights, but with good internals (unlike the 910). I got one for only $215 a couple of years ago and have been extremely pleased with it.

The old Ruger P-series pistols are kind of clunky, but they are workhorses and inexpensive. A couple of months ago I got a P89 in excellent condition for $225. It shoots well and will doubtless outlast me.

Last edited by tallball; January 17, 2019 at 06:53 PM.
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Old January 17, 2019, 09:01 PM   #56
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Cdnn sports has the Sar b6p compact for $249+change.
Downside is the pink frame (unless she's into that). 13 round double stack, da/SA/safety, CZ design, comes in decent molded hard case.

I have the big brother (Sar K2P). It's been a very reliable pistol. The Sar CZ style pistols are well made and offer some real nice features for the price. They're comfortable in hand. Mine takes CZ mags and I'll bet the compact does as well.

I think someone else mentioned the S&W M&P Shield 9mm. Palmetto State has them for 249.99. That'd be another good choice.
22lr, 20 gauge, 8mm Mauser, 35 Remington, 30-06, 5.56x45/223, 9mm, 380acp
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Old January 17, 2019, 09:33 PM   #57
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I think someone else mentioned the S&W M&P Shield 9mm. Palmetto State has them for 249.99. That'd be another good choice.
That $249.99 Shield at PSA is a killer deal, about $50 or so below dealer cost. You're looking at probably another $40-50 for shipping and transfer through an FFL, but still a great price.
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Old January 17, 2019, 09:48 PM   #58
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That $249.99 Shield at PSA is a killer deal
I agree. I'd buy one if I hadn't just invested in a different firearm. Even after shipping and ffl it's a good deal. Less $ than my m&p22c. That seems crazy to me.
22lr, 20 gauge, 8mm Mauser, 35 Remington, 30-06, 5.56x45/223, 9mm, 380acp
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Old January 17, 2019, 09:58 PM   #59
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I picked up a few of the surplus Star BMs some years ago when they first started showing up here in numbers (I miss the days of $99 surplus guns). They are nice quality, great shooters, and still a pretty good bargain. But I would not consider them good beginner or novice guns, just my opinion.
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Old January 17, 2019, 10:24 PM   #60
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To the OP.... I understand if you have a reasonable mistrust of Taurus, having seen three of them fail (somehow). Seeing a particular brand fail can create a phobia. Sometimes this is deserved, many times it is not. I would be curious to know which models of Taurus "failed". The original PT111 was notoriously unreliable. That is why they updated it with the generation 2 pistol... PT111 G2, which is now simply called the G2 or G2C.... and has even spawned the creation of the single stack G2S.
I researched online the G2 before I bought mine. I could not find any negative comments about their reliability at all. The only negatives were about the long travel for the trigger before it would engage and release at the rear of the trigger guard.

I've had mine for maybe 3 or 4 years, and have put probably at least 1500 rounds through it. I have honestly had zero failures with it.. of any kind. It has gone bang every time I pulled the trigger. The accuracy is better than necessary for a carry gun, with the trigger being a not quite crisp single action. Ergonomics are almost perfect for me, and it has a safety, which is a requirement for me in a carry gun that is not a long DAO kind of trigger.

Compare that (along with all the other great reviews, reliability wise) against some of the "good" brands out there. I also happen to be a member on a couple of Sig forums, since I also own a P938, and my wife owns a P238. There are numerous complaints from Sig owners of failures to feed, eject, parts coming loose, guide rods breaking, magazines not working properly.... honestly, if I had read any of those reviews before making my purchase, I likely would NOT have bought my 938.. we got my wife's 238 because she loved the feel of it, and could easily rack the slide. She still loves it, and looks forward to range trips with it.

I have learned that a "name" does not necessarily mean all good things, or all bad things. I could have purchased 3 of my PT111 G2's for the cost of my one Sig P938. While my Sig has not given me any trouble yet, it's family history is less reassuring than my PT111's family history. I trust my Taurus completely, and would buy another one with no hesitation. I also recommend them highly. I'm still learning and working on developing that kind of trust in my Sig.

I also have, and trust completely, a Ruger SR9.... It's larger than the Taurus, but it's accurate and comfortable to shoot. So far, it, also has been flawless.

Good luck with your search for your daughter's pistol.
I always felt that if I got to the point where I thought it was time to bury my firearms, it was actually time to pick them up..
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Old January 18, 2019, 12:00 AM   #61
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When looking for a budget smaller high cap 9mm , I went with a proven design , Keltec P11
12+1 with a flush mag.. True DAO .. heavy trigger , which is more like a nice DA in a revolver ... I carry HST 124gr standard pressure ammo ..Installed a belt clip , pistol can now be carried AIWB with no holster ...
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Old January 18, 2019, 02:50 AM   #62
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In 380, I have been pleased with the Bersa Thunder/Firestorm .380.

Reliable, and the trigger pull is not horrendously heavy in either DA or SA mode.

Others have made good suggestions there also.

If this is home defense, does she want a weapon light? or will she train to use a flashlight?

I would figure that out, and then decide if it HAS to be new, or if a good condition used one will be acceptable.

With those two pieces of information, you can really start to narrow down the suggestions.

Lastly, how familiar with handguns is she?

If it were my daughter or son, neither of whom would hit the range more than 2 times a year if I forced the issue, I'd probably guide them toward a reliable revolver. That way no worries about training for clearance drills.

For inside the house, I would use .38Sp+P rounds, as .357 would be more likely to go through the apartment wall and the sonic crack is more damaging to ears at 3 am when someone breaks in.

$250 is a real difficult price point for fans to recommend.

You are asking for it all- quality, at rock bottom price.

I am going to throw a curve at you: See if you can check out the FMK 9C1 G2 pistol.

I am in California. I have more handguns than I need, but not as many as I want.

If I lived out of california, i'd be REALLY tempted to get their single action pistol.

I have dry-fired the DAO pistol [CA Approved], and found the trigger reset longer than I liked [more like DAO revolver- by design].

I was impressed with the way it pointed and fit my hand. Never shot one.

I seem to recall seeing them for low $300s, and they have 10-14 round magazines, with a picatinny light rail. [and come in colors! ].

Just a thought.

It isn't a Glock, or M&P, or Xd, and it is cheaper than any of them new.
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Old January 18, 2019, 07:16 AM   #63
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PLUS unless the gun is teeny and light, a better 'shooter' for her.
I use this in both .380s..Xtreme defender..designed by Lehigh, licensed to Underwood and BlackHills..
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Old January 18, 2019, 07:38 AM   #64
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USNRET, I don't know about those Underwood rounds you recommended. The OP said he was wary of over-penetration of the walls. Those Philips-head bullets penetrate stuff in spades. Just this evening I watched a video of a guy named .22Plinkerator (or close to it) shoot a 10mm Underwood through 1 1/2" bullet resistant glass. Granted, a 10mm is has way more juice than a .380- but still, that's a lot of mojo for sheetrock. On another video, he shows where he shoots a .22lr through like 8 or 9 pieces of 1/2" sheetrock.
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Old January 18, 2019, 07:57 AM   #65
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Also these that 'marketing' says are great for 'soft stuff' but break up on 'harder stuff'..
Cheaper too. I also worry about hitting my neighbor, why my shotgun with birdshot is preferable but less accessible. BUT back to the original premise
My sister recently bought a Shield EZ, she seems to really like it. I'm just concerned 380 isn't enough for someone breaking into her house, hopped up on drugs.
...380 'effectiveness', yup, very effective.
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Old January 18, 2019, 10:46 AM   #66
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Chris in Virginia, Can you tell me about these failures you witnessed please? I am always interested in the cause in particular. I have seen only one failure in a pistol and that was a bulged cylinder on a Smith and Wesson revolver. The guy was reloading to a grain over max recommended and double charged a load some how with a progressive speed loader. Most dramatic or "exciting" and dangerous hand gun failures happen with reloads. People make mistakes reloading. I have myself. Fortunately they caused no gun damage. Missed a powder charge on a hunting bullet and the primer went snap and a 6 point just looked at me. I actually saw the bullet flip out into the snow!! Let me know if you know the causes of those failures on Taurus since I shoot them often. I am most interested.
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Old January 19, 2019, 09:36 AM   #67
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If she can handle a 40 caliber, AIM surplus has police turn-in Glock 22's for $279 this weekend. That's $29 over budget, but they are also offering free shipping.

I like my surplus G22 very much and it is hardly worn at all. That is a very good price for a fine firearm.
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Old January 19, 2019, 02:02 PM   #68
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Nobody has mentioned the Ruger EC9
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Old January 19, 2019, 02:52 PM   #69
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Earlier in this thread I mentioned CDNN.

Here's the list of guns I was talking about:

As of right now, there are half a dozen 9mm pistols at CDNN that can be purchased new for $250 or less. The Walther Creed is on that list--I have no experience with it, but it seems to work well based on the reviews I've seen. Also, the previously mentioned Ruger EC9S is only $200.

If you want to include .380 caliber pistols, then here's the list for those, sorted, ascending by price. 7 make that list.
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Old January 19, 2019, 09:04 PM   #70
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Hello, there are a lot of good options in this post.
I personally own a sccy cpx2 9mm and an eaa sar b6p 9mm(both are listed in this thread),
and can personally recommend them, they are 100% reliable, and either can be bought brand new in your price range.
The sccy is more compact, the cpx1 model has a safety and the cpx2 does not.
It comes with 2 - 10 round mags.
the sar is a full size gun(much larger than the sccy) and comes with one 17 round mag.
BTW: is a great site. I found my sar there, just before Christmas for
$219. It was only at that price for a day or so then it went back up. I think they are $239 now at
CDNN. that is where I got mine.
Hope this helps.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that the eaa sar b6p 9mm also comes in a smaller size, with a 3.8 inch barrel and a 13 round mag.

Last edited by jmjgunner; January 19, 2019 at 09:19 PM. Reason: edit
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Old January 20, 2019, 11:18 AM   #71
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She really likes the p365
Save your money and get the 365. Totally worth it.

Don’t skimp on things your life depends on.

Quality watch, quality boots, and a quality gun are essentials, lol.
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Old January 20, 2019, 11:51 AM   #72
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I get your Budget needs (Wife 3 Kids etc..etc...Life is not cheap) and while your trying to be nice and help with a gun that will likely as you say...sit on a table.

You do not have to buy new..there are many quality used guns that people want to sell because they either want a different gun or a more exotic gun.
I have a Shield that I am thinking of selling because it just sits and is not getting used at all since I got my P365.
Yet a Shield is what friends of mine carry still today.
Maybe you can get a better gun used in your budget than a inexpensive gun new.

I also know people throw around a P365 but at $500.00 that's twice your budget Ouch!
I do love my P365 but it is NOT a Budget gun!
If she loves the P365 maybe she can help with the purchase
It's not or should not be embarrassing to say that this as much as I can help with a purchase ...or someone else can go in on it with you.

As my Dad would say..."There is more than one way to Skin a Cat"
I think that if you take your time and look around you will find the right gun.

Last edited by Mackie244Bud; January 20, 2019 at 12:11 PM.
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Old January 20, 2019, 03:17 PM   #73
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I got love for the Lehigh Extreme Defense in 380. Plenty confuse it with the Lehigh Extreme Penetrator. Find a couple of videos to watch the differences between then. I got love for my relatively new p365. I also got plenty of love for my relatively new G2c. Both have a few hundred rounds through them, both with no hiccups. A small light 380 is very pocketable/concealable. The G2c pretty smallish but just a little bigger than the 365. The 365 is about the size of a FP9. Rent a G2c it will be a good move. Find it for under $200 new. BestoLuck
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Old January 22, 2019, 01:41 AM   #74
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She may have to help out with the costs, right now neither of us are in a position to purchase a $550 (with tax) firearm. Once the house sale goes through I may have a better chance.
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