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Thread: Looking for a cheap handgun

  1. #1
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    I don't know if I'm alone on this one, but ironically I'm probably one of the few members on the site that doesn't actually own a handgun at the moment. Don't have much extra cash on hand or a lot coming in that doesn't go right back out.

    From what I have seen the cheapest you can get is about $400 for a handgun.

    I had a few questions for anyone who's had experience with the >$500 market.

    1. Is it possible to get a handgun thats safe, functional and capable for under $250?

    2. 9mm and .45 seem are the calibers I see most sought after, do you have any experience or knowledge that would suggest advantages to either of these? I know the .45 is definitely more powerful.

    3. When I finally do decide to make the buying decision, whats the legal process for acquiring a handgun in this state?

    Thank you in advance for all of the valuable feedback.

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    1. if you are planning on carrying, i dont understand why you would want to cut corners on something that you would want to trust your life with. personally i dont know many handguns under 250. and i would save up a bit more for a tried and true carry piece.

    2. get a caliber you are comfortable shooting with, round size and stopping power has nothing when compared to shot placement. 3 well placed 9mm JHP's to the chest is going to bring down a bad guy just as well as 3 well placed .45 JHP's to the chest, and if you cant hit the target with .45, dont get .45

    3. 3? day waiting period, background check. pretty much it. just get your CPL first. makes the buying process easier.

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    You can get a Hi-Point for cheap. I expect you could find one new for under $250, used for less. They won't win any popularity contests (beauty either!) but they are functional guns.
    Caliber advice is get the biggest you can shoot accurately. I shoot a 10MM auto, and have for years. I got used to recoil at an early age and continue to practice with what I will carry in the mag.
    How much handgunning experience do you have? Maybe we oughta go out and bust some caps sometime. I have a variety to choose from, .22 to .44 Mag and other fun stuff.
    checked Gunbroker and here's a Hi-Point for $179.99 BIN
    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=171057050
    Look around, they may be cheaper elsewhere....

  4. #4
    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    S&W Sigma 9mm or .40. about 350 bucks. If you limp wrist, don't bother. You might as well spend an extra 100 bucks and get a Glock 19 or 21...trigger is lighter.
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

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    Dem0072 wrote:
    I don't know if I'm alone on this one, but ironically I'm probably one of the few members on the site that doesn't actually own a handgun at the moment. Don't have much extra cash on hand or a lot coming in that doesn't go right back out.

    From what I have seen the cheapest you can get is about $400 for a handgun.

    I had a few questions for anyone who's had experience with the >$500 market.

    1. Is it possible to get a handgun thats safe, functional and capable for under $250?

    2. 9mm and .45 seem are the calibers I see most sought after, do you have any experience or knowledge that would suggest advantages to either of these? I know the .45 is definitely more powerful.

    3. When I finally do decide to make the buying decision, whats the legal process for acquiring a handgun in this state?

    Thank you in advance for all of the valuable feedback.
    1. Yes. I'll take flak for this, but a HiPoint will most certainly function. You would be better served, however, by getting something for around $500 (XD, GLOCK, etc).

    2. Not necessarily. Both are good rounds, both have their advantages and disadvantages. I ended up getting 9mm because the ammo was cheaper, and I could therefore afford to practice more. With modern hollowpoints (Federal HST, Speer Gold Dot, Winchester Ranger SXT), 9mm is an entirely satisfactory round.

    3. Get a CPL, it's just easier for purchasing when you can walk out same day, and you'll need it for carrying loaded in a vehicle. Else, go to a store, pick out a gun, get a background check, wait, pay the nice man and pick up gun.
    "If we were to ever consider citizenship as the least bit matter of merit instead of birthright, imagine who should be selected as deserved representation of our democracy: someone who would risk their daily livelihood to cast an individually statistically insignificant vote, or those who wrap themselves in the flag against slightest slights." - agenthex

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    I bought my Llama some years back at a gun show for $239 NIB.

    Never had it fail to go bang yet.:celebrate



  7. #7
    Regular Member j2l3's Avatar
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    You can get a nice Ruger SR9 or P series for under $500 just about anywhere. Good, solid guns.

    Irecommend that first youdecide on style of handgun, semi-auto vs revolver, and then caliber before you can really discuss price though.
    CZ 75B 9mm, Ruger P94 .40 S&W, Bersa Thunder .380, AR-15 Homebuild

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    Hammer wrote:
    You can get a Hi-Point for cheap. I expect you could find one new for under $250, used for less.
    Hi-Point's website has many of their pistols listed under $200 actually (9mm MSRP is $165). Not sure about out the door pricing on them, but I think they would be within close proximity of what Hi-point's MSRP is.

    If you don't mind a slightly more different caliber, Makarovs in 9x18 can be found for cheap as well.

    "1. if you are planning on carrying, i dont understand why you would want to cut corners on something that you would want to trust your life with. personally i dont know many handguns under 250. and i would save up a bit more for a tried and true carry piece."

    No offense, but I don't buy this argument. Last I checked, Maks and Hi-Points have been as reliable as many of the $1200+ custom pistols out there, with the weak link being the shooter (limp-wrist). As long as it works, price makes little to no difference, and this is coming from someone who owns a couple of Sigs.

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    <evil grin>


    HI POINTS!!!

    I'm probably known as the HiPoint guy around here (or more likely, "THAT <expletive> HiPoint guy) since I never miss a chance to throw my two pennies in on the subjet. I've got four, two compact 9mms, a .45 & 9mm carbine, and these are wonderful little guns if you're on a budget. Yes, THEY ARE HEAVY AND UGLY! They also go bang every single time. Several hundred rounds thru each of them without a single malfunction that was not user error. They're built like AKs: simple, cheap, functional, low maintenance, indestructible (and if you do somehow manage to destroy one, or have any single problem what so ever with the gun, the factory will fix or replace it FREE FOR LIFE. Shoot the barrel out? They fix free. Drive your truck over it? They fix free. Leave on the bottom of the Sound for a year? They fix free.)

    My Tanfoglio .45 is my primary carry gun now, but when I just need to run up to the store real quick I grab my HP 9mm in a Fobus paddle holster. Heavy as it is, it's still smaller & lighter than the TF.

    They are as accurate as anything else out there for self defense needs (it could be argued that since they have a fixed barrel, they are inherently more accurate). Very simple blowback action, very easy to understand, easy to operate (only controls are trigger & safety).

    As far as caliber, I like .45 better. I find the 9mm compacts have "snappier" recoil. Not uncomfortable, just seems more noticeable to me. Also, the HiPoint .45 is, well, a BRICK. I think there are rifles that weigh less than this thing. That helps mitigate recoil, but it's a hard gun to carry. I tried to carry it for a little while but gave up, it's just too heavy. Makes a great nightstand gun/blunt object though.

    I think I paid $150 for each of the 9mms, about $200 for the .45 with crummy lazer sight. Buds Gun Shop in KY currently lists them for $169 & $159 (!) delivered, respectably. http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/i...p/cPath/21_268 Discount Gun Sales (local place) lists them both for $199. http://www.discountgunsales.com/hi-point-c-716.html

    If you need something for self defense AND still need to pay your rent at the end of the month, HPs make great lil guns. They're not perfect, they're not race guns, but they are accurate and reliable, which is 90% if what you need in a gun anyway.

    I'll throw this out too: If you wanna try before you buy, hit me up with a PM and I'll be happy to take you out to my range out here on Whidbey and let you see for yourself.
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    David is it?

    Look into Taurus' Millenium PRO line. They have a variety of calibers (9mm, .38, .40 and .45) available for around 350 out the door. I own the 9 and 45, I love them both. Hit me up to try them out.

    As for buying.... If you have a CPL its buy now, take home now. Otherwise there is a five business day waiting period. If you don't have it, go pick one out on a Sunday, its the shortest you'll have to wait (you can he shooting by the following weekend).
    I am the person responsible for myself, my wife and my son. I take that VERY seriously.

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    Phssthpok wrote:
    I bought my Llama some years back at a gun show for $239 NIB.

    Never had it fail to go bang yet.:celebrate

    I have a Llama Max-1 C/F in .45 cal, has never malfunctioned, always goes bang when I pull the trigger. I have owned two Hi Points, one in 9 mm and one in .45 cal, both worked fine, big, heavy, ugly, but they both went bang every time I pulled the trigger. Buy what you canright now, most important, is practise, practise, practise, then go practise some more. Just my .02
    I am a Sheep Dog, ... Wolves Beware !

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    USMC1911 wrote:
    Phssthpok wrote:
    I bought my Llama some years back at a gun show for $239 NIB.

    Never had it fail to go bang yet.:celebrate

    I have a Llama Max-1 C/F in .45 cal, has never malfunctioned, always goes bang when I pull the trigger. I have owned two Hi Points, one in 9 mm and one in .45 cal, both worked fine, big, heavy, ugly, but they both went bang every time I pulled the trigger. Buy what you canright now, most important, is practise, practise, practise, then go practise some more. Just my .02
    +1

    For the same price as what some would call a "real gun" you can get a HP and a few hundred rounds of ammo to become competent with it. Hell, for the price of what some would call a real gun you could buy a small ammo factory.
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Nobody's suggested a quality used handgun? I should have thought that would be the best combination of price, reliability, ergonomics etc.

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    pontcanna wrote:
    Nobody's suggested a quality used handgun? I should have thought that would be the best combination of price, reliability, ergonomics etc.
    Could also be more of a crap-shoot (or crappy shooter). No idea how the previous owner maintained it, abused it, existing problems, etc...
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    I'd recommend a few that have already been mentioned. I have a Sigma 9 and it is very easy to shoot and comfortable. I have also heard a lot of good things about the Millinium Pro. Both are in the $300 - $400 price range. My step-dad found a shop that has a Sigma 40 on sale for 280 and got a 50 rebate on top of that. So they are available for a very decent price if you shop around. You do not need to sink to the level of getting a hi-point.

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    Metalhead47 wrote:
    pontcanna wrote:
    Nobody's suggested a quality used handgun? I should have thought that would be the best combination of price, reliability, ergonomics etc.
    Could also be more of a crap-shoot (or crappy shooter). No idea how the previous owner maintained it, abused it, existing problems, etc...
    Get one from a shop/gunsmith who has checked it out and will stand behind it. I guess us Canadians are just thrifty that way (Scottish blood).

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    Metalhead47 wrote:
    Could also be more of a crap-shoot (or crappy shooter). No idea how the previous owner maintained it, abused it, existing problems, etc...
    How much maintenance is required on a modern pistol though? Clean it, lube the slide rail and other metal-to-metal contact points, and wipe excess oil with a rag. You can't get much more mechanically simple than a modern semi-automatic pistol in this day and age.

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    Dem0072 wrote:
    I don't know if I'm alone on this one, but ironically I'm probably one of the few members on the site that doesn't actually own a handgun at the moment. Don't have much extra cash on hand or a lot coming in that doesn't go right back out.

    From what I have seen the cheapest you can get is about $400 for a handgun.

    I had a few questions for anyone who's had experience with the >$500 market.

    1. Is it possible to get a handgun thats safe, functional and capable for under $250?

    2. 9mm and .45 seem are the calibers I see most sought after, do you have any experience or knowledge that would suggest advantages to either of these? I know the .45 is definitely more powerful.

    3. When I finally do decide to make the buying decision, whats the legal process for acquiring a handgun in this state?

    Thank you in advance for all of the valuable feedback.
    1. Yes. If you're looking for budget prices, I would go towards the companies Taurus and Hi-Point. Taurus makes quite a bit of popular handgun "clones", and Hi-Point makes about the cheapest handgun you will find.

    However, most of the time price is what you pay for in a pistol. I highly recommend looking into an FN, Glock or Beretta. Models I recommend looking at are the FN FiveseveN or FNP series, a Glock 17, 19, or 26, and the Beretta PX4 or 92F series. Most of these pistols are going to run you $400-$550 new, depending on the pistol.

    A 1911-style pistol (made by Springfield, Rock Island Armory, Kimber, etc.) is very popular and would be a good choice if you wanted to draw form a wide base of users for advice. Half of the guys here either carry and/or own a 1911 style pistol (me not included. But someday!) The lowest 1911 style pistol I have seen was about $429 new. But models such as certain Kimbers can run as much as $1,500.

    2. The 9mm vs. 45ACP debate is one I'm not going into, save that the 9mm is a smaller round going at ~1,400fps and the .45ACP is a larger round going about ~900fps (on average. Loads and stuff like +P rating will change this.) However, a 9mm pistol vs. a 45ACP will almost definitely have a magazine capacity difference, due to the larger size of the .45ACP round. You should try both at a gun range and make your decision there. You can have the ultimate round for the application and if you don't know how to shoot it, it won't work for you.

    3. In Washington you will be submitted to a NICS background check, and fill out a couple of documents at the gun store counter. Any competent gun store will give you the documents (don't remember the specific names) and show you how to fill them out. If you have a Concealed Pistol License, you can do what is nicknamed "cash and carry" where if you pass the phone NICS check, you can buy it and leave right then. If you do NOT have a CPL, then you will have to wait a 5 business day period before you can pick it up from the store.


    Hope this all helps!
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." -John Stuart Mill

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    Um... FN Five-seveN's are running around 1000 - 1100, quite outside of the range the guy state.

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    Jayd1981 wrote:
    Um... FN Five-seveN's are running around 1000 - 1100, quite outside of the range the guy state.
    Oops. I could have just said "Google it."

    I also forgot to mention Sig Sauer, Kel-Tec and revolvers in general.

    Sorry.
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." -John Stuart Mill

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    onlurker wrote:
    How much maintenance is required on a modern pistol though? Clean it, lube the slide rail and other metal-to-metal contact points, and wipe excess oil with a rag. You can't get much more mechanically simple than a modern semi-automatic pistol in this day and age.
    Unless someone is a newbie and reloading hot loads--shooting lead through the barrel. All firearms should be cleaned after shooting (period). There are articles online that a person can find that will show you what to look for when purchasing a firearm. Sometimes people get rid of their firearm because it is junk and jams all the time.

    If a person is looking for a cheap sidearm that is dependable, they should make sure they read-up on sub-400 handguns. Someone above mentioned a Hi-point, good luck with that!
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

  22. #22
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    Sylvia Plath wrote:
    onlurker wrote:
    How much maintenance is required on a modern pistol though? Clean it, lube the slide rail and other metal-to-metal contact points, and wipe excess oil with a rag. You can't get much more mechanically simple than a modern semi-automatic pistol in this day and age.
    Unless someone is a newbie and reloading hot loads--shooting lead through the barrel. All firearms should be cleaned after shooting (period). There are articles online that a person can find that will show you what to look for when purchasing a firearm. Sometimes people get rid of their firearm because it is junk and jams all the time.

    If a person is looking for a cheap sidearm that is dependable, they should make sure they read-up on sub-400 handguns. Someone above mentioned a Hi-point, good luck with that!
    Cleaning after every range visit hasn't failed me yet!
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." -John Stuart Mill

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    Sylvia Plath wrote:
    Unless someone is a newbie and reloading hot loads--shooting lead through the barrel. All firearms should be cleaned after shooting (period). There are articles online that a person can find that will show you what to look for when purchasing a firearm. Sometimes people get rid of their firearm because it is junk and jams all the time.
    Right, but that doesn't really answer the question. Most modern pistols are so mechanically simple that there isn't really much to them. You can count the total number of moving parts on 1 hand and the total number of parts needing to be cleaned and lubed on the other. The biggest difference that I can find between the cheapest "why would you cut corners" models and the highest end "there is no price you could put on personal safety" model pistols is style, which has 0 effect on how reliable something is.

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    killchain wrote:
    Jayd1981 wrote:
    Um... FN Five-seveN's are running around 1000 - 1100, quite outside of the range the guy state.
    Oops. I could have just said "Google it."

    I also forgot to mention Sig Sauer, Kel-Tec and revolvers in general.

    Sorry.
    FYI, you're not getting a used Sig for less than $600 in many cases, unless you want to go old-school Sig. Even then, most old-school Sigs are going to be north of $300.

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    onlurker wrote:
    The biggest difference that I can find between the cheapest "why would you cut corners" models and the highest end "there is no price you could put on personal safety" model pistols is style, which has 0 effect on how reliable something is.
    IMO, accuracy is more important than reliability, if the handgun does shoot, I want it to hit the target. Glock, Beretta, parts break in them and they keep shooting. Many 1911's have very tight tolerances--unless you shoot hundreds of rounds through your 1911, I would not use it as a primary. My Beretta 92FS (much more accurate than a Glock) has never had not one cycle issue. Sigma had cycling issues every now and then--I have firead about 5k rounds through it and it does not have cycling issues at all any more--just as accurate as a Glock.


    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

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