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 What do you recommend as in inexpensive self-defense firearm 
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 Post subject: What do you recommend as in inexpensive self-defense firearm
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 9:14 am 
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So, I was thinking .."what trouble can I cause today?" and concluded that it is always fun to argue about recommendations!

I often am asked "what gun to buy" if there is not much $$ available.

Without getting into what "not much $$ means", I tend to suggest the following (OK, let's use the figure $200 as the base for discussion).

1. something used

2. perhaps a Taurus model 85 snubby; often available in the sub $200 range

3. lots of S&W model 10's out there also sub-$200

4. if not a handgun, perhaps Remington 870...new just over the $200 range

5. you might find an older Taurus 92 for $200-$250

6. and God help me, I have no problem if money is really tight, to suggest Hi Point

7. once you get into the $300 range, there are all sorts of Ruger semi-autos, Taurus, even an occassional used Glock

(Note that I also have seen goodluck with Charter Arms, but not much supply up in my area)

Your suggestions?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 9:54 am 
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I agree with all of your suggestions -- basically, I'd recommend a good, used revolver, and not worry about size if it's for the home, but look for a snubby if it's for carry, or home/carry.

As to semiautos, the most bang for the buck is clearly the Makarov. Very reliable, reasonably powerful, very accurate -- and under $150 for a Russian, if you shop carefully.

Moving up just a little, I'd look at the KelTecs.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 10:04 am 
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joelr wrote:
Moving up just a little, I'd look at the KelTecs.


I've heard of too many people having problems with the Kel-Tecs failing to function properly. A Taurus or a Ruger sounds a lot more reliable.

[edit: .. and a hundred dollars more expensive, I know.]

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 10:11 am 
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Andrew Rothman wrote:
joelr wrote:
Moving up just a little, I'd look at the KelTecs.


I've heard of too many people having problems with the Kel-Tecs failing to function properly. A Taurus or a Ruger sounds a lot more reliable.

[edit: .. and a hundred dollars more expensive, I know.]
Sure. My own experience -- direct and indirect -- is much better. As far as I can tell, even if you have a problem with a KelTec, once it's been handled, it stays handled. Usually, the KTOG fluff 'n buff is all that's necessary, and anybody can do that.

I'd rather have a revolver, of course, but for those who are short on money, revolver-averse, I think the KelTec is the next best choice aftter the Makarov.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 12:36 pm 
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For around $200, or a little over, you can get a brand new Bersa Thunder .380. Reasonable firepower, and nice and compact. They have a great warranty, and I've heard good things about reliability. My Bersa 9mm has been excellent, so far.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 2:04 pm 
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About the only Makarovs around anymore are Bulgarians or commercial models from what I've seen. You're likely looking at $200 or over for them. But yes, a solid gun with only 1 other drawback, the ammo can be difficult to find, especially for someone who's new to shooting. My mak was my first carry gun but the ammo issue prevents me from recommending them to people.

I have yet to hear anything bad about the Bersa 380's.

But yeah, a good revolver is hard to beat.

Steelheart


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 Post subject: Re: What do you recommend as in inexpensive self-defense fir
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 2:33 pm 
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phorvick wrote:
So, I was thinking .."what trouble can I cause today?" and concluded that it is always fun to argue about recommendations!

I often am asked "what gun to buy" if there is not much $$ available.

Without getting into what "not much $$ means", I tend to suggest the following (OK, let's use the figure $200 as the base for discussion).


I remember seeing an ad in a magazine for motorcycle helmets with the tagline, "If you have a cheap head, buy a cheap helmet." It's not hard to agree with that sentiment, and in some ways I think the sentiment can be applied to self defense weapons.

Sure, for some people something is better than nothing, but running away (free), locks and heavy doors can be a better investment of their $200 if it upgrades their defenses to reduce their exposure.

I'm not saying "you can't have one unless it's $1000", but I am saying that steering people to the cheapest possible guns might actually be a poor defense choice.

If it's just to have to exposed to shooting, then anything's on the table. I'd say look for a Ruger P series -- there's a million of them. Ugly but reliable and available in several different calibers, and pretty inexpensive.


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 Post subject: Re: What do you recommend as in inexpensive self-defense fir
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:02 pm 
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mobocracy wrote:
phorvick wrote:
So, I was thinking .."what trouble can I cause today?" and concluded that it is always fun to argue about recommendations!

I often am asked "what gun to buy" if there is not much $$ available.

Without getting into what "not much $$ means", I tend to suggest the following (OK, let's use the figure $200 as the base for discussion).


I remember seeing an ad in a magazine for motorcycle helmets with the tagline, "If you have a cheap head, buy a cheap helmet." It's not hard to agree with that sentiment, and in some ways I think the sentiment can be applied to self defense weapons.

Sure, for some people something is better than nothing, but running away (free), locks and heavy doors can be a better investment of their $200 if it upgrades their defenses to reduce their exposure.

I'm not saying "you can't have one unless it's $1000", but I am saying that steering people to the cheapest possible guns might actually be a poor defense choice.

If it's just to have to exposed to shooting, then anything's on the table. I'd say look for a Ruger P series -- there's a million of them. Ugly but reliable and available in several different calibers, and pretty inexpensive.
I think you're conflating "cheap" and "inexpensive". An old, ugly Model 10 might well be inexpensive, but it's not cheap. Ditto for the Makarov, or, for that matter, a KelTec that's been successfully put through its paces. (Far as I can tell, most of the problems that people have with the KTs are easily solved by a little cleaning and polishing, although there certainly are counterexamples.)

And, that said, how to spend one's money depends on the situation. Some years ago, a friend of mine was considering getting a gun, but wasn't certain that she would use it, even if necessary. Instead, she spent about the same amount of money on an airconditioner unit, and was able to sleep in the summer with her windows closed and locked. In her case, I think she definitely spent her money more wisely.

I like the Ruger P series, too, by the way. But, even used, they are a step up in price from a new KelTec, and even moreso from an ugly used revolver.

(One of my own carry guns, by the way, is an old Bulldog .44. Cosmetically very ugly, but very reliable -- and at $150, a bargain.)

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 Post subject: Re: What do you recommend as in inexpensive self-defense fir
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:20 pm 
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joelr wrote:
I think you're conflating "cheap" and "inexpensive". An old, ugly Model 10 might well be inexpensive, but it's not cheap. Ditto for the Makarov, or, for that matter, a KelTec that's been successfully put through its paces. (Far as I can tell, most of the problems that people have with the KTs are easily solved by a little cleaning and polishing, although there certainly are counterexamples.)


I disagree. I think at the extreme end of the "inexpensive" scale is where you also find "cheap" guns. You can find servicable guns from the right person, but you can also end up with a used car buying experience. And I can't imagine someone (presumably new to guns) buying a KT and needing to service it themselves to make it reliable. Lots of old gun parts can give out and you don't know if and when they will without -- guess what? -- spending more money to have someone validate them or doing extensive practice to ensure it really does work.

Remember, we're talking about something you'd defend your life, not just "get used to guns" or "plink" with. If buying inexpensive guns was such a grand idea for self defense, perhaps we can equip our PDs with them and save some tax dollars.

I'm not saying that there aren't "good" guns out there that are inexpensive, but I think buy forcing yourself to only buy the cheapest one you end up drastically increasing your risk of having something happen.


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And, that said, how to spend one's money depends on the situation. Some years ago, a friend of mine was considering getting a gun, but wasn't certain that she would use it, even if necessary. Instead, she spent about the same amount of money on an airconditioner unit, and was able to sleep in the summer with her windows closed and locked. In her case, I think she definitely spent her money more wisely.


Exactly my point about spending one's defense budget more wisely. If you can spend your $200 on a better defense, you may actually be increasing your safety by several orders of magnitude more than you might with a possibly risky inexpensive gun.

Quote:
I like the Ruger P series, too, by the way. But, even used, they are a step up in price from a new KelTec, and even moreso from an ugly used revolver.

(One of my own carry guns, by the way, is an old Bulldog .44. Cosmetically very ugly, but very reliable -- and at $150, a bargain.)


What you need Joel is Mag-Na-Port's Combat Mini .44 Magnum conversion. Turn a model 29 into a snubby -- that way you could shoot light magnums and not end up with any more recoil than specials.


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 Post subject: Re: What do you recommend as in inexpensive self-defense fir
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 6:30 pm 
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mobocracy wrote:
I'd say look for a Ruger P series -- there's a million of them. Ugly but reliable and available in several different calibers, and pretty inexpensive.


My P95 is not ugly. I know it is reliable enough that I sure wouldn't call it makes and make it angry :P

My sub $200 choice would be a $150 mossberg 12GA.

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 Post subject: Re: What do you recommend as in inexpensive self-defense fir
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 6:58 pm 
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phorvick wrote:
So, I was thinking .."what trouble can I cause today?" and concluded that it is always fun to argue about recommendations!

I often am asked "what gun to buy" if there is not much $$ available.

Without getting into what "not much $$ means", I tend to suggest the following (OK, let's use the figure $200 as the base for discussion).

1. something used

2. perhaps a Taurus model 85 snubby; often available in the sub $200 range

3. lots of S&W model 10's out there also sub-$200

4. if not a handgun, perhaps Remington 870...new just over the $200 range

5. you might find an older Taurus 92 for $200-$250

6. and God help me, I have no problem if money is really tight, to suggest Hi Point

7. once you get into the $300 range, there are all sorts of Ruger semi-autos, Taurus, even an occassional used Glock

(Note that I also have seen goodluck with Charter Arms, but not much supply up in my area)

Your suggestions?
My 2 1/2 cents is what is your life worth? that should then be your price of a good firearm.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 8:17 pm 
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For a shotgun:

A Mossberg 500 or Rem 870 for under $200

Handgun:

Revolver: Taurus or S&W. I just picked up a Model 15-4 4" barrel for $219.

Semi: New - Bersa Thunder 380 I shot it and liked it, Kel-tec P32 or PA3T or P11 and any number of used semi's like a S&W 39xx, 69xx or 59xx can be picked up for less than $300

Note: At the Gander Mountain in Maplewood, there is an used Kel-tec P32 for @169. :D

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 10:26 pm 
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I normally steer the budget-minded into a Taurus 85 or a Bersa 380.

But also.. I wouldn't advise anyone to put all of the money into the gun itself.

I'd rather know that somebody is spending 200 on a gun and 100 on ammo than 300 bucks on a gun that gets thrown into a drawer unfired because they can't afford to break it in.


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 Post subject: Re: What do you recommend as in inexpensive self-defense fir
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 6:09 am 
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lastgunshop wrote:
My 2 1/2 cents is what is your life worth? that should then be your price of a good firearm.


Man, I'm not worth much, because lately I've been carrying a handgun I got for free.

:P


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 Post subject: Re: What do you recommend as in inexpensive self-defense fir
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 6:22 am 
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goalie wrote:
lastgunshop wrote:
My 2 1/2 cents is what is your life worth? that should then be your price of a good firearm.


Man, I'm not worth much, because lately I've been carrying a handgun I got for free.

:P
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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