best affordable everyday pistol

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by csimp3, Jul 9, 2006.

  1. csimp3

    csimp3 New Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    while im hoping conceal and carry goes through here in wisconsin, i have a question, what pistols would you guys recommend that are good to carry, but also affordable, and fun and not too expensive to shoot if i wanna go to the range?, thanks
  2. cec

    cec New Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    New Hampshire
    Wow, that's a tall order.

    The first advice is the standard, get what you are comfortable with, if you don't like to handle it, then you aren't going to carry or shoot it.

    Next is what is your definition of affordable? A .22 is fun to shoot and affordable, but probably won't meet your defense needs.

    In this case, I would lean towards a .38/.357 snubby. You can run the .38 through it for the everyday shooting and the .357 for defense. While you want to practice with the heavier rounds, you can fire the .38 and not destroy your wrist. The other advantage is that a revolver usually involves less maintenance, keep it clean and oiled, rarely needs to be broken down.

    The other option is the .45 compact. Upfront cost may be more and the ammo cost is fairly reasonable.

  3. csimp3

    csimp3 New Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    yeah, ive got a .22 for a plinker, im very comfortable with guns, ive never shot a 9mm before, always wanted one, but people are telling me to get something bigger with more stopping power, what do you guys think?
  4. cec

    cec New Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    New Hampshire
    Another one of the big debates, there are many threads about that subject. :) One of the first is defining Stopping power.

    The general rule of thumb is the carry the "biggest" you can handle and still conceal it. I am sure that most people could handle a 12 Ga, but that is bit hard to conceal. Unless everyone walks around like they have a broken leg or a rod up their....

    Umm, back to the subject at hand.

    Staying within the guidelines, at least as I understand them (A. Affordable to both purchase and shoot, B. Fun, C. Concealable.), then a 9 mm or .38/.357 will fit the bill. There are many pistols both new and used to be had for less than $500 and the ammo will not put you in the poor house, around here a 50 round box is in the $9-$12 range for quality ammo. While there is some kick to the smaller packages, it is not enough to turn you off from shooting them on a regular basis.

    Both of these rounds pack enough punch to stop your attacker, may not leave a fist size hole through them, but it will get their attention.

    When you get into the higher caliber rounds, then you lose both the affordable and fun factor.

    For example, I fired a .44 magnum "belly gun" with a 2" barrel. It was not fun or very accurate beyond a few yards, but if I was in a close quarters gun battle, it would be a fine weapon and easier to conceal than the larger versions. Granted this was limited to a few rounds so the accuracy would have improved with practice (and a few wrist braces).

    That's my 2 cents.
  5. There are many, many good choices, csimp. Do you necessarily want a pistol, or would a revolver be acceptable as well? Generally speaking, the revolvers are somewhat less expensive than the pistols, although there are exceptions. One of the best buys out there, I think, is the S&W 637 J-frame snubbie in .38 special. They run around $400 new. They're great little carry guns, but perhaps not the best choice for target shooting. Some here will disagree, but if you're looking to keep the price down a bit, take a good look at the Taurus line of pistols and revolvers. I own several and have found them to be excellent values in terms of reliability and accuracy, just not quite in the same class as the Smiths. For autos, definitely look at the Glocks. In my view, they simply cannot be beaten, dollar for dollar.
  6. glocknut

    glocknut Active Member

    The 9mm is just fine. I trust it to cycle a whole lot more reliably than everything else!!!! And some of the premium ammo is pretty darn good. For self defense the 9mm is a very good choice for many reasons.


    i do dream about the 357 sig every now and then.... LOL :D
  7. A 1911 I would say a used Kimber
    Basic full size I would say a Beretta 92F
    Compact I really like the Walther P99
    Any of which I recomend in a .40S&W or a .45
  8. csimp3

    csimp3 New Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    well, ive decided i definietly want an automatic, im between a 9mm and a 40cal, someone told me that a 40 isnt bad to shoot, but its better than a 9mm, what do you guys think?
  9. wolfgang2000

    wolfgang2000 New Member

    Dec 10, 2005
    Mountain Grove MO.
    If yo have to use FMJ ammo your caliber should start with a 4. That said, if you you use light ( 115 or 124 grn.) +p HPs a 9mm works jsut fine. The 357mag 125 load is still one of the best "stoppers" out there.

    The 40 S&W is you basic police caliber today. So ammo will be out there. You have the advantage of going to 357sig by just changing the barrel.

    I'm perfectly comfortable with my 9mm with +P or +p+ loads. I choose to want "lots of bullets" rather than big bullets.

    If you can shoot both and see which one you like.

    OH I almost forgot, they both work great in a GLOCK! :D
  10. csimp3

    csimp3 New Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    i went to gander mountain tonight, but i live in madison and they cant sell pistols there, but the that worked there and helped me was also a cop, he said he has to have the 40 for work, but he said he prefers a 9mm any day, so thats that, now just which one, how much better is a glock, is it worth it just to save for a while and do it right the first time and buy a glock, also how much are they? thanks alot guys, youve already helped alot

    also, not to sure how i feel about the saftey on the glock, anyone have anything good, or bad to say about it?
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2006
  11. cec

    cec New Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    New Hampshire
    Glock prices vary, if you looking at the compact 9mm (ie the 26) they go for around $500 here. The .40cal version, the 27, is a monster to shoot. I was much more comfortable with the 26.

    As far as the safety, it is part of the trigger. So as long as you pull the trigger only when you fire the gun, you should be alright.

    In the same price range as the Glock are the Sig Sauer compacts.

    Again, this comes down to feeling. Handle each one of the pistols (fire first if you can), select the one that is most comfortable to you.
  12. wolfgang2000

    wolfgang2000 New Member

    Dec 10, 2005
    Mountain Grove MO.
    I've carried Glocks on duty, off duty, and now retried. I find Glocks very safe, and simple. If you don't put your finger on the trigger it don't go bang. Ther are internal safties so that it dosen't go off when dropped or if the trigger is not all the way to the rear.

    The Glock 19 is a good mid-size pistol. But if concealment is the goal the 26 is the way to go.
  13. tex45acp

    tex45acp New Member

    The best affordable, every day pistol.......I would have to suggest a .357mag with a barrel length from 3-4". Now here is my explanation of why. The .357mag will protect you from most 4 legged critters and 2 legged as well. You can change from .357 mag cartridges to a milder .38 special for plinking, small animal hunting, which is great in the woods and you can go to the wadcutter style bullet for target shooting, all in one gun. Recoil is managable for most folks and ammo is relatively cheap to shoot. There are a whole bunch of brands and models to suit your liking. Most are easy to carry in a concealed holster and a revolver is ultra dependable when needed. Most brands can be had for reasonable prices as well.

    Just My Humble Opinion here.......Good Luck in your choice!!
  14. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    I wish that my Model 60 were a later model so that I could have the choice of either .38 Special or .357 Magnum.
  15. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    Marlin, all, in a 2" barrel, there is so little difference between 'factory' loads, .357 Mag, and +P .38 Spl, as to make the consideration inane.
    If I had a .38 Spl, in 2", or 3", and wanted to make a 'statement', I'd load some of those 88 gr (designed for a .380 acp) bullets, on top of a little WW231, or Bullseye, and speak my piece!
    While I'll not belabor the benefits of handloading, one of them is the ability to tailor a load for a specific firearm, and purpose, rather than storebought ammo, which must, by definition, be a 'one size fits all', proposition.
    With that as a basis, I LIKE short revolvers, and own WAY too many 3" and 2" Smiths, to say anything at all bad, about them; at a $200US price point, used,and this will certainly be controversial, though valid, they are the best 'carry' buy on the block!
    Consider, however, that if you live in a place, like I do, where the concealed carry laws are written to define not just 'that', but 'what', you may legally carry, if you take the course with a wheelgun, you may be limited to that in the 'real world'.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2006
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