Info for Cheap Pistols To Purchase
This thread is for the people on this forum that may not have hardly any money to spare for buying a pistol. A growing number of people these days cannot save enough money to purchase a nice, main-stream weapon like the Glock, Ruger, Kimber, Beretta, Smith and Wesson, etc., you will see on the market.
I am in no way saying these pistols are anywhere near top of the line, but I am just providing a reference for someone to use to try and research cheaper firearms if they are in a bad financial situation. Pretty much all of these firearms you will see are under 200 dollars.
In the world of defense, it's better to have something than nothing.
Please no flaming, and keep all posts related to the topic and informative/helpful to people who may need help with purchasing a cheap firearm.
Cobra Industries .380 caliber ($125.00 - $150.00)
Jimenez .380 Caliber ($100.00 - $130.00)
Jennings/Bryco .380 Caliber ($100.00-$150.00)
Hi-Point .380 Caliber ($90.00-$120.00)
Keep in mind that prices will vary depending on your specific area. I just used the caliber .380 as a basic reference. Most of these pistols may be purchased in different calibers ranging from .22 Long Rifle up to 9mm Luger.
Remember, the quality of these pistols vary. These pistols are not meant to be shot excessively. They are meant for very basic personal defense against harm.
While I have no idea about these guns because I have never fired much less owned one and I imagine that they would see very limited use they should be built to a quality standard that allows at the least thousands of rounds without any kind of significant failure of the design .
To knowingly build a product thats inferior in it's basic design to the point the physical structure may fail is not only irresponsible but should be criminal .
While it is very doubtful that many people try to become proficient in using a firearm with one of these it should be strong enough to survive the rigors of it should the owner endeavor to do so .
As a personal choice I would rather if on a very tight budget and needed a gun choose a used and perhaps lesser powered yet reliable weapon as a 38 ,32 or 22 caliber revolver from a reasonably reputable maker like Harrington & Richardson , Rossi or even Llama and Astra .
What I mean by shot excessively, is that some of these pistols will not hold up to thousands and thousands of rounds. To me, that sucks, but that's the reality of the matter.
I've heard of some issues with Jennings pistols that after a few thousand rounds there's a possibility of stress cracks forming on the slide (very bad thing). Basically, the pistol will do it's job, but not repeatedly over time and time again.
Here's some other pistols (thanks for mentioning them, Big001):
Astra 9mm Pistol
Llama .45 Caliber Pistol
My concern would be that the firearm would not hold up long enough for the owner to become proficient with it before it failed to function. A firearm that may not function beyond a few thousand rounds certainly should not be considered for personal protection. If you can't depend on bang when you pull the trigger, carry a ball bat.
Not a flame, rather common sense.
I urge anyone looking to purchase a lower priced firearm (in fact, any firearm) to do a good amount of research into the specifics of the firearm. The internet is a great tool to use, and has tons of information. Remember to refrain form getting reviews from the factory of the firearm you are interested in, because they will always be biased. Third party reviews are usually the most honest, because they usually have no vested interest in the product (financial or otherwise).
Here's one article I found on the Hi-Point pistols from Shooting Times. I will say that Hi-Point is probably your best shot at getting something of quality without having to pay a big of money for it.
FWIW, there are some very good USED weapons on the market for a very good price. A 4 inch S&W Mdl 10 in 38 Special IS small enough to be concealed (did it every day for several years) and while it is NOT a .500 Magnum Grunchenticker, does have enough stopping power to be useful- and they are reliable. There have been bunches of PD trade-ins that have been carried a lot, shot little, and generally go for less than $200.
And no- no flame. H&R and Iver Johnson built up a sizeable industry of making firearms for the working stiff. Not fancy, but worked- and they could be afforded.
My advice would be to buy a used revolver in .38 or 22Mag. You can find used S&W or Rugers for around $200-300. Its imparative that you buy a quality firearm if you are going to defend your life with it. Sometimes you may have to pinch pennys and save money that hard way, but its worth it.
My only real experience with a cheapo pistol is a High Point 9mm. My take on it is this, it does what I expected it to do. I've put probably 300 rounds through it so far over about 2 months. It is a lot more accurate than I ever expected at the range that I would be using it at (10 yards or so). I keep it near where I usually sit in my den as an "Oh s&**, a bad guy is coming in the door!" gun. I'm not worried about it getting stolen, so I don't lock it up when I'm not home. I've found so far that it has no problems whatsoever for the first 3 or 4 mags when it is clean when I shoot it. My wife limp-wrists it and can't make it through a couple shots without a jam. I would hate to know it was all I had in an extended gun fight, but all I need it for is to at least repel the bad guy until I can get something else.
I had I Hi-Point. Ex Carried it on her way to work through not so nice neighborhoods. I would go bang every time. It was UGLY, but it fed cheapo ammo for practice and some high end stuff for defense, just fine. It was big and scary enough that on the couple of occasions she showed it to a bad guy, he left. Therefore, it did it's job. As young couple with a family we had a hard time justifying a $2000 handgun to carry. Hunting gear work fine for home, but in the car, we needed something. We paid $100 new for a Compact 9, and she still keeps it in her vehicle, 15 or so years later. You can't get towing on your insurance policy per year, that cheap.
In response to Big0O1, you bring up a few good ones with the H&R and Astra pistols. H&R has good quality standards, they're just not "whizzy".
Astra is also often overlooked. A lot of their newer pistols STRONGLY resemble Sig designs, and there's a reason. Astra patterned them, with minor differences, after Sig designs (kinda like Taurus did with Smith and Wesson early on, and their early semi autos looked and functioned so much like Beretta designs).
Seems guns made in Spain get a bad rep, but no one really has any first hand experience with enough bad ones to make that blanket assessment. Astra is a fairly old company. Star also produced very good handguns from Spain.
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