I'm thinking of buying another gun! Huh?

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by Roger M. Woodbury, Mar 24, 2018.

  1. Roger M. Woodbury

    Roger M. Woodbury Member

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    I'm thinking of buying a third gun. I never in a million years thought I'd actually be thinking of buying another, since I have bought two over the past three years. I did my research carefully and like the two I have, but now I have learned more and wonder if a third is really a good idea. Here's the deal:

    I first bought a Stoeger Cougar because I secretly wanted a Beretta and for the money could see no good reason by this one wasn't a great buy. I was right. The Cougar (.40 caliber) is a smooth shooting gun with very little snap or "felt recoil". I shoot pretty well with it and am happy with the purchase.

    Then because I thought it was pretty neat, I bought a Steyr C-A1 in .40 caliber. My chief hesitation in this one was that it is made of old Coke bottles and is striker fired. What I have found is that it is a smooth shooting gun and due to its bore axis is as muzzle-flip/recoil free as the Cougar.

    After the Cougar I thought the Steyr would be a perfect gun for all my carry needs. Here in Maine we are a completely "open carry" state, plus I have a license to carry concealed anyway. But the Cougar is a Beretta and Beretta doesn't feel the need to make pistols that are particularly narrow, so it's pretty BIG to carry. After a goodly search I located two leather retention belt holsters for each and they carry well beneath sweaters, sweatshirts or winter coats. The rub is beneath summer t-shirts they will be obvious.

    What I have decided I want to buy is a small framed, single stack pistol that I can carry during the summer beneath a summer t-shirt. I wear outside the waist band and will be carrying in a leather holster with thumb break.

    It appears the choice will be between a Walther PPK or Bersa Thunder. My preference is NOT for a polymer framed gun (as much as anything else, because I think they're really ugly!). I think my specific needs are limiting me to .380 caliber which is sufficient for what my intended purpose is, which is purely defensive. I really like the idea of a Beretta Cheetah, but think it will be too big; I've thought about something vintage also, but the only really appealing guns so far over all, are the metal framed Walther or Bersa.

    Naturally, the Bersa Thunder .380 wins on a dollars only basis, but I've wanted a Walther since...well, since James Bond got his! It's a struggle justifying the cost.

    Any encouraging or disparaging comments are welcome. Oh, yeah, and for the record, I've shot both the Bersa and the Walther and they shoot very well for what I think my purpose is.
     
  2. Ghost1958

    Ghost1958 Well-Known Member

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    Get what suits you personally.
    380 is low end of effective SD calibers but we all pays our money and takes our chances.

    For what it's worth I know several Bersa owners. They seem to be happy with the BERSA. I do hear a bit about buff and fluff jobs etc but all in all seem to be solid firearms.
     

  3. Roger M. Woodbury

    Roger M. Woodbury Member

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    It seems the Bersa has a really good rep although like everything, there have been some failures reported. Now that being said, I read some articles about Walther pulling the plug, or MOSTLY pulling the plug on S&W's making PPK/Ss in a plant in Maine due to continuing quality control issues. It seems an older PPK, made other than in the US is better.

    The Bersa has a lifetime warranty to the original purchaser, so buying one for under $300 seems like an exceptional deal.

    I bought the two pistols I have now in .40 because I wanted to keep only one caliber of pistol ammo "in stock". I am not opposed to buying a small carry gun in .40, but question the much hotter load in a small gun. In the end, I suspect my choice will depend on what I see at hand when I decided to do the deal. And of course, if I ever have to use the thing, the end result will be entirely dependent on rounds on target, no matter what the caliber.
     
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  4. Ghost1958

    Ghost1958 Well-Known Member

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    Rounds on target is very important. Absolutely.
    May look at the at the Colt Mustang if your comfortable with 380.

    A friend of mine has one. Excellent shooter if you can find one and don't mind the price tag.

    Personally if I were to go single stack it would be a Ruger lc9s pro.

    But that's just me.
     
  5. potmetal

    potmetal Member

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    I recently picked up a Walther PPS in 40. It is slim, single stack, but is a polymer frame. I really like the gun. I shoot very well with it. I should add, mine is a M1, or classic. They have the M2 out now. I have one of them too, in 9mm. it's a great gun too.
    I've owner both the PPK and a Bersa.Both were reliable and accurate. Both would be a good choice.
     
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  6. Roger M. Woodbury

    Roger M. Woodbury Member

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    I have been broadening my reading. The comparison I must make is with my Steyr as I like the gun own it, and it shoots well for me. It is 1.3" wide and that is the sticking point, IF "summer carry" will in fact indicate a slimmer pistol. Here's what I have found so far:

    There seems to be only ONE compact carry type pistol that is narrower than the Steyr without dropping caliber to .380, and that is the Walther PPS Mod 2. That might be out of my price range on a clear, dry morning when I'm not full of the romance of buying another gun.
     
  7. schnuffleupagus

    schnuffleupagus Well-Known Member

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    Why would you think that only 2 guns would be sufficient?
     
  8. IowaShooter

    IowaShooter Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's a good thought... Buying another gun!
     
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  9. youngridge

    youngridge Well-Known Member

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    Maybe check out the thread 'search for a new mouse gun' or something along those lines. Someone posted a very nice chart.....containing mainly .380's but there were 9mm's as well.

    As far as only 2 guns....I am a firm believer that every responsible household should have 10/22 or something of that sort, an AR-15, and a shotgun. Just my opinion though.
     
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  10. Roger M. Woodbury

    Roger M. Woodbury Member

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    We are well into the planning for a new home to be built in a more rural location than the small town we're in now. Once we're there I intend to add a shot gun to the mix. Adding the shotgun will be easy. Building the house will be more difficult.
    Thirty five years ago I had a client who was an avid gun collector. He gave me a tour of his gun room one day and the collection was magnificent. He had among the many guns, a complete set of English shotguns, all custom finished and anyone would find them to have been beautiful.

    He was also an avid big game hunter and had hunted almost every big game animal legal to hunt. He had been to Africa and Asia in the hunt for his trophy animals and about the only game he had not hunted was big horn sheep at high altitude.

    I asked him what sort of gun he had used on his hunts and if he had a favorite. He looked at me with a strange look on his face and said: "Oh, I wouldn't EVER use a GUN to hunt with. I am a bow hunter." In point of fact he didn't really SHOOT his guns: he was a collector.

    So, I guess I agree that 10 or 20 guns is desirable, if you are an avid collector with lots of money to spend on display pieces. But the only gun you NEED is the one gun you know how to use and which can be used if and when it is needed.
     
    Shopfox likes this.
  11. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you are set on metal, you might look at the 1911 based pistols. Sig 238 in 380 or the Sig 938 in 9mm. Another purchase to consider is everyone needs a 22lr and the choices are endless. After you get hooked on the 22lr you will want a 22lr rifle or 5.
     
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  12. Roger M. Woodbury

    Roger M. Woodbury Member

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    I am not at all interested in a 1911-style pistol for several reasons. As far as .22 is concerned, I already have a Winchester Model 75 that is a gun passed down to me by my father. I shot a Model 69 in competition as an Explorer scout back around the dawn of time and I have often thought of having a .22 caliber pistol. And in point of fact a .22 is not at all inappropriate for a small carry gun since they're easy to shoot and if needed, could enable putting lots of rounds on target. Truthfully, I have not even considered looking but will begin to do so, as it might be a really good solution. So far I have seen no reasonable alternative to my Steyr...and I noticed that I made an error in my first post in that the Steyr is an S40-A1, so it is the shorter butt. Right now considering everything, I am not sure there is a really good alternative to just carrying the Steyr. It's a tad wider than the Walther PPS, but not by much. So the choice seems to be dropping down to whether I really, REALLY want a smaller gun in lighter caliber than the Steyr. IF a .22 looks really good I might try that since .22 is infinitely cheaper than .380.

     
  13. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

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    I was also going to recommend the Sig 938, great shooting gun and perfect for summer carry. I plan on getting one soon. But, I see you are not interested in them. I would suggest the S&W Shield, but you don't like tupperware guns. Post what you decide to get!
     
  14. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you are comfortable with appendix carry the Steyr is very concealable with a loose shirt. I sometimes carry a Glock 26 which is 1.18" wide. The Steyr is a nice shooter. Best I have ever fired in 40. I run Glocks because of the magazine compatibility with carbines.
     
  15. bluzman

    bluzman Active Member

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    Clearly you haven't bitten by the same bug that got to me. My plaint would read something like "I never in a million years thought I'd only have bought two guns in three years." :D
     
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  16. Daoust_Nat

    Daoust_Nat Well-Known Member Supporter

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    For a steel .380 the Sig 938 is a great firearm. A tad pricier than what you have sited, but a great carrying and shooting gun.

    At the end of the day, don’t overthink it. Pick what you like and run with it.
     
  17. EnPassant

    EnPassant Member

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    Some people, myself included, don't have an aversion to foreign military surplus firearms. The manufacturer of military handguns for Cold War Hungary was FEG - but unfortunately it's out of business now. They produced numerous modified clones of the Walther PP and PPK, mostly in .32 Auto and .380 Auto, but mostly in 9mm Makarov for their military and police forces. The most common production model was an improved PP clone named the PA-63 and was issued to their Army. Most of those have black steel slides over aluminum alloy frames, but some are all black. After the Cold War they exported many thousands of these worldwide, and manufactured even more for US import companies before running into international export problems and being driven out of business. You can still get them in various conditions for $200 on up at gun shops, pawn shops, and places like gunbroker to have it sent to your local FFL dealer. The only real drawback to these is finding spare original mags on ebay that don't cost more than $40 each. But it's a fine piece of history and even fits well in a leather Makarov PM flap holster. I've shot a post cold war FEG in .380 and a S&W made Walther PPK/S in .380 - I'd take the FEG any day, even if it does have a half inch more barrel. It felt better in my hand and I shot several two inch groups at 20', which would work for me.

    Since they are half-steel, half-alloy they aren't overly heavy so they carry well, and how well they conceal depends on your build, how you carry, and summer clothing choice. I've heard they shoot reliably for self defense with good, clean, non-Russian ammo, once you clean the heck out of them because the previous owner probably shot nothing but cheap Wolf or Bear ammo in it and gummed up the extractor and trigger group. The sights are kind of crappy, but who needs more than a front sight for common combat range shooting? They also weren't designed to last as long as a Walther, but they don't cost nearly as much as one either.

    Just another option to think about before summer arrives.
     
  18. Roger M. Woodbury

    Roger M. Woodbury Member

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    There's a whole lot of things to consider. I really dislike polymer framed guns. That being said, I have a Steyr S40 which is an amazingly good shooter. I also have a Stoeger Cougar in .40, which is also an amazingly good shooter as you would expect a Beretta to be. One is heavier and bigger than the other but at the end of the day in real terms unless I am wearing running shorts and a singlet, I can carry either at least semi-concealed.

    Now I don't strictly NEED to conceal it at all here in this state. I just don't want to "advertise" the gun either.

    The only gun I have found so far that offers me any particular interest at all beyond what I have, is the Bersa Thunder, or....and hold your breath here....the Walther CCP.

    Now the Bersa is a .380 caliber pistol and small enough to be easily be concealed. (I would wear it in a belt holster with thumb break, I think. And leather, please!).

    I think the Walther CCP is slightly larger than my Steyr. It really offers me little aside from....well that gas/recoil system is so technically interesting that I am thinking I just NEED to have one. Much as I "needed" to have the triangular sites on the Steyr.

    It makes NO sense, but I think I can buy a CCP new, in the box, for under three hundred bucks and if I can do that, INcluding shipping, I'll pull the plug!

    Stay tuned: I may come to my senses, but income tax return season is upon us!
     
  19. aarondhgraham

    aarondhgraham Well-Known Member

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    I've owned a Bersa Thunder 380 for around 8 years now,,,
    As well as it's little sister the Thunder 22.

    [​IMG]

    Neither pistol has ever given me a whit of trouble,,,
    Both have a very high round count.

    Both of these pistols have the Aarond H. Graham Thumbs-Up Stamp of Approval.

    Aarond

    .
     
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  20. Roger M. Woodbury

    Roger M. Woodbury Member

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    UPDATE....sort of

    I think I have my answer. Since I posted this I've spent a lot of time reading about and researching pistols. I had planned on trying to rent a Bersa Thunder 380 when I visit the range in April. Nothing else really appealed to me as I said before, save a Walther PPK or PPK/S. I had rented a Walther PPK a coupe of years ago for the fun of it and aside from that one occasion, plus another in a different gun shop where I handled a Bersa, it's been a while.

    Sooo....I decided to compare here, my Steyr SA-40 against the tech specs for the Bersa. And, to my surprise, the Steyr meets all my requirements even better than the Bersa. The Steyr is a tenth of an inch longer, a smiden taller and surprise-surprise the Steyr is narrower than the Bersa by, I think it was 2/10".

    I have a decent leather holster for the Steyr and I can't see any alternative that I like that is better. Too bad, but it was mostly the romance of having a pretty gun like the Walther PPK that was working on me like a siren's song.

    But I'm not really, REALLY done yet. I have decided I'd really like to have a Walther CCP. I don't NEED one of those and certainly, the take down and cleaning is more complicated than either of my other two, but there is something about that gas dampened recoil system that is calling to me. Sort of like when I just had to have that Porsche instead of just another car.....

    Now, I'll just bide my time though. I'll find the one, NIB that I can get into my hands for less than $300. It's pretty close now.
     
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