Advice on Low Cost Handguns and Ammo

 Advice on Low Cost Handguns and Ammo

Hello, thank you for all the time and effort you put into sharing your survival knowledge and experience with us.

I am going to be attending a local gun show in Cleveland in a couple of weeks, and would like to get your opinion for some options of good relatively inexpensive hand guns ($ 350.00 and under range)to be used for protection only.

I have very little knowledge and experience with guns in general. Could you please include information about, cost, how much, and where to purchase ammo, along with the type of guns.

Bruce

Here are a few suggestions off the top of my head, used Smith & Wesson model 10’s, CZ-82, Makarov, Sig P6/225, sometimes you can find used Smith & Wesson autos like the 5904 and 6904 in this price range.

I’m sure reads have other suggestions please feel free to chime in…

Generally, the more ammo you purchase at one time the lower the price will be, when shopping on-line for ammo I check the prices at LuckyGunner and J&G Sales first if they don’t have what I do a Google search and compare prices…

For small ammo purchases, I head to the local Wal-Mart…

-M.D. Creekmore

Comments

  1. It might help to specify if by self-defense you mean home defense or concealed carry.

    If you are interested in a semi-auto, I would suggest taking a look at the Ruger P-series. I own a Ruger P95 (9mm) that can be bought new within your price range, tax included (at least in my state). It is very solid and reliable by reputation. It would make a good home defense pistol but is a bit big and heavy to meet most people’s concealed carry criteria. My experience in putting several hundred rounds of different ammo through it is has been 100% reliability and plenty accurate for self-defense out to 25 yards.

    If you are interested in a concealed carry firearm new in that price range, I would suggest looking back at the recent post at this site regarding 380 CC firearms. There are a number of these in your price range (e.g., Ruger LCP, Bersa Thunder 380 series, etc.).

    For revolvers, the best I know of in your price range new would be the Taurus models (e.g., model 605, model 65). Most people of late seem happy with these out of the box, but they also seem to have a somewhat higher rate of quality control fixes that are needed than the more expensive models. The company does provide a warranty and will repair if anything is wrong with the item.

  2. Sorry to double post, but I would also add that if you are new to firearms and are not mechanically inclined, I personally would suggest going with a revolver first. I like both semi-automatics and revolvers, but the simplicity of function of the revolver is great. Field stripping most semi-autos to clean them is straightforward for me, but not so for my wife (who is better than me at lots of other things, but has some sort of block when it comes to mechanical devices).

  3. I would agree with Jeff that revolvers should be first but Taurus are a good cheaper gun and I have had success with the Sccy 9mm (made in Florida). Don’t get me wrong I still prefer my Springfield 1911 and Para guns over the Taurus and Sccy but the cost could be double or triple the cost.

  4. You might want to check these two out. For a Revolver Charter Arms and if you want a semi-auto Hi-Point. They are cheap and maybe a bit crude in appearance but they are reliable, go bang when you pull the trigger and both have a lifetime warranty. Hi Point also makes a handy little carbine. You can get a Hi-Point pistol and carbine both in the same caliber and use the same ammo stash for both.

  5. The CZ-82 is a great little gun and I’m glad to see it on this list! The ammo can be had for just under $10 for a box of 50, but you can also reload 9mm Luger cases to fit 9mm Makarov if you have a case trimmer and the right bullets. Don’t listen to the people who say that you can’t use cast bullets in polygonal barrels–that only applies to Glock and HK as far as I know (CZ has confirmed that cast bullets will work fine and not hurt the barrel of the CZ-82 in any way). Oh, and to Jeff’s point, the CZ-82 can be carried hammer-down, safety-off to make it as simple as a revolver to draw and fire. I also find that it is extremely easy to field strip.

    • Peregrin Took says:

      Agreed, Noah L. The CZ-82 is SUPER-affordable and a very capable pistol overall. I personally think they could stand to be a touch more accurate, but they’re MORE than sufficient for close quarters / home defense. They’re easy to clean, strip, reload, plus the slide is easy to manipulate. So easy to handle, in fact, that this is my wife’s home defense pistol. To top it off, 9mm Makarov is cheap and plentiful. If you’re looking for a budget pistol, the CZ-82 is worth consideration.

  6. M.D. I am a retired Special forces small weapons specialist. Jeff has the right idea, go for the Ruger model 95 if you want a semi-auto. They field strip pretty easy and are easy to take care of. Parts are plentiful and easy to find. 9mm is a good way to go too if you are fairly new to shooting guns, it will not kick so much as to intimidate you and your accuracy will be very good with this weapon. 9mm is still a good gun for home and personal security. Ruger is also a well made firearm too.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      You might also look at used Ruger model P89, which are essentially identical to the P95 except the main body is cast aluminum instead of polymer, which makes it weigh about 4 ounces more than the 95. IIRC the later version of the P95 also has a built-in Picatinny rail.
      I’ve shot thousands of rounds through my P89 since about 1990 and it’s been a reliable and accurate, if a little heavy, gun.

      • I totally agree with the comments about the Ruger P89. Several years ago I bought a two-tone model for half the price of a Beretta 92, but it is just as accurate and reliable. It’s a fine looking and functioning pistol, a bit on the heavy side, but it feels right in my hands. Pairing the Ruger P89 up with a Ruger LC9 one could have a primary and a backup (CC) firearm which use the same 9mm round, both for the same price as a Beretta 92.

  7. I agree with Jeff. revolvers are a great place to start if you are not mechanically inclined or just starting. there are a lot of great little snubbies (short barreled) pistols that pack a good punch. Best advice I can give you after that is to find one that feels comfortable in your hand when you shoot it.

  8. On getting the most “bang for your buck”, I would suggest visiting sites like slickguns.com or gun-deals.com. They post all the bargains across the net. Even after the FFL transfer fee and shipping, you will likely save money.

  9. Gosh, Bruce- you’re asking one of those questions that can really bring a torrent of replies- all based on opinion.
    I’d suggest going to the show and handle as many as you can within your price range and get a feel for them in your hand- and hands. (There will come a time when you’ll need to shoot with one hand, so it pays to have it feel right there.)
    Then think about what you will eventually do with it. If you know without doubt you’ll never get into any kind of competitive or recreational shooting it will broaden your choices. (Recreational competitors usually use semi-autos from 9mm and on. Some do use revolvers, but they’re few and far between now.)
    If you choose a semi auto, you will need several more magazines for it so plan on buying them at the same time. Also, a holster of some sort. Again, opinions vary on the kind/style/material and all are valid. Your reason is ‘self defense only’ so you’ll probably be looking at an IWB holster for maximum concealment. Strong side hip would be second choice- leather is a long lasting material but Kydex is the ‘in’ stuff now. Many new pistols come with a Kydex holster, of sorts, so may be ‘good enough’ for starting out.
    The size of your body (in concealing the weapon) will have a lot to do with how large a frame your weapon can have. (I’m 5-10/160 slim and carry in an IWB/A a full size Springfield XD, but I like the feel of a gun in my hand, not a little toy. Yet my back up gun [BUG] is often a small .22 semi auto with magnum loads.) Again, handling a few will tell you more than you’ll learn from others’ opinions. Same with the caliber- anything from 9mm and up will be adequate and the 9mm will be cheaper to shoot/practice with as well as more ‘manageable’ when shooting.
    Then get a cleaning kit for it. Simple and cheap will do.
    Brands I’d stick with, however, are just a few: Springfield, S&W, Ruger, Glock, are the top of the list. After that, Colt, Taurus, Bersa, SIG-Sauer, Century (maybe). In my mind, some guns are just too complicated to operate- such as those semi autos with external safeties. Ditto with some revolvers that have cross-frame safeties- just too complicated to use in a hurry or ‘thoughtlessly’ in an emergency when adrenaline is pumping your heart and flushing your skin with sweat and the inherent need for speed.
    Now that I’ve totally confused you…
    Shy III

  10. Bruce asked about “some options of good relatively inexpensive hand guns ($ 350.00 and under range)to be used for protection only.”

    Bruce, This is the biggest money saving favor you can do for yourself – Go to a local gun store with a range and rent several models of revolvers and semi-auto pistols and shoot them there. Every person is different, with different physical characteristics, personalities, and expectations. What works great for me may not work for you. So after you shoot a couple of pistols, then you have to decide if you want a revolver or semi-auto, a .380, 9mm, .38/357, .45, etc. You also have to decide if you want a nightstand gun that will never be shot, or a gun that you’ll CCW and carry every day, or a gun you want to start shooting IPSEC or IDPA matches with as a hobby.

    Getting the wrong pistol will just drive you crazy until you sell it and then have to buy another one, so get the right one the first time. I know, I’ve done it many times, but refuse to sell the old ones, “just in case” and just keep buying more. :)

    Revolver: Most defensive revolvers are either .38 or .357 Magnum. Buy the .357 Mag because it can also shoot the cheaper and lower powered .38 rounds. A .38 cannot shoot .357 Mag rounds.

    Home only: Any large frame Taurus, S&W, or Ruger in .357 = used @ $350
    Concealed Carry: Any small frame Taurus, S&W, or Ruger in .357 with a barrel about 3 inches = used @ $350
    Competitions: Either of the above (but I’d go with a semi-auto)
    Caution: The 2 inch barrel .38 revolver is “old school detective” cool, but can be really hard to shoot accurately if you don’t have a lot of experience. Typically, the longer the barrel and heavier the revolver, the easier it is to shoot.

    Semi-Auto Pistol: Most people consider the 9mm as the smallest defensive round. 9mm is one of the cheapest rounds to shoot, and comes in a wide variety of effective “defensive” rounds. I’d recommend a 9mm, especially for a new shooter.

    Home Only: At the price point of < $350, I'd agree with Jeff on the Ruger P95. The Ruger P95 is one of the most reliable and rugged pistols on the market, and I've seen them new for $300 and you could get a couple of extra magazines with the extra $50. The P95 makes a great home defense weapon.
    Concealed Carry: I can't personally recommend any semi-auto in the $350 price range for concealed carry – there might be some out there, but I've never shot one myself. Get a Glock 19 (@ $490 new). Glock is the standard that most other pistols are compared to and is the only semi-auto pistol I'd carry concealed.
    Competitions: Either of the above.
    Cautions on semi-auto's: Semi-auto's are more reliable, carry more rounds, are easier to reload, and are the chosen weapon of almost every police department and military, but you have to shoot them and train with them occasionally to keep your muscle memory and know how they operate. If you are never going to go shooting, and the gun won't ever leave the nightstand, get a revolver.

    I buy most of my ammo from WalMart or gun shows.

  11. You’ll find polarized opinions, but I don’t think Hi-Point pistols can be beat for the cost. They are ugly and heavy but durable and very reliable. They’re available in .380, 9mm Luger, .40, and .45ACP. You should be able to buy two of them, new-in-box, for $350 if you shop around. Lifetime warranty of course and very good customer service.

    • Michael, that is exactly why I mentioned them. In fact for $350 you can buy a HiPoint semi auto in 9mm, .40 or .45 and buy their carbine in your choice of the same calibers all for about $350.00 or as you said, two pistols and have some money left for ammo to practice with.

      • Dan in Oklahoma says:

        Thanks uys I went out yesterday and bought the C9 shot it today and loved it, only thing I dont care for is the field stripping of it, you need a punch. However for $160 I am not going to complain about it. It shot nice and my wife was able to fling some lead down range, Next payday the Carbine….

  12. I have a 10/22 and a 870, going to pick up a sks soon. What do you think about a hi point for my handgun?

  13. NoMEPreppy says:

    There is another option. that is the Hi-Point firearms. While there are varying opinions on these pistols, they are low-cost, available in a small variety of calibers, will shoot just about anything you feed them, and for the large part are reliable. BTW, they’re made in the USA (Ohio). There have been some users who would swear against them, but lemons occur anywhere (think first generation M-16’s). More often than not, the person who hollers the most against them claiming “you get what you pay for” just got a lemon. For less than 200, you can get a 9mm. a .45 can be had for about 250. And that’s for NEW. They also have a .380 and a .40. The 9mm, .40, and .45 also have carbine versions. Carbine mags can fit in the pistols, but not vice-versa (except the 40). and the newer carbines are alot sleeker looking than their older counterparts.

    • Hi-Points jam way to much. You end up working on them almost as much as you get to shoot them. They are a great gun for the money but you can spend a little more and have a quality weapon that will be more reliable.

      • stevesmitty79 says:

        Hi-point has a no questions asked lifetime warranty on all their products fixed free of charge, whether it’s been damaged or from normal wear and tear. For the cost of mailing it there, there should be no room for complaint.

  14. I can’t help but bring up the Hi-Point C9.

    This is a wonderful starter gun, and it really makes you appreciate other guns once you have it and use it for a while.

    You can get a C9 at most gun shows for $100-$150. They require some practice (as should any gun) and they are heavy (heavy steel slide) but 9mm ammo is cheap, magazines for it are reasonable, and it will sit in the drawer next to the bed as well as any gun does. That’s where mine stays.

    It’s not the best gun, but you can get 2 of them, some ammo, and some mags for $350.

  15. I see quite a few recommendations above for Hi-Point. I don’t recommend them. The 9mm Hi-Point my brother bought new has never been able to fire a whole magazine without stoppage. Whereas none of the many different Ruger and Glock semi-autos that I have fired have every had any problems. The Hi-Point is unreliable and so large that concealed carry is out of the question. Just my experience and opinion, I wouldn’t get one.

  16. OhioPrepper says:

    This is a bit of a timely question. Those of you who have been shooting for any length of time have heard of Michael Bane, an all around gun guy. If you haven’t heard of him, this is worth a read: http://www.downrange.tv/shootinggallery/banebio.htm. One of the projects he’s involved in is the series Best Defense on the Outdoor Channel, and one of the segments is always a concealed carry tip. Last weeks tip were three inexpensive handguns he’d bet his life on, and were as follows:
    1. Sig Sauer P225 One of the best single stack 9mm ever made. (his words)
    2. Walther P1
    3. Taurus .44 Special
    Just thought I pass along his list

  17. Kel-Tec PF9 or P11. A used CZ or Rami. Sarsilmaz K2s are very good, too.

  18. I have several handguns, Glocks, Para, XDs, Wilsons, etc, and my 9mm Hi-Point has been just as reliable as the most expensive firearm that I have. Surprisingly, my hi-point is the most accurate 9mm that I own, and it has never jammed no matter what ammo I use. I plan on buying at least one more, as well as the .45 carbine. The only drawback is that due to the design, they are pretty hefty and I wouldn’t recomend them for concealed carry. But because of the weight, recoil is minimal, partly accountable for their superb accuracy. I absolutely love Hi-point firearms: accurate, cheap, and rliable, plus made in the USA with lifetime warranty.

  19. Under the radar in ND says:

    Ruger P series is the best way to go for a 9mm- great value for a low price. Built like a tank. I also have a couple of FEG (Hungarian Browning Hi-Power knock offs) in 9mm that are great shooters. After cashing in my spare change bucket, I purchased a brand new Browning Buck Mark Camper model in .22 – $300. I was going to buy a Ruger Mark III but the Browning was $50 cheaper and decided to give the Browning a try.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      I have a Ruger Mark II (5 1/2 Bull Barrel) and it’s a great gun, but I think I would trade it for a Browning Buckmark if someone wanted the trade. IMO the Buckmark is one of the finest .22RF handguns made. My big rub with the Mark III is the magazine disconnect, which I know is just a personal peeve, but something I nevertheless intensely dislike.

  20. for my money just home use good 12ga and a box of 00.

  21. parashooter says:

    GLOCK- hands down. Get a used cop turn in one. Should be about 350.00 to 450.oo. They’ll have scuff and ware marks but most of them are lightly fired (re-guals). Why? Everyone has one, I would say 85% of PD’s use them. So, most gun shops, sports stores, and pawn shops will have mags, ammo, accessories and holsters for them. They last forever.

    Cop turn in Rem 870 or mossberg 500. Same as the glock. Reliable, everyone has one -spare parts, ammo, slings, accessories. Last forever. My opinion get the Remmy 870, all steel receiver. Should be around 250.00 to 350.00.

    Ruger 10/22 Won’t find one as a cop turn in. But it has everything the first two have. Should be from 200.00 to 300.00

    PLEASE! PLEASE! STAY AWAY FROM HI POINTS. Unless its going to be a use and loose gun.
    I personally love my kimber 1911’s, 10/22’s, glocks, Savage model 10 pc, and 870’s.

    • Rev.Chance says:

      I agree. Some of my friends have owned Hi Point pistols of various caliber and hated them. A gun that jams when it gets hot could end defense efforts early.

  22. Ben Huffman says:

    For ammunition, check the website ammoengine.com. It does not sell ammo, but looks at a variety of other websites to show you where to get the best deal. It covers Lucky Gunner, as well as Cheaper than Dirt and Wideners. It does NOT cover every website, but it specifically lists the websites that it checks. Makes searching for the best deal pretty simple, as it allows you to sort search results by “price per round”.

  23. Tomthetinker says:

    I will agree with Parashooter: Why start a ‘tool box’ with the cheapest thing you can afford? I visited ‘Vances’ in So. East Columbus Ohio this last Sat. Glock 22 and 17 are…. $350.00 to $429.00. The shop always has a 10′ rack of ‘used’ cop 870s for $229.00 to $300.oo. I came in and took a number… #93… they were on #52. I spent my time watching 870s, and moss. 500/590s, glock 22 and 17s cross the counter. They maintain a stack of Russian Mosin- Nags behind the counter case lots for $99.00 each. Bruce…. Please save your cash and buy quality ‘tools’… even used quality tools will outlast and out perform cheap and easy … everytime. If… you go with a Hipoint…. you will…. upgrade! Take the $$ and lay-a-way something of value and quality.

  24. JP in MT says:

    I usually recommend a double-action revolver in 38 special for a 1st handgun. They are simple, durable, and relatively inexpensive. I have seen fixed sight Smith & Wesson’s and Taurus’ at the shows over that last 6 months that were under (sometimes well under) the $350 price point.

  25. 299.00 for Used Glock Gen 2 model 22 over at OMB express

    http://www.ombexpress.com/p_UG211.aspx

  26. Most gun snobs typically never have much interaction with the products they deride. I’ve owned a Hi-point for about five years, and it has never failed after thousands of rounds. My experience, not an opinion! It’s ok to prefer other firearms, but most Hi-point haters have never used one extensively, if at all. I don’t work there nor do I own stocks, but it doesn’t make sense for some to bash Hi-point simply because they’re inexpensive, and somewhat less attractive than some other firearms.

    • Dr Paul,

      No, I don’t own a Hi-point but I have worked on a truck load when I was working as a gunsmith…

    • I have only had experience with one Hi-Point and it was so terrible that I will never have any experience with another.

      But, I have had a lot of experience with Rugers and Glocks, and have never had a problem with any of them.

      I can only say what I have experienced and Bruce can make up his own mind.

    • COL Josefus Beelzebub says:

      LOL – a guy who posts that he’s a “doctor” on a virtually anonymous forum is going to call other people “snobs”.

  27. axelsteve says:

    I am kinda in the black hole for handguns. In my erea no one will stock a hi point and a cop turn in glock will be 450 or so and so will a smith model 10 in 38.In my erea the best bet would probably be a 911 clone for 4 to 5 hundred.Heck a rock islands go for 600 new.Kinda like asking someone for junk land in my erea. No such thing as junk land in California. Steve

  28. I can’t believe nobody has mentioned the Bersa Thunder 9. It is one of the best reviewed low-cost 9mms on the market. Locally, you can get one for $349.

  29. Patriot Farmer says:

    I don’t know if anyone is interested but a store called Michigan Police Equipment in Lansing MI has literally received hundreds of Glock 22 .40 cal handguns in trade from the Michigan Dept. of Corrections. The MDOC traded these for the Gen. 4 Glock Model 22. The Glocks have been inspected, reconditioned and are for sale for less than $400. I believe this price is open to anyone.

  30. RE: Dr Paul

    I have had both the C9 and .380 versions of the Hi Point. I’ve put about 500 rounds through my c9, and my only problems have been a mag that was bent too closed at the top and one that needed an adjustment to cleanly eject.

    I am just as accurate at 8, 10 and 25 ft as my peers are with their Taurus, Glock, and S&W semi-automatics.

    This is not to say that I prefer that Hi Point. I would love to have the Springfield XDm 9mm. It feels much better to me than any gun I’ve ever held or shot.

    My point was this: if you’re looking for a home defense weapon and something to shoot once and a while, your money is not wasted on the Hi Point, and you can have a spare (or one for the wife) for less than one of these others. They resell for what you can get brand new too.

  31. I bought my first gun in summer 2009 to begin learning about firearms in preparation for disaster. This was a Taurus 66 .357 magnum, a very satisfying copy of the S&W 686+. This revolver holds 7 rounds and can fire .357 and .38 special. The only downside for being a beginner was the adjustable sights. For beginners, I believe fixed sights are easier because they need no adjusting. Instead the shooter adjusts.

    As mentioned in several posts above, I would go for the revolver if you are new to handguns. Reliable, don’t have to clear jams (just pull trigger again), mechanically simple. For me, the revolver was the way to go at first: learning good grip technique, gun cleaning, etc. Now, even though I have a glock 23 as my primary handgun, I don’t want to be caught anywhere too far from my Taurus either. It’s also nice to have more than one in case someone in my family or group needs arming.

    For what it’s worth, I have been particularly interested in the cz82 recently as well. I’m left-handed and any ambidextrous gun (such as cz82) gets further examined by me. Another good one that I have not seen mentioned yet is the relatively newer ruger sr9c. It is a compact 9mm that comes with one 10 rd mag and one 17rd mag with grip extension (you can usually get 2 10rd magazines if you live in california). It has ambidextrous external safety and mag release. It has a chamber indicator (a little ramp that sticks up when a round is in the chamber) and it has gotten very good reviews. On gunbroker you can find them new for 375 (+ 50 for shipping and FFL transfer).

    Before you buy a gun, go to gun shows! Ask questions. Hold guns. My dad always told me that if you go somewhere seeking information and act completely naive about the subject, experts will be much more willing to spill more of their knowledge in order to prove their expertise. This is a good way to get loads of info.

    Oh, another gun show tip: walk the entire show before you buy anything. You can even make notes as to which table had what good deal. Then, once you’ve seen everything, go back to the good deals and make decisions. I’ve made the mistake of buying early, then 30 minutes later seeing the same or better product as a significantly lower price. Not a good feeling as there are not usually refunds at gun shows.

    • Oh, I found my Taurus 66 used at a gunstore for 319.00. I have seen them on gunbroker.com for as little as 250.00. Well worth it!

  32. Jarhead03 says:

    Along with Jeff, Bad and a few others I recommend the Ruger P series. I own a Ruger P90 (45 caliber) and you can purchase them for around $350 and they have them in 9mm, 40 and 45. I have owned mine for 10 years as while it is heavier than some other pistols it is reliable, shoots very well and you can buy two for the price of the average pistol. I also own a Glock, Kimber and a Springfield 1911 all in 45 and I do enjoy my Ruger.

    As for pistol ammo I buy mine in bulk from a wholesale vendor a gun shows for sometimes half the cost of gun shops.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      If you’re looking for bulk ammo, these guys usually have pretty good deals: http://ammoman.com/
      You need to send them, email them, or fax them a photo ID to verify your age, which they will keep on file.
      The listed price includes shipping (at least to the lower 48)

  33. Rev.Chance says:

    I owned a Taurus .357 snubnosed revolver. New, they are a little higher than $350. I am currently debating (for Wife’s concealed carry) a Sig Sauer 9mm (over $400) or a Smith and Wesson Sigma 9mm ($319 new at Acadamy Sports). For home defense we have a Mossberg 12ga. pistol grip pump shotgun(about $300).
    Take care.

  34. NOT ONE person has commented on the fact that this person says they have little experience with guns. Guns are not for inexperienced; go get some training!!! Find someone who offers classes in handling guns, caring for them but most importantly your responsibilities as a gun owner. Owning a gun brings responsibility; USING the gun has a whole bunch more and people need to think about that before buying one. $350 will buy you a gun but maybe it would be better spent on a home alarm system and a few cans of Mace.

    • I’d rather have a gun and no training, than training and no gun. Bruce asked advice on what gun to get, and has a couple week deadline. Get the gun and ammo first, and then train with the weapon you have. A home alarm and mace aren’t going to do much good after SHTF and there’s no electricity and everyone else has a gun. You sound like one of those New York, Chicago, or DC kind of people who don’t trust Bruce not to do something stupid just because he owns a gun.

  35. Furthermore, an alarm system is only as good as the company monitoring it, and then all they do is call the cops – and you know that ‘when seconds count, the police are only minutes away’, and the home alarm does no good if he’s in his back yard, at the mail box, in his car, at the store, etc. And, have you ever shot off mace indoors? If you did once, you’d never do it again. What’s the effective range of mace outdoors? A hell of a lot shorter than the .38 that some scumbag is pointing at you. Get a grip, there are tons of home invasions and burglaries that have been stopped by old ladies with .22’s who never had any training at all.

    • Hank hill says:

      Not to mention that $350 isn’t likely to get you a home alarm system in the first place.. at least not one that I would trust..

    • Hank Hill says:

      Sorry to keep the home alarm vs gun thing going but.. If the alarm system is one that also monitors for gas leaks and fires it may be worth something, but if it is only for break ins then imo it gives a false sense of security. Look at the average home alarm commercial.. Pretty housewife and a couple of cute kids in a nice house in a suburban neighborhood. Enter mean looking burly guy, who, knowing there are people in the house, brazenly kicks in the door, smashes a window or otherwise forces his way in, triggering an electronic siren. Bad guy runs away in a panic (it seems this “hardened criminal” would have been scared off by most ring tones). Phone rings and a reassuring voice asks the housewife if everythings ok. She answers that someone tried to break in, to which the operator replies that he’s “sending help”.
      An announcer proudly announces “This family was saved by (insert alarm company name)” At this point the viewer with an IQ higher than the average grapefruit wonders what the alarm co. had to do with saving anybody and why this family is paying someone a monthly fee to dial 911 for them.. are they too stupid to do it themselves? In any case, the average police response time to a 911 call about a break in is 5 to 10 minutes.. sometimes a lot more. Any criminal who wants to stay out of jail, which is all of them except maybe a few desparate homeless who look at jail as a place with a bed and free food, knows the police response time in the area he works. He also knows that even 5 minutes is a lot of time to do whatever he wants. In 5 minutes he could be driving away in the family minivan with most of this family’s valuables. Worse, if he is going to kick in the door of an occupied home, he’s likely got more than just theft in mind. In 5 minutes the family could all be dead. Unless the alarm company has a trained SWAT team geared up and at full ready sitting in the back of a running van that is posted down the street from your house, they cannot be depended on to protect you or your family from home invasions. Get a gun and learn to use it. (note, not “learn to use it, then get a gun”)

  36. axelsteve says:

    Maybe spent on a gun and training? A guy in my erea has training classes and classes to get a ccw.He is a good guy ,an x navy mp and a x policeman. Steve

  37. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    If its your 1st handgun, I definitely recommend it being a .22. The cost of its ammunition and ability to PRACTICE will make you far more effective when you decide which centerfire will be your choice. Gotta crawl before you walk – .22s will help you do that.

    I’m surprised no one mentioned the Tokarev 7.62×25 – ammunition right now is probably one of the most reasonable costing and the design is time tested. Look into one of those if autos is your desire. DA handguns are far more newbie friendly though.

  38. I REALLY appreciate all of the responses. It certainly gives me some new insight, as I’m in the market for a low-cost, reliable firearm. Again, thanks a bundle!

  39. I have a S&W Sigma 9mm which I bought new for $298 ( 2 mags ). It has never failed to work and is very accurite. It’s a good handgun for those on a limited budget.

  40. MOFreedom says:

    I suggest you get the book, “Armed and Female” by Paxton Quigley. It is a very good book for women and men, but written from a woman’s perspective. She suggests a 4″ .38 Special to start out with. Can’t go wrong with that. I have seen Colt Police Positives go for $250 – $300 in my area and Rossi .357’s go for around $300. You can always get your money out of it (Or almost all of it) so there is very little down side. Here are some questions you should consider with an autoloading semiauto pistol:

    What are you going to do if it jams?
    What about clearing a stovepipe (Malfunction) in the dark AND UNDER STRESS!
    What about the safeties? Will you really do the correct sequence of things with a semi pistol? (Remember with a revolver, you pick it up, point at the target, and keep firing until the threat is no longer a threat)

    Please consider these things before purchasing. I am a huge fan of Hi-Points, but NOT for first time buyers. Get some experience under your belt first. I am a fan of the Smith & Wesson 686, but there are certainly less expensive alternativies.

    Good Luck

    MOFreedom
    mofreedom2@yahoo.com

    • OhioPrepper says:

      There is a simple answer to all of your semi-auto questions. Get some basic tactical training and then practice, followed by practice, followed by more practice. Most people who have done much shooting can pick up any gun after not shooting for a while and hit a basic paper target. The tactical aspects, especially with a semi-auto are perishable skills that require constant rehearsal to remain sharp.

  41. Hi-Point guns are just fine. I have had the C9 for years and it works great. I can also interchange magazines with my carbine. I have done a lot of research as well as shot it a lot and what I found out was the people with Hi-Points love them and those who don’t have them think they are junk. They are not. They are accurate and go bang every time. I also conceal carry mine. Yes, it’s heavier than many conceal carry guns, but it fits in my cargo pocket with a small holster. And if you get a lemon, Hi-Point will fix it for free; no questions asked. I have never had to do that, but it’s a great comfort knowing that. I will probably buy more in other calibers; probably the .45. All gun manufacturers put out a bad gun occasionally, even Glock. Just send it back and have it fixed. I’ve even heard that they will send you a free magazine for your trouble and have it back to you within a couple weeks. I don’t think many other gun manufactureres do that.

  42. I have Jimenez Arms (JA-9) 9mm that cost $150 new. I have never had any problems with it despite what i have read online. The only problem is it is hard to find spare magazines for them.

  43. Bruce, I hope you read this. I am in the same boat as yourself. I want a gun for home protection but didn’t know where to start. So, 4 days ago I bought a Hi Point 380 from a friend. I had no clue what a Hi Point 380 was until it was in my hands. Like many of the suggestions on here, I have no clue what gun they are referring to . I am still very confused. I would like to thank everyone for commenting, I will remember the advice that was given.
    Here is my advice, this Saturday March 19, I will be attending the gun show at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. I just plan on getting an idea of what is out there and how much it costs!
    I am signed up for a safety class at Stonewall Range in Broadview Hts on Sunday April 17th. This is a 6 hr safety class with 4 hours in the classroom and 2 hours on the range. I think the class costs $60. From what I have heard about the class is they give you different guns to shoot from a .22 and go up.
    My plan is to attend the class, figure out what gun and caliber feels comfortable to me and probably make a decision on a caliber from there. I think my first ( not including whatever I just bought ) will be a revolver. I have no idea what to do if a gun jams, how to clean it, or how to take it apart so I can clean it. Thank you Youtube!! I’m learning.
    I think a revolver will best suit my needs until I become more proficient with handguns or guns in general. Anyone have advice on a caliber for home defence?
    Thanks Troy

  44. 38 Special that can take +P. Either that or .357 Magnum. They can also take 38 Special. You can practice with the lower recoil, cheaper 38 Special and then load it with .357 Magnum for when you think you will need the extra umph for an attacker.

    • Because revolvers are pretty much idiot-proof, can’t jam, are durable, and should always work, I got if for my wife. Not that my wife is an idiot, she just doesn’t spend the time practicing with it, clearing stove-pipe jams and so on. So I totally agree. Your first handgun should be a revolver. It’s as simple as point and click. Yes, they have capacity limitations and take a couple of seconds longer to reload, but with a speed loader, it’s almost as fast if you spend the time practicing. Revolvers rock!

  45. I have to agree that the CZ82 is a great gun. It’s my first pistol and I’ve had it for a month. It is easy to operate, maintain and clean. Ammo isn’t that expensive for it either, I’ve been using brown bears and silver bears. I bought mine on classic arms because it came with 2 mags, where J&G only gives you 1.