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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I want to purchase a 9mm handgun. I have a colt cobra .357 revolver I inherited, but I want something more compact and semi auto. At gun shows i see a lot of Taurus under 450$, which usually means they are 300$ at a gun shop. I hear good and bad things about them, and the gun shop owners always bad mouths them and wants me to by a Glock. I like the Glock, but it's over 700$, Im in Baltimore so handguns are very expensive. He has Taurus for 350-400 $ and I wanted to know if anyone had experience with these, or some other brand that is inexpensive I can look for.

It will be my first actual handgun purchase, and after spending all the time and money getting the permit here in Maryland as well as the personal carry permit I don't want to empty my checking account. I just want a reliable 9mm that I can take to the range with me and count on if I need it for defense.
 

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I've never had a Hi Point, SCCY, Taurus ever fail to go bang. If you just need reliable then there's no need to spend a lot of money.

Of the 3 mentioned above, the SCCY is IMO the best inexpensive option, not the least expensive though. The SCCY is a very light, very small well built pistol that runs about $250 OTD. Life time guarantee. I've been shooting them for probably 5 to 6 years and never had a single issue with either the CPX1 or CPX2.

I've also had numerous different models of Taurus, again, never had a single issue with any of them. They range in price from close to that of the SCCY to just under $400 depending on the model.

The Hi Point is super heavy, super bulky, but again I've never had one that didn't operate reliably. They go for around $150, probably +/- $25 depending on where you live.

I have very limited experience with Kimber's, and zero with their 9mm. But I do know of more than one individual who has had feeding issues with them, don;t know if it was an ammo problem, shooter problem such as limp wrist, or a firearm issue.

SMOA
 

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In my limited experience.

Few likely have exp with EVERY 9MM made. I do feel comfortable buying used Sigs & Glocks. Factory refurbished/reconditioned/warranty & police used are a big + for me. For the Glock aside from proven reliability, lighter wt, low cost (used), is the mags from a larger model will fit in the smaller same caliber gun. Sigs are top notch & the ones I can vouch for would be the single stack 9mm 239, for it's size. The double stack is a bit bigger & has it's followers. The full size 226 & 220 45 acp are legend. The new Kimber single stack 9mms, after a quick puter search came back with mixed reviews & higher prices than you found. Something to potentially save you or a loved ones life IS NOT the place to pinch pennies.
 

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You need to shop online if a Glock is $700 locally, that's stupid money. That said, those are VERY cheap Kimber prices.

So here is what I can tell you, having owned many of most of the mentioned stuff.
HiPoint. For the $100 they were selling for locally, a fun little jammer. NO WAY I would every bet my life on it, if you actually put a lot of rounds through it. I wore-out several parts, that rendered the gun inoperable. They gladly send you replacement parts in the mail, but not for dead-nuts reliable.

Kimber
IME, as long as you like a 1911, they are fine. The trick with them is that they get put together too tight. So you have to break them in, one way or another. If not, then they like to jam and be fickle about fouling. Once that happens, they are perfectly fine. THOSE pistols are the $700++ around here.

Glock
These are my choice, but I have no illusion about what they are.
They are ugly, and I like them; but yes, they are ugly. I only ever had one that flat wouldn't shoot, bad barrel from the factory. Otherwise they are plenty accurate for any task of defensive use, and better than many for distance fooling around. They are definitly not ergonomic for anyone. Frankly they feel like something from the kids MineCraft game. That said, they are an AK-47 when it comes to reliability. The ONLY time I've ever had an issue(even among others, who come to me to "fix") is limp wristing. That isn't a failing of a Glock however.


So, what should you get?? What do you want???
I love my Glock reliability and accuracy. You may not agree and that's fine.
I understand that some Communist republics may be a pain to deal with. I personally suggest moving. But beyond that, there really isn't A choice here, just options. There are VERY few guns that have been mine over time, that I ended-up keeping. I wanted them for whatever purpose or intruige, shot the snot out of them; then decided/discovered their nuances. Sometimes that caused me to sell them, sometimes not. I absolutely adored an EAA Witness & a Taurus I once had. But for as much as I shoot, they just weren't built tough enough, and wear became a serious issue. 98% of the folks out there would never have reached that point.
 

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I've never had a Taurus SEMI-AUTO fail=had problems with a 38 snubbie. My Raging Bull was sweet (Gave her up for a custom Super Black Hawk). Bersa is a good buy at under $300 (You can get a 380 AND a 22!)

I have to concur on the Glock. I've never paid more than $500 for any of my 9mm or 40 S & W (about 5 counting my wife's)=EXCEPT for her laser sighted TALO Nightstand gun.My 10mm G20 was just a little over $500. Look for a good used G26, G19 or G17==shouldn't be much, if any, over $400. My used G27 was $429 and my G22 was $389 (?)==extra 357 sig barrels for each of them ran me about $120 each= no recoil springs had to be changed, I changed the sights to my preference (~$30), 40 & 357 Sig use the same mags.
 

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I agree with the other posters about getting a Glock 9mm.


Frankly, if you are serious about handgunning, the initial purchase will less than the $$ spent on ammo/components, over a course of time.

Plus Glocks are easy to work on, don't require expensive gunsmiths, and quite easy to shoot well, once you master the trigger.
 

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I bought a Ruger LC9 Pro for my daughter. It's her CCW. We've put about 1K rounds through it and no problems. I've been very pleased with that pistol as it has a decent trigger, no external safety or mag disconnect and reliably feeds her carry round, Hornady 115gr or anything else I've fed it. Picked it up on sale for $350.

There were problems when they first came out with the magazines made in the US but Ruger has taken care of the issue. Any new purchase will come with a good mag and I bought 2 spares direct from Ruger.
 

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$700 is very high for a Glock. A 9mm, .40, or .357 Glock should be between $550-600 for a gen4.

I'd look at what H&K and Sig Sauer cost around there. An H&K P2000 should be between $600-700 and is a far better pistol I think. I still own Glocks but I think H&K makes a superior product. If you can't find good prices localy, shop online. There is no need to support local business if they are going to overcharge local customers. Especially in a retail market business. He pays no more for his Glocks he sells than an online dealer or my local dealer does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
You need to shop online if a Glock is $700 locally, that's stupid money. That said, those are VERY cheap Kimber prices.

So here is what I can tell you, having owned many of most of the mentioned stuff.
HiPoint. For the $100 they were selling for locally, a fun little jammer. NO WAY I would every bet my life on it, if you actually put a lot of rounds through it. I wore-out several parts, that rendered the gun inoperable. They gladly send you replacement parts in the mail, but not for dead-nuts reliable.

Kimber
IME, as long as you like a 1911, they are fine. The trick with them is that they get put together too tight. So you have to break them in, one way or another. If not, then they like to jam and be fickle about fouling. Once that happens, they are perfectly fine. THOSE pistols are the $700++ around here.

Glock
These are my choice, but I have no illusion about what they are.
They are ugly, and I like them; but yes, they are ugly. I only ever had one that flat wouldn't shoot, bad barrel from the factory. Otherwise they are plenty accurate for any task of defensive use, and better than many for distance fooling around. They are definitly not ergonomic for anyone. Frankly they feel like something from the kids MineCraft game. That said, they are an AK-47 when it comes to reliability. The ONLY time I've ever had an issue(even among others, who come to me to "fix") is limp wristing. That isn't a failing of a Glock however.


So, what should you get?? What do you want???
I love my Glock reliability and accuracy. You may not agree and that's fine.
I understand that some Communist republics may be a pain to deal with. I personally suggest moving. But beyond that, there really isn't A choice here, just options. There are VERY few guns that have been mine over time, that I ended-up keeping. I wanted them for whatever purpose or intruige, shot the snot out of them; then decided/discovered their nuances. Sometimes that caused me to sell them, sometimes not. I absolutely adored an EAA Witness & a Taurus I once had. But for as much as I shoot, they just weren't built tough enough, and wear became a serious issue. 98% of the folks out there would never have reached that point.
I screwed up, i was referring to Taurus, I dont know why I said Kimber. I fixed it. Sorry about that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I agree with the other posters about getting a Glock 9mm.


Frankly, if you are serious about handgunning, the initial purchase will less than the $$ spent on ammo/components, over a course of time.

Plus Glocks are easy to work on, don't require expensive gunsmiths, and quite easy to shoot well, once you master the trigger.
I do like the Glock, my father had one. Ive taken it to the range and it's like the AK-47 of handguns being how simple it is to take apart and how few parts there are. Maryland is just the worst when it comes to prices, availability, and the legal hassle, which is why Im looking for something a bit cheaper. I look online for a retailer in another state, but Ill still have to have it sent to a local gunshop and the one I normally go to is going to put a surcharge on a gun purchased elsewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Few likely have exp with EVERY 9MM made. I do feel comfortable buying used Sigs & Glocks. Factory refurbished/reconditioned/warranty & police used are a big + for me. For the Glock aside from proven reliability, lighter wt, low cost (used), is the mags from a larger model will fit in the smaller same caliber gun. Sigs are top notch & the ones I can vouch for would be the single stack 9mm 239, for it's size. The double stack is a bit bigger & has it's followers. The full size 226 & 220 45 acp are legend. The new Kimber single stack 9mms, after a quick puter search came back with mixed reviews & higher prices than you found. Something to potentially save you or a loved ones life IS NOT the place to pinch pennies.
I really like my fathers Berretta 9mm, especially the safety function, which is a bit lacking on the Glock. As far as home defense, I use my 870 12 gauge. The 9mm would be for trips through the city or when I go out of town 4 wheeling etc. One of my riding buddies had his hotel room busted into while they took his Bike and Money in Tower City PA. Id prefer not to lug a shotgun around all over the place and the .357 is important to me and more of an heirloom.
 

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People are overlooking the "cheap" part...

Okay, so, people have already said, "don't skimp on something your life may depend on." I certainly second that. Moving on.

Based on nine years of selling firearms and talking to customers about what does and doesn't work, and seeing some of the ones that don't work come back to the shop, the issue you need to be concerned with, when buying the cheapest of guns, is whether or not the gun is going to blow up.

If you're going to go cheap, go Kel-Tec. Yes, they do feel like someone bought a toy gun and converted it into a real gun. They have a service life of ~6,000 rounds (which you're unlikely to ever reach, and, assuming a price of $15 for 50 rounds, 6,000 rounds of 9mm Luger is $1,800, just to keep things in proportion). Some may not feed properly right out of the box, but there are videos on how to do the very same refinement that Kel-Tec will do if the gun is still misfeeding after 200 rounds. You will also want to watch your mainspring (which runs down the back of the frame) for rust. I've heard of one Kel-tec that had a structural failing, and it was minor (the frame cracked apart).

SCCY, which is a copy of the same gun as the Kel-Tec P11, has had a bad habit of not properly headspacing their barrels, leading to some of them blowing up with standard factory ammunition. The last gun shop I worked for had a range, and one of their range guns was just such a SCCY. The headspacing was so bad that the nose of 115gr FMJ would engage the rifling, during chambering, so firmly that you would pull the bullet out of the case before you'd pull the whole round out of the chamber. It was a ticking time bomb. Blowing up was not an "if," but a "when."
That said, I do hear from plenty of people who haven't had a problem with their more recent guns.

Hi-Points are big and hefty, which is the only reason I recommend Kel-tec over them for the CCW purpose you stated. Most of them work, for a while, and Hi-Point will gladly make any of their non-working pistols work again. From some sources, it doesn't even matter if it's clearly your fault for abusing the gun.

Avoid Bryco, Davis, Jennings, Jimmenez, and Raven (this is not a comprehensive list, I just can't remember any of the other "ring of fire" companies, or their successors, off the top of my head) like the plague. Due to extremely poor manufacturing standards, they are all ticking time bombs. Even those that are .22 LR pistols have had structural failings whose catalyst was merely firing a cartridge.

Going up a bit in price will get you into the range of Taurus. Don't drop the semi-autos. Their drop safeties have been proven to be non-functional across several entire product lines, and they apparently don't care. In other words, make sure your holster's retention is good, and put it back in your pocket after using it on a BG so that you don't get ordered to drop it (cops get trigger happy when guns go off).

A used Ruger SR9c, SR40c, or LC9/LC9s shouldn't cost you more than $350, and that would be a good option. There are design flaws in these I don't like, but they're personal preferences, not things that can get you killed or maimed. The LC9s Pro lacks those design flaws, however, but they'll probably be difficult to find used.

On that topic, do not be afraid to buy used guns. Too many new shooters equate used guns with used cars, and they shouldn't. You're not going to get some half-functional piece of worn out junk because you bought a gun that's ten years old. With few exceptions, shooters take care of their firearms, and if they're taken care of, they can last centuries. Even if they're frequently shot, any gun of even intermediate quality can handle tens of thousands of rounds before anything needs replacing, and exceedingly few people will ever put enough rounds through a gun to ever need to replace something on it. Generally, when a used gun is in bad shape, it's still functionally perfect, but cosmetically degraded.

For about $400 to $450, you should start finding used or "low feature" new guns that are all excellent. Glock, Smith & Wesson M&P, Springfield XD, FN FNS/FNX/FNP, CZ, etc. Some may, as alluded to above, be in rough cosmetic shape, but will still operate flawlessly.
Also, while this won't reduce the price, many shops offer layaway, which allows you to spread the price out over multiple paychecks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay, so, people have already said, "don't skimp on something your life may depend on." I certainly second that. Moving on.

Based on nine years of selling firearms and talking to customers about what does and doesn't work, and seeing some of the ones that don't work come back to the shop, the issue you need to be concerned with, when buying the cheapest of guns, is whether or not the gun is going to blow up.

If you're going to go cheap, go Kel-Tec. Yes, they do feel like someone bought a toy gun and converted it into a real gun. They have a service life of ~6,000 rounds (which you're unlikely to ever reach, and, assuming a price of $15 for 50 rounds, 6,000 rounds of 9mm Luger is $1,800, just to keep things in proportion). Some may not feed properly right out of the box, but there are videos on how to do the very same refinement that Kel-Tec will do if the gun is still misfeeding after 200 rounds. You will also want to watch your mainspring (which runs down the back of the frame) for rust. I've heard of one Kel-tec that had a structural failing, and it was minor (the frame cracked apart).

SCCY, which is a copy of the same gun as the Kel-Tec P11, has had a bad habit of not properly headspacing their barrels, leading to some of them blowing up with standard factory ammunition. The last gun shop I worked for had a range, and one of their range guns was just such a SCCY. The headspacing was so bad that the nose of 115gr FMJ would engage the rifling, during chambering, so firmly that you would pull the bullet out of the case before you'd pull the whole round out of the chamber. It was a ticking time bomb. Blowing up was not an "if," but a "when."
That said, I do hear from plenty of people who haven't had a problem with their more recent guns.

Hi-Points are big and hefty, which is the only reason I recommend Kel-tec over them for the CCW purpose you stated. Most of them work, for a while, and Hi-Point will gladly make any of their non-working pistols work again. From some sources, it doesn't even matter if it's clearly your fault for abusing the gun.

Avoid Bryco, Davis, Jennings, Jimmenez, and Raven (this is not a comprehensive list, I just can't remember any of the other "ring of fire" companies, or their successors, off the top of my head) like the plague. Due to extremely poor manufacturing standards, they are all ticking time bombs. Even those that are .22 LR pistols have had structural failings whose catalyst was merely firing a cartridge.

Going up a bit in price will get you into the range of Taurus. Don't drop the semi-autos. Their drop safeties have been proven to be non-functional across several entire product lines, and they apparently don't care. In other words, make sure your holster's retention is good, and put it back in your pocket after using it on a BG so that you don't get ordered to drop it (cops get trigger happy when guns go off).

A used Ruger SR9c, SR40c, or LC9/LC9s shouldn't cost you more than $350, and that would be a good option. There are design flaws in these I don't like, but they're personal preferences, not things that can get you killed or maimed. The LC9s Pro lacks those design flaws, however, but they'll probably be difficult to find used.

On that topic, do not be afraid to buy used guns. Too many new shooters equate used guns with used cars, and they shouldn't. You're not going to get some half-functional piece of worn out junk because you bought a gun that's ten years old. With few exceptions, shooters take care of their firearms, and if they're taken care of, they can last centuries. Even if they're frequently shot, any gun of even intermediate quality can handle tens of thousands of rounds before anything needs replacing, and exceedingly few people will ever put enough rounds through a gun to ever need to replace something on it. Generally, when a used gun is in bad shape, it's still functionally perfect, but cosmetically degraded.

For about $400 to $450, you should start finding used or "low feature" new guns that are all excellent. Glock, Smith & Wesson M&P, Springfield XD, FN FNS/FNX/FNP, CZ, etc. Some may, as alluded to above, be in rough cosmetic shape, but will still operate flawlessly.
Also, while this won't reduce the price, many shops offer layaway, which allows you to spread the price out over multiple paychecks.
I appreciate all the info. I like the Taurus pt-111 9mm, and it's about 380$ brand new. I would gladly buy a used Glock or Beretta but the shops I have been to either don't sell refurbished hand guns or still want almost 500$ for a used Glock!
 

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Let me see a picture of your Cobra. I have a brand new Glock I might want to swap you.
 
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It was only 5-6 months ago that I bought a NIB S & W Shield for $305+ship online. I'd prefer it to most anything else mentioned here under 5 Benjamins. Sit and look at a couple sites and find a deal and buy like that.
 
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I had a Taurus Millennium, a sub compact. Didn't like it after shooting it for a while. It had an extremely long trigger pull. I also have a Taurus full size. I really like it. Easy to shoot and accurate. I also have a Springfield XDS. Very accurate and easy to shoot.
 

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The Smith & Wesson SD9VE is a well made gun that won't break the bank. It has a heavier trigger pull than your Glocks, Sigs, and just about all the other semi-autos, but Apex makes a spring kit for the trigger assembly that has a good reputation. I have a Sigma SW40VE, which is an older version of the 40 cal, and I actually like the heavier trigger pull. I just saw a used SD9VE that looked brand new for only $245 at one of the local shops, and I almost bought it.

https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/sw-sd9-ve-std-capacity
 

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I typed a very long reply while at lunch today and accidentally deleted. I'm not used to this phone get.

I'm going to keep this short and throw out a couple of options since I really don't have a definitive idea of what you want for features. For the price Sig's P320 and SP2022 are impressive pistols. I looked both over thoroughly before deciding on the 2022. However for someone new to pistols I would recommend a P320. It's striker fired, but has the best trigger I've ever seen in a striker fired pistol. The Sig night sights are amazing and really make either of these handguns a good deal.
 

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My favorite AL range guns are the Baretta PT92 FS and the XDS. I've also shot my sons XDM and that's a really nice pistol, I can shoot some really great groups with any of those, and being that I'm more of a wheel gun guy, that says a lot.

SMOA
 
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