Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Best 9mms Under $650

I copied the following from Bestnines.com

These are what they think are the best 9mm under $650 (price updated for inflation)

1. CZ 75b:
What a shooter. Nice trigger. Never a jam! Over 10,000 rounds and still going strong. The CZ 75b gets better the more you shoot it. After the first 1,000 rounds, it performs like a tuned competition pistol. The accuracy is amazing. Even die hard revolver guys shoot good with this gun. It points like a M1911 and handles like a Hi-Power. If you spend some time shooting the 75b, you will fall in love with it too. I don't think you can do better for under $900. Ditto for the CZ 85b. CZ Site CZ USA CZ 75b Review

2. FN Herstal FNP-9:
Made in USA! The finish and quality of the FN FNP-9 is very good. If you are a Sig pistol fan, you will like this gun. The FNP-9 handles like a P229, only lighter weight. Out to 15 yards, the FNP-9 is very accurate. It has one of the best triggers you will find on a carry pistol. A nice feature for those with small or large hands is you can swap out backstraps. Good gun for your lady. I like the standard DA/SA with no goofy trigger saftey. Feeds any 9mm ammo great, including the greasy Russian stuff. The FNP-9 is one of the best holster guns you can get. Three 16 round mags included! Cops should love this gun. It's a keeper! Same for the Browning Pro.
FNH USA Site FNP-9 Review FNP-9 Article

3. Baby Eagle 9915R:
The MRI Baby Eagle is all steel with a 4.52" barrel. Handles just like the CZ 75, but more solid. Very good shooter with a strong heavy feel to it. About 500 rounds for break-in. I love shooting this baby. The good trigger and solid feel makes this the ultimate double-tap pistol. It is as close to the perfect shooter as you can get. The MRI Baby Eagle is a good choice for combat competition. I would have ranked it above the CZ if the exterior finish was better. Overall quality is great. The Baby Eagle is built to last a lifetime. The Isralies sure know how to make fine firearms. Also known as the Jericho 941.
MRI Site Baby Eagle Review (.40 & .45)

4. Beretta 92FS (M9
Great performance on the range. This is a man's pistol. A true warrior that replaced the 45 ACP 1911 service pistol. The Beretta M9-A1 (or 92FS) is the most tested pistol since the M1911-A1. Used by the U.S. Military and thousands of poilce officers. Beretta 92 pistols with over 75,000 rounds have been reported. This solid designed pistol is what replaced so many police revolvers. Nothing shoots better than a well used Beretta 92FS. Allow about 300 rounds for break-in. Good long range pistol. I can hit the 50 yard gong over and over again. Easy to find magazines and holsters for this popular gun. The Italian made ones are tight! Beretta is going to phase out the 92FS. Get one now!
Beretta Site Beretta USA Unofficial Beretta Site

5. Taurus PT92:
The stainless steel model is awesome. This Beretta 92 clone is just as good as the Beretta in every way. Taurus made some good improvements to the Beretta design. Reliably feeds every brand of 9mm ammo including Wolf and Blazers. Allow a few hundred rounds for break-in. Don't pay attention to all the disinformation from Beretta snobs. The PT92 is a very high quality piece! The only thing cheap about the Taurus PT92 is the price. The PT92 must be the best pistol bargain in the industry. Sure is pretty. Same goes for the PT99 with rail. Also see the more compact PT911.
Taurus Website PT92 User Reviews

6. Springfield XD9 5":
Feels a little strange at first. After shooting a couple of magazines all was fine. It takes about 500 rounds for the trigger to smooth out. The Springfield XD has just enough weight to be a good shooter at the range or on a combat course. It points like a 1911, and hits everything you point at. Top choice for a special operations tactical pistol. Never any feeding problems. The XD9 really soaks up the felt recoil. The combination grip and trigger saftey feels more secure than other striker fired pistols. If a conservative company like Springfield is going to take a risk with a polymer pistol, it has to be well built. The 4" barrel XD9 shoots almost as good and cost about $10 less. See the 20k torture test.
Springfield Site Nice XD9 range report XD Talk.com

7. Beretta PX4:
The PX4 Storm wins the award for the most pretty pistol. Design, fit and finish is excellent. You can swap out backstraps to make it fit your hand better. It the hand, it points and feels like the perfect pistol. The bigger 92FS is a better long range shooter, but the PX4 is better for carry. Allow about 500 rounds before the trigger smoothes out. I like the common DA/SA as found on most steel guns. With the rotating barrel and poly frame, recoil is almost nothing. It kicks like a .380! My wife just loves this gun. I also had the chance to shoot a PX4 in .40 S&W, and the recoil was only a little bit more. The PX4 Storm is gaining popularity as a cop gun.
PX4 Review http://www.px4storm.com/ PX4 Range Report

8. S&W M&P:
This is no Sigma! If you like poly framed guns, this Smith is one of the best shooters. It is accurate as a steel framed pistol. The balance is perfect considering it weighs only 24oz. You can tell it will be a good shooter just by holding it in your hand. The M&P trigger pull is 5.5 pounds, but feels like 3.5. The M&P uses a trigger safety. You have a choice of 3 backstraps so you can tune it to fit your hand just right. Follow-up shots are so quick. The fit and finish is excellent. The M&P would be a top choice as a competition or police carry gun. It looks mean too. Check for rebates on this fine shooter.
S&W Site Good M&P range report mp-pistol.com

9. CZ 75 P-01:
NATO certified! The CZ 75 P-01 is one of the best carry pistols you can get. If you are a police officer looking for a duty pistol that is not plastic, you must try the P-01. The P-01 has a 3.9" barrel, decocker, and is light as many polymer handguns. At only 27.2 ounces, the alloy framed P-01 would make a nice concealed carry, or detective pistol. The trigger reach is closer than the 75b, making a good choice for smaller hands. Excellent trigger. This is the most tested military & police pistol since the Beretta M9. As a metal framed carry pistol, the P-01 is the champ. Ditto for the CZ 75 PCR. The NATO certification is a big deal, as most pistols on the market can't pass the testing!
G&A P-01 Test NATO Testing P-01 Review

10. Glock G19 & G17: Haggle Price $500-$530
I have owned the G17, but it was too big for the light weight and harder to hold on target when you pull the trigger. Others may shoot the G17 just fine. The Glock G19 shoots better at the range for me. The Glock 19 is the lightest pistol on this page. If our top 25 list was for carry guns, the Glock 19 could be the winner. The Glock has a low and strange brick feel, even though performance is very good. Glock has a reputation for durability, plus replacement parts are cheap. This is one of the most popular police carry guns. Glock does have a cult following, and ranking it #10 will upset many. If you want a Glock range champion, spend the extra money for the awesome G34. We owe Glock many thanks for giving us confidence in polymer framed pistols.
Glock Site Glock 19 Review Glock Talk

11. Sig Pro SP2022:
Sig Pro prices have come down to the point that it made our list. The quality is first rate. A cool feature is the integral fire control unit that can change the pistol from DA/SA mode to double action only. No break-in needed, as the single action trigger pull is very smooth and just over 4 pounds. You can tune it to fit your hand by swapping out grips. Accuracy is excellent and on par with the FN FNP-9. Recoil is very light. At over 30 ounces, the Sig Pro is heavy for a polymer framed pistol. In fact it weighs more than the CZ P-01 and S&W 910 metal framed pistols. The US military has already had some experience with this pistol. With a decocker and three 15 round mags, it is a good cop gun.
SigArms Site SP2022 Review

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Selecting Your First Handgun
By David Nash

Preparing to buy your first handgun can be quite daunting. They aren't cheap, new handgun prices range from about $250.00 to $2,500.00. And to complicate the matter even further, there are many different manufactures and choices.
I tell people in my carry permit course that there are as many different types of handguns as the manufacturers can talk people into buying. What is probably most confusing to new shooters is the fact that for every make and model of handgun there are 3 gun magazine writers telling their readers that particular brand or caliber is the best, and 3 others saying that the gun in question might get the reader killed.
Yesterday I was asked my opinion about Glock pistols. I said that what I thought didn't matter; it wasn't my money or my safety on the line. My preferences do not matter in the decision to buy your gun. My wife likes Glocks; I feel the same about revolvers. Our preferences differ, and as long as you know your gun, why you chose it, and it fits your needs then it's the best gun for you. Now, that being said, let's discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the two main types of service, concealed carry, and home defense handguns: semi-automatics and revolvers.
Revolvers are a type of pistol that has a rotating cylinder containing a number of firing chambers. They traditionally hold six rounds, each in its own firing chamber. They are generally cheaper to purchase than a semi-automatic, with the 2005 MSRP of typical .38/.357 caliber revolver from a major manufacturer such as Ruger or Smith & Wesson being in the neighborhood of $450-$675. The major benefits of this type of handgun include:
Easier to learn to manipulate, because there is generally fewer functions than a typical semi-auto.
Easier for weaker handed persons to operate. This is due to the lack of a slide.
More reliable
More choice of ammunition
Typically more accurate out of the box
Not as training intensive as a semi-automatic pistol (more about this later).
I prefer revolvers for home defense, as a home protection weapon will be stored loaded for an extended period of time and the springs in a revolver are relaxed when the gun is loaded and ready to go. Revolvers have fewer moving parts, which in turns makes them less sensitive than semi-automatics to a lack of cleaning and maintenance.
I also recommend them for someone who is not going to train as intensively as recommended, because this type of handgun has fewer functions to remember. In order to manipulate a revolver, one only has to operate the trigger and the cylinder release, whereas a semi-automatic pistol generally has a trigger, a magazine release, a slide lock, and usually at least one safety lever.
Revolvers do have disadvantages, and it is because of these disadvantages that police departments around the county have changed from them to semi-automatics. These disadvantages should be understood if the reader wishes to make a decision; therefore I will list them:
Slower to reload than the typical semi-automatic (if previously loaded magazines are available for the semi-auto and a speed loader is not used to reload the revolver). Using a speed loader (which loads all six chambers of a revolver simultaneously) it takes only about one second longer to reload a revolver than to insert a new magazine in a semi-auto.
Sometimes harder to conceal, due to width of cylinder.
Normally not as many rounds (6 rounds compared to 8 or 10 rounds in a semi-automatic.), although there are 7 and 8 shot .38/.357 revolvers on the market.
Because a revolver contains separate chambers for each round, to fully load a revolver the operator must put a round in each chamber (6 actions for 6 rounds), and close the cylinder (one final action). Then the trigger may be pulled to discharge the weapon.
To fully load a semi-automatic the operator has to insert cartridges one at a time into a magazine (one action per cartridge), and then load the magazine into the pistol (one more action), plus the final action of racking the slide to chamber a cartridge. Then the trigger may be pulled to fire a shot.
But, if previously loaded magazines are available, the chore of loading a semi-automatic pistol is reduced to only the last two actions mentioned in the paragraph above. Loading magazines is, however, a slow process. Starting from an open box of ammunition, it is much faster to load a revolver than the magazine of an auto pistol.
A semi-automatic pistol fires a single cartridge each time the trigger is pressed. It automatically extracts the spent casing and prepares to fire another round. A semi-automatic is sometimes (erroneously) called automatic; the difference being that a true automatic weapon can fire multiple rounds per trigger press.
A modern semi-automatic pistol holds its rounds in a single device called a magazine (it is possible to offend some hard-line gun enthusiasts by calling a magazine a clip). This magazine is normally inserted into the grip of the handgun. These handguns are the most popular, and they are that way for several reasons; some of the most recognized reasons are:
Holds more rounds than a revolver. Normally a semi-auto magazine holds 8 to 10 rounds, but there are magazines capable of holding 15 to 30.
Faster reloads from previously loaded magazines.
Due to popularity, there is a wider choice of accessories such as holsters available.
Easy carrying of spare ammunition via preloaded magazines.
Usually easier to conceal for a similar caliber gun due to thinner action than a normal revolver.
It is due to the amount of rounds easily carried upon ones person in magazines, and the amount of rounds in the pistol that caused the semi-automatic to replace the revolver in the arming of most of our nation's police forces. What has kept it there are all the different features that are possible in a semi-auto. A police force (or a private user) can decide the type of safety devices or modes of operation that they want in a firearm and buy a brand or model that has those features.
Semi-automatic pistols also have disadvantages. Examples of some common disadvantages are:
Very training intensive. Before one begins to carry a self-defense semi-automatic it is recommended that the user fire 2 to 3 thousand rounds of the type of ammunition they intend to carry in their firearm in order to fully understand the function of their firearm.
More complex. That means more prone to failure. While modern firearms can fire thousands of rounds without malfunction, malfunctions can and do happen more frequently with semi-autos than revolvers.
Can be more expensive than a revolver. A typical 9x19 caliber autoloader from a major manufacturer such as Ruger or Smith & Wesson has a 2005 MSRP of $425-$950.
Harder for people suffering from arthritis or of weaker stature to manipulate slide.
Typically less accurate out of the box, although there are some very accurate autoloaders.
More sensitive to ammunition type. Some types of semi-automatics are more prone to jam with certain types of ammunition, which is another reason that it is suggested to train with the type of ammunition you intend to carry.
The semi-auto type of firearm is very well represented in the world of guns. Because of this sales popularity there are many different functions and characteristics. Comparing this is like comparing pickup trucks to cars, there are many brands of pickups (revolvers), but generally they all are basically the same. In the car (semi-autos) world, they have sedans, sports cars, wagons, convertibles, limousines, economy cars, and luxury designs.
You can buy a vehicle or a firearm based only upon an arbitrary reason such as looks, what the marketing hype in a gun magazine tells you, or popularity. You may also buy a tool such as this by intellegently determining your needs and weighing your options.