Best sub-$200 pistol

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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by MentalGremlin » Fri May 29, 2009 10:15 am

Buds Guns Shop online has a good selection of new and used guns, also they occasionally have auctions. You can get a good idea about whats out there and what kind of price spread there is as well.

I own a Hi-Point and a Sigma both in .40. The only problme i have had with the Hi-Point is that it wont feed Remington Golden Sabers, everything else i have put through it fed with no problems. The Sigma has given me no problems at all.

OP asked what is the best pistol for under $200 dollars. Firearms are tools. What are you planning on using it for? Self Defense or Hunting? The best for self defense is different from the best for hunting.
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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by Janos Dracwlya » Fri May 29, 2009 12:37 pm

I have several guns I bought for less than $200, and I'd trust my life to most of them; now, all were used and a couple of them were purchased 10-15 years ago when $200 went a bit further, but the rest are more recent. For instance, I bought a Star Model B in 2003 for $200 from Cole Distributing, and once I replaced the recoil spring (under $20), it was super reliable. Or a Vz-52 I bought for about $150 a couple of years ago (with ammunition); now, I spent some money on replacing the recoil spring, firing pin and rollers, but that only put it to around $200. It's been nothing but reliable for me

The only two problems are that you will probably have to buy used, and a lot of stuff has really gone up in the last year. Less than two years ago, I used to see Star BM 9mm's for $175 all the time; now, these same guns are $250 on up.
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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by Browning 35 » Fri May 29, 2009 1:34 pm

My vote in order would go something like...
  • CZ-82
  • Hungarian PA-63
  • S&W Model 10 .38 Special Revolver - You can sometimes still find the surplus S&W Model 10's for less than $200 (that you could often buy 3 to 5 years ago for $125 to $150). I still occasionally see them at gun shows and pawn shops for less than $200, but they are drying up.
  • Polish P-64
  • Bersa .380's
  • Kel-Tec 3AT (you can often find them used for this price).
  • Kel-Tec P-32
Mostly I'm just tacking an 'Amen' to many of the comments already listed, but I don't think that I saw the surplus S&W Model 10 revolver or the Bersa mentioned yet.
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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by Trioxin » Fri May 29, 2009 3:01 pm

I agree with the CZ fans out there. I would trust me life to my CZ-82 anyday. That little gun is a tank that has NEVER jammed or mis-fired on me, and I can shoot the eyes out of a rampant bacteria at 50 yrds. A+ man. Don't sweat the CZ haters and get one cheap while you still can.
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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by Baba Brad » Fri May 29, 2009 4:14 pm

I paid $199 for a new Sigma .40 at Academy Sports. Keep your eyes open and they may run that sale again. I also paid the same for a used Bersa Thunder .380 at a Pawn Shop. I've put around 200 rounds thru the Bersa and 500 thru the Sigma and so far I have had no problems that weren't my fault. And that was mainly not hitting were I was aiming due to not having shot in the last 20 years.

Keep your eyes open and constantly check the stores for unadvertised sales/specials and you'll find something within your price range.
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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by MVegas » Fri May 29, 2009 4:29 pm

Save another $120-150 and get a Ruger P95. Love mine. Or buy one used for $250ish.
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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by Kabong30 » Fri May 29, 2009 4:32 pm

Oh, and one other thing that I didn't see in here yet. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. No matter what you spend on the gun, get yourself down to the range and get intimately familiar with the function of the weapon. Even the most expensive gun in the world won't do you a lick of good if you aren't proficient with it.
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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by Erik » Fri May 29, 2009 9:23 pm

A used Bersa Thunder .380. I would trust my life to mine. They are outstanding little pistols with a fan base.

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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by Bear_B » Sat May 30, 2009 6:33 am

Buy once, cry once... you're not gonna find any kind of a good "new" pistol for 200 bucks. You could however find a good used .38 for around that price. If all you have to spend is 200 bucks and you have no plans on saving up more money towards a good new pistol, then I'd definately be looking for a used revolver in good shape for that price.

If you be patient you MAY come upon maybe a USED Ruger P95, or Bersa Thunder or maybe a Smith SIGMA for 200-ISH.

I just sold my Ruger P95 last week to a guy who needed a good gun for his new security job for 250, so deals like that can be had if you shop around.
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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by Erik » Sat May 30, 2009 7:47 am

I must also place my bid for a Ruger P-series. I love my P89. Very, very rugged. It will never fail you, unless you assemble it with the recoil spring in backwards. Then it will fail you until you put the spring in facing the right direction again. :oops:

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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by OrangeJoe » Sat May 30, 2009 9:50 am

Bear_B wrote:Buy once, cry once... you're not gonna find any kind of a good "new" pistol for 200 bucks. You could however find a good used .38 for around that price...
Yes he will. :)

As mentioned earlier:

NEW Hi-Point, Lifetime Warranty
NEW Smith and Wesson Sigma, if you watch out for rebates/specials

OLD from the good folks at centerfiresystems shipped under $200:
Polish P64 9x18 Makarov
NEW? .38 Special Revolver
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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by Dave_M » Sat May 30, 2009 10:23 am

OrangeJoe wrote:NEW Hi-Point
He did say, "good" pistol
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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by teflonbilly0 » Sat May 30, 2009 10:46 am

As others have stated, CZ82 or maybe a used bersa. I own both and am pleased with their performance. I would carry either.

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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by Bear_B » Sat May 30, 2009 12:42 pm

DavePAL84 wrote:
OrangeJoe wrote:NEW Hi-Point
He did say, "good" pistol

I was about to make that same point myself. Personally I'd MUCH MUCH MUCH rather have a USED P95 than a new Hi-Point any day of the week.


NEW Smith and Wesson Sigma, if you watch out for rebates/specials
Prices are extremely subject to location... if you can get them where you live for 200 bones brand new, then yes it's a viable option... but around here the cheapest I've ever seen them was 350 (300 after the rebate they had a while back, now apparently there is no more rebate, just extra mags). That still exceeds his price request. But for 300 bucks I can find used guns that I'd rather have than a new SIGMA. I hated the SIGMA I had.
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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by drunkensurvivor » Sat May 30, 2009 3:21 pm

Browning 35 wrote: [*]S&W Model 10 .38 Special Revolver - You can sometimes still find the surplus S&W Model 10's for less than $200 (that you could often buy 3 to 5 years ago for $125 to $150). I still occasionally see them at gun shows and pawn shops for less than $200, but they are drying up.

I just got a J&G mailing and they had about a dozen model 10s in about the 160-220 range. You could get one delivered and transferred and just be a little over 200. Screw a new pistol at 200, you need 350 or so for a decent new pistol. Get the model 10 or one of the com bloc surplus pistols.

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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by TDW586 » Sat May 30, 2009 3:43 pm

OP, some good advice so far, but I'll throw in my two cents. "New" pistols for less than $200.00? I'm going with no; you're not going to find anything worth buying in that price range. Hi-points are okay guns, but they're clunky, ugly as hell, not as reliable as a higher-end pistol whatever the fans may tell you (as with most cheap items, quality varies greatly from gun to gun) and difficult to conceal compared to some other guns.

So, my answer is used or surplus gun, or, as Dave and some other said, save another 100 and buy a Sigma or one of the others suggested in that price range. Better yet, save another 200 and try to find a good deal on a used Glock.

But, if 200 is your absolute limit, here are some options.

Polish P-64.
Reliable, the examples I've seen were quite accurate, fires a usable defensive cartridge (9x18mm, not the same as "9mm", meaning 9x19mm) and about 160 bucks wholesale; factor in shipping and an FFL transfer fee (20, 25 bucks) you'll be right around 200.

CZ-82
Similar to the P-64, though it has a different action and different materials. Still a reliable, accurate pistol firing 9x18mm Makarov. Can't go wrong with either of those, right around the same price, a few bucks more for the CZ.

Overall, I'd have to suggest saving some extra money, and shopping around for either a Sigma, as suggested, or something else that catches your fancy. Post an update when you find a pistol you're considering and you'll get specific advice quick, which will be more helpful.
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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by tilt » Sat May 30, 2009 5:30 pm

You can find a good S&W Model 10 or a Ruger Security Six in the $190-$225 range at the gun show. Someone is always walking around selling one privately, just offer cash and avoid the FFL transaction fee. You could probably find a good Ruger "P" series at the same price point. Honestly, at $200, you might just want to pick up something reliable and old for now and save up the difference to trade in for something new and reliable.
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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by Browning 35 » Sat May 30, 2009 5:52 pm

drunkensurvivor wrote:
Browning 35 wrote: [*]S&W Model 10 .38 Special Revolver - You can sometimes still find the surplus S&W Model 10's for less than $200 (that you could often buy 3 to 5 years ago for $125 to $150). I still occasionally see them at gun shows and pawn shops for less than $200, but they are drying up.

I just got a J&G mailing and they had about a dozen model 10s in about the 160-220 range. You could get one delivered and transferred and just be a little over 200. Screw a new pistol at 200, you need 350 or so for a decent new pistol. Get the model 10 or one of the com bloc surplus pistols.
Hmm, well that's cool. I guess that they're starting to go back down in price again on the surplus wholesale market.

For a long several years back while there you could get them from places like Southern Ohio Gun and J&G for $125, but from what I've seen in the past couple years I figured those days were gone for good. $160 to $200 isn't as cheap as $125, but it's a whole lot better than they were for awhile (some Model 10's in really good condition climbed up to $300+).

Even without places like J&G or SOG you can still usually find them for around $150 to $175, you just have to look around a bit first.
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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by MacAttack » Sat May 30, 2009 5:59 pm

The gun in your hand is worth all the others in the display case.

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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by Gatorfarmer » Sat May 30, 2009 9:27 pm

Be wary of the 200 dollar Model 10. First problem is that most decent K frames, used, push 300-350 these days. The days of the 200 dollar Model 10 being easily found were a decade to fifteen years ago. Second, unless you know what to look for, it's harder to observe mechanical problems in a revolver and more problematic (read expensive) to fix them. It takes an armorer to fix a Glock - all you do is swap out parts. It takes a gunsmith to fix and maintain a revolver.

Similarly, some E. European surplus guns are going to have problems. Like my Cz82 that won't drop mags (have to pry them out) and won't feed JHPs. Or the PA63 that I had which went off when I decocked it...

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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by Georgewelds » Sat May 30, 2009 9:43 pm

I got my Ruger MKII target for $250

Not exactly small, but a great shooter. Look into the different Rugers you might like a 22/45 with the more 1911 style ergonomics.

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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by Rogue1987 » Sat May 30, 2009 10:12 pm

CZ-82 FTW.

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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by Browning 35 » Sun May 31, 2009 9:50 am

Gatorfarmer wrote:Be wary of the 200 dollar Model 10. First problem is that most decent K frames, used, push 300-350 these days. The days of the 200 dollar Model 10 being easily found were a decade to fifteen years ago. Second, unless you know what to look for, it's harder to observe mechanical problems in a revolver and more problematic (read expensive) to fix them. It takes an armorer to fix a Glock - all you do is swap out parts. It takes a gunsmith to fix and maintain a revolver.

Similarly, some E. European surplus guns are going to have problems. Like my Cz82 that won't drop mags (have to pry them out) and won't feed JHPs. Or the PA63 that I had which went off when I decocked it...
Sounds like you just haven't had very good luck or maybe you live in an area where there aren't a lot of good deals to be had.

I own or have owned 3 different S&W Model 10's and I haven't had any problems with them. One was a pristine example from the Hong Kong Police and it didn't look like it had ever been shot at all and I paid exactly $200 for it, one was just okay with a few scratches on the finish (I paid $150 for that one) and one was a beat up mess (that I got for $90) where there were deep gouges and scratches all over the entire thing that I turned into a project gun and was third handgun I ever used alumahyde II on. All of them worked and there wasn't any problems with any of them mechanically, but two of them didn't really look all that great to begin with.

As far as former Com-Bloc surplus guns (I don't count CZ-75's in this group since they're often made for commercial sale and export) I own or have owned a Russian Makarov, a CZ-50, two FEGs and a CZ-52 and I've had good luck with all of those. They all fed hollow points too. Maybe it's just kind of hit or miss with these guns depending on how much it's been used and abused and some of it just depends on the luck of the draw and you've just happened to get ahold of a couple lemons.
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Re: Best sub-$200 pistol

Post by hedonismbot » Sun May 31, 2009 12:16 pm


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