Question of the Day: Do You Consider Price When Shopping for an EDC Gun?

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I don’t get it. Why would you skimp on a gun that you might use to save your life? If you can’t afford a GLOCK, Springfield, Walther, FNH-USA, Kahr or quality whatever, WAIT! Save your money. Buy it when you can. Or buy used.

Chances are you won’t need it before you can afford it, even if it takes a year to save-up your shekels. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not a gun snob. Nor am I snob. There are plenty of people who have to watch every penny. A couple of hundred dollars can be an insurmountable financial hurdle. And there’s room to maneuver between these two extremes; there are plenty of reliable value-priced guns [See: post-jump press release on the new Auto-Ordnance $517 1911BKO, above.]

How much of a factor is price when you buy/bought an everyday carry gun, or home defense handgun if you don’t carry?

POMONA, NY – USA based, Kahr Firearms Group is proud to announce the introduction of the Auto Ordnance 1911BKO.

The 1911BKO is only the second 1911 pistol to be introduced over the past year, following in the footsteps of the successful 1911TC model in stainless steel just last year.

The Auto Ordnance 1911BKO frame incorporates GI specs and features a matte black finish frame, barrel and slide. The carbon steel slide, sear and disconnector are machined from solid bar stock and heat treated properly to assure durability and long life over many thousands of rounds.  The low-profile sights feature a blade front sight and a rear drift adjustable for windage. The grip is brown checkered plastic.

This .45 ACP has a 5” barrel, length is 8.5” overall and weighs just 39 oz. The 1911BKO is 100% made in the USA and ships with one 7-round magazine. The BKO has a thumb safety, grip safety and firing pin block.

MSRP on the Auto Ordnance 1911BKO is just $517.00.  For more information on the complete line of Auto Ordnance products, please visit

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  1. 500 bucks is a ton of money to people who are supporting families on 10-15 bucks an hour, full time. It’s food for two months or more. I’m not advocating going totally KMart on a purchase, but you can get something that fires reliably for well south of 500.

    Also, the gun is just the first step. Holster, ammo, safe storage for the weapon in the home and car, getting out and shooting it so you know how the thing works. When you start at 500 those total costs can crest a grand really fast.

    • I would be one of those people in that hourly rate range, granted its a the higher end, and it’s only me and the wife. I buy 3-4 guns a year, but I don’t live out of my means either. I don’t have car payments, and I don’t live in a place that’s costs 2X what I make. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see how hard it is. If you set your mind to something, you’ll figure out a way to do it.

        • I have 4 kids, and we do not have a lot of disposable income. So I bought a used $250 taurus 85, instead of a gen 4 G26. (What I really wanted)

          That was over two years ago. I hve sold/bought/traded my way up to 2 rifles, a shotgun, and a tcp. Plus ammo for all of them, holsters, chl, etc. Plan to add another pistol in the next 2-3 months. (Probably a G26) My wife is starting her chl process in the next few weeks.

          It takes time, but if you make owning quality gun(s)a priority, it can be done. Without going into debt I might add. We owe money on our house but that’s it. If we don’t have the money, we don’t spend money.

  2. We’re talking about a full sized 1911 for EDC? Good grief. How ’bout a LC9 w/laser for $459? You could actually conceal it if you wanted.

    • My thought exactly. Even cheaper if you don’t mind a used LC9 with the external safety that will be available now that the “pro” version is out.

  3. Yes.
    In an ideal world, I’d be able to carry an HK45 or another high priced gun and be reasonably sure I’d get it back if The Gravest Extreme came to pass.

    In real life, depending on where I’d have the misfortune of whacking some thug, the gun’s likely going to the scrap heap behind a wall of red tape.Replacement cost for a $500 Glock and mags is much lower then a $1000 HK or Sig, which is a good thing when the likely response from a government firearms impound room is “Sue Us in Court”.

    • Damn good point. If it’s used defensively, I likely wont see it for a long time, if at all. Hate to loose that chunk of change to red tape.

    • In real life I hope you only drive a $2000 car, because if something nicer ever was in an accident and was totalled you wouldn’t get anything close to the price you paid for that nice car. And you are exponentially more likely to have a car totaled then to have to use your carry gun in a self defence situation.

      • I don’t buy new cars, ever, let some other schlub take the depreciation hit driving it off the lot. You can get top rate boomsticks and boomstickettes on the used market with patience and research. Never felt uncomfortable hauling a 1911 tucked into the waist band over my outer butt, the M9, not so much.

        • Cars depreciate from sticker, not from price paid. If you pay sticker, you’re either desperate or foolish.

          For the right deal, the gain in reliability can change the math. And if you’re planning on keeping it, what difference is depreciation?

          To many people pretend too hard that they’re accountants.

      • Auto Insurance firms compensate you when the family ride bites the dust.If Johnny Law takes your $1500 carry gun in custody, Dennis Haysbert aint gonna save you.

  4. Now a days the money isn’t a major factor. But it took me a lifetime to get here. There was a time when the 39 bucks for a new Raven .25 was a major expense. When I got married I was making 2.50 an hour.

    Now, the house is paid for and I’m debt free. I spend what I want. But old habits are hard to break. I will buy the cheaper alternative so long as I’m convinced it works. My 2 autoloading pistols are an example. A makarov and a Sigma. Neither one has ever failed to go boom when told to.

    Spending 1500 bucks on brand x would be worth it if it was 3 times more reliable or accurate than the 500 buck brand y.

    But honestly, it seldom holds true that the over priced brand x is actually worth the payment.

  5. Price does enter into my firearm purchases, but it’s down the list after caliber, ergonomics for my ham sized hands, reliability, quality. I have bought some good firearms cheap, but I have never bought a “cheap” firearm. RG revolvers and Jennings pistols come to mind as stuff I would not buy at any price. And Wilson combat, and Les Baer pistols come to mind as being out of my budget, even though they are of excellent quality. But there is a large happy middle ground where affordable good stuff can be had, even if you have to shop “sales” and save your pennies for a while.

  6. If your life depends on having a functioning firearm, isn’t it better to have a cheap one than none at all for a year while you’re saving your pennies?

    • For the less affluent there are some very reliable pistols that are built well. A new Ruger P95 can be found in the $300 range and you can pick up a used one for $250. No need to get killed with a Lorcin, Jennings-Bryco, or a Raven in your hand because you couldn’t find an additional $100-$150 even if you do only make minimum wage. If one of my Soldiers was so destitute that he couldn’t afford a firearm and his family lived in a bad area, I’m pretty sure I could take up a collection at my unit and have the required money by lunchtime.

      • Unfortunately Ruger discontinued the P95 last year, but it was the perfect budget pistol IMHO. I had one for a year or so and sold it on line on a penny auction and got $300 for it, which is what I had paid for it minus the shipping and transfer fees. I also sold a Taurus PT709 and only got $166 out of it. Both were in near new condition. The Taurus is a fine CCW weapon. I only fired two or three hundred rounds through it but had zero failures. With shipping and transfer that only cost about $200. Probably could get a little more used one for $50 less. A PT709 in the hand is worth more than Nighthawk Custom in the LGS when the SHTF.

        • I bought the P89 for $330 the moment I turned 21 working a job that paid $12 an hour in a very expensive city. 8 years later I still have it. Yes there are many guns that are better in regards to ergonomics, trigger and stock weapon sites, but it was/is a great budget gun that can take a lot of abuse. In regards to the article, yes I do consider price, because price alone doesn’t indicate whether or not a gun is a quality. Beyond a certain point you are paying for bling. Why would I pay $800 for a gun that doesn’t really do anything more than a gun that is $400.

  7. Yes. My EDC GLOCK 27 has a lot of wear. It’s old enough that the tritium in the sights is starting to dim. Tough to make that gun more ugly. If anything, the wear has a certain charm.

    But if I could afford a Wilson Combat or Dan Wesson for EDC, I’d happily schlep one (or two) of those.

  8. If price is an issue, the Kel Tec PF9 (avg $230) is a very reliable and wallet friendly EDC. From there, I’d move up to a Ruger LC9S Pro (avg $360) and then on up to a Springfield XDS (avg $550). I really wouldn’t go over $500 for an EDC, as its not your range gun, its your carry gun, designed for portability and concealment, not tack driving.

    • I have to second the Kel Tec PF9. I hate shooting it, but it only cost me $200. It has a rail for a light. It’s small enough to conceal and I have never once had a malfunction with it.

      Of course that may be that I have probably put fewer than 200 rounds through it because it’s painful to shoot. But…

    • Just going to say KelTec too, since that was the piece that stopped the further pounding/permanent head damage/death that Zimmerman was facing.

      I hear that they are pretty reliable and priced well.

    • And while we’re talking Ruger – my EDC is an SR9c which is a sweet and accurate little 9mm double stack (17 +1) for around $500. I couldn’t be happier and can’t think of a more expensive pistol I’d rather carry.

  9. Hell, yes. My P-64 cost less than $250, and was the basis of a cottage industry for my son, who made wooden grips for other CZAK owners. My Makarov probably totaled @ $300 (part of the price was a trade-in). Both are rock-solid, impeccably reliable, and send the projectiles where I point the gun. The ammo was, and perhaps still is, the most inexpensive centerfire ammo extant.

  10. I have hink the real question is do you consider quality versus price. I can get a Ruger for 300 to 400. Is it all the gun that a HK or SIG or even a Glock? No, but it works well, shoots well and meets the need of 95% of people.

    However, if you one of those unreliable people that can’t be talked out of a 1911, then don’t scrimp on it. The cheap ones are glorified paperweight and while the high end ones have a lot of issues they can at least function with the right ammo.

    • Funny, I have never had an issue of any type with any of the 8 Rock Island 1911s I have owned. They would shoot any thing I put in them. But then I do clean and lube my tools, like any competent owner would.

      • Word.

        The RIA’s I’ve shot ran well. So did the Ruger SR1911. I’ve had some issues with Kimbers, and expensive high-end 1911’s that would choke on JHPs.

        Lots of money does not necessarily make a 1911 more reliable.

        • From what I’ve gathered on this board among others, as well as personal experience with friends who own them, the higher-end 1911’s seem to require a lot more “babying” to make them reliable. Seems to be the plain-Jane 1911s that will still run when they get dirty or don’t have a preferred flavor of ammo available. I’ll be quick to say I never owned one though–just listened to my economically-better-off acquaintances complain about theirs.

    • That’s the problem I’ve had with higher-end guns: they also tend to be higher-maintenance.
      I bought my wife a Seecamp .32 for her EDC bought some ammo, went to shoot it…FTF, FTF, FTF, over and over. Turns out that gun was designed for a specific bullet (Winchester Silver or something like that). Says so right in the manual, and it means it.
      Took it back, got a used Ruger LC380 for her, never regretted it. That thing eats anything you feed it.
      Thr moral: price does not equal reliability. We “settled” for the less expensive gun that works every. Single. Time.

        • Americana Arms in Beeville, TX, baby! When we told them what had happened and how few rounds made it out of the gun, they gave us our full purchase price in credit. Customer service ain’t dead!

    • I’m going to disagree on that regarding the inexpensive 1911s. I say that to reference the difference between something that is inexpensive versus cheap.

      I have an ATI Commander that is stone reliable. But here’s the thing, it’s just a plain 1911. No gimmicks. No frills. It just works. Most guys I chat the shit with at the range, who own Rock Islands, ATIs and similar plain jane 1911s tell me the same thing.

      In my limited opinion it seems that the mid-tier ones like Kimbers, SIGs, etc. is where guys get frustrating issues. Then things seem to get good again when you get into the high dollar hand fitted ones. So yeah, I agree in a way, go big, or go plain jane old school.

      • My issue with cheap 1911 builds are not that some of them are great guns. Its that without doing your homework you may well end up with one thats not. Rock Island makes a good gun. My Father in Law has 3 Citadel 1911s that after changing the main springs, he prefers over his Colts. There are of course other brands that fit the bill. But then there are ones like American Classic. Mine was junk and I have never heard of anyone liking theres.

        Also keep in mind that most of these cheap 1911 are made in the Philippines and offer either no customer service or very little, at least as my experience runs. I would say stay clear of these guns as you may be getting exactly what you pay for.

        And as a disclaimer I am not a huge 1911 fan on the whole, but thats another argument altogether. ..

    • You obviously don’t know jack about 1911s. It the inexpensive ones built to GI 45 specs that are the reliable ones. The super expensive precision built Kimber and Wilson Combat 1911s are the ones with reliability issues.

  11. If RG revolver stands for Ruger then myself and lots of others are very secure with our GP100 etc. I bought my wife the Bersa Thunder .380 but the slide was to stiff for her and she went with a S&W 642 38+P. Both are nice guns, affordable being in the $250-$350 ball park, and I would venture to say that 95% of the shooters that are familiar with them feel comfortable with the factors the one should consider when looking for a cost effective EDC.

  12. Reliability, ability to hit what I aim for, hand fit, ability to be concealed or open carried correctly, caliber, and ease of maintenance/repair all come before price, in that order. After price would be accessory availability, style, and lastly resale value/collectibility. My Ruger LCP, and for open carry my Glock 41, cover all my bases.

  13. Depends, anyone who buys a $500 1911 for home defense is probably asking for more trouble than they bargained for (flame suit on: because invariably there will be someone who reads this who has won multiple world championships with a $400 1911 that shoots everything the feed it including some 9mm and 40S&W they had sitting around because they ran out of 45).

    Now I have been blessed with not having to live paycheck to paycheck, but absolutely price comes into it for. To me I have always thought the $500-$600 for a good polymer striker fired gun is as cheap and at the same time as expensive as I would be willing to go for a defensive handgun. I would have trouble spending a whole lot more than that on a handgun who’s duty will require being stuck in my waistband, sat on 10 hours a day, sweat on, trained with, stuffed into a center console etc when not on my waistband. I want something simple that will go bang when the trigger is pulled and has the ability to suffer some abuse or inconsistent maintenance (NOT saying that I would neglect or abuse it just saying that I want it to work even if I did at some point). I also want something that if God forbid I ever have to use it, I can go to the local big box retail store, on a Sunday if need be, and buy the exact same one I had the very next day (or sooner if possible) without having to max out a credit card or burn tons of savings while the primary piece is in an evidence locker. Its like owning a work truck. Sure I wont drive around in the stripped out model with manual crank windows, vinyl seats and rubber floors even if it is just at the ranch but I am also not going to buy a 55k+ LTZ/Denali/King Ranch/Laramie to bounce around in the mud at the hunting camp with. Its a tool, it shouldn’t be cheap but it also shouldn’t be so nice that you have to be careful every time you use it.

    • Very well said. I have a few nice guns ($800 to $1500 range) and they stay in the safe unless they are going to the backyard. I keep out the ones that I feel strike a good balance of reliability and affordability. That anyone would do otherwise is a but confusing to me.

  14. Price is a big deal for me. I still saved up for a used Glock, though. I’m happy with it. Want to shoot it more, though, heh.

  15. So is this post about trying to convince someone to buy a gun at a certain price point or is it trying to sell us this particular gun? You can get a reliable gun for cheap, just get a makarov, I’ve had 2 attempted muggings on me in the past 10 years and they happen at “bad breath distance” to tell someone they need super good accuracy or it be some expensive gun is hogwash, not needed in most circumstances.

  16. Yes. But after reliability. I prefer a carry gun that is reliable and inexpensive and ubiquitous enough to replace quickly if it needs to be taken as evidence after a DGU or is stolen if I unsuccessfully defend myself. So for me that’s a between Kahr and Glock price and reliability ranges. I really like the Kahr CW/CM models and the subcompact and compact Glock models (and j-frame revolvers).

    My fancy pieces like fancy ammo and are fussy about cleaning and dirt and stuff because they are engineered for accuracy and/or speed. More practical carry guns like Glocks and Kahr (and berettas, rugers, springfields, S&W M&Ps) have chambers like buckets and generally don’t care much about lint, lube, dirt, dust, or moisture.

    Also I don’t want to risk putting the loss of an expensive or unique or custom firearm beyond my control. The bad guy gets do decide when, where, and how to attack you. The police get to decide what happens to you next. You have no say in it, and just have to make do. I’d rather leave my nicer and more expensive pieces out of the whole DGU scenario.

  17. I honestly can’t see buying a $2K gun for EDC, when a $500 GLOCK will do the exact same thing. And probably more reliably.
    I’ll save up for the really special gats to do the really special things.
    I’m at the halfway point to my double rifle.

    • Also, a point to consider is: The fuzz will most certainly confiscate your $2K piece for some time, and maybe you will never see it again, except on the hip of a high ranking police officer!

  18. I’m not as concerned about price as I am functionality and the ‘disposable’ nature of an EDC.

    My EDC guns get carried every day. They get wet, they get holster wear, they get stuffed under the car seat, they get practiced with, they get dropped upon occasion, and regularly whacked into door jambs and such while in the holster. In the summer, they get soaked in perspiration when I hike or exercise. They get checked as baggage about 20 times a year and left to the tender mercies of the airlines.

    In the event that I have to use my EDC for self defense (God forbid!) I’ll lose the gun to a police evidence locker for an indeterminate time.

    So – am I going to carry one of my high $ 1911’s, a classic Colt Cobra, or a beautiful HK P7 on a daily basis? Nope – mostly for BBQ duty.

    Do I carry a generic Glock or Kahr? Yep – every day. They’re reliable, relatively cheap, functionally identical, and absolutely replaceable with a near identical unit.

    While I’ll be pissed off it I ‘lose’ one to the airlines, cops, or theft, I’ll have an identical replacement within hours.

  19. Yes, cost is a huge factor.

    Fortunately, there is quite a range of choices available. You can buy quality new handguns for anywhere from $200 to $1000. And you can buy quality used handguns anywhere from $100 to $800.

    • I have a Bersa Thunder 9 Ultra Compact Pro semi-automatic pistol in 9mm caliber
      13 round magazine Listed 479.00 + $25.00 shipping, Use at gun range for Ladies Shooting League. EDC is Ruger .38LCR, brought the year it 1st. came out, 2009?
      Rare that I’m out & about without it, Usually have in my pocket at home. Only thing modified was replace stock front ramp sight with standard XS dot sight. Cost about $50.00, had gunsmith install for $25.00 & 25 minutes of my time. Think I paid around $375.00 for it. Added a couple of speed loaders to separate pocket and good to go!

  20. The question I like to ask is, how many rounds will this gun cost me.
    9mm cost maybe .35/round.
    For a $500 gun that almost 1,500
    .45@60 cents 1,500 is $900
    .223/5.56@45 cents 1,500 rounds cost $675 etc..
    How many rounds does it take for the cost of the gun to be lead in the berm and brass on the ground?
    1,500 rounds as currency is not a bad rule of thumb.
    Remember, as your shooting goes to infinity, the comparative cost of your gun goes to zero.
    One can always afford the one time gun purchase price, you have to ask, “can I afford to shoot it”.
    My brand new Ruger Single Six .22 that I bought as a kid for $129 cost averages to $3.50 a year.
    Thus, ammo is the cost, not the gun.

    • You can get 9mm for way less than $.35 / round. Check out Gun bot, ammo seek, or wiki arms. There’s .22 LR, too, but hard to find good stuff (like CCI) for much less than $.10 / round.

  21. I am going to have to disagree, if you do not have a lot of money it’s better to buy a cheep firearm then wait and save up for a more expensive one. Having a firearm is better then not having one. Sure chances are low that you will ever need it in a given year, but if you do have great finances there is a good chance you are not living in the greatest are which increases the chance you need a firearm. If criminals do target you, just producing the firearm tends to be enough to get them to high tail it out of there, and if not the first shot usually does the trick. Combine that with even if your firearms is only 25% reliable that still gives you 1 in 4 chance of successfully engaging the determined bad guy which still greatly reduces the threat from potential bad guys.

    Once you have a firearm from there you can continue to save up money for a better one. You can always sell the cheep one later to recover some of money to help you buy a better one when you saved up enough. Or if you are really lucky and can play your cards right make some money off that cheep firearm from one of the gun buybacks where they offer like $150- $200 for a firearm. Strip it of usable parts go to the gun buyback get $150-$200, then sell the parts for a couple of extra dollars.

  22. Sometimes you need a gun Right Now, and buying a Kel-Tec or a Taurus used now is more important than having a Glock or a Sig 3 months from now.

    Used firearms are pretty stable in price, so if you trade that sucker in, you’re only really paying a relatively small amount to rent the lower end firearm for a while before you can afford to trade up.

    It’s honestly less of a factor today than it was 2 years ago. Supply is awfully high and a lot of good guns are priced to move.

  23. I’ve been extremely impoverished thrice in my life. The first time was when I was a young child. The second time was as a young adult. The third is now. I haven’t bought a new firearm for many years and did some horse trading for my current favorite EDC revolver. During my second go around with being broke, I carried and relied upon a Jennings J-22, Jennings J-25, and a Raven (?) in .380. I was a young man and it was the best that I could do; part of that time I was homeless and living in a tent. It happens sometimes. Currently, I’m content with the firearms that I own. They suit my needs well.

    Price always was and probably always will be a factor for me irrespective of finances. However, I often purchase the most gun of a particular make or type and caliber that I can possibly afford. Regardless of my financial status, I generally end up having better firearms than the cars I drive, the clothes I wear, or the food I eat.

    Inexpensive firearm options can be important when encouraging others towards first ownership or first EDC. There have been many people I’ve known over the years who wouldn’t be carrying today if they weren’t able to find inexpensive sidearms when they were just starting out. Of course, today they carry much better. Even now, there are several people in discussions with me about getting their first sidearm. I’ll try to steer them towards something of quality but in the end, most will probably start with some cheaper POS to carry and upgrade within a year after they realize that their lives might depend on it. Often, it is the low cost that gets them carrying in the very beginning. After a few years of carrying everyday, they too will have an EDC of generally greater value than the clothes they wear, car they drive, or food they eat. 😉

    • Excellect points, which brings up another– You can usually get your money out of the discount brands. When I was of less than average means (read: dirt poor) I picked up a hi-point nine… directly contrary to the advice of this website, but that’s neither here nor there.

      When I was ready to move on, I simply sold the nine off for what i paid for it. I didn’t lose money; partially because it’s already cheap, and partly due to the exeptional warranty. Once again TTAG gets it wrong– It’s fine for you to get an intermediete, budget firearm as opposed to using a sharp stick when ‘the chances are…’ just aren’t in your favor.

      • Yep. As you point out, one can usually trade up later.

        It seemed like the poorer I was, the more I needed an EDC. Location, location, location. Undoubtedly, this is true for many.

  24. This is exactly why I’ve carried a Lorcin or Raven. I keep my fancy stuff for home use but if I have a chance of dropping it I carry a Lorcin or a Raven because anything else is really just a waste. I know they sometimes get a bad rap (and the marketing of “Look for the pirate, the symbol of quality”) was kind of stupid, but you can usually fire it once before anything needs to be done and they are very inexpensive.

  25. Lorcin or Raven. It doesn’t hurt when it gets confiscated or dropped or lost, and it will usually fire at least once.
    “Look for the pirate, the symbol of quality”

  26. I do believe there is a certain price threshold that exists when purchasing a quality self defense firearm. There are manufacturers that have earned a reputation for building quality pistols and can justify the price, especially in the $300-$500 price range. My $400 M&P Shield isn’t the best pistol in my collection by any means, but it is the best at being my EDC (concealable and super reliable).

    Many new guns I’ve used and seen that cost less than $300 tend to require more effort and attention from their owners or a gunsmith to be reliable enough upon which to stake one’s life. On the flip side, I believe there are diminishing returns with pistols which cost over $500-$600–there are too many rock solid reliable carry pistols which cost less. That said, any pistol you have, regardless of cost, is better than not having any at all.

  27. I consider the value on my carry pieces with the perspective of how much I’d be losing it if I have to use it.

    If I’m involved in a DGU, then the odds are high that my piece is going to end up in an evidence locker. If I’m packing a really nicely finished gun that cost me a lot of time and energy, I’m betting that some cop is going to look at the “evidence” and it will “disappear” from the evidence locker into said cop’s collection of guns. This happens all over the US, and cops on this thread better not try to pretend it doesn’t happen. Drugs, guns, cash and all manner of evidence conveniently disappears from police custody all the time. The upside is that suddenly, any charges that would have been brought against me magically disappear too, so they cops reckon that I’m not going to complain too much.

    So I want a gun that is inexpensive, looks cheap and functions very reliably.

    • As I said in my reply to “Tom in Oregon” above, A confiscated expensive gun will probably end up on the hip of a high ranking cop!

    • I wish you were wrong, but I wouldn’t trust LAPD or LASO with my gun in their “evidence locker.” I’ve had blood evidence “lost” from a drug-addled hottie who crashed her truck into the back of a Prius. She crushed the car with her Silverado and the driver took an ambulance ride. She was still high as a kite when we took her to jail.

      As a cop I imagine my gear would eventually get returned, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

      Of course job #1 is to win the fight with whatever weapon(s) are at hand. I’d hate to lose my 340 PD but losing a gunfight or knife fight would be worse.

    • “Drugs, guns, cash and all manner of evidence conveniently disappears from police custody all the time. The upside is that suddenly, any charges that would have been brought against me magically disappear too, so they cops reckon that I’m not going to complain too much.”

      I’m interpenetrating that as ‘Carry a Shiny’ a thieving LE may covet as anti-charges insurance.

      Let’s face it. For those of us (read – most of us) not being charged is worth far, far more.

      You have me now considering a nicer firearm.

      Or am I reading that wrong?

  28. Money is no object for me, but luckily the extravagance level of my tastes in firearms rises to only the H&K, SIG level.

    I think something in the $450-$800 price range will get a new or gently used piece from any of the big names you’d want on your hip or in your bedside safe: FN, Glock, SIG, H&K, Smith and Wesson, CZ, Walther, Ruger, etc. all come to mind.

    Wasn’t there just a big batch of police trade M&P 40s going around the various Interweb sites for $329-$349? Seems like a bargain to me. Hell, Ruger has been the value for dollar go to for years.

    I know there are some folks for whom that’s still a huge chunk of change, but my moral/advice to this story is this: it’s better to buy used or save up and get the original thing you wanted than it is to buy a cheaper stand-in. Because sooner or later you always go back and get the original thing you had your eye on, only now you’re out the money you spent on the cheaper stand-in.

    But hey, if you need a firearm, RIGHT NOW, and you only have enough for a used Hi-Point. A used Hi-Point it is.

  29. Of course. More expensive does not always mean better. People may pay a lot for a certain brand or a certain look, but that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t get a very reliable, accurate gun from a different manufacturer for half the price.

  30. My first carry gun was a P7M8. My current is a Five Seven. I considered them both un-necessarily expensive and peculiar, but went with them anyway due to my stubborn inclination to simply do what I want to. I am spending twice as much on training (including schooling and ammo) this year as I did on the Five Seven itself. My income is modest but I don’t have children or significant debts, so I get to do some of what I want to anyway.

  31. Guns are a mechanical device. If they are properly designed within a very well known set of parameters, and your quality control is decent, there is no reason it shouldn’t be reliable and accurate. Barrel steel is by an large barrel grade steel (in general) polymer is polymer, trigger components and firing pins are trigger components and firing pins. Powder coat is powder coat.

    As such, component cost is largely similar for everyone in the industry, excepting some economics of scale and location differences (to name a few variables).

    I’m of the opinion that many premium brand names who bulk produce their product ( not custom or smal batch shops) charge you for the name and the prestige of their brand.

    I don’t have the time for that. My m&p shoots as reliably and accurately as a Sig or H&k, and costs a fraction of the price. No need to pay more for a name or to cover import tariffs.

    Find a brand (preferably domestic) who has a robust and economic design and run with it. No need to get exotic with your tools when there is no functional necessity to do so!

    • “Barrel steel is by an large barrel grade steel (in general) polymer is polymer, trigger components and firing pins are trigger components and firing pins. Powder coat is powder coat.”

      Most failures on semi-autos are some type of failure to feed and eject.

      The intricacies of those mechanisms and how they are designed (and or) implemented is where most of those failures occur.

      • You are right anout that, but my point is this: a striker fired m&p, xd, glock, h&k, sig, etc all have a similar parts count. All have similar construction and operation. The cost to make one or the other shouldn’t differ too widely unless the tolerances are remarkably different. Quite frankly, if tolerances are so tight that it makes a pistol noticeably more expensive, than odds are I don’t want to rely on that piece for anything approximating long term because that level of precision points to a higher probability of wear related failures.
        Based on this logic there is a price ceiling. Beyond which you are paying for marketing hype, or a gun I wouldn’t trust.

  32. There are plenty of great options out there. I.E, a Tristar CZ clone made by Canik, or even the polymer variants….You don’t have to spend 600+ on a carry pistol.

  33. Nope. As with all things, I buy the best tool that I can afford, use it for it’s intended purpose, and take care of it as best that I can.

  34. Yes. Even here in Wisconsin, there would be a ton of red tape to get it back after a DGU, and you’re not guaranteed to get it back after going through all that red tape. Especially in my city.

  35. It matters right now with the temporary financial distress we are in. I second Sian. My 4 Tauri worked perfectly. And the Keltec pf9 I had was OK for being used. I’m NOT a collector and don’t give a rats a## about anyone’s opinion either. Chances are good you may never use your gun in anger and if you do you might lose that custom cutie…

  36. “Chances are you won’t need it before you can afford it.”

    And chances are you won’t need it going down to the local 7-11. Or just out for a walk. The grocery store is only a couple of miles away. Don’t need a EDC for that, right? Anything else we would like to justify under the ‘Chances are you won’t need it…’ train of thought?

    To answer the question directly– Yes. I do consider price when buying my sidearm of choice. My primary consideration therein is getting the most I can for the least possible within mission criteria I have designated. And I’m sorry, but if a full frame 1911 is within consideration, you’ve got a lot of options for far less than $500.

    • Help the 2nd Amendment Foundation challenge the suit. Even GLOCK filed an amicus brief against the roster, if I recall correctly.

  37. I tend to go for rock solid reliability. (And that’s certainly doable for fairly cheap, but I know there are plenty of people who can’t even afford that level. In which case one does the best one can.) And of course if carried every day it will eventually become a beater, or at least *look* like one. The occasional dings won’t reduce its utility (unless you just have to show off a “gem”).

    A lot is subject to personal taste and circumstance (including the size and shape of your hands and body). I tend not to pick on people’s choices for those sorts of things (except in fun of course, among friends). But if you do have the means to be able to choose between several different reliable models, you’d be a fool to carry an expensive and unreliable one.

  38. Money is a factor that must be considered (for many) when purchasing a firearm, in the same way it must be considered when one rents a home or purchases a vehicle. For any of these purchases/rentals, one ideally wants the “best possible” but many be forced to compromise.

    If one buys a relatively cheap firearm, one could later sell it or trade it in when they save up more money. That would give them a firearm for protection sooner rather than later. Any well-functioning gun is better than none.

  39. There are plenty of quality inexpensive guns out there. Arcus makes an excellent Hi Power clone that is ~$300 (supposedly carried by Iraqi police), SAR makes a couple of CZ/Witness clones in the same price range (carried by Turkish national police and military), as well as a P99 clone (TP-9) and a HK USP clone (TP10). Canik55 makes several good CZ clones as well as a clone of the Walther P99 (apparently also used by Turkish police). Zastava makes a clone of the Sig P226 (CZ999). All right around $300, and take standard mags.

    And of course, Armscor/Rock Island and a number of other brands make nice, low priced 1911 clones.

    • Incidentally, Centerfire has the Canik TP-9 (Walther P99 knockoff) for $239. Probably the best deal out there right now on a quality carry pistol. Who says you have to spend a log of money to get a good gun?

  40. Shouldn’t the bigger question of the day be: Is the shooting at, and killing of, public servants (i.e. police officers, fire-fighters) a bigger threat to gun rights than anything else? After all, if they’re the ones supposed to protect us and have done so out of choice.

  41. In my experience (as well as those around me) guns are one thing where you truly “get what you pay for”. Having a gun is better than not having one, but spend as much as you can to get a quality gun. I’m talking quality here though, not fancy features and shiny finishes. My $.02.

  42. There is a solution. Buy used. There are a lot of people who trade pistol after pistol in the search for perfection so there are a lot of pre-owned pieces out there.

    • That can be difficult. For those of us in California, the used gun has to be on the roster, or it has to be a face to face transaction. Since older guns fall of (or were never on) the roster, the selection is limited until they become old enough to be C&Rs.

  43. Quality first followed by price. I have been very fortunate over the years to be able to acquire quality pistols at not unreasonable prices. Some of them have been used, but still excellent pistols. Each and every one of them meets the “must fire every time” rule when using factory ammunition.

  44. I have this small framed female relative who is open to buying a gun but is not willing to spend a lot of money. Would it be better to let her get the super complicated to operate Phoenix hp 22, or just get nothing? Even decent budget options like the S&W sd9ve or a used Ruger P95 are out of the price range she is willing to pay.

    • Will this gun be used for plinking, self defense, or what?
      For knocking over tin cans etc., I’d recommend a Heritage 22 single action revolver. They sell for less than $200 new!
      Stay away from auto loaders for the first gun. It’s too easy to “forget” there is another round chambered and ready to fire, as soon as the former round was fired. Later, after the lady shows proficiency, she can graduate to a nice auto loader, or higher powered revolver.
      For self defense, a good used 38 special might be a good choice. I have a Taurus 38 that I like to carry sometimes. You can probably get a used one for a couple “C” notes.

    • Like Gunr said the heritage single action revolver would be cheap and great to shoot tin cans, but if you talk her into one with the .22 mag cylinder she could also use that for self defense. There are a few options for .22 mag defensive ammo these days and .22 mag flies faster and hits harder than .22 long and has the same felt recoil.

  45. Thanks to the wisdom and leadership of Barak Hussein Obuma gasoline has dropped more than $1/gal in the last year. For the average American that will buy a higher class handgun (or other firestick). With some ammo.

    It even gives Barry a bounce in the polls.

    In fact there’s a political statement/movement. “I pledge to use my Obuma petro dividend to purchase firearms and ammunition with which to defend the Constitution”. (At a gunshow yesterday and some GREAT prices on ARs).

  46. I consider price shopping for everything, and I make a decent amount. I’m just not stupid or cavalier with my hard-earned money.

    My penny-pinching dad just picked up his first pistol, a Turkish CZ-75 clone that does what it needs to do and does it well. South of $300 brand new. My first gun was a $400 RIA 1911. You don’t need to spend $500+ to get a good gun.

  47. Lot of great comments on this one. Shout out to Gov. in particular. Smart to work with what you have, work up to what you want.

  48. I’ve shot $4500 custom 1911s and also sub $500 pieces and everything in between. Can you tell the difference? Hell yeah. Is it worth the huge dollar difference? Your call, but in my case, I know I can buy a nice 1911 for some place between $800-1500+/- bucks and feel comfortable and happy to own it.

    Chances are a full-size 4+ pound steel 1911 is not going to find it’s way into my everyday carry rotation, but I do love shooting them at the range.

  49. There are a tremendous number of name brand quality firearms between $300 to $500 new, and if you push that up to $600, a fair number of 1911s as well. Unless you have the money to burn, there is no good reason to pay more for an EDC. Mine is a Kahr that cost less than $400, and has been utterly reliable.

  50. After reading half the replies, I don’t even understand what this article is really asking. You can get good enough guns for cheap. So If cost is a concern, no problem, right?

    I can afford an lc9, if I had more disposable income I’d get a Sig. You get what you pay for, and we all want the best guns we can get. So cost can’t not be a consideration. The more I think about it, the dumber the question seems.

    So don’t buy a gun proven to be unreliable. Lots of guys running hundred dollar hi-points seem to be plenty reliable.

  51. A Wilson Combat Tactical Supergrade Professional is undoubtedly better than my Sig Sauer C3. And a Mercedes-Benz S550 (perhaps with a ballistics upgrade) is going to be safer than a stock Toyota Camry. But there are bills to pay and tradeoffs to make.

  52. My primary criteria for purchasing my EDC was a combination of concealability, capacity, caliber, how well I can shoot it, and… very important… reliability. That’s how I ended up with a Glock 27. Price wasn’t really a factor. I don’t consider it an “expensive” pistol, but it’s not “cheap,” either. Affordability is relative, and I understand that even $475 (I think that’s what I paid for it) is a lot of money to some people.

  53. Almost everyone takes price into account in one way or another.

    “Chances are you won’t need it before you can afford it…”

    Really? Because I’m pretty sure what we always hear is “it’s better to have it and not need it…”

    • Not necessarily. see the review on the $6,000 Cabot Black Diamond. Won’t go two magazines without a failure to feed. Price doesn’t automatically mean an item will be superior in the features that are important to you. The Cabot has a really nice finish. You certainly pay for that but you don’t get reliability which may be far more important to you.

    • To a certain extent; the law of diminishing returns goes in to effect at some point. Would I trust my life with a Raven? No, but I wouldn’t trust my life more with a $3K Wilson Combat as opposed to my $500 XD-s.

  54. I would like to find a 1911 (or American mag release version of the Sig 220) in .38 Super. It appears that this is not an easy thing to do!

  55. 1. Price is a factor in everything I buy. Why should that not be the case? The “why wouldn’t you spend more if you life depended on it” is not an argument I buy in to. Why would I not pay more for concierge health care? Why would I not pay more for the most crash-proof car on the road? Why would I not spend thousands to have my house fire-proofed? My life could be saved by all those things too. Besides, my life does not depend on my gun. My mind is the weapon. My ability to evade is my back up. The gun is a last resort.

    2. Function is paramount in an SD gun, not looks, nameplate, bells and whistles, etc. It should go bang when I want it to, and not when I don’t. That does not have to cost a lot if you shop well. Spending more can actually get your less reliability if you’re not careful. There are a lot of good, reliable guns out there for under $500.

    3. I am a long-time 1911 guy, I competed with it on a Navy team and I own a stock Colt, but I would not think a 1911 would be a good choice for most CC people. That is a gun that takes a lot of practice to operate safely and reliably. Some people like them, but even with my 1911 experience, it is not my choice for EDC. Great in-theater combat gun, a great SHTF choice, but CC is a different situation.

  56. Anyone who pays more than they should for what they need isn’t using their brain.

    Every single dime you have that isn’t *required* to purchase and carry that pistol should go into training first, ammo second.

    Buying a HK when you only have money for a glock, or a glock when you only have money for a SW SD9/40, or a SW SD9/40 when you only have money for an LC9 is stupid. More expensive guns do not make you a better shooter.

    Buying up a ton of ammo and sitting on a square range with rules and still targets, not moving, not shooting from different positions, not stressing yourself at all, whether with an expensive gun or a cheap one is not smart either.

    Spend the least amount you can on a quality, reliable handgun (i’m looking at you SW SD9VE) you can actually fight with and get yourself a quality instructor who’s first priority is teaching you how to survive and fight with that handgun. Lasers will not save your life, holsters will not save your life, HK’s will not save your life. Awareness and training will save your life.

    Here’s the test: End of the world, zombies, north koreans, whatever. Who are you grabbing in the room to head out with you? The guy with the shiny 3000 dollar pistol that looks like it’s been shot 100 times? Or the guy with the 500 dollar glock that’s so beat up it looks like it’s been shot 30000 times?

  57. There are so many good options for an EDC gun in the $500-700 range, the only reason to pay more is if you just have the desire to. Everything in that price range will outshoot most shooters out there, especially in a self-defense situation. Spend that extra money on training, ammo, and good holsters.

  58. In a word, YES! Especially when you are on a budget. You try to comparison shop, try out the models you like and make an educated purchase for your budget. Lots of guns I’d like to have like Sig’s or better, but budget with Glocks.

  59. The question seems to be; am I willing to compromise? I have experience with compromise in three areas: Firearms, musical instruments (guitars) and automobiles. When I was a novice in these areas I believed that one thing was pretty much as good as another, but as time went on I became familiar with equipment that seemed to be more than the sum of its parts. A guitar that you can’t seem to miss a note on, a gun that performs well and feels natural, a vehicle that handles like an extension of your body. I don’t know if these things make me a better guitar player, shooter or driver, but I believe that they do. And if you believe that you’re better then sometimes you really are.

  60. damn right I did. I wound up using an SR9c, because it’s affordable but isn’t crappy. There’s other guns I actually preferred–some of the nicer sigs for instance—but they were all 300 or more dollars higher than the SR9c.

  61. 20-30years ago, the Seecamp was the shizzle for CC EDC. It was the cost no object gun. Still waiting on mine…Wilson, LB and others make fine custom guns. Ive spent thousands on custom race guns and rifles. Never seen the need for spending that kinda money on an EDC piece. A Glock 17 works just fine, everytime. No way in hell i would spend $50 much less $500 on an AO 45 jammatic. This blog entry reads like ad copy.


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