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Best 9mm Under $350

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by jeremy_283, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. jeremy_283


    Feb 17, 2012
    A buddy of mine is looking for a 9mm. He doesn't have a lot of cash to drop on a pistol so he's looking for the most affordable yet reliable 9mm. I was thinking Kel-Tec PF-9. I think it's awesome cause it's one of the smallest 9mm available. Any other opinions?
  2. took


    Feb 22, 2012
    I have one with a couple thousand rounds through it!!! I love it AMD depend on it when I need to be discrete

    Sent from my C771 using Tapatalk

  3. mingaa


    Dec 3, 2011
    St. Louis, MO
    For carry - yes. A full size gun for range or SD (CAN be carried but bulky) look at a Ruger P95. They will be close to $300 and are great guns for the money. The LC9 is wortha look for a pocket 9 IMHO.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  4. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    Is he looking for a carry gun?

    If my budget was under $350 for a 9mm, I'd go with a used gun for sure.
  5. jeremy_283


    Feb 17, 2012
    He's interested in CCW courses but he also just likes to shoot. He has no other pistol to my knowledge.
  6. LoadToadBoss

    LoadToadBoss IYAAYWOT

    Apr 24, 2008
    Northwest Louisiana
    I have the PF-9. It is a fine gun. I have 1,000+ rounds through mine. A couple issues to be aware of:
    1. They have a long hard 9 lb trigger pull that takes time to master.
    2. They can be ammo sensitive. Mine does not like 147 gr ammo.
    3. Kel Tel says avoid +P ammo. Only standard pressure.
    4. They have a snappy recoil; definitely not meant as a range gun.
  7. mingaa


    Dec 3, 2011
    St. Louis, MO
  8. TSAX


    Jun 5, 2010
    :agree:, I have seen some good deals of Glock 17 and Glock 22 police trade ins for $349

  9. easyg


    May 29, 2007
    I agree 100%
  10. DeputyAlex


    Jan 30, 2008
    Ruger P94 you can find them used for around $300-$350. They are very ugly but they are very reliable
  11. bsg1


    Aug 31, 2009
    Southern California
    if he wants a new handgun... he'd be smart to consider the Pro Series offering from Sig.

    i'd suggest he consider used, as well as new... to open up the playing field of choices.
  12. Dave.1


    Dec 12, 2009
    If he doesn't mind a used pistol have him check out 3rd Generation S&Ws. You can often find them in local shops. For carry I'd recommend a 6906 or 3913.

    I paid $375 for my 3913 but you can find a 6906 (double stack) for less in CDNNs catalog.

  13. Check out summit gun broker, he has some 639s for under 365. A sig P6 should be around that price as well, it's only a single stack but it's a good pistol. In order of preference for me, Sig(used), glock(used), S&W(used), Beretta(used).
  14. Haldor

    Haldor Retired EE

    Oct 22, 2006
    Central Arizona
    The PF9 is the best concealed carry 9mm in that price range. Be aware that the PF9 (like any lightweight, compact pistol) is unforgiving of poor shooting technique. If you limp wrist it, it will have feeding and ejecting failures. I have seen this first hand with my pistol in the hands of novice shooters. I once let a couple of interested shooters try mine at the range and two of the 3 had FTF jams on their first shots. The 3rd shooter was more experienced and he had no problem. I have about 1000 rounds through my PF9 with zero malfunctions.

    You can also get police trade-in Glocks for around that price.

    If you are looking for a full sized pistol I would also look at the Ruger P series pistols. They are underrated (and consequently under-priced) pistols.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  15. Haldor

    Haldor Retired EE

    Oct 22, 2006
    Central Arizona
    Disagree with point one. The trigger pull is long, but is not excessively hard. Perhaps you are thinking of the Keltec P11 which does have a hard pull?

    The FP9 recoil is definitively stout. It is hard to image how it couldn't be considering that the PF9 only weighs 12.7 oz empty (the LC9 by comparison weighs 17.1 oz). One thing that I found helped a lot was to clean up the mold lines with an exacto knife. Any trace of the parting line becomes quite unpleasant during recoil.

    I run standard pressure 115g FMJ practice ammo and 124g Federal HST through mine and it operates flawlessly on both. The 9mm was optimized for a 124g bullet and the only reason I can see for 147g loads in 9mm is if you are running a suppressor and need a subsonic load.
  16. Bilbo Bagins

    Bilbo Bagins Slacked jawed

    Sep 16, 2008
    It depends what you friend wants. If he wants a 9mm for concealed carry there are tons of options. especially if he bumps his price up $50 or so bump

    KT PF9 = $280

    KT P11 = $270

    Ruger LC9 = $350

    Kahr CW9 = $380

    Kahr CM9 = $410

    Full sized service pistols

    Ruger P95 $300 to $350 (blued or stainless)

    Ruger SR9 = $420

    S&W 9VE or whateve the sigma is called these days = $340

    And there are other like the Bersa thunder 9 but I don't know the price, but I gather its near $350.

    Here is the thing. I have a Kel Tec Pf9 and for carry its OK , but for home defense and range use I wouldn't do it. Recoil sucks, its not a long term heavy use gun, and it has issues. Its for someone how is already a "gun person" , and not the best choice for a first time gun buyer.

    For carry I would take a hard look at the Kahr CM9, because its a much better carry gun then the Kel tec and very worth the money.

    If you want something a tad bigger , that can do both home defence and carry work, look at the CW9 and maybe the ruger SR9 compact.

    Pure home defense hard use workhorse gun, get the P95. Its a frickin' tank, but the grip is chunky. If you don't like that look at the SR9 or the S&W
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  17. KarlThomas


    Nov 29, 2010
    You know what's more expensive than a quality gun?
    Buying a cheap gun, selling it to the gun shop for pennies on the dollar, and then buying a quality gun. That was the lesson I learned when I bought a SW Sigma 9mm as my first gun. (some may like the Sigma, but the trigger pull on mine was like 12lbs.) Always make sure you're buying a quality product that serves your needs.

    That said, if he wants a range gun that he can shoot a lot and can double as a home defense gun, the Ruger P95 is the way to go. If he doesn't want to go with that, I would advise him to seriously consider upping his price limit by a couple hundred, or buying something used.

    The PF9 is pretty far away from being a range gun.
  18. 1gewehr


    Mar 22, 2006
    Mid TN
    Other choices might be:
    Norinco 213 (copy of Tokarev)
    Star BM, BKM, or BKS (if you see a BKS for under $350, snag it!)
    Helwan (Copy of Beretta 951)
    Walther P1 (might get lucky and find one under $350)
    S&W M59, 439, 459 are sometimes seen in that price range
  19. Haldor

    Haldor Retired EE

    Oct 22, 2006
    Central Arizona

    I agree, my PF9 is not a range gun. It is a CCW carry piece pure and simple and it is not a good beginner's pistol. If you want an inexpensive, foolproof pistol for both CCW and the range it is hard to beat a Glock (my G26 is on the never sell list).

    I didn't realize the Kahr CW9 was so reasonably priced. I am having to take a look at that (like I need another 9mm pistol).
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012