i need recommendation for a good budget gun.

Ok, so i want to buy a hand gun, this will be my first time buying a gun, in fact i’ve never really hold a gun in my life. i think i want a semi-auto, about $400-$600 budget. any recommendations are greatly appreciated. i live in California, clean background, what do i need to know before buying a gun? also a good place to purchase a gun without getting ripped off.

check out calguns.net

handgun recs for CA are somewhat particular in that only CA market models are available.

Last I looked, you need to take the handgun safety test. I’ve purchased several times from Turners, check their ads every couple days for whatever is on sale. They are an outdoors chain store with good sale prices.

BTW, please get involved also, there is a tremendous number of CA anti gun legislation in the pipeline. Once the rights are gone, they are gone.

If you want something right away, the Sig Pro SP2022 in the turners ad for $450 is a good price.


that is the HSC guide

Go with something that’s proven such as the Taurus PT92, it’s within the price range you specified. Best handgun made would be the Sig Sauer P226(out of price range), uncompromising reliability, there can only be one. Now let’s see what all the gun experts have to say. HAHA

By me listing Taurus and Sig Sauer above doesn’t mean everything they make is good, it depends on the model.

Forgot, best places to buy for the cheapest price would be Walmart, Academy Sports, and Dick’s in that order. Around here there are independent dealers that ofter beat department store prices.

Glock 19 bro. You will see.

But you really don’t need to be too picky cuz knowing you, you WILL get another one…lol.

Calguns for used guns. Ive sold a couple b4. Turners prices aren’t bad when on sale.

As a Noob , go to a club and get some instruction = Noob course !

Go to indoor range after doing noob course and rent some guns ...

A nice 22 Rimfire , and after 10,000 rounds or so start thinking about a center fire ...

Starting with a 9mm or 40 or 45 can introduce some bad habits you may never break or be free off .

1. Noob course

2. At least 10,000 rounds with a 22 Rimfire

3. Now start thinking about a center fire

Yeah…most definitely hit up the range before…try before you buy.

+1…please get some training…esp. since you have zero experience.

Check out what Bersa has to offer. I have a Bersa Thunder Pro 9mm and it’s a great gun that’s reasonably priced. Mine is the 17-rd. Mag high-cap model but it’s also availabe in a compact and .45 ACP varieties. The Taurus PT92 would be a good option as well. Not sure how ammo availability is in your area but here, 9mm is scarce while .40 and .45 is more readily available. Rugers are built like tanks but don’t fit my hands well. The Springfield XD-series are supposed to be very nice.
How about a cheap Rock Island or Citadel .45 1911? :wink:

If you are just starting to shoot, a Ruger MK-III would be a great first gun. Not sure if they are CA compliant, but I know they are Mass compliant... thats the whole reason they upgraded the MK-II and made the MK-III

My vote goes to Springfield Armory XD (M,S,) series of handgun,

XD stands for Xtreme Duty.

The best proof of pistol quality is fact that this pistol was declared as pistol of the year in the U.S.A in 2003., 2006. & 2009. by NRA (National Rifle Association) i think it was for XDM model.

Just few ones from my collection. Steel body: CZ 75B, Browning HP custom, Beretta FS 92,

plastic ones :slight_smile: : Glock 19, Glock 17, XDM 9mm

XD (m) series is like you have improved Glock. You can feel and see improvements.

I am selling whole collection of steel ones and I will use safety action polymer pistols.

don’t let that plastic frame fools you. They are far more durable than steel ones.

Although steel ones may look nice & fancy. But polymer are EDC pistols with tenifer/melonit finish.

XDM has better finish than Glock.

+1 have an XD40 and love it. $450 from a private dealer about 5 years ago.

Beretta 92/96
I haven’t shot a lot of guns but in my limited experience the Beretta feels best in my hand. Go out to a range with a store attached and shoot as many as you can before you buy. There is a big difference between mfgs/models/calibers. Buy the one that is the most comfortable.

Can someone from the PRK tell me what the laws are regarding buying a gun from a E-retailer and having it shipped to a FFL for the transfer?


The Hi-Power is the spiritual AK-47 of handguns. Cheap, reliable, easy to understand and clean. Plenty of 10-round magazines available. Steel frame and 9mm so it recoils easy. The FEG Hi Power is a very well built iteration and the Arcus-94 is internally the same, just a different look.

My only concern with the Hi Power is getting one into Cali, as I’m sure it isn’t on CDOJ’s roster.

Taurus TCP 380 is a great budget friendly pocket pistol. Mine black/blued one was $200 + taxes and fees. That is about the normal price for one with 1 mag. No issues with mine, and I really like the design for its size. I also really like my PT-709 Slim from Taurus (about 100 more) for a 9mm.

Of course there is fancier arguably better options that are generally more expensive, but these have been quite reliable for me.

I would have recommended the PJK-9P but as you suspected, its not on the list. I’ve had mine for more than 15 yrs and with the exception of some russian steel rounds, will take whatever I feed it. The original Browning HP costs over $900 now and its currently unavailable (no stock) here in prk.

+1 have an XDS45 and love it. Grabbed mine after looking for months to find one at a gun show $500. I don’t think I would recommend a .45 for a beginner though. Should probably go the 9mm route.

You really have to define what you want the pistol for. There’s a huge difference in wanting one for target shooting, hunting, and self-defense. Although all can do these tasks, some do it better than others. In my opinion 1911’s are ideal for target shooting, less so for self-defense unless you shoot it often, are extremely familiar with handling it under stress, etc. The traits that make it good for target shooting are also the ones that make it dangerous in untrained hands (single action, light trigger, manual safety). On the other hand the Ruger P series are decent self-defense guns but are poor target range guns.

Barrel length, size of the gun, magazine capacity (max limit of 10 but some have less), and caliber are also important considerations. In my experience the cost of the gun is minor compared to ammo cost, so get something you’ll like shooting and is going to last.

Stick with common calibers such as .22, 9mm, .40, and .45 (if you don’t reload these are usually the cheapest, and in that order).

Don’t forget to get extra magazines…you should have at least 5 extra one.

As Old4570 said…get instructions both for safety and proficiency reasons. One can develop extremely poor habits without knowing it. And poor habits can lead to serious consequences as well as poor shooting.

It’s easy to have a negligent discharge with a semi-auto (there’s no such thing as an accidental discharge unless something broke), so you need to decide if you want a SA, double-action/single-action, double-action only, etc. However safety is in the mind and actions of the shooter.

If you can’t spend more than $600 then that leaves out lots of pistols. In this range Glock’s and Springfield XD’s are reasonable choices for all-around guns. If you are using it as a house gun and range gun then I’d get a Glock 35 with a 9mm conversion barrel.

You can also get a .357 magnum revolver in your price range. Something like a Smith&Wesson L frame. This also allows you to shoot .38’s at a lower cost.

As I mentioned in the beginning, the requirements drive the purchase, especially if you will only have 1 gun.

IMO .45’s aren’t any harder to shoot than 9mm’s if one has the proper instructions and the right gun. Plus the holes are bigger so the groupings look closer together when plinking paper :slight_smile:

I’d even suggest starting out with an air pistol before taking on the .22 rimfire ones. They’re fun to shoot paper villains with, really!

I don’t envy the people who really have to rely on a pistol for self-defense purposes; yet, if there are no other means of protection (i.e. a low crime rate to begin with, a low unemployment rate, police officers on patrol and taking their job seriously but not being overzealous at the same time, and generally high morale standards within the population), then be it.

I’ve always liked the full sized Glock17 lots, although they are much dearer in Austria (and have been in the UK) than they are in the US.

Oh, an English Webley .455 is REALLY fun to shoot! I do miss mine, had to sell it to a collector in Belgium. I’ve also had an Enfield No.2 Mk.I, which I had to have deactivated by a local gunsmith. Silly laws in Europe we do have, don’t we? But I may still hold on to a 12gauge double-barreled shotgun - as if that would make any sense.

Anyhow, target shooting can offer you loads of fun; start with an air pistol, work your way up to the .22 rimfire cartridge, then try out the ubiquitous 9x19 and the .45 ACP. Oh, if it’s got to be a revolver, I’d try a .357 as well - you may shoot a much tamer and much cheaper .38 round with that, as well.

Others might disagree on my opinion, eventually; but I still believe that proper aim is still more important than the size of the bullet.