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Affordable vs. Cheap: Firearm Ownership on a Budget

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posted on Jan, 2 2015 @ 09:43 PM
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As many of you know I have spent a long time in the firearms field. I've tested, owned, reviewed, serviced, and sold off more firearms than I could possibly list in a thread. In all of that time I have compiled a short list of budget friendly firearms that provide reliable performance without destroying your bank account.

Before I delve into that let me begin by saying that there is a HUGE difference between AFFORDABLE and CHEAP.

Affordable firearms tend to follow established quality standards that ensure reliability. We're not talking about Match Grade super accurized weapons like what you'd get from Kimber, we're talking about quality found at Canik55 and above.

Cheap firearms tend to use low quality materials, do not follow industry standards, often have safety recalls issued against their products, and do not exhibit consistent reliability. Examples would be Jimenez Arms, Hi-Point Firearms, and Inter Ordnance. I would not, in good conscience, ever recommend a firearm from any of these manufacturers. EVER. I have owned, tested, and got rid of firearms from all of these companies and will never use them again. Cheap firearms are NOT an option when it comes to self-defense. I always recommend patience when saving up for a quality firearm. But that doesn't mean you have to wait several months or years worth of saving to get a good quality gun. Which brings me to the meat of the topic. Good Quality firearms at affordable prices:

Handguns:

For shooters on a budget, often new to firearms in general, there aren't too many options on the market. Even if you do find a decent firearm it is very difficult to find one with included accessories like a decent holster, extra magazines, or cleaning supplies.

The Canik55 TP9 offers all of that in a seriously reliable handgun that has been extensively tested for the last few years. You will be hard pressed to find bad reviews on this weapon:

Canik55 is a Turkish company with an ISO-9000 rated production facility. They are part of a conglomerate defense contractor Samsun Yurt Savunma, or SYS, for short. They currently supply the TP9 to police forces in Turkey. Generally they make clones of European and American firearms, but this is NOT to say they are knock offs. The TP9 is a Walther P99 clone with a few differences.

The weapon comes in a nice case, two 18 round 9mm Mec-Gar magazines(industry standard as far as mags are concerned), a Blackhawk! STYLE holster, a mag loader, spare front sights of differing elevation, and cleaning brushes. Its reliability is widely known to be 100 percent. They are imported by Century Arms International and retail for $290-$350 depending on where you buy them. That leaves more money left over for ammunition to train with.

Plenty of reviews have been done on this weapon so I don't have to.

For further information please watch this very informative and well produced video:



Shotguns:

I've owned a few in my life. While I've never really been a fan of the scattergun, they do have their place for home defense and should be considered a staple in that role.

I've shot and owned some decent shotguns and some atrociously crappy ones. Pumps, semi-autos, lever actions, and break-open designs. The two I will recommend will keep it simple. Semi-Auto and Pump.

Semi-auto shotguns are typically more expensive than pump action shotguns. It should also be noted that semi auto shotguns typically require consistency in ammunition used. Mixing standard brass 12ga shotshells with controlled recoil shells will net some failures. Especially if the weapon does not have an adjustable gas regulator. Pump action shotguns don't have this issue because it doesn't rely on blowback or gas to operate the action of the weapon, henceforth, typically a more reliable mechanism. Cheaper too.

This is not to say that semi-auto shotguns can't be used for home defense, or be found on a budget conscience scale. For that purpose I give you the Catamount Fury II Semi-Auto Shotgun. The weapon is not terribly expensive and can be found for under $500. Once again, this weapon is imported by Century Arms International.

It features a detachable 5 round magazine(with options available for 8 rounds), it has an adjustable gas regulator, AK style receiver and controls..But it is limited in after market parts and accessories. This is NOT a Saiga12 and should not be viewed as such. Standard lead or copper shot should be used with this gun. Avoid steel shot as it will cause barrel wear, and is not designed for such applications. This is NOT a hunting shotgun where steel shot would be normally used.



For pump action shotguns you have a huge selection. The Remington 870 can be easily found for less than $400 bucks, same with the Mossberg 500. For a decent and reliable shotgun on an even smaller budget I recommend the Maverick 88 12 gauge pump.



Semi-Auto Freedom Defending Anti-Zombie Rifles:

For the purpose of this thread please be advised that affordable tactical rifles that aren't junk usually run from $500 to $700.

The AK platform tends to be more affordable than the AR platform. For the purpose of the budget minded, I highly recommend the AK platform for a few reasons.

1. The AK rifle itself is more affordable. A good quality VZ2008, for under $500 bucks, is a good place to start. The CAI imported WASR 10, one of the best AKs on the market, will run you a little more than $600. So we're talking high affordability and reliability. But for the purpose of this thread I recommend the VZ2008.



2. Ammo is CHEAP. The AK platform will typically eat any kind of ammo you feed it, be it cheap steel cased Wolf ammo, or top quality Match Grade brass cased. This leaves you with the ability to stockpile large quantities of ammunition for a mere pittance of what it would cost to do the same with 5.56/.223 Remington ammunition.

3. After market support is nearly universal for all AK based rifles. Which means that finding parts, accessories, and magazines is not only affordable but easy.

The AR platform is not without its merits. Recently Ruger released the AR556. Ruger has a solid reputation for building affordable quality weapons. I am a huge fan of almost everything they have ever built. The Ruger AR556 can be found for less than $700(I've seen them for less than $600) and are just as easily customizeable as any other AR.



Windham Weaponry has also produced budget minded ARs for a few years now and have developed a decent reputation for making quality base-model weapons for good prices. You're not going to get a quadrail, and an ACOG slapped on top for these prices, but you are going to get reliable and accurate freedom defending, anti-zombie firearms for a decent price.

All of these weapons are AFFORDABLE, good quality firearms for those of you who don't have a whole lot of scratch, but don't want to waste what little money you can devote to arming yourselves legally on junk weapons. I hope you all found this thread informative.

Happy Shooting!
edit on pFri, 02 Jan 2015 21:53:46 -060020152America/Chicago2015-01-02T21:53:46-06:0031vx1 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 2 2015 @ 09:59 PM
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Don't forget the S&W MP-15 (IIRC) AR type .223/5.56 rifle. Saw one the other day advertised for $489. A neighbor had one and we ran all kinds of ammo through it. No failures at all.

Personally, I'm a 7.62 (.30 caliber) man and IMHO a .223 is just another .22 caliber rifle. Give me something that's going to work. Looking for an M-14 semi or FN .308. Currently looking at a Russian 7.62x54 semi auto w/scope but haven't got the owner to come down any on the price - awesome shooter and the ammo is cheap.

S&F for your post



posted on Jan, 2 2015 @ 10:11 PM
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a reply to: NightFlight

The M&P 15 you're talking about is S & Ws cost saver, the M&P Sport. No forward assist, no chrome lining in the barrel(which I don't really need anyway), and no dust cover.

Regardless of these cost cutting measures they still managed to create a pretty affordable and reliable rifle. Thanks for reminding me of it.

Here's a video:




There's simply no way I could have included a look at the M&P 15 Sport in the original post. I already ran through my entire character count listing what I did. Thanks for the heads up!

edit on pFri, 02 Jan 2015 22:20:25 -060020152America/Chicago2015-01-02T22:20:25-06:0031vx1 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 2 2015 @ 10:26 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

I have to laugh at this video. The cost of the optics and the flip up rear sight alone cost more than the rifle they are riding on. lol


I prefer to build my rifles and for that I find myself using Palmetto State Armory more and more. They have excellent parts and also offer their house brand economy line which is called PTAC. They had some performance issues in a few economy models a while back but have since ironed them out. Great stuff from those guys all around.


Also for shotguns the NEF pardner pump is a very reliable economy shotgun as well.
edit on 1/2/2015 by SpaDe_ because: added info



posted on Jan, 2 2015 @ 10:39 PM
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When it comes to buying budget pistols I feel its a far better idea to simply get a used, higher quality piece instead of finding cheap new guns. Used Glocks can be found in the same price range, over the years I've had more than a few Glocks that I purchased used from $300-$350 including decent life night sites and spare magazine. I'm much more confident in an old Glock than a new "xxx" brand cheapy pistol.

For shotguns I'll throw another vote behind the Maverick 88, they are dirt cheap but still function great. I sold mine and now have a 500 and a 590 but they are great shotguns and I'd have no reservations about using one for home defense. Remingtons are obviously good shotguns but relatively expensive and heavy (not trying to start a Mossberg vs Remington debate
) so for a budget minded person Mossberg/Maverick is probably the better option.



posted on Jan, 2 2015 @ 10:40 PM
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a reply to: SpaDe_

For guys like you and I building your own is an excellent choice. I considered actually including a general guide to getting parts on the cheap to build a quality rifle. But what I really wanted to do is bring the new shooter into the fold. Someone with not a lot of experience in firearms, the firearms market, or knowledge on what resources are out there. Those people are usually the more budget conscience buyers because they aren't looking to blow money on something they don't understand.

Can't blame them for it either. So for the purposes of saving money, time, and maximizing the new shooters' ability to afford ammunition for training and familiarization I decided to forego the "Build Your Own" aspect of budget guns.



posted on Jan, 2 2015 @ 10:43 PM
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a reply to: James1982

I have no issue with used guns.

But one must be wary of buying used and since this is directed more to the new shooter who may not know what to look for during an inspection, finding high quality, yet affordable weapons was the way to go.



posted on Jan, 2 2015 @ 10:53 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

Excellent approach and the right choice of information to bring new shooters up to speed. The site I linked has parts and complete rifles. They also have complete lower and upper assemblies for the person that doesn't want to actually "build" a rifle, but might want something that isn't offered in a complete rifle.

Anyhow for the sake of simplicity I will leave it at that.




posted on Jan, 2 2015 @ 11:00 PM
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originally posted by: projectvxn
a reply to: James1982

I have no issue with used guns.

But one must be wary of buying used and since this is directed more to the new shooter who may not know what to look for during an inspection, finding high quality, yet affordable weapons was the way to go.


Excellent point! I had ignored the fact that people new to firearms probably don't know what to look for when buying a used gun, unless they have a savvy friend that could go along with them buying new probably is the best bet! That P99 clone looks pretty darn good for the price too, I might have to check one out!



posted on Jan, 2 2015 @ 11:18 PM
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Excellent thread, I have seen you recommend the canik55 in previous threads and have been keeping it in mind. Sound like a nice piece to pick up.

Currently I have my eye on a savage 22 with a threaded barrel, something I can put a suppressor on to facilitate frequent practice sessions and not annoy the neighbors with. As an added possible benefit I figure if the SHTF in any meaningfull way the ability to hunt while attracting less attention would be advantageous.

You may allready know the model I'm thinking of but if not here's a link

Savage 22

I cans pick one up for around 225, so it definitely an affordable gun, was wondering if you have any thoughts on it?



posted on Jan, 3 2015 @ 12:00 AM
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a reply to: projectvxn


But what I really wanted to do is bring the new shooter into the fold. Someone with not a lot of experience in firearms, the firearms market, or knowledge on what resources are out there.

I like the way you think. Arm the masses through education. Some quite like their first time firing a gun.

S+F
edit on 3-1-2015 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2015 @ 03:25 AM
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I buy affordable never cheap. I have 1. 870 Remington 12ga chambered in 3" magnum. I have 2 barrels 18" and 30" full choke.
2. Ruger 10/22 with bipod and scope. 3. Ruger .357. I have always wanted a Colt Python but never purchased one. I seem to like revolvers more than a semi automatic pistol.



posted on Jan, 3 2015 @ 06:18 AM
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a reply to: projectvxn

AKs are made for close combat they are not...NOT accurate 300yds max with a cheaper AK. I want to add not all AKs are crap some are very nice but you are going to pay over 1000. The AR is accurate and you can find many makers but just like the AK not all makers are the same.



Good AR makers Colt,BCM,KAC,Noveske,LMT,Larue. To be honest if you are going to buy a AR save up and buy one of these. ARs I would not touch with a 10 foot pole.....SW MP,New Bushmasters,Windham,DCMP,Black Rain. I added Black rain because of the god awful flash hider they insist on selling as stock. I also wanted to note SW MP handguns are some of the best in the world but the ARs are crap.



posted on Jan, 3 2015 @ 07:22 AM
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I have had my eye on those Canik55's for a few now. I have herd a lot of good about them. I want a nice full size frame 9mm and those are looking better and better for the price. I was looking at the Glocks, but they are a little more than I care to pay for a 9mm. I would rather have a sub frame .40 Glock for the price.

I definitely agree on the Maverick 88. The 88 and the 500 are like the Lego's of shot guns. So many aftermarket parts to fit a multitude of configurations. They take a beating and keep on shooting. They are like a good ole work truck. for the price you don't care how you treat it, but its always there when you need it ready to go.

Nice thread. S&F



posted on Jan, 3 2015 @ 09:14 AM
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a reply to: SubTruth

I will not recommend a Bushmaster to anyone.

But Windham is a different story. Its not frills, BASIC, and pretty much as is. But crap it is not.

The brands you recommend, while all stellar AR makers, are getting into that Kimber side of the market that I am trying to avoid.

Noveske Rifle Works builds competition level match grade ARs.

BCM uses match grade parts to build battle ready rifles.

You see where I am going here right? There are plenty of excellent entry level ARs and AKs that aren't super expensive.



posted on Jan, 3 2015 @ 09:50 AM
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a reply to: eisegesis

Education is key to responsible ownership of firearms.

All liberty requires responsibility.

Responsibility is nurtured through education and experience.

I try to use my knowledge and experience to help people make solid choices as well as operate their weapons with safety in mind, what are and are not proper tactics, and what further training and education is available to them.



posted on Jan, 3 2015 @ 10:51 AM
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originally posted by: SubTruth
a reply to: projectvxn

AKs are made for close combat they are not...NOT accurate 300yds max with a cheaper AK. I want to add not all AKs are crap some are very nice but you are going to pay over 1000. The AR is accurate and you can find many makers but just like the AK not all makers are the same.


There are PLENTY of AK variants available which can be purchased for under a thousand that are on par with anything priced over a thousand dollars. The better ones are priced under a thousand.




ARs I would not touch with a 10 foot pole.....SW MP,New Bushmasters,Windham,DCMP,Black Rain.


When you type that you dont recommend the "new Bushmasters", I take it you are a fan of the old Bushmasters (which were incredible), so with that, do you even know who Windham actually is? They are the old Bushmaster crew under the name Windham.



posted on Jan, 3 2015 @ 11:00 AM
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originally posted by: SpaDe_
a reply to: projectvxn


Also for shotguns the NEF pardner pump is a very reliable economy shotgun as well.


I have not come across one bad review on the Pardner pump which is a great Remington 870 clone. In fact, I have read many times that people feel the Pardner pump is better than the new Remy 870s in quality and build. It is built like a tank and I have no complaints with mine.



posted on Jan, 3 2015 @ 02:03 PM
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Lower end guns of any manufacturer are fine in most cases...however I found after taking the cheaper (dollars not quality) route I was always looking to upgrade. This gets to be the expensive part especially if you have rifles like the SU-16 where most of the parts and things collected for it won't be compatible with my next gun. I finally adopted a motto of buy once cry once. If your new and want to learn to shoot don't buy just save. Spend a little every time you can to go rent a gun at the range and shoot but just go for something you won't need or want to replace so soon. I eventually settled on my S&W M&P .40 and a POF-308 neither being affordable however the polymer frame semi auto handguns today are still a lot more affordable than the 1911 style markets or the older stuff colt made in that area. They're also just as reliable as far as I can tell. Good thread though I like when all this info can be found in one place...helped me greatly when I was getting into firearms myself.



posted on Jan, 3 2015 @ 06:12 PM
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a reply to: NightFlight

I can also attest to the M&P 15 Sport. Great gun that I was able to pick up for $500-$600 and it's been great the couple years I've owned it.



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