HGR 084 - Inexpensive, Not Cheap

Hello and welcome to Handgun Radio! I’m your host Ryan Michad from the wilds of Central Maine, and this is your home for all the news, information and discussion in the handgunning world.

This week, I’m joined by Weerd Beard to discuss guns that are inexpensive, but still serviceable firearms!

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Week in Review:

Ryan: - Got an email from listener Bob who writes: Your show got me interested in revolvers. I wonder if you would take a bit about the bisley model of revolvers. I recently purchased a couple of Ruger blackhawks. One standard .356 and one bisely in .45 colt. If I would have known about the Bisley I don't think I would have gotten the standard. I have started shooting bulls-eye competitions at my gun club. It involves 10 rounds in 10 minutes one handed. Then two sets of 5 rounds in 20 seconds. Finally two sets of 5 rounds in 10 seconds. With the .357 I could barely get all 5 off in 10 seconds. I have no problem getting all five off with the bisley. I find it also points more naturally than the standard grip.

Weerd: Got an Interesting email from a listener of the show this morning, and it was very interesting how closely his question tied into tonight’s topic:

“Hi Weer'd,

Quick question. I'm looking to purchase a 45 for concealed carry. I know you love Kahr's, but they are little out of my price range. I currently own a 1911 that I really enjoy, but it is to large to conceal.

Hoping you can give me a few suggestion on what to look at. I enjoy your blog and listening to you and Ryan podcast together.”

-Tony in New Hampshire


Main Topic: Inexpensive, Not Cheap

Oftentimes, when someone goes to buy a firearm, they are surprised by how much they cost. While it is nice to be able to purchase a firearm that is “high-end”, some people just do not have that ability, yet need a good, reliable handgun to defend themselves. We as people of the gun sometimes will kid amongst ourselves about the lower end brand handguns, yet we need to be aware that for some people, thats all they can afford at the moment. While there are some brands/models of handguns that rightly deserve derision, there are some that are unfairly targeted due to their looks, cost, materials, etc. Tonight, we will discuss some of the more popular ones and why they might be a good gun for you if you are on a budget.

-Sccy Handguns

-Canik TP9

-Kahr CM/W Series

-S&W SD Series


-Ruger P-Series Semi-Automatics

-Old S&W Autos (9506, 4506, Model 59, etc.)


Until next week, have fun & SAFE SHOOTING!!!

HGR 009 - Budget Priced Handguns

HGR 009 - Budget Priced Handguns

Ryan discusses the budget priced handguns that are available

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Week In Review:

  • Got a chance to shoot the Ruger Blackhawk Convertable Single Action revolver in .357 Magnum & 9mm.  It was a really interesting and well-made firearm.
  • Did a few videos and will be posting one on YouTube regarding the “Load One Skip One” technique of loading a single-action revolver with a loading gate.
  • I am really interested in doing a listener feedback/FAQ episode for Handgun Radio.  I have gotten many emails from listeners asking firearms related questions and I have tried to respond to them individually but I felt it would be nice to allow that information to be distributed to all of the listeners for an episode.  If you have any firearms related questions please send them to me at ryan@handgunradio.com or by using the contact tab at the top of the Handgun Radio webpage.  I really appreciate it!!!!!

Main Topic: Budget Priced Handguns

  • This week we will be discussing the budget priced handguns that are available. These handguns are priced well below the $600-700 range.
  • These handguns are also generally pretty reliable.  There is no point in discussing a budget priced firearm that doesn’t work at all.  Many guns WILL experience a few hiccups, but on average they are pretty reliable.
  • I’m going to mainly focus on major calibers, just because many people who are buying a handgun and have a limited budget may want a handgun that can do double duty as a plinker and home defense weapon.  While I think the .22 LR has its place in defensive situations, most people will want to go with a major caliber such as 9mm.
  • Also, I will try to limit our discussion to currently available new handguns, as the used market can fluctuate somewhat (and I also want to do an episode sometime on Surplus Handguns.)

1.) Hi-Point Handguns (.380;9mm;.40 S&W;.45 ACP):

  • MSRP ranging from $179 to $209
  • Made in Mansfield, OH by Hi-Point Firearms.
  • The Hi-Point uses casting facilities that are located near them that make the slides for the firearms. They are made out of a composition of metals called Zamak-3.
  • The Hi-Points use a straight-blowback system for their pistols, meaning that for the major calibers, the slide must be sufficiently heavy and the recoil spring must be sufficiently heavy to keep the gun locked closed while the gun is discharging. This is why the gun looks large and bulky.
  • In my experience they have been very reliable.

2.) Taurus Firearms:

  • MSRP Ranging from $349.00 to $559.00
  • Taurus gets a lot of flak from the firearms community, but has definitely improved their production, their firearms and their quality control.
  • Taurus has had its share of poor designs or poor quality control, but they really have improved and are making decently priced, reliable and innovative firearms.
  • The lifetime repair policy also makes the Taurus lineup very attractive.

3.) Bersa Firearms:

  • Located in Argentina, Bersa is a firearms manufacturer that produces small, concealed carry defensive handguns that are very reasonably priced, and by all reports very reliable.
  • Retail price is typically right around $250.00.
  • The Thunder series guns resemble the Walther PP and PPK and are chambered in .380 ACP.
  • Bersa is also producing a new line of handguns called the Bersa BP9 CC. From what I have read these are a great new reliable concealed carry handgun that won’t break the bank at around $370.00 retail.

4.) Smith & Wesson SD Series:

  • The S&W SD series is the budget line of semi-automatic pistols from Smith & Wesson.  I like to think of these guns as newer and improved versions of the old S&W Sigma series of pistols.
  • MSRP is $379.00
  • The guns can be had in 9mm and .40 S&W.
  • They have newer and improved styling than the Sigma, and have been more styled to look like the new M&P line of pistols.
  • I have had the chance to work with the .40 S&W version and found it to be very reliable, accurate and well made.

5.) Kel-Tec PF-9:

  • MSRP of $333.00 for the blued version.
  • Chambered in 9mm Parabellum, I have heard some great things about the PF-9.
  • It is a single stack design, holding 7 + 1 rounds of 9mm ammunition.
  • +P ammunition can be used sparingly.


  • Thank you to all the listeners for your great feedback and e-mails! I love having discussions with you all and I learn something new every time I correspond with you!
  • Please email me with your FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) at the Contact page on the Handgun Radio website or at ryan@handgunradio.com
  • Check us out on Stitcher Radio!
  • In addition to the FAQ’s e-mail, I’d like to do an upcoming episode on 1911’s.  I have had limited experience with the different brands available, so if you own a 1911 or have tried several different brands, send me an email and let me know your impressions of the brand and some of the experiences you have had, good & bad, with the various 1911’s that are offered.
  • Please leave the show a written review on iTunes! It really helps our rating amongst the iTunes podcasts and helps our visibility.

Thanks for listening and SAFE SHOOTING!!!!!