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Cheap gun reviews

This is a discussion on Cheap gun reviews within the Pistols & Revolvers forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I have found a "niche" use for cheap guns, as high volume shooters, i.e. "range beaters" and just guns to carry where I don't want ...


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Old March 13th, 2010, 11:26 AM   #1
 
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Cheap gun reviews

I have found a "niche" use for cheap guns, as high volume shooters, i.e. "range beaters" and just guns to carry where I don't want to risk dropping a nice GP100 into a creek or onto a rocky hillside. (also after a mishap where I ruined the looks of a nice 1860 Army repro by falling on it)

I have tried:

Armscor M200 4" .38 - Worked OK out of the box, got it for $230 new. Very accurate, but after 100 or so rounds the action got "hinky". Either I got a lemon or these are a "strikeout" for a decent, cheap gun. I am sending it to Armscor's Pahrump, Nevada service center as they instructed after I emailed them saying I had problems with it. They assured me I just got a "piece that slipped by QC" and they would fix it free, so for $20 shipping I'll give it a shot to see if this can evolve into a decent gun. I may get lucky and they'll rebuild it or even send me a replacement gun, since the hammer took a chunk out of the frame where the sideplate and frame meet, there was a "ledge" there and the hammer caught it.

EAA Zastava M88- basically a Tokarev compact 9mm, for under $300 it's a very nice gun. I'm trying to tap the pins out that hold the mag block in place so I can use standard Tok mags but they look to be machine pressed in place! One of the few bargains out there for a nice auto for under $300, should have a good service life.

Taurus M83- I have an older one that is solid, got it for $175 used and reportedly the older ones are the "better" ones from Taurus.

Would like to know about-

EAA Windicator .357 revolver- Made by Wiehrauch of Germany, I wouldn't go for their alloy frame .38 but the .357's are all steel. These are like $250 new, and are available in 2" or 4" barrels.

EAA Witness- Looks like a solid CZ-75 clone

Arcus 9mm- A Bulgarian DA sort of Hi Power clone



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Old March 13th, 2010, 11:36 AM   #2
 
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I shot a friends EAA Windcator in .357 mag... well I can say it is not a bad looking gun. But the guns action I guess you get what you pay for!!! But I thought this gun was a POS!! I think what you mention though if you can find a older Taurus Revolver they are fairly good quality much better then the newer Taurus revolvers currently offered on the market!!! My 2 cents worth!!!
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Old March 13th, 2010, 01:59 PM   #3
 
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I have an EEA Witness in 10mm. It is a great shooter and seems to be a quality pistol.

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Old March 13th, 2010, 02:10 PM   #4
 
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I think we met on another thread but thats ok.
Ive given a few reports on this revolver before. I own a EAA Windicator 4'' .357 steel frame its been a reliable and strong firearm and works fine for what is was designed for. While it is not polished and tuned like a Smith or built like a Ruger or as well known as Colt it handels .38 and 357 just fine ,but it seems to be a gun suited for .38's . The trigger is crude, and heavy ( a trigger job is a must for this gun.) The finish seems durable but poorly applied. The grip is comfortable and alows good control of the weapon. The Sites are fixed and will get you on target .
My need for a ( back up) house gun in a revolver prompted my purchase for the Windicator.
My wife can not pull a slide on a auto so for her it had to be a 38 revolver . After looking at several other models like Armscor, Charter and Rossi i decided on the Windicator it was not a clear winner on all the factors ,but definitly a gun for a niche. I have fired just over 200 rounds with only one issue, (the cylinder would sometimes stick when trying to release it after a few rounds i figured out if you use your right thumb to push on it, it pops right out ) more of a quirk then a flaw.
To sum it up :
For an inexpensive house, truck, boat gun or an occasional trip to the range it will fit that niche.
If you want a revolver to shoot ALOT! Buy a Ruger or a Smith, leave the Windicator home & load it with gold dot .



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Old March 13th, 2010, 05:04 PM   #5
 
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Why not just buy a used Security-Six? Only a GP100/Redhawk is stronger, and SS's can be had all day for $300 or less if you shop right.

Another good choice would be a police trade-in S&W Model 10 in .38 Special. Those guns hardly see any use these days--usually in pristine condition, and also for under $300.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 09:03 PM   #6
 
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yes

Oh yeah, I already have many Ruger DA's and also a pretty good number of Smiths. I did get a good deal on a shooter-grade S&W 10-10 for $200 total, well worn but still a lifetime of use left in it.

I am just an "obsessive" firearm accumulator and I like to have lots of variety in my collection. If there's a type or brand of pistol or revolver I don't have I can't resist but to try one out. I did this with the Armscor and it was kind of a $230 reminder that you truly do get what you pay for. Hopefully they can at least work the bugs out of it so I can get some kind of use out of it.

The Windicator seems pretty decent, in it's .357 form as an occasional .38 shooter with the bulk, dirty BVAC ammo bulk packs that I buy. It leaves blackpowder-like carbon and never really cleans off, but I can get it for $8 a box so this is where the "cheap range guns" come in, so I don't have a nice Ruger Speed Six with nearly permanent black carbon burns on the sides of the barrel, frame and inside the topstrap.

I am the kind of guy that even though I have a real Hi-Power, CZ-85 and everything else, I will still buy a "clone" just to check it out and compare it to the genuine article. I figure best case scenario I have another good gun to shoot lots of cheap steel case ammo through, worst case I take the loss and trade or sell it off to someone looking for a boat gun or something.

I looked into getting a Zastava .357 revolver, just because it looked different and has a kind of S&W/Colt hybrid clone but I read a review from a guy in Serbia who ahd one and said the barrels wear out quickly because they aren't made for "heavy use" so I crossed that one off my list.
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Old March 14th, 2010, 08:19 AM   #7
 
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I'm looking for something in 357 that's not to costly .
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Old March 15th, 2010, 04:19 PM   #8
 
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Cheap

Get the "serious" guns first, in other words if you need a .357 for home defense or carry get a GP100 or a Six.

Once I built up a solid "stable" of good quality guns I started "playing" with the cheaper stuff. I've been known to pick up a used $50 Bryco 9mm and just see how long it takes to shoot itself into uselessness! It makes me appreciate the well made stuff even more, to see some of thee utter junk out there that somehow passes for a working firearm.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 05:27 PM   #9
 
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I have two Witness pistols, a .40 and a .45. Both are solid dependable handguns, and I would buy more of them without hesitation.

I also recently purchased a Bersa Thunder 9. They sell new for $340.00, and are very nice hi cap pistols. I understand the Buenos Aries police use them as a duty weapon. i bought mine used for $275.00, and so far, so good.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 07:07 AM   #10
 
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Cheap vs. Inexpensive

I have learned there's a difference between "cheap" guns vs. a solid "inexpensive" gun.

I have heard a lot of good reviews on the Bersa pistols, I have never heard of the Thunder 9, but their .380 "PPK inspired" pistol gets solid reviews. A lot of Spanish made guns are very solid, there are a lot of good buys on the surplus stuff too. I have a Star Super B in 9mm Largo and apart from an oddball round it's a very good gun. I have been looking for a full size B in 9mm Para but they are harder to find. I'm not a fan of compact autos and so have passed on several of the "commander" sized Star's in 9x19. Llama also appears to have made some good pistols based on the 1911 design.

Of course, Ruger pistols can be found for some great deals so it's hard to beat a $250 used P89, I think for quality and durability there's not much better out there.

S&W's Sigma sells for $350 or so NIB, and I have seen used examples for $200, when I see anything new by S&W for under $400 I always ask "what's the catch?" I do not own a Sigma, but have heard neither bad or good things about them. They seem to me, to be S&W's "base model"civilian auto pistol. I don't really see any turn up as "PD trade ins" like I did all the 5906's that recently appeared on the used market.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 10:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stantheman86 View Post
I have learned there's a difference between "cheap" guns vs. a solid "inexpensive" gun.

Of course, Ruger pistols can be found for some great deals so it's hard to beat a $250 used P89, I think for quality and durability there's not much better out there.

S&W's Sigma sells for $350 or so NIB, and I have seen used examples for $200, when I see anything new by S&W for under $400 I always ask "what's the catch?" I do not own a Sigma, but have heard neither bad or good things about them. They seem to me, to be S&W's "base model"civilian auto pistol. I don't really see any turn up as "PD trade ins" like I did all the 5906's that recently appeared on the used market.
I have a buddy at work who has had both he kept the Bersa Thunder and got rid of the S&W Sigma.Sorry I just don't like the Sigma and sorry to say it reminds me alot of the SR9 I guess its something about plastic triggers and bunches of recalls that steer me away...plus being 9mm.We took 'em to the range and he said his hand/finger got tired from shooting DAO.You are right there is a difference between "cheap" and "inexpensive".
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Old March 16th, 2010, 11:15 AM   #12
 
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i own a smith sigma, its an almost glock with IMHO better grip ergo's and a smooth (after stoning the sear a bit) 7.5-8 lb trigger pull similar to a smith revolver. i like it but like my 1911's better. makes a great truck gun though, cheap and goes bang every time and eats any thing i feed it. the original would take a G19 slide no prob, after the law suit smith had to redesign it slightly but if you look inside the two side by side there are only slight differences in sizes and dimentions. the old ones were full of problems but the newer VE models are reliable and i trust my life with it.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 02:39 PM   #13
 
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Inexpensive

As a huge fan of my CZ-85, I am liking the looks of those Witness pistols. I might have to pick up an all-steel full size in 9mm, not too sure about the poly frame ones.

I love to explain to new or uninformed shooters, that are like "Rugers are cheap guns" and I'm like no, they just cost less because they save production costs on crap you don't need as a shooter, like fine polishing and hand fitted forged parts like S&W USED to do. Ruger mastered the art of the casting process, and made a stronger, more durable gun and passed the savings on to the buyer. Then I tell them S&W has done the same thing, cutting costs with MIM parts but still wants $800 for a new revolver so I guess they pass the savings on to themselves!

The Springfield XD's seem like a solid deal for a semi pistol, possibly because they can be made with lower overhead in Croatia, sold for a lower price point here in the US and apparently these sell like hotcakes. Just about everyone I talk to at my little range, or at gun shops has some flavor of XD, I just never had a reason to buy one but now, I would buy one used in 9mm just to play around with. Since I have my CZ85 and Glock 17 I don't really seek out 9mm's that much these days and pretty much all my gun buying cash has gone into seeking out different Ruger and S&W wheelguns.

I just saw the newer Armscor 1911 "A2" 13 round hi-cap....seems the retail price is about $500 for these, wow I remember seeing the plain jane single stack Armscors for $350 NIB at gun shows.....plus I'll have to wait to see how my M200 revolver repair situation turns out before I trust another Armscor-Rock Island product. My new to me-used P90 is kind of my new "shooter" .45 so I have no need for another "range toy" in .45 right now. As in my above posts, sometimes I have some cash burning a hole in my pocket for a new "range blaster" and reportedly Armscor does much better with their 1911's than their revolvers.

Last edited by stantheman86; March 16th, 2010 at 07:22 PM.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 05:11 AM   #14
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I just got me an Armscor built "High-Standard Compact Crusader", for a inexpensive gun it is pretty sweet...
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Old March 17th, 2010, 05:45 AM   #15
 
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I'm no gun snob by any means. But I will say, that EVERY time I've bought a cheaper gun, I've regretted it. Maybe it's just bad luck, maybe you get what you paid for. I do know people that have had good luck with cheap guns, I'm just not one of them.
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