|Gracie Allen is my |
I was talking with someone I've known a long time recently. He'd picked up one of the surplus Beretta 1951s that were making the rounds a bit ago and has really enjoyed it. I concluded at the time that I had the base basically covered with a 9mm P220 EU I'd bought back when they were going for about $450, but have since developed a smidgen of non-buyer's remorse about passing on getting one of the 1951s.
We got to talking about relatively affordable service-type metal framed single-stack 9mm semiautos in general, and had a hard time coming up with comparable pistols that would be available at comparably affordable prices. Reasonably good condition Walther P38s or P1s might be available for about $500-$600 or so, but neither of us could think of anything else.
Can anybody here think of a pistol like that they've seen available used (or, I guess, new) for about $500?
|Fighting the good fight|
There are some lower-end 9mm 5" 1911s out there in the $350-$500 range, new. Brands like Tisas, Armscor, etc.
You'd probably be able to find a Zastava M70A for $500 or less. It's a Yugoslavian Tokarev clone chambered in 9mm. They were like $200 when they were being imported by Century several years back.
You also might be able to find the occasional used S&W 2nd Gen/3rd Gen full-sized single stack 9mm out there for ~$500. Something like a 439/639 or 3904/3906.
But for the most part, you're looking at pre-mid-1980s handgun models for full-sized single-stack 9mms, and that's getting into "vintage/collector" range. Single stack service 9mms practically went the way of the dodo when the double-stack "Wonder Nine" took the LE/mil world by storm in the 1980s; LE/Mil no longer want single stack, and those civilians who don't mind single stack don't want full-sized.
If I had to go with a single stack metal frame 9mm, I'd probably go 1911 or Kahr.
But to add to your service pistol theme of the Walther P1 and Beretta 1951, I might look at a Zastava M88 or Star Model B.
|Not really from Vienna|
Star Model BM
I believe Atlantic Firearms has them for $289 in excellent condition.
|Waiting for Hachiko|
As mentioned by Rogue, the Zastava pistols.
I have a M88A , I bought on sale from AIM for $190.
It's all steel, blued finish, but a good shooter,9mm.
I had mine treated with Ion Bond, some ergonomic grips, hard chromed barrel, and a FO sight for a SA XDs firs it. I bought it hoping to convert it to the Tokarev round, but it didn't work out,
These guns aren't common, would expect them to sell for $295 now.
Smith model 39-1. Should be doable in ur budget if u don't want a beauty queen. Paid 600 for a LNIB example before the current idiocy. I don't know where they sell at now.
A Perpetual Disappointment...
|Slayer of Agapanthus|
S&W 2nd generation and 3rd generation.
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye". The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, pilot and author, lost on mission, July 1944, Med Theatre.
|Gracie Allen is my |
Huh. Well, first off I'll have to admit that we're old(ish) farts; in retrospect we were definitely zoned in on Western European pistols from the latter half of the 20th Century.
Second off, I like Zastava enough that I should've thought about the 70 and 88. I've been waiting for some years for "the next batch of CZ999s", and I guess my thinking about Zastava's pistols kinda dead-ended there. I've shot the M57 before and liked it. If anyone's tried both, is there a significant difference between M70s and M88s?
The 1911 would work, too. I haven't heard any catastrophic stories involving Rock Island Armory's 9mm 1911s, they're definitely the type of gun we were talking about, and at least one online vendor is offering them for under $500.
The Star...can you still get parts and magazines for those?
The Smith and Wessons always appealed to me, but I'd assumed they'd be expensive. When I went looking, the 3906 (which looks like a seriously fun gun to shoot) is nowhere to be found. There are 39s within reasonable range of $500, but weren't the early ones prone to developing a lot of wear pretty quickly?
May be a little small for your "service sized" requirement, but my hands down choice for a metal, single stack 9 is the Sig P225 or P6. May be outside your budget, too. But worth it.
End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
You should be able to find a used Kahr K9 in that range. Outstanding gun, Kahr’s best model, plenty of magazines, parts. Long smooth trigger, like the best DA revolver trigger ever made.
I have always had a thing for single stack metal 9mm’s too (HK P7, Sig P210, Sig P225, Beretta 92 compact variant single stack, Luger, P38), and the K9 is a favorite.
In the $500 range, the only real option for a metal framed service sized single stack 9mm is a 1911. I know Tanners recently had GI style SDS Zigana 1911A1's 5" in 9mm for $349 new in box.
Sometimes, you gotta roll the hard six
Add in the P239
Though, IIRC the 225/P6 was a service pistol, not sure if anyone issued the 229 off the top of my head.
Doubt a P210 could be had for 500
The Enemy's gate is down.
Several things to consider. Parts - not sure if S&W still services 5906/3906. Walther P1s variants have a heel mag release. Cheers
Don't. drink & drive, don't even putt.
|Each post crafted from |
rich Corinthian leather
The single-stack 3rd Gen S&W 3904 / 3906 always appealed to me, and its “Value Line” companion Model 909 even more. I don’t think they were ever nearly as popular as their double-stack cousins. I had a Model 908 for a bit (Value Line variant of the 3914 / 3916 IIRC) and it was a solid pistol.
Just for fun, I searched for the 909 found this…at the stated price of $350, might be worth a try:
As noted by members above, parts and extra magazines might be an issue this far down the line with a model like this.
"The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli." - George Costanza
|Waiting for Hachiko|
OP asked if anyone has the Zastava M57/M70 and M88A.
I do. Recoil is about the same for both guns, even though they are different calibers.Both are slender in width, and easy to conceal with a good holster, although both are on the heavy side compared to polymer guns.
I have 2 M57 pistols, with Marschal grips.The standard grip angle on both the M57 and M88A just doesn't suit me.
The M70 and M88A are fairly drop safe, owing to a safety firing pin block. The Model 57 isn't.
I've only shot hundreds, not thousands, of rounds through the guns, but they've been reliable.
I really like these pistols, Zastava USA has a good customer service and parts record.
There have been many good suggestions on steel frame guns for you, but I believe the all steel single stack auto are becoming a vanishing thing.
|Gracie Allen is my |
I was thinking of something bigger, but thanks for the chance to brag about finding a Nitron 225A1 in beautiful shape for $495 locally a couple of months ago. And, yes, as hopeless as it may be, I still wish they'd come out with a 220/226-sized barrel and slide for that grip frame or that someone would magically figure out how to make the transplant work. If a P365 grip frame and a P365XL upper half is a good idea, my guess is that a 225A1/226 would've been great too.
Ah, but so do some of my favorite SIGs, including the P220 EU.
Thanks for the comparison. I think I may need to move either an M70 or 88A up on the list.
FWIW, aluminum frames are just fine by the 'criteria' of the casual conversation.
O'll go along with arfmel and recommend the Star BM was the Spanish police service pistol steel frame single stack 9mm $500 should bring a nice one home.
Re: Star- can you still get parts for these?
The answer? sort of.
You have to watch on ebay, numrich gun parts and a few others- but you can't get new stuff.
Also, if you go Star- don't dryfire it without a snapcap in it. Long story, but these can break. New ones can be made, but you may have to make them.
I have a Star Model B and my dad has a Model B Super- both in 9mm.
I have star-brand mags. not easy to find and not cheap. Triple-K makes mags but, they are Triple K: Most posts indicate they are hit/miss on mags.
If you aren't after history, I'd go with something like the RIA 1911 in 9mm. Easy to find replacement parts and you can get a much better trigger than on a Star. Star is possible to get a very good one. Yet, if you bugger up the sear, it is not easy to find a good 'new' [to YOU] one to start over. RIA- just drop in a new 1911 ignition kit, and there are a LOT of makers of those.
And, you can get decent mags from $20-40, instead of Star mags starting around $45 and going up.
Sigs and Non-Sigs: I enjoy having options!
|Gracie Allen is my |
I gotta admit that the fact that Star's been out of buisness for so long would make me hesitant to buy one of their pistols. One of the nice things about getting into the P6 when all those police surplus pistols came in is that I was able to stash away magazines and parts so I can keep shooting mine without worrying about having a hard time replacing anything.
Incidentally (and I know I should have asked while TheFrontRange was still around), does anyone know what the differences were between, say, S&W 3906s and 909s? I know the 3906 was stainless steel, but did being an 'economy' model really make the 909 all that inferior to it or the 39?
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