Sunday, July 19, 2009

What is the best side arm

Note: The haggle price is the best deal you should get from your local dealer.
Best 9mm Pistol
1. CZ 75b: Haggle Price $470-$500
What a shooter. Nice trigger. Never a jam! Over 10,000 rounds and still going strong. The CZ 75b gets better the more you shoot it. After the first 1,000 rounds, it performs like a tuned competition pistol. The accuracy is amazing. Even die hard revolver guys shoot good with this gun. It points like a M1911 and handles like a Hi-Power. If you spend some time shooting the 75b, you will fall in love with it too. I don't think you can do better for under $900. Ditto for the CZ 85b. Could CZ better the 75b platform? Yes; see the awesome CZ SP-01.
CZ Site CZ USA CZ 75b Review
2. FN Herstal FNP-9: Haggle Price $460-$490
Made in USA! The finish and quality of the FN FNP-9 is very good. If you are a Sig pistol fan, you will like this gun. The FNP-9 handles like a P229, only lighter weight. Out to 15 yards, the FNP-9 is very accurate. It has one of the best triggers you will find on a carry pistol. A nice feature for those with small or large hands is you can swap out backstraps. Good gun for your lady. I like the standard DA/SA with no goofy trigger saftey. Feeds any 9mm ammo great, including the greasy Russian stuff. The FNP-9 is one of the best holster guns you can get. Three 16 round mags included! Cops should love this gun. It's a keeper! Same for the Browning Pro.
FNH USA Site FNP-9 Review FNP-9 Article
3. Baby Eagle 9915R: Haggle Price $490-$520
The MRI Baby Eagle is all steel with a 4.52" barrel. Handles just like the CZ 75, but more solid. Very good shooter with a strong heavy feel to it. About 500 rounds for break-in. I love shooting this baby. The good trigger and solid feel makes this the ultimate double-tap pistol. It is as close to the perfect shooter as you can get. The MRI Baby Eagle is a good choice for combat competition. I would have ranked it above the CZ if the exterior finish was better. Overall quality is great. The Baby Eagle is built to last a lifetime. The Isralies sure know how to make fine firearms. Also known as the Jericho 941.
MRI Site Baby Eagle Review (.40 & .45)
4. Beretta 92FS (M9): Haggle Price $520-$550
Great performance on the range. This is a man's pistol. A true warrior that replaced the 45 ACP 1911 service pistol. The Beretta M9-A1 (or 92FS) is the most tested pistol since the M1911-A1. Used by the U.S. Military and thousands of poilce officers. Beretta 92 pistols with over 75,000 rounds have been reported. This solid designed pistol is what replaced so many police revolvers. Nothing shoots better than a well used Beretta 92FS. Allow about 300 rounds for break-in. Good long range pistol. I can hit the 50 yard gong over and over again. Easy to find magazines and holsters for this popular gun. The Italian made ones are tight! Beretta is going to phase out the 92FS. Get one now!
Beretta Site Beretta USA Unofficial Beretta Site

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5. Taurus PT92: Haggle Price $420-$450
The stainless steel model is awesome. This Beretta 92 clone is just as good as the Beretta in every way. Taurus made some good improvements to the Beretta design. Reliably feeds every brand of 9mm ammo including Wolf and Blazers. Allow a few hundred rounds for break-in. Don't pay attention to all the disinformation from Beretta snobs. The PT92 is a very high quality piece! The only thing cheap about the Taurus PT92 is the price. The PT92 must be the best pistol bargain in the industry. Sure is pretty. Same goes for the PT99 with rail. Also see the more compact PT911.
Taurus Website PT92 User Reviews
6. Springfield XD9 5": Haggle Price $490-$520
Feels a little strange at first. After shooting a couple of magazines all was fine. It takes about 500 rounds for the trigger to smooth out. The Springfield XD has just enough weight to be a good shooter at the range or on a combat course. It points like a 1911, and hits everything you point at. Top choice for a special operations tactical pistol. Never any feeding problems. The XD9 really soaks up the felt recoil. The combination grip and trigger saftey feels more secure than other striker fired pistols. If a conservative company like Springfield is going to take a risk with a polymer pistol, it has to be well built. The 4" barrel XD9 shoots almost as good and cost about $10 less. See the 20k torture test.
Springfield Site Nice XD9 range report XD

7. Beretta PX4: Haggle Price $520-$550
The PX4 Storm wins the award for the most pretty pistol. Design, fit and finish is excellent. You can swap out backstraps to make it fit your hand better. It the hand, it points and feels like the perfect pistol. The bigger 92FS is a better long range shooter, but the PX4 is better for carry. Allow about 500 rounds before the trigger smoothes out. I like the common DA/SA as found on most steel guns. With the rotating barrel and poly frame, recoil is almost nothing. It kicks like a .380! My wife just loves this gun. I also had the chance to shoot a PX4 in .40 S&W, and the recoil was only a little bit more. The PX4 Storm is gaining popularity as a cop gun.
PX4 Review PX4 Range Report
8. S&W M&P: Haggle Price $490-$520
This is no Sigma! If you like poly framed guns, this Smith is one of the best shooters. It is accurate as a steel framed pistol. The balance is perfect considering it weighs only 24oz. You can tell it will be a good shooter just by holding it in your hand. The M&P trigger pull is 5.5 pounds, but feels like 3.5. The M&P uses a trigger safety. You have a choice of 3 backstraps so you can tune it to fit your hand just right. Follow-up shots are so quick. The fit and finish is excellent. The M&P would be a top choice as a competition or police carry gun. It looks mean too. Check for rebates on this fine shooter.
S&W Site Good M&P range report
9. CZ 75 P-01: Haggle Price $520-$550
NATO certified! The CZ 75 P-01 is one of the best carry pistols you can get. If you are a police officer looking for a duty pistol that is not plastic, you must try the P-01. The P-01 has a 3.9" barrel, decocker, and is light as many polymer handguns. At only 27.2 ounces, the alloy framed P-01 would make a nice concealed carry, or detective pistol. The trigger reach is closer than the 75b, making a good choice for smaller hands. Excellent trigger. This is the most tested military & police pistol since the Beretta M9. As a metal framed carry pistol, the P-01 is the champ. Ditto for the CZ 75 PCR. The NATO certification is a big deal, as most pistols on the market can't pass the testing! Also see the new CZ P-07 poly framed duty pistol (see 9mm compacts page).
G&A P-01 Test NATO Testing P-01 Review

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10. Glock G19 & G17: Haggle Price $500-$530
I have owned the G17, but it was too big for the light weight and harder to hold on target when you pull the trigger. Others may shoot the G17 just fine. The Glock G19 shoots better at the range for me. The Glock 19 is the lightest pistol on this page. If our top 25 list was for carry guns, the Glock 19 could be the winner. The Glock has a low and strange brick feel, even though performance is very good. Glock has a reputation for durability, plus replacement parts are cheap. This is one of the most popular police carry guns. Glock does have a cult following, and ranking it #10 will upset many. If you want a Glock range champion, spend the extra money for the awesome G34. We owe Glock many thanks for giving us confidence in polymer framed pistols.
Glock Site Glock 19 Review Glock Talk

11. Sig Pro SP2022: Haggle Price $530-$560
Sig Pro prices have come down to the point that it made our list. The quality is first rate. A cool feature is the integral fire control unit that can change the pistol from DA/SA mode to double action only. No break-in needed, as the single action trigger pull is very smooth and just over 4 pounds. You can tune it to fit your hand by swapping out grips. Accuracy is excellent and on par with the FN FNP-9. Recoil is very light. At over 30 ounces, the Sig Pro is heavy for a polymer framed pistol. In fact it weighs more than the CZ P-01 and S&W 910 metal framed pistols. The US military has already had some experience with this pistol. With a decocker and three 15 round mags, it is a good cop gun.
SigArms Site SP2022 Review
12. Baby Eagle Semi-Comp. 9915RSL: Haggle $470-$500
The midsize polymer framed Baby Eagle is a great police carry gun. It has features like double-stack magazine, decocker, tactical rail, and weighs 12 ounces less than the full size Baby. It sure can shoot. I took it to the range with the G19, XD9 4", and SR9. The MR9915RSL has a better trigger than the Glock or Ruger, and shoots tighter groops than the XD. This should have been the poly pistol CZ made. Just like the CZ, It feels good in the hand and points so natural. Poly frame really soaks up the recoil. Zero malfunctions with all ammo tried. It looks real mean and has that high quality feel. I am going to hang on to this one.
Baby Eagle 9915RSL Page

Tactical Pistol Shooting Books - Master Your Weapon!
13. Stoeger Cougar 8000: Haggle Price $370-$400
Beretta replaced the Cougar with the PX4, and moved Cougar production to Turkey. The Cougar 8000 was too good to let die. With lower production cost, You can now get a Cougar for half the price! Allow about 300 rounds for the trigger to smooth out. The accuracy is amazing with the short 3.62" barrel. We are talking 2" groups from a rest at 25 yards! Accuracy is better than many full size pistols. This gun is so tight! The rotating barrel design and great trigger are the reason the Stoeger Cougar 8000 shoots so good. This proven design feeds all types of 9mm ammo just fine. The recoil feels like a .380 ACP. The magazine for this gun holds 15 rounds. Great pistol bargain for concealed carry or duty use.
Stoeger Cougar Site G&A Stoeger Cougar Test
14. Zastava EZ9: Haggle Price $410-$440
What the heck is Zastava? Zastava has been in business 90 years longer than Glock or H&K! Remember the awesome Charles Daly ZDA? The Zastava EZ is pretty much the same gun with minor changes like the 1913 rail. This Sig clone is very high quality and the finish is excellent. The Zastava EZ is a very tight pistol and takes a few hundred rounds to loosen up. The trigger is above average and should get even better with use. Zero ammo problems. The Zastava is very accurate for it's size. So fun to shoot! This is an $850 gun for half the price; making the EZ9 a real bargain. It ranks at #14 because it is that good! Zastava is a quality company that makes long guns for Remington.
Zastava Serbia EAA Zastava EZ9 Page EZ9 (CZ05) Info & Pictures
15. S&W 910: Haggle Price $470-$500
Is this Horatio's gun on CSI Miami? After a few hundred rounds, the S&W 910 is a very good shooter. The 910 is the best bargain of all the S&W pistols. The quality and accuracy is just as good as the $800 S&W 5900 series. Compared to the S&W 5903 performance, the 910 is the same. This is one of those pistols that shoots better when it is about worn out. Excellent Smith & Wesson quality in the fit and finish. Almost compact in size. This metal framed pistol weighs only 28 ounces! What many cops already know, the 910 is a very nice carry pistol. Hogue rubber grips really improve the performance of the 910. Get stainless for only $10 more!
S&W Community

16. Armalite AR-24: Haggle Price $490-$520
Make sure to get 500 rounds through the Armalite AR-24 before passing judgement. The AR-24 is one of the most accurate 25 yard pistols you can buy. I like the grip and smaller feel of the AR-24 better than the Witness or Beretta 92. In your hand it points so good. Good sights. No ammo feeding problems. Good solid gun. I can see myself using it on the combat course. If you blended the best of the Witness Steel and Sig P210 pistols, you would get the AR-24. Sarsilmaz has been making firearms for over 100 years and the quality is excellent! Too expensive for a Turkish made gun? With $8 per day factory labor in Turkey, this gun should sell for less than $400.
Armalite Site Armalite AR-24 Review

17. EAA Witness Steel: Haggle Price $410-$440
Don't be fooled by the low price. This is a very high quality Italian pistol. Decent trigger. Tanfoglio builds world champion competition pistols, and you can feel the performance in the standard Witness Steel. This is a very fine shooter. A well used Witness will hold it's own with custom combat pistols on the range. This is a big pistol as it uses the same frame as the powerful 10mm. Overbuilt indeed! You can convert it to 22LR, 40, 45, 38 Super, or 10mm with a $200 kit. The factory tuned single action Witness "Elite Match" model would have ranked at the top of this list, and it still cost about $500!
EAA Witness Site Article on Witness pistols

18. Ruger SR9: Haggle Price $410-$440
The first SR9 I tested had a heavy and gritty trigger pull. This is the improved SR9 with the Glock type trigger. It is better, but still not perfect. The SR9 could be the ultimate pistol if the trigger was better. The grip is slimmer than a 1911 single stack, even though the magazine holds 17 rounds. It has a thumb safety and tactical rail. It points like a Hi-Power and the sites are first rate. You can tune it to point like a Glock by flipping the backstrap. Accuracy is on par with other striker fired pistols like the XD and M&P. The SR9 feels a little tighter built than other Rugers with no rattles at all. Ammo feeds great. The 6 pound trigger may work just fine for police work.
Guns Mag SR9 Test G&A SR9 Review SR9 with new trigger review
19. Bersa Thunder 9 High Capacity: Haggle Price $350-$380
What a nice shooting pistol! The HC model holds 17 rounds. I can't believe you can buy such a nice pistol for so little money. The Thunder 9 has that expensive pistol feel to it. I did get a few FTE jams with Winchester white box. After break-in, the cheap ammo should feed fine. Premium ammo was no problem. The 4.2" barrel and good trigger provided excellent accuracy. It points and handles like a Smith 5903, but grips smaller. At only 28 ounces, it is a fine carry gun. Team Bersa is making noise in combat contest. The Bersa Thunder is a proven military and police sidearm in South America. A buddy of mine has an older Bersa 9mm with about 3000 trouble free rounds. Lifetime warranty.
Bersa USA Site Bersa Talk
20. Taurus PT911: Haggle Price $420-$450
The PT92 in a nice compact package. The PT911 has a feel all it's own, and it feels very good. When you hold it in your hand, you know it is a quality gun. The Taurus PT911 should be the yardstick of what a good "average" 9mm pistol should be like. It has a decent trigger and is a pretty good shooter on the range. Feeds all 9mm ammo just great. Reliabilty has been reported as excellent. At 28.2 ounces, the PT911 is light enough for concealed carry, but holds 15 rounds. Good wifey pistol. Choose the stainless finish. The PT909 is the same but with accessory rail. The PT917 has a open slide and 19 round magazine. Also see the new PT809b with polymer frame.
21. Taurus 24/7 Pro: Haggle Price $370-$400
The Heine sites are cool. The grips are awesome. The 24/7 I tested two years ago was a jam-o-matic. It looks like Taurus got the problem fixed as there was no malfunctions with 300 rounds fired. I could have ranked it higher on the list, but I made the mistake of taking it to the range with the Taurus PT92. There is no comparison at the range, as the PT92 shoots so much better. I also had a well used FNP-9 on hand to compare. The FNP-9 is close to the same size as the 24/7, but the FN trigger is twice as good. As a budget carry gun, the 24/7 is a good deal. It weighs only 27.2 ounces and holds 17 rounds in the magazine. If you are on a tight budget, the 24/7 is reliable and worth the money.
NRA Golden Bullseye Award

22. Ruger P89: Haggle Price $390-$420
The Ruger P89 is solid and reliable as you can get. Feeds all ammo great. The trigger on the Ruger P89 was OK, but had too much takeup for my taste. After a $100 trigger job, it was perfect for combat or the range. After the trigger work I still had a under $500 pistol that can compete with the CZ and Beretta. Some in my club think the P89 is the best pistol you can get. Rumors are this is the pistol (P85) the U.S. military really wanted before politics got involved. Besides the trigger, my only real complaint is the alloy grip does get slick. The P89 is top quality and worth every penny.
Ruger Site P89 User Reviews

23. EAA Witness Poly 4.5": Haggle Price $370-$400
For the money, it is difficult to get more gun. It has a great trigger and handles more like a steel gun. The poly frame soaks up recoil. At 30 ounces, it is overbuilt for a polymer framed handgun. It comes with top features like high magazine capacity and accessory rail. No funky trigger or switches, as the DA/SA works the same as their steel pistol. This gun is a good shooter. Take it to the range with the Glock or XD9 and you will see how good it is. I am always worried about poly framed guns taking the abuse. It is a big gun. The 9mm uses the same frame as the 45 ACP. If it can handle the hammering of the .45, the 9mm should be fine. It shoots like a top 10 pistol. The Rock Island (Armscor) MAPP is the same pistol!
Tanfoglio Factory Site (See the Force Pro model)
24. Ruger P95: Haggle Price $340-$370
The Ruger P95 shares many of the same internals as the P89. This means the P95 has a mushy trigger. You do get the feel of the trigger after a few mags, then you start shooting good. The bigger P89 shoots better than the P95 at the range mostly because of the longer barrel. I did get a few stove-pipes during the first 200 rounds. Allow time for break-in, then ammo feeds fine. At only 27 ounces the P95 is a very nice carry gun. Look at the cheap price! Can you believe the P95 is made in the USA? I have known a few cops that carry the P95 and just love it.
P95 User Reviews
25. Hi-Point C9 Comp: Haggle Price $150-$180
You know how the Glock feels like your are shooting a brick? The Hi-Point C9 Comp is the brick! It is so top heavy that it feels weird. The C9 can really shoot! The Hi-Point C9 accuracy just blew me away, as it will cut a ragged hole in a target. It doesn't feel so weird anymore. I had to tweek the magazine tabs (bang them on the shooting bench) to get mine to feed good. At this price, it is a good tackle box or truck gun. Over 3000 rounds and still holding up! Rated for +P+ ammo. You know what's really strange? Every time I bring the C9 to the range, everyone wants to shoot it! Reliable made in USA pistol with a lifetime warranty. Great gun for first time shooters as it is simple and reliable. It is a bargain as it shoots like a $500 pistol. I wish hi-cap mags were available.
Hi-Point Firearms ST review (.40 & .45) Hi-Point Forum

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