While I’m no predictor of economics or politics – having been wrong about such things all my life – I can only say that people who are fiscally challenged often have to make-do with “value priced” goods.
I try not to say “cheap,” or “junk” like I would have years ago. Part of the reason is that, as long as the tool fits the job and does the job, it doesn’t matter what it cost. While “you get what you pay for” is mostly true, there are times that the lower-priced options are plenty.
There are other times it ain’t good enough.
In terms of current handguns, modern manufacturing has made many of them more reliable for longer use than the previously hand-fitted jobs. They may not look as nice but they often tend to run very well.
Image from SIG-SAUER.
For example, I’ve not had experience with the SIG P2022, but I know people who’ve run classes with these guns and their analogs; the results were rather remarkable in terms of function and reliability. A nationally known instructor said, “As far as SIG, the P2022 is one of the best kept secrets in their line. After a week of shooting it overseas, I found it shoots good, it’s reliable.”
That’s good information.
SIG Sauer Model number E2022-9-BSS is a 9mm pistol with a 3.9” barrel, traditional double-action (DA/SA), with a polymer frame, stainless steel slide finished in “Nitron,” and it arrives with two 15-round magazines and SIGLITE Night Sights. The fashionable accessory rail, this one in M1913 form, is part of the dust cover. A 29-ounce pistol, it’s easy to carry.
Consider also the Ruger Security-9. A 15-shot 9mm with a four-inch barrel, arguably the best format for a self-defense pistol, they produced a decent fighting pistol (or recreational gun) at a low price point.
The Security-9 is hammer-fired, has features to appeal to the new shooter and to the experienced gunny who’d like a low-cost alternative.
In my experience, the Ruger Security-9 works well with most ammunition, it’s reasonably accurate with some loads and it’s a lot of fun to shoot. It fits into the envelope containing the most popular service/compact size centerfire pistol available, comes in at a lower price and it seems to fit a lot of different holsters that are already out there.
The original SD9 (top) had a blackened slide, tritium-powered front sight. The SD9VE is as good, better trigger than the original, without the night sight. Below, the SD9 worked well on the FBI-Instructor bullseye course.
S&W makes a serious pistol at a low cost, their SD-series pistols. Not to be confused with the “SW9VE,” the SD9, SD9VE, etc. occupies a line of accurate, well-made low-cost defense guns. The SD9/SD9VE are striker-fired guns. “Legendary Lawman Marshal” Chuck Haggard himself has noted the utility of the SD lines.
I called the SD pistols the “Thinking Shooter’s Self-Defense Gun.” The frame shares a similarity to the S&W Sigma pistol in terms of grip angle, though it feels slimmer. The dustcover rail is of the “universal” format. There are roughened pads in front of the slots for the takedown lever on both sides of the frame.
While sized similar to the Glock 19, a “compact” pistol, the SD9 magazine is sized to hold 16 rounds, a one-round improvement. The magazines tubes are metal. The magazines supplied were bright and shiny as if they’d been nickel plated.
Need a holster? Most holsters that fit the M&P fit this gun. No problem.
Later, we got the Mossberg MC1SC, a micro-size 9mm. What’s good about it? About everything. It’s a 22-ounce (loaded), subcompact, striker-fired polymer frame 9mm pistol. The glass-reinforced polymer frame is solid and features palm swells and a distinctive grip angle. The magazine release is reversible and the frame has a unique texture. The slide is constructed of stainless steel with “Diamond-Like Carbon Coating” for a finish – the 3.4” stainless steel barrel has the same finish. The slide serrations are described as “multi-angle,” a good description.
The “Safe Takedown System” simply features a special striker cover plate (a patent-pending design used under license from Strike Industries) that you can easily remove and replace, allowing access to the striker. Remove it, the striker and the slide can be moved forward off the frame. You don’t have to pull the flat-profile trigger – another interesting selection – to disassemble the piece.
Writer/cop Jeremy Stafford shot the LAPD Bonus Course, scoring “expert” with the tiny pistol. Well done – and not easy. I actually fired the Mossberg better in some tests than more expensive guns and that says something for the human engineering of the piece.
The gun scores high in handling, accuracy – due in part to trigger and sights -- and overall build quality. There’s cross-compatibility with holsters and magazines for the products of other makers, giving the Mossberg MC1SC a great deal of weight in the subcompact defense pistol market. Simply stated, it’s a nice heater.
While there are others, I have experience with all of these except the SIG – and I have reliable information on that one. Are there others just as good?
No doubt. These are the ones that first leapt to mind.
-- Rich Grassi