By David B. Freeman
I look for opportunities to buy new guns at the right price, either on sale or deeply discounted. To me that’s like putting money into hard assets rather than a low-interest savings account. It seems that no matter how bad the economy gets, you can always turn a good gun into cash..
I’ve now reached a comfortable level of handguns to have on hand, with the exception that I’d still like to get a good 22 caliber revolver. My preference would be a High Standard Double Nine, but I’ve not been successful in locating one of those yet.
Not counting the Bersa Thunder .380, which I have as a pocket gun or easily carried BUG (back-up gun), I’ve settled on two each in 9mm, 40 S&W and 45 ACP. This gives me a great variety of shooting experience, guns to loan when appropriate, and guns to have on hand “just in case.”
The two 9mms are a Beretta PX-4 Storm, which is my sweetest shooting pistol, and a SIG Sauer SP2022. It’s the second SP2022 I’ve owned. The first was DAO, which was a very safe and reliable carry gun, but not much fun at the range for just playing around. It did come with Trijicon night sights, which I really liked, and my newest one doesn’t have those. But it is a DA/SA and Academy Sports was running a sale that provided another opportunity to get a SIG and a very decent price. Both of my 9mm pistols perform consistently and reliably and are accurate and both are fun to shoot. The PX-4 is a little easier on the hand and I sometimes loan it to one of my CHL students who doesn’t have his or her own gun.
I took advantage of two excellent buys for my 40s. The first was a Taurus 24/7 Pro. I already have a Taurus 24/7 Pro in 45 caliber and I’ve owned a 9mm previously. The Taurus Semi-Automatics sometimes get a bad rap, I guess because they’re reasonably priced and apparently a few years back Taurus had some customer service issues. I’ve owned a number of Taurus firearms and I’ve found them to be better shooters than some much higher priced guns and have had no reliability issues. I did have some ammo feeding problems early on with my .45 but that was resolved with a little ramp polishing and a better choice of ammo. No problems at all in the last 400-500 rounds.
Cheaper Than Dirt (not the website, but the store here in Fort Worth) ran a $299 special on the Taurus 24/7s and I picked up one in 40 caliber just to put on the shelf. It will hold its value at that price better than money in the bank.
I bought the FNP direct from FN Herstal under their NRA Instructor special purchase program. It came at a nice discount, with no tax or shipping and the model I got was a little better than the model they promised. It arrived at my FFL less than two weeks after ordering it, also, which is also a plus.
As far as the 45s go, I’ve already written a bunch about the Taurus 24/7, so let’s go to the XD. I wrote some about it in an previous blog entry, so won’t go into detail here, except to say it continues to make me look good. I’ve never shot a more accurate pistol at distances of 15 yards or less, and never a blip as far as reliability goes, even with some cheap ammo. Now that Hornady makes it’s Critical Defense ammo in 45 caliber, that’s what I’m using. Here are the pictures:
Update April 15, 2011
The nice thing about having a gun collection (singular) as opposed to guns (plural) is that with a gun collection there is no reason to explain why guns go in and out of a collection. There have been some changes since this article was written. The two 40s are gone, replaced by a Sig Sauer P226 Elite. The P226 alternates with my XDm 45 as my daily carry gun. Jerry now has the 45 caliber Taurus 24/7. A new 9mm has been added to the collection–a Taurus 24/7 Compact.