Well, there's always the Smith&Wesson metal frame pistols, but I think you're on the right track with the CZ line.
I'm looking to buy my second handgun. I currently only have a Smith M&P 9. Now I want a SA/DA semi-auto with an all metal frame and an exposed hammer. I want a 9mm for keeping the cost of range trips down. I had pretty much decided on the CZ 75, but I wanted to throw an open question out there for any other recommendations/opinions on reliable steel framed 9's around the $500-650 range. I'm a lefty as well, so ambi controls are a bonus.
Almost forgot, check out this thread: An ALL metal 9mm photo thread. For Further ideas, something that comes to mind is the Stoeger Cougar Formerly made by Beretta, as well as the Beretta line, you should be able to get a 92FS in your price range, although I think I'd rather have a CZ.
ETA: I checked the Cali. Approved guns and the Stoeger Cougar is not approved. Sorry.
pick up a CPO sig (red box factory re-furbish) if ya can find one
...of course, that's not all steel, but all metal!
I agree, CZ is one to look at for quality. I'd recommend an used LEO trade-in SigSauer P228 or P229. I purchased a P229, 9mm for $500.00. They may look dirty, but cop guns are reliable and normally only shot for qualification scores.
Here what I have in the all metal / exposed hammer / DA/SA category:
1. CZ 75 SP01 tactical (but any CZ 75 or 85 have the same platform and the same general feel and quality)
2. SIG P226
3. Beretta 92FS
These are all full size handguns and I love them all..Do your pick within your budget. You will find the CZ75 and the Beretta 92FS new in a box within your posted budget easily. As for the SIG, you will be looking at a certified pre-owned..SIGS are very reliable but, it will not be new..just my 2 cents..you are the judge from there on.
You would not go wrong with a CZ or one of the CZ clones such as the Tanfoglio (EAA Witness) or the Baby Eagle. I own a CZ 75B in 9mm and a Witness Match 45, and I could not be more satisfied with either.
Beretta 92fs or Cougar (also look at the Stoeger Cougar)
Jericho 941 (aka Baby Eagle)
CPO SIG's are great, I would go with a P225 (aka P6) P226 P228 or P229
you should check out taurus, if you find an older PT92 AF , they are metal frame, beretta 92 style, dead accurate too, run around $250-$300 used, not a bad weapon
The Browning Hi-power is a good choice in a metal frame 9mm. It was one of the first wonder nines, and is still a damn good pistol .
I recently agonized over the same dilema, so I'll throw in my two cents worth. I had narrowed the selection down to the Sig P-239 and the CZ P-01. After handling the 239 and the P-07 (nearest model to the -01 that I could find in my area) I think both are excellent choices and I'm sure I'll end up with both eventually. The Sig has a great feel, but when I picked up that CZ, it was love at first sight. It felt like an extention of my own hand, it fit and pointed so well. So. . . .for me the choice is the P-01 in 9mm with the Kadet .22 conversion so I can blast away without destroying my ammo budget too quickly. Then, when the budget allows, the CT grips and Trijicon night sights, just to make things perfect. LOL
IF the size and heft of the 3rd Generation 5906 is not to much for you I'd say you'd be hard pressed to find a better choice within your requirements.
For me the 5906 is too large for practical cc, but it is my choice for my "bump in the night" home defense pistol Add a set of Crimson Trace Lasergrips and you wind up with a pistol that is absolutely reliable (JOB1), offers 15+1 rds of 9MM ammo, and offers low recoil.
My wife is 65, only 5' tall, and she loves shooting the 5906 because of the low recoil, and the accuracy at any respectful self defense distance offered by the Crimson Trace Lasergrips.
Don't know how much you'd pay for one now, but last year I bought one for $399.99 NIB from CDNN.
Just another choice.
I would also go with the CZ. They are just great shooting guns. My favorite CZ I own is the P-01.....wow what a nice weapon.
Thanks everyone for the ideas. I think I've pretty much made up my mind on a CZ. Probably a 75BD.