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  1. #1
    hfl73 is offline Junior Member
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    Suggestions for a good range gun

    I am somewhat new to handguns and currently have a 9mm Smith and Wesson model 3913 gun for concealed carry. I would like some information on what makes a good range gun? I really enjoy shooting weekly and am looking for something in the 9mm format to keep ammo costs down. Any suggestions on makes and models would be appreciated.

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  3. #2
    James NM's Avatar
    James NM is offline Senior Member
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    The perfect complement to your 3913 (an excellent carry gun by the way) would be a 59 series S&W, specifically the 3rd generation 5906.

    It's heavy enough to make it pleasant to shoot, has the same manual of arms as your 3913, and can be found very reasonably priced. Try CDNN.

  4. #3
    gilfo is offline Member
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    Have to say a CZ maybe a SP01 or any 75 variant. I love my SP01, very accurate and a pleasure to shoot.

  5. #4
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    For a normally-priced gun, I concur with James NM. If you can swing the bucks, though, this is a sweet pistol: http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...-1&isFirearm=Y.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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    All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

  6. #5
    Baldy's Avatar
    Baldy is offline Senior Member
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    If you want a nice S&W that will not break the bank you might look at the M&P 9. I have one that I use for the range and home defense and I like it real well.


  7. #6
    Wyatt's Avatar
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    Just a thought, but since you already have a 9mm for defense and are looking for a range gun in low price caliber, why not look into a .22? They can be a hoot to target shoot with. And the cost of the gun doesn't have to be very much either.

  8. #7
    jmg's Avatar
    jmg
    jmg is offline Junior Member
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    The Taurus PT 92 would make a good choice.
    Everybody seem to have a good feeling about this gun.
    And the money you would save could be spent in ammos.

  9. #8
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    +1 on the .22

    A .22 will let you refine your skills with the minimum cost per round out there. You can shoot and shoot the thing and not go broke. I have a Ruger 22/45 which mimics the grip angle and controls of a 1911. Accurate as all get out and great when you take a beginner to the range with you as well. Holes in the target not near as big, but a lot of bang for the buck!

  10. #9
    Black Metal's Avatar
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    For fun cost and accuracy its hard to beat a good s/a .22

  11. #10
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    BeefyBeefo is offline Senior Member
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    I agree with many of the above, that a .22 would make a great choice. My Mark II is a ton of fun to shoot and definitely doesn't break the bank.

    -Jeff-

  12. #11
    unpecador's Avatar
    unpecador is offline Senior Member HGF Gold Member
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    I think I'm going to dissent from the majority and say stick with 9mm. Even if it's only for range use, it is fun as you probably already know but it can a challenge as well, and too me that is fun. The ammo is not all that expensive and it wouldn't hurt to have another gun with adequate power for self defense if needed.

  13. #12
    Bob Wright's Avatar
    Bob Wright is offline Senior Member
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    Is this indoors, or outdoors?

    If you like privacy, a good range gun is one of the replica blackpowder revolvers. Relatively low priced, ammunition is economical.

    And, the smoke and stench of blackpowder usually is enough to run off most die-hard shooters. But beware that it will also likely draw other blackpowder enthusiasts.

    But, if you're really serious, and don't reload, a good used Smith in .38 Special would be a good choice. Remanufactured .38 ammo is pretty cheap, recoil is non-existant, almost, and accuracy is usually very good. A .22 R.F. is fine, but a .38, or better yet, a .357 Magnum, will prove to be more useful.

    Bob Wright

  14. #13
    hfl73 is offline Junior Member
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    What draws me most to this forum is the amount one can learn and the good advice you all willingly give and you have not let me down. I have considered many of the handguns you have suggested. Now it's just a matter of narrowing the choices. I already own a Browning Buckmark and have found it has helped me improve my shooting quite a bit. When I submitted the question I should have been more precise as to what I was looking for and that was the higher caliber 9mm. I mainly shoot indoors because I live in upstate NY. I really like to shoot and wanted to expand my collection to include a handgun besides my CCW for range use. Thanks for all your help.

  15. #14
    Wyatt's Avatar
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    OK then, 9mm it is.

    Back to the original post of what makes a good range gun. For me some of the same attributes that make a good defense gun are obvious, such as reliability and accuracy. Though the range is not a life or death situation, "failure to's" are a pain in the keester in any event. As carry/concealability isn't a concern then a bigger gun with a longer barrel would likely provide better accuracy and be softer shooting as well. And since hopefully you are using the range more than you are defending your life, then ease of breakdown and cleaning may be a factor to consider. Lastly, because for range work you may decide to go with cheaper ammo or what's on sale that week, a gun with a reputation for cycling most everything and not being finicky about what it is fed is a plus. These are some of the things I'd consider in what makes a good range gun.

    As for suggestions, certainly there are numerous makes/models that fit these parameters. The gun I own (Beretta 92FS) certainly does. Taurus makes a version of this gun as well for less money. Can't vouch for the Taurus but I've heard some good things about it.
    Last edited by Wyatt; 09-05-2008 at 03:47 PM. Reason: grammar

  16. #15
    unpecador's Avatar
    unpecador is offline Senior Member HGF Gold Member
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    Yeah what Wyatt said.

    I may be reaching out on a limb here but every time I go the range I have a tendency to consider it a life or death situation "so to speak". Now I know what you are referring to but at any time somebody can make a mistake and send a bullet flying in any direction. I know it's improbable but I can't help to feel uncomfortable around certain shooters, especially giggling girls who barely know how to hold a gun. Still, anytime I am around people who are shooting guns, loading mags, racking slides, I always try to stay aware of what's going on around me. Sometimes some people seem to be having too much fun as if they are kids playing with toys.

    Anyways, I like your post, please don't take offense by mine.

  17. #16
    Wyatt's Avatar
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    None taken my friend, as I too keep the eyes in the back of my head wide open when I'm at the range.

    Remember this thread?:

    Gun Etiquette

  18. #17
    JeffWard's Avatar
    JeffWard is offline Senior Member
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    XD9 Tactical....

    5" barrel/sight radius for accuracy.
    Minimal recoil (especially with a tungston guide rod...)
    Good trigger, right out of the box
    Availible everywhere, and under/around $500 if you shop 'em.

    My biased 2 cents.

    JW

  19. #18
    unpecador's Avatar
    unpecador is offline Senior Member HGF Gold Member
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    I'll chime in specifically with a CZ P-01, also in the $500 range, excellent grip ergonomics, and smooth trigger, just put some muscle into that little bitch of a slide and you'll have yourself an excellent shooter.

    Buyer beware, the P-01 is always hungry and will eat whatever you feed it, and fast!

  20. #19
    Big_Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffWard View Post

    5" barrel/sight radius for accuracy.
    Minimal recoil
    Good trigger, right out of the box
    Availible everywhere, and under/around $500 if you shop 'em.

    JW
    Sounds just like my Beretta 92, Thats what I'm going to for range fun to go along with my 3913 carry gun.

  21. #20
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    There are so many 9mm out there..Good ones too. The 3rd gen Smiths are pretty nice. Sig Sauers are great. Those long slide Taurus 24/7's look to be pretty nice..I've not shot one but that long slide always gets my attention..heh.

    GEt your hands on as many as you can and see what fits best. You'll know when you hold it. I always get that "lovin' feelin' when I pick up the "one"

  22. #21
    JONSCH's Avatar
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    get an HK with adjustable sights. these things are so accurate, durable, and reliable. thats why they cost more

  23. #22
    Bisley's Avatar
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    I have a CZ-75B in 9mm, and the Kadet .22 conversion kit for it. It is an almost perfect practice combo. The 9mm is capable of 2" groups at 25 yards, from the factory, and the .22 is also very accurate. It is an all steel gun with a ~5" barrel, and can be operated from the cocked and locked position, like a 1911, or fired double-action (first shot) like other popular self-defense handguns. Mine (in 9mm) has never even 'burped,' after a couple thousand rounds of the cheapest ammo I can find, or with premium JHP's.

    I typically take several handguns to the range and fire as many rounds as I can afford in the center fire calibers. Then, I finish up by sticking the .22 slide on the CZ (takes 30 seconds) and shooting bulk pack .22 ammo until my hands start cramping from loading magazines. It's a great way to get lots of repetition.

    The CZ is a very fine pistol at a fair price, about $450, plus ~$250 if you want to add the .22 conversion kit.

  24. #23
    Mike_E's Avatar
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    My preference for a good range gun are the SIG P226 and the Beretta 92FS. Both are easy to shoot, reliable, and accurate.

  25. #24
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bisley View Post
    I have a CZ-75B in 9mm, and the Kadet .22 conversion kit for it. It is an almost perfect practice combo. The 9mm is capable of 2" groups at 25 yards, from the factory, and the .22 is also very accurate. It is an all steel gun with a ~5" barrel, and can be operated from the cocked and locked position, like a 1911, or fired double-action (first shot) like other popular self-defense handguns. Mine (in 9mm) has never even 'burped,' after a couple thousand rounds of the cheapest ammo I can find, or with premium JHP's.
    I have a CZ 85Combat, which is essentially the same as your 75. It is probably the most accurate of my nines, which is saying a lot when you consider how many I have. I've been thinking about the conversion kit too -- can you mention something about the reliability and method of changeover? I would imagine that changing would be a simple matter of switching parts, but I've never used a conversion kit before.

    thanks,
    PhilR.

  26. #25
    Bisley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilR. View Post
    ...I would imagine that changing would be a simple matter of switching parts, but I've never used a conversion kit before.
    It's almost as simple as removing the 9mm slide, and replacing it with the .22 slide, but not quite. The Kadet kit comes with clear instructions on how to fit it to the frame, and anybody can do it. There are three points on the .22 slide that may need to be fitted to the frame. It comes from the factory with these points slightly over-sized, so that each one can be fitted perfectly to each individual gun. CZ could have easily manufactured it 'loose,' so that it would have fit any of their guns without requiring any fitting at all, but it is a credit to their craftsmanship standards that they instead make it possible for the user to keep those tight tolerances that make for a more accurate handgun.

    All you need is a medium grit knife sharpening stone and five or ten minutes of your time to do a perfect job. You simply remove a very small amount of metal material from one major point, until the slide will fit on the frame. Once it fits well enough that you can get the pin in to lock the slide on, you just work the slide back and forth a few times to determine if it is dragging on the other two points. If so, apply a drop of oil to the slide rails and work it some more. If it's still too tight, hit those other two points very lightly with the stone. You want to leave it as tight as you can and still have it function, and then break it in like any new, tight tolerance gun. If you get carried away and remove too much metal, it will still work, but may be slightly less accurate than it would have been with tighter tolerances.

    In my case, I left it very tight, and carried the stone with me to the range, in case it was jamming too much. In fact, it worked perfectly the first time, and has worked well ever since. Mine will occasionally fail to feed a Federal hollow point, from a Walmart 550 bulk pack, but it devours the cheap Remington stuff in HP or round nose.

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