Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Self Defense on a Budget

The P89

I went out shooting with a friend of a friend who let me shoot his Ruger P89 9mm. What shocked me is that he claimed he bought it second hand for $250! After a little research, I found the darn things for just over $380 new. Ruger lists this particular model as "discontinued", but they can still be had new for cheap, and second hand for a song. Even better, they shoot straight and have a reputation for anvil-like reliability.

I've shot the P-90 .45ACP a few times, and put a number of rounds through the P98 9mm. Both were DA/SA triggers with a decocker safety. The DA pull was heavy, but smooth. Not bad, and certainly more than I expected in a "cheap" autoloader. The SA pull had a long take-up (like a two-stage trigger) but broke light and clean. Both were accurate. I shot the 9mm at 30 yards and kept all 10 rounds in about 6" standing unsupported. Pretty respectable, and I was clearly the limiting factor in the "test".

The KP345

So what? Well, Ruger pistols are built like tanks. Sure, they're a little clunky, and if you're tall and skinny like me, they're hard to conceal. However, if you want a defensive piece, or just a fun "full size" plinker but don't have much cash, you should look at the Ruger P-series. They can be had in 9mm, 40 S&W, and 45ACP. Even newer models like the KP345 can be had for about $450 new. No need to sacrifice quality to save money.

A lot of folks who are new to shooting tend to go cheap on their first purchase or two. Fine, if you're getting a range toy. Not fine if you're going to stake your life on it. I've been asked a lot lately what pistol a guy can get into for not much money. I can recommend the Ruger P-series with a clean conscience. If you're lookin' but strapped for cash, look no further.

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