Originally Posted by Cougar8000
Ok, so as I've mentioned before, I'm a college student, very little income, most of that goes to bills, books, tuition, etc. I love guns and understand that relative to the buying power of the dollar, they're pretty darn cheap historically, all the same, a $1000 1911 or $1500 arsenal would actually equal close to half of my total $ spent on firearms to date. I am not questioning the value and quality of expensive firearms, I have no doubts you get what you pay for, all the same, for those of us on a very limited income, you can find some pretty good deals out there for a lot less.
When I got back from my time abroad in S. America, the first Guns and Ammo magazine I picked up had a great article on the Stoeger Cougar, "A new life for an old cat" I believe. This was 2006, it had the retail at $360 or so and mentioned being able to pick up the gun for under $300 possibly. Now for those of you who don't know, the Stoeger Cougar is a new production run of Beretta Cougars, made on Beretta tooling under Beretta QC but manufactured in Turkey. A very nice pistol. A year later, working full time during a break in school, I picked one up at Sportsman's warehouse, $360 out the door with a box of 9mm. Though prices have gone up as people have come to realize what an excellent pistol this is, locally they go for $399 now, oftentimes that store has a 10% off sale, bringing the price down to $360.
Gun snobs seem to ignore cheap but quality pieces like the Stoeger Cougar for some reason. It's an excellent piece that has NEVER failed in over 4000 rounds. The only time its 'failed' was when my small statured 11 yr. old brother limp-wristed it. My wife, a very small statured woman, has never had problems with this. It's very accurate and does not seem to have the muzzle-flip/twist I've noticed on other handguns due to the rotating barrel design.
Mosin Nagant M44
Ok, not so unappreciated now that the price has slowly started to climb on these beauties and more people own and know them. All the same, they still get more than their fair share of crap online and in gun stores. I mean come on.
In 2008 I picked up the M44 from Big 5, pristine, pristine, must have been unissued, for $106 out the door with tax. It's a natural pointer, very acceptable accuracy, cheap, powerful round, whats not to like? I may have been dumb and did 'sporterize' it, but nothing irreversible or permanent. Its actually spot on with the scope I put on it, I just need to find a longer eye relief scope if I want to keep it in scout scope configuration
When I bought this it was $96 at walmart, so cheap, of course bricks of .22 lr were $8 bucks too, but no matter. Its been very reliable, very accurate, taken its fair share of rabbits, etc. While it doesn't have the name, reputation or accessories of a ruger 10/22, its also half the price and very very functional.
You can pick these up on sale all the time at box stores. Its a great shotgun with a fine reputation, and yet the 870 crowd still likes to tear into them for some reason. 870's are great, a little heavy but great, they are also twice the price of an equally great 500. I got this with 2 barrels, 28" and 18.5" at big 5 for $286 or so out the door, tax incl. I've seen the same deal go even cheaper.
Ok, the SKS platform is no longer sneered at and is in fact sought after, but that only seems to have happened after they doubled and tripled in value. When SKS rifles were >$100 many people deemed them to be junk. The Yugo still seems to be regarded as a bottom tier SKS. Mine is great, price was $150, needed some work on the extractor, another $39 and she's perfect. Yes it's on the heavy side for a carbine, but what do you expect for something with that much metal? Its accurate, semi-auto, shoots a reasonable/cheap cartridge, what more do you want? The bore isn't chrome lined, no biggy, wolf and modern ammo is not corrosive, surplus yugo is, make sure to clean it well after shooting the corrosive stuff, big whoopity doo.
I did a summer field expedition for 6 weeks last year. Most of the areas we were in were bear country, we saw plenty. In preparation, I set out looking for a .357 magnum. While I orignally wanted a Taurus 66, when I walked into a local shopped and asked what .357's they had, the owner showed me this 608, 8 shot 6 1/2 inch barrel, stainless steel. I thought "that's a handsome gun!! too bad its outta my budget!" I was wrong, I looked at the tag, $369! It was used, but only lightly, no scratches or signs of wear. Well I paid cash and got it for about $380 out the door with a box of .38 special (this was toward the end of obamamania and the store was out of .357). 608's go for well over $500 NIB, I consider this baby to be practically NIB when I bought her, I was very, very happy. I carried it every day for 6 weeks in my pack with 8 rounds of buffalo bore 180 gr. Never had to use it, but found it very comforting at times. I've shot it a bit and with the porting and weight the recoil is comparable to my 9mm, even with the heavy, high velocity (1400 fps) bullets. the guns is far more accurate than my handgunner skills are worthy of, Single action is crisp and a joy, double action is very manageable and also enjoyable. Is it a colt python?? No, its not, and one day I'd love to own one, but it does what I need it too and does it well, plus, taurus's lifetime warranty is passed on to me even though I am not the orignal buyer.
I understand century has earned a bad rep on QC, there's too much evidence to question that, but with all the positive reviews coming in on the latest Vz2008's, I knew I wanted one, and when the price at Jgsales dropped to $359, I popped. Its a great, great carbine, very light-weight, fit and finish is very acceptable, magazines are no longer expensive are hard to find online, milled receiver, better safety than an AK, I could go on. Would a d-tecnik or CZ-usa have been better? Honestly I don't know how, but maybe, maybe. Would it have been worth twice what I paid? Once again I just don't see how.
Well there you go, in my experience, being on a limited income does not prevent one from purchasing quality firearms without breaking your budget. Gun snobs can sneer all they want at some of them, but the fact is, they work and while they in all honest most likely have a better weapon for much more money, thats fine, they can afford it, by shopping around, you too can be well armed with a reliable, quality weapon.
I don't want to rag on people who buy name brand or very expensive guns, believe me, one day I plan on owning some of those too!! I just want people to know that just because its cheaper doesn't mean its trash or even a step down in practical applications.