Big Bang For The Buck
Gun World|March 2017
Big Bang For The Buck

Four Budget-Pirced 9MM Carry Pistols Pass Punishing Field Tests with High Marks.

Dave Workman

Three things are required of a defensive handgun, regardless of what it costs.

First and foremost, it must be reliable. A sidearm in which the owner lacks confidence is more likely to be left at home, where it’s of no use at all in crisis. It can have all the bells and whistles that one could ask for, but it if doesn’t go bang! when it needs to, it is not going to fulfill its intended function as an emergency survival tool.

It must be durable. Defensive sidearms might spend their functional lives in some pretty rotten places, including dirty pockets or purses, sweaty hands, or crummy, “el cheapo” holsters. Environmental conditions can cover the spectrum from hot and dusty to cold and wet, which can include snow, rain and sleet. They might get dropped, say, in a muddy puddle or on the pavement. But they mustn’t break.

It must be reasonably accurate. It needs to deliver a bullet on target in a spot where a violent attacker is most likely to be disabled or shut down completely. A pistol that doesn’t shoot straight could become more of a problem than you think. (Keep in mind Workman’s first principle: “A bullet that misses the target is going to hit something else.”)

For this article, I obtained four compact 9mm pistols and ammunition from Hornady, SIG Sauer, Browning, Double Tap, Black Hills, Remington, American Eagle, Colt Defense and Armscor. My trigger finger got quite a workout, and I discovered several things about these pocket-sized pistols that elevated their worth, along with a couple of things that might need improvement.

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March 2017