I can often be heard saying to new gun shoppers, "put aside about $500 for this purchase. You may spend a little more or a little less, but this is not a place you want to skimp." Well, here's a post by Caleb, at GunNuts Media, where he discusses some options on the very low end of the spectrum. Caleb's post is actually an extension of an article by Tim, another writer over at GunNuts. Tim did extensive testing of the Hi-Point pistol, which can be read here. These two guys know there stuff, so I'm going to leave you in their capable hands for a moment.
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