One of the best ways that I have found for getting a high quality handgun at a bargain basement price is police trade ins. Every so many years, police departments replace all of their handguns for newer models. Most of these pistols have had a couple of thousand rounds or less put through them since many departments only require their officers to shoot for qualification on a semi annual basis and many officers don’t shoot on their own. ALL of them are high quality firearms such as Beretta, Glock, or Sig Sauer. Foreign police and military may be carrying CZs or Browning High Powers. Often the departments will have them fitted with tritium night sights. They also frequently come with spare magazines and even occasionally holsters. Some eastern bloc military trade ins almost always come with holsters. Sometimes the deals are closer to steals. On example is the Beretta 84F that I bought a few years ago. Without the custom Trijicon night sights, that pistol retails for over $650 with one magazine. When the Indiana State Police decided to trade in their Beretta 96s and their 84F backup pistols, for Glocks, they gave the whole lot of them. complete with accessories to a police supply company to liquidate. I took the supply company’s ad into my local dealer and had him order me one. Here’s what I got for $329 plus shipping, handling and dealer transfer fee. One Beretta 84F complete with custom Trijicon Tritium night sights and Indiana State Police grips,¬† THREE 13 round LE only marked magazines, and a leather DeSantis 09h 75 model shoulder holster with double magazine pouch.¬† The pistol alone is worth over $600 without the $150 night sights (the front one is milled into the front sight on the slide, not simply slid into a dovetail), the extra $60 worth of magazines, or the $135 holster. That’s over $900 worth of value for a total cost of $400 give or take $5.

My Beretta

My Beretta




DeSantis shoulder holster for Beretta

DeSantis shoulder holster for Beretta. It was missing the tie down straps so I had to make my own. That’s why the color doesn’t match.

Currently there are law enforcement trade ins available online that include Glocks, Sig Sauers, Smith & Wesson M&Ps as well as foreign police and military surplus pistols from CZ, Browning and a Hungarian company called FEG that does a completely interchangeable clone of the Browning High Power. Some of them are available for under $300 and all of them are available for under $500. Just this past year, I picked up a Glock 23 police trade in with tritium night sights and 3 magazines for under $400.

There are also a number of eastern bloc arsenal refurbished handguns available for under $300. Some are better than others, but the ammo and magazines may be a little more difficult to come by. I had a Russian Makarov that was easy to get parts for and a PA63 that finding reliable magazines for was iffy. Loved them both, but ammo selection was limited¬† and some of the magazines that I had for the PA63 simply could not be made to work properly. If you’re looking at surplus handguns, try to stick to calibers with readily available and affordable ammo. 10 years ago, 7.62 x 25 ammo for the CZ 52 was available surplus at dirt cheap prices. Nowadays, the best thing you can do with a CZ-52 is to buy a 9mm replacement barrel. The ammo is no longer affordably priced.


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