Creating a nice concealed carry package for $350 is no easy task today, but there are some surplus arms that will fit the bill and the Czech CZ-82 is one of them. Another common pistol would be the Makarov, but I will argue that the CZ-82 is a substantially better pistol, with better controls and a double stack magazine. It is not a small pistol. I would classify it as a medium frame, the butt is similar in size (and weight) to the Glock G19, but more rounded, with a significantly smaller slide. The sights are full sized meaning they are large, well defined and perfectly adequate with a white line on the front and a black wide notched rear sight. There are tritium sights available from Meprolight for the princely sum of $80. The grip panels that come with the pistol are nicely done in a tough black plastic, but these too can be upgraded to custom wood as pictured above by Marschalgrips.
The magazine release is American styled, not theEuropean heel release ( aka Makarov ) which tends to be slower and less intuitive, but does promote magazine retention in military applications which is less important to the average armed citizen. Since you have 12+1 rounds on board, hopefully a speed reload will not be needed, but it’s there if you need it. The pistol has two modes of carry, Cocked and Locked for all you 1911 guys and DA/SA “crunchenticker” for the rest of us. I don’t use the term with the disdain that Cooper did, it’s a perfectly adequate system that required no safety lever manipulation. Since I often carry a Glock G19 or S&W 442, levers are not programmed into my brain, so the DA/SA is my preferred carry method. If you listen to some of the trainers on the internet who do “Force on Force” training with Airsoft, they will tell you that with some regularity the safety is either missed or forgotten by those who have carried that style of pistol for years. The half cock notch is not present and will not be missed. Both magazine release and safety are ambidextrous which would be helpful for the 11% of the population that are wrong handed.
The round it fires is the 9×18 Makarov round, which is about 15% hotter than the .380 ACP (230 ft·lb verse 200 ft-lb). It delivers these very accurately, which is often the case with a fixed barrel. This is not a Browning link-less lock up like it’s bigger brother the CZ-75, but uses a fixed barrel with the recoil spring wrapped around it, common with mid size, mildly recoiling .380s like the Walter PPK, Makarov and Astra pistols. Often recoil is perceived to be punishing with fixed barrel pistols, but with it’s wide double stack grip, the force gets distributed over a large part of your palm, and is much less than the PPK or similar single stacks.
Hornady, Doubletap and Corbon all offer perfectly capable defensive ammo, and training ammo is $10 for a box of 50, which is right in line with the 9mm Parabellum and slightly cheaper than the .380 ACP. Boxer primed cases are as easy to reload as any other center fired pistol cartridge and Lee sells a set of dies economically and casing projectiles is also an option. Being an Iron Curtain design, steel case ammo is not an issue nor are hollow points. The barrel uses polygonal rifling just like the Glock and is chrome plated which makes cleaning a snap and resists surplus corrosive ammo, promotes slightly higher velocities and will provide longer life that a standard barrel.
Currently a CZ-82 can be had for about $225 with a single magazine. A spare magazine will cost about $30. A Triple K belt slide is $30 and a Bianchi Single mag push runs about $25. The Knife is CRKT M-16 from Walmart for $30 and a Cree AA flashlight from Dealextreme for $15. With this combination you are not unarmed or unprepared. You can spend more, and I do believe that a 9mm or .40 cal is a better defensive round, but this will be better than a sharp stick.