• Handguns On A Budget

    Not everyone can afford a high-end handgun, in this article we'll explore some inexpensive handgun options. Sure you could buy a used high-end handgun for a decent price, but what if you want an affordable brand new gun? Fortunately there are some firearm manufacturers out there, (including some well known companies as you'll soon find out), that market affordable, reliable handguns for those of us who can't afford top of the line models. A lot of these guns are looked down upon by so called "gun snobs", because after all, if it didn't cost more than you make in a month how can it be a good gun? Yes, you'll hear horror stories about some of the guns I'll present here from this person, or that person, that heard it from another person, but the fact is most of those malfunction stories come from misuse or mistreatment of the gun in question. Heck, a lot of these cheaper guns have been known to out perform their more expensive counterparts. I'm not going to say any gun is perfect, a gun is a machine, and any machine with moving parts can malfunction. I'm simply saying those of us on a budget can still enjoy handguns, a reasonably priced gun is better than no gun at all. Find a balance, buy what you can afford, use what you feel comfortable with. To the guns!


    Bersa handguns are made in Argentina. Founded in the 1950's by a trio of Italian engineers, Bersa is known for their affordable, reliable handguns. They are imported to the US by Eagle Imports Inc. Bersa guns come with an "original owner only" lifetime warranty.

    Bersa Thunder .380

    The Thunder 380, Bersa’s best selling model, offers numerous valued features – accuracy, reliability and versatility in a lightweight, compact design. Features an Alloy Frame and Steel Slide.

    Caliber: .380 ACP
    Action: Hammer fired, DA/SA
    Capacity: 7+1
    Safety: Integral Locking System, Manual Frame, Firing Pin
    Barrel Length: 3.5”
    Overall Length: 6.6”
    Weight: 20 oz.
    Price: $329 - $234

    Bersa Thunder Pro HC

    The Bersa Thunder Pro HC offers the durability, accuracy and reliability of their 380 line of handguns. The Thunder series features an improved Browning Petter locking system for reliable feeding and ejecting. Alloy frame/steel slide. Other features include: Loaded chamber indicator, ambidextrous safety and slide levers, a reversible magazine catch, and Sig style sights.

    Caliber(s): 9MM, 40S&W
    Action: Hammer Fired, DA/SA
    Capacity: 9MM 17+1, 40S&W 13+1
    Safety: Integral Locking System, Manual Frame, Firing Pin
    Barrel Length: 4.25”
    Weight: 30.7 oz.
    Overall Length: 7.56”
    Price: $400 - $300


    Video by: jayandton

    The compact version of the Thunder Pro HC.

    Caliber(s): 9mm, 40S&W, or 45ACP
    Action: Hammer fired, DA/SA
    Safety: Integral Locking System, Manual Frame, Firing Pin
    Capacity: 9MM 10+1 or 13+1, 40S&W 10+1, 45ACP 7+1
    Barrel Length: 3.25” (45ACP 3.6")
    Overall Length: 6.5” (45ACP 6.8”)
    Weight: 23 oz. (45 ACP 27oz.)
    Price: $425 - $315


    The BP9 CC is BERSA’s first polymer frame handgun. The BP9 CC Features: A High Impact Polymer Frame, Picatinny rail, polygonal rifling ,loaded chamber indicator, ambidextrous magazine release, and Sig style sights.

    Caliber: 9MM
    Action: Striker Fired, Short reset DAO
    Capacity: 8+1
    Safety: Integral Locking System, Firing Pin, Trigger
    Barrel Length:3.3”
    Overall Length: 6.35”
    Weight: 21.5 oz
    Price: $425



    Cobra Firearms handguns are 100% American made in Salt Lake City, Utah. They include a factory direct lifetime warranty on each model .

    Cobra Patriot 9 & 380

    The Cobra Patriot is polymer framed with a stainless steel slide and features fixed sights and a loaded chamber indicator. It's small size and streamlined shape would lend well to concealed carry.

    Caliber(s): 9MM or .380
    Action: Striker Fired, DAO
    Capacity: 10+1
    Safety: No Manual
    Barrel Length: 3.3"
    Overall Length: 6”
    Weight: 18 oz
    Price: $275

    Cobra Patriot 45

    Caliber: 45ACP
    Action: Striker Fired, DAO
    Capacity: 6+1 or 7+1 with extended mag
    Safety: No Manual
    Barrel Length: 3.3"
    Overall Length: 6”
    Weight: 19 oz
    Price: $360



    Hi-Point Firearms (Beemiller Inc) is a manufacturer based in Mansfield, Ohio. Their guns are %100 American made.

    All Hi-Point handguns feature:
    Polymer frame
    Durable, easy-grip finish
    Last round lock open
    Quick on-off thumb safety
    Operations safety sheet
    +P rated
    Free extra rear peep sight
    Free trigger lock
    Lifetime warranty

    Hi Point offers what I think is one of the best lifetime warranties in the business. No matter what number owner you are, no questions asked, they will repair or replace the firearm. I own one of their older 9mm carbines, got it 3rd hand, it was used and abused. I called Hi Point customer service and told them the parts I needed to repair it, four days later I had them, free of charge. Now my carbine functions flawlessly. Plus if you have to send in your gun for repairs they will usually send it back with a free magazine as reimbursement for the shipping charges. Despite some peoples' bias against them, I would not hesitate to purchase any Hi Point firearm and plan on doing just that in the near future.

    Hi Point CF-380 & C-9

    Video By: millerusaf

    The CF-380 and C-9 feature a high-impact polymer frame, steel slide with black powder coat finish,chrome rail, and three dot, fully adjustable sights.
    Caliber: 380, 9mm
    Action: Blow-back operated, SA
    Capacity: 8+1 or 10+1 with extended mag
    Safety: Manual
    Barrel Length: 3.5"
    Overall Length: 6.75”
    Weight: 29 oz
    Price: CF-308 $140, C-9 $165

    Hi Point 40 S&W and 45 ACP models

    Video By: millerusaf

    Caliber: 40 S&W, 45 ACP
    Action: Blow-back operated, SA
    Capacity: 40 S&W 10+1, 45ACP 9+1
    Safety: Manual
    Barrel Length: 4.5"
    Overall Length: 7.75”
    Weight: 35oz
    Price: $200



    Kel-Tec CNC Industries, Inc. was founded in 1991 in Cocoa , Florida. All of their firearms are covered by an original owner lifetime warranty and are American made. Kel Tec has been gaining popularity in recent years for their innovative firearm designs.

    Kel Tec PF-9

    Video by: nutnfancy

    The Kel Tec PF-9 is a semi-automatic, locked breech pistol, chambered for the 9mm Luger cartridge.
    The PF-9 features a single stack magazine holding 7 rounds. Kel Tec touts the PF-9 as the lightest and thinnest 9 mm ever made. Firing mechanism is Double-Action Only with an automatic hammer block safety. Features an adjustable rear sight.

    Caliber: 9mm
    Action: (Concealed) Hammer fired, DAO
    Capacity: 7+1
    Safety: Automatic hammer block safety
    Barrel Length: 3.1"
    Overall Length: 5.85"
    Weight: 12.7oz
    Price: $333

    Kel Tec P-3AT

    The Kel Tec P-3AT is a semi-automatic, locked breech pistol, chambered for the .380 Auto cartridge.

    Caliber: .380
    Action: (Concealed) Hammer fired, DAO
    Capacity: 6+1
    Safety: Automatic hammer block safety
    Barrel Length: 2.7"
    Overall Length: 5.2"
    Weight: 8.3oz
    Price: $318


    Rock Island Armory 1911 pistols are designed and manufactured by Armscor in Marikina City, Philippines. Distributed in the United States by Armscor USA, located in Pahrump, Nevada. Their pistols are made from 4140 Ordnance Grade steel featuring full part compatability with US GI.

    Rock Island Armory GI M1911-A1 Mil Spec

    Video By: geonomads

    This is a basic GI 1911, no bells or whistles. Considering the price, it would make a great entry level 1911 and can accept a variety of after-market parts.

    Caliber: 45ACP
    Action: Hammer fired, SA
    Capacity: 8+1
    Safety: Manual Frame, Grip Safety
    Barrel Length: 5"
    Overall Length: 8.75"
    Weight: 38.4oz
    Price: $400

    Rock Island Armory Officers 1911-A1 CS

    This is the Compact version of the 1911-A1 known as an Officers model. Features a Bull Barrel, skeletonized hammer and low-profile, no-snag sights.

    Caliber: 45ACP
    Action: Hammer fired, SA
    Capacity: 6+1
    Safety: Manual Frame, Grip Safety
    Barrel Length: 3.5"
    Overall Length: 6.75"
    Weight: 32.6oz
    Price: $415

    Rock Island Armory GI Commander 1911-A1 MS

    The RIA GI Commander model falls in between the standard Mil Spec and the Officers model 1911's. Features low-profile, no-snag sights.

    Caliber: 45ACP
    Action: Hammer fired, SA
    Capacity: 8+1
    Safety: Manual Frame, Grip Safety
    Barrel Length: 4"
    Overall Length: 7.75"
    Weight: 36.2oz
    Price: $395



    Taurus firearms are made in Brazil and imported through Taurus USA in Miami, Florida. Taurus has become a popular manufacturer of affordable firearms over the years, and offer a variety of inexpensive options. Taurus offers an unlimited lifetime repair policy on all their firearms.

    Taurus PT111 Millennium Pro

    The PT-111 is a polymer framed, compact pistol. Available in DAO or SA/DA configurations. Features available are: blued carbon steel slide, stainless steel slide, or light-weight titanium slide.

    Caliber: 9mm
    Action: Striker fired, DAO (Also available in SA/DA)
    Capacity: 12+1
    Safety: Manual Frame
    Barrel Length: 3.25"
    Overall Length: 6.125"
    Weight: 18.7oz
    Price: $340

    Taurus PT 24/7 OSS

    Video By: TwoGuysOutdoors

    My cousin owns one of these and it's a great gun, handles and functions really well.
    Features: polymer frame, accessory rail, Taurus key-lock security system, and 3-dot Novak sights.

    Caliber(s): 9mm,*40S&W,**45ACP
    Action: SA/DA
    Capacity: 17,*15,**12
    Safety: Manual Frame
    Barrel Length: 5.25"
    Overall Length: 8.25"
    Weight: 32oz
    Price: $375

    Taurus PT 92 & PT 100

    Video By: NeverEnuffAmmo

    The Taurus PT 92 & PT 100 are more than mere clones of the Beretta 92fs & 96. They're actually made on machinery that Taurus bought when Beretta closed up their South American operation. The PT 92 & PT 100 feature an alloy frame with steel slide, ambidextrous decocker/safety, loaded chamber indicator, Taurus key-lock security system and an accessory rail.

    Caliber: PT92 9mm, PT100 40S&W
    Action: SA/DA
    Capacity: 17+1, 11+1
    Safety: Frame safety/decock lever
    Barrel Length: 5"
    Overall Length: 8.5"
    Weight: 34oz
    Price: $450 - $475



    Stoeger was acquired by Beretta in 2000 and placed under Benelli which is also a Beretta subsidiary, after Beretta discountinued it's Cougar pistol line they began manufacturing it under the Stoeger name. Stoeger firearms are covered by a one year limited warranty. Made in Turkey with Beretta tooling.

    Stoeger Cougar

    The Stoeger Cougar features a rotary locking barrel mechanism which is said to reduce recoil and increase accuracy, the Beretta PX4 Storm features the same mechanism. This is the standard Cougar model with a Bruniton® Matte black finish. Features include: 3 dot sights, accessory rail, and ambidextrous safety/decocker lever.
    Caliber(s): 9mm, 40S&W
    Action: SA/DA
    Capacity: 15+1, 11+1
    Safety: Frame safety/decock lever
    Barrel Length: 3.6"
    Overall Length: 7"
    Weight: 32.6oz
    Price: $449


    Don't overlook some of the more well known firearms companies like Ruger. Ruger makes an affordable, excellent quality 9mm pistol under $500.

    Ruger P-95


    The Ruger P-95 is available in a range of options from polymer or coated aluminum frames, and stainless or blued slides. All models feature an ambidexrous slide mounted safety, 3 dot high visibility sights and an accessory rail.
    Caliber: 9mm
    Action: Hammer fired, SA/DA
    Capacity: 15+1
    Safety: Manual Slide
    Barrel Length: 3.9"
    Overall Length: 7.25"
    Weight: 27oz
    Price: $393 - $424



    S&W is probably one of the most recognizable handgun brands out there. They're known for their quality , and for being a bit pricey. But they do produce some reasonably priced handguns.

    S&W Sigma SW9VE & Sigma SW40VE

    The S&W Sigma series are polymer framed pistols similar to Glocks, so similar in fact that Glock sued S&W over the design. S&W had to eventually pay Glock a settlement but are still able to produce the design.
    Caliber(s): 9mm, 40S&W
    Action: Striker fired
    Capacity: 16+1, 14+1
    Safety: Trigger
    Barrel Length: 4"
    Overall Length: 7.25"
    Weight: 24.3oz
    Price: $350

    S&W SD9 & SD40

    Video By: GalleryofGuns

    The S&W SD (Self Defense) series is basically a stripped down, bare bones version of their popular M&P handgun. Did I say bare bones? Well not exactly, it has a Tritium front night sight and a "Self Defense Trigger" that S&W says provides a really smooth trigger pull. Also features a polymer frame with accessory rail, and steel slide with black Melonite® finish.

    Caliber(s): 9mm, 40S&W
    Action: Striker fired
    Capacity: 16+1, 14+1
    Safety: Trigger
    Barrel Length: 4"
    Overall Length: 7.2"
    Weight: 22.7oz
    Price: $450



    Think you can't afford a Sig on a budget? Think again. I had to hit the brakes when I saw a Sig for under $500. With Sig's legendary quality and reliability, I never thought you could touch one for this price.

    Sig Sauer P250

    Video By: mediaworkx

    Here's what Sig Sauer says about the P250:
    "The P250®, a modular pistol that allows the shooter to change caliber and size at will....
    The SIG SAUER® P250 was designed specifically to address the future needs of the military, law enforcement, and civilian shooters around the world. The P250 will be available in the most popular calibers (9mm, .40S&W and .45ACP). The P250's innovative design enables the shooter to quickly remove the functional mechanism and place it into the polymer grip of his choice. This allows an immediate change in caliber and size;(subcompact, compact and full). And after any change the pistol delivers both outstanding accuracy and reliable functionality. Its modularity not only provides incredible ease of maintenance, but also provides a solution for accommodating different hand sizes - there are 6 different ergonomic combinations for each size, accomplished by changes in grip circumference and trigger style. Now you can own the world's only modular shooting system globally engineered to deliver the "To-Hell -And-Back-Reliability" you've come to expect from Sig Sauer."

    Caliber(s): 9mm, 40S&W, 357Sig, 45ACP,
    Action: Striker fired, "SIG DAK" DAO
    Capacity: 17+1, 14+1, 14+1, 10+1
    Safety: No Manual, Trigger
    Barrel Length: 4.7"
    Overall Length: 8"
    Weight: 29.4oz
    Price: $468

    Well there you go, you don't have to break the bank to own a quality handgun. There's something out there for everyone, no matter your income. There's a lot more affordable handguns available than what was listed in this article, a great place to find the best price on guns is at: http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/index.php They have a lot of the guns I've described in this article, most of the time at a price below what is listed.
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