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The 15 Cheapest Handguns for Under $500


Do you feel it's time to arm yourself to protect your family and home, but the budget is tight? The demand for personal protection weapons is rising, but some are reasonably priced. Check out these 15 cheapest handguns for under $500 for personal and home security, easy to handle, even for beginners.

15. Kel-Tec PF9: Best Compact Handgun Price: $$356

Guns and Ammo's Handguns Mag recommends the Kel-Tec PF9 for anyone who can legally carry a handgun but is learning about firearms. The model has been around since 2006 and has proven its reliability for personal protection. It's a 9 mm pistol in a compact size that is easy to operate. For the price, it's decent quality with barrels and slides in hardened steel. The PF9 has polymer grips with patterns for a textured grip for control of the gun. Instructions come with new purchases explaining that this gun has no manual safety mechanism, but the controls are user-friendly for the safety of users familiar with basic gun safety principles. The basic sights are made for close-range shooting. It's a lightweight handgun, easy to transport in a handbag or glove compartment, or holstered for open carry.

14. Smith & Wesson M&P 380 Shield EZ Range Kit: Best Budget Name Brand Price: $399

The Smith & Wesson M&P 380 Shield EZ Range Kit is a pistol known for its ease of operation and reliability when the chips are down. It's a .380 caliber ACP with optional manual safety or grip safety. It's a best-seller because it's light in the hands, weighing just 18.5 ounces. It takes little force is needed to rack the slide. It's a semiautomatic, with magazines that hold eight rounds of ammunition, equipped with thumb tabs to make it easier to load. This personal protection handgun is an exceptional value that comes with bonus accessories, including a cleaning kit, hearing protection, shooting glasses, and a range bag to keep everything together. It's an affordable option that is good for anyone, but especially for shooters planning to practice at a local shooting range to improve their skills.

13. Hi-Point 916: Best Budget Priced Handgun Price: $199

The Hi-Point 916 is an excellent choice in personal protection for owners on a tight budget. It's a basic firearm in a 9 mm semiautomatic format with an 8-round capacity magazine. The quality is not up to the standards of Smith & Wesson, but the model comes with a durable polymer frame that can hold up for years of carrying. The sights are adjustable for short and long-range shooting. This model is manufactured for compatibility with numerous upgrades and accessories from Hi-Point, also offered at budget prices. You can find an assortment of gun and knife combo sets, hard storage cases, nylon holsters, laser sights, and various finishes to suit your sense of style. This pistol comes with a lifetime warranty and manual thumb safety. It's a solid value for a basic handgun, that won't break the bank.

12. Kahr Arms CM 9: Best accuracy for a cheap handgun Price: $445.99

The Gun Zone suggests this model because of its reliability and accuracy on the range. Kahr Arms offers this basic pistol in a light 14-ounce weight that is easy to hold, aim, and control. It's a 9 mm caliber with two dot combat sights for short and longer-range shots. The magazine capacity is 6 +1. The compact size makes it easy to pack or store as a concealed weapon. It's my pick for the most accurate cheap handgun. Legendary gunsmith Justin Moon founded the brand in 1955 and designed the guns for compact size, lightweight, and impressive accuracy. It's worth noting that they're made with a strong frame that will hold up for years under normal use.

11. Smith & Wesson SD9VE Price: $259.99

The SD9VE is Smith & Wesson's cheapest option for a reputable brand in firearms. The slide release is metal with a plastic guide rod. It's not the most stylish, but its quality is still one that the brand stands behind. If you're looking for a basic pistol from a gunmaker with a solid tradition of quality at an affordable price, this is their cheapest option. The designer maintained features that cut the cost while keeping quality high with good accuracy. The SD9VE has a chrome finish and textured grips to ensure anti-slip safety in the hands.

This handgun is an affordable choice for shooting range practice, and for personal protection. It's mostly metal, which makes it a little heavy, and you need to watch out for the recoil. There's nothing difficult to adjust as it's a basic, straightforward pistol with an easy magazine release and slide release. It's a point-and-shoot firearm after it's loaded. It disassembles easily for cleaning after each use. It also comes with a manufacturer's guide to help you along the way.

10. Bersa Thunder 380 Plus Price: 329.99

Bersa is a reputable brand that offers the Thunder 380 as its budget-priced pistol for under $500. It has the highest magazine capacity of any of the handguns on the list. It's a high-performance firearm, appreciated for an ambidextrous design for right or left-handed shooters. The gun is well-balanced, made of durable materials. and offers a 3-dot system of sights. The grip is not the best aspect, and it could be improved on with texturing, but it's lightweight, compact, and easy to operate. The Thunder 380 Plus is an excellent choice for anyone who needs personal protection and values quality firearms with a lifetime service contract, accuracy for nailing it at the shooting range, and a reasonable price.

9. The XD-S Mod 2 Price: $469.99

Gun Buyer suggests the XD-S Mod 2 for a personal protection handgun under $500 with a few extra features beyond the basics. The XD-S Mod 2 is a 9 mm caliber that weighs 21.5 ounces. It's a heavy handgun but made with quality materials over the original version. It's also available in a 40 S&W and a 45 ACP. There is no manual safety mechanism, but rather a grip safety and built-in trigger safety. It's easy to hold and use with its textured grip, and the trigger guard with an undercut improves the accuracy and stability of the handgun when you're holding it. The XD-S Mod 2 comes with available options for a loaded chamber indicator, a small rail to hold laser or lights, and Ameriglo sights. The ergonomics and balance are superb.

8. Mossberg MC 1SC Price: $301-$340

Mossberg is a reputable brand that offers the MC1SC as an affordable pistol in its line of handguns. The brand is known for its hunting of shotguns. The striker-fired 9mm handgun is designed specifically for concealed carry. Don't let the low price fool you. It's fully loaded with desirable features including a reversible magazine release, a safe takedown system for disassembling before cleaning, a flat-faced trigger, and durable carbon coating on the barrel and slide. It's budget-priced with premium features. New guns come with a flush-fitting 6-round magazine with an available 7-round magazine with a grip extension. the ultralight handgun is a 9mm caliber that weighs a mere 19 ounces.

7. CZ P10C Price: $477.00

If you're looking for an affordable handgun under $500, the CZ P10C provides you with all the firepower you need for personal protection. It's a newer model featuring a striker-firing system, which is new for the brand. Impressive accuracy in a compact pistol with a 15-round magazine is the hallmark of the 9 mm caliber that make this a value or the cost. It comes with an accessory rail for optional lasers and lights, with all metal sights, and a textured frame that enhances control and grip, for exceptional ergonomics. It's a concealed carry gun that fits Glock 19 holsters for concealed or open carry. It's a heavy pistol at 26 ounces, but well-balanced.

6. Taurus GG2C Price: $269.99

Sportsman's Warehouse suggests the Taurus brand G2C 9 mm Luger pistol for right-handed shooters. the cartridge holds 12 + 1 rounds of centerfire ammunition. It's equipped with a fixed front and adjustable rear sight. the frame is durable polymer material in olive green. This gun features a streamlined pistol with an ergonomic design with the ideal weight balance and distribution for comfort in the hand. It's a concealed carry handgun for personal protection that comes with a trigger safety, a manual safety, and a load chamber indicator as an additional safety feature. It's a heavy gun for its size, weighing 22 ounces.

5. Ruger LCP Max 380 Auto Pistol Price: $389.99

Ruger is another top brand in the firearm industry. The LCP Max 380 Auto is a compact handgun that can fit in your pocket with a light weight of 10.6 ounces and a small profile for concealed carry. the standard magazine has a 10 + 1 capacity with a flush floorplate. You can opt for an upgraded 12-round magazine for a backup, with a textured grip frame for a secure hold on the pistol and control. All edges of the frame and slide are soft and smooth with functional serrations on the cocking ears for non-slip handling. It comes with a u-notch rear sight for fast and easy alignment and a tritium front sight with an outline of white. The recoil is reduced by Ruger's patented barrel cam geometry., and it's equipped with a reversible magazine release. New purchases include a 01-round magazine, a magazine loader, and a soft pocket holster.

4. Glock 43X 9 mm Luger Price: $489.99

Glock is a trusted brand in firearms. The 43X 9 mm Luger is a 3.41-inch black pistol. It has a comfortable feeling in your hand. The compact size makes it easy to carry and conceal. Glock equipped it with a built-in beaver tail and is a well-balanced handgun with a versatile grip for control and comfort. Enhanced accuracy is thanks to the Glock Marksman Barrel and front serrations that are precision milled. Its frame is a durable polymer with a plastic gun case that meets Glock's quality standards in a more affordable pistol with two 10 + 1 round magazines, Glock fixed sights, with a weight of 16.4 ounces.

3. Rock Island Armory GI 1911 Price: $499.99

Alien Gear Holsters recommends this semi-custom handgun as affordable personal protection in a mid-range reputable brand. This pistol model is a .45 ACP, known for reliability and performance, although it's not a top brand. You get a 5-inch pistol with fixed sights (low profile) in a slim design.

Smooth wood is the standout grip feature. There's room for improvement with texturing for grip and control, but the gun is comfortable to hold and among the heaviest recommendations on this list. The weight comes in at 39 ounces, with balanced weight distribution and a 7 + 1 magazine. Shooting accuracy is above average, and the recoil is dampered by the design and weight distribution. It's a larger handgun, best for holstering.

2. Ruger EC9s Price: $339.00

The Ruger EC9s is a bare-bones handgun from a top-rated brand. It's equipped with fixed sights, integrated with the frame. The barrel is 3.12 inches for easy concealment in a pocket or other small space or a compact holster. Ruger maintained its high standards with durable construction and materials. The trigger pull is smooth and the shots are accurate. It comes with one 7 + 1 magazine, and a laser sight. The EC9s are the replacement for the LC9 in the Ruger lineup.

1. Canik TP9 SF Elite Price: $429

The Canik TP9 SF Elite is one of many Canik pistols under the $500 price. It's a mid-size pistol with a 4.2-inch barrel with a magazine capacity of 15 + 1. The gun shoots soft, and although it's not as compact as some of the others, it's a solid pistol in the mid-range. Quality is ranked among the top brands, although it hasn't quite reached the notoriety of Ruger or Smith & Wesson. This handgun has premium features such as durable materials and a Warren tactical fiber optic front sight. It's easy to operate and works well for open or concealed carry.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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