The modern gun industry is packed with cheap firearms but in most cases, you get what you pay for. However, every now and then affordable handguns are released that surprise even the toughest critics. Some of the best cheap guns are actually rifles and shotguns, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of decent quality cheap revolvers and pistols. Today we’re going to examine the best budget handguns on the market and see who delivers the best bang for your buck.
Best Low Price Guns
While there aren’t so many handguns under 200 dollars, there are some that definitely stick out. The term budget gun is loosely defined and is generally used to refer to firearms under $400 or so, but we’re here to scrutinize the top guns under 200 dollars give or take. Some may be sold for more and some may be sold for less, but I think $200 is a safe measure of calling a handgun cheap. I will try to keep most of the firearms here under that benchmark but exceptions will definitely be made. This is especially true given that prices change and different vendors offer sales all the time for discount guns.
One of the most interesting discoveries I made in my search for the best cheap handguns was that they came from all over the world. From Italy and the United States to Brazil and Germany, discount guns are made across the globe. However, one of the things I learned is that some good manufacturers make crappy budget guns (that’s you, Chiappa, and the freaking Beretta Pico).
There are cheap guns and then there are cheap gun manufacturers. Kel-Tec has built a reputation for crafting affordable firearms and the P32 pistol is an interesting budget gun. Besides being the lightest .32 Auto ever created, the DAO gun can be yours for just over $200. Likewise, Taurus Firearms has a decent selection of budget pistols that can found for under $250, I recommend finding a used PT-92 or G2.
One of my favorite underrated budget pistols has got to be the SCCY CPX2. I truly don’t get why more people haven’t picked these guys up. They’re probably one of the best CCWs under $250 packed with high-quality engineering and excellent customizability.
Best Budget Revolvers
There are a few reasons why it’s easier to make a better budget revolver than a pistol but I think cheap revolvers are generally better than cheap pistols.
Anyone looking for a cheap revolver should definitely consider the German EAA Windicator. German engineering is renowned around the world and that reputation holds true to their firearms. The Windicator may not be pretty or even have such great handling, but it’s damn reliable and has an overall great bang for your buck score.
Another great revolver is the single-action Ruger Wrangler series. These nifty six-shooters can be yours for under $200 and they offer the quality you expect from other Rugers. While it’s no CCW, it’s certainly one of the best cheap revolvers on the market without a doubt.
My favorite budget revolver has got to be the Heritage Manufacturing Rough Rider revolver. These “cowboy guns” are shockingly cheap for how nice they are. Yes, they are old-fashioned revolvers based on the Colt Single-Action Army revolver but they shoot very well and can shoot both .22LR and .22 magnum. These wheel guns are a great addition to your collection and will only take you back a bit over $150.
Cheap Handguns Under 150 Breakdown
If you want to know how much does a gun cost when you strip down most of the features and aesthetics, it doesn’t usually get below $150. This is a safe benchmark for handguns because it’s hard to find any legitimate pistol or revolver for less. That’s not to say that there aren’t cheap real guns under 100 dollars but it is a rarity. In fact, I’d say $200 is still considered a cheap handgun. Guns for less than this should be approached with caution since there’s probably a good reason they’re so cheap. Nevertheless, it’s important to do your research because sometimes the price can drop drastically simply because it’s made in a 2nd or 3rd world country.
When it comes to budget firearms it’s hard to have a conversation without mentioning Hi-Point and the Hi-Point C9 pistol. Hi-Points are probably the most hotly debated guns on the planet but, truth be told, they offer an excellent bang for your buck score. This ugly shooter can be yours for around $150 and it does the job but not much more.
If you’re looking for the ultimate cheap handgun then you gotta check out the ALTOR Corp Pistol. While it looks exactly like a glue gun, it’s actually a single-shot firearm available in .380 ACP and 9mm. It’s cumbersome to handle and shoot but it does shoot. I don’t know why anyone would actually want to own this gun but it’s one of the most unique firearms I’ve seen. Just remove the barrel and jam a single round in and hope for the best. The barrel is rifled so it’s surprisingly accurate given the fact that it looks like it was designed by a 4th grader.
Best Cheap 9mm Pistol
There are several solid 9mm pistols you can find under $250 including the Taurus Millenium G2, SCCY CPX2, and Hi-Point C9. Obviously, none of these guns are perfect and they are all bound to have haters. I personally really like my Taurus and I even used it for daily carry for a while. I also like the SCCY but it’s an acquired taste and isn’t as reliable as the others. Then we have the Hi-Point C9 which is arguably the most hated gun on the internet but, honestly, it works and it is ridiculously durable. I know there are plenty of people who’ve had nightmare experiences with Taurus, but assuming all works as it’s supposed to, the G2 or G2C is probably my pick for the best cheap 9mm pistol.
Best 22 Handgun Under $200
I’ve been shooting .22 for as long as I can remember and it’s hard not to love this cartridge. Because .22 ammo is so cheap, .22 has sort of become the Everyman’s firearm for practice and target shooting. As a result, it’s only logical that the best cheap 22 pistol will be something sought out by shooters of all ages. Whether you’re looking to boost your collection or give your kid their first firearm, a quality .22 handgun is versatile and good to own.
Although I really love my .22 Rough Rider revolver, I think the overall best 22 handgun under $200 has got to be the American Tactical Imports GSG Firefly. This nifty little rimfire was designed as a training pistol but works great for all kinds of .22 shooting. The German-made pistol was crafted to replicate the popular Sig Sauer P226 but a tad smaller. The controls and feel of the gun are excellent and really do a great job of mirroring the Sig. This gun offers a fantastic bang for your buck and can be yours for around $190.
Best Cheap Handgun Overall
Some people will ask me, how much does a handgun cost and there’s no objective answer for that. I’ve used $300 guns that I liked better than some $1000 models. It all boils down to preference and the level of premium features and aesthetics available. However, I do think that there is a way to compare the best budget guns and get a clear picture of which offer the best bang for your buck. It’s hard just to pick one so I think my favorite budget revolver would be the classic Rough Rider revolver while my favorite pistol is the ATI GSG Firefly.
Up Next: Most Affordable Shotguns Guide