Best Handguns under $500

Personal safety and self-defense is an area we all consider to be of vital importance. To be safe, we take precautions, set up alarm systems and learn self-defense. But what if even this is not enough – what is we are threatened at gunpoint, what then? This is why, in the modern world, it is advisable to invest in a handgun. This guide will give you all the relevant information on some of the best handguns under 500.

What are handguns?

Handguns are a specific type of small-sized, compact and short barrelled firearm. It is designed in a way that allows you to operate, fire and carry it with only one arm. Due to these aforementioned properties of the tool, handguns are considered to be very widely held and recommended personal safety and self-defense weapon – not only for the police and military personnel but also for civilians.

What are the different types of handguns?

There are five different types of best handguns under $500 currently in the market – each of them boasting of having distinctive features in terms of the speed of firing, the loading system, the capacity of the magazine and the caliber of the bullet used in it. These five types are:

Single shot pistols

Single shot pistols are the oldest kind of handguns and thus, are regarded as the most basic version of a modern-day handgun. The type of weapon can be best described as a mini hand-held canon that discharges a single round of bullet after which a manual reload is required. These guns are extremely tiny and thus, are very easy to conceal. As these pistols are archaic compared to modern day guns, they are not recommended for self-defense purposes. Nowadays, the single shot pistols are only available and used for big game hunting.

Multi-barreled pistols

Multi-barreled pistols are an evolutionized form of the single shot pistol and were created shortly after that. These were created so as to allow users to fire more than a single shot at a time, without having to manually reload continuously. Though this handgun was more evolved than the single shot ones, they still lacked the edge and comfort demanded by a handgun used for self-defense and personal safety purposes.


Revolvers are handguns that are proficient in multi-loading the bullet chamber in it via a spinning cartridge-packed cylinder. Depending upon the brand and make of the firearm, a revolver can accommodate from five to eight rounds of bullets. Each time the trigger is pressed; the cartridge cylinder will rotate and fill the chamber with a fresh round of bullet. This is why a revolver is more accurate and powerful a handgun, as compared to other sorts of handguns. Revolvers are further categorized into two different varieties: single action and double action. Being a Western-tailored handgun, a single action revolver entails a thumb cock in advance of the weapon being fired. On the other hand, a double action revolver has a harder trigger depression, thus, allowing successive shots to be fired without a break.

Semi-automatic handguns

Semi-automatic handguns are a type of firearm that utilizes the energy released from the discharging action of the gun to spontaneously refill the bullet compartment for a successive shot. They can be either powered by gas or recoil energy to reload the subsequent gunshot.

Automatic handguns

Automatic handguns have the competence of speedy and uninterrupted firing with a simple click of the trigger. This is a pretty, complex and difficult-to-handle firearm, because of the unit’s lightweight and aptitude to swiftly fire.

Out of all the five varieties of handguns, only revolvers and semi-automatic pistols are recommended to be used for self-defense and protection purposes, especially for those using or buying a firearm for the first time. The single shot pistols and multi-barreled pistol are considered far too basic to be used for self-defense purposes – so they are only used for hunting purposes or are bought by collectors. On the other hand, fully automatic handguns are, to quite a large extent, not legally allowed to be purchased and/or used.

Factors to consider when buying a gun

Selecting the right handgun for you is an important process, as it is one that will make all the difference when your loved one’s lives or your own life is put in grave danger. Thus, when buying a handgun, one must consider all the following factors before, during as well as after purchasing the gun:

Study the valid gun laws in your region

Gun laws not only vary from country to country but also from state to state and locality to locality. So, prior to purchasing a gun, you need to learn and study all the valid laws in your region. Visit your state government or local municipal corporations’ website to find out all about guns, their licensing and laws.

Consider the purpose of the gun

Asking yourself the purpose of the gun is a very simple yet important question. Ask yourself: whether you need it for personal safety and defense purposes? If yes, then will you carry it with you or safely keep it at home? Establishing the answers to all these questions will not only give you a clear purpose of the gun but will even help you choose your gun. It will help figure out the size, make, style, materials, caliber, ammunition as well as the barrel of the subsequent gun you buy.

Consider the type of gun

Learn and understand the types of handguns and the differences between them. This needs to be done as each variety of pistol varies monumentally. When it comes to the weapon’s dimensions, its grip strength, its cartridge size, its reliability, its accuracy as well as your capability while handling and reloading the gun under stress are factors to be considered.

Examine the cost vs. the comfort of the firearm

This one of the most important factors you need to consider before investing in a gun. All guns will have the same function; but you need a pick a firearm that is not only within your budget but also, is comfortable and easy for you to control and handle.

Ethics of owning a firearm

When you think about purchasing a firearm, you also need to contemplate the morals and responsibilities involved in owning a firearm, particularly if you’re procuring it for personal or household defense. You need to reflect on what it means to shoot, should the need to defend yourself or your loved ones arise.

Research thoroughly

Research all the various good brands and makes of guns before shortlisting the possible ones you think might be the right fit for you. After shortlisting those guns, read and research all about their technical properties, their working, the materials and build of the pistol as well as the purpose and accuracy of the firearm. You need to do this not just for the gun itself but for all accessories that you need or want to buy for it – this includes the bullets, the cleaning and maintenance kits, the gun safe, etc. Reading reviews from credible sites is the best way to go about this.

Try before you purchase

It is always advisable to go to a gun range or training center to try out a gun similar to the one you’re considering buying. This will allow you to get a feel of the gun, its handling, as well as its working. In the long run, this will permit you to buy a gun worth the money.

Take some training course

It is essential that you learn the best ways to safely handle, control and fire the handgun. So, a firearms training course is a must, especially if you’re new to guns. Locate the most reputable professional training centers around you – check for the ratings of the institute, the trainers in it, the types of guns they teach to handle along with the cost of the courses. The advantage of learning from a professional firearm training center is that they not only teach you all about the basics of the handgun but they also teach you various shooting techniques that are best for your body type.

Buying the gun

Always, always, always buy your gun from a reputable,
professional and licensed gun shop. The main advantage of buying it from such a store is that you can rely on the quality and trustworthiness of your weapon. Also, make sure the price of the gun you’re buying is around the same as that you have researched.

Don’t just purchase a gun because it is cheaper – a cheaper gun maybe less priced as it may have some factory-defect or that it may have certain problems the vendor may not be telling you about. Other than that, you also need to ensure that the gun you’re buying is from a trusted and reputable brand.

Secure your firearm after purchasing it

A responsible gun owner must always keep his/her gun secure and locked up; So, after purchasing your gun license it and lock it up whenever you are keeping it with or on you. You need to lock up your gun with its bullet chamber empty and as such that the ammunition and the weapon should be kept locked up separately.

Test diverse brands of bullets

Each handgun has several brands of bullets that can fit into it, but only the ammunition of some of these brands is accepted by the gun. So after purchasing your pistol, try-out several different brands that produce bullets for your weapon and hen-pick the one that is the best fit for your weapon. This is essential as you don’t want ammunition failure during the time when you need your firearm the most.

Clean and maintain your firearm regularly

Each handgun comes with a manual detailing all the storage, cleaning and maintenance requirements of the particular firearm – read and learn all of these thoroughly. This may even need you to invest in a gun cleaning and maintenance set. A gun will only retain its efficiency, accuracy, and reliability if it is properly cleaned and cared for.

Become acquainted with your handgun

The only way that you will be able to use your gun effectively when it is required is when you practice handling and firing your handgun regularly. This need not be daily or even weekly – just enough that you become proficient in operating your handgun.  Handguns have various things that you need to learn about such as its loading technique, its safety mechanism, it’s accurate handling of recoil along with the accurate placing of the shot on the intended target.

Your first gun is never your last one

Often first-time handgun buyers and owners think that the first gun they buy is always going to be the last one – this is a huge mistake. Each gun has a certain amount life until when it will function perfectly for you¸ but beyond this time it becomes pretty inaccurate as compared to its previous working. Also, often gun users quickly outgrow their guns, for different reasons. So, don’t get way too attached to your firearm.

To help you shortlist and find the best guns under $500, we have compiled a list of the best handguns under $500 in 2018.

Top 5 Best Handguns under $500 in 2018

1. Kahr Arms – CM9

Kahr Arms’ CM9 not only comes from a top and reliable brand but is also the best pistol under $500. Though this particular handgun is cheap as compared to its other counterparts by the brand, it has made sure to complete all the needs of a comfortable and reliable handgun.

The tiny size and design of the handgun make it portable and pretty easy to carry around with you. The design of the unit is such that it fits in majority of the gun holsters available in the market, with ease. Along with its pocket-friendly price, this handgun has a pretty basic but great frame construction and styling.

The functionality and performance of the handgun is spot on – mostly due to the strong textured polymer grip and good black polymer frame with matte stainless slide provided by the handgun. Other than this, the handgun has two dot combat red dots – a feature very commonly available on most Kahr guns.

The accuracy provided by this set, while shooting, is pretty amazing – with a magazine release that is very easy to actuate and gets it into location effortlessly. All of these features combine together to give a handgun that is not only good in performance but also has a great lifespan.


2. Bersa Thunder 380 Plus

Bersa’s Thunder 380 Plus is yet another pistol that always makes its way into the list of best pistols under $500. Bersa is one of the best brands producing guns in the market currently, delivers yet another top performing pistol for its price range.

Bersa aims to give a long-lasting, top quality handgun with this model and did do so, by providing the model with a frame having the best possible strength and balance. Also, the frame is very lightweight, thereby making it easy to carry as well as conceal at all times.

The gun boasts of having an ambidextrous design – making it easier to use for both left as well as right-handed shooters. This ambidextrous design also works in favor of the magazine catch and all other chief machinery of the pistol.

Speaking of the magazine capacity – the gun has a 15 round magazine capacity, easily making it a gun with one of the highest number of rounds for a gun so low priced. This high capacity of magazines allows shooting without reloading all the time.

The set has good accuracy with consistent delivery shots – allowing you to get the best possible accuracy for shooting at various different distances. The gun also has a 3-dot sight system which allows you to have a perfect sight of your intended target – granting you an easy and comfortable time while using the handgun.

The greatest advantage of buying this handgun is that the manufacturing company, Bersa allows you to have a lifetime service contract – thereby allowing you to use your firearm without worrying about warranty and parts replacement.

3. Smith & Wesson SD9VE

Coming from another reputable brand, the Smith and Wesson SD9VE is a cheaper and more affordable version of the brand’s more expensive guns. The handgun has been designed in a way, that it has a strong frame with a stamped sheet metal slide release and plastic guide rod.

The set has basic styling with a just a black chrome finish along with a comfortable, strong-grip, textured design with textured grips and well-finished metal surfaces. This particular design as given in the model gives you the best possible grip while shooting and helps you to control the handgun when it recoils after shooting.

The design of the gun is such that it has all the essentials for making a pistol easy to use and handle. The gun boasts of great placement of its magazine release as well as its slide release – making the gun effortless to use.

The gun has very simple and easy to understand controls and mechanisms – thus, you do not have to understand or fidget with controls. You simply have to point at your intended target and shoot.

The gun also has the added advantage to be easily disassembled to its basics and being built right back up. The whole set comes with a guide that instructs you on how to disassemble and reassemble. This particular feature makes the gun very easy to clean, maintain and store safely.


4. FN – FNS 9C Black Stainless

FNS 9C Black Stainless is the one of the best handgun under $500 due to the top-notch technology built into the model, making the gun highly accurate and reliable. This is one of the most classic performance pistols with features of pricey guns at affordable prices.

With just an overall length of 6.7 inches, the gun is pretty compact, portable and easy to conceal. Along with this, the gun also has the added benefit of being able to fit in almost all gun holsters currently available in the market. The handgun boasts of a magazine capacity of 12 rounds, which is pretty good for a gun under $500.

The model also can be easily stored and drawn from the holster due to its lightweight and compact nature. This is an important feature as when your life is in grave danger fast drawing of your weapon is the one and the only thing that may save your life.

The overall design and frame of the gun are of black stainless steel with polymer construction. This makes for a model of gun that is durable and has a long life. The gun has an aesthetically pleasing and stylish finish – made so to make the pistol durable and resistant to scratches.

5. SCCY Industries LLC – SCCY CPX-2

The SCCY CPX-2 is a classic example of a top-notch performer and reliable pistol available at affordable prices.

The gun is designed such that it is very lightweight, 15 ounces to be exact – in fact, in this list, it is the lightest of the whole lot. This gives the gun the features of being easily carryable and portable. In terms of magazine capacity, the gun has 10 rounds in the magazine plus one in the chamber, which allows a fair number of bullets to be loaded into the gun to be used while shooting.

The handgun boasts of a big and strong grip to easily handle and operate the set, along with the presence of absorbing gaps. These absorbing gaps make sure to dampen the recoil of the gun after shooting.

The only drawback of this gun is that it has quite a bulky shape. The bulkiness is due to the width of the gun. Though bulky, this gun is compact enough to fit into various types of gun holsters available in the market.

Last but not the least, the handgun has been designed to have low profile fixed sights, which will help you easily and comfortably pinpoint the exact location of your intended target, while shooting. Along with the ease of pinpointing, the sights also allow you to fit in your gun into your holster with ease.


You may be looking for the best handguns under 500 either for hobby or personal protection, whatever may be the purpose, we are sure that this guide will help you through the buying process.

If have any additional queries regarding the best handguns under 500, please drop a comment and we will surely help you out.