Best Budget Handgun: Top Five of 2019

At one time or another, I bet the majority of us have been living life on a tight budget. unfortunately, your budget is not accounted for when it comes to self and home defense. Young adults living on their own for the first time are prime targets and their need for a reliable and affordable firearm is very real so they’re going to be looking for the best budget pistol they can find. Let’s face it, they often don’t have the money for a nice Heckler & Koch. But the best budget handgun isn’t just for those tight on money. The list below of the best budget 9mm pistols are great impulse purchases, gifts, and a good way to add to all of our ever-growing collections.

This article originally published in March 2019.

Here is my Top 5 Best Budget Handgun list for 2019. We’ll update this soon for 2020!

The Canik Pistols

Canik has several different models of handguns. The TP9SA is the cheapest of the bunch, and truly the best budget 9mm model if you are trying to save money. Caniks are essentially Walther P99/PPQ clones that are built in Turkey and imported by Century Arms. The Canik line of handguns is expansive and you do have plain jane standard models all the way to guns like the competition ready TP9SFx for a slightly higher price. These represent amazing value and come with a holster, and two magazines. They have proven to be reliable, easy shooting, and a great full-sized budget gun.

Canik TP9SA - Best budget pistols - best budget handguns - handguns under 300
The Canik TP9SA is the best budget pistol in the Canik Lineup.

Ruger Security 9

This is a relatively new gun on the market but comes from a great manufacturer. The Ruger Security 9 is a play on the old Ruger Security 6 revolver. The Security 9 is a 9mm, double stack handgun that is striker-fired. It’s easily one of the most affordable American made guns on the market. The Security 9 is a reliable and easy shooting gun that performs well beyond its budget price. A huge draw to the gun is the fact the Ruger PCC uses Security 9 magazines. This allows you to share mags between each gun.

Ruger Security 9 - rugers best budget handgun
The Security 9 is Ruger’s best budget handgun.

Walther Creed

Walther proved you can make high-quality budget handguns with a great trigger at an affordable price tag with the original PPX. The Creed is the evolution of the PPX. The Creed is slimmer, sleeker, and better looking than the older PPX. It’s got one of the best triggers an affordable gun can have and Walther makes these guns to last. The PPX and Creed use the same magazines making it easy to find an existing supply. As a budget gun, you sacrifice a few unnecessary features to get a gun that’s cheap and is brilliantly priced.

Walther Creed - best budget handguns - handguns under 300
Creed is a lame name, but this is a Great Gun.

Smith and Wesson SD9VE

The SDVE has a storied history that starts with the original S&W Sigma pistol. The Sigma was one of the first full-sized budget handguns. It had a relatively short life following a lawsuit by Glock. The SD9VE is the modern Sigma and is a modern pistol. It is a striker-fired, semi-automatic pistol that has a Picatinny rail for accessories. Admittedly the trigger kinda sucks, but it is a reliable and cheap gun. The magazines are the same as they’ve always been and this makes them easy to find throughout the different generations of the S&W budget handguns.

Smith and Wesson SD9VE - budget pistol
The Smith and Wesson SD9VE is a classic budget gun.

Rock Island Armory 1911 GI

I can’t do a full-sized best budget pistol article without including the 1911, can I? 1911 frame pistols, in general, can range from the affordable Rock Island models to the “It will cost your firstborn” range. A Rock Island 1911 is a solid gun and the GI Models are by far the most affordable. I’ve owned one for over a decade and it has never let me down. Best of all,1911s are so popular you can find holsters, parts, magazines, and accessories of all kinds that equally affordable.

Rock Island Armory 1911 GI
The Rock Island Armory 1911 GI is an American classic.

Best Budget Handgun — Full Sized

Full-Sized budget handguns are not hard to find and you should never purchase something unreliable just because of its price. The guns listed above are the best budget handgun models on the market when you compare their cost to their reliability and ease of use. These guns are dependable, reliable, and carry with them a reputation beyond my own humble opinions and experiences.

Do you folks have experience with these guns? If so what do you think is the best budget handgun? Have a best budget 9mm Luger alternative for me to toss up here? Let me know why below.

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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