Top Five Full Sized Budget Handguns


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. Also, let’s face it, they often don’t have the money for a nice Heckler & Koch. Budget handguns aren’t just for those tight on money. They are great impulses purchases, gifts, and a good way to add to all of our ever-growing collections. Here are my top 5 full sized budget handguns.

The Canik Pistols

Canik has several different models of handguns. The TP9SA is the cheapest of the bunch, and truly the best 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.

The Canik TP9SA is the most affordable model 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’s Best Budget Pistol

Walther Creed

Walther proved you can make a high-quality handgun 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.

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 guns. 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 budget S&W pistol.

A Classic Budget Gun

Rock Island Armory 1911 GI

I can’t do a full-sized budget handguns 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 first born” 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.

An American classic

Full Sized Budget Handguns

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 affordable guns 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? Have an alternative for me to toss up here? Let me know why below.

  • jeff

    A lot of people will hate me for this but what about the HiPoint? They appear to work and have a lifetime guarantee.

    • bigjpop

      There’s budget handguns and then there’s the category of throw away guns. Hi-point is in the throw away category. It’s always hit and miss with Hi-point…you may have a good one but the next two guys get one with a poor recoil spring that prevent the gun from chambering. Sure, you can keep sending the gun in for warranty work, but you’re without a gun for 2-3 weeks.

      • BonesJones Gunny

        Fake News, ancient info… Since the new management took over Hi Point, they have made the reliability 100% better, right out of the box. No One is harder on the HP’s than the boys and gurls at the and the new C9 is pretty great now. Still oogly and bulky, but you did not mention that.

    • BonesJones Gunny

      Limited Capacity, Ugly, Heavy… but reliable and cheap.

  • Boomboy007

    I can attest to the quality of the Canik. I bought one a couple of years ago, and I have put about 1,500 rounds through it. It is very dependable (yet to have a single ftf, jam, or any other issue. Good trigger, and great ergonomics.

  • Mark Brockway

    The Caniks are go to war handguns. They’ve been proven.

  • Lone Amarok

    Hi Travis, would you consider the Bersa TPR9C compact and the TPR9 full size??? Both under 400 dollars… A neat thing about both the compact, it can use the full size magazine. You just have to make your own mag sleeve , which I did using from a XDMOD2 9MM . You just have to shave about 3/16 of an inch off the top, so the magazine locks in. And now you have a full grip. Also Pachmayr and Pearce made a plus 2 pinky grip for a XD and using the same process of grinding top of the meat of the plastic down , they will slide right on and vola’ you have two extra rounds on the compact or the full sized mag. Plus Cheaper than Dirt has aftermarket mags from Pro Mag $17.20 . Sorry i looked on GMW and I am on a buget, and the factory mags are too much..Yuins ought to get the ProMags. They work well. Just a note the Thunder Pro9 and the TPR9 share the same mag also… The XD and the Bersa TPR9C /TPR9 are the same outside dimension. ..Also what about the Taurus G2C?? There are alot of great reviews on YouTube . sorry for going long, i love to share things, that I have discovered, for the benefit of others. God Bless , keith

  • Brett Evans

    I will vouch for the Canik TP9SA. I use it to shoot Steel Challenge matches & have put approx 1,200 rounds through it. Everything I have fired, Tulammo steel cased rounds, Blazer aluminum cased, brass cased reloads and regular budget factory loads, has fed & fired perfectly. Zero malfunctions of any kind. Great trigger.

  • B-Mac

    The Ruger Security Nine is NOT striker-fired. It’s hammer-fired, sharing the same firing mechanism as is in the LCP II, scaled up to a full-sized pistol. I would have expected better research than this coming from GunMagWarehouse on their blog articles. Aside from this mistake, I agree with everything else you said about the pistol – it’s a great budget gun coming from a great, highly-reputable manufacturer, and anyone who purchases the Security Nine, or it’s compact brother, the Security Nine Compact, is getting a great pistol for a multitude of uses.

  • NJSuperDad

    CZ-75B or Sig 2022 both under $500

  • Bobsuruncle

    I have a canik tp9sfx, had worked flawlessly for about 4k rounds, then the firing pin tip broke off. They fixed it… after having it for four months. Not impressed with customer service. I bought a spare one to keep in the case.
    One pistol that I would put on this list is the taurus pt111 g2. I’ve put many thousands of rounds through it, never a problem. It’s on it’s 3rd recoil spring assembly, springs wear out, and it’s finish is all but gone. It always goes bang and puts a hole where I want it.
    Another pistol i would recommend would be the ruger american 9mm. That thing is a tank. I have an early production one. Mine had a barrel to slide gauling issue after over 10k round count. Sent it in to ruger. Ten days later, it’s back in my hands with a new barrel, slide, and recoil assembly. Great customer service. They came out with a recall for this issue a few months later.
    If anyone doubts these round counts, understand that I shoot everyday, going through at least 1000 9mm rounds a week. I have the means to do so and need only walk about 50 yards to my range.