Sure, handguns aren’t the cheapest item on the planet, but buying one doesn’t have to completely blow up the budget, if you consider these pistols under $500.
Handguns are great tools for self-defense. They can also be a whole lot of fun. Because of this, pistols and revolvers make excellent holiday gifts. When gifting a handgun, folks are providing insurance, enjoyment and freedom from fear, all at the same time. Of course, handguns aren’t the least expensive items one can give. In fact, people can spend about as much as they would like on a handgun. Luckily, there are some affordable handguns on the market that make outstanding gifts. Here are some pistols under $500 that anyone would love to pull from under the tree; we threw in a couple of revolvers as well.
As one of the oldest firearm companies in the world, Beretta has knowledge of how guns work. In fact, it has quite a lot of knowledge and experience, which the company used to develop the Beretta APX A1 Carry. Designed around modularity for ease of carry and use, this 9mm striker-fired pistol is considered a compact. As such, it measures less than 1 inch in width and just a little over 5 inches in length, making it extremely concealable. However, this gun is large enough for comfortable shooting and manipulation. On the A1, Beretta also improved the trigger and added cuts for mounting optics. This is a nice feature considering that most optic ready pistols typically cost well north of the APX A1 Carry’s price.
Compact and reliable are the main attributes needed in a carry gun. The Ruger Security-9 contains both at a price that is also quite affordable. Part of this comes from Ruger’s Secure Action fire-control system, with provides a strong ignition while allowing for easier racking of the slide. It also comes with front serrations for even better purchase during manipulation of the slide. Other features include a full-length guide rail and textured grip frame, along with takedown without tools or a trigger pull. It also comes with two, 15-round magazines, or with two, 10-round magazines for areas with magazine limits.
In regard to self-defense, the most important part of having a gun is having it with you. And most people tend to leave heavier guns at home. So, smaller, lighter pistols, such as the SCCY CPX-2 make a lot of sense, especially at its very affordable price point. The fact that it comes with good ergonomics in an excellent self-defense caliber makes it even better. This striker-fired subcompact even comes with an accessory rail and 10 plus one capacity in a variety of frame colors. And for just $10 more, purchasers can upgrade to an optics ready model.
KelTec pretty much started the .380 subcompact craze. So, it stands to reason that the company would also have a pretty good compact 9mm. In fact, the company claims it produces the thinnest and lightest double stack 9mm on the market. The KelTec P15 weighs a mere 14 ounces unloaded and measures only .875 inches in width. And the P15 does this while providing 16 rounds of 9mm power in one magazine and 12 rounds in a flush fitting magazine. Other features include a tritium and fiber-optic front sight and adjustable, tritium, two-dot rear sights. The front and rear serrations and aggressive grip texture also makes this pistol easy to use.
Springfield has been producing the XD for a long time. So long, in fact, that there is an XD to suit anyone’s needs, from full-size duty guns with every feature imaginable to subcompacts with lower price points. That nicer price, though, doesn’t mean the Springfield XD-S MOD 2 OSP lacks features or quality. This single-stack 9mm comes with the MOD.2 grip texture, hammer-forged barrel and forged steel slide. It also comes ready for optics with an OSP cover plate for when optics are not present. Designed for concealed carry, this pistol measures 6.3 inches in length and less than an inch wide. It even comes with two magazines, a flush-fit 7 round and an extended nine round, providing 17 rounds of self-defense power.
While Walther might be best known for the PPK carried by James Bond, the company produces a wide variety of other firearms including the Walther Arm P22 Q. And it is something to consider since everyone needs a .22 LR plinker. The first thing one notices on this plinker is hand fit. Walther has long created handguns that just fit well into the hand and the P22 Q fits into that mold. In addition to the ergonomics, the P22 features adjustable backstraps and ambidextrous controls. It also comes with windage adjustable rear sights, double-action/single-action trigger and a threaded barrel. This is quite a lot since this pistol typically retails for less than $300.
Pistols are great but some people prefer revolvers. Of course, there aren’t too many revolvers that meet the under $500 criteria. The price, of course, isn’t the only reason these were chosen; both offer good value, meaning price versus what one gets. Either of these two handguns would make a nice gift for the revolver lover in your life.
Lots of people argue about self-defense calibers, but no one ever says .357 Mag. isn’t enough, which is why folks should consider the Taurus 605. This revolver, like all .357s, can handle .38 Spl., whether for training or more manageable self-defense. What makes this gun nice, beyond the price, is that it comes in both 2- and 3-inch versions with a few different features from which to choose. These include night and fiber-optic sights, a couple of grips materials and a few different finishes. In fact, it’s the most affordable .357 revolver with this level of features.
While there are more expensive models, Smith & Wesson does produce a M&P Bodyguard revolver in .38 Spl. that is below $500. Just don’t expect a laser on this double-action only gun. It doesn’t mean, however, that this gun isn’t something to consider for concealed carry self-defense; everything S&W builds is high-quality, particularly in the revolver market. This snubnose, five-shot handgun weighs just over 14 ounces, and features an ergonomic polymer grip, pinned front sight and a smooth trigger pull. Another feature, however, makes this gun stand out. The Bodyguard comes with an ambidextrous cylinder release, making it a great choice for revolver loving lefties.
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