If you’re on a budget, yet need a quality handgun for target shooting or self-defense purposes, you need to trust that finding a good and reliable handgun for under $300 is possible. However, it is going to be really tricky at first. Many people tend to stray away from a handgun that is south of a certain price point over concerns that they may end up with a cheap model that will fail shortly after use.
In our article today, we have compiled a list and reviewed some of the top handguns you can get for under $300. These are not only quality handguns, but they are also guaranteed to work for a long time with no instance of malfunctioning. If this is your cup of tea, then you should definitely read on.
However, before we get to the list itself, let’s spend some time to discuss several factors/characteristics and what to look for in a pistol within that price range.
|Handguns||Name||Editor’s Comment||Rating||Get The Best Deal|
|Taurus G2C 9mm||
Most Recommended Option
1. Durable build
|10/10||Check Current Price|
|Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield M2.0 9mm||1. Even better features than the original S&W design
2. High popularity as a concealed carry pistol
3. Reliable and efficient
|9.5/10||Check Current Price|
|Ruger EC9s||1. Striker-fired evolution
2. Machined, non-adjustable sights
3. A manual safety on top of its trigger-blade safety feature
|9.5/10||Check Current Price|
|Rock Island Armory M206||1. Pull-back cylinder release and checkered wood grips
2. Pinned, single-piece barrel, fixed sight
3. Six-rounds magazine capacity
|9.0/10||Check Current Price|
|Remington RM380 Micro .380 ACP 6 Rounds Pistol||1. Durable build
2. Ambidextrous magazine release
3. Hammer-fired operation
|Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm Pistol||1. Light and flat 9mm handgun
2. Easy to conceal
3. Comes with different finishes and grips
|Bersa Thunder .380 ACP Pistol||1. Bersa is renowned for reliability and accuracy
2. Comes with good sights
3. 7 rounds magazine capacity
|Walther PPK/S ,22 LR Pistol||1. Suppressor ready thanks to its threaded barrel
2. Good for beginners
3. Fun to shoot
|SCCY CPX-2||1. Low profile sights
2. Reduces recoil
3. Large 10+1 ammo magazine capacity
|Beretta USA Pico||1. Single-stack magazine
2. Chassis-style polymer frame
3. Double-action only (DAO) trigger
|SAR USA SAR 9||1. Duty-style, double-stack pistol
2. Replaceable panels
3. Serrations at the front and rear sides of the slide
Buying Considerations for a Handgun Under $300
The key to finding the right gun under $300 is the ability to distinguish a quality pistol from one that is lacking in performance. Here are a few things you can look out for to help you determine which is worth your money:
The two best materials that you can find on most firearms, accessories, and gear are steel and polymer. This comes as no surprise as they are tough and durable enough to handle all sorts of abuse and multiple instances of impact. Other than that, they can even enhance the performance of the pistol. For example, polymer grips offer much better holding and control of the handgun.
This is another big factor that you need to take note of. You should check that the pistol can work consistently, especially in situations you need it most. The last thing you need in an already dangerous situation is to be in even more grave danger due to a malfunctioning handgun. Fortunately, the pistols on our list today have been battle-tested and have a good reputation for its reliability.
Obviously, those shopping with a tight budget will place a large emphasis on the pistol’s pricing. However, you need to remember that this shouldn’t be the only reason why you purchased the gun. Take a look at the quality and performance of the gun and if they’re excellent in both aspects with a price that is within your budget, then you’ve obviously found a winning option for you.
Review of the Best Handguns Under $300
Now let’s dive straight into our list of the best handguns under $300.
1. Taurus G2C 9mm
Taurus pistols are popular for their concealability thanks to their small stature that is enough to fit into a good number of holsters or purse while still being able to keep low under the radar as you carry out your daily activities. Although some may find carrying a pistol around in public may be a daunting task, it does offer peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared for an emergency situation anytime, anywhere.
The Taurus G2C is an excellent pistol that will last you for years and even decades provided that you take good care of it regularly. Other than serving as a well concealed carry pistol, the Taurus G2C can even help you shoot targets at the range.
Many buyers have reported that this Taurus 9mm pistol is in excellent condition right out of the box and it could fire beautifully without a single jam or malfunction. Many have noticed that loading and disassembling the handgun is very easy, making it possible to clean and maintain regularly without too much fuss.
The bottom line is that the G2C 9mm pistol exceeds all sorts of standards and expectations and has proven itself to be deserving of the top spot in our list today. If you’re after a handgun that is durable and reliable while still providing consistent accuracy, then this pistol might just be the one for you.
Average Retail Price: $204.21
- Durable build
- Easily adjustable front sight
- Comes with two magazines
- Excellent for concealed carry practices
- Fits into many holsters
- Easy disassembly for cleaning and maintenance
- May not suit those with larger hands
- Trigger pull might be a little gritty at first
- Not the best target shooting pistol
2. Remington RM380 Micro .380 ACP 6 Rounds Pistol
Best Micro Pistol
Being an iconic firearms manufacturer since 1816, Remington should require little to no introduction. Remington has had over 200 years of experience designing and creating all kinds of firearms. Today, we will be talking about their RM380 Micro .380 ACP pistol.
Although the RM380 Micro pistol may be small in size, they are huge on performance and reliability. The company has certainly worked overtime to fine-tune this handgun, resulting in unfailing functionality with very good accuracy that can fit into any pocket holster.
The RM380 has a hammer-fired operating system and is paired with its double-action only (DAO) system. However, one thing that you should keep in mind is that the trigger pull has a pull weight of between 9 to 10 lbs, meaning that it may not be to everyone’s liking.
In terms of dimensions, the Remington Micro 380 ACP has a barrel length of 2.9 inches with an overall length of 5.27 inches and 12.2 oz in weight. In addition to a full metal construction and a fully functional slide stop, the handgun features a 6 rounds magazine capacity and an ambidextrous magazine release.
The Remington pistol also has a checkered front strap and an optimized grip handle to ensure better handling even in wet conditions or rainy weather. The company has also included an undercut trigger guard to prevent any accidental misfires.
Overall, if you are looking for a well priced concealed carry handgun for personal protection or home defense that feels comfortable in terms of reliability and dependability, then you need not look further than this. But do bear in mind, many shooters may find that the pull weight will take some getting used to.
Average Retail Price: $245.35
- Durable build
- Ambidextrous magazine release
- Reliable and dependable pocket pistol
- Hammer-fired operation
- Good stopping power
- Good size for concealment
- Heavy pull weight might need some training
3. Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm Pistol
Best Bang for Buck
The PF9 pistol has been designed based on the manufacturer’s popular P-11 and Kel-Tec P 3AT model. The PF-9 is a semi-automatic, locked breech pistol that chambers 9mm Luger cartridges and is small enough for concealed carry purposes.
Featuring a 7+1 rounds single stack magazine, the PF-9 is a very light and flat 9mm handgun with an overall length of 5.85 inches that includes a barrel length of 3.1 inches. The sight radius is 4.6 inches and weighs in at 12.7 ounces.
In terms of firing mechanism, the PF-9 offers a smooth double-action only operation with a rapid reset. Although the pistol does come with optics, they’re more suited for close-quarter situations. However, it does not come with a manual safety feature as the DAO trigger acts as its own automatic hammer block security feature.
In addition to that, buyers even have a choice of finish. The PF-9 pistol comes in blued, parkerized, or hard chromed finishes with a grip choice of either black, grey, or olive drab. Overall, the bottom line is that the PF-9 pistol is manufactured in a good size to make it a great fit for those who need an easily concealable 9mm pocket pistol as a personal and home defense weapon.
Average Retail Price: $237.25
- Light and flat 9mm handgun
- Easy to conceal
- Comes with different finishes and grips
- DAO system may require practice to master
4. Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield M2.0 9mm
Best for Concealed Carry
As a popular firearm company, the Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield 9mm model is definitely a force to be reckoned with. Those looking for an effective and reliable concealed carry handgun will love this S&W model as it comes with the additional benefit of a green Crimson Trace laser system that can be activated through an easy-on, push-button feature to give enhanced target acquisition.
Not only that, but the striker-fired 9mm handgun comes with a barrel length of 3.1 inches and an overall length of 6.1 inches with front and rear sights fixed in. With the purchase, you also get two magazines: a 7 rounds flush fit and an 8 rounds extended grip.
The S&W M2.0 version semi-automatic pistol now offers even more benefits to the already highly popular S&W Shield models. The two additions that stand out are the grip texture and a trigger revision.
The design of the hinged trigger and passive safety (including a standard thumb safety) remains the same with a plain muzzle flip, however, the trigger stop has been moved higher to reduce overtravel. S&W even included an improved spring kit into the pistol.
- Even better features than the original S&W design
- High popularity as a concealed carry pistol
- Reliable and efficient
- Slightly expensive for a budget pistol
- Extended magazine not easiest for concealed carry uses
5. Bersa Thunder .380 ACP Pistol
Best for Value
The Thunder is one of the company’s best selling models as it is both reliable and accurate. This light weight pistol is a very good choice for self-defense situations. Featuring an aluminum frame, this Bersa pistol is light enough to carry and easy to handle when shooting.
Some of the specs you get when buying into this handgun include a .380 ACP caliber that packs plenty of punch and stopping power, double/single action (DA/SA) operating system, 7 rounds capacity, alloy frame construction with a steel slide, and a purple anodized finish.
The Thunder pistol has an overall length of 6.6 inches including 3.5 inches of barrel length and weighs a total of 20 ounces. Other than that, you get three safety features: an integral locking system, manual safety, and a firing pin. The carry gun even comes with a Dovetail front sight and Notched-Bar Dovetailed rear sight that further add to the value you are receiving.
While pistols with very small profiles do need some training to get used to, the .380 ACP caliber pistol will make you feel at home far more quickly thanks to its lightweight aluminum frame and slightly larger size to suit many shooters.
Average Retail Price: $261.83
- Bersa is renowned for reliability and accuracy
- Comes with good sights
- Ease of handling
- 7 rounds magazine capacity
- Larger than other pistols
- Not the easiest choice to conceal
- Requires some training
6. Walther PPK/S ,22 LR Pistol
Best Iconic Pistol
This Walther pistol is an iconic firearm that has appeared on many James Bond scenes. The PPK/S .22 has an almost identical design to those original, centerfire PP and PPK handgun series.
However, this model comes in .22 rimfire that employs a straight blowback system that features a fixed barrel. The pistol even has a recoil spring that uses the barrel as the guide rod. Although the trigger mechanism is similar to its centerfire variants, many will notice that the double action system has a heavier pull.
When you purchase this handgun, you also get a Walther black plastic case with 1 x 10 round capacity magazine, a gun lock, and owner’s manual, plus a useful NSSF safety pamphlet and warranty card. Furthermore, this pistol even lets you use it in either single action or double action mode (DA/SA), depending on your preference.
In terms of size, the PPK/S pistol has a 3.3-inch barrel length included in an overall length of 6.1 inches and 24 ounces in weight. Overall, the PPK/S .22 LR pistol is a fun weapon to shoot with a recoil that is far easier to handle, making this a good choice for beginners learning the art of handgun shooting.
- Iconic design
- Suppressor ready thanks to its threaded barrel
- Fun to shoot
- Good for beginners
- Light recoil
- Heavy pull weight in DA mode
- Not the easiest to conceal carry
- No lifetime warranty
7. SCCY CPX-2
The SCCY CPX-2 is yet another good choice of a great performance double-action decocking lever handgun that won’t break your bank. The first thing to mention about this high-quality pistol is its overall light weight construction that makes the CPX-2 weighing approximately 15 ounces only.
Other than that, the pistol even comes with a 10+1 ammunition magazine capacity in its chamber to give you the assurance that you have enough rounds to last you the whole day at the range or during a self-defense situation.
The pistol’s polymer frame comes in a wide variety of colors which include a natural stainless finish or a black nitride finishing. Although the SCCY CPX-2 lacks any form of a manual safety, it does sport a DAO design that results in a long and smooth trigger pull.
Furthermore, the pistol also comes with a wide grip frame and sufficient absorbing gaps to help dampen any recoil action, enabling the pistol to be easy to control. The wide grip frame also means that it can fit neatly in your hands for comfortable ergonomics.
However, since the pistol has a wider grip, it also means that the pistol may be slightly bulky for some. Nonetheless, the CPX-2 pistol should still be able to fit easily into all kinds of pocket holster types to make concealed carry or IWB purpose possible.
Not only that, but the model even comes with low profile fixed sights that will not get in the way of fitting the pistol into your holsters. The sights also make it easy to pinpoint the exact location of your target for quick acquisition. Bottom line is that this is a sharp-looking carry gun with an affordable price range, making it a perfect entry-level option for those new to the game.
Average Retail Price: $227.02
- Low profile sights
- Reduces recoil
- Double-action design
- Fit into all kinds of holster
- Large 10+1 ammo magazine capacity
- Sights are not adjustable
- Lacks manual safety
8. Beretta USA Pico
Best Thinnest Pistol
The Beretta USA Pico is one of the thinnest pistols available today to suit concealed carry practices. Constructed with a single-stack magazine contained in a chassis-style polymer frame, this pistol utilizes a hammer-fired operation actuated through a double-action only (DAO) trigger to offer users the capability for a quick re-strike.
The USA Pico is a compact pistol with an overall length of 5.1 inches, including a 2.7-inch barrel length, and weighs 11.5 ounces. This makes the handgun one of the smallest or thinnest budget value handguns on our list today, meaning it can easily fit into your holster.
Other than that, the Beretta pistol even comes equipped with easy-to-use and adjustable sights that are snag-free as well as two 6-round capacity magazines. One of the mentioned magazines even has an extended baseplate. Lastly, USA Pico has slide serrations at the rear to ensure a textured surface for racking.
Average Retail Price: $257.75
9. Ruger EC9s
The Ruger EC9s is a striker-fired evolution from the company’s popular LC9 pistol. This is basically the budget version of Ruger’s LC9 Pro, which itself is already an updated version of the LC9.
Regardless, the Ruger EC9s comes with machined, non-adjustable sights, a manual safety on top of its trigger-blade safety feature, a magazine disconnect, and even a black-oxide-coated slide.
With 6 inches overall length and 17.2 ounces in weight, the EC9s is still considered to be an extremely small and lightweight pistol that is easily concealable. By employing Ruger’s cost-reducing efforts, the EC9s is now much less expensive compared to its parent design.
Average Retail Price: $225.38
10. SAR USA SAR 9
Sarsilmaz is a Turkey arms company that has a good track record for producing sidearms for the Turkish military. The manufacturer has now started to offer a line of polymer-frame hand guns in the U.S. market.
The duty-style, double-stack SAR 9 pistol comes with a textured frame complete with finger grooves along the gun’s front strap for easy handling. The pistol even has replaceable panels to allow shooters to customize the frame to fit their hands. Users can even enhance the manipulation of the pistol through the serrations at the front and rear sides of the slide.
Average Retail Price: $291.76
11. Rock Island Armory M206
Best Revolver Under $300
The M206 is imported from the Philippines and features an interesting mix of several revolver designs that revolver enthusiasts may love. Such designs include a pull-back cylinder release and checkered wood grips that are similar to the old-school Colt Detective Specials.
Furthermore, the revolvers are even equipped with a pinned, single-piece barrel, fixed sight, and a squared-off ejector shroud.
The M206 gun comes with a six-rounds magazine capacity with a 2.15-inch barrel length to produce an overall length of 7.75 inches. This revolver weighs 25 ounces, which is one of the heaviest pistols mentioned in our article today.
Providing a DA/SA operation, the Rock Island Armory gun also sports an exposed hammer that is spade-shaped and textured design. Each revolver also comes with its own transfer-bar safety to prevent any accidental firing if dropped.
Overall, this is a high-quality option that makes for a good choice to meet the needs of anyone who needs a gun for home or self-defense. If you need something small enough to fit into your purse, glove box, or even small holsters, then you may just want to consider purchasing this revolver for your own use.
Average Retail Price: $226.88
No doubt owning a handgun and keeping one on you at all times offers peace of mind. They are excellent choices for plinking or target shooting practice known for their simplicity, durability, and versatility. Not only that, but handguns even score highly when it comes to self-protection, especially in adding to an owner’s self-confidence.
However, not all of us can afford an expensive handgun just for self-defense purposes, and this is where the more affordable handguns on our list today fit the bill. If you’ve found a favorite, remember to check out their descriptions and their unique characteristic and go through articles by experts to decide whether it’s worth the money.
Hopefully, today’s article on our list of recommendations and gun reviews has provided everyone with the tip and information you need to make an informed decision on the best gun under $300 to get.