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8 Dependable Pistols You Can Buy NEW For Under $300

8 Dependable Pistols You Can Buy NEW For Under $300

Image source: Bersa

A center-fire pistol is one item that every homesteader should consider owning.

Sure, shotguns and rifles may pack a greater punch, but they are larger and significantly heavier than a pistol. Unfortunately, pistols also can be fairly expensive, and not everyone has the disposable income to spend $600 on a new Glock, Sig Sauer or Springfield.

While buying a used gun is always an option, pricing and availability of used pistols are wildly inconsistent. Besides, you never truly know if a used gun will work until you take it to the range for the first time. Speaking from experience, I can tell you that there is nothing more disheartening than pulling the trigger on the used pistol you just bought and hearing “click” instead of “bang.”

If you buy a new gun, you can be much more certain that it will function properly out of the box. Sure, there will be a “break-in” period of several hundred rounds before it reaches peak performance, but that timeframe is essential for you to familiarize yourself with each nuance.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

In this article, we will look at some pistols that you can purchase new-in-box for $300 or less. Note that this price does not factor in shipping, tax and transfer fees, so you’ll want to consider those items in your budget. You also will want to pick up a holster, spare magazines, and (of course) ammunition.


Taurus 800 series

Taurus’ 800 series are full-sized, polymer-framed pistols chambered in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP with 17-, 15- and 12-round capacities, respectively. They feature a “strike two” capability, which allows you to pull the trigger again to fire if the chambered round’s primer fails to ignite. These pistols have recently been discontinued by Taurus, but can still be purchased either online or at your local gun store.

1. Sarsilmaz CM9

The Turkish-made SAR CM9 is a full-sized, polymer-framed, double-action/single-action pistol chambered in 9mm. Based on the design of the CZ-75, it has an ambidextrous manual safety, adjustable sights, and a 17-round capacity, making it an excellent option to consider for your kit.

2. FMK 9C1 G2

This budget-friendly, striker-fired 9mm pistol is physically very similar in size and overall profile to a Glock 19; both feature a low-bore axis, similar grip angle, and trigger safeties. It also accepts Glock aftermarket sights, and has a 14-round magazine capacity. If you like the ergonomics of Glock pistols, you definitely should consider picking up an FMK 9C1 for your emergency preparedness kit.

3. Taurus 100 series

The 100-series by Taurus, also called the “Millennium Pro G2,” are compact polymer-framed pistols chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W. They feature moderate magazine capacity (12 rounds and 10 rounds, respectively), a manual safety, aggressive grip texturing, and adjustable sights.

4. KelTec P11

This compact, polymer-framed pistol might not have the polished look and feel of a more expensive gun, but it handles reasonably well, has a 10-round magazine capacity, low-profile 3-dot sights, and weighs less than a pound unloaded.


The SCCY CPX-2 is similar in overall profile to the KelTec P11 – they both feature a double-action trigger and a 10-round magazine capacity, although the CPX-2 is a bit more polished in terms of fit and finish, and comes with two magazines versus the P11’s single magazine. The CPX-1 is reported to have had some severe reliability issues, but CPX-2 owners have reported having few issues.

6. Bersa Thunder 380

If you want a compact pistol for your kit but dislike the heavier recoil of the 9mm round, check out the Bersa Thunder. This .380 ACP pistol is similar in style to a Walther PPK, featuring a single-stack 8-round magazine, a manual safety, and a double-action/single-action trigger system.


7. Rock Island Armory M200 and M206

If you prefer revolvers over automatics, Rock Island Armory has a pair of budget-friendly .38 Specials. Both have a 6-round capacity. The M200 has a larger grip, an exposed hammer, and a 4-inch barrel, while the M206 is a compact, hammerless model with a 2-inch barrel and smaller grip.

8. Taurus Model 85

The Model 85 by Taurus is a compact, 5-shot revolver; it has a 2-inch barrel, rubberized compact grip, and can accept +P ammunition. The Model 85 PFS can be found in the same price range; it features a polymer frame, a slightly larger grip, and a fiber-optic front sight.

What pistol would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:

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  1. A very good solid handgun under $300 and used by many Police and Military’s around the world is the EAA SAR B6P in 9mm. The price point is around $249 to $269 but this is a solid handgun. I like it better than the Glocks I have fired and it has never had a jam and I have put at least 1,000 rounds through my B6P. Hope this helps.

  2. I think a look at the HiPoint would be worthwhile. It is a solid pistol made in the USA and comes with a life time warranty. They can be had for less than $300. Their only drawback is they are bulky for conceal carry.

    • HiPoints are big and ugly,…..but,, they go “boom” every time you pull the trigger. I have a few friends that own them…….they seem to like them. Great thing about a HiPoint…….when you run out of ammo… can throw the weapon at the bad guy…….like throwing a brick at someone. I personally carry a Taurus PT111 G2 9mm.

    • Hi-point pistols can be problematic. Oddly enough, though, the carbines seem to be as reliable as the sun rising in the morning…

  3. I never go anywhere with out my 85 . On the job I carry a PT809 on my right hip and the 85 in my right boot in an ankle rig off the job its my 85 in my right pocket and 2 speed loaders in my left pocket.

  4. I own a Thunder 380 Bersa and like it a lot. The satin nickel finish works well in our humid environment.

  5. Don’t forget SCCY.

  6. Michael Beckham

    Keeping the price tag at $300 for a new handgun does limit your options. My thoughts go along with several models mentioned above, namely the Taurus 85 revolver, the Bersa’s in .380 and 9mm, the EAA Witness Polymer, the Sar-9, and Taurus 111Millenium Pro will all do the job. Remember, if you choose a semi-automatic you must try several brands and variations of ammo to see what your pistol ” likes.” In 9mm for example there is ammo with 90gr, 115gr, 124gr and 147gr bullets and various shapes like FMJ, HP, and truncated cone. Find what your pistol likes and stay with that to increase the reliability factor. Revolvers are much less finicky about ammo and go bang with almost anything in the correct caliber. Again though, some ammo will shoot better that others in almost every gun. Shoot some different brands to find what works best in your gun.

  7. I am in a wheelchair but have use of arms and hands. Taken introduction courses on handguns and defense . Looked at .38 S&W snup nose and Beretta Pico. Have fired semi automatic 25 ? Caliber but can’t control and too much kickback. Limited budget….what recommendations?

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