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The 5 Best New Pistols You Can Buy For Under $500

The 5 Best New Pistols You Can Buy For Under $500

Stoeger Cougar. Image source: YouTube

Purchasing a new pistol does not need to be an expensive or complicated task. Some buyers are under the impression that you need to spend more than $1000 on a handgun — and then another $1000 to bring it up to standards.

While this may make for a nice-to-have pistol, it is definitely not a “need-to-have” item. In fact, there are a good number of brand-new firearms that can be had for under $500 that will serve you well, without going the route of the “used gun counter” or bargain basement pieces made by questionable manufacturers.

1. Sig Sauer P250

That is not a misprint. Sig Sauer offers a handgun for less than $500 that is extremely advanced for the price point. The P250 is a double-action-only style pistol with a modular system that allows the shooter to change to different calibers, barrel lengths, grip sizes, etc.

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It may not be the US Navy SEAL’s pistol of choice, but is built in the same factory by the same skilled workers who make those very pistols.

The P250 can be had in 9mm, 357 SIG, 40 S&W, 45 ACP and 380 ACP. For less than $500 including tax, a new owner can walk out the door of his favorite gun shop with a Sig pistol, including a holster and two magazines.

2. Smith & Wesson SD9VE

As one of America’s oldest arms makers, Smith & Wesson is known for its history in building revolvers, but the company produces a variety of quality semi-automatic pistols as well.

The SD9VE is considered a budget model handgun, as it can often be found for less than $400. It is a polymer framed striker-fired 9mm pistol with a magazine capacity of 16 rounds.

Developed in the 1990s as the SIGMA, Smith & Wesson is said to have invested millions of dollars and countless man hours into researching the shape of the human hand in order to develop the grip profile on this pistol.

S&W has concentrated more of the company’s efforts toward the M&P series, but do not let the low price of this pistol fool you. They are reliable, accurate and affordable. They are just not intended to be “heirloom guns.”

3. Ruger LC9

Image source:

Ruger LC9. Image source:

Ruger has been making firearms for over 50 years, and while they were mostly known for sporting guns designed for hunting or competitive shooting, they entered the personal defense market in a big way around 2010 or so.

The LC9 is a striker-fired 9mm defensive handgun with a fiberglass-filled nylon frame that retails for less than $400. Backed by Ruger’s lifetime warranty, these handguns represent tremendous value while providing a reliable and concealable package.

4. Stoeger Cougar

In 1994 Beretta unveiled a new pistol known as the model 8000 or “The Cougar.” It was intended to be a more compact version of the company’s flagship Model 92. With declining sales and the company moving in a different direction with its handguns, the design was given to its subsidiary, Stoeger Firearms, who sent the machining to Turkey and changed it to the Cougar.

It has the same reliable double-action/single-action trigger, tips the scales at 32 ounces and can be had in 9mm, 40 S&W and 45 ACP. However, it is close to half the price of the Italian-made original at an MSRP of $469.

5. FNS 9C

FNH (Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal) is one of the oldest manufacturers of firearms in the world and is known for producing such spectacular firearms as the M249 SAW, Browning Hi Power, FN P90 and M4 carbines for the US Military.

It’s hard to believe the company produces a handgun that retails for $499 and includes several magazines and other accessories.

The FNS9C is a compact-sized, double-action hammer-fired pistol that takes a 17-round magazine and comes equipped with a Picatinny rail for mounting accessories.

Out-of-the-box accuracy is exceptional, and the hammer gives the shooter a “second strike” capability that striker-fired pistols do not offer.

These five pistols are proven designs by top tier manufacturers that offer affordability due to their polymer frames in four cases, or overseas manufacture in the case of the one non-polymer framed handgun.

Accessories and ammunition are available for all of them, and they will keep you well-armed without breaking the bank.

What would you add to the list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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  1. I would add the Taurus Millenium P111. 9mm, holds 12+1, compact for concealed carry. Best of all, I paid $250, AND got a $50 rebate, for a net cost of $200, brand new.

    • The problem with Taurus has always been the same issue, there is absolutely zero quality control. What may end up being a fantastic pistol for you may be a jam fest every round for me. If you got a good one that’s great, if not don’t be surprised. It’s basically a game of functional Russian roulette.

  2. Yeah….. ‘Taurus’ and $200. Probably paid $195 too much.

    Ya can’t have every gun in every article but look at the Bersa Thunder Pro UC 9mm.

    Wicked great gun for about $400. ACCURATE!! Reliable and feels great in the hand.

    Don’t take my word for it, do the due diligence yourself. You’ll be quite happy. It’s now my EDC piece and with the correct holster you’ll almost forget it’s there.

    • Even cheaper is the Bersa Thunder .380 . This is the most reliable and accurate handgun you will ever fire and around $300.00 . Ladies have no problem with the recoil and the men say it kicks like a 22 . Best of all it has safety features and is small enough to conceal. Look you don’t need a tactical weapon to protect you on the street or in your car, you need a weapon you can depend on that will take care of your attacker and save your life. The Thunder will do that job !

      • I’m not trying to be cheap, but if good performance and reliability can be owned for a modest price put one aside for me! I’ve had several Taurus model pistols and have never had any problems and would put the accuracy of my current 9mm against anything on this articles list. I’m going to look into the Bersa Thunder models…

  3. I agree with your choices of the Sig P250 and the Ruger LC9 in 9mm Luger (Parabellum). As for the FNH FNS 9C, I do not like the ergonomics. If you buy a S&W, pay a little more for the M&P9. My first choices would always be the one of the CZ75 SP-01, the CZ75 Compact, or the CANICK TP9 V2. These are all rated for 9mm +Ps – practice with the cheap ammo, Carry with Federal American Eagle 9mm +Ps or Winchester JHPs in 9mm +Ps. Look at them All ! Ol’ Bill

    • We are not all CZ guys, (I am and couldn’t ask for better) that particular platform is the best, but only a small segment of the population. Glocks tend to “feel” wrong to a CZ hand and vis-versa. (Most CZ owners keep there gun bone stock or maybe change grips but Glock guys change so much it’s almost like they think they are Harley Davidson motorcycles there is so little of the original gun left).

  4. If you shop around you can pick up a Glock for under $500.00.
    Just sayin’.

  5. For what it is worth, I own a P250 and it is an awesome pistol. Just keep in mind it is a DAO. If you like the trigger, you will love the gun. I purchased mine used, is was manufactured in June 2014 for $325 with two mags, laser sight and case. If you buy a used one, make sure it is a gen 2. They are much, much better than the gen 1

  6. I’m hoping the new SAR K2P my wife got yesterday will give us a LOT of ‘bang for the buck’.

  7. I like Kimber Micro 9mm and also the Taurus PT740 Slim for my EDC.
    I’ve not been disappointed in either one.

  8. The fns 9c is a great gun. It is not, however, hammer fired. It is a striker fired pistol. Like any striker pistol it has no restrike. The fnX 9mm is hammer fired and has restrike, but it is in the $600 range.

  9. You could include the SCCY (pronounced sky) 9mm for $279! They are coming out with a .380 very soon. They’re out of Daytona Beach, FL. I just bought one, and it has a lifetime warranty too.

  10. I would put the Sig Sauer SP2022 on the top. Excellent firearm and way better than the p250.

  11. I’ve only shot 9mm.. carry and conceal purpose , a few Glock models, S &W, Taurus. I own Taurus pt111 g2 and pt709 slim. Both amazing value dollar for dollar. Both were 250 and haven’t had any problems. Taurus Usa, did a in house makeover with personnel and firearms, fixing the problems that gave them a tainted name in sub compact category.

  12. The FNS-9C is not a hammer fired weapon and does not have second strike capability. That is the FNX which is not offered in compact..

  13. Rugger 9e is excellent gun for 350$ 17+ 1 magazine will handle any ammo p+ 147gr hollow point all so its a great gun same size as sdve 9mm

  14. The Ruger LC9 is a Hammer fired pistol! The LC9s is the striker fired version

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