I don’t think I am revealing any kind of secret to say that inflation is hitting everyone hard. Unfortunately, so is out of control, rising violent crime across the country. For this reason, many are opting to arm themselves. But then there is inflation again. For many, it is a bit of a catch-22. So, we take a look at some solid-performing, budget-friendly compact 9mm handguns that come in under $500.
10 Compact 9mm Handguns That Take It Easy on Your Budget
There are a lot of handguns on the market, and quite a few that are easy on the budget. Unfortunately, we cannot cover them all in this space. Not to mention, picking the right firearm is a very subjective thing. So, if there is a pistol that you feel belongs on this list but don’t see it, please comment below with the model. We want to make sure that our readers get the most out of this list of compact 9mm handguns as possible.
Featuring a high-strength, lightweight polymer construction, the Kiger-9c shares similarities with the Glock 19 Gen 3. As a result, it is compatible with most G19 accessories and components.
Chambered in 9mm, the striker-fired Kiger-9c features an aggressively stippled grip and rear and forward cocking serrations for positive handling. Additionally, the over-molded slide rail helps minimize frame twist during courses of fire.
For more info, please visit AndersonManufacturing.com.
Glock G43X MOS
Speaking of Glock, what list of concealed carry pistols would be complete without one? And coming in just under $500.00 is the G43X MOS (Modular Optic System). Incorporating elements of the Slimline series, the G43X features an optic-cut slide for attaching micro-optics.
In addition, the pistol has the 3.4-inch Glock Marksman Barrel (GMB) of the Gen5 series for maximum performance. Compliant in most states, the G43X features a 10-round capacity.
MSRP: Available with street prices as low as $485.00
For more info, please visit US.Glock.com.
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus
Constructed of high-strength polymer, the M&P Shield Plus is a lightweight 17.9 ounces. The grip features an 18-degree angle for a natural point of aim and includes enhanced grip texture. As a result, the Shield Plus provides enhanced recoil management and retention.
Additionally, the flat-face trigger offers consistent finger placement and a tactile, audible reset, providing increased accuracy and repeatable shooting.
For more info, please visit Smith-Wesson.com.
BRG-9 Elite Gen 2 (optic not included)
Featuring a bolder style than the Gen 1, the BRG-9 Elite Gen 2 has an enhanced grip pattern on the ergonomic grip. Likewise, the Gen 2 includes an optic-cut slide (optic not included) while maintaining the hi-visibility dovetail front and rear sights.
Accompanying the ambidextrous mag release from Gen 1, Gen 2 also includes an ambidextrous slide catch. Additionally, the magazines saw an increase of two rounds, from 16-round magazines to 18-rounds.
For more information, please visit BRG-USA.com.
Citadel Centurion CP9
Another Glock clone, the Centurion CP9 pays homage to the Glock 48. However, like many Glock clones, this one is completely proprietary and not compatible with Glock parts. Providing enhanced control, the grip features finger grooves with vertical texturing and textured indent on the sidewalls. Likewise, the shock-absorbing backstrap helps to mitigate felt recoil.
The slide features an optic cut with the Shield RMRc footprint, and the proprietary Citadel 804 trigger kit sends rounds downrange.
For more info, please visit LegacySports.com.
Featuring a polymer frame, the G3c features a shorter grip frame to house 12-round double-stack magazines. Likewise, the grip features skateboard tape-like texturing coupled with scalloped thumb shelves for excellent retention when firing. Front and rear cocking serrations provide easy slide manipulation, wet or dry.
Although the slide is not optic cut, it has a white dot front sight and serrated, blacked-out rear sight. However, the Glock-compatible sights are easy to upgrade to high-visibility or night sights.
For more information, please visit TaurusUSA.com.
Similar to the G3c, the G3X is a hybrid design blending the best of the G3c and the full-size G3. As a result, the G3X has a slightly longer grip length that is compatible with the 17-round magazines of the G3. Like the G3c, the G3X features aggressive texturing and scalloped thumb shelves on the grip for additional retention.
Although it is not optics-ready, the pistol is compatible with the G3c T.O.R.O. slide kit. The T.O.R.O. system features an optic cut with assorted mounting plates. As a result, you can mount the optic of your choice.
For more information, please visit TaurusUSA.com.
Another polymer frame pistol, the SAR9 C includes interchangeable backstraps and side panels to achieve the perfect fit. Additionally, the high undercut at the trigger guard helps achieve a higher grip for better control and less wear on the middle finger. Featuring a steel internal chassis, the SAR9 C weighs slightly more and helps mitigate felt recoil.
The pistol ships with two 15-round magazines for ample capacity for concealed carry. One of the magazines features a flush-fit baseplate to help with concealment. However, the other includes a slightly larger steel base plate for additional grip for larger hands.
MSRP: $452 (black); $484 (stainless)
For more information, please visit SARUSA.com.
Featuring a black synthetic construction, the STR-9MC features the same controls as the full-size STR-9 but in a concealed carry-friendly package. Aggressive texturing on the backstrap and finger grooves provides a secure grip and positive retention when firing. Likewise, deep forward and rear cocking serrations aid in slide manipulation under adverse conditions.
The Nitride-hardened matte black slide is available with your choice of tritium night sights or adjustable front dot and serrated rear blade sights. Likewise, depending on your budget and requirements, it is also available optic-ready (with Shield RMS/SMS footprint) or non-optic-ready.
MSRP: $399.00 or $479.00 (depending on model)
For more info, please visit StoegerIndustries.com.
Ruger Max 9 with Ready Dot
Constructed of textured polymer, the Max 9 is a very carry-friendly 18.4 ounces and promotes a positive grip. The pistol ships with two magazines, a 10-round flush fit, and an extended 12-round. When in place, the 12-round magazine provides more grip length for an even more secure grip while firing.
The Ruger Max 9 features an optic cut slide, with the Ready Dot optic already installed. Utilizing light-gathering properties of fiber optics to generate the aiming dot, the Ready Dot never needs batteries. In addition, the Ready Dot is installed at the factory and does not include (or need) windage and elevation adjustments. It comes ready to go, out of the box.
For more information, please visit Ruger.com.
When it comes to the best budget compact 9mm handguns, it’s important to remember that inexpensive does not equal cheap. It is entirely possible to save yourself some hard-earned cash and still come out with a solid-performing EDC pistol. And you might even have a little cash left over for ammunition and possibly an optic.