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Budget Handguns

by Home Defense Gun staffer Travis

Budget Handgunsbudget firearms

Buying budget handguns is a bit trickier than just finding a cheap gun. We can all find a cheap and affordable firearm easy, but is that firearm a quality weapon? You can find a 32 ACP Cobra pot metal pistol for under a hundred bucks, but is it worth staking your life on? So this isn’t about finding a cheap gun as much as it is about finding a value firearm. There are numerous methods, tips, tricks and manufacturers to finding and buying a quality and affordable firearm.

Police Trade ins

Police trade in pistols are some of the best ways to score a quality and affordable firearm. Police trade ins often happen when a police agency upgrades their current firearms and gets rid of their older models. These trade ins can often look rough due to all the time they spend in holsters, but often are rarely fired. Typically police agencies qualify one time a year, and often they aren’t fired much more than that.

Police trade ins also typically come with night sights as well. The main downside is most distributors only include a single magazine with their weapons. Using programs like this you can purchase Glock and SIG pistols for under 400, though the SIGs are often double action only. I have even been able to purchased concealed models like a Glock 26 Gen 3 for 330 out the door, and a SIG P239 for 450.

Entry Level

Entry level pistols are typically the marketing title gun manufacturers will place on pistols that are priced to competitively enter the market. These entry level pistols often lack a few of the more refined features, like interchangeable backstraps, but are still quality weapons.

An example of excellent quality pistol with a great price is the Walther PPX. Walther, famed for their appearance in James Bond movies, has produced some of the finest underrated pistols on the market. The Walther PPX is a full sized duty pistols that are built to Walther’s high standards and still come in at 279.99 for blued model and 300 dollars for the stainless steel or threaded barrel models.

Other Examples of entry level pistols are the SIG P250, DB9FS (Full Size), and the H&K VP9 (Although this one is only cheap compared to other H&Ks.) These pistols are still quality driven and dependable, but lack a few of the bells and whistles.

Last Generation

Often when a gun company is planning on producing a new and exciting generation of a popular weapon you will start seeing their older generations of pistols reduced or rebated. Right off the bat I’ll go ahead and say this isn’t always true. For example the Glock Gen 3 pistols are favored by some over the Gen 4s.

However when Ruger brought out their popular LC9 in a striker fired model,m with a much better trigger, the standard LC9’s price went down. Sometimes this was simply a rebate in the standard price, or it was the standard price paired with an attached laser.

Online and Rebates

Shopping online can be an excellent way to find bargains on accessories, pistols, and magazines. Sometimes these are manufacturer dependent and other times they are attached to just a single website. An excellent source to track these rebates is Slickguns.com. This site tracks these kinds of rebates through both site staff and through user generated leads.

Some of my favorite websites with daily deals, or extremely good prices are,

True Values

For a gun to be a true value it needs to have available and affordable magazines, holsters, and ammunition. For makarovexample surplus firearms are often an excellent value, they are well built and reliable, but ammunition can be difficult to find. Pistols like the Tokarev and Makarov are great weapons, but their ammunition is not common and can be expensive.

The same goes for magazines, some handguns are killer deals, but then magazines are impossible to find, or extremely expensive. For example one of my favorite pistols the CZ P09 is decently priced and an excellent value, but magazines are about 45 dollars apiece. So what can you do? Well research prior to purchase is the best choice.

Holsters are a whole different beast, There are many so called universal holsters out there that are often made from nylon. These holsters are often poor fits and leave your gunning bouncing up and down with little retention. It’s always best to find a fitted holster for the firearm to insure proper fit.

Most forums and reviews should mention something regarding the prices of magazines and accessories. An affordable firearm does not mean a cheap firearm. The weapon should still be a quality firearms with easy and affordable access to magazines, ammunition and holsters.

Photo Credit – “Glock 26″ by KEN – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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