Like everything else, the price of new and used handguns has generally increased in the past few years. Inflation and increasing demand are two of the main causes. But people on fixed incomes often can’t afford to shell out $600 to more than $1,500 for a handgun. They need something that’s inexpensive, reliable and doesn’t shoot ammunition that costs an arm and a leg. Thanks to modern computerized manufacturing processes, such as CNC machining, there are several affordable handguns to fill your needs.

I’ll briefly review several of them here, but before I start, here’s one word of advice: Shop around. Some gun shops offer significant discounts on handguns, bringing them well below the MSRP. So don’t buy a gun at full retail until you’ve checked at least two or three shops. I’ve also tested or owned several guns from the companies listed here and found them to be good values. Let’s take a closer look.

Ruger EC9 In the Hands

I was lucky to get an EC9 for testing. I examined the little Ruger at my workbench, and then shot it to test its accuracy at 10 yards before running some 7-yard drills with it at the Flagler Gun Club. Function tests at my bench and an examination of the interior and exterior surfaces showed no defects in manufacturing. The finish was even and well matched. There were no sharp surfaces or tool marks, and all of the parts were well formed.

I tested the gun with 124-grain Freedom Munitions match ammo, Winchester’s PDX-1 +P rounds and assorted duty ammunition from other companies. The EC9s has a stout recoil spring, and a couple of the lighter match rounds did not fully eject, which only shows that all guns like some loads better than others. The gun ran without incident with all other ammo.

Shooting from the 10-yard line produced a score of 97 of 100, which is good for a pocket pistol. Ten double-taps from the holster while moving one step off the “X” put 10 shots in the chest and 10 in the head. The average time was 5.33 seconds.

Affordable Handguns: More Information

For more information about the affordable handguns featured in the gallery, please visit the companies’ sites.

Bersa BPCC & Thunder

Diamondback DB380

North American Arms .22 LR

Rossi 462 & 971

Ruger EC9, LCP, LCP II & Security 9

This article is from the September/October 2018 issue of Combat Handguns Magazine, on sale now. Grab your copy at

Up Next

Crimson Trace Lasersaddle: A Smart Addition to the Mossberg Shockwave

With the introduction of the Crimson Trace Lasersaddle, shooters have a viable laser sighting...