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7 Best Concealed Carry Guns Under $500

7 Best Concealed Carry Guns Under $500

Arming yourself with a reliable handgun for concealed carrying and personal protection doesn’t have to break the bank. Even if you are on a restricted budget, you can find high-quality, brand-name concealed carry pistols and revolvers with the reliability, accuracy, and stopping power you need. Consider these seven great options if you are in the market for a concealed carry gun. 

 

  1. Ruger Security-9 Compact

Ruger Security-9 Compact

The Ruger Security-9 Compact (catalog model number 3818) is the concealed-carrying version of the original full-sized Security-9, released in 2019. The pistol’s name evokes the classic Ruger Security Six revolvers from the 1970s. 

Like its wheel-gun predecessor, the Security 9 offers American shooters an affordable alternative to higher-priced equivalents without compromising reliability, concealability, and stopping power.

For a price tag of under $500, you get a high-quality polymer-framed pistol with a double stack 10-round magazine, an accessory rail, and a trigger safety system that can be disengaged simply by pulling the trigger.

Unlike Glocks and other polymer-framed pistols in the same category, the Security-9 is not a striker-fired pistol. Instead, it employs a proprietary internal hammer system Ruger calls the Secure-Action system, also found on other Ruger pistols such as the Ruger-57, LCP II, and EC9.

The Secure-Action mechanism combines modern Glock-style controls and safety with a lightweight firing pin spring. This system requires less strength to pull the slide back than typical striker-fired systems, which can be advantageous for shooters who find it challenging to rack this type of handgun. 

Additionally, unlike its Austrian-made competitors, the Security-9 Compact comes with a second, frame-mounted thumb safety, giving shooters who prefer manual safeties the peace of mind they need.

Specifications:

  • Caliber: 9x19mm

  • Category: Semi-automatic pistol

  • Action: Ruger Secure-Action internal hammer

  • Overall length: 6.52”

  • Barrel length: 3.42”

  • Weight: 21.9 oz.

  • Capacity: 10+1

  • MSRP: $459.00


  1. SCCY CPX-2 Gen 3

SCCY CPX-2 Gen 3

Although they have only been manufacturing firearms since 2003, the Florida-based SCCY Industries (pronounced “sky”) has established itself as a producer of high-reliability, low cost, 100% U.S.-made concealed-carrying pistols.

The previous-generation CPX-2, introduced in 2013, is one of SCCY’s most well-known handguns. Most outlets and enthusiasts praise its reliability and low price point yet criticize its relatively heavy trigger pull and a relative lack of accuracy. 

The current version, the CPX-2 GEN3 introduced at SHOT Show 2022, offers many improvements over its predecessor. The polymer frame has been redesigned to provide a short Picatinny rail for micro-sized lights and laser sights. The steel slide features Glock 43 iron sights and a red dot sight cut, making the CPX-2 compatible with a range of accessories: G43-compatible night sights, micro red dots, etc.

This updated version of the CPX-2 retains its predecessor’s hammer-fired double-action-only (DAO) action, with a 9 lb. trigger pull weight.

SCCY has also improved the CPX-2’s internals, now featuring the company’s new Roebuck Quad-Lock system. Named after SCCY founder Joe Roebuck, this high-reliability mechanism ensures slide and barrel lock in four different points, eliminating lateral movement and ensuring consistent barrel position as the action cycles. 

These improvements significantly enhance barrel stability, making the third-generation CPX-2 as accurate as it is easy to conceal.

Specifications

  • Caliber: 9x19mm

  • Category: Semi-automatic pistol

  • Action: Hammer-fired, DAO

  • Overall length: 6”

  • Barrel length: 3.1”

  • Weight: 15 oz.

  • Capacity: 10+1

  • MSRP: $309.99


  1. Smith & Wesson M&P 380 Shield EZ

Smith & Wesson M&P 380 Shield EZ

The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ was designed to be as its namesake suggests: as easy to operate and maintain as possible. Although this family of handguns is available with various options, including 9x19mm and .30 Super Carry chamberings and even Performance Center versions with extra bells and whistles, the .380 EZ is the smallest, lightest, and most affordable version.

The Shield EZ’s ease-of-use value proposition comes from three critical factors: a lightweight slide that is easy to rack even for shooters with less hand strength, an easy-to-load single-stack magazine, a large magazine release button, and an easy takedown and maintenance process.

The EZ also features a tactile loaded chamber indicator, letting the shooter quickly check if a round is chambered without racking the slide and potentially losing it.

As a concealed carrying pistol, the M&P 380 Shield EZ emphasizes safety in multiple ways. All models come out of the box with a large grip safety, requiring the shooter to grip the handgun correctly before pulling the trigger. The Shield EZ is also available with an optional frame-mounted manual safety lever, making the controls reminiscent of 1911-style pistols.

Although .380 ACP is not as powerful or as ubiquitous as 9x19mm, it is still a proven self-defense cartridge that generates less recoil and for which high-quality ammunition is available. Recoil-sensitive shooters may consider carrying the .380 version of the Shield EZ in their concealment holsters, especially if more powerful alternatives aren’t viable.

Specifications

  • Caliber: .380 ACP

  • Category: Semi-automatic pistol

  • Action: Single-action, internal hammer

  • Overall length: 6.7”

  • Barrel length: 3.675”

  • Weight: 18.5 oz.

  • Capacity: 8+1

  • MSRP: $454.00


  1. Taurus G3c / G3c TORO

Taurus G3c/G3c TORO

The G3c is the compact version of the G3, part of Taurus’ growing selection of reasonably-priced polymer-framed semi-automatic pistols. Although intended for concealed carrying, the G3c is in a nonstandard dimensional category, smaller than typical mid-size pistols, such as the Glock 19 and the CZ P-10, yet larger than subcompacts like the Glock 26 or the SIG P320 Subcompact.

The Taurus G3c offers everything a shooter expects from a modern concealed carry pistol: a high capacity for its class (12+1 rounds), concealable dimensions (1.2 inches wide and 6.3 inches long), and a striker-fired single action system with re-strike capabilities. 

With the re-strike feature, a shooter experiencing a failure to fire can pull the trigger again and try to strike the primer once more before attempting other remedial actions.

Although Taurus’ recommended MSRP is $339.65, the box includes a gun lock, a chamber flag, and three magazines (1 in the gun plus 2 spares), offering exceptional value. If you need extra capacity, the G3c is also compatible with the magazines from the full-size G3, effectively acting as extended magazines the same way a G17 magazine would in a G19 or G26.

Besides the standard model, Taurus also offers the G3c TORO, a variant of the same handgun with a red-dot-ready slide cut. Although the TORO version is more expensive, the price point remains under $500, making it a highly desirable option for shooters looking to carry a red dot-equipped carry gun on a budget.

Specifications

  • Caliber: 9x19mm

  • Category: Semi-automatic pistol

  • Action: Striker-fired single-action, re-strike capable

  • Overall length: 6.3”

  • Barrel length: 3.2”

  • Weight: 22 oz.

  • Capacity: 12+1 (standard), 15+1 (extended baseplate), 17+1 (with full-size G2/G3 magazine)

  • MSRP: $339.65 (standard), $449.65 (TORO version)


  1. Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 38

Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 38

Although semi-automatic pistols are the most popular concealed carry gun category, not all shooters find them suitable. If you are more comfortable with a classic snub-nose revolver than a semi-automatic, Smith & Wesson offers the ideal budget wheel-gun for concealed carrying: the Bodyguard 38.

This small, lightweight J-Frame revolver is chambered in .38 Special and rated for +P ammunition, letting you carry a wide selection of proven self-defense ammunition, from modern 125-grain JHP +Ps to classic 158-grain FBI loads. At just 14.2 oz., the Bodyguard 38 is one of the lightest and most concealable revolvers on the market today.

If you’ve ever fired classic snub-nosed S&W revolvers, aiming and shooting the Bodyguard 38 should feel familiar. The 1.875” barrel is tipped with a traditional front sight ramp, the frame features a U-notch for a rear sight, and the DAO trigger, while heavy (12 lbs.), is smooth and consistent.

This all-black revolver features a synthetic grip, an aluminum alloy frame, and a barrel and cylinder made of stainless steel. The cylinder also features a PVD coating, improving its corrosion resistance. 

Specifications

  • Caliber: .38 Special +P

  • Category: Revolver

  • Action: Double-action only (DAO)

  • Overall length: 6.6”

  • Barrel length: 1.875”

  • Weight: 14.2 oz.

  • Capacity: 5

  • MSRP: $440


  1. Taurus 327

Taurus 327

If you have experience conceal-carrying revolvers, you may already know the challenges of carrying a snub-nose revolver in one of the classic Magnum calibers. Cartridges such as .357 Magnum or .44 Magnum develop excessive amounts of recoil when fired from short-barreled platforms, resulting in an uncomfortable and often inaccurate shooting experience.

Fortunately, shooters have access to an alternative that provides Magnum-level stopping power for a reasonable price point: the Taurus 327. This unique concealed carry revolver is chambered in .327 Federal Magnum, an extra-long version of .32 H&R Magnum and .32 S&W.

Although the Taurus 327 has similar dimensions to equivalent .38 snub-nose revolvers, its chambering grants it three undeniable advantages: a 6-shot cylinder instead of 5, Magnum-equivalent stopping power without the uncomfortable amount of recoil, and the possibility to use the shorter, obsolete .32 cartridges for fun or practice.

While .327 Federal Magnum ammunition isn’t as easy to find as revolver cartridge staples like .38 Special, .357 Magnum, or .44 Magnum, discerning gun owners deciding to invest in this cartridge will find the Taurus 327 a highly effective concealed carry revolver. Few revolvers offer the combination of power, concealment, and value for the dollar that this model does.

Specifications

  • Caliber: .327 Federal Magnum

  • Category: Revolver

  • Action: DA/SA

  • Overall length: 6.55”

  • Barrel length: 2” 

  • Weight: 22 oz.

  • Capacity: 6

  • MSRP: $371.05


  1. Glock 42

Glock 42

Being on a budget doesn’t mean you don’t have access to products from America’s most popular handgun manufacturer. If you simply have to have a new concealed carry Glock for less than $500, the Glock 42 may be the best choice.

Although this handgun’s MSRP is $480, it isn’t uncommon for popular Glock pistols to be available brand-new for sale at prices well below this recommended number. The G42 also stands on its own with numerous features that most shooters will find desirable.

The first and most obvious reason to choose the Glock 42 is the trademark Glock reliability. The G42 will accept, fire, and cycle nearly any .380 ACP ammunition you feed it. 

It is also the smallest and lightest pistol currently in Glock’s catalog. With an overall length of just under 6 inches, a 0.98-inch wide frame, and a 3.25-inch barrel, the Glock 42 is the most easily concealed Glock pistol, especially with a high-quality holster.

Additionally, Glock 42 owners have access to an extensive third-party accessory market. Shooters looking to upgrade or customize the G42 to their liking have access to a wide selection of parts: extended magazine baseplates, sights, laser designators, trigger kits, and more.

Specifications

  • Caliber: .380 ACP

  • Category: Semi-automatic pistol

  • Action: Glock Safe-Action, striker-fired

  • Overall length: 5.94”

  • Barrel length: 3.25”

  • Weight: 13.76 oz.

  • Capacity: 6+1 (standard magazine)

  • MSRP: $480


Find High-Quality and Affordable Concealment Holsters at We The People Holsters

Save 15% with We The People coupon code: BLOG15

We The People Holsters is committed to ensuring all American citizens have the means to exercise their Second Amendment rights for a reasonable price point. 

We offer a wide selection of 100% U.S.-made holsters compatible with a wide range of pistols and revolvers. Whether you prefer Kydex or leather, IWB or OWB, we have the affordable holster you need.

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