Best Cheap Handguns: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The old saying that “I’d rather have one and not need it than to need one and not have it” would certainly apply to handguns. Unfortunately, regardless of the reason you have for owning a gun, sometimes budget is a problem and the funds to purchase an expensive one simply aren’t there. It is also important to note that until they have an opportunity to grow into a weapon after a short time of use to become familiar with it, it is indeed a waste of money to buy an expensive handgun at first. It is for both of these reasons that many first-time gun buyers decide that an inexpensive weapon is their first choice. This also gives first time gun owners the opportunity to try different types of weapons, all of which can be purchased for less, either new or used, in a gun shop or privately.

Handgun Materials

As far as the material that a handgun is made of, the choices boil down to two: polymer or stainless steel. For as long as guns have been made they have been made of different materials, all for the purpose of creating a better gun. These efforts have been met with good and bad results, until today the metal of choice is stainless steel. Stainless steel makes for a very good handgun, but there are some drawbacks such as its sensitivity to a lack in cleaning. Stainless steel also makes for a beautiful weapon that can hold its value for a long time. Fortunately, the efforts of gun makers to create a weapon that can take more abuse without showing the wear as well as making cheap handguns has resulted in polymer, a compound of natural and synthetic materials that when combined create a lighter and relatively tough handgun that can withstand the roughest handling. The Glock company started using polymer lends itself easily to cheap handguns which might be better for those who are experimenting with their use and would like to choose something nicer at a later date. Polymer also makes for a smoother firing weapon in some cases, depending on who is doing the recommending.

Design-wise you have two basic choices: an automatic or a revolver. An automatic is fed its ammunition via a clip that is usually loaded in the handle of the gun. As shots are fired, an ejector kicks the spent casings out the side of the gun to be replaced in the barrel with a new bullet. This continuous flow of new ammunition is made possible by a heavy metal spring in the bottom of the clip. After all of the ammunition has been spent, a new clip must replace the empty one. With a revolver, ammunition is placed in a barrel that literally revolves in order to feed the bullets to the chamber, hence the name. A significant difference between automatics and revolvers is the loading. Loading an automatic requires that you eject the empty clip, replace it with a full clip, then chambering the first round. A revolver is a little more time consuming since the cylinder must be opened, the spent shell casings emptied, then each one is replaced individually. Most cheap handguns are of the automatic variety although they are available in both automatic and revolver variety.

Best Cheap Handguns

For more information on 5 cheap handguns, evaluate how it will be used in different tasks:

Beretta U22 Neos .22LR Pistol

Beretta U22 Neos

This little handgun  features a cutting-edge design that is sleek and ergonomic. It is meant to appeal to a new generation of shooting enthusiasts.

Taurus 738 TCP .380 ACP Compact Pistol

Taurus 738 TCP .380 ACP Compact Pistol

The lightest handgun in the Taurus lineup, user-friendly protection that’s incredibly discreet when you want it to be. Combining a durable, lightweight, ergonomic polymer frame.

Ruger P95

Ruger P95

Simple, economical, and trustworthy in adverse conditions. Like all P95s, this gun strips easily into five major subassemblies for cleaning and maintenance, without any special tools

Taurus 85 .38 Special+P Small Frame Revolver

Taurus 85

An all-time favorite design for those in law enforcement, the powerful revolver is easy to carry and lightning quick to use.

Walther PK380 .380 ACP Pistol

Walther PK380

This intimidating self defense weapon starts with a strong steel frame with integral Picatinny-style accessory rail and lightweight polymer grips for comfortable handling.

Take it to the gun range

The first place that your gun should see after it is first loaded should be a practice range hitting some targets. Having a loaded gun in your hand does not make you a Matt Dillon or Annie Oakley any more than owning a nice car makes your Mario Andretti or Dale Earnhardt. In fact, the person who is in the most danger with a new gun is the inexperienced handler. You can go a long way towards instilling not only experience but confidence with your new weapon by using it on a practice range, hopefully under the expert eyes of a safety instructor. Most courses of instruction begin in a classroom setting to give gun owners a background in how to use their weapons safely. It is only after some satisfactory time spent in a classroom to learn the basics that you move into the actual shooting range to get your hands-on training. A good instructor will be able to make you very familiar with your weapon and its use. From taking the correct stance with your weapon and correct firing position to actual shooting, with a good instructor you will see rapid improvement in your shooting skills.