On a budget and looking for a full-size centerfire pistol with an MSRP under $400? Options are actually pretty thin, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good gun. Here are three of the best budget blasters . . .
Canik TP9SA / TP9SF
Seen above is a fantastic pistol from Turkish manufacturer Canik, reviewed on TTAG here. The TP9 series is reliable, durable, ergonomic, and accurate. It also boasts one of the best striker-fired triggers on the market. They’re great guns at any price. At an MSRP of just $399.95 (about $350 street), though, they’re the best thing going for less than four Benjamins.
Smith & Wesson SD9 VE
For eleven bucks less than the Canik (MSRP of $389), you can go with a U.S.-made S&W SD9 VE, reviewed on TTAG here. An evolution of the old Smith Sigma, the SD9/40 VEs sport a stainless steel barrel and slide, improved trigger (still miles short of the Canik’s, but arguably more appropriate for self-defense use), and updated ergos. They’re solid, reliable, serviceable guns that include a lifetime warranty from a major manufacturer at a very affordable price point. Hard to argue with that.
If an MSRP one mocha frappa-latte-chino away from $400 is still a bit too 1%-er for your wallet, there’s always Hi-Point’s models in the $199 to $235 range. Yes, that’s full MSRP. Street prices are in the $150-$185 range. How about a 9mm C-9 in a hard case with a Kershaw knife? It’s available online for about $185.
Make no mistake, these guns are heavy, ugly as sin, short on capacity, and long on trigger. Nine pounds long.
But while TTAG’s review wasn’t entirely positive, Hi-Point pistols are well-known for one thing (besides their low price): they go bang. With impressive regularity.
They may not offer much in the way of prestige or shooting enjoyment, but if the requirement is a new, functional pistol at the lowest possible price, a Hi-Point is a very defensible choice.
Honorable mention: Walther CREED
TTAG’s review consensus: the Walther CREED is okay. It’s basically average in every way. Except, of course, for it’s low, low MSRP of $399 (about $365 street). But otherwise it’s fine. Acceptably mediocre. Unexceptional. Thesaurus. We don’t expect to see James Bond carrying one in the next flick. But he could. It just wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy.