I tested at least ten handguns and found the Heritage Rough Rider to be the best cheap but good handgun.
I got into guns in my early 20s, which meant I didn’t have much money to spare. I learned everything I could about determining a gun’s true value and the best places to find the lowest prices. With proper preparation, you can find many affordable handguns perfect for target shooting, home protection, and more.
The Heritage Rough Rider is fun to shoot and easy to maintain. It’s also suitable for home defense because you don’t need much physical strength to aim and shoot it at close range accurately.
It’s not the only cheap handgun that you’ll want to know more about. Other options I found have additional safety features, increased durability, and more features you might be surprised to find on firearms in this price range.
Keep reading to learn more about real cheap but good handguns:
The Best Cheap but Good Handguns
While always keeping the price in mind, I also considered ease of use, quality of construction, suitability for target shooting and defense, and other relevant factors.
Inspired by classics from the Old West, Heritage’s Rough Rider is affordable, accurate, and easy to shoot. It’s reliable and powerful enough for home protection but fun and lightweight enough for a day target shooting at the range.
It’s a 22 Long Rifle revolver with a micro-threaded, machined barrel, an authentic flat-sided hammer, and a cocobolo grip. The handsome combination of wood and steel has a true Western-style that turns the gun into a true work of art you’ll be proud to show off.
- Powerful but lightweight and easy to aim
- Hammer block provides added misfire protection
- 22 long rifle with a 6.5” barrel
- Classic Western style
- Gun powder makes the gun get dirty fairly easily
Ruger’s Wrangler is an awesome and affordable gun for shooters of any experience level, including total beginners. It’s not only easy to grip and shoot, but it’s also loaded with safety features, including a transfer bar mechanism and loading gate interlock.
Every component used is precisely engineered and durable. It has a Cerakote finish, a proprietary blend of ceramic and polymer that protects against scratches, dings, and weather damage.
The barrel is cold-hammer forged for precise rifling that results in reliable accuracy. Additionally, aiming is made even easier with the front blade and integral notch rear sights.
- Durable Ceratoke finish
- Easy, accurate aiming
- Multiple safety features
- Synthetic grip with Single-Six pattern
- Single action limits firing speed
Weighing 10 ounces with a 2.8” barrel, the Taurus Spectrum 380 is one of the cheapest concealed carry pistols around. It has a low profile with fixed sights, allowing it to stay hidden but also delivering quick accuracy when drawn.
Additionally, the extended mag holds an additional round, giving you a capacity of 6 + 1. It also extends the surface area of the grip, making the small pistol surprisingly comfortable to hold.
- Easy to conceal
- Extended grip
- 6+1 capacity
- It might be hard to hold if you have large hands
Guide to Cheap but Good Handguns
I’ve purchased cheap guns that turned out to be awesome and others that were total duds. Here’s my advice to find great guns every time.
Features to Look for in a Cheap Gun
Finding a good cheap gun does require some flexibility because some features are limited. Here’s a look at what to expect:
- Size – Cheap guns are generally small, with many concealable options.
- Type – You’ll find a fairly robust selection of both revolvers and compact automatics.
- Caliber – Most cheap revolvers at .22s while most cheap automatics are 380 Autos (ACP)
- Magazine – Cheap revolvers typically hold six shots. With an automatic, look for an extended mag, which holds seven rounds.
Here’s a video with more information on cheap guns:
New vs. Used
You can buy a cheap handgun either new or used. While a used firearm can have low prices, it’s not always the best value in the long run. A used gun’s longevity depends on how well it was cared for.
Determine the used gun’s value by carefully examining it for damage. Also, try to fire it at a range if possible. If you’re familiar with guns, and can find a used one in good condition, you can save.
However, if you’re part of the record-setting trend of first-time gun buyers, I recommend you buy new instead of used. A new gun includes a manufacturer’s guarantee and won’t have any potential damage due to neglect or age.
All of the cheap guns listed have value far beyond their price tag. They’re great for target shooting, display, and even provide some ability for personal defense. Plus, they’re easy to conceal and maintain.
My absolute favorite is the Heritage Rough Rider revolver. It’s a blast to shoot, and it has a classic cowboy style that looks great on the mantle. However, if you’re looking for something more concealable, I recommend the Taurus Spectrum.
Which gun is your favorite? Check out the following links for more information, or to buy these guns for yourself:
- Heritage Rough Rider 6.5” Blued Revolver
- Ruger Wrangler Silver Cerakote Revolver
- Taurus Spectrum 380 Auto
You don’t have to spend a fortune to buy a fun, reliable handgun!