When it comes to places to save money, your concealed carry handgun shouldn’t be one of them. But if you don’t have money, and you need a CCW gun, well that is a very different equation.
And we are here to help. What’s more, we think you’re going to love the surprises on this list. You know you expected the Taurus G2C and we’ve really got to go with the outspoken majority on that, but we’ve got something better for you in second place, a secret insider tip, if you’re ready to buy guns online right now.
Some of the cheaper guns are also exceptional at the moment, if you know where to look. We do, it’s our thing….
So we set ourselves a price ceiling of $300 for a carry pistol and set to work. What are the best concealed carry guns under $300? Read on to find out…
Check these best concealed carry posts too
- The best concealed carry handguns for sale in 2019.
- Best .45 ACP Concealed Carry Handguns For Sale
- 9mm CCW carry guns you need in your life.
- Awesome 9mm compact handguns you can use as an EDC.
1. Taurus G2C
- Price: $174.99 with mail-in rebate
- Caliber: 9mm
- Length: 6.2 inch
- Weight: 1.37lb
- Barrel Length: 3.2 inch
- Capacity: 12+1
The Taurus G2C has been an absolute smash hit, and it deserves to be. This isn’t just a great cheap concealed carry, it’s a great handgun.
Law enforcement loves it as a back-up, the gun reviews online love the Taurus and so do the public. It really is that good for the money.
You get 12+1 rounds of 9mm in a compact package with a double-stack magazine that measures just 6.2 inches and weighs 1.37lb. Then they slapped a near unbelievable price tag on it.
You can see why it’s cheaper than a Sig Sauer P365 Nitron when you look up close. The plastic has that cheap shine and the details are built to a price point. But you can upgrade the sights on the Taurus G2C easily enough, the grip actually works pretty well and the important stuff is all in place.
The Taurus even comes with a manual safety and a loaded chamber indicator, which are actually optional extras in this class. That thumb safety, especially, is a big deal.
Now the trigger is a little quirky, but nothing you won’t get used to. And that’s really it for the downsides. The Taurus G2C parts & accessories market is starting to grow, too. Night sights, new mags and possibly even drop-in triggers and slides are on the way.
The main thing is that this is a super reliable, pretty accurate pistol with superb magazine capacity that has kind of shocked the firearms industry.
The Springfield Armory would still be my go-to, while you still can, but if you can’t find one, or you have even less to spend, the Taurus G2C is the best budget handgun in the world, forget concealed carry…
If you just got your concealed carry permit and you want a semi-automatic starter gun (Pro-tip: That’s exactly what you want), you will struggle to find Taurus G2C alternatives that come even close.
2. Springfield Armory XD Service Gen 1
- Price: $297
- Caliber: 45 ACP/9mm
- Length: 7.3 inch
- Weight: 1.8lb
- Capacity: 13+1/16+1 Depending on caliber
This is our insider tip if you want a great 45 ACP concealed carry, not just a cheap one, get this one.
You can also get a stunning 9mm. They’re honestly both great guns at a low price.
You can’t quite believe the price though can you? Now you’re giving me side-eye. Well hang on a minute…
We both know this polymer frame gun is too cheap. We all know that Springfield Armory pistols cost more than $400 and they should because they’re excellent. They’re right at the top of all of our ‘best of’ lists. We know this too.
But those are the Mod.2 handguns.
The Gen 1 Springfield XD Service is still on sale Springfield Armory is recommending a RRP of $339 for the 45 ACP polymer frame pistol. But the dealers disagree and there are some super cheap deals out there.
If you do find a cheap Springfield Armory pistol, don’t hesitate. Stocks are always low and it might not be there next week. This is a no-brainer decision and not something you need to sit and ponder.
We got one here. In fact we got a few of them, but we have no idea how long these deals are going to last.
- Springfield Armory XD Compact – Just $297 at Guns.com
- Springfield Armory XD Defenders – Just $299 at Palmetto State Armory
If they’re long gone, check these live search links too. It’s a crapshoot on who has one at the right price on any given day, but we’re happy to help with the links and sorry if it comes up a blank out of stock.
- Palmetto State Armory – Awesome selection of Springfield Armory compact handguns.
- Get your cheap Springfield Armory XD Service at Sportsman’s Guide.
- Discount Springfield Armory XD Service pistols at Brownells.
Put this on top of the Springfield Armory XD-C Mod 2 and you’ll barely see a visual difference apart from the grip and the fiber optic sight that is a neat touch for a stock gun on the Mod 2.
This one gets dovetail front and rear sight fittings, but night sights are an easy upgrade when you have the money. The basics are all the same and it was and is an absolutely stellar gun.
The only cheap ones we can find are the XD Service with the 4 inch barrel, although you might get an XD-M, XD Defender, XD Basic Essentials, XD Compact or whatever name this same configuration of gun is called on that particular site.
Sub-Compact is $299.99 Too!
We found a Springfield sub-compact in the end too in 9mm for around $300. The price does tend to vary, but you you may like that more as a concealed carry pistol anyway. It holds enough rounds and you might genuinely be surprised that you love it.
This is our secret insider tips on buying firearms that we’ve learnt from years of making gun price comparisons. And the Mod 2 is right up there fighting for the ultimate crown in our best 45 ACP Concealed Carry pistols post.
Everyone else will tell you the Taurus or the Ruger is the best gun and we have to concede the point on the Taurus. But if you want a striker fired, polymer frame 45 ACP, or you like the Springfield Armory, this is the way to get a cheap one that is just awesome.
It’s pushing the bounds of a concealed carry pistol because it’s 7.3 inches long and 1.8lb. But then plenty of people conceal a Glock 19 for personal defense on the daily. This is arguably a better gun than the Gen 3 and Gen 4 Glocks certainly, and if you can find the right price then get one, today.
It’s a slight apples and oranges comparison, but we think the Springfield Armory is a better finished, more accurate and more resolved gun than the Taurus G2C. Only the weight is really keeping it off the top spot for concealed carry guns here.
It’s a compact handgun, rather than a true CCW. As compact guns go, though, it is very concealable. It’s slim, relatively fuss free and you should be able to find a place to carry this without printing at all.
You get a grip and trigger safety, which pretty much eliminates all chance of an accidental discharge and is just as good as a manual safety on the frame, and the trigger pull is among the sweetest in the class.
3. Ruger LCP 380 II
- Price: $259.99
- Caliber: .380 ACP
- Total Length: 5.17 inch
- Weight: 0.66lb
- Barrel Length: 2.75 inch
- Capacity: 6+1
Remember when the Ruger LCP 380 IIwas the undisputed cheap concealed carry champion of the world? What a difference a year makes…
Now this is still an excellent gun and it will serve plenty of people well as their concealed carry. It’s cheap, with an unpretentious polymer frame, it will go anywhere and plenty of Law Enforcement Officers carry these as a back-up weapon in a sock holster.
It’s one of those versatile carry guns that works as a pocket pistol too. They can be useful.
There’s no denying the fact that it’s a .380 ACP and that USP of size has now been lost to the almighty Sig P365 Nitron, which is just a tiny bit bigger and packs in more 9mm rounds. You also get a trigger safety, although some people have modified them to fit an aftermarket thumb safety.
But some people like a .380 ACP. That’s what they want for self-defense. They like a small gun, with minimal recoil, that weighs less than air. Well, a bit more than air, but you get the point.
The Mark II gun comes with a much better trigger and is generally considered to be worth the additional money. Like the Springfield, if you’re prepared to dig around then you can find new Mk1 guns for as little as $169.
I’d be more reticent to go for a Mark 1 Ruger LCP380, though, because the trigger pull definitely wasn’t the best, the sights were nasty and it wasn’t as well-received as the MkII. Here we don’t think the saving stacks up. So get a new gun and love it, rather than an old one and cope with it.
4. Ruger EC9s
- Price: $219.99
- Caliber: 9mm
- Length: 6 inch
- Capacity: 7+1
Everybody thinks of the smaller, .380 ACP option when they think of cheap Ruger concealed carry weapons. I can see why. It offers something different and there’s no point focusing on one type of gun.
You want variety and different options for personal defense, not just 10 slightly better or worse clones of one basic carry handgun.
The truth is, though, that if you lined up the Ruger LCP 380II vs Ruger EC9s and said I could take one home, I’d take the 9mm. Just not in that eggshell blue color.
I’m not a fan of the integrated rear sight and front, too, because you’re stuck with the handgun in this form and there really is no point modifying anything other than the color and possibly using extended mags.
That makes it a solid choice for new CCW permit holders that don’t want to complicate their lives or spend too much on a premium handgun out the box. At this price you can tolerate the glass-filled nylon grip and other cost-cutting measures.
It’s bigger than the 380 ACP alternative and it’s heavier, but not by much. It’s no longer a real pocket pistol, but it does fire 9mm ammo. There’s no getting round it, 9mm is the personal defense round of choice and the ballistics tech has come on in leaps and bounds.
.380 ACP has improved, but not by the same margin, so it makes sense to follow the crowd and go with a 9mm carry pistol. It also makes more sense to go with the Taurus in this price band.
Still, some people point to Taurus problems and there’s even that not so funny adage: ‘Friends don’t let friends buy a Taurus.’ I would say it’s not true at all with the Taurus G2C, but some people simply trust Ruger more.
If that’s you, then this is the best concealed carry you’re likely to find in this price bracket. Except for maybe…
5. Remington R51
- Price: $280.99
- Caliber: 9mm
- Length: 6.6 inch
- Barrel length: 3.4 inch
- Weight: 1.38lb
- Capacity: 7+1
When it first launched in 2014, the R51 was everything that was wrong with Remington handguns. It got pulled from sale after performance issues and needed re-engineering completely.
That took two years and by the time the gun was re-released, the damage was kind of done. The thing is, it’s actually good now. And it’s so, so sexy.
That’s rare in this class, but the Remington looks like a more expensive gun. Just make sure you’re not buying an early gun. That would be horrible…
The new one is a great concealed carry that generally gets overlooked and yet has excellent user reviews. It is also a completely different kind of handgun under the skin.
There’s an internal hammer in there and a built-in drop safety. A locking breech block within the slide and a Pedersen hesitation-locked action give the Remington a unique feel in the carry gun class.
Muzzle flip is seriously dampened thanks to the stationary barrel and the recoil spring around it. It’s a bit technical, which can be the death of reliability.
I’m not sure I’d entirely trust a Remington as an every day carry handgun either. But it’s a curiosity, it’s fun, it’s an intriguing gadget and it’s really fun to shoot.
6. Smith & Wesson SD9 VE
- Price: $279.99
- Caliber: 9mm
- Length: 7.2 inch
- Barrel length: 4inch
- Weight: 1.4lb
- Capacity: 16+1
The Smith & Wesson SD9 VE is one of those guns that polarises public opinion. You either love it and have fired thousands of rounds through it, or you have had a total nightmare that basically fell apart in your hand.
There are too many of those stories to dismiss out of hand, but if you get a good gun and do some minor upgrades over time, then you’ll have a reliable and affordable handgun that comes with the premium feel of a Smith & Wesson without the big price tag.
It’s a basic striker fired handgun with a massive capacity and its comparable to the Springfield Armory. Personally, well their relative positions on a list of the best cheap CCW handguns for sale in 2019 makes it pretty clear. Other people might prefer the slightly simpler approach of the S&W SD9 VE.
The sights are simple dovetailed three-dot numbers. The so-called Smith & Wesson Self Defense Trigger is designed for an optimal and consistent trigger pull. The handle has just enough stipple, the beavertail is just right and the stainless steel slide is fully serrated for easy manipulation.
It’s a polymer frame double stack and it’s a lot of gun for the money. In a world where that Springfield Armory didn’t exist, I think I’d like this compact handgun a lot more.
If the Springfield Armory wasn’t so good, this gun would have probably featured much higher up. Get a good one and the Smith & Wesson SD9 VE is a great compact handgun and a concealed carry pistol that will serve you well for years.
You can upgrade for not much money and get the S&W M&P Shield, but they’re rarely under $330. That’s a sub-compact handgun with a 3 inch barrel and a 7+1 capacity. It’s also a great back-up gun, or one to grab when you want complete discretion.
The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield is also a more respected gun than the SD9 VE, but that’s why this is a cheaper firearm.
7. Bersa Thunder
- Price: $279.99
- Caliber: .380 ACP
- Length: 6 inch
- Barrel length: 3.2 inch
- Weight: 1lb
- Capacity: 8+1
The Bersa Thunder is still a popular concealed carry gun in the .380 ACP class, but it’s starting to show its age.
This low-budget favorite looks like a cheap gun next to the Taurus and Ruger LCP II. It’s the Bersa Thunder Concealed Carry, so it’s aimed at smooth corners and a snag free pistol draw.
A simple fixed barrel design means it’s accurate, considering the short 3.2 inch barrel. And it is a small and lightweight carry gun that could just be a pocket pistol.
But there are more compelling guns out there these days in better calibers..