It is true, guns cost money, and there are times in which we all have to live within a budget. That is life, and there is no benefit in arguing with it. However, being within the limits of a budget does not mean that you cannot get a good product for your self-defense. To the contrary. There are a lot of good options out there that can be had for just a few hundred dollars. It does not take long to find a good variety of guns that cost less then $400 and are ideal for concealed carry.

5 – Ruger Security 9 – Best low-cost option

Being a 9mm double-stack hammer fired handgun, the Ruger Security 9 is ideal for all who put the budget first when it comes to choosing a carry gun. In fact, the idea behind this gun is to not only provide you with a good pistol for less than $400, but also with a holster and some ammo.

Internally, it works with a pre-cocked hammer, not a striker-fired action. This makes for a double action only pull that has a very short travel. From its size, it sits somewhere between easy concealment and great shootability. However, costing only that little, it does come with a downside, and that is the limits on how much you can customize it.

On the upside, the Security 9 comes with a very smooth trigger action which is short and crisp. The Secure Action hammer puts a strong force on the primer of the round while at the same time keeping the racking of the slide easy. Front cocking serrations are a further help in this regard. The sights are adjustable for drift, and the gun ships with two alloy steel magazines. The capacity is either 10 or 15 rounds in the magazine which is impressive for its size.


The barrel has a length of 3.42 inches for a compact package with enough performance to matter. Especially important for a carry gun is that it is also very reliable.

4 – Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380 – Most compact carry gun

Choosing a carry gun is done with a range of requirements, but depending on the shooter and intended use, the one or the other is more important than the rest. If you go for concealability, then the Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380 is your way to go. It is in practice a pocket-size .380 pistol that you can hide behind your hand.

While .380 ACP is not necessarily the strongest round, and the short barrel is no help either, that does not mean that you should dismiss the firepower of this gun. At short ranges, it is quite capable of dishing out some serious damage. Of course, shot placement matters, but with the accuracy of this gun and some training, that comes almost naturally. The biggest advantage is that you carry this gun even when you would leave your bigger weapons at home because of their weight or size.


That being said, the size of it might need some getting used to if you normally train with bigger guns, but that is nothing that cannot be done. In the end, it is worth it thanks to a super concealable gun that you actually carry in the moment you really need it.

3 – Mossberg MC1sc – Best concealed carry gun overall

If you are looking for an affordable well-rounded handgun for concealed carry, look no further. You might be surprised when you hear the manufacturer is Mossberg, a company well known for producing shotguns and rifles, but do not let that stand between you and this little beauty.

Introduced in 2020, it was a surprise at first and a success thereafter. When it comes to concealed carry, you need something light, compact, easy to handle, accurate and reliable. Congratulations, you found it. The MC1sc is light and compact by design weighing only 22 ounces. The ergonomics is enhanced by its polymer construction, and the stainless steel barrel brings something sturdy to the table where it is needed the most. The trigger, always a concern for such a small handgun, is smooth and seamless allowing for the accuracy needed. The profile of the gun is slime and dehorned to make for a snag-free draw.


The polymer magazines are see-through. This makes it possible to check the ammo level in an instant. This makes them by no means fragile as some shooters believe. Right out of the box, you get two of them with one being flat based with a capacity of 6 rounds and the other one with a finger extension and a capacity of 7 rounds.

The recoil impulse of the MC1sc is very manageable, and you can recover the gun quickly for follow-up shots. The controls are easy to manipulate, and the gun is just reliable all the time.

2 – Taurus G2C – A 9mm Pistol with the best value for the money

The Taurus G2C is what value for the money looks like. It is a cheap handgun that is cheerfully doing its job, and it offers much more than you would think when you hear about. Chambered in 9mm, it comes with a capacity of 12+1 giving you a lot of firepower. The magazine release can be reversed if necessary.

The frame is made from polymer to save weight. The rear sights are adjustable, and the front sights are fixed. In fact, the sights are bigger than you would expect making it easy to get on target quickly. That is rounded off with the three white dots that work quite nicely.

Taurus markets this beauty as a double action single action striker gun. Hearing this, you expect an 8- to 10-pound trigger pull I double action, but that is not the case. In single action, the pull is 5 pounds and in double action it is just 6 pounds. With this feature, it has a second strike function which is not that easy to find among the different striker fired guns.


The G2C is quite light and compact. That makes it easy to conceal and comfortably to carry all day, but this also comes with a downside. Light guns are usually snappy. Firing the G2C, you will find that it is contrary to expectation rather soft shooting. That is owed to its exceptional balance. Thanks to it, the G2C is very accurate. Also, being a solid built, it is very reliable giving you a great value for less than $400.

1 – Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield EZ – The premium option

If you are going for the premium gun under $400, the Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield EZ is the right choice for you. Smith & Wesson is a trusted manufacturer, and this gun fits well in its history of great guns. It is very reliable, durable, and it delivers consistent results at the range.

While you get the base version of this gun for less than $300, the M&P 9 Shield EZ sets you back a little bit more. For a brand-new gun, that is a great price. It is thin, compact, and light. The barrel has a length of 3.68 inches, and the overall length of the pistol is 6.8 inches. Being just 1.04 inches wide, the weight stands at 23.81 ounces.

Carrying it around all day, as well as concealed, is no challenge at all. It comes with a capacity of 8+1 rounds, and you aim with adjustable 3 white dot sights. The single action trigger has a crisp break and distinctive reset. You can actually feel and even hear it. That gets you the feedback for precise and fast trigger work.

Apart from all these goodies, this gun is also very safe. Disassembling is done with a takedown level that makes it unnecessary to manipulate the trigger during the process. Also, the pistol features an ambidextrous thumb safety.

This brings us to the question what the EZ stands for. This indicates the easy to rack slide which makes it less challenging to handle this gun especially when you are in a stressful situation like for example when you are under attack. Also, this makes this gun great for female shooters.


A picatinny style rail makes it possible to mount lights and lasers if you so wish. Also, the size of the gun makes it practically dual purpose as it is as practical to carry as it is a great gun for your nightstand. To complete the picture, it has an optimal 18-degree grip angle which makes pointing very natural, and it sports a durable corrosion resistant Armornite finish.

There you have it guys. These are our picks for solid carry guns that can be had for less than $400. If you are looking for one, you cannot go wrong with these choices.

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