Self-defense does not have to be expensive. Price is indeed an important factor when you go to get the tools you need to defend yourself. Not everyone can afford to cash out hundreds if not thousands of dollars. However, having to look for a more budget oriented option does not mean you have to settle for something with a subpar performance. Instead, there are some great options out there that do not cost you an arm and a leg.

If you look long enough, you will actually find a lot of options for the category $300 or less. This means that self-defense is actually affordable and not just a luxury of the rich. This might sound hard to believe especially as handguns get pricier and pricier each year. The truth is, you need to know what to look for and how to find it.

Let`s take the price that you see on the websites of the manufacturer. They seem to be pretty steep for some potential buyers, but truth be told, these are the MSRPs, the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Prices. The shops do not necessarily follow these suggestions. You can get these guns easily 10-15% cheaper than the MSRP. Often, the shop manages to knock of $100 or even $200, depending of course on how high the price is that is suggested.

Apart from that, there are the laws of the free market. If prices run too high, there will be others who offer more affordable products. This holds true on the gun market as well. While some manufacturers become too expensive, others step in and offer solid products for an affordable price. With that in mind, it is time to turn our attention to some great guns that you can find for $300 or less.

7. Taurus G2s

The Taurus G2s is a compact single-action semi-automatic pistol. It is chambered for 9mm and comes with a capacity of 7+1 rounds. Being striker-fired, it still has a restrike capability as a special feature. Designed for concealed carry, it is just 6.3 inches long with a barrel length of 3.2 inches. The height stands at 4.8 inches, and the weight is just 20 ounces. That makes it super concealable and quite comfortable to carry.

Very interesting are the safety features from which there are plenty in this small gun. It starts with a loaded chamber indicator so you always know if you have a round in the chamber. Then there is a manual thumb safety with which you have the whole gun under control. Add to this the trigger safety and striker block, and it will not discharge even when loaded if you drop it.


Right out of the box, the G2s comes with two magazines making it even more affordable. You can have it for $289 with a standard finish or as a stainless steel for $299.

6. Taurus G2c

The Taurus G2c is a compact handgun for concealed carry. It is striker fired and features a restrike capability as a useful extra. Interesting is that you can have it in 2 different chamberings. You can get it either in 9mm or in .40 S&W. In 9mm, you can buy it with a capacity of 12+1 or 10+1 for compliance if necessary. In .40 S&W, the capacity is 10+1. That gets you quite some firepower if push comes to shove.

With an overall length of 6.3 inches and a height of 5.1 inches, the gun is easy to conceal. The width stands at 1.2 inches, and it weighs 22 ounces. The 3.2-inch stainless steel barrel keeps the weight down and gives enough performance for the round. As a standard, you can order this gun with matte-black or matte-stainless slide made from alloy steel. It comes with adjustable rear sights and a fixed front sight.


The frame is made from black polymer, and the gun sports a set of safety features. This includes a manual thumb safety, a loaded chamber indicator and a trigger safety as well as a striker block. The gun is available for an MSRP of $299.99.

5. Hi-Point C9

The Hi-Point C9 is a semi-automatic pistol that is chambered in 9mm. It comes with a capacity of 8+1 rounds, and you can find it with a variety of options and finishes. The frame is made from high-impact polymer while the slide is made from steel. Who is not satisfied with the capacity of 8+1 can use extended magazines with a capacity of 10 rounds. The gun is rated for 9mm +P ammo, so it packs a serious punch.

The overall length is 6.75 inches with a barrel length of 3.5 inches. Loaded, it has a weight of 29 ounces. That makes it all in all quite concealable and comfortable enough to carry it every day.


The features include a last-round hold open as well as a magazine disconnect safety and a manual thumb safety. For aiming, you use three-dot fully adjustable sights. The gun sports a black powder coat as its standard finish, but there are other finishes available, like for example hydro-dip. It is completely made in the US from parts that are American-made as well. It is easy to find a holster for it, so carrying it is no problem at all. Even better, you can get this package for just $199.

4. KelTec P17

The KelTec P17 is not everyone’s choice as it comes chambered in .22LR (22 Long Rifle). That is not necessarily a cartridge recommended for self-defense. Some even joke that a hit from such a round might just anger an attacker and make it worse for you. However, there are stories out there of bears taken out with it, and there is some serious self-defense ammo for it available. So, if you think that .22LR is for you, be it for the low recoil, the affordable price of the ammo itself, or other reasons, the KelTec P17 is a great budget option for you.

Running a rimfire cartridge, what the .22LR is, the P17 is surprisingly reliable. More importantly, with the small rounds, it has a capacity of 16+1 giving you 17 rounds to take down or at least stop an attacker.


Being a semi-automatic, you can achieve an impressive rate of fire with this very low recoiling cartridge. Also, it is no challenge to conceal the gun itself as it is only 6.7 inches long with a barrel length of 3.8 inches. For the weight, it is really light with only 11.2 ounces. Aiming is done with a fiber-optic front and adjustable rear sight. More importantly, the rail under the frame makes it possible to mount lights and lasers giving you an advantage if you ever have to defend yourself with this gun. The safety and the magazine release are both ambidextrous. The gun can be had for just $199.

3. Rock Island Armory Model 200

The Rock Island Armory Model 200 is a solid choice if you are looking for a revolver and when concealability is not the number 1 of your list of requirements. True, you can still conceal it, but it might present more of a challenge than some other choices of this list as this double action single action revolver comes with a 4-inch barrel and a capacity of 6 rounds in the cylinder.

The revolver can take a steady diet of .38 Special rounds. That might not sound like much, but do not forget that .38 Special was considered a very good round in its days, and there are a lot of graves filled with people shot by it. Using a revolver with a 4-inch barrel also gives this cartridge a little bit more power, and it adds accuracy.

Rock Island Armory Model 200

The complete size of this package is 8.75 inches for the length and 5.44 inches for the height. It weighs 28.16 ounces as it is an all-steel revolver. It sports a parkerized finish to make it durable, and it features oversized polymer combat grips for better recoil management. Thanks to the round, it is easy to control when shooting. It comes with a fixed ramp front and a wide fixed rear notch sight. You can have it for an MSRP of $249.

2. Rock Island Armory Model 206

The Rock Island Armory Model 206 is a 6-shot double action single action revolver. However, it comes with a 2-inch barrel as a true snub-nose and as such it actually stands out of the crowd. It comes chambered for .38 Special with a capacity of 6 rounds instead of the typical 5 that other snubbies have when they are chambered for this cartridge. This means, you get an increase in firepower of 20% over the typical concealable revolver.

Rock Island Armory Model 206

The overall length is just 6.75 inches and the height only 4.09 inches. The weight stands at 25.4 ounces. So, if you are into revolvers for concealed carry, that is a gun to go for. Being all-steel, it sports a parkerized finish and checkered wood grips for a good look. For aiming, it comes with a fixed rear notch sight and a fixed blade front sight. This gun is especially suited for self-defense in close quarters. You can have it for $259.

1. Ruger LCP

Our first gun to talk about is the Ruger LCP. Yes, there is a Ruger LCP II and even a Ruger LCP Max out there, but the LCP is still available, and it is quite an affordable option. You can have it for an MSRP of $339 which seems to be above the $300 limit, but if you include the discount for the true retail price, you can easily buy it for less than $300.

The Ruger LCP is a pocket-size pistol which is hammer-fired and comes in double action only. Chambered in .380 ACP, it has a capacity of 6+1. While there are other options out there with more firepower, this is the go to gun when concealability is your one and overriding concern. For that, it comes with a barrel length of just 2.75 inches for an overall length of 5.16 inches. It is also not very high with 3.6 inches, and very slim with a width of just 0.82 inches. Its weight is even better with only 9.6 ounces. That is truly a gun that you forget that you carry it.


The slide is made from through-hardened alloy steel, and it features an alloy steel barrel and a glass filled nylon frame. The grip is nicely textures for a good purchase, and the front and rear sights are integral. That means, they cannot be adjusted, but that is not a problem at normal self-defense distances. More importantly, the sights are designed to allow for a snag-free draw.

Right out of the box, the LCP comes with one magazine. Also included is a finger-grip extension for a more comfortable hold during shooting.

There you have it guys, some really great guns that are at the same time quite affordable. If you own one of them or have shot them, let us know in the comment and tell how they worked for you. If you are looking for a budget gun, these are some solid options.

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