If you’re new to the world of firearms and you are looking to purchase a pistol with your tax money, budget may be your number one consideration. If you got a couple hundred dollars tax refund and you have no intention of going over budget, it would be a no brainer to decide what pistol to buy because there are very few models on the budget segment of the market that are worth taking a look at.

If you received a considerable amount though, and you’re willing to spend a huge chunk of it, there’s no shortage of pistols, accessories, and ammo despite the current economic situation, that is, there’s a recession but the Brandon administration is vehemently denying it. 

So, with all the great options on the market, which one should you buy with your tax money?

In this topic, I’ll talk about what I believe are the top 5 pistols to get with your tax money. Each represents a particular use case for which it was designed, but as with all good firearms in general, any of the pistols on this list can become a sensible substitute for another pistol of the same type in more than a few scenarios, the only real difference between them being chambering and consequently, ammo prices. 

If you don’t plan to shoot a hundred boxes of ammo a week, then there’s no reason to factor in ammo costs in the equation. Otherwise, if your purchase any pistol on this list that isn’t chambered in 9mm, you may have to either settle for steel case bulk ammo or reload your own. Ammo has become prohibitively priced thanks to the Wuhan virus and the Brandon administration and there isn’t a lot we can do about it right now. Without further ado, let’s begin.

5: IWI Masada Slim ORP

If you’re in need of a concealed carry piece that doubles as a home defense pistol and your tax refund is only $500 or so, the IWI Masada Slim ORP is a great option. 

IWI stands for Israel Weapon Industries, a firearms manufacturer formerly known as Israel Military Industries. Why they changed their name, I don’t know. What I do know is they’ve become popular over the years due to many of their original firearm designs: the Galil, the Tavor, the Uzi, the Desert Eagle, and the Jericho, their take on the CZ75. 

In 2017, IWI released the Masada, a full size striker fired polymer framed handgun that is a more affordable competitor of the Glock 17. And just earlier this year, they introduced the Masada Slim, a competitively priced, striker fired, polymer framed pistol that holds 13 rounds of 9mm. Designed to compete with other high capacity micro compacts like the P365 XL, the Masada Slim is every bit as reliable, as durable, as modular, and as easily concealable, but it’s about 25% more affordable. 

Even with its tiny dimensions, the Masada Slim shoots like a full size. It uses a dual captive recoil spring which mitigates the recoil, but the slide is still surprisingly easy to rack, thanks to the front and rear cocking serrations. The ergonomic grip has laser etched texturing that goes along the sides, the front strap and the back strap. Its shape and the texturing helps greatly with recoil management.

With its 4.5 pound trigger pull, the pistol can be shot quickly and accurately. The trigger has a fairly long initial take up but has very little resistance and breaks cleanly. It is audible but not as tactile as the trigger reset, which is very short, tactile and audible, allowing for even faster and more accurate follow up shots.


But like all other guns, the IWI Masada Slim isn’t without its downsides. I can think of three: One, it has no picatinny rail on the front of the frame. Two, it has no bevelling under the grip which means the gun has no integral magwell. And three, while the factory three dot sights work great, they leave something to be desired. 

Since IWI designed the Masada Slim to be optics ready, they could have easily included suppressor height sights for a true co-witness — but they decided to use shorter sights anyway. These are all just minor nitpicks though. If your tax money allows for it, the Masada Slim is just tough to beat with its MSRP of $450 and super affordable street price of $360.

4: Glock 21

Next on the list is the Glock 21, another polymer framed striker fired pistol that is significantly bigger than the IWI Masada Slim but is still smaller than a full size 1911 so it’s still concealable, though carrying it concealed may prove challenging to people of small stature. 

Everyone these days has heard of Glock. It’s one of the most trusted brands of pistols known the world over for their reliability, ease of use, and relatively wallet friendly prices. There are countless online sources of info on the company, their history, and their manufacturing processes so I wouldn’t bother with any of those things.

Chambered in the venerable .45 ACP, the Glock 21’s compact frame is built to accept a magazine that holds 13 rounds. This high capacity combined with the gun’s relative heft and longer barrel that measures 4.6 inches makes it a great candidate for home defense. The only downside to it is, well, there may be better options.

Personally, like most handgun enthusiasts, I’m more biased towards the FN FNX 45, another high capacity full size pistol in .45 ACP that only has one thing in common with the Glock 21: the use of a polymer frame. Aside from that, it’s a whole different animal. 

The FN FNX 45 is a hammer fired pistol that is slightly thicker and taller than the Glock 31, and it holds the record for having the highest ammo capacity out of all handguns chambered in .45 ACP using only factory mags. While the Glock 21 only has a 13 round capacity, the FN FNX 45 can hold two more rounds in the mag. 

Glock 21

But I decided not to include the FN FNX 45 on this list for the simple fact that it is significantly more expensive than the Glock 21. Comparing MSRPs, the FN FNX 45 is selling for $869, while the Glock 21 only costs $547. That’s a 58.86 percent difference in price for a measly 15.38 percent increase in ammo capacity. 

The FN FNX 45 is also around eight tenths of an inch taller than the Glock 21, which means if you’re buying the FN FNX 45, it’ll be relegated to home defense because it is  much more difficult to carry concealed than the Glock 21.

Of course, you can go with the FN FNX 45 if your tax money allows, but there aren’t a lot of people who can get a tax return of close to $900 and would be willing to spend all of it on a pistol chambered in .45 ACP. If you do your homework, $900 should be enough for a budget friendly pistol and AR 15 combo, you’ll only need to look around. And speaking of AR 15s…

3: Moriarti Armaments AR 15 .223 Wylde Pistol

My number 3 on this list is an AR 15 pistol made in the US of A with a product code MA-223-7-PISTOL-BLUE manufactured by Moriarti Armaments. It has a stainless steel 7.5 inch barrel with an M4 feed ramp and a Rocket Man Flash Suppressor, an SB Tactical SBA3 5-position adjustable pistol brace, a forged 7075 T6 Aircraft Aluminum receiver with an anodized black finish, and a Carpenter 158 steel bolt. 

With an overall length of 28” inches and an MSRP of $599.95, this AR 15 pistol is a wallet friendly home defense option that is unparalleled in versatility because of the specific chamber it uses: the .223 Wylde chamber. 

If you’ve never heard of the .223 Wylde before, it is NOT a cartridge, even though it sounds like one. What it is is an especially designed chamber for 5.56mm that can shoot .223 Remington rounds without performance issues. An engineer named Bill Wylde from Illinois — of ALL places — designed the chamber and named it after himself.

Now some wise guy out there would say a gun chambered in 5.56mm will safely chamber and shoot .223 Remington so there’s no point in this contraption. You would be correct, sir! But you are aware that there’s some accuracy loss if you shoot .223 Remington in a 5.56mm chambered gun, aren’t you? 

There won’t be any such accuracy loss if you shoot .223 Remington from a .223 Wylde chamber. And since it’s built for 5.56mm pressure levels, you won’t have problems shooting 5.56mm either. I won’t go into technical details because I’m no engineer and I’m no gunsmith either, I’m just someone who is mad about guns.

As for Moriarti Armaments, they’re based in Miami Florida and have been around since 2013. They’re a firearms importer and a licensed FFL manufacturer/SOT that specialize in building AR style pistols and rifles, silencers, and machine guns. Juliya Weisbrot, the CEO of the company, has this to say about them, quote: 

Moriarti Armaments AR 15 .223 Wylde Pistol

“By opening up our locations in the U.S., we are proud to continue our European traditions and are confident we will add our strengths and expertise to the American gun industry. We pride ourselves in supporting military and LEO, and employ only U.S. veterans. We take great pride in our products and strive to adhere to the strictest quality control practices in the industry. Excellent customer service is our OUTMOST priority.” End quote.

I’ve seen online forum posts about how Moriarti Armaments’ customer service is terrible, but those are anecdotal at worst and nowhere near as big as class action lawsuits like the one filed against SIG Sauer or Taurus, so unless you personally know someone who had problems with Moriarti Armaments, their products may be worth checking out.


I’ve talked about two handgun models so far, the micro compact IWI Masada Slim in 9mm and the full size Glock 21 in .45 ACP. The Glock 40 is a long slide, the biggest and baddest handgun on this list. Glock designed and developed it for recreational and competitive target shooting, but thanks to its long slide that maximizes the velocity of each 10mm round fired through it, the Glock 40 is one of the most powerful production pistols on the market. 

I’m not aware of any other polymer framed striker fired handgun that can hold 15 rounds of 10mm in a long slide configuration. There are more than a handful of 10mm long slides on the market, but those are typically single stack steel framed 1911s with an 8 round mag capacity. 

And while there are high capacity 10mm long slides on the market, there are very few production models and they are all steel framed as well, usually CZ 75 derivatives or 2011s. They are all more expensive than the Glock 40 Gen 4 MOS which has a relatively low MSRP of $700, which is why it’s my 10mm handgun of choice and the number 2 pistol on this list.


If you’re looking to move into bear country or if you want to try hunting up to elk size game with a handgun and your tax money doesn’t allow you to spend thousands of dollars on a custom 1911 long slide in 10mm, the Glock 40 Gen 4 MOS is undoubtedly the best combat ready pistol on the market that doesn’t require any kind of tuning or caliber conversion. 

Of course you can go balls to the wall and purchase a Glock 41 converted to .460 Rowland from Johnny Rowland’s website but that pistol does require some tweaking. Speaking of the .460 Rowland…

1: TNW Firearms Aero Survival Pistol in 460 Rowland

My most recommended pistol on this list is an AR style pistol in .460 Rowland built by TNW Firearms based in Vernonia Oregon. As far as firearms manufacturing, they’re a fairly young company, but they’ve been around since the early 90s so they have a solid grasp on the things they do. They’ve developed a reputation for building good recreations of historical weaponry and accessories. 

But if you head on over to their website, TNW Firearms.com, you’ll see that they also offer lightweight AR style survival rifles and pistols available in six different pistol calibers: 9mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG, .45 ACP, 10mm, and .460 Rowland. Their survival rifles sell for $799 apiece regardless of the chambering, while their survival pistols sell for $899 apiece, again regardless of the chambering. 

These survival rifles and pistols are all takedown firearms with removable barrels. They can be taken down quickly to fit into TNW’s specially designed backpack which is included in the package, making them perfect not just for home defense but for backpacking, flying, and hunting trips as well. 

TNW Firearms Aero Survival Pistol in 460 Rowland

And because they’re highly portable and can be carried in that TNW backpack practically anywhere, not to mention caliber swapping is easy because of the removable barrels, they’re some of the best SHTF guns you can find online.

Since this is a Top 5 Pistols topic, I’ll talk about TNW Firearms’ AR style survival pistol, for which the most powerful chambering is the .460 Rowland. If you didn’t know, the .460 Rowland is a wildcat cartridge with similar dimensions to the .45 ACP but is rated for much higher pressure levels. 

Out of a 5-inch 1911 barrel, the .460 Rowland is capable of ballistics that reach entry level .44 Magnum performance out of a 6-inch revolver. It was designed in 1997 by Johnny Rowland, a firearms enthusiast and TV show host. A pistol chambered in .460 Rowland will shoot .460 Rowland, .45 Super, and .45 ACP, though there are times the recoil spring has to be either lighter or heavier depending on the ammo and the pistol model.

With an extended handguard and factory installed SB Tactical SOB Arm Brace, the TNW Firearms Aero Survival Pistol is rock solid and stable. Shooting it accurately with one hand is effortless. The 10.5-inch pistol barrel gives plenty of room for the .460 Rowland bullet to accelerate, letting it achieve full power .44 Magnum ballistic performance. 

And because the TNW Aero Survival Pistol accepts Glock mags, you can purchase 30 round extended mags for the Glock 21 for this pistol, making it a full on zombie apocalypse gun with more than enough firepower to dispatch anything that walks on the planet.

And that’s all I have for you in this topic. If there were other pistols you believe I should have included on this list, feel free to let me know by commenting below.

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