Self Defense on a Budget: Five 9mm Pistols Under $500

TOPSHOT - A trainee fires her gun during the FASTER Level 2 two day firearms course at Fla

As self-defense gun sales and concealed carry continue to surge it seems appropriate to point out five 9mm pistols budget-conscious Americans can purchase for under $500.

The five guns vary in size, capacity, and sight configuration, but all provide a means of self-defense for law-abiding gun owners who are living with tightened finances these days.

The pistols, listed below, are not in any particular order:

Bersa TPR9 (Photo: Bersa USA)Bersa TPR9 – This pistol is made in Argentina and uses double stack magazines that allow you to carry 17 + 1 rounds of 9mm ammunition. The TPR9 has fixed, white dot sights and an external safety, which also serves as a de-cocker. The gun’s operation is double action/single action, like a 1911-style pistol. The TPR9 is a full-sized pistol measuring 7.56 inches in length, 1.45 inches in width, and weighing 30.7 ounces. (The TPR9 is available in smaller versions.) Approximate price: $450-$490.


Glock 43X (Photo: Glock)

Glock 43X – Like all Glocks, the 43X is a striker-fired pistol made in Austria. It uses single stack magazines with 10 +1 rounds of 9mm ammunition. It has fixed Glock sights and a safety incorporated into the trigger via Glock’s “Safe Acton” system. The single stack design of the Glock 43X reduces the pistol’s size to 1.10 inches in width. It is 6.50 inches in overall length and weighs 18.70 ounces. Approximate price: $450-$490.


SCCY DVG-1RDR (Photo: AWR Hawkins)

SCCY DVG-1 – The DVG-1 is SCCY’s first striker-fired pistol. The gun is made in America and ships with a ten-round magazine, allowing you to carry 10 + 1 rounds of 9mm ammunition. The DVG-1 ships with fixed white dot sights and is just a tad smaller than the Glock 43X. (The DVG-1 is 1.10 inches wide, 6.01 inches long, and weights 15.5 ounces.) The DVG-1 is also available in the DVG-1RDR variant, which has the slide pre-cut for mounting optics.  The approximate price of either variant–the DVG-1 or the DVG-1RDR–is $380-$410. (The accompanying photo shows the DVG-1RDR with Shield Sights’ RMSc Reflex Mini Sight. The cost of the sight is not included in the price of the DVG-1RDR pistol.)

Mossberg MC2c (Photo: Mossberg)

Mossberg MC2c – The MC2c is a striker-fired pistol. It is made in America and ships with a 14-round magazine, allowing you to carry 14+1 rounds of 9mm ammunition. It ships with white dot sights and is 1.10 inches wide, 7.10 inches long, and weighs 21 ounces. The MC2c’s slide is pre-cut for optics, allowing you to put a red dot sight on top (as demonstrated with the DVG-1RDR.) The MC2c has no external safety levers but the trigger is equipped an integrated blade that has to be depressed in order to allow the trigger to be pulled. Approximate price: $400-440.

Sig Sauer P365 Nitron (Photo: Sig Sauer Inc.)

Sig Sauer P365 Nitron – The P365 Nitron comes in at the high end of the ‘under $500’ category, but it does so with a standard feature that is not included in the TPR9, 43X, DVG-1, or MC2c. That feature is the inclusion of X-Ray Tritium sights from the factory. The P365 Nitron ships with a ten round magazine, allowing you to carry 10+1 rounds of 9mm ammunition. The P365 Nitron is 1.06 inches wide, 5.08 inches long, and weights 17.8 ounces. It does not have an external safety. Approximate price: $495-$535.

Justice Samuel Alito described self-defense as “the central component” of the Second Amendment in McDonald v. Chicago (2010).

Moreover, Alito went so far as to say that the preferred weapon with which to defend oneself in America is a handgun, thus “[the court] concluded, ‘citizens must be permitted to use handguns for the core lawful purpose of self-defense.’”

The five handguns listed above are designed with self-defense in mind.

When shopping for a firearm, be sure to see how if fits your hand and, if you buy it, be certain to spend time at the range shooting it and becoming familiar with it, in order to be proficient. Also, be sure to learn and abide by the laws of your state regarding handgun ownership, concealed and/or open carry regulations, and the laws governing self-defense in one’s home.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. AWR Hawkins holds a PhD in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at Reach him directly at


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