If you are looking for the best 9mm pistol under $500, you need to understand more about 9mm first. A 9mm is a great caliber pistol. With a 9mm pistol you have lots of brands to choose from, and a big price range.
With a 9mm pistol, you can get a compact gun with a high bullet capacity, great for a carry gun, home defense, or range plinking. Smaller bullets mean less recoil than say a .45 and faster shooting.
If you are looking for a 9mm pistol and do not want to spend over 500 dollars, there are lots of choices. So many choices that you may need to pick another feature to separate the pack.
Pistols choices under 500
A pistol under 500 is not going to be a competition-grade match pistol. Competition pistols can be quite pricey, ranging from $1000 to $3500 plus. They may be worth the extra money for competition triggers, sights, and compensators, that have been added and adjusted. However, we are looking more at a plinking pistol.
Even with the price constraint you still want a reliable and safe gun, that gets on target. Choosing a super small 9mm is not the best way to cut down on price. Super small guns may be good for concealed carry, but they are not much fun for plinking on the range. The sights are often small or non-existent and the recoil hits can be harsher with a small pistol.
Choosing a 9mm pistol under 500
There are no returns when you buy a pistol. There is a warranty from big-name guys, but you should know all about the pistol you want to buy. Before you buy it!
Reading up about the features, looking through photos and videos, will be a good start. Check with your buddies, as they may have a 9mm for you to try. Rent the model you are interested in from a local range. Go to the gun store and try different models in your hands, a good fit is essential for control.
What is the pistol for?
Your intended use of the gun is a good way to separate your choices. If you are purely looking for a concealed carry 9mm pistol, you will want to look at compact and sub-compact models. Compact and sub-compacts will have a shorter barrel and less round capacity.
Typically, a compact model will have a barrel length of 3” to 3.5”, and a max of 10 rounds. When you have a smaller barrel and frame, more of the firing energy is transferred to your hand. That is to say, some compacts can kick.
If it hurts your hand to shoot your gun, then you are unlikely to train with it. You need to train with your carry gun, or you may as well just leave it in the safe. You can practice dry-firing for holstering and trigger pull. And these days with the cost of bullets,
Choose the size of your 9mm Pistol
Compact, super compact, full size, this is the first decision you are going to have to make. Do you want a small gun for concealed carry, or do you want the biggest one they make! How many bullets it holds can be a way to narrow down the field.
Though most 9 mm pistols are automatics there are several 9mm revolvers on the market today. Most revolvers are not cheap. Cheaper revolvers are smaller and tend to be only 5 rounds. The smaller automatics hold 7 rounds, not counting one in the chamber. Full-size 9mm pistols can hold around 17 to 24 rounds. Now that’s a lot of ammo.
Revolvers generally cost more than 500 in the 9mm range. The exceptions are for revolvers with less than 6 bullets. And with super short barrels, around 2”. A two-shot pistol, like the Bond Arms Roughneck, may not technically be a revolver, but it definitely is not an automatic pistol!
These short barrel, low round revolvers, are only good for concealed carry. I would not consider them a fun gun at all.
So the type of 9mm that you will get under 500 is most likely going to be automatic. Most will have an integrated handle lower. The safety can vary, from just a trigger safety to manual safety. The sights are going to be basic dot sights. No night vision sights, no day-glow inserts, just a basic sight.
Brand Name Vs No-Name
I could not find a new Glock 9mm pistol under 500, they are a big brand name with a loyal following. If you want to spend over 500 on your new 9mm, Glock is a very popular choice.
I said most Glocks are over 500, unless you are a first responder. Glock has a blue label program, where qualified private citizens can purchase one Glock a year. By participating in the Glock Shooting Sports Foundation, the discount is usually $75 to $100 below retail.
So a big brand name has a lot going for them: Quality, Warranty, Reputation, High sales volumes.
- High Sales
If a 9mm has been on the market for a long time from a brand name company, there will be lots of pistols out there. Why do you want this? It is good for several reasons. There will be a great aftermarket on a popular pistol. Aftermarket means, holsters, triggers, scopes, grips, you name it, if it is popular, parts have been made for that gun!
I am writing this in March 2021 and at this moment in time, 9mm ammo can be hard to come by. So beggars can’t be choosers. When things get back to normal, 9mm ammo is not the priciest and has a large range of cartridges.
9mm rounds used to cost around thirty cents for one round. Now in 2021, sixty cents a round is a good price if you can get it and the top is two dollars plus per bullet round!
Wikiarms is a great resource for in-stock anything gun. I have used their site to find in-stock 9mm ammo.
Range or ball ammo, carry ammo, and specialty ammo, 9mm rounds come in all types. It is good with a new gun, to try different brands and types to see if your 9mm pistol under 500 performs as well with all of them.
Where to Buy your 9mm pistol
Where you get your 9mm pistol under 500 is up to you. Walk into a gun store and see what they have (2020/21 crazy, go early in the day!) or buy a gun online. When you buy a pistol online you have the whole country to buy from and new or used inventory. Just make sure the pistol you buy is legal in your state!
If you have made your choice purely on budget, you may want to consider secondhand. You can get a higher-value pistol for a better price. Wear happens to all firearms, and I doubt that the seller will know exactly how many rounds have been through the pistol! But with photos, you can still look over your possible “new to you” pistol.
Up Next, 9mm Pistols under 500 by Brand.
Up next we look at brand names and the 9mm pistols under 500 that they offer. First up is Taurus then we look at SCCY cause they both make 9mm pistols on the cheaper end of the market.
Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps you narrow down what type of 9mm you are looking for.