Five of the Best Budget Guns Out There

SCCY CPX-1/2
SCCY CPX-1/2

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- We all like to shoot, but sometimes the budget will not allow people to get that new HK or that Daniel Defense. After almost every day of getting the same question about what is the best budget firearm on the market, I decided to go on a quest to find the best budget pistol, revolver, bolt action rifle, modern sporting rifle, and shotgun.

Let me stress, these are just my opinions. There plenty of excellent budget firearms on the market. These are the ones that work for me. What feels good for one person, might not feel good for the next. I encourage everyone to go to their local gun store to try a gun out before buying one.


Best Budget Pistol: SCCY CPX-1/2

SCCY (pronounced sky) produces the 9mm CPX pistols in Daytona Beach, Florida. SCCY designed their hammered fired guns to be concealed carried by the user. The size will be similar to people who have carried a Glock 26.

The only difference between the CPX-1 and the CPX-2 is that SCCY designed the CPX-1 with a safety and the CPX-2 without one. Other than that difference both guns are identical. Neither is better than the other. It comes down to the shooters personal opinion on having a safety. I am of the mindset that I don't want a safety on my carry pistol because it would just be one more thing to think about.

The SCCY pistols hold ten rounds and come with two magazines. The magazines come with both flat base plates and base plates with pinky extensions. I can conceal the SCCY pistol easily with both types of base plates.

The big drawback an SCCY pistol is the trigger. The trigger weight comes in at nine pounds. The gun has a very long trigger pull, and the trigger reset is just as long. There is a lot of over travel.

The SCCY CPX line does go bang every time which is the most critical thing in a concealed carry pistol. I have put a few 1000 rounds of ammo of all types through my gun and haven't had any issues. The gun is also accurate for a subcompact.

SCCY makes the CPX series in multiple colors and always seems to be adding more. These colors range from black to Tiffany blue. They also offer a CPX-3 chambered in .380ACP.

Pros: Wide variety of colors, Reliable, Very concealable, Holds ten rounds, Accurate.
Cons: Long trigger pull, Heavy trigger, Long reset

CPX-1 MSRP: $284.99 – Store Price: $240
CPX-2 MSRP: $269.99 – Store Price: $225

Honorable Mention: Smith and Wesson SD9


Best Budget Revolver: EAA Windicator

EAA Windicator
EAA Windicator

The EAA Windicator (pronounced Vindicator) is a six-shot German-built revolver. There are several different models of the revolver, but they all are double action/single action wheel guns chambered in either .357 Mag or .38 Spl.

The Windicator is very well built and comes in everything from a two-inch barrel to a four-inch barrel. The guns come in either a blue or nickel finish. EAA used rubber for the grips, and it feels comfortable in the hands.

EAA made the Windicator's frame of all steel. Although this makes the gun very durable, it does make the revolver bulky. The gun weighs around 2lbs no matter what model of Windicator. It is a big difference from my Smith & Wesson Air Weight.

The looks of the Windicator vary from model to model. Some of the models look plain, but others look great. Like all the guns on this list, it is a very reliable gun.

Pros: Reliable, Great quality.
Cons: Not concealable, Heavy
MSRP: $354 – $458 Store Price: $280 – $350

Honorable Mention: Rock Island M206


Best Budget Bolt Action Rifle: Ruger American Rifle

Ruger American Rifle
Ruger American Rifle

For hunters, a bolt action gun is a must. The Ruger American is the best budget bolt action gun on the market hands down. My Ruger American is chambered in 308 Win. Ruger also offers the American in 30-06 Sprg, 270 Win, 243 Win, 7mm-08 Rem, 22-250 Rem, 223 Rem, and 6.5 Creedmoor

I have been able to shoot up to 600 yards accurately with the rifle with a Bushnell scope using Gorilla .308 ammo. The cold forged barrel helps improves the accuracy of the rifle. Any hunter would be able to put down a dear with this gun with ease.

The recoil was manageable thanks to the butt pad on the American. Ruger did an excellent job at designing the ergonomics of the rifle. It was lightweight and comfortable to shoot.

The trigger on the American is not the best trigger on the market, but it isn't a bad trigger. Ruger made the trigger adjustable from 3 to 4 pounds.

The bolt on the Ruger American is a little stiffer than I was used to for my long ranger rifles. My regular long-range shooter is a Remington 700 that I have upgraded, so of course, it has a smoother bolt. I also have about $1000 more into the 700 than the cost of the Ruger American. Dollar for dollar this is an excellent rifle.

Pros: Accurate out of the box
Cons: Bolt is a little stiff, Not the best trigger on the market.
MSRP: $489 Store Price: $382 (not included: 6.5 Creedmoor)

Honorable Mention: Marlin X7


Best Budget Modern Sporting Rifle: Ruger AR-556

Ruger AR-556
Ruger AR-556

The Ruger AR-556 is the second Ruger on this list. The AR-556 is an excellent entry level AR-15 for the new shooter. It feels like a higher priced AR.

Ruger made the receiver of the AR-556 out of 7075-T6 Aluminum. It comes with a carbine length milled gas block. The barrel has a 1:8 twist rate. The rifle is accurate and reliable.

Ruger designed the pistol grip on the AR-556 is to be ergonomic, and it feels good in my hand. It has an adjustable six-position stock attached to a mil-spec buffer tube. The flash hider can be removed and replaced with any break with a 1/2″-28 thread pattern.

Ruger made the handguard out of glass filled nylon. I did a few mag dumps to heat up the barrel, and the handguard did an OK job at dissipating the heat. It wasn't the best, but it wasn't terrible either.

I really like how Ruger designed the handguard to be removed. The operator just has to unscrew the delta ring and can replace the handguard with any carbine length handguard. There is no need for a separate tool to remove the handguard which is a huge plus. I think Ruger designed the rifle to be easily upgradable.

The single stage trigger feels like a standard AR trigger. If you are used to a standard mil-spec trigger, then this trigger will feel familiar. It isn't a bad trigger, but it isn't a match grade trigger either.

Ruger included a chrome plated bolt carrier group on the AR-556. Ruger machined the bolt itself from a 9310-alloy steel. It is a reliable and corrosive resistant bolt carrier group with a durable bolt.

Ruger included a pop-up rear sight and an adjustable A2-style front sight post. The height is perfect for co-witnessing with an optic. I used a Holosun reflex sight on my AR-556. With and without the optic the Ruger AR-556 was a tack driver.

Pro: Comes with a backup sight, Great pistol grip, Accurate
Cons: OK trigger, Stock could have been better.
MSRP: $799 – Store Price: $510

Honorable Mention: Smith & Wesson M&P Sport II


Best Budget Shotgun: Stevens 320 Security

Stevens 320 Security
Stevens 320 Security

Savage produces the Stevens 320 Security shotgun. This gun is a no-thrills shotgun that just simply works. It will not turn heads on the range, but it is great for home defense.

Savage made the barrel of the 320 Security out of carbon steel. The barrel is 18.5 inches long which is the minimum length for a shotgun without it being considered a short-barreled shotgun.

Savage made the stock on the Stevens 320 Security out of a plastic material with a pistol grip. This synthetic stock is my only real complaint about the shotgun. It feels cheap. It has held up over the past couple of years with heavy use, but I can't get over the cheap feel.

Savage chambered the Stevens 320 Security in 3-inch, 12-gauge. It holds five shells in the magazine tube. The pump action is smooth, but once again the pump itself feels cheap. It works though, and that is what you want in a home defense shotgun.

Pro: Great barrel, Comfortable.
Cons: Cheap feel
MSRP: $234 – Store Price: $199

Honorable Mention: IAC Hawk Model 982


About John CrumpJohn Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at www.crumpy.com.

  • 22 thoughts on “Five of the Best Budget Guns Out There

    1. Whenever I’m considering buying anything, I always do an internet search on “Best ________” to find what people have to say. There’s always a enormous number of hits and there always seems to be little, if any, crossover. The interesting things is people’s opinions are so diverse. And it never ceases to amaze me how people define “budget”. Whose budget? My budget allows a run-of-the-mill Glock to be the threshold budget gun, Ed Browns are mid-range and Korths are upper tier. Of course, those are just my opinions, your opinions may vary.

    2. BEST ‘CRANK-START’ OPERATED CARS…

      BEST ‘BREAK IN UR TEETH’ WALMART TOOTHPICKS…

      BEST ‘98% -RELIABLE’ HANDGUNS for CONCEALED CARRY…

      R U FRIKIN KIDDIN ME?!!!!!!!!!! R U?!!!!!

    3. I have a SCCY CPX 2, did a little sanding on trigger, took out the rough spots. In the box when I bought mine there was a coupon for a percentage off of an Armalaser laser either red or green. I got the green dot. Love to shoot it. I CC it or a Ruger LCP ll 380, sometimes both. I have a Armalaser green dot on both. On the long trigger pull I put some finger nail polish on the back of the hammer and on slide where the gun fires, then you can see how close to firing you are.
      I have been reading this column for some time, first time posting.

    4. For my money, I prefer putting together an AR-platform long gun. If you want to become better acquainted with your weapon, there is nothing more satisfying than buying parts online and putting them together. My go-to site: http://www.palmettostatearmory.com. Great company with great products at great prices!

      1. SCCY for the win! On several levels!
        Better fit and finish (can you say remove the mould marks/flash, Kel-tec?), WAAAAY better trigger, and on and on…

      2. The sccy has a better sight profile. That the kel tec and the Ruger lcp 1&2 all have. The sccy is one I’d love to own if I can ever find another one in stores. They also feel like a Glock but shoot like a sign with no hiccups.

    5. Hi, John…

      My bolt-action rifle is a Savage Axis in .223 Rem, and it compares favorably (reliability, weight, accuracy, materials/workmanship quality, etc) with the Ruger American… and the Axis was less expensive. Otherwise, I agree with your choices as good budget guns!

      1. @ Joe
        Like he Said Everyone has a View point
        on Budget Guns . In Some areas prices
        can very by $99. bucks on same item.
        I’ve Been Looking Myself for Long range
        Guns But Unless I get a C or R model with
        Out dated Calibers I got to Wait for $$$$

    6. Left out Charter Arms. About the same price as EAA, but guaranteed for life. Comes in more calibers, to include: the .44 special.

    7. I would like to add the DPMS line to the AR-15 list. The Oracle is a great little gun for the money. It doesn’t come with sights so you can add what you want. I bought one on sale at my local dealer a few weeks ago for under $400.

    8. I have one factual correction. The article states that 18.5″ is the minimum legal length for a shotgun barrel, without being considered a “short barreled shotgun”. Well, that’s close but, it’s 18″ even. The way to measure a shotgun barrel, according to the ATF, is to ensure the gun is unloaded, the bolt is fully closed and, insert a tape measure down the barrel until it rests on the bolt face. Then, read the tape at the end of the barrel.

      1. You are correct (it’s actually a rod down a bore in case the tape doesn’t fit). However, there is the shockwave with a 14″ bbl. Must be 26″ + overall.

        1. I just picked up two (2) Black Aces tactical(s) with way shorter barrels then the 14″ shockwave (by about half) and have folding stocks. They are not budget friendly but they also skirt the 18″ barrel BS by 10+ inches and don’t need the tax stamp. If you want something that shoots 12 gauge and will fit into a backpack check them out.

    9. Honest Opinions are Good .
      Choices for the Money were
      spot on . We All Can’t Buy Top Shelf .
      These Were Budget Friendly .

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