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The 15 Best Budget-Friendly Guns For New Shooters

By CM Chaney · May 2, 2024

Firearms can be costly, deterring new shooters from investing in high-priced gear. However, reliable options are available without breaking the bank.

Our list compiles fifteen budget-friendly guns, alternating between handguns, shotguns, and rifles, ensuring new enthusiasts find safe and affordable choices for their shooting journey.  Joel Moysuh on Unsplash

Taurus G3c - MSRP: $308

Taurus is well-known for relatively high-performance, budget-friendly handguns. The G3c is a no-frills compact 9mm pistol designed for concealed carry, but it also makes a serviceable nightstand gun. Its simple design makes it an ideal choice for learning how to load, unload, fire and disassemble a semi-automatic handgun.

Remington 870 - MSRP: $369

The Remington 870 is a timeless classic and one of the two most popular shotguns in the world. Police and military forces use it in over thirty countries, and it's equally popular with civilian hunters and sportsmen. You'd be hard-pressed to find a shotgun that's simpler to operate and clean (but if you are having trouble with cleaning your weapon, check out our guide to firearm cleaning and maintenance).

Ruger 10/22 Carbine - MSRP: $309

.22 may not be an ideal home defense round, but it's arguably the best caliber with which to learn basic rifle marksmanship. Ruger makes many different models of their time-tested 10/22 rifle, and the Carbine model is one of the most popular and affordable. The 10/22 Carbine is renowned for its accuracy and reliability as well. It's mechanically simple; malfunctions (if any) should be few and far between. This rifle would be an excellent choice for your first gun or for small varmint control.

Glock 17 - MSRP: $499, less for older models

The full-sized Glock 17 is one of the most popular 9mm handguns of all time, and once you fire one, you'll see why. It's comfortable to hold, accurate, easy to control and supremely reliable. All Glock pistols must fire flawlessly after undergoing intense quality control tests, one of which involves encasing the gun in concrete and then chiseling it out days later.

Mossberg 500 - MSRP: $499

The Mossberg 500 — the other most popular shotgun in the world — is, out of the box, built to be a home-defense gun. Many models come pre-fitted with accessory rails, shell saddles or other nice extras. It's more mechanically complex than the Remington 870, making it a bit more time-consuming to clean and slightly more prone to malfunctions, but it's still highly reliable.

Remington 770 - MSRP: $299

The 770 rifle is Remington's effort to offer many different caliber choices in one simple, affordable platform. It's a no-frills hunting gun designed to avoid overwhelming new shooters with too many options. It comes with a basic 4×40 scope that's more than good enough for whitetail and other entry-level game.

Ruger American - MSRP: $579, under $500 used

The Ruger American pistol boasts impressive ergonomics and recoil control, even compared to the other excellent pistols on this list. It comes in full-sized and compact variants; we recommend the full-sized model if you're a new handgun shooter, especially if you opt for the more powerful .45 version.

Benelli Nova - MSRP: $399

Benelli is renowned for their expensive, high-end shotguns, but they make entry-level scatterguns as well. The Nova, often marketed at beginning hunters, is a rugged, all-around pump gun suitable for a variety of applications. Starting at just $399, it outperforms many more expensive models in terms of reliability and ease of use.

Smith & Wesson MP15 Sport II - MSRP: $500

Rifles built on the AR-15 platform can get expensive and complicated. Knowing this, Smith & Wesson introduced the budget-friendly Sport II to attract rifle shooters who don't have $2,500 to spare. Customization options are limited, but if you just want a well-built rifle that won't break the bank, look no further.

Taurus M66 - MSRP: $349

Many modern semi-autos are mechanically simple from a user's standpoint, but revolvers are even simpler, making them ideal for new shooters. Although the M66's size and weight may be intimidating, both are beneficial — the heavy steel frame absorbs a good portion of the gun's powerful recoil, making it easier to control.

Winchester SXP Trap - MSRP: $489

Shotguns designed for trap and skeet shooting can cost thousands of dollars. Recognizing the somewhat slim pickings at lower price points, Winchester introduced the SXP Trap for newbie sport shooters on a budget.

Savage Minimalist - MSRP: $350

The superlatively affordable Savage Minimalist offers a number of features rarely seen on similarly-priced rifles, including an adjustable trigger that can be set anywhere between 2.5 and 6 pounds. Whereas many .22 rifles are semi-automatic, the Minimalist is bolt-action.

Sig Sauer P250 - MSRP: (Varies by model) $349 to $699

A reliable semi-auto that can be chambered in five of the most popular pistol calibers is any shooter's dream. You can even get conversion kits to rechamber the P250 yourself, no gunsmithing expertise required.

Stoeger Condor - MSRP: $349

Pump-action shotguns are simple and reliable, but break-action shotguns are even simpler. In the gun world, simplicity equals reliability and affordability, making (some) break-action shotguns a great choice for beginning shooters.

ATI Omni Maxx P3 - MSRP: $455

The ATI Omni Maxx P3 is harder to find in general than the MP15 Sport II, but if you can find it, it's likely to be the more affordable option. The P3 is the less solidly built of the two rifles — the manufacturer even admits that it's not a long-term, “hard use” gun — but in every review we've seen, the reviewer reports firing thousands of rounds with no problems.

(This content was created with the help of AI, and edited by a human.)