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When it comes to carrying a concealed weapon (CCW), reliability, accuracy, and ease of concealment are of paramount importance. Fortunately, there are numerous excellent CCW pistols on the market that won’t break the bank. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 CCW pistols under $500. These compact and affordable handguns offer the perfect balance between performance and affordability, making them ideal choices for self-defense and everyday carry.
1. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm
The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm is a compact and highly regarded semi-automatic pistol that combines reliability, performance, and concealability. Designed by Smith & Wesson as a part of their Military & Police (M&P) series, the M&P Shield 9mm is specifically engineered for personal defense, concealed carry, and law enforcement use.

This pistol features a single-stack magazine design, which allows for a slimmer profile and comfortable grip, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a firearm that’s easy to carry discreetly. The 9mm chambering strikes a balance between manageable recoil and effective stopping power, making it suitable for shooters of varying skill levels.

The M&P Shield 9mm typically comes with a polymer frame, contributing to its lightweight construction without compromising durability. The textured grip surface enhances control and handling, even in adverse conditions. The pistol’s trigger system is designed for safety, featuring a striker-fired mechanism with a consistent trigger pull, ensuring predictable shot placement.

Key features of the M&P Shield 9mm often include:

  • Barrel Length: The pistol usually features a barrel length of around 3.1 to 3.3 inches, striking a balance between compactness and accuracy.
  • Capacity: Magazine capacities vary, but they typically hold 7 to 8 rounds of 9mm ammunition, with options for extended magazines available.
  • Sights: The pistol commonly comes with white dot sights or three-dot sights, providing quick and easy target acquisition.
  • Safety Features: Depending on the model, safety features might include a trigger safety, a tactile and visual loaded chamber indicator, and an optional manual thumb safety.
  • Finish: The M&P Shield 9mm often boasts a durable corrosion-resistant finish, ensuring the pistol’s longevity even in harsh conditions.
  • Accessories: It can usually accommodate various accessories, such as lasers, lights, and night sights, to tailor the pistol to specific needs.
  • Holster Compatibility: Given its popularity, a wide range of holsters is available to accommodate concealed carry preferences.

The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm has earned its reputation as a reliable and accurate pistol, making it a popular choice among concealed carry permit holders, law enforcement professionals, and civilian shooters alike. Its balance of size, firepower, and ease of use makes it a versatile option for personal defense and everyday carry scenarios.

Spec List:

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 7+1 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 3.1 inches
  • Weight: 20.8 ounces (unloaded)
  • Sights: White dot sights


  • Slim and lightweight for comfortable concealed carry
  • Trusted Smith & Wesson reliability
  • Easy to operate with minimal external controls


  • Limited magazine capacity compared to double-stack alternatives
2. Glock 43x
The Glock 43X is a compact and versatile semi-automatic pistol that strikes a balance between concealability and firepower. Renowned for its reliability and ergonomic design, the Glock 43X caters to both civilian concealed carry enthusiasts and law enforcement professionals seeking a reliable backup weapon.

Featuring a polymer frame that offers a perfect blend of durability and lightweight construction, the Glock 43X is designed for comfortable carry over extended periods. Its compact dimensions make it easy to conceal, while its slim profile ensures minimal printing when holstered. The pistol boasts a 10-round magazine capacity, enhancing its firepower compared to some other subcompact options.

The Glock 43X utilizes a striker-fired system, contributing to its consistent and crisp trigger pull. Its standard sights provide quick target acquisition, and the pistol’s intuitive controls make it user-friendly even for those new to firearms. The textured grip and interchangeable backstraps allow shooters to customize their grip to suit their hand size, contributing to enhanced accuracy and control during shooting.

One of the notable features of the Glock 43X is its compatibility with Glock’s accessory rail, which allows users to attach various lights, lasers, or other tactical enhancements. This adaptability adds to the pistol’s versatility for both self-defense and professional use.

Overall, the Glock 43X stands out as a reliable, compact, and user-friendly firearm, combining Glock’s renowned durability with enhanced firepower and concealability, making it a popular choice for those seeking a dependable and efficient concealed carry option.

Spec List:

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 10+1 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 3.41 inches
  • Weight: 18.7 ounces (unloaded)
  • Sights: Glock Night Sights


  • Larger capacity than many single-stack options
  • Glock’s reputation for durability and reliability
  • Accessory compatibility with Glock aftermarket options


  • Grip size might be slightly larger for some users
3. Ruger LCP II
The Ruger LCP II is a compact and reliable semi-automatic pistol designed for concealed carry and personal defense. Building upon the success of its predecessor, the LCP II boasts a number of improvements that enhance its performance, comfort, and ease of use.

Featuring a sleek and minimalist design, the LCP II is crafted with a lightweight and durable polymer frame, making it exceptionally easy to carry for extended periods without causing fatigue. Its compact dimensions make it ideal for discreet concealment in a variety of carry positions, such as pocket, waistband, or ankle holsters.

One of the standout features of the LCP II is its improved trigger system. The single-action trigger offers a smooth and crisp pull, reducing the likelihood of unintended discharges and providing better accuracy. This enhanced trigger design contributes to a more controlled shooting experience, even in high-stress situations.

The LCP II chambered in popular self-defense calibers, such as .380 ACP, ensuring effective stopping power while maintaining manageable recoil. Its magazine capacity varies, typically holding 6+1 or 7+1 rounds, depending on the model. A manual slide hold-open latch provides a visual indicator when the pistol is empty, aiding in efficient reloading.

For added safety, the LCP II incorporates a variety of features, including a textured grip to enhance control, fixed sights for quick target acquisition, and integrated safety mechanisms. Its snag-free design minimizes the chances of catching on clothing or other obstacles during the draw.

Whether for seasoned shooters seeking a discreet carry option or for individuals new to firearms looking for a reliable and user-friendly self-defense tool, the Ruger LCP II offers a combination of practicality, performance, and reliability. Its blend of compact size, improved trigger, and modern features make it a valuable companion for personal protection scenarios.

Spec List:

  • Caliber: .380 ACP
  • Capacity: 6+1 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 2.75 inches
  • Weight: 10.6 ounces (unloaded)
  • Sights: Integral sights


  • Ultra-compact for discreet concealed carry
  • Light recoil, making it easy to shoot
  • Ideal for pocket or ankle carry


  • Limited capacity and caliber might not suit everyone’s preferences

4. Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2 9mm

The Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2 9mm is a compact and updated version of the popular XD-S series of semi-automatic handguns. Known for its reliability, accuracy, and ergonomic design, the XD-S Mod.2 9mm offers a versatile and powerful option for concealed carry, personal defense, and recreational shooting.

Key features of the XD-S Mod.2 9mm include:

Compact Design: The XD-S Mod.2 9mm is designed for easy concealment and comfortable carry. Its slim profile, reduced overall dimensions, and minimalistic controls make it ideal for discreet carry, whether in an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster, purse, or pocket.

Enhanced Grip Texture: The Mod.2 iteration of the XD-S series introduces improved grip texturing. This texture, combined with strategically placed ergonomics, ensures a secure and comfortable grip, reducing the likelihood of slippage and aiding in recoil management.

Single-Stack Magazine: The XD-S Mod.2 9mm uses a single-stack magazine design, which contributes to its slim profile. The magazines are available in various capacities, offering shooters options for balancing magazine capacity with concealment needs.

Efficient Sight System: The handgun is equipped with a fiber optic front sight and a low-profile combat rear sight. This sight configuration enhances target acquisition and provides a clear sight picture, even in varying lighting conditions.

Safety Features: The XD-S Mod.2 9mm includes several safety features, including a grip safety and a trigger safety. These mechanisms help prevent accidental discharges and enhance the overall safety of the firearm.

Modularity and Customization: The “Mod.2” in the name signifies Springfield Armory’s commitment to modularity and user customization. While the options for customization might not be as extensive as some other platforms, the XD-S Mod.2 does offer some variations in grip sizes and finishes.

Melonite Finish: The XD-S Mod.2 9mm features a durable Melonite finish, which enhances resistance to corrosion and wear, extending the life of the firearm and maintaining its appearance over time.

9mm Caliber: Chambered in 9mm Luger, the XD-S Mod.2 offers a balanced combination of manageable recoil and effective stopping power, making it a suitable choice for both experienced shooters and those new to handguns.

Overall, the Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2 9mm is a compact and reliable firearm designed to provide accuracy, comfort, and confidence to those seeking a concealed carry option. Its updated features, ergonomic enhancements, and safety mechanisms make it a solid choice for individuals looking for a versatile and dependable self-defense tool. As with any firearm, it’s important for users to receive proper training and practice safe handling and storage procedures.

Spec List:

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 7+1 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 3.3 inches
  • Weight: 21.5 ounces (unloaded)
  • Sights: Fiber optic front, tactical rack rear sight


  • Comfortable grip and good ergonomics
  • Fiber optic front sight for enhanced target acquisition
  • Loaded chamber indicator for added safety awareness


  • Grip safety may not appeal to all shooters

5. Taurus G2C
The Taurus G2C is a compact, semi-automatic pistol manufactured by Taurus, a Brazilian firearms company. This handgun is designed primarily for concealed carry and personal defense, and it has gained popularity due to its affordability, reliability, and features that are often found in more expensive counterparts.

Features and Specifications:

  1. Caliber: The most common calibers for the G2C are 9mm and .40 S&W.
  2. Capacity: Typically, the 9mm variant has a 12-round magazine, whereas the .40 S&W variant holds 10 rounds.
  3. Size: Being compact, it features a barrel length of around 3.2 inches and an overall length of just over 6 inches, making it suitable for concealed carry.
  4. Safety: The G2C includes an integrated trigger safety, manual safety, and a loaded chamber indicator.
  5. Design: The polymer frame contributes to its lightweight nature, while the ergonomic grip ensures comfort and a firm hold for the shooter. It also features stippling patches across the grip for improved handling.
  6. Sights: Factory-equipped with adjustable rear sights and a fixed front sight. There are also aftermarket sights available for those who want to customize their G2C.
  7. Price: One of the standout features of the G2C is its affordability. This has made it a favorite choice among those looking for a reliable yet budget-friendly handgun.

The Taurus G2C emerged as a successor to the Taurus PT111 Millennium G2, and with its introduction, Taurus addressed many of the concerns and feedback from the users of the earlier model, enhancing its performance and user experience.

Whether you’re a first-time gun owner or an experienced shooter, the Taurus G2C offers a blend of compactness, reliability, and affordability. However, like any firearm, it’s crucial for users to handle it responsibly and receive proper training to ensure safety and efficiency.

Spec List:

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 12+1 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 3.2 inches
  • Weight: 22 ounces (unloaded)
  • Sights: Three-dot system


  • Generous magazine capacity
  • Accessible price point for budget-conscious buyers
  • Picatinny rail for mounting accessories


  • Quality control may vary among Taurus firearms
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6. Walther CCP M2
The Walther CCP M2 is a compact semi-automatic pistol designed with concealed carry and personal defense in mind. A product of Walther Arms, a company renowned for its century-long tradition of crafting high-quality firearms, the CCP M2 stands out with its unique Softcoil gas technology. This innovative system reduces recoil, making it easier for the shooter to maintain accuracy and control with subsequent shots.

Featuring a slim profile and lightweight design, the CCP M2 boasts an ergonomic grip, ensuring comfortable handling and improved maneuverability. It offers a capacity of 8+1 rounds in 9mm, making it suitable for a variety of self-defense scenarios. The pistol also incorporates a manual thumb safety and an easy-to-rack slide, accommodating both novice and experienced shooters.

The takedown and maintenance of the CCP M2 are simplified compared to many other models, requiring no special tools or trigger pull to disassemble. The firearm’s 3.54-inch barrel, combined with its overall length of just over 6 inches, ensures it remains a compact and easily concealable option for everyday carry.

In summary, the Walther CCP M2 is a blend of German engineering and modern firearm design, offering reliability, comfort, and safety in a compact package suitable for concealed carry and personal defense.

Spec List:

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 8+1 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 3.54 inches
  • Weight: 22.3 ounces (unloaded)
  • Sights: 3-dot polymer sights


  • Soft recoil for easier follow-up shots
  • Ergonomic grip design for comfortable shooting
  • Front and rear slide serrations for easy manipulation


  • Slightly larger dimensions compared to some competitors
The SCCY CPX-2 is a compact, semi-automatic pistol designed primarily for concealed carry. Manufactured by SCCY Industries in Daytona Beach, Florida, the CPX-2 stands out for its affordability, simplicity, and reliability. Here are some of its notable features:

Caliber: Chambered in 9mm Luger, the CPX-2 offers adequate firepower for self-defense, while still maintaining a controllable recoil.

Design: The CPX-2 ditches an external manual safety, resulting in a sleek and streamlined design that reduces potential snag points when drawing from concealment.

Capacity: With a 10+1 round capacity, it offers a decent number of rounds for its compact size.

Grip: Features a textured grip that ensures a secure hold even under adverse conditions. This ergonomic design helps in improving accuracy and confidence during shooting.

Materials: The CPX-2 boasts a stainless steel slide and barrel with a Zytel polymer frame, combining durability with lightweight carry.

Sights: It comes equipped with a 3-dot sight system, which facilitates quicker target acquisition.

Price Point: One of the CPX-2’s selling points is its affordability. Despite its low price, SCCY does not compromise on the quality and reliability of this pistol.

Safety: While it lacks an external manual safety, the CPX-2 does have a trigger guard and an internal safety system, offering added protection against unintentional discharges.

In conclusion, the SCCY CPX-2 is an excellent choice for those seeking an affordable, reliable, and compact firearm for concealed carry or self-defense. With its straightforward design and dependable performance, it has gained popularity among both new and seasoned shooters.

Spec List:

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 10+1 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 3.1 inches
  • Weight: 15 ounces (unloaded)
  • Sights: 3-dot system with a windage-adjustable rear sight


  • Competitive price for a 9mm CCW pistol
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Variety of color options available


  • Trigger may not be to everyone’s liking
8. Canik TP9SF Elite
The Canik TP9SF Elite is a semi-automatic, striker-fired pistol that’s part of the renowned TP9 series, crafted by the Turkish firearms manufacturer, Canik. Boasting impressive ergonomics and a sleek design, the TP9SF Elite is engineered with the needs of law enforcement and competitive shooters in mind.

Key features:

Caliber: Chambered in 9mm, it provides a balance of power and control.

Capacity: A standard magazine capacity of 15 rounds, ensuring sustained firepower in various scenarios.

Barrel: A 4.19-inch match-grade barrel ensures top-tier accuracy and performance.

Sights: Equipped with Warren Tactical sights, the rear sight is U-notch design, which facilitates quicker target acquisition and accuracy.

Trigger: Features a smooth and crisp single-action trigger, known for its short reset, which is perfect for rapid follow-up shots.

Safety: Enhanced safety features include a loaded chamber indicator and a striker status indicator.

Grip: The grip has an ergonomic design with interchangeable backstraps to fit a wide range of hand sizes. Additionally, its textured surface provides a solid grip, even in adverse conditions.

Finish: The durable Tungsten Grey Cerakote finish not only provides a unique appearance but also adds an extra layer of corrosion resistance.

Accessory Rail: A built-in Picatinny rail offers users the flexibility to attach various accessories such as lights or lasers.

Holster: Most models come with a holster, ensuring that users have an immediate carrying solution.

Built to NATO specifications, the Canik TP9SF Elite proves to be reliable, durable, and offers a high level of performance at a competitive price point. Whether for duty use, self-defense, or competition, the TP9SF Elite is a formidable choice for firearm enthusiasts.

Spec List:

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 15+1 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 4.19 inches
  • Weight: 28.3 ounces (unloaded)
  • Sights: Warren Tactical sights


  • High magazine capacity
  • Smooth trigger with short reset
  • Interchangeable backstraps for personalized fit


  • Slightly larger and heavier than some other CCW options
9. Bersa Thunder 380
The Bersa Thunder 380 is a compact, semi-automatic pistol that’s manufactured by Bersa, an Argentinian firearms company. It has earned a reputation for its reliability, durability, and affordability. This .380 ACP pistol features a lightweight alloy frame, a steel slide, and a design that is heavily influenced by the famous Walther PPK.

With its smooth DA/SA (double-action/single-action) trigger and decocker, it provides the user with options for carrying in different conditions. The ergonomic grip is designed to ensure a comfortable and firm hold, making it suitable for various hand sizes. Moreover, the Thunder 380 includes a variety of safety features, such as a manual safety lever, firing pin safety, and an integrated locking system.

Aesthetically, the gun boasts sleek lines and an overall classic appearance. It’s a favorite choice for concealed carry due to its compact size and slim profile. Furthermore, its price point has made it particularly appealing to those looking for a reliable firearm on a budget.

Conclusion: Selecting the right CCW pistol is a personal decision, as individual preferences, hand size, and shooting proficiency play a significant role. Each of the top 10 CCW pistols under $500 listed here offers a combination of reliability, concealability, and affordability, making them worthy contenders for those seeking a concealed carry firearm. Remember to practice regularly, invest in proper training, and adhere to all safety guidelines to ensure responsible concealed carry practices. 

Spec List:

  • Caliber: .380 ACP
  • Capacity: 8+1 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 3.5 inches
  • Weight: 20 ounces (unloaded)
  • Sights: Notched-bar dovetail front and rear sights


  • Comfortable grip for precise shooting
  • Decocker for added safety during holstering
  • Affordable pricing and accessible ammunition


  • Limited stopping power compared to larger calibers
10. IWI Masada Slim
The IWI Masada Slim is a cutting-edge compact semi-automatic pistol designed to offer exceptional performance, reliability, and versatility in a sleek and slender package. Engineered by Israel Weapon Industries (IWI), renowned for their innovative firearms, the Masada Slim embodies the latest advancements in pistol design.

Crafted with a focus on ergonomic excellence, the Masada Slim boasts a slim and streamlined frame that ensures a comfortable grip for shooters of all hand sizes. The pistol’s carefully contoured polymer grip provides a secure hold, promoting optimal control and reduced recoil, while the texturing enhances tactile feedback, even in challenging conditions.

Chambered in a selection of popular calibers, the Masada Slim offers versatility to meet various shooting preferences and needs. Whether for personal defense, concealed carry, or recreational shooting, this pistol delivers precise accuracy and consistent performance. Its precision-engineered slide-to-frame fit enhances accuracy potential, while the high-visibility sights ensure rapid target acquisition and a confident shooting experience.

Incorporating a range of user-friendly features, the Masada Slim is equipped with an intuitive and accessible ambidextrous slide stop/release, enabling seamless operation for both left- and right-handed users. The pistol’s striker-fired mechanism ensures a consistent trigger pull, contributing to enhanced accuracy and shot placement.

For utmost adaptability, the Masada Slim is equipped with an accessory rail, allowing shooters to attach various tactical accessories such as lights or lasers. This makes it a versatile choice for those seeking to customize their firearm for specific scenarios or preferences.

Safety is paramount in the Masada Slim’s design. Its multiple passive safety mechanisms, combined with an integrated trigger safety, prevent accidental discharges while ensuring a smooth and consistent trigger pull when intended. Additionally, the pistol features a generous trigger guard, accommodating gloved hands and contributing to its user-friendly nature.

The IWI Masada Slim exemplifies IWI’s commitment to innovation, durability, and performance. Whether utilized for concealed carry, home defense, or sport shooting, this pistol stands as a testament to modern firearm engineering, offering a compact yet formidable option for those seeking a reliable and accurate companion.

  • Type: Striker-Fired compact pistol
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Overall Size:
    • Length: 6.25″ (159 mm)
    • Height: 4.88″ (124 mm)
    • Width: 1.02″ (26 mm)
  • Barrel Length: 3.4 inches (86 mm)
  • Weight:
    • 20.3 ounces (575 grams) with an empty magazine
    • 1.27 lbs without the magazine
    • 1.4 lbs with the magazine inserted
  • Magazine Capacity: Comes with 2-13 round magazines. There are also 10-round magazines available for states with magazine capacity restrictions.
  • Sights: White front dot sight and a blacked-out rear sight. The sight cuts on the Masada Slim are the same as on the full-size Masada. The slide also utilizes the RMS Shield optics cut for direct optic mounting options, compatible with optics like the Holosun EPS Carry, 507K X2, Sig Romeo Zero, and more.
  • Trigger: Flat trigger with a clean and crisp break, a positive reset, and a built-in trigger safety.
  • Design: The Masada Slim has a modular, serialized, high-grade steel trigger mechanism housing that can be easily removed for cleaning and maintenance. It is built on a fiberglass-reinforced polymer frame.
  • Price: The suggested retail price for the Masada Slim is $450.


  1. Optic-Ready Slide: The slide is factory-cut with an RMS Shield footprint, making it compatible with popular sights from brands like Sig Sauer, Holosun, and Swampfox.
  2. Trigger: The trigger is light, smooth, and has a crisp break, making it easy for consistent follow-up shots.
  3. Magazine Capacity: The Masada Slim comes with two 13-round magazines, providing a total of 14 rounds (13+1) at your disposal.
  4. Controls: The mag release and slide stop lever are well-placed and sized appropriately, making them easy to find and manipulate during reloads. The loaded chamber indicator adds an extra safety feature.
  5. Comfort and Concealability: The Masada Slim is comfortable to carry and doesn’t print much, making it ideal for concealed carry.
  6. Shootability: The pistol shoots well, with manageable recoil and good accuracy. The flat-faced trigger has a crisp break and a short reset.
  7. Reliability: The Masada Slim has shown to be reliable, running various types of ammo without any failures.


  1. Trigger Reset: The reset on the trigger is barely noticeable, which might be a concern for some users who prefer a more distinct reset.
  2. Ambidextrous Controls: The Masada Slim lacks ambidextrous controls, though it does have a reversible mag release.
  3. Sights: The standard sights on the Masada Slim are basic, with a blacked-out U-notch and a white dot front blade. The standard version does not come with night sights.
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